NEWINGTON â If the town didnât take pride in having one of the smallest natural waterfalls, it might just celebrate the pipestave at its annual fall festival.
Newingtonâs history is marked by both these things, but the waterfall reigned supreme when it came to naming this particular event. In the 1800s the town was said to be the areaâs premier manufacturer of pipestaves, the strips of wood or metal forming the sides of a whiskey barrel. However, Mill Pond Falls is another prized local feature.
So became the Newington Waterfall Festival, celebrating its 18th year next Saturday, Sept. 15. Residents of all ages are invited to flock downtown between 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. for art, food and music.
âItâs a nice, free day out for the family,â said Waterfall Festival Committee Chairperson Theresa Reynolds, who has been involved with the festival for nearly a decade.
Admission, as she noted, is free to all, since the occasion shuts down an entire street. Market Square will be blocked to traffic on both ends, from Main Street to Constance Leigh Drive, so attendees can feel free to walk around safely and enjoy a variety of activities.
Perhaps the most anticipated of these is the Chalk Walk, an art competition that leaves the street covered in glorious images for days afterwards.
Entrants in a junior division (ages 11-14) pay $10 to fill 4â x 4â squares of pavement with their chalk art. Children ages 8-10 will be assigned 3â x 3â squares for $5 and artists ages 15 and older get 6â x 6â squares for $20.
A local Subway Restaurant is offering discount $5 meal vouchers for all artists, redeemable for a six-inch sandwich and water bottles. Kids will also receive goody bags.
A panel of three judges compares works by their creativity, composition, color, value, effective use of the medium and overall impact. Winning juniors and adults receive gift cards to Jerryâs Artarama and kid winners are awarded ribbons. Register with Pat Tanger at firstname.lastname@example.org or 860-666-5026.
New this year parents can take advantage of the Child ID Program, offering free digital photos and fingerprints.
More than 50 vendors are expected to line the street. That includes the Newington Rotary Club, which will be selling hamburgers and hotdogs.
Local restaurants are even expected to offer âWaterfallâ specials that day.
âWe really try to promote the businesses along the street,â Reynolds said. âNewington Pizza, Steveâs Place and others will have specials on their menus.â
Childrenâs activities take place beneath a large yellow tent and families can purchase $5 wristbands for their kids to play on TimberGymsâ bounce house.
Entertainment is scheduled to take place all day long, featuring dancers, an a cappella group, a guitarist and others.
The planning committee typically awards a local charity cause proceeds from the annual event. This year, members have selected The Lucy Robbins Welles Library.
People often ask if the festival will be postponed due to weather. The answer is usually no, unless rain is expected to be torrential and drench the entire day.
âOne year it rained early in the morning and the wet concrete actually made the Chalk Walk drawings even better,â Reynolds remembered. âIt was really cool.â
Erica Drzewiecki can be reached at 860-801-5097 or email@example.com.
If you go:
WHAT: The 18th annual Newington Waterfall Festival
WHEN: Saturday, Sept. 15 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
WHERE: Market Square
Renewal by Anderson
Newington Memorial Funeral Home
GFWC Newington Womenâs Club
Country Cottage Creations
Newington Democratic Town Committee
Newington Student Assistance Fund
American Legion Post 117
Cedar Mountain Church/LifeWay Church
Spring Brook Ice & Fuel
Newington Gospel Hall
Picture this Productions
Star Shein Insurance
JC Art Corner
Connecticut Humane Society
NHS Performing Arts Booster
Hartford Healthcare Federal credit union
Modellâs Sporting Goods
Friends of Lucy Robbins Wells Library
SDS Dragon Eyes
Connecticut Home Solutions
Newington Town Crier/New Britain Herald
Gary Byron 2018
Hair on the Square
Boy Scout Troop 347
The Goddard School
Newington Republican Town Committee
Katlyn Oâhara Blackwell
Beaver Brook Animal Hospital
Newington Dance Center
Francesco Solo Guitar
Newington Senior center
Beaverbrook Animal Hospital
N E Novelty Company
10 a.m. Francesco (solo guitar)
11 a.m. Newington Dance Center (dance group)
12 p.m. For The Record (modern rock band)
1 p.m. Yangâs Taekwondo
2 p.m. Backstage Academy (dance group)
3 p.m. The Sweetest Key (female a cappella group)