Georgetown Day comes in two weeks!
Georgetown is a special place, says local business owner Ralph Bosch; one so unique it deserves it’s own special day.
And that is exactly what residents of Redding, Weston, Ridgefield, and Wilton get to enjoy every year at the business district’s annual Georgetown Day, which is planned for Sunday, June 12. The annual festival includes live music, vendors, food, and, of course, features the wares of Georgetown businesses and restaurants.
“Georgetown is a really special place,” Bosch said during an interview last week. “In some respects it’s actually a unique place. Because it’s the area where four towns come together, but you have a tough time drawing a map around it. Depending on what criteria you use you’re going to do different boundaries,” he added, referencing town boundary lines, a telephone exchange number, and other markers.
While other towns in the area have largely abandoned the “street fair” style of Georgetown Day in favor of events that don’t shut down entire blocks and roads, that’s a large part of what makes this event unique, Bosch said.
“It’s a more old-fashioned, old-school street festival that used to happen all over the place with regularity. They don’t happen as much anymore, and if they do they’ve gotten a little more formalized,” he said. “This harkens back to those old days a little bit.”
Nick Palazzo, a high school senior who’s worked the event every year since its inauguration, is now its chairman.
“It doesn't cost anything to come in,” he said Tuesday. “It’s all about bringing family down to enjoy our nice restaurants and businesses, and it’s a chance for families to spend time together without spending a lot of money.”
One of the most popular events year after year is the chilli cook-off, which is led by Gilbert & Bennett Cultural Center’s Pat Hegnauer.
This year, Bosch said, the festival will no longer extend into the parking lot in front of Georgetown Package Store, but will make up for lost space by extending up Old Mill Road past the Wire Mill BBQ restaurant. Most of the event's children’s activities and “a big tent for getting out of the sun” will be on the Old Mill side of Route 57.
Route 57 will not be closed to traffic due to this change, and the festival will have police officers at the crossing to help people cross the street.
For Bosch, and others passionate about Georgetown, the sacrifices they make to put on the event are well worth its impact on the community, he said.
“The sense of community that comes from this is really amazing,” Bosch said. “The people on the committee who do all of the work have no economic interest in this event. Some are business owners on the street, but we’re not all retail or restaurant people [who benefit directly from the event]. It costs us money to do it, but we do it gladly because it’s a nice community event.
“And, it’s especially nice to see people recognize what a unique place Georgetown is.”
The event does not have a rain date, and so it will be a rain-or-shine kind of day. It would be far too difficult, Bosch says, to plan a rain date due to the size of the event.
“This event has grown every year and, knock on wood, we haven’t had any bad events or significant rain-outs which is amazing over that period of time,” Bosch said.