New Britain City Journal

New Britain's Weekly Online Newspaper

Feature News

Great American Boom Saturday

One of the biggest events of the year across the state is about to happen in New Britain. The 21st Annual Great American Boom will take place Saturday, July 5 at Stanley Quarter Park beginning at 5 p.m.

Erik Barbieri, Superintendent of Recreation, said the event is so big because the area it is done in allows for the biggest shells which are 8 inches.

“They are the real big ones,” said Barbieri. “It will look like we have one 30 minute finale. People come from out of town and they say the city of New Britain’s fireworks are by far the best.”

The time has been set for 9:15 but it all depends how dark it is. Sometimes the City waits until 9:30 to begin.

Although the event was planned for Friday, an impending storm delayed the event until Saturday.

Barbieri said, “We believe going from Friday to Saturday, the crowds will be just as good. We can’t wait until Friday to make a decision, because they need to set up early in the morning and we have to let vendors know.”

The New Britain City Journal website at and Facebook group page will keep residents alerted if the fireworks are delayed.

The event is set to take place because The American Savings Foundation and Community Foundation of New Britain each donated $10,000. The event costs the City about $25,000.

“It is going to be as big as ever,” Barbieri added. “We estimate over 40,000 people watch the show.”

This giant 4th of July celebration begins at 5 p.m. with the opening of several attractions and food vendors, followed by a concert starting at 6 p.m. by Latanya Farrell and the Bookman Styles Band and finally culminates with a spectacular fireworks display.

The New Britain Parks and Recreation Department will have an entire fleet of attractions set up for the public’s enjoyment. The fleet consists of the giant trampolines, carnival games, interactive inflatables, pony rides, micro derby car races, along with other attractions.

A $5 wristband will need to be purchased. There will also be a family 4 pack for $15, which will allow for unlimited access to all the attractions and the petting zoo from 5 – 8:30 pm. Additionally, clowns will be roaming the park performing magic and creating balloon animals along with a variety of face painters and an artist doing caricatures.

Bill DeMaio, Director of Parks and Recreation, said that “this is a great opportunity to have a picnic in the park, and enjoy a pre-fireworks concert.”

For everyone’s enjoyment the largest array of food vendors in the history of the Great American Boom will be selling a variety of special treats including: hamburgers, hot dogs, sausages, steak and cheese grinders, fried shrimp, fried clams, buffalo wings, Thai food, fried dough, funnel cakes, fried desserts, Italian ice, kettle korn, ice cream, non alcoholic pina coladas, slushies and more. So bring your appetites and be prepared to enjoy a hearty 4th of July feast.

Parking will be made available at Central Connecticut State University. Handicapped parking is available at Stanley Quarter Park through Eddy Glover Boulevard entrance only. Be sure to arrive early and bring your blankets, lawn chairs, and bug spray to sit down and enjoy the fireworks show. For more exciting program information check out their summer brochure, or visit on the web at, or call the Parks and Recreation Hotline at 860-826-3360.

The following parking restrictions will be enforced. These restrictions are necessary for the safe movement of both pedestrian and motor vehicle traffic at the festival site.

The administration at Central Connecticut State University has offered the public free use of their parking lots and parking garage there. The parking facilities at Central Connecticut State University can accommodate approximately 5,500 motor vehicles.

Handicapped parking will be allowed in Stanley Quarter Park, in the parking lot opposite Saint Francis Church on Stanley Street.

Parking will be allowed on the streets surrounding the general area of Stanley Quarter Park, on the opposite side of the street from the fire hydrants. Any motor vehicles parked in violation of the temporary “No Parking-Tow Zone” signs, obstructing driveways, fire hydrants, intersections, and crosswalks, double parked or parked in a position deemed to be hazardous will be ticketed and towed at the owner’s expense.

Parking on Eddy Glover Boulevard will be allowed on both the extreme north and south sides of the boulevard. There will be no parking allowed on or between the grass medians on Eddy Glover Boulevard and in between the grass medians encompassing the festival site.

No parking will be allowed on Stanley Street at any time during the evening, for public safety reasons and due to the fact that Stanley Street is a state highway.

At 7 p.m., there will be no eastbound traffic on Blake Road at Kim Drive. Eastbound traffic on Blake Road will be directed onto Kim Drive and/or McClintock Street.