Schooner Fest Showcases Education, History, and Fun!

John Johnson
Chairman
Connecticut Schooner Festival

I hope you can join us at the Connecticut Schooner Festival, a celebration of Connecticut’s history, maritime heritage and spirit of innovation. It will take place at Mystic Seaport and along New London’s historic waterfront Wednesday through Sunday, September 11-15. This is the inaugural year of the festival and we feel you well enjoy the many activities being presented, starting with the education program at the Seaport on Thursday, September 12, followed by the many events on the historic waterfront in New London.
Educating students about the state’s rich maritime heritage and its role in the development of our state and nation will be a central focus of the festival We’re proud to be able to partner with UCONN and every public school district from Stonington through East Lyme, plus LEARN. With this superb group of Connecticut educators we will be offering Connecticut students a valuable program.
Schooners played an important part in helping our nation win its independence and they also played a significant role in the commerce that made our state thrive. Today, they play a key role in teaching people about the sea and its role in our daily life.
The highlight of the five-day festival will be a schooner race in the waters off Ocean Beach Park in New London, one of our state’s premier beach resorts, but there are many other activities including the Great New London Chowder Challenge. New London has become a center of culinary excellence and many of our finest restaurants will be taking part.
We have attracted more than a dozen schooners and we have partnered with the well-known Flock Theatre to present a historical pageant that will culminate with the burning in effigy of Benedict Arnold who led his Red Coats through New London, burning a good portion of it. We will be getting our revenge, theatrically speaking.
But the festival is about more than education and history; it is about good family fun. The public will also be treated to entertainment including music on the waterfront, a lighted boat parade to welcome the schooners and a host of other activities including sand sculpting and Kidsploration with Steve Elci and Friends and a large color board for budding young artists. Look around Mystic and New London during the festival and you may see plein air painters capturing scenes in their time-honored tradition.
We couldn’t do it without the support of our sponsors: The Connecticut Commission on Culture and Tourism, WNLC radio, The Day Publishing Co., Pfizer, Dominion, Coca-Cola, People’s United Bank, F&F Distributors, Dime Bank, Ocean Beach Park, Charter Oak Credit Union, INK Publications, Copy Cats, EasyMeetings.net, Lombardi Gravel & Excavation, New London Parking Garage, New London Harbour Towers, Jay Levin, and Valet Park America. Their support has made our event a true success.
We look forward to seeing you. In the meantime check us out at www.CtSchoonerFest.com and be sure to Like us on Facebook.

Welcome aboard.

John Johnson
Chairman
Connecticut Schooner Festival