Barnum Festival names Paul Timpanelli as new ringmaster

Paul Timpanelli
Paul Timpanelli

Paul S. Timpanelli has been selected as the 66th ringmaster of the Barnum Festival. Timpanelli is longtime president and CEO of the Bridgeport Regional Business Council (BRBC), and previously served as Trumbull first selectman and town clerk.

“I am absolutely thrilled and honored to have been selected for this opportunity to showcase our city and our region, said Timpanelli. He said he hopes “to participate in the redefinition of the festival in a way the will continue to build the region's economy.”

“I realize that I have very big shoes to fill and hope that I can live up to the expectations of the community,” Timpanelli said.

Prominent regional, community leaders

Through the years, a veritable “who's who” of regional and community leaders have held the position.

Timpanelli succeeds 2013 Ringmaster John F. Stafstrom Jr., a partner at the law firm of Pullman & Comley, and 2011 Ringmaster Frank J. Carroll, vice president of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers.

In 2008, Shelton Mayor Mark Lauretti served as the festival’s ringmaster.

The Barnum Festival was created in 1948 to commemorate the life and achievements of showman P.T. Barnum, who also was mayor of Bridgeport.

‘Commitment and energy’

The selection of Timpanelli was made by the Barnum Festival board of directors and announced on Oct. 17 during an event at Sacred Heart University.

Barnum Festival President Michael Niedermeier said Timpanelli “has demonstrated an outstanding commitment to the economic vitality of Bridgeport and the entire region. We know he will bring that same commitment and energy to his role as the 2014 Barnum Festival ringmaster.”

In remarks at the announcement event, Timpanelli said he would “work tirelessly to continue the tradition started by my predecessors and to take the Barnum Festival to the next level.”

He said his goal is to “create a renewed, redefined, reinvigorated and redesigned festival in partnership with the Barnum Festival board and volunteers that certainly will keep and respect the traditions that have been established, but will hopefully get us to the next level.”

Has led business group for 25 years

Timpanelli became president and CEO of the BRBC in December 1988, and is responsible for the business organization’s strategic planning, leadership development and economic development initiatives.

Prior to joining the BRBC, Timpanelli owned a real estate appraisal company, served three terms as first selectman of Trumbull, and three terms as town clerk of Trumbull.

Through the years, he has served on numerous boards and commissions and currently volunteers with various civic, governmental and political organizations including United Way of Coastal Fairfield County, U.S. Chamber of Commerce Committee of 100, RYASAP, Regional Institute of the 21st Century, Lakeview Cemetery, and Connecticut Metropolitan Chamber Executives Council.

About the Barnum Festival

The annual Barnum Festival is dedicated to providing exciting family entertainment in the greater Bridgeport region that enriches the community, embraces diversity and celebrates life.

Some of the festival’s annual events are a street parade, fireworks display, Champions on Parade drum and bugle corps competition, Wing Ding children’s parade, and Jenny Lind singing competition. Learn more at