Booster Shots Now Available

October 27th & November 3rd
10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Birdseye Municipal Complex

 

Hear ye here ye Renaissance Faire Time

Shakespeare Renaissance Festival

Sunday, October 24th from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Shakespeare Park will be transported back in time this Sunday, the grounds will be filled with professional performers in period garb creating a captivating day of costumed family fun.  This Renaissance Festival will add a Harvest and Halloween twist to your traditional faire.  Two performance stages with rotating schedules, a dining area, a separate music performance area in the pine grove, and a field full of games will all be there for a full day of enjoyment! This is an all day event with so much to see and hear.

Pumpkin rolling contests!  Paint a pumpkin for the creatives! Try the trebuchet!  Kids activities all day!  Ring toss. Corn Hole. And if you’re totally tuckered out, have a seat in Pine Grove and enjoy Storytime with The Fool!

See The Knights Of Gore duke it out in a massive melee of metal clashing and crashing chaos.  If you’ve got the gumption you can Fight a Knight if you like!  Not In The FACE will be there too with a scripted demonstration of medieval sword fighting too!

For those more interested in magic than mayhem, check out Daniel GreenwolfCeltic Magician – voted one of the Top Five Solo Variety Acts in the United States by the Renaissance Festival Podcast & Renaissance Magazine for Five Years In A Row!

Live music will be performed by The Renaissance Players. They have performed throughout New England, VA, and FL for more than 23 years at Renaissance Festivals and Pirate Festivals.  Their musical selections range from the 14th to 17th century. Their hand sewn and designed High Court garb will drop your jaws – utterly unique with one of a kind fabric, trims and gems!

Local favorite Elana Zabari will add to the mix with her powerful voice and performance.

Two-time winner (2018, 2019) of the Renaissance Festival Awards Favorite Child-Friendly Act Shakespeare Approves!  This one-man interactive show takes classic plays, boils them down to 25-minutes, and then throws in absurd, screwball comedy to make you forget about the sometimes-intimidating Elizabethan English.  Take Prospero & Caliban, throw them together with Gilligan & the Skipper, and you get The Tempest: A 3-Hour Tour.  Or one of the darkest, most villainous murderers in a show with adorable household pets & you have Macbeth: Death by Fluffy Kittens.

Hot food will be onsite so come hungry!  We will have the picnic tables all set for you within sight of the main stage for your enjoyment.

A full schedule of events and performances will be posted on www.shakespearerenfest.com as well as more information on each professional act.  Make sure this becomes an annual event by purchasing your tickets online or at the gate.  Adults $15, Youth $10, 6 and under are Free! Food, games and goodies from a variety of vendors are available for purchase too!

Join us on the grounds of The American Shakespeare State Park at 1850 Elm Street.

King, Queen or pauper come step back in time and join the fun! Jester, Jouster, or just lookin for a day out, you are welcome to be a part of New England’s last Renaissance Festival of the season!

We have roaring roster of live performers, games, and vendors! Expect a raucous day of fun with a beautiful view of the Housatonic River and the Long Island Sound. Take a short walk and you can see the same view that European settlers saw when they came to shore in 1639!

Connecticut’s newest Renaissance Festival! Step back in time and enjoy live performance, fantastic food, a variety of vendors, and games galore.

Party like it’s 1639!!

Shakespearean adventures and zany performances, fun for everyone!

The Knights of Gore!They are an unscripted full contact full armored fighting group who uses steel weapons to thrill a crowd.  Be on your best behavior or we may release them ON the crowd!

Shakespeare Approves!  Two-time winner (2018, 2019) of the Renaissance Festival Awards Favorite Child-Friendly Act!  Shakespearean adventures and zany performances, fun for everyone!

Daniel Greenwolf, Celtic Magician

Not In The Face, a scripted demonstration of medieval sword fighting.

A Stratford Halloween Tale, 1995

by Andréa Byrne

I’d been living in Stratford for six months when Halloween rolled around. I was warned that loads of kids would swarm my new neighborhood in the Historic District and so I’d better be prepared. They’d come early and keep on coming. I couldn’t wait!

I loaded up on the best of the best candies—mini Milky Ways, Three Musketeers, Snickers and Nestle’s Crunch bars, packets of Candy Corn, M&Ms and malt balls. Everything I wouldn’t mind having as left overs, if by chance there were any.

I invited my friend Peggy to come up from New York City and she was as excited about it as I was. I made a big pot of soup for us to have after all the kiddies had exhausted the supply of treats. I was told they’d begin to arrive about five o’clock so at four-thirty Peggy and I were bustling around getting into our witch’s costumes, complete with scraggly hair under our pointy hats, and we each blacked out a front tooth for special effect. We giggled and talked to each other in whiny, cackling voices as we put the huge basket of goodies on the front porch between our two chairs at the top of the steps. I switched the porch light on, and then we waited. And waited. And waited.

Five o’clock came and was long gone so we went inside. We tried to keep a sense of fun going but it soon waned with Peggy sitting cross-legged on the floor with head in hand and me looking pitifully out the window at the empty street. We finally pulled off our hats and hair, scrubbed our teeth and sat down to have some soup.

The doorbell rang. We each leaped up, slapped on the hair and hat, blackened the tooth and ran for the door. Our first customer! I hunched up to get into character, opened the door with a wild laugh and there stood my friend and business partner holding a martini. He’d come trick-or-treating for an olive.

I was able to supply the olive and when he finished his drink he left. Peggy and I went back out to the porch and lo and behold, down the block were some little costumed people heading our way. We hid off to the side of the basket of treats until the princess and Spiderman climbed the stairs.

“Well,” we cackled, stepping out from our hiding place. “Who have we here?” The children screamed and ran off into the night. Their parents waiting out on the walk looked horrified, and we were mortified. No matter how sweetly we spoke to them, the Princess and the Spiderman couldn’t be coaxed back. Lesson learned. Tone it down…way down.

The rest of the night was cackle-free and full of imaginative costumes, including a jellyfish with lighted tendrils. It was pure Norman Rockwell until I had to call the cops.

A car screeched to a halt in front of the house and a man ran to the porch begging me to make that call. Someone down the street in a pirate costume had banged on the man’s car windows with his sword, scaring the man and his family who were huddled inside. The pirate threatened, swaggered and swore his way down the street, complaining that the man was driving too fast. It appeared the yo-ho-ho pirate may have been sipping from a bottle of rum. The man pulled a tire iron out of his car to protect his family if need be, but begged the pirate to back off.

Four squad cars of police arrived quickly and managed to calm things down. Then each officer made the rounds to chat with those of us who had witnessed it all to hear our versions of the story. The last to speak with Peggy and me was a tall, handsome fellow with a nice twinkle in his eye, so we hastily got rid of our hats and wigs and un-blacked our teeth as he approached.

Officer Studmuffin, or so Peggy called him and I agreed, sat on the steps with us to get our side of things. We offered him the basket of treats and one by one he finished what was left as we chatted about the evening and life in general.

At last we noticed that the other squad cars had left. Officer Studmuffin stood and assured us that everything was taken care of, then climbed into his car and, with a cheerful smile, waved as he pulled away.

That’s when Peggy and I saw that the trick-or-treaters had all disappeared and porches were dark. The street was just as empty as it had been, so with one last affectionate look up and down the block, we brought the basket inside, turned off the porch light, and I reheated the soup.

Board of Education

Christopher Cormier

Christopher Cormier is an elementary school educator in Bridgeport who believes his experience in the classroom, his previous experience in project management, and his community service activities make him an ideal candidate for election to the Stratford Board of Education on November 2nd.

Chris is a Hartford County transplant of 23 years.  He and his husband Jonathan lived in Bridgeport before moving into their home in District 2 16 years ago.  They are raising their 4 energetic and unique boys:  Jackson age 7, Ryan age 9, Steven age 11, and Aaron age 12.  All of the boys have attended Stratford Public Schools since they were Franklin Preschoolers, and are students now at Franklin, Chapel and Wooster.

Chris is a second career teacher.  He has just entered his 10th year as an educator and currently teaches 3rd grade at Edison Elementary School in Bridgeport. After a career in project management and commercial real estate, Chris decided to make a major life change and pursue his passion of being an educator.

In 2007, Chris earned his Masters of Science degree in Elementary Education at the University of Bridgeport. Chris also holds a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Management, Economics & Psychology from Southern Connecticut State University, and an Associates of Science degree in Finance & Banking from Norwalk Community College.

He is also a graduate of Parents SEE (Parents Seeking Educational Excellence)-Cohort 6.  This gave Chris the chance to consider how his voice could be used as a tool for change, and enabled him to advocate better for his children and his students.

In addition to his teaching responsibilities, Chris serves as the Bridgeport Education Association Building Delegate, Building Systems Operator (IT contact), Parent Advisory Council (PAC) member, School Governance Committee (SGC) member and has served on the board of the Franklin Elementary School PTO for the past 5+ years.

He is also co-chair of the Stratford Democratic Town Committee’s (SDTC) Lord’s Kitchen Planning & Serving Committee, which serves 75-100 hungry Stratford friends on the DTC’s assigned days each year.

“Our platform is based on transparency and access.” Chris says.  “We believe that there is a hindrance in the sharing of information coming from the BOE.  We are in a unique situation where we have a new superintendent.  This gives us the opportunity to foster a strong working relationship with the administration that is built on collaboration and clear expectations and the sharing of requested information.  For too long, the relationship between the BOE and the administration was reversed.  The Board and Administration should collaborate, but it should be clear that the Administration answers to the Board, and not the other way around.”

4 issues that Chris has zeroed in on as some of his main concerns are:

  • Ensuring equity across the District.
  • The need for better advocacy for Special Education
  • Investing in Teachers and their classrooms.
  • Revamping the current BOE meeting protocols by allowing members of the public to speak on any issue they need to during public comments, not limited to the meeting agenda.

Contact Chris at chriscormier4stratfordboe@gmail.com

Mark Your Calendar, Lots To Do, Places to Go

Halloween Harvest Fest on Sunday


Last Monday for Paradise Market – get your Farmer’s Market goodies now!


Toy Drive Registration at Sterling House


Thanksgiving Food Drive

Town Council District 7

Tim Bristol

Small businessman Tim Bristol is the Democratic candidate for Town Council in District 7. You may have met Tim at his gourmet grilled cheese food truck, which has helped other businesses grow through partnerships.  He started the company at the height of the pandemic in September 2020, and he has built the business and became a top ten finalist for Best Food Truck in the state.

In December he will earn his Master’s degree in political science. This degree is the product of 6 years of learning and research in political science. His focus in this degree has been state and local politics. He has studied the political make up of cities like Bridgeport, New Haven, and Hartford.

He is currently writing his Masters thesis, which is new research on our States Clean Elections Program and how it compares to other states around New England and the country. His hope is that he can turn his thesis into a book that other states can use as a blueprint in creating their own clean elections programs.

His research in the last 6 years has included: tax policy, tax abatements, health care within the VA, campaign finance reform, voter ID laws, education policy, the legislative process, political theory, international relations, infrastructure policy, and elections. He does not intend for this to be the end. He hopes to earn my PhD in Public Policy or Political Science down the road. He wants to use his knowledge to benefit the town and the 7th district.

Tim ran for Town Council two years ago and came close to winning. He impressed people with his understanding of business issues. Since then, he has campaigned for other Democrats and served as Campaign Treasurer for two-state rep candidates, including Stratford’s Phil Young in 2020.

Tim is a progressive, one who believes in equity for all and for people to be treated with respect. He says a lot of progressive ideas are discussed at the state and national levels, but they often can be achieved best through local government and community action.

Tim says: “The difference I will make for average voters in my district is that they will actually have a voice. I will be their advocate on the council. My agenda will be their agenda. For too long the 7th distinct has been silenced by Republican representatives who were asleep at the wheel or simply act as yes-men to Mayor Hoydick. I will not be a rubber stamp for anyone. I will always act in the best interest of District 7.”

 

Learn Lacrosse

Stratford Storm Lacrosse

Sterling House Community Center

Stratford Storm Lacrosse (Lax) is offering a co-ed Speed Lax for boys and girls in Grades 3-8.

Speed lacrosse is played with a softer ball, so the only equipment needed is a lacrosse stick and a mouth guard. Speed lacrosse games are played 3 on 3 on a small field. The players will sharpen throwing and catching skills, and teaches quick decision making. There is no checking allowed, players will learn to play defense the right way… by moving their feet!

Grades 3rd – 5th, 6:00 – 7:00 p.m.

Grades 6th – 8th, 7:00 – 8:00 p.m.

Held at Erin’s Gym, 4 weeks on Fridays Beginning November 12th.

*No class on November 26th

$75 for the Four Week Program.

There are only 30 available spots per group!

Register online at WWW.STRATFORDSTORM.COM

If your child is in need of stick, please let us know in advance and we can provide you with one.

 

Letters to the Editor

What is Gerrymandering?

By Tim Bristol

I have studied what is called gerrymandering of voting districts in the course of my research. Many people know the term but don’t know exactly what it means. It comes from the name of Governor Elbridge Gerry of Massachusetts + salamander, from the supposed similarity between a salamander and the shape of a new voting district on a map drawn when he was in office (1812), the creation of which was felt to favor his party; the map (with claws, wings, and fangs added) was published in the Boston Weekly Messenger, with the title The Gerry-Mander.

Gerrymandering is a practice intended to establish an arguably unfair political advantage for a particular party or group by manipulating the boundaries of electoral districts. Many people think it is just a national issue but it is an important local issue as well.

There are 2 specific tactics when it comes to gerrymandering: cracking and packing:

  1. Cracking: dividing up opposing voters into districts so that they will be a minority in those districts.
  2. Packing: putting as many opposition voters as possible into as few districts as possible so that they will win the fewest seats and be a minority in representation.

Gerrymandering creates misrepresented districts and legislatures that don’t represent the people.

The new Town Council that gets elected on November 2nd will vote on the district’s new map for the next 10 years. The Republicans gerrymandered the districts for the last 20 years. The Clearest example is District 2. We need to fix the districts and make them better represent their neighborhoods.

Letters To The Editor

by Steve Taccogna
Chairman
Stratford Democratic Town Committee

Recently, CT GOP Chairman Ben Proto released a statement condemning the involvement of Democratic Town Committee Chairs in disseminating Absentee Ballot applications to registered voters in their municipalities.

His complaint is based on the erroneous assumption that the Town Committees are not disseminating the applications to request absentee ballots from Town Clerks in a responsible manner, and that because of this, we’re assisting in some sort of vote tampering.

In true Republican fashion, Ben Proto has turned what we should all be celebrating as a win for voters and for democracy into an opportunity to complain about expanded voting access.

Let’s be clear – what he’s talking about is not the ballot itself. Both Democratic and Republic town committees have been doing their part to ensure that registered voters receive the application for the absentee ballot. No Town Committee has contact with the ballot itself, nor with the voter when they prepare their ballot for submission.Look,

I don’t trust a mechanic that won’t give me an itemized bill. I don’t trust a doctor that won’t explain the purpose of a test they want me to take.  And I sure as hell don’t trust a politician that doesn’t want people to vote. So I have a few suggestions for Mr. Proto on how we could solve this problem that’s been keeping him up at night:

1. Get the CT GOP on board with allowing mail-in voting and no-excuse absentee ballots universally, as is currently done in 34 other states.

2. Update the process for absentee voting. Rather than fearmongering around archaic clerical nonsense, make it easier for people to vote and allow the state to operate a modernized ballot application process.

3. Allow the Secretary of State’s office to send applications to all registered voters. No need to worry about us pesky Town Committee Chairs anymore!

4. Thank your local Town Clerks and their staff who, thanks largely to the outdated methodology, are buried in days of thankless toil to make sure that as many citizens as possible are able to safely cast their vote.

The indictment made by Mr. Proto that enabling more voters to participate in an election is somehow partisan or unfair would be laughable if it weren’t so repeatedly and predictably sad.

The GOP loves to point to low voter turnout as a symptom of the ills of our modern society, but when opportunities come around to allow greater voter engagement, they balk for one reason only: they know if everyone votes, the GOP loses.

A wild haymaker of an attempt to create confusion amongst registered voters and suppress turnout by an increasingly irrelevant GOP is the only partisan activity at play here.

Do better, Ben.

Flea Market Finds Waiting for You

Tidal Exchange on Sunday