By EMILY GROVES
Posted Jul 04, 2009 @ 11:19 PM
Last update Jul 04, 2009 @ 11:37 PM
Norwich, Conn. —
Thousands turned out to Howard T. Brown Memorial Park in Norwich Saturday for the Fourth of July fireworks that almost weren’t, but were saved by a monthlong fundraising drive.“I’m just happy they did,” Jaimey Romanoff of Preston said. “There are a lot of little kids that will enjoy this and maybe some big ones, too.
”The annual spectacle went off over Norwich Harbor Saturday night, despite a month of worries of how to pay for them.The fireworks originally were to be put on by the 350th Anniversary Committee. But the group ran into financial trouble.Norwich resident Tiena Ellis said she was very upset when she heard the fireworks funding was in jeopardy.
“I was like please don’t, please don’t” cancel the fireworks, Ellis said. “I just did a lot of praying.”Donations from residents and local businesses saved the Rose City tradition, raising $42,000 for the display.“I was surprised how much they raised,” Marsha Prokop of Lisbon said. “It was good to see, especially with the economy. It’s good to have this kind of thing to bring out the families.
”But other residents said they never doubted the fireworks would happen.“Somehow they always come through,” Judy Avery of Lisbon said.“I knew they’d have them one way or another,” Debbie Brooke of Willimantic said.Getting good spotsPeople from across the region filled the park along the harbor with lawn chairs and blankets in the hours leading up to the fireworks.“We wanted to come here where the good fireworks are,” Nicole West, 8, of Jewett City said.\
Denise Dembinski said she arrived at the park at 2 p.m. to reserve her favorite waterfront spot. “I try to get this corner every year,” Dembinski said. She said she arrived extra early this year because she expected bigger crowds because the holiday was on a Saturday.She said in the seven hours before the fireworks began, she read, took a nap and ate the supper she had packed.Mike Gardner and Andrew Ledogar of Hampton said the Norwich fireworks are “the best around.”“The reflection in the water makes them even better,” Ledogar said. \
If you go
Norwich’s 350th anniversary parade steps off at 1 p.m. today from Chelsea parade.It will travel along Broadway to Broad Street, to McKinley Avenue, Franklin Street and Main Street and end at Chelsea Groton Bank.
'Tea Party Patriots' exercise right to assemble
Published on 7/4/2009
Norwich - The Connecticut Second District Tea Party Patriots held a rally on Chelsea Parade in Norwich Saturday, July 4, 2009. About 300 filled the north end of the parade by the Civil War memorial to hear speakers "encourage elected officials to exercise fiscal restraint, rein in government growth and support free market economic principals" according to an organization's press release. State Rep. Chris Coutu of the 47th district spoke as did former 2nd district congressman Rob Simmons\
EDITORIAL FOOTNOTE: The fireworks in Norwich were great, some of the best fireworks I have ever seen.
The tea party was great. People talking about how the federal government is over spending, that U.S. Citizens, great great grandchildren, will be paying. People wanting smaller more efficent government. Government that listens to its people. Is this the way it is at the Mohegan government? Is the Mohegan Government doing the same thing? What is the tribe's debt? How many generations will pay for the bad deals of this Mohegan Tribal Council? Is the Mohegan Tribal Council responsive to its members? Do you know?
The Norwich parade on Sunday, was really good too. I especially liked the old cars, and the fire engines. Where was the Mohegan Tribe? Oh, I remember, the tribe couldn't get enough people to march, so we didn't do it. Where was the leadership, to be a part of the event? How come, the Tribal Council and the Council of Elders, didn't get it done? Do you know? What do you think?