BRISTOL - The West End Association is hosting its annual Rockwell Park Summer Festival Aug. 19 to celebrate and showcase that part of the community.
This is the seventh year for the festival.
“We tried to make the event into a kind of big block party, but it has evolved into much more than that,” said Dave Hamelin of the Bristol West End Association.
There will be an array of events, booths and activities throughout the day and featuring local restaurants, vendors and organizations.
The Bristol Auto Club will have a classic car show and Allstate Insurance is holding a “distracted driving simulator,” which is part of a traveling safety exhibit they are presenting across the country this year.
Different tournaments and competitions are scheduled, including an AAU Basketball Tournament at Bracket and Rockwell parks. Biker’s Edge is sponsoring a skateboard competition and Harvest Bakery is sponsoring pie-eating contests for adults and children.
There will be musical acts that include a variety of genres. An acoustic performance will take place in the gazebo and local and regional artists will play on the main stage.
Musicians include Cartwheel, The Bridge Community Church Choir, Wolf Tone, Get Up and Dance, Brand New Karms, Woof, Jason Gerrish, GypsyJo, Brenda Krosnicki, Inner Groove, Voices from Heaven and G Rockwell and the Still River Ramblers.
A “Kids Zone,” which has been expanded from past years, will be organized by Imagine Nation Museum, The Bridge Community Church and the local NAACP chapter.
“There will be a lot of activities for kids and families” in a sectioned off part of the festival, said Doreen Stickney, director of development and marketing at Imagine Nation.
“In the center of the ‘Kids Zone,’ Imagine Nation will have an obstacle course where kids can jump through noodles, walk over water and do a sack-hop,” Stickney said.
Booths and activities will be set up around the obstacle course, said Stickney, including one from the museum, another from the Boys & Girls Club of Bristol Family Center and one from the New England Carousel Museum.
The New York Life Child ID Program will be at a booth to provide the opportunity for parents to create an ID card for their children in0 the event they go missing, Stickney said. A booth with a catapult station and another for kids to use squirt guns to shoot paint at a canvas will be set up.
Stickney noted that there will be STEM workshops throughout the day, face painting by Miss Bristol, stilt-walkers, magicians and hands-on activities. There will also be live animals from the museum and Once Upon a Farm in Bethany, and The Roaming Railroad, a trackless train kids and families can ride.
The museum received a big banana costume from Dole, which will be featured during the festival and The Bridge Community Church will be giving away complimentary lemonade and is set to have a bounce house, Stickney said.
The Child Evangelism Fellowship, an active part of the summer festival committee, said Stickney, is providing a stage for the Kids Zone. It will feature a lineup of 15-minute performances from children’s bands and singers, including Spaghetti Cake from Burlington, T Bone from Bristol and Rolie Polie Guacamole from Brooklyn.
The Kids Zone is sponsored by the Barnes Group Foundation and West End Association, said Stickney, who added that anyone attending will be able to notice the Kids Zone by the big balloon archway leading into it.
“It’s wonderful working and collaborating with the West End Association,” Stickney said.
A raffle is organized during the festival, and entries can be submitted at Rockwell Park until the day of the festival. Winners don’t have to be present at the festival.
The festival is set for Aug. 19 from 10 a.m. to 6 a.m. Admission and parking is free. A shuttle bus will be running from the Dollar General parking lot and the front parking lot of the park.
The festival is sponsored by Thomaston Savings Bank, Bristol Hospital, Liberty Bank, Wheeler Clinic, the Bristol Republican Town Committee, Hartford HealthCare, Bristol All Heart, Carrier Construction, Minuteman Press and Riverview Apartments.
Anyone interested in participating is encouraged to call David Hamelin at 860-583-3292 or firstname.lastname@example.org. More information can also be found on the Rockwell Park Summer Festival Facebook page.
Lorenzo Burgio can be reached at email@example.com.