UPDATE: The event has been postponed to July 8.
Thousands of people are expected in downtown Milford Friday, July 1, for the Kick Off to Summer event that will include fireworks, food trucks and bands. The rain date is Friday, July 8.
This is only the second year for the event. The first Kick Off to Summer, held in 2015, attracted an estimated 25,000 people to downtown Milford.
“And that was a Thursday,” said event chairman Dan Worroll. “This is a Friday.”
With that kind of turnout, the event this year will expand into more downtown space to give attendees more standing and sitting space.
The event runs from 4:30 to 11:30 p.m. There will be shuttles at this year’s event from several locations, including the Milford Senior Center, Harborside Middle School and the Wasson Field parking lot. “The shuttles will make a constant loop,” Worroll said, adding that there will be no parking Friday in the commuter lots at Fowler Field or in the event area.
“The fireworks this year are going to be better than ever,” Worroll said, describing a display he said will wow spectators.
Two bands will perform — Michael Rea, performing Sinatra, Dean Martin and tunes of that era from 5 to 7:30 p.m., and and the Rumrunners, a very popular cover band that performs regularly in Milford and throughout the state, from 7:30 to 11:30 p.m.
There will be more food trucks this second time around, about 15, plus beverages to purchase at the event. According to the City Clerk’s newsletter, vendors will include Caseus, BRYAC Shuck Truck, Baked and Loaded, 744 Express, and Local Meatball. Wines and More will be selling beverages.
There also will be more portable restrooms than at the first event.
The event costs about $18,000 to put together, but none of that is paid by the city, so this is not a taxpayer expense, Worroll pointed out. And of course, admission is free so there is no cost to residents.
Worroll and Mayor Ben Blake get the credit for coming up with the idea for a Kick Off to Summer event. According to Worroll, both saw how popular a 375th city anniversary fireworks display was, and they thought it would be a great idea to host annual fireworks. The economic development office and recreation department take part in the planning, as do officials at the Lisman Landing marina.
“It should be a great night,” Worroll said.
Worroll said he is still looking for sponsors. The Devon Rotary stepped up again to be a major sponsor this year: The group was a major supporter the first year. Other sponsors are ShopRite, the Milford Bank, Beirne Wealth, Seven Seas and Edo Construction.
The money donated by sponsors pays for fireworks, entertainment, plus police and fire services.
Anyone interested in being a sponsor can contact Worroll at email@example.com.