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
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'
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
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.
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The Walnut Beach Witch leads the Halloween parade for Walnut Beach Children. Volunteers
pitch in to keep Walnut Beach clean.
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
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
@ 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 $5 for
@ emjoy eke r.gth Am,=a*ratr
Sfnlmut Seact$, 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.
Concerts, sand competitions, and contemporary and classic jewelry (among other crafts)
be found this summer at Walnut Beach.
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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?
SAINT GABRIEL SCHOOL
I Tudor Road, Milford, CT 06460
20lJ . Itillbrd Livins