WALLINGFORD — Jubilee events continued Thursday, with Senior Day at the Wallingford Senior Center and the “Summer Sidewalk Stroll” — a downtown sidewalk sale. As the anniversary celebration heads into its final days, organizers expect large crowds for Friday night’s scheduled fireworks, following a day of events celebrating local youth, including a block dance Friday.
“It’s almost the end of our Jubilee, our 352nd birthday of Wallingford,” said Bob Devaney, co-chair of the Jubilee Committee, adding he expects the fireworks “are going to be spectacular.”
The fireworks display is scheduled to start at 9:30 p.m. Friday, with public parking available at Moran Middle School, Sheehan High School, Highland Elementary School and the parking lot of Our Lady of Fatima Church, according to a notice from Police Capt. Michael Colavolpe.
Parking will not be allowed along Hope Hill Road and some side streets. Through traffic on Hope Hill Road will be prohibited when all parking lots are full or at 8:30 p.m.
At the end of the fireworks show, there will be two northbound lanes of traffic and two southbound lanes of traffic on Hope Hill Road.
Christine Mansfield, co-chair of the Jubilee Committee, said the original plan was to hold the fireworks show at Masonicare, which is sponsoring the event, so people could watch the fireworks while finishing up the block dance, which is scheduled from 6 to 10 p.m. Friday on South Main Street.
“Everybody could come out on Main Street and look at the fireworks on Center Street,” Mansfield said.
However, two test runs of the fireworks failed.
“You couldn’t see enough of the fireworks,” Mansfield said, so the committee decided to launch the display from Sheehan, which is where the town’s Fourth of July fireworks have been launched from in years past.
There will be no town display for the Fourth of July this year in light of the Jubilee fireworks occurring a little more than a week earlier, said Vincent Cervoni, Town Council chairman, who has led fundraising efforts to hold the display in recent years.
“It just didn’t seem to make sense to do fireworks twice within, you know less than 10 days,” Cervoni said. “My understanding is that the Jubilee fireworks are going to be spectacular.”
Mike McCann, committee chair for the fireworks, said the show will be around 45 minutes long.
“The size of the actual individual fireworks is larger on average than it has been in the past years,” McCann said. “So it’s going to be very good.”
Atlas fireworks is the company providing the show, with Masonicare’s donation funding the display.
“We wanted to provide the fireworks as part of our community involvement,” said Carl Anderson, vice president of fraternal relations for Masonicare. “Something that we can do for the community, add to the really wonderful events that have been planned throughout the entire week.”
Along with the fireworks, the Camp Extravaganza event will be at Doolittle Park Friday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m, which Mansfield said is now sold out. Following that is the Simon Sez performance at 3 p.m. on South Main Street, then two hours later, the block dance.
Mansfield said this week has allowed her to see the entire Wallingford community come together.
“I’m in tears,” Mansfield said. “... We’re a very passionate town and we have come together in such a beautiful peaceful way … I have goosebumps everywhere I go. People are bursting with pride, with joy. We can unite.”
Reporter Jessica Simms at firstname.lastname@example.org.