Chair auction, music headline Summerfest

Over 40 chairs were built and decorated at last year's first "Chair-ish Ridgefield" at Summerfest.

Over 40 chairs were built and decorated at last year’s first “Chair-ish Ridgefield” at Summerfest.

Sidewalk sales on Main Street are a summertime tradition that most towns carry on. However, Ridgefield’s Summerfest — with its array of live entertainment, games and exhibits — proves why Ridgefield is not like any other town.

For more evidence on how Summerfest is breaking tradition, look no further than the festival’s main event “Chair-ish Ridgefield,” a fundraiser for the Chamber of Commerce’s non-profit website, DestinationRidgefield.com.

The fundraiser’s silent auction will take place throughout the day Saturday, starting at 10 a.m., and will conclude with a live auction at 4 p.m. hosted by Ira Joe Fisher.

“A lot of towns have their sidewalks sales this time of year, so ours is much more than just a sidewalk sale — it’s entertainment, fun and games for the kids, and lots of bargains, all at the same time,” said Nancy O’Connell, owner of nancy O’s Fashion and Gift Boutique and co-chairwoman of Destination Ridgefield.

The decorated Adirondack chairs will be entered for grand prizes, in addition to being bid on during the silent and live auctions.

“All of the money from the chairs gets put back into the chamber’s foundation to promote our town’s virtual tourist center, Destination Ridgefield, which has been up and running since June,” said Marion Roth, the executive director of the Chamber of Commerce. “We will use the funds raised to continue developing apps and marketing all of our town’s wonderful assets — businesses, services, culture.”

Ms. Roth added that only a dozen chairs will be up for live auction.

This will be the first year that Summerfest will have a fundraising component.

Summerfest “never really generated a revenue stream and the idea was to develop a revenue stream,” Ms. Roth added. “Destination Ridgefield is something that has been five years in the making and it’s still in its beginning phases.

“We’re going to have to do more fundraising to get the site to do everything we want it to.”

The chamber will give out gift certificates as prizes for the winners of several categories, including Best Ridgefield Spirit, Most Creative, Funniest, Prettiest and Most Original.

Chair-ish Ridgefield will take place at the top of Bailey Avenue.

The festival will close down Main Street between Prospect Street and Bailey Avenue. Main Street will be reopened at 5 p.m.

On Main Street, there will be dozens of shopping booths featuring service products and merchandise, in addition to educational booths promoting health and wellness.

“The festival will have a little bit of everything,” Ms. Roth said.

Behind Town Hall there will be an inflatable slide and an inflatable obstacle course for little kids. Parents can purchase a $5 bracelet for unlimited rides.

“It’s a great idea to have something for everyone in the family and it’s at a great price point, too,” said Shane Casey, who is the chairman of Summerfest.

The kids’ activities will be sponsored by Casey Energy, Charles Rio State Farm Insurance and Total Mortgage.

“The kids are hilarious on the inflatables,” said Lou-Ann Deprato, a member of the Summerfest committee.

Catoonah Street Shopping and Dining will sponsor the live music in front of Town Hall, beginning with local acoustic musician Justin Roth, who will take the stage from 10-10:45 a.m.

Sgt. Lefferts Phony Hearts Club Band will play Beatles covers from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and the winners of Ridgefield’s Got Talent will follow from 1 to 2.

The Wilton Steel Drum Band will conclude the live music portion of the event from 2 to 3.

Local resident and chamber volunteer Dave Goldenburg will present each act.

“There’s are so many volunteers who have stepped forward for the common good of this town to help show off everything this town has to offer,” Ms. Roth said. “It’s all about growing commerce, culture and community.”

Ridgefield Supply is Summerfest’s main sponsor along with Winter Brothers, BMW of Ridgefield, Fairfield County Bank and Mercedes Benz.

“We have a lot of wonderful sponsors that have made this possible,” Ms. Roth added.

Before Summerfest, the town used to host a summer sidewalk sale titled “Sale-A-Bration” which did not include the auctions, exhibits, music and games that set this year’s event apart.

However, supporting local shops on Main Street remains a chief goal of Summerfest.

“Merchants on Main Street are still pulling out merchandise and welcoming customers into their stores,” Ms. Roth said. “It’s an opportunity for them to clear out their summer merchandise — clear out their inventory for the fall season.

“The purpose is to encourage people from Ridgefield to come out and take advantage of the sales merchandise and see people shop locally and do business locally.”

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