Parks Pals saves summer tradition


Through the efforts of Park Pals, the annual Beacon Falls summer fireworks will go on as planned. RA ARCHIVE
BEACON FALLS — Residents of Beacon Falls will once again enjoy a town-run fireworks display this summer, thanks to the efforts of Park Pals.

When the town eliminated the $5,000 line item for the event from the budget last year, Park Pals, a charitable Beacon Falls organization founded with the purpose of providing more recreational opportunities to residents, stepped up to raise the funds.

“We are thrilled that Park Pals secured the funds in order to keep this event going,” Parks and Recreation Commission Chair Joe Rodorigo said.

Through fundraising drives, and donations from local businesses, organizations, and individuals, Park Pals raised about $6,500 towards the $7,500 cost of the fireworks display, according to Park Pals Chair Angelo Dirubba. He said Park Pals will put up the rest of the money for the display itself.

Dirubba wanted to thank the non-profit’s two biggest contributors, Global Energy and Citizens for Downtown, as well as the many others that are making the event possible.

He said the Family Day is a family event that brings people together in the outdoors to enjoy the beautiful summer weather.

“The community really comes together for this event,” Dirubba said.

The annual event is the biggest activity of the year in Beacon Falls, usually drawing about 1,500 to 2,000 people, according Rodorigo.

The event is scheduled for this Saturday at the Pent Road Recreation Area beginning at 6 p.m. The fireworks are slated to go off at around 9:15 p.m.

As it has for the past several years, classic rock band Acoustic Bru will provide live music. Park Pals will also sponsor a bounce house for kids and local organizations will set up concession tents to sell food.

This year, many organizations that didn’t participate the past two years will be back with their concessions, thanks in part to the attention brought to the event through the fundraisers, Rodorigo said.

The Parks and Recreation Department will provide bus transportation and pay for the band through its activities line item, according to Rodorigo.

The event has been running for about 10 years, and Roderigo said he would have been disappointed if it couldn’t continue.

The town budget for Family Day was reinstated in the 2011-12 budget, so local groups won’t have to front the money for the event next year.

Rodorigo said the fact that Park Pals was able to raise the money truly shows a sense of community. The small organization took on a large project and succeeded, he said.

“[Park Pals] deserve all the congratulations and accolades that we can put on them,” Rodorigo said.

Before the Family Day activities start, the Board of Selectman plans to host a “Bagels with Cable,” informal community meeting at the Senior Center from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. July 9 to share ideas and thoughts about what the town should be doing.

“We discovered during the budget time a lot of people who are new to the community don’t know the history of the town,” Cable said.

Cable said she wanted get good communication going and answer questions about the downtown streetscape project and other topics people are concerned about.

“I think that would be a real good way to just sit around and talk in a nice way and answer questions,” Cable said.


  1. What is the true cost of the fireworks to residents of Beacon Falls? It appears that the $7,500 only covers the actual fireworks display and requisite insurance. The article states that the band and buses are paid from another parks department budget line item; what is that cost? What is the cost for all of the additional police that will be required for traffic and crowd control? Also let’s not forget about the cost to erect the temporary fences on the ball fields along with the extra sprucing all week at pent road by town employees. Lest we forbget there is the dreaded cleanup afterward.
    The truth is; the park pals sponsored fireworks are costing the taxpayers thousands of dollars, but not as much as the pink elephant on Wolfe Avenue.

  2. I fully support the Park Pals and congratulate them on their efforts. My own family donated to the cause when they were collecting in October.

    I do not however understand the remark in the previous post regarding the Wolfe Avenue property. If you support Park Pals, then you should support that project. The mission of the committee for that property includes providing space for the community: for the Historical Society to store and display artifacts, for the library to develop a media center that has enough space for people and community groups to meet and learn, and for space for the Park and Recreation Commission to hold their classes. The Park & Rec Commissioners work tirelessly to make sure our community has a variety of opportunities. These three groups enrich our lives and need more space.

    Again, I congratulate Joe Rodorigo and the Park Pals for their passion and dedication. Beacon Falls is a wonderful community filled with dedicated volunteers. My family loves living here and continues to be impressed by all that the volunteers do!

  3. Residents of Beacon Falls will once again enjoy a town-run fireworks display this summer. This is a mis-representation as it implies that the Town of Beacon Falls came up with the funding for this event. The PEOPLE of Beacon Falls are so responsible it should be called “The PEOPLE’S FIREWORKS”! It was appalling last year when the line item was removed from the budget and it will be equally appalling if our town leaders are seen politicking at this event. One hundred percent of the spotlight should be on Joe and the Park Pals and everyone who dipped into their pockets to make this happen – and none should be on anyone who had anything to do with the possibility it wouldn’t.

    Speaking of ONE HUNDRED, here’s an interesting thought – for the money the town already has wasted, and is sure to continue wasting on 35 Wolfe Avenue, we could have funded “biggest activity of the year in Beacon Falls” for ONE HUNDRED YEARS.