BRISTOL â€“ The long-running â€śCrocodile Clubâ€ť is set to return this year, with Simpsons show runner, writer and producer Mike Reiss set to perform a light-hearted â€śroastâ€ť 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.
â€śThis year, we are inviting a professional on stage â€“ Mike Reiss, the writer and show runner of The Simpsons,â€ť said Urgo. â€śIâ€™m so excited to have him join us.â€ť
Urgo said that after the Crocodile Club was canceled these past couple of years due to the pandemic, she thought about who â€śthe most amazing personâ€ť they could get as a guest would be. This led her to reach out to Reiss.
â€śHe said he would be happy to support Bristol and this long-running Connecticut tradition,â€ť 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 â€śthank youâ€ť luncheon, which was traditionally a sheep roast.
â€śThe Crocodile Club has continued as a place where both sides of the aisle can gather, laugh and share a meal and their thoughts,â€ť said Urgo. â€śItâ€™s never a mean-spirited event and itâ€™s always fun to see who comes each year. You never really know whoâ€™s going to show up until the last moment.â€ť
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, â€śThe Crocodile Clubâ€ť 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 Compounceâ€™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 â€“ 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 email@example.com.