Milford plans annual Kick Off to Summer fireworks

When Milford lit the sky with fireworks to celebrate the city’s 375th anniversary last year, the event was so popular city officials decided to make it an annual event.

This week the Board of Aldermen is set to vote on establishing an account to fund an annual Kick Off to Summer event that would include a fireworks display and possibly other entertainment.

Dan Worroll, who will head the Kick Off to Summer committee, said the week of downtown events last year to highlight the city’s anniversary was great for residents and downtown businesses.

“The restaurants and bars made out fantastic,” Worroll said. “That was the first time the city had fireworks in a long time.”

Some residents remember city-sponsored fireworks from many years ago, but memories are a bit hazy. Some say volunteer firefighters shot them from a barge near Charles Island in the 1970s. Worroll said someone told him the city hosted a fireworks show in 1984, but he doesn’t remember that one.

There have been private shows, like a July 4 show at the Westfield mall several years running, St. Mary’s annual fireworks, and a year-end fireworks display organized by former Milford Celebrates organizer Peter Spalthoff. But the city hadn’t sponsored its own fireworks display for as long as most people can remember, until last year’s anniversary show and a subsequent display for veterans.

Worroll said he expects the Kick Off to Summer fund will need about $15,000 to pay for fireworks, bands and various expenses, and he’s hoping businesses and individuals will send in donations.

The Kick Off is tentatively scheduled for downtown Saturday, June 20. Worroll said he wants to shoot the fireworks off from the Junior Major League field behind the Milford Public Library, but he still has to make sure that date is OK with the league.

He envisions bands playing at Lisman Landing from 2 to 10 p.m., plus trucks selling food, beer and wine, followed by the fireworks at about 9 p.m.

Worroll credited the mayor with coming up with the idea. The two were talking after the 375th fireworks show, commenting on the benefit to the local economy and residents, and the mayor suggested they keep the show going.

“It was such a success, we decided to do it annually,” the mayor said.

The Milford Board of Aldermen are scheduled to vote on creating the fund at its rescheduled meeting, which is Tuesday, Feb. 3, at 7:30 p.m., in the Board of Education conference room in the Parsons Complex.