Long-running 'Crocodile Club' set to return

Published on Wednesday, 6 July 2022 13:53


BRISTOL – The long-running “Crocodile Club” is set to return this year, with Simpsons show runner, writer and producer Mike Reiss set to perform a light-hearted “roast” of local politicians.

Crocodile Club will return to the ball room at Lake Compounce from 11 to 2 p.m. Aug. 12. In addition to Reiss, the event will welcome Brian Shactman of WTIC News Talk 1080 as emcee. Proceeds support the New England Carousel Museum.

Morgan Urgo, executive director of the New England Carousel Museum said that the event will feature the same popular traditions as well as new twists on old favorites.

“This year, we are inviting a professional on stage – Mike Reiss, the writer and show runner of The Simpsons,” said Urgo. “I’m so excited to have him join us.”

Urgo said that after the Crocodile Club was canceled these past couple of years due to the pandemic, she thought about who “the most amazing person” they could get as a guest would be. This led her to reach out to Reiss.

“He said he would be happy to support Bristol and this long-running Connecticut tradition,” said Urgo.

The Crocodile luncheon was first held in 1875 by Glad Norton, the founder of Lake Compounce. It was originally held to thank government officials for a change to the Bristol/Southington border, which Urgo said allowed him to do all his business in one community. Serious politics were prohibited at the “thank you” luncheon, which was traditionally a sheep roast.

“The Crocodile Club has continued as a place where both sides of the aisle can gather, laugh and share a meal and their thoughts,” said Urgo. “It’s never a mean-spirited event and it’s always fun to see who comes each year. You never really know who’s going to show up until the last moment.”

Past guests to the Crocodile Club, Urgo said, have included governors and their political opponents, former Lt. Governor Nancy Wyman and Connecticut legislators including John Larson and Richard Blumenthal.

For the last decade, “The Crocodile Club” has also been a major fundraiser for the New England Carousel Museum, which has been generously supported by Lake Compounce.

For a time, the event was held under Lake Compounce’s picnic pavilion. Then, after the ballroom was renovated in 2018, it returned to the traditional spot.

Tickets to the Crocodile Club are $50 per person and include a lunch with the traditional crocodile club menu of barbecued spring lamb, white potatoes and yams, creamed corn and sliced tomatoes – as well as other options. It will also include a drink ticket, a cigar and admission to Lake Compounce. A cash bar will also be available.

Brian M. Johnson can be reached at 860-973-1806 or bjohnson@bristolpress.com.

Posted in The Bristol Press, Bristol on Wednesday, 6 July 2022 13:53. Updated: Wednesday, 6 July 2022 13:56.