“Southbury Celebration 2017 is a casual community celebration with about 20 talented local performers, food trucks and expanded fireworks show along with a lot of spirit and fellowship,” explained co-chair Brian M. Jones. The 19th annual community event will be on Saturday, September 23rd from 5 to 8:30 p.m. at beautiful Lake Stibbs at the Southbury Training School on Route 172.
The program is co-sponsored by the Town of Southbury and the Southbury Training School. The event is free and open to the entire community. The annual free event draws over 5,000 people. The fireworks will be launched at approximately 7:45 p.m. The rain date is Sunday, September 24th with the same event times.
“We live in a wonderful town, and we want to use this event to showcase and ‘celebrate’ the positive elements of our great community and its traditions… that is why the program is named The Southbury Celebration!” declared co-chair Carole Van Tassel.
This year’s Food Court features over 16 Food vendors including 8 food trucks plus numerous community groups with a large variety of options providing: cheeseburgers, hamburgers, hot dogs, sausage & peppers, red hots, chicken teriyaki, hibachi shrimp, steak, lobster rolls, clam chowder, fish & chips, grinders, chili and corn bread, chicken tenders, baked goods, popcorn, cotton candy, fried dough, snow cones, donuts, ice cream, soda, water, coffee and beverages. The Food Court will open earlier this year at 5:00 pm and serve until 8:30pm.
“The community feedback was that most people wanted to have more food trucks and food options, so our committee worked very hard to expand the Food Court,” explained co-chair Brian M. Jones. He recommends the public come early to support their local charities and food vendors and visit with family and friends. The community is encouraged to bring their lawn chairs, blankets, friends and family and arrive early to avoid the last-minute traffic.
Musical performances will be provided by talented high school and college musicians. Pomperaug High School Choral Director Linda Hughes has assisted the committee in selecting a diverse range of high school musicians. Also, the Pomperaug High School Honorary Music Society, Tri-M officers will be providing music and stage support during the event. The music will begin at 5pm with a PowerStation DJ.
At approximately 5:15 the Band “Limitless” featuring Pomperaug students Catherine Windover, Nate Helms, Noah Leo and Jason Miska will perform songs from The Scorpions, Santana and Neil Young. Followed by individual vocalist Isabella LaBonia singing “I Dreamed A Dream” from Les Miserables; Thomas Gilbertie performing “Anthem” from Chess; and Natalie LaBonia singing “Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again” from Phantom of the Opera.
At 6pm, the Band “Sungrove” with band members Christian Winter, Ben Tesbir and Jake Nicolari will perform three original songs.
Around 6:25 the band “Rock Republic” is back for a second year with band members Ethan Fiske, Ben Bernard, Nate Gibson and Rickie Cruz. The Rock Republic will perform two twenty-minute sets with popular songs from a wide range of artists including Elvis Presley, Billy Joel, Journey, Ozzy Osbourne and Imagine Dragons.
At 7 pm four talented individual vocalists will perform: Catherine Windover singing “So Far Away” by Carol King; Gabby Wallace, “Come Together” by the Beatles; Ava Malizia performs “He Can Only Hold Her” by Amy Winehouse; and Jamie Leo finishes with “When I Look at You” by Miley Cyrus.
The National Anthem will be sung by PHS students Elisabeth Dumont, Laurel Paddock, Christian Winter. Immediately followed by a “crowd count-down” at approximately 7:45 to launch the expanded fireworks extravaganza. Atlas PyroVision Productions, Inc. (www.atlaspyro.com) will be launching the expanded fireworks show over beautiful Lake Stibbs. Atlas is a leading fireworks company with over 700 shows annually.
The audience is welcome to get up and dance or sit, relax and listen to the music. Sound, stage and lighting will be provided by PowerStation Events (www.powerstationevents.com).
A free shuttle bus service will depart from Heritage Village paddock at 5:30pm and from Grace Meadows Senior Housing at 5:45pm. Reservations are required for the bus shuttle. Heritage Village resident’s sign-up at HV Activities and Grace Meadow residents at their community center. The bus will return immediately after the fireworks at approximately 8:15pm.
Southbury Fire and Ambulance personnel and equipment will be on-site providing public safety information. The Southbury Volunteer Firemen’s Association Inc. will have their 102’ ladder truck, Engine #4 and their Heavy Rescue. Children can shoot the Brush Truck fire hose at several targets. The Southbury Ambulance Association ambulances and personnel will be on scene to answer questions.
Many community organizations will be coming together to assist with this year’s event, including The Southbury and Woodbury Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT) with parking in the Handicapped parking area.
No alcohol is permitted at the event. Extensive free parking is on the STS Great Front Lawn. Due to congested event traffic and safety concerns, there will be no pedestrian walking, no vehicle parking and no parent “drop off/pick up” along Route 172. Handicap and Special Needs parking is available at the Lake Stibbs parking lot.
Sunday, September 24th is the rain date with the same schedule of activities. In case of inclement weather or for more information, please call the Southbury Parks & Recreation Department Info-line at 203-262-0633 for an official announcement or visit the Town of Southbury’s web site at http://www.southbury-ct.org.
Southbury Celebration 2017 committee members are Carole Van Tassel (co-chair, Heritage Village resident and community volunteer), Steven Hinckley (Southbury Training School Liaison), Southbury First Selectman Jeff Manville, Louise Mansour (Southbury Parks & Recreation, Recreation Specialist), Dustin Huguenin (Southbury Parks and Recreation, Interim Director) and community leader and co-chair Brian M. Jones.