Saturday: Soupstock festival offers music, art, activities, soup

Local music, art, soup and more will be at Veterans Memorial Park in Shelton on Saturday for the annual Soupstock music and arts festival. The event goes from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., rain or shine. The Herald will update if there is a change due to the predicted weather.

“We are in our fourth year, bigger than ever,” said Nicole Heriot, co-producer of the festival. “Every year, we are adding something.

“This year,” she said, “we have two live music stages [with local and national acts] ... The sights and the sounds are absolutely free. It’s what we can do to give back to our beautiful city.”

Boosts arts charity fund in Shelton

Soupstock is the annual fund-raiser for the Mary A. Schmecker Turtle Shell Fund, and this is the first calendar year as a 501c(3) non-profit organization.

The Shelton-based fund supports arts programs in the Valley, including at the Boys & Girls Club of the Lower Naugatuck Valley.

The fund was started by Michelle and Fred Bialeck, along with Michelle’s brother Joe Maganello. Michelle and Joe wanted to honor their grandmother, the late Mary Schmecker, who was an instructor at the Boys & Girls Club in Shelton.

“When she passed, they wanted her legacy to remain,” Heriot said.

‘A perfect day’

“It’s a perfect day for all ages,” Heriot said of Soupstock.

There will be:

— arts and crafts booth

— art display by children throughout the Valley

— food vendors

— Valley Shakespeare Festival  members

— pro and amateur soup competition with 15 competitors

Although the festival is free all day, tasters of at the soup tent must enter with a donation. All proceeds go to a nonprofit fund.

Lots of children's activities

Also for youngsters, there will be:

— bounce house

— tie-dye station (for a small fee, you may dye your own T-shirt)

— kid’s yoga

— drum circles

— hooping

A community effort

Home Depot donated volunteers and materials for a special activity for children. For the grown-ups, Saranac will be there with a beer garden of their brews. The Hamden Parks and Recreation Department donated the stages.

“They’re a true testament that community is so important. It’s so great to be able to count on other towns,” Heriot said. “It’s a really beautiful thing.”

Other sponsors, Heriot said, include Sikorsky, Avalon Shelton, Recipe of Success, Star 99.9, The Sound Magazine, Crown Linen, Stone Gardens, and Gathering of the Vibes.