Georgetown’s Main Street will be closed to motor vehicle traffic this Sunday, June 9, but not to foot traffic, as the street becomes a beehive of activity for all ages.
This 11th annual street festival runs from noon to 6 and takes place rain or shine. The event features vendors, music, food, games for the kids, a beer tent, chili cook-off, silent auction and much more. It is designed to re-create the village atmosphere of the Georgetown of long ago. Georgetown is composed of portions of Redding, Weston, Wilton, and Ridgefield.
“We’d like everyone to come down,” said Ralph Bosch, president of Georgetown Village Restoration Inc., one of the event’s sponsors. “We’d like to think this event is a reminder of what Georgetown used to be, with softball games, parades … when it was its own village. It hearkens back to that era. This is what got us started and keeps us going.”
The day is organized by volunteers. There is no vested business interest, said Mr. Bosch, “but a sense of community and what we like to think Georgetown represents — a unique environment with lots of character, and characters.”
Susan Jackson, a member of the Georgetown Day Committee, said more than 70 vendors will be found along Main Street. Offerings includes jewelry, Peruvian imports, tie-dyed clothing, pottery, glassware, children’s and women’s wear, and much more.
Civic groups, non-profits and others will also be lining the street, from political town committees to a Weir Farm Booth, a Putnam Park booth, and a Westchester atheist group. Local banks and churches will be on the street, including a Bethlehem Lutheran Church baked goods booth, along with the Redding Historical Society and the Norwalk River Valley Association.
Ms. Jackson said there will also be bracelet and button making, face painting and glitter tattoos.
The Georgetown Lions Club, another event sponsor, will be back with its beer tent, and there will be kettle corn for sale, as well as other treats at food booths.
A new restaurant, 19 Main Street (in the former Olive Market), while not open for business, will still have food to sell on the street, said Ms. Jackson. Leo Spinelli of Peter’s Market in Weston will be selling sausage, hamburgers and hot dogs in front of the now closed Georgetown Saloon.
Restaurants on the street will be open for business as will Swirl Ice Cream and Treats.
The Wilton Chamber of Commerce is providing kids games and street entertainment throughout the day, including Mr. Bungles balloon animals and a stiltwalker.
The Georgetown Volunteer Fire Department, an event sponsor, will have fire apparatus on display for young and old alike to view.
A highlight of the day is the Chili Cook-Off, which takes place in front of Blackbird Yoga. The Georgetown Community Association uses this event as a fund-raiser. Pat Hegnauer, association president, said there will be as many as 20 cooks in the competition, including number of returning restaurants and amateur cooks.
In the past, the chili cooks have made chocolate chili, seafood chili, vegetarian chili and many other varieties. The cook-off is from noon till 2:30 or 3 — whenever the chili samples are gone. You pay $10 for a spoon and a bowl and may sample all of the chilies. Serving the chili are employees from Fairfield County Bank. Those who pay to taste vote to chose the winner of the People’s Choice Award. Winning entrants will be announced at the Blackbird stage around 3:20.
Another highlight is the Silent Auction sponsored by the Gilbert & Bennett Cultural Center. Ms. Hegnauer said the auction takes up three tents this year. “People are so supportive of the cultural center,” she said, adding donors have been “very generous.”
Auction items include original art work, new items, antiques, gift baskets, gift certificates and much more, Ms. Hegnauer said. “There are lots of goodies and we’re still collecting more. You don’t need to be there to win,” she added.
Music — jazz, blue grass, rock ‘n’ roll and free range acoustics — will be offered on two stages, one at each end of Main Street — the Blackbird Stage on the front porch of 28 Main Street at the Blackbird Yoga studio and the Acoustic Stage at the Route 57 end of Main Street.
Music will be performed almost simultaneously on both stages from noon to 6.
Weir Farm is once again donating its shuttle bus to transport festival-goers for free. The bus will run in a loop from the Gilbert and Bennett Cultural Center to Georgetown Caraluzzi’s lot and Meadow Ridge. Parking is also available on Old Mill Road, the Professional Center off Route 107, and the Georgetown Bible Church. There will be directed parking on North Main Street and at the former Gilbert & Bennett factory. Fire police and members of Redding’s Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) will be directing traffic to parking areas. There will be limited parking for the handicapped in the lot at the corner of Route 57 and Main Street.
Before the festival begins, the Wilton Chamber sponsors its annual “Georgetown Gallop” 5K Road Race, which begins at 11 a.m. with check-in at 10:15 outside Mini Vinny’s Deli. The “Pony Express” Kids Fun Run follows the gallop.
Entry fee for the 5K is $20 which includes a T-shirt. The Kids K is $5 with everyone receiving a participation medal. Online registration may be made through active.com or the chamber website wiltonchamber.com. For information, contact the chamber office at 203-762-0567.
Not only is it the 11th anniversary of Georgetown Day but the 86th anniversary of the Georgetown Volunteer Fire Department, said Mr. Bosch. He explained that when the fire department made plans to celebrate its 75th anniversary, his group volunteered to help. Now Georgetown Day has become an annual June event.