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8/23/2023 - Southbury Celebration 2023: Food, Music, Community & Fireworks Event


Southbury Celebration is a GO for Saturday!

The 25th Annual Southbury Celebration, a community food, music, and fireworks event will be Saturday September 9th from 4 – 9 pm at Lake Stibbs at the Southbury Training School on Route 172. The free event is co-sponsored by the Town of Southbury and the Southbury Training School. The spectacular fireworks program will launch at 8:15 p.m.

“Southbury Celebration 2023 will be a highlight event as we collaborate with the Southbury 350th Anniversary Committee to have an expanded fun filled evening with historical elements, more entertainment options, more food options, and an extra special firework show befitting our 350th Anniversary,” announced co-chair Brian M. Jones.

The outdoor event attracts over 4,000 people annually. In case of inclement weather, the rain date is Sunday, September 10th with the same event times.

Southbury Town Historian John Dwyer has extended the “Stump the Historian Challenge” and will be dressed in colonial attire and be will be available to the left of the entrance to receive your questions. In addition, please take a few minutes to look at the Historical Photos Exhibit focusing on our rich local history. Southbury’s 350th Anniversary Town Ornament, along with historical post cards will be available for purchase.

The Southbury Fire Dept. will have their restored 1936 REO Engine 2 available to “shoot the fire hose” from 5 – 6 pm. Plus, throughout the evening appearances by historical reenactors, strolling magicians, juggler, stilt walker, and more will take place!

The Food Court will open at 4:00 pm and will serve continuously until 9pm. This year over 15 food vendors including 9 commercial food trucks and numerous community groups will encompass a wide menu. Anticipated food options include vegan burgers, hot dogs, hamburgers, empanadas, beef chili, beans, rice, mac & cheese, chicken sandwiches, fried dough (sweet & savory), chicken tenders, curly fries, slushies, hot lobster rolls, fried scallop rolls, fried shrimp, New England clam chowder, fish & chips, baked goods, Italian Ice, popcorn, cotton candy, donuts, ice cream, soda, water, coffee, and beverages.

“We live in a wonderful town, and we want to use this event to showcase and ‘celebrate’ the positive elements of our great community and its traditions… that is why the program is named The Southbury Celebration!” declared co-chair Carole Van Tassel. People have the option to watch the fireworks from their car on the STS Great Lawn or can bring their own lawn chairs and blankets to view from the Lake Stibbs field. People are encouraged to attend early to hear the music, visit with friends, enjoy the food selections / food trucks, or enjoy their own picnic dinner and ultimately watch a spectacular firework show.

The event opens at 4pm with DJ music followed by Kids Dance and fun activities from 4:30 to 5pm. Then local talent begins with “Modal Express” featuring Southbury drummer John Muzzio performing covers of well-known R&B songs, as well as jazz-tinged classics from artists such as Steely Dan. Followed by high school senior Kyler Kumi performing. Southbury guitarist Michael Carrington will take the stage singing several songs including a special Southbury tribute song. Then, violinist Katherine Mambo will be accompanied by Jim Tornatore on guitar along with 3 string players with several songs.

Around 6pm, “Good Medicine Rx”, the Southbury acoustic duo comprised of Michel Driscoll, and Jeff Duggan will perform songs from the 50s, 60s and 70s. Next, Faith Vincinanza (Southbury’s Poet Laureate) will recite a special poem commemorating the Southbury Celebration.

“Rave On” will be welcomed to the stage around 6:30pm, bringing some of the most influential music ever written from the 50's & 60's alive for all to hear. “Rave On” will take you back in time to when Rock & Roll was just emerging, and the juke box and dance floor was all that was needed for a good time. Check them out at

The National Anthem will be performed by members of COSMIC (Communities of Southbury/Middlebury Inter-generational Chorus) just prior to the spectacular fireworks launching.

In case of inclement weather or for more information, please call the Southbury Parks & Recreation Department Info-line at 203-262-0633 for an official announcement or visit the Town of Southbury’s web site at for up to date information.

No alcohol and no pets are permitted at the event. Caution should be exercised with service animals due to audience and fireworks noises. Extensive free parking is on the STS Great Front Lawn. Handicapped parking will be at Lake Stibbs parking area. Due to congested event traffic and safety concerns, there will be no pedestrian walking and no vehicle parking along Route 172. A “Drop off / Pick-up Area” will be at the parking lots behind the STS Gate House immediately off Rte. 172.

Southbury Celebration 2023 committee members are Carole Van Tassel (co-chair, Heritage Village resident and community volunteer), James Clark (Southbury Training School Liaison), Jeff Manville (Southbury First Selectman), Michael Ganem (Southbury Parks and Recreation, Director), and co-chair Brian M. Jones (community volunteer).

Pyrotecnico will launch fireworks over beautiful Lake Stibbs with many new and unique firework effects to highlight our 350th Anniversary. Sound, stage, lighting, and DJ services will be provided by PowerStation Events based in Cheshire, CT.

A free shuttle bus will depart from Heritage Village paddock at 5:45 pm Reservations are required for the shuttle and Heritage Village resident’s sign-up in September at HV Activities. The bus will return immediately after the fireworks at approximately 8:45 pm.

The Town of Southbury is holding a year-long series of events and activities to celebrate 350 years of community, culture, and history. These events celebrate the past and the progress of the one and only Southbury.

In 1673, a group of colonists from Stratford traveled up the river that we know today as the Housatonic in order to erect a new settlement in the Pomperaug Valley, which was negotiated with the Pootatuck Native Americans. After an initial day of exploration, these religious dissidents spent the night under a white oak tree on an old riverside path. That tree stood for many more years on Crook Horn Road by Settlers Park, in what was to become the Town of Southbury. To learn more about the town’s history, visit: