NAC Corner

Independence Day offers artists opportunity to shine

This year, Independence Day will be a family event in Norwich in a whole new way. The new Connecticut Tigers team has come forward to join the Norwich Arts Council and Rose City Renaissance in hosting an afternoon-into-evening event July 3. The day will feature diverse programs from visual and performing arts to children’s activities, patriotic music and, of course, a fireworks show.

Fireworks have moved from the waterfront to Dodd Stadium, and local agencies continue to work to fill the late afternoon and evening with activities to fill the stadium and entertain visitors. Bully-Busters, under the leadership of Deb Keivitz, will present youth bands in the front parking area from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m., when stadium gates will open and additional activities will begin.

The Pfizer stage, generously given through an arts grant to the Norwich Arts Council, will present country music and other performers from 5 p.m. until the NAC Band presents a patriotic set at 8 p.m., followed by fireworks.

This multifaceted event came from a joint venture of NAC’s Local Arts Agency office, funded in part by the Connecticut Commission on Culture and Tourism and Rose City Renaissance/Norwich Tourism office.

Tigers step up

While the original intent was for an event at the waterfront with fireworks, city and sponsorship funds were unavailable. The city’s newest baseball team, the Tigers, stepped forward and offered to spearhead an event at Dodd. The end result is an event which offers arts and entertainment in a family-friendly location at little-to-no cost to viewers. While parking fees will be charged at the stadium, it is possible to park further out and walk in. While tickets are limited to the number of people that the stadium can hold, tickets are free and will be distributed at the park that afternoon.

Perhaps most exciting about this event is the number of different groups who have come together to make this a huge success. Along with the Norwich Arts Council, Rose City Renaissance, the Tigers, Mohegan Sun and Bully-Buster, additional organizations involved in the event, donating time or funding, include Christ Church School of the Arts, Hall Communications, the NAC Cooperative Gallery, the Norwich Police Department, Yantic Fire Department and Mad Science of Southeastern Connecticut.


Nonprofits which will be in attendance are Norwich Community Cinema, Lions Club and TRCC Early Childhood Education Club. American Warrior will hand out 500 hand flags to children that day. A voter registration table will be available on-site as well.

Space and performance times are still available for local and regional visual and performing artists to showcase at the event, as well as nonprofits and family-oriented programs to showcase at booths and tables. Whether you are a performing artist and would like to perform on the infield or a visual artist looking for an opportunity to present and/or sell to a larger crowd than usual, the event has room for you or your group.

With a standing-room capacity of more than 6,000, the Norwich Independence Day family event is an excellent opportunity for regional artists of all kinds to present. To take part in the event, call the Norwich Arts Council at (860) 887-2789 or e-mail

- Karen Beasley


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