Trumbull Day festival will return this summer

TRUMBULL — An annual rite of summer will make its return this year, social distancing rules permitting.

The town Trumbull Day Commission voted unanimously to proceed with Trumbull Day 2021.

The commission did not schedule a date while it checks the availability of the carnival and fireworks providers, food vendors and entertainers, but discussion centered around July 2 and 3. The fireworks display, traditionally the highlight of the weekend, would be scheduled for the Saturday night.

“Everybody is in favor of having Trumbull Day this year,” said Chairman Preston Merritt. “There will be a lot to be worked out. I think a lot has to happen both in disease control and public policy. But let’s go with that thought and let’s try to plan for it.”

According to commission clerk Kathleen McGannon, the contract with the carnival vendor, Stewart Amusement Co., was extended from last year when the event had to be canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The fireworks show, conducted by Atlas Pyrovision Entertainment, is similarly still on the books.

“They have our deposit from last year which they will carry over to this year,” McGannon said.

If Trumbull Day ends up being July 2-3, then the fireworks show will have a rain date of July 10 since Atlas is not available on July 4, McGannon said.

The event also will include food trucks and vendors; committee member Traci Galla reported that a dozen trucks had committed to last year’s event, and agreed to approach them and other local restaurants this year. The final number of food vendors, though, remains up in the air since attendance may have to be reduced if outdoor event limits are still in place, she said.

“We’re always trying to find that balance to make sure that we have the right numbers so that they’re busy but we have options and we don’t have really long lines,” she said. “We can’t have lines and crowds of people this year because of COVID, so this year is totally different and there’s a lot to consider.”

Galla said it was important to invite back vendors who had participated in previous Trumbull Days, especially the ones who signed on for 2020 only to have the event canceled.

“Last year was really hard for so many reasons when everything shut down, and I felt terribly that we couldn’t have the event,” she said. “And they couldn’t really do any of their events, everything shut down. And it wasn’t just us, but that was really hard to tell people that we weren’t going to have this event in addition to all their other ones canceled.”

Members said they hoped to get guidance from the state soon regarding attendance capacity, which would be useful in deciding how many vendors to invite.

“The amuse parks are being told they can open, I think at 100 percent,” McGannon said. “The next guidance is supposed to be for carnivals, festivals, et cetera. So hopefully that will come in the next couple of weeks.”

Merritt said he was optimistic.

“If everything goes the way we all hope it goes, I can see (attendance limits) being relaxed even more,” he said. “I do think we have to plan for administering the flow of people, but hopefully it will be an easier job when they come out with less stringent rules.”

Securing event sponsors could prove tricky, since many businesses have struggled in the past year, McGannon said.

“I don’t know where companies and businesses are financially,” she said.

Merritt adjourned the meeting by giving the members some homework.

“My idea for an underlying slogan is ‘Return to Normalcy,’” he said. “But if you can think of something better, then please.”