I would like to thank everyone who contributed to The 2016 Hamden Independence Day Celebration on July 2nd to make it a success.
The people who support our efforts year after year, everyone who mailed us in a donation, made a PAYPAL donation, put money in the bucket at Stop & Shop or filled our buckets at the fireworks all continue to make this event possible.
The Hamden Volunteer Firefighters Fireworks Committee wishes to thank the following for their contributions to the 23rd Annual Fireworks display: Hamden Rotary Club, Hamden Auto Body, Bankwell, International Union of Operating Engineers Local 478, Hamden Professional Firefighters Local 2687 IAFF, American Legion Post 88, Ryan Oil Co., Whitney Center, Howard Paving Co., Spectrum Psychiatric Group, Hamden Fire Retiree’s Assn, Nolan's Hamden Monument Co., Guymark Studios Inc., Specialty Wire and Cord Sets Inc, Nero Inc., Johnson Duckpin Lanes, Stop & Shop, Shepard Glen School Faculty and Staff, Utility Communications, United Site Services, Warning Lights, Alphagraphics, Ray & Mike’s Deli, Quinnipiac University and WQUN 1220 AM.
Special thanks to Mayor Leng, Mimsie Coleman, Tom Conway, Ray Sola and his crew, The Town of Hamden, Fire Chief Berardesca, Fire Marshal Dolan, Deputy Fire Marshal Lunn, The Hamden Volunteer Firefighters, Police Chief Wydra, Hamden Traffic Department, Officer Popolizio, Hamden CERT team, Hamden Arts Commission, Hamden High School DECA Chairpersons - Brittney Cifarelli, Meghan Basilici and Brittney Stoyer, Bryan Anderson – HHS DECA advisor, Maya Michelle Butler, The Hamden Symphony Orchestra, DJBry from Tri-State DJ Co., and The International Fireworks Mfg. Co. whose support helped make our event the success that it was. Visit our website hamdenfireworks.org for video and photos of the evening’s festivities.
Karl Olson – HVFF Fireworks Committee Chairman
View excerpts of four selections from the
Hamden Symphony Orchestra's
outstanding "An American Celebration" program at the
The 23rd Annual HVFF Fireworks, originally scheduled for Friday July 1st, was delayed one day because of a very ominous weather forecast that included thunderstorms and even a tornado watch that lasted until 10 p.m. Saturday, July 2nd was perfect!
Some of Hamden's volunteer firefighters.
Co. 7's Past-Captain Jim Wetmore, at left, has been a Hamden volunteer firefighter for over 60 years.
A few members of the Fireworks Committee (Photo by David Stern)
DeeJay Bryan Poole
Bryan led the kids in several interactive tunes
The "Chicken Dance" or "The Twist?" - hmmm
Vacant spaces at Town Center Park filled up quickly before the start of the entertainment.
Fireworks Chairman Karl Olson introduced three of Hamden High School's "Pledge 2 Pledge" members,
who led everyone in the Pledge of Allegiance.
Concert Announcer Charlie Schafer emceed the orchestra's excellent program, which ranged from patriotic to classical to popular music selections. Vesna Mehinovic (left) has been the HSO's Music Director and Conductor of the Hamden Symphony Orchestra since 2008.
Musical numbers were performed by Natasha Dudsinski, Paul Mathey and Katla Salvati,
as Ms. Mehinovic conducted the orchestra.
Barb Johnson, Dave Lewis, Hamden Mayor Curt Balzano-Leng and Nancy Olson.
Barb ran the 50/50 raffle, Dave led Hamden CERT volunteers, Nancy coordinated fund raising efforts at the event.
Honoring a Very Special Lady
HVFF Committee Chairman Karl Olson with Mimsie Coleman, Chairman of the Hamden Arts Commission
Mimsie & Ernest Borgnine in '03
Mimsie Coleman has been a member of the Fireworks Committee for many years. As head of the Hamden Arts Commission, Mimsie has been responsible for organizing Hamden's Summer Concert Series each year (see 2016 schedule below). Mimsie is retiring at the end of this summer. She will be a very tough act to follow - and we will miss her very much!
The 2016 HVFF Fireworks was the perfect occasion on which to recognize Mimsie Coleman's enormous contributions to the annual fireworks and to the Town of Hamden.
On behalf of the HVFF Committee, Co. 5 member Nancy Olson presented Mimsie with this commemorative quilt, consisting of squares representing the many facets of Mimsie's role as Chairman of Hamden's Art Commission. Nancy, who has been making quilts for Quilts of Valor for many years, made Mimsie's quilt during the last few weeks.
To complete the recognition of Mimsie Coleman's many contributions to Hamden's arts and entertainment, Mayor Curt Balzano-Leng proclaimed Saturday, July 2, 2016 as "Mimsie Coleman Day in the Town of Hamden."
Congratulations, Mimsie! We will miss you!
Above, Karl Olson congratulates Hamden resident Stacey Smart, winner of $755 in the 50/50 raffle, which netted an identical amount for the Fireworks Committee.
The Committee thanks all who took a chance to win the pot. The revenue will help to kick start next year's festivities.
Just a small sampler of some of the grand displays
The Hamden Fire Department, led by Fire Chief David Berardesca, is a "combination" career-volunteer department. Twenty-three career officers and firefighters on each of four platoons man a total of 4 engine companies, 2 rescue units, 1 squad unit, and 1 tower ladder truck. In 1976, Hamden became one of the first communities in southern Connecticut to have paramedics. Last year, the department answered more than 10,000 fire and EMS calls.
Hamden also has three volunteer fire companies: Mt. Carmel Co. 5 (Est. 1911), Mix District Co. 7 (Est. 1924), and Dunbar Hill Co. 8 (Est. 1926), each of which operates under the direction of the career department. Each volunteer fire company is led by a captain, who oversees his company's volunteer firefighters, all of whom are certified by the State of Connecticut to a minimum level of Fire Fighter I.
Volunteer firefighting in Hamden is a tradition that goes back to 1896, when the Highwood Hose Co. No. 1 was organized. Seven more companies were organized during the next 30 years. The Hamden Fire Department was created under the General Statutes of the State of Connecticut in July 1925, when all the Hamden volunteer fire companies came under the authority of the Fire Chief and the Board of Fire Commissioners.
Hamden's volunteers are a very dedicated group of men and women, who devote a great deal of their own time and energy to serving their town. Hamden's volunteer fire companies have organized the annual Fourth of July Fireworks display since 1993. Hamden's fireworks display is considered by many to be the best in the region.
Click on the volunteer company photo below to visit their website/webpage.