NEWINGTON – The Life. Be In It. Extravaganza is returning this summer in full force.
Newington Parks and Recreation has begun planning for its annual festival, set to begin Wednesday, July 14 with activities every night through Saturday, July 17, where it will culminate with a full day of fun and the biggest-ever Extravaganza Fireworks in Mill Pond Park.
“It’s so exciting to be able to fully open up and get people outside in the park again, socializing seeing old friends and meeting new friends,” Parks and Recreation Superintendent Bill DeMaio told the Herald this week.
The department had to cancel its 2020 Extravaganza due to the covid-19 pandemic. Prior to that, the event had been happening every year since 1981. It was founded by DeMaio early on in his career.
“It’s going to be bigger and better than ever this year,” he said.
It all begins Wednesday, July 14 from 5-10 p.m. with a carnival. From 6-8 p.m. families can check out the Tiki Waterslide and ride the department’s new trackless train free thanks to a donation from CedarRidge Construction. There will be a Frisbee Golf Contest and an ice cream/tie-dye party from 6-8 p.m. Free sundaes will be served to the first 150 people, sponsored by the Church of Christ Congregational. Also that evening: live music by Nightshift from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., sponsored by Data-Mail, which paid for concerts all four nights of the festival. All this will be going on during a Beer/Wine Garden and Food Truck Festival from 6-10 p.m.
That Thursday the carnival will be open from 5-10 p.m. Kids can share their artistic talents on a giant mural from 6-8 p.m., sponsored by the Republican Town Committee. Also that night is the BYOC Party (Bring Your Own Cheese) with free glasses of wine served to all who bring their Kindness Counts signs to the park.
The trackless train rides and tiki water slide will both be available that evening from 6-8 p.m. The foam machine will be running, so kids can slide down the water slide and then run through the foam.
The carnival runs from 5-10 p.m. Friday, with the waterslide, train rides, Frisbee golf and mini golf beginning at 6 p.m. There will also be a Craft Beer Tasting with over 35 different brews. Tickets to this are $25 in advance or $40 at the door, sponsored by Century 21 Northeast and Flood Personal Injury Law Firm.
Town councilor Mike Camillo, a local business owner, is sponsoring a sky-diving show at 8 p.m. The Beer and Wine Garden and Food Truck Festival will be open all night. Savage Brothers are set to take the stage from 6-9:30 p.m.
Saturday, July 17 will feature activities from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. The Food Truck Festival and live entertainment will be going on all day and the Beer and Wine Garden will open at noon. A craft and community fair will take place until 4 p.m. At 3 p.m. Dually Noted will perform a patriotic medley as the 2021 Mobile Veterans Memorial is unveiled.
“We’ve accepted over 130 names this year ,” DeMaio said of this memorial, which pays tribute to veterans in town.
Mass-Conn Fusion will take the stage from 6-9:15 p.m. before the Fireworks Show blasts off at 9:30 sharp.
The Extravaganza wouldn’t be possible without sponsorships from the community, and DeMaio is still seeking donors. Those interested can contact the department at 860-665-8666 or visit newingtonctgov/parksandrec
Erica Drzewiecki can be reached at email@example.com.