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The Big Bang Scene

Where to go to see fireworks this weekend and throughout the month.

Meriden Fourth of July Fireworks Spectacular: July 4th weekend in Meriden means one thing - fireworks. Known throughout the region, the city’s Fourth of July Fireworks Spectacular, happening tonight from 6 to 10 p.m. at the Westfield Shopping Center, annually draws crowds of about 7,000 people—with hundreds more gathering at nearby viewing spots. This year should be no different, says Pamela Wiles, a spokesperson for the Westfield Group, organizers of the event.

Hosted by Mike Stevens from the Big D in the Morning Show on 102.9 WDRC-FM, the event promises a night of live music (by the Nifty Fifties), food (Rita’s Italian Ice, Pretzel Time, Star Catering and others) and family fun. Oh, yeah…and some spectacular fireworks, too!

Proceeds from the Fireworks Spectacular benefit the United Way of Meriden and Wallingford, which funds social service agencies serving local people in need. Last year, the event raised about $3,500. In the past, a small donation was requested but not required to attend. This year there is a $1 entry fee. (Children under two are free.)

Fireworks over Lake Compounce: Sunday, July 3, 10 p.m., Lake Compounce Family Theme Park, 186 Enterprise Drive, Bristol. Wrap up a fun day at America’s oldest continuously operating amusement park with a fireworks show over the lake. Pricing: Regular Admission $35.99, Junior Admission $25.99, Ages 3 and Under Free; After 5pm $17.99, Parking $8

Weekend Spectacular at the New Britain Rock Cats Friday, July 1; Game Time: 7:05 p.m.; Gates Open: 5:35 pm. Saturday, July 2 (Single-Admission Double Header); Game 1 Start Time: 5:05 p.m; Gates Open: 4:35 p.m., Sunday, July 3; Game Time: 1:35 p.m; Gates Open: 12:05 pm. For each day’s game or games in this series against the Harrisburg Senators (the Washington Nationals’ farm team), you get four reserved seats plus an all-you-can-eat barbecue. Fireworks follow Friday and Saturday nights’ games. (The barbecue starts at 6:05 p.m., Friday and Saturday and 12:35 p.m., Sunday.) Pricing: $40 for four tickets (For this special deal, purchase tickets in advance.)

Wallingford’s Firworks Display:  Sunday, July 3, 9 p.m., Sheehan High School, 142 Hope Hill Road, Wallingford.  This free event has been a town tradition for years, with citizens pitching in to raise the money to carry it on.

The Great American Boom: Monday, July 4, from 5 to 9:30 p.m., Stanley Quarter Park, 451 Blake Road, New Britain. This free event is more than a fireworks show — it’s a carnival, complete with amusement rides, clowns and magicians, live music, hot-air balloon rides and LOTS of food!

Eric Girardi’s Fire Show: Monday, July 4, 7:30 p.m., The Lodge at Cold Spring (Senior Independent Living Community), 50 Cold Spring Road, Rocky Hill. This is   show for older folks who are young at heart. Eric Girardi juggles fire. He eats fire. And if his fire show isn’t exciting enough, it’s followed by a mini fireworks display. Come at 5:30 p.m. for a complimentary supper. Call (860) 721-1940 to reserve a spot.

"Celebrate America!" at the Simsbury Performing Arts Center, 22 Iron Horse Blvd. The concert begins at 7:30 p.m. with fireworks immediately following. The Hartford Symphony Orchestra will celebrate Independence Day with a patriotic concert “Celebrate America!” Tickets are available online at $20 per adult and $5 per child in advance. Rain date is July 2. For more information call (860) 244-2999.

Portland's 2011 Fireworks Display: will be Saturday July 16th starting around 9:30 p.m. The gates of the Exchange Club Fairgrounds open at 5:00 PM; Tony Rome and his band will perform a live concert prior to the fireworks show. Hotdogs, hamburgers, friend dough, ice cream and beverages will be available for purchase. All proceeds go towards the cost of the event. Send donations to the Fireworks Committee c/o Portland Police, 265 Main Street, Portland CT 06480 (checks made payable to "Portland Fireworks"). Items not allowed on the fairgrounds: coolers, pets (exclusive of service animals), alcoholic beverages. Rain date: Sunday July 17th.

Riverfest 2011 July 9 in Hartford features free entertainment including live bands, musicians, clowns and other walk-a-bout entertainers, kids activities and more. A dazzling fireworks show over the river highlights this traditional Hartford festival. The festivities start at 4 p.m. and culminate with fireoworks over the Connecticut River at 9 p.m.

The festivities and fireworks are brought to you by Riverfront Recapture, a private, non-profit organization which is leading the effort to reconnect metropolitan Hartford with the Connecticut River and provide community access to the waterfront through four beautiful parks in Hartford and East Hartford. Riverfest is made possible through the generosity of corporate funding and private contributions, and would not be possible without the municipal support of the City of Hartford and the Town of East Hartford.

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