There’s enough money to pay for this year’s Kick Off to Summer event, which will bring food, entertainment and fireworks to downtown Friday, July 1. But with contributions down a bit, there’s not enough to provide startup funds for next year. Dan Worroll, event organizer, said if more donations don’t come in, this could the the second, and the last year, for the Kick Off to Summer celebration.
It costs about $15,000 to run the event, which drew an estimated 25,000 people to downtown Milford for food, music and fireworks last year. Worroll said there’s about that much in the account now, but it’s key to have up to $7,000 in the kitty to secure the following year’s event.

The event this year will expand and be even bigger than the first year, spreading out more into downtown to give attendees more standing and sitting space. Worroll said an area used for parking last year will become event space.

The event runs from 4 to 11 p.m. at Lisman Landing Marina, with a fireworks over the harbor at 9:15 p.m. There will be shuttles at this year’s event from several locations.

“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, and the Rumrunners, a very popular cover band that performs regularly in Milford and throughout the state.

There will be more food trucks this second time around, plus beverages to purchase at the event. There also will be more portable toilets than at the first event.

The added space and added facilities and other “addeds” will likely be needed. The 2015 celebration was packed, “And that was a Thursday,” Worroll said. “This is a Friday.”

None of the event costs are 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.

The first Kick Off was funded by the Devon Rotary, Milford Bank and ShopRite. The committee is looking for more sponsors this year. This year, Bierne Wealth and 7 Seas added their names to the list of corporate sponsors. But Worroll said he needs more if the event is to continue into the future.

“It’s a great way to get your name in front of 25,000 people,” Worroll said.

He said the event is great for downtown businesses, estimating there was a 1.5 hour wait for downtown restaurants last year, and this year all but two boat slips are sold out at the Lisman Landing Marina. “And that usually is a dead weekend,” Worroll said.

The money pays for fireworks, entertainment, plus police and fire services.

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.

“Before this, we were the town that didn’t have fireworks,” Worroll said.

The economic development office and recreation department take part in the planning, as do officials at the Lisman Landing marina.

Anyone interested in being a sponsor can contact Worroll at dworroll@optonline.net.

Donations can be sent to: Dan Worroll Chairman -KOTS, c/o Community Development

Parsons Complex, 70 West River St., Milford, CT.