Southwick planning for fall fireworks event
WESTFIELD – The Fourth of July is a day for celebration and Mayor Donald F. Humason Jr. hopes that’s just what everyone does this year, however, city residents will have to go elsewhere to see fireworks.
Humason said that although the COVID-19 restrictions for face coverings and industry and capacity limits were lifted May 29 and the State of Emergency will expire June 15, Westfield will not have a fireworks display this year.
Humason said there are several reasons the city cannot pull off a fireworks event this year, mainly because of short notice.
Humason said he consulted with Community Development Director Peter J. Miller regarding hosting fireworks and they decided to put it off until next year.
The fireworks are paid for mainly through donations and there has not been a push to raise funds because the reopening date was set for Aug. 1, then moved up two months by Gov. Charlie Baker. A licensed company must be used to set off the fireworks and the city had not contracted with anyone for 2021.
Another stumbling block – and a major one, said Humason – is the location. Typically the fireworks are hosted in the field behind Westfield Middle School but they cannot use that property this year because of construction of an addition to the Boys and Girls Club.
Humason said other locations were considered, however none panned out either because of size and traffic concerns or because private landowners did not wish to host the event.
“Instead, we are focusing our efforts on having a really great celebration next year,” Humason said.
Humason said residents can support the region and attend the Springfield fireworks on July 4, noting that the city does not fund or organize the fireworks display.
“The Spirit of Springfield is a private group that puts on the Springfield fireworks,” Humason said. “They do a lot of fundraising and events throughout the year, including Bright Nights, the pancake breakfast and the fireworks. Westfield does not have a group that does this.”
Humason said he hopes that the 2022 July 4 celebration will literally light up Westfield.
The Southwick Civic Fund, founded by Joseph Deedy, has organized the town’s fireworks for several years but will not have a Fourth of July event. Deedy said it was mainly because of the time-crunch, however, he is working on a fall event.
“We hope to have fireworks coincide with the celebration of Southwick’s 250th anniversary and parade in October,” he said.