Shelton’s own Robert Scinto was named grand marshal of the Barnum Festival’s Great Street Parade, with the announcement coming during the festival’s Whip, Whistle & Watch kick-off luncheon held Friday, May 17.
The Whip, Whistle & Watch Luncheon — held at the Bridgeport Holiday Inn & Conference Center — is recognized as the official start of the festival’s many events. The Great Street Parade will be held Sunday, June 30.
The 71st ringmaster of the Barnum Festival will be Martin D. Schwartz of Fairfield, the retired president and CEO of The Kennedy Center and a longtime community leader and advocate.
The Barnum Festival is the annual salute to the life and achievements of P.T. Barnum — the legendary 19th century showman, entrepreneur and philanthropist, and former mayor of Bridgeport.
This year’s theme for the festival is “Everyone Counts,” which aligns with PT Barnum’s legacy to bring fun and laughter to everyone, an announcement said. Part of the proceeds will be donated to support special needs children in the community.
In addition, on Saturday, June 8, the Wing Ding Parade for children will take place at the Beardsley Zoo with registration starting at 9 a.m. and the parade kicking off at 11. Due to the generosity of Bannow Larson Foundation, there will be free admission to the zoo, the announcement said.
Also in June, “Barnum: An American Musical,” will be performed at the Fairfield Museum. This musical pays tribute and celebrates the life of P.T. Barnum. Javier Colon, a native of Stratford, stars in this production. Javier was the winner of the inaugural season of The Voice on NBC.
The opening night gala reception on Thursday, June 27, starts at 6:30. with dinner and a cocktail party, live and silent auction items, plus 8 p.m. show at $125 per person. Free performances will be held on June 28 at 7:30 p.m. and June 29 at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Seats are first come, first served.
The festival depends on more than 200 volunteers as well as more than 30 business sponsors. Legacy sponsors include Aquarion, IBEW Local Union #488, Bridgeport & Port Jefferson Steamboat Co., People’s United Bank and Elizabeth M. Pfriem.