It was three days after the official July 4 holiday, but Monday night nonetheless exploded with the Spirit of '76.
The town's annual Independence Day fireworks celebration, delayed by last Thursday's stormy weather, was a booming success as the pyrotechnics lit up the sky over Compo Beach, despite warnings of scattered thunderstorms around the region.
The event was organized by the Westport Police Athletic League and the town's Parks and Recreation Department.
"It's a great little combination of everything -- friends, family and festivities," said Trevor Murphy of Weston, one of the thousands of spectators who brought food, drink and flag regalia to the event.
"It won't be the normal size ... but people are coming out," Dan Devito, operations supervisor for the Parks and Recreation Department, said of the crowd size. He said organizers expected a lot of late-minute arrivals, since Monday was a work day for many. "They just want to come and see the fireworks, and they have a nice night for it."
There were 2,000 tickets sold for parking, with many others arriving at the beach on foot, bicycle and stroller.
"I love the participation, even on a canceled day, on a Monday night," said Bo Beatty of Westport. "It's great to see people come out to celebrate."
"It's a picture-perfect evening at Compo Beach," said Mary Esser of Westport.
"I think they did the right thing," Pam Murphy of Westport said of the sky show's postponement last week.
"We're excited," she said. "It's fun and it's a great night."