Just 10 years ago, seven-year-old Nick Palazzo was at the event he looks forward to every year — Georgetown Day.
He and his two buddies — Liam Andrews and Jack O’Connor — had a blast all day playing ring toss, high striker, and the big hammer, as he remembers it.
Ten years later Nick, who is now 17, has taken on a role as chairperson of Georgetown Day, proving he hasn’t grown tired of the event just yet.
“It’s not an event that’s about reaching into your pocket every couple of minutes, it’s about providing a memory for years to come,” Nick said.
This year, Georgetown Day will take place on Sunday, June 14, and admission is free.
Extending along Main Street, the celebration is the biggest event in Georgetown — drawing 4,000 to 5,000 people annually, says John Murren, owner of Murren Kane Construction in Georgetown and co-organizer of the event.
Specifically, Chairman Nick Palazzo said, the event is intended to show off Georgetown’s unique character, which is defined by the now-defunct wire mill that dominates its landscape.
“Georgetown is a very unique town,” Palazzo said. “You can walk down Main Street and Old Mill Road and you always feel welcome because the store owners are very friendly.”
This will be the area’s 13th annual Georgetown Day, which will include 90 street vendors, a chili cookoff, a fire truck display, and a silent auction.
Vendors will sell a variety of items including jewelry, clothing, animal supplies, toys, photographs, artwork, and assorted crafts. In addition, some of the service vendors at the event will offer large-scale services and products including a kitchen makeover and a solar energy installation.
There will be live music throughout the day by 10 bands playing everything from reggae to country to blues, as well as folk, jazz, soul, rock, bluegrass, and Americana. In between performances there will be a water balloon toss.
Educational and nonprofit groups have also been invited, including the Redding Historical Society, the Norwalk River Valley Trail Association, Weir Farm National Historic Site, and Putnam Memorial State Park.
Foodies won’t be at a loss, as there will be plenty to eat such as lobster rolls, corn on the cob, sausage and peppers, hot dogs, kettle corn, and ice cream.
New this year will be the Curbside Veterinary Clinic, which will offer free microchips for the first 50 dogs or cats at the event. In addition, there will be a raffle for many pet products, and routine vaccination services will be offered at a reduced rate.
Georgetown Day runs from noon to 6 on June 14. Main Street will be closed off to traffic during that time.
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 on New Street to Caraluzzi’s lot on Route 7 and Meadow Ridge on Route 107.
Parking is also available on Old Mill Road, the Professional Center off Route 107, 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 direct traffic to parking areas. There will be limited parking for the handicapped in the lot at the corner of Route 57 and Main Street.