WALNUT BEACH, Milford CT
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WALNUT BEACH, Milford CT

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There's a lot going on in the revitalization of this little arts community, and it doesn't end this summer either! Stop by and see for yourself!

There's a lot going on in the revitalization of this little arts community, and it doesn't end this summer either! Stop by and see for yourself!

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WALNUT BEACH, Milford CT WALNUT BEACH, Milford CT Document Transcript

  • Sff Beffi .,:, !G- 6 * -l2 Milford Living . Summer
  • %E.} -r i- 2013 . Milford Living JJ
  • In recent years the Walnut Beach area (origi- nallyknown as Laurel and Myrtle beaches), has been enjoying a renewed community spirit that many attribute to the vision of Susan Patri&, ornmer of Walnut Beach Creamery. "A/hen I first got here I fell in love with the buildings and the area," says a humble Patrick, reticent to accept acknowledgment. "I sawwhat it couldbe, and I hate to see a place neglected." Neglected no more. Condos came in and with them people with money to spend and not many places to do it. "Susan breathed f,re into everybody," said Tynn6 Catapano, owner of Wild Expressions Florist that sits across from the Creamery. The two women are part ofthe revitalization group. Arches were erected resembling those from the 192os where the amusement park once stood with kiddie rides, a carousel, food stands, and even a skating rink. Things began to get cleaned up. Things started-and continue-to change, and more and more people are feeling the difference and becoming involved. @ niae the Vi:rtage €asouse! The movement to keep history alive made way for a restored antique carousel to open on the Walnut Beach parking lot grounds this summer. George Marenna, owner of Marenna Amusements, which provides carnival rides at the Milford Oyster Festival, is the supplier. Not only is nostalgia the intent, but also community development. "People wiII go to the carousel then might stop at a store down there," says Marenna, "ultimately bringing third-party money to the area." There will be a charge for the carousel, though nothing is set in stone, says Paul Piscitelli, Director of Recreation for Milford. Hours of operation will tentatively be from noon to 8:oo p.m. in order to keep noise down for the residents. @ a rlan for Fltstorieal frlaxkers There is a plan in place to add building markers to coincide with the local history 51 Nltlford. Living . Summer l',:. ,1' 3_ Memories of days past, when Walnut Beach was a playground for all, and the amb renewal plans that never quite materialized.
  • detailed in Sand in Our Shoes, explains Elizabeth Wright, owner of the Beach Gallery. "What we want to do is have the buildings located on the two blocks on either side of Broadway get a bronze maker plate of its original use," says Wright. For instance, the Walnut Beach Creamery was the former Post Offlce and Wright's gallerywas the former silent movie house called The Strand. Her motivation? Preserving history for future generations and obliterating any lingering reputation of an area known the last twenty or thirty years for "having problems." "I am here to tell you that those days are gone," says Wright, who is also an artist and a Milford historian. "This is such a beautiful place; a diamond in the rough, and I am just so happy to be here." iO t*uu the srt $trell Wright's attitude is a familiar one in the community. The excitement has only grown and has taken on an energetic momentum of large proportion. Businesses have popped up throughout the area, and with them an art explosion some call the zr't century Milford renaissance. So why not host an Art Stroll? iIt maae perfect sense. Now in its third year, Itn. art strotl buzz is so strong it draws people i from att over the state and as far as New York' I ft t"t"r place every third Thursday of the Imonth and a]l the area businesses stay open ilate until 8:oo p.m. Galleries have receptions ifeaturing new artists across all mediums, and I ipeople get out in the streets, milling about, nibbling at local eateries, and paling around with neighbors. The event rounds out from between 8:oo-p:Jo p.m. with a free salsa party complete with salsa lessons. People dance on the Avenue while disc jockey Brian Smith spins a mambo and a dance teacher demonstrates the "saury" language. (Lessons take place in Saint Gabriel's Parish in the levent of inclement weather.) i Donna Turner-Woods, owner of Sobobo Art Gallery says the galleries "ale doing what we can so that we are an arts destination. This is such a fun way to get the community together in the summertime: people dancing in the sum- mertime on the streets-that cannot be bad!" In fact, there is so much to be joyful about in the area these days that an entire summer of events has been lined up so people can celebrate the area all season long. Here are some suggestions for how to spend the rest of your summer at the beach @ *UWese# *he $esmmm*x €eca**rt Ser!*s Music takes place every Sunday night under the Pavilion from 4:oo p.m. - 7:oo p.m. begin- ning July 7 through August 25. The concert series began just three short years ago with a simple idea: "I just thought it would be a great community event and something that would work out," says WendyTerenzio, director of the Summer Concert Series and a chairperson through the Walnut Beach Association. =+sd5.,-.-dr "- l The Walnut Beach Witch leads the Halloween parade for Walnut Beach Children. Volunteers pitch in to keep Walnut Beach clean. *,i 2013 .MiIford Liring i)
  • The first year only four bands were featured over three dates., but people wanted more, so it continued expanding. This year nine bands will play under the Pavilion. The event is free, without any parking fees for non-residents. Terenzio is hoping the series will remain successful and continues to grow. "I want it to become a way of life where people are expecting it every year." "It's just such a wonderful event for families who can dance with their children, hang out, and listen on the beach or walk the boardwalk." Q figt t aagr *n llltr:*Saatior:. *ight Taking place Thursday July 18 (with an August t5 rain date), the idea came to florist Tprn6 Catapano about sixyears ago, and since has morphed into an on the beach where people can light lantems to higttlight good wishes forthe Milford community.It's a sentiment not lost on people who are still recovering from being hit by back-to-back storms Irene and Sandy. Lantems can be pwchased at various Iocal stores, and people are welcome to decorate them, adding special sentiments. For more details, visit the vvww.walnutbeachas sociation.com @ fale *a*t in the Sagsd Art €*:mgretiti*=a This annual "sandstravaganza" will take place on Saturday, August 3,just a day before the Walnut Beach Arts Festival and 5K race. Registration begins at 11:oo a.m,, sand sculpture building runs from rr:3o a.m.- 3:oo p.m., followed by judging. Bring your picnics, shovels, and sand carving tools for this free family-friendly event sure to draw large crowds from all over New England and the Greater New York area. Sponsored by the Milford Fine Arts Council, parking is $5 for non-residents. @ emjoy eke r.gth Am,=a*ratr Sfnlmut Seact$, Aetc SestivaS The neighborhood celebrates on Sunday, August 4, from roioo a.m. - 5:oo p.m. at the 36 Nr'tlford Living . Summer corner of East Broadway & Viscount Drive, across from the Rotary Pavilion. About roo artists, artisans, and crafters witl be showing and selling their work. This year promises a few alterations. "The schematic has changed, moving things around to make it a bit edgier," says Susan Patrick. Some highlights include children's area featuring Jonathan Law Higt School cheerleaders doing face painting, an expert animal balloonist, and a story chair where a "famous" Milford person (to be narr later) will read to the kids. 1 I Iu"1 Concerts, sand competitions, and contemporary and classic jewelry (among other crafts) be found this summer at Walnut Beach. l'fll I 4tl YI
  • Q Frir;li.i:Irpa';r3 i;r", t?.",| 19iiL.ii;rLrr,:=;.,t.i 6.i;,.u;l;:.,;= It all kicks offthe same morning as the Festival (August 4) at 7:oo a.m. when registration begins under the Pavilion. A free children's run begins at 8:oo a.m. with the 5K immediately following at 8:30 a.m. Afterwards there's free ice cream from Walnut Beach Creamery for every runner or walker-a sweet incentive to get out and move with the beach community. The entry fee is $zo if you pre-register (go to walnutbeachcreamery.com and follow the link) or $25 on race day. Free T-shirts will go to the first zoo pre-registered runners and while supplies last. All proceeds beneflt the Walnut Beach Association, sponsors of the Walnut Beach Arts Festival and 5K Race. For further event inJormation, go to www.w alnutb e a ch as s o c i at i o n. c o m. To view historical postcards, check out the City of Milford website. €ffiWhat's a little rain when there's ftee ice cream from the Walnut Beach Creamery waiting at the finish line? EDUCAIING ALL CHILDREN SAINT GABRIEL SCHOOL I Tudor Road, Milford, CT 06460 203-874-3811 www.stga brielschool.com 20lJ . Itillbrd Livins