Sidewalk sales, SummerFest make Main Street return
Live music, sidewalk sales, and a fire truck for kids to climb in — these are just a few options festival goers will be able to choose from when SummerFest returns to its original location on Main Street from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, July 21.
The Chamber of Commerce’s annual summer extravaganza will close down Main Street from Prospect Street to Governor Street — and part of Catoonah Street — from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
There will plenty of activities, shopping and food for the entire family to enjoy.
“In front of town hall, we have live music throughout the day,” said Jennifer Zinzi, the Chamber’s executive director. “We have a big, kids zone that’s down behind town hall. Also, the rec center will be there with arts and crafts. There’s a bounce house and an interactive race track.”
For those who can’t wait for the festival to begin, there will be a free morning yoga session in Ballard Park from — the location of last year’s SummerFest — from 8:30 to 10.
Back on Main Street, local vendors will begin setting up stands and displaying their goods.
Bobby Morrill kicks off the music schedule at 10 with hits from the 1960s, 70s, and 80s.
Keeping the live music going is the SummerFest headliner CAB & Company, who perform from noon to 2 in front of town hall. The band, which specializes in jazzy blues, rock and pop, is led by vocalist Cheryl Ann Boyd. Guitarist Scott Sherman and percussionist Don O’Keefe round out the trio.
Wrapping up SummerFest is the Bach to Rock Band, which will perform from 2 to 4. Bach to Rock’s performance will also feature a DJ to play popular hits from the 80s.
The SummerFest stage isn’t the only place for Ridgefield residents to catch live performances this weekend.
Following the conclusion of the Bach to Rock Band’s setlist on Saturday, Thrown Stone Theatre Company will be performing two shows Saturday at the Ridgefield Conservatory of Dance on Main Street. They will also have matinee shows Sunday.
The Ridgefield Playhouse has a full weekend of shows, too.
The fun kicks off Friday night, July 20, with the Playhouse’s annual Summer Gala, titled “BBQ, Bourbon, and Beer,” headlined by the Dickey Betts Band.
The following night, Don McLean — singer and songwriter of hits such as, “American Pie” and “Vincent” — returns to the Playhouse stage at 8 p.m.
On Sunday afternoon, the Playhouse will host its annual Shakespeare on the Green Expo. Singer Adam Ant closes out the musical performances for the weekend on Sunday night at the Playhouse.
Also on Friday night is the Lounsbury House’s annual lobster dinner and clambake.
“It really is a full weekend of activities,” Zinzi said.
Back on Main Street, local vendors — from Ridgefield and the surrounding areas — will line up with plenty of offerings Saturday, July 21.
“They really span the gambit,” Zinzi said about the expansive selection of vendors coming to this year’s SummerFest.
While last year’s SummerFest had a massive 60 vendors putting up stands in Ballard Park, this year will bring more local business owners to the area — with 80 vendors coming to Main Street come Saturday.
“Everything is shop local, a lot of handmade crafters, local store owners, and vendors who may not have an actual brick and mortar store,” Zinzi said.
SummerFest doesn’t only want to bring parents to the heart of Ridgefield, they want to make it a family event that can cater to all ages.
While parents can enjoy the live music in front of town hall, the kids can have some fun of their own in a specialized kids zone behind town hall — located at 400 Main Street.
None of the 80 vendors presenting their products during the street fair will be food trucks.
Zinzi hopes this will “encourage people to go into restaurants and shop the sidewalk sales.”
SummerFest also looks to promote local entrepreneurs.
“Some of our students are setting up pop-up shops for the businesses they launched,” Zinzi said.
SummerFest wouldn’t be possible without the generous help from a few title sponsors, she said.
Those sponsors include: Fairfield County Bank, Winters Brothers Waste Systems, the Ridgefield Chamber of Commerce, and Mercedes Benz of Danbury.
Ridgefield kids will also get a chance to climb in a real-life fire engine during the street fair’s touch-a-truck event Saturday afternoon.
In addition to a Ridgefield fire truck, there will be a police car, a garbage truck, a work truck, and a tow truck on display.
“At the south end of Main Street, we have touch-a-truck event to bring people all the way through town,” Zinzi said.
Main Street, and the surrounding streets SummerFest leaks into, will be closed from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. even though the festival runs 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
“That gives us two hours of set-up time,” Zinzi said about the road closure prior to the official beginning of the event.
Parking rules aren’t as strict being that the event has been moved back to Main Street.
Vendors will be coming in first, then parking in the furthest lots from downtown to enable festival goers to park as close as possible.
“Keep in mind that lots available last year may be closed this year due to road closures for the event,” Zinzi said.