Festival weekend: Fireworks, art spark fall fun

The sun sets on last year's carnival at Trumbull High School.

The sun sets on last year’s carnival at Trumbull High School. 

One inaugural event that’s trying to take off in the Trumbull community, another that’s been here for 37 years.

Never mind the historical difference between this weekend’s Fall Festival and Trumbull Arts Festival, town residents should benefit from the joint celebration and two fun-filled days that will kickstart the fall.

Saturday’s Fall Festival, which will run from 2 to 10 p.m., gets the party started at Trumbull High School with a carnival-type setting that features amusements rides, food vendors, a beer and wine garden, and a fireworks show.

The following day, Sunday, Sept. 13, the Trumbull Arts Festival will make its return to the Town Hall Green at 5866 Main Street, running from 10 to 4.

“Everything is shaping up to make this a really special weekend for our community,” said Lynn Arnow, chief of staff for First Selectman Tim Herbst.

“We really hope this partnership with Trumbull Arts Festival works out and we look forward to working with them in the future,” she added. “I think these two events complement each other tremendously, and I think the community will agree.”

Emily Areson, who has chaired the arts festival for the last 35 years, said the 37th annual celebration will feature a variety of great musical performances, ranging from the Trumbull High School marching band to the Survivors Swing Band.

Besides several performers on the main stage, the festival will include 42 crafters, 17 artists and three authors who will descend to Trumbull from all over New England.

At 12:30 p.m., there will be an arts and crafts awards show for best in show in several categories, including glass, watercolor and acrylic.

“It’s a great place for the community to come together and have a great afternoon — see some art, listen to some music, eat some food,” Areson said.

“We’ve been in the same place for 37 years so people know exactly where and when it is,” she added. “It’s nice to have that consistency and to be the longest-running event in town.”

New Trumbull Day

This year’s Fall Festival is taking place of the annual summer event Trumbull Day.

While the day on the calendar has been pushed back a few months, Arnow thinks having the same location and a lot of the same attractions will benefit the new carnival.

“We’re going to have a DJ going all day and all night; there’s going to be a live band, too, and plenty of great food and then there’s spectacular fireworks at the end of the night,” she said. “It’s everything anyone could ever ask for.”

There will be 14 amusement rides, including the traditional Ferris wheel, Pirate Ship, and Bumper Cars, with a pay-one-price bracelet available for $25 from 2 to 6 p.m.

The entertainment is similar to what’s been seen at Trumbull in past years. However, food and drink will receive an upgrade this year, Arnow said.

The wide-variety of options will range from fried dough from St. Margaret Shrine to Brick Oven pizza from the Verona Pizza Fire Truck, to hot dogs, burgers and chicken nuggets from Vazzy’s Four Seasons to BBQ fare from BBQ Rescue Truck to fresh roasted corn from the Cornstalkers. There will also be Philly cheesesteak sandwiches from Steak Street, Mexican fare from Taco Loco, and seafood from Szabo’s Seafood Truck. Luigi’s Bakery will bring sweet treats, pastries and specialty coffees, and Walnut Beach Creamery is scooping its famous fall flavors of dark pumpkin, sweet and salty maple walnut, and butter beer ice cream.

“We’re real pleased with the food lineup for Saturday,” Arnow said. “We don’t have any duplicate types of food, plenty of diverse vendors and we were still able to keep it within the limited number of trucks that we wanted to have on site…

“It’s a great opportunity for those attending to sample foods from local vendors and taste a variety of different dishes, ranging from chicken nuggets for kids to seafood to adults.”

After the musicians have played their final tune and the sun has set, Pyrotechnico Fireworks Inc. will light the night’s skies.

There is a $5 admission fee for adults and children over the age of 5, and no backpacks or coolers with food and beverages are allowed.

Beer garden

To quench residents’ thirst, the festival will have locally brewed ales and beer from the renowned Veracious Brewing Company in nearby Monroe.

Veracious will host a beer and wine garden — for adults 21 and over, from 2 to 9 p.m. — complete with tables and seating to enjoy the live entertainment and the fireworks display.

“We wanted to create a relaxing atmosphere that’s more appealing than past years,” Arnow said. “We want to see people sitting, enjoying their dinner and sampling some delicious beers.”

Community groups

The Trumbull Arts Festival, which has free admission, will have more than a dozen of Trumbull-based groups, including The Discovery Museum, Access Channel 194, Trumbull Community Women, Trumbull Historical Society, Downtown Cabaret Theatre, Registrar of Voters, Trumbull Library, Trumbull Animal Group, Trumbull Golden Eagles Marching Band. Some other organizations expected to be represented at the fair are the Bijou Theatre, Westport Country Playhouse, American Legion Post 141, Plasko’s  Maze and Scarecrow Festival, and WICC Boomers and Beyond.

Trumbull Nature and Arts Center asks attendees to bring a photo of their choice to place in a collage titled “A R T” that will be placed in Town Hall after the festival concludes.

Besides community groups, there will be plenty of vendors to provide residents with tasty foods and drinks.

Christophe’s Crepes is set to return with savory and sweet crepes, while Addeo’s will be bringing back Italian Ices. In addition, the festival will have vendors such as Paradise Island with Spanish food, “Call Me Cookie” with home-style baked goods, and Lou’s Kettlecorn.

This year’s newcomers are the CT Meatballs Truck, Thai Kitchen, Manoun Falafel truck, and “Fire Pit Pizza” that offers hand-crafted pizza on the spot.

Drinks will be sold by the M.O.R.E group, with proceeds helping to pay for the their trip this year to Myrtle Beach.

Festival weekend

Arnow believes that the power of association could propel this weekend’s events into an annual festival of activities.

“We want residents to build an association between the carnival and the arts festival,” she said. “That way we can work toward building it up next year.”

One possible idea Arnow had for going forward is to make the Fall Festival a three-day affair with an opening concert on Friday night.

“Hopefully people like this concept and we can build a tradition around us coming together and celebrating the beginning of fall,” she said.

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