Fourth of July Fireworks in New Haven 2014

This Week in New Haven (June 29 - July 5)

Lots of past to be present for in the week ahead. Hymnal organ-playing Monday leads into old-style contra dancing on Thursday. Friday and Sunday offer creative and curated interpretations of ’70s music, respectively. And Saturday marks a celebration of 239 years of shared independence, with a couple of history-minded events in the morning giving way to explosions of color and light after dark.

Monday, June 29
AGO: a great acronym for the tradition-keeping American Guild of Organists, which is having its northeast regional convention in New Haven this week. Dotting the itinerary is a handful of free public concerts drawing from local and visiting talent, including two shows today: a 1:45 p.m. performance by the hyper-accomplished organist Ahreum Han at Trinity Church on the Green (Temple St and Chapel St, New Haven), and in Battell Chapel (400 College St, New Haven), a 7:30 p.m. “Hymn Festival.” The latter features a “community choir,” along with “artists and presenters from the convention.” Free.

Tuesday, June 30
The New Haven Free Public Library’s youth programming is particularly heroic over the next 48 hours. Today from 3 to 4 p.m., the Ives Main Library (133 Elm St, New Haven; 203-946-8835) challenges kids to “Invent Your Own Superhero,” with a topical story reading upfront to help get the creative juices flowing. Tomorrow, from 4 to 5 p.m., Wilson Branch (303 Washington Ave, New Haven; 203-946-2228) invites them to “Become a Superhero,” and to “practice your skills!” Free.

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Answering the Call - Knights of Columbus Museum

Wednesday, July 1
From 5 to 8 p.m., the Jewish Community Center of Greater New Haven (360 Amity Rd, Woodbridge; 203-387-2522) holds its second “Grill ’n’ Chill” indoor/outdoor barbecue of the summer. Promising “hot food” for purchase from Abel Caterers and “cool tunes” from singer/guitarist Mark Schwarts, whose set list pulls from “the Beatles, Simon and Garfunkel and others,” the free-to-attend event is both BYOB and rain-or-shine.

Thursday, July 2
1253 Whitney (1253 Whitney Ave, Hamden; 203-780-8890) is a co-working office and cultural center in a longtime church. Of its many purposes, culture gets the nod tonight with the latest installment of the center’s weekly “Social Dance” series, featuring contra dancing led by Bethany Music and Dance mastermind Bill Fischer. Like any “good ol’-fashioned hoedown,” there’s food involved, with attendees invited to bring something to share to go along with house-provided “popcorn, rice ’n’ beans and iced tea.” Admission costs $10, or $5 if you’re a 1253 member, or $0 if you’re under 18.

Friday, July 3
The Stepkids are well-adjusted. Since 2009, the aesthetically scruffy but musically polished Bridgeport trio’s been traveling around channeling some very tasty bits of the ’70s—warm, hazy vocal harmonies; funky, syncopated bass lines; retro drums and synth effects; groovy, sometimes very danceable rock beats; and far-eastern sounds like the ones that were heavily influencing Western music four decades ago. Teaming up with the band for an 8 p.m. show tonight at The Ballroom at The Outer Space is New Haven-based Tanuki Suit, which dubs its style “grunge-electro,” and whose intense, high-end lead vocals and trudging, hard-hitting grooves invite a mild comparison to early Our Lady Peace. $15, $12 in advance. 295 Treadwell St, Hamden. (203) 288-6400.

Saturday, July 4 – Independence Day
Free back-to-back events at 9 and 11 a.m. recover pieces of New Haven and American history, in one case very literally. The first occasion takes place at Grove Street Cemetery, where a ceremony at founding father Roger Sherman’s grave “honors the signers of the Declaration of Independence.” The second happens at 91 Church Street, where event organizers—including rabble-rousing historian Rob Greenberg; representatives of heritage groups like Daughters of the American Revolution; and a reenactor conjuring the Revolutionary War general David Humphreys, George Washington’s righthand man—gather with the general public to rededicate a commemorative plaque that’d gone missing. First placed and dedicated in 1932, it notes the site of an older iteration of Trinity Episcopal Church, where Washington attended services on an October morning in 1789, less than six months into his first term as president.

At 9:15 p.m., New Haven’s annual fireworks display over East Rock Park begins eliciting the usual “ooh”s and “ah”s, though not from all the usual places. The city’s apparently closing off the park’s summit this year, instead encouraging congregation at the football field at Wilbur Cross High School (181 Mitchell Dr, New Haven)—where the United States Coast Guard Band is set to perform at 8 p.m.—or “any location where the Angel of Peace is visible.” Free.

Sunday, July 5
Local mainstay DJ Dooley-O brings it back to basics, sort of, at Cafe Nine tonight. His “Sunday Soul Service” promises “’70s rear grooves, dope disco funk,” accompanied by “complimentary apps” and “drink specials” plus “live soul flix on the projector.” Free. 250 State Street, New Haven. (203) 789-8281.

Written and photographed by Dan Mims. Image was captured from atop East Rock Park during last year’s fireworks. Readers are encouraged to verify times, locations and prices before attending events.

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