Simon Says: It's Time To Party!



It has been described by the founders as a giant block party. Which means Greenwich is about to become one seriously cool neighborhood again when the Greenwich Town Party returns for a second year to Roger Sherman Baldwin Park on Saturday, May 26 with legendary singer/songwriter Paul Simon in the role of headliner. Gospel great Kirk Franklin, reggae sensations The Wailers, Grace Potter and the Nocturnals, and the Tedeschi Trucks Band join multiple Grammy-winner Simon to entertain as many as 5,000 town residents.

And if the headliners weren’t enough to lure a spirited Memorial Day weekend crowd to the daylong shindig, there’s more: food booths staffed by top local restaurants, a barbecue grill-off and a new kids’ art contest all expand on the GTP’s one-big-happening-village vibe.

The GTP was founded last year when philanthropic town resident and Bridgewater Associates founder Ray Dalio approached First Selectman Peter Tesei with the big idea. Inspired by a town party he had experienced while traveling with his wife in Spain, Ray suggested bringing the same spirited community-themed celebration to Greenwich. The premise was simple: A town party thrown for Greenwich residents by Greenwich residents.

The first party, planned in a remarkably short three months (and supported largely with private donations), was a sellout. Based on last year’s 3,000 attendees and traffic patterns, town officials gave their blessing for an even larger crowd this year.

Besides the allure of the multi-Grammy winning Simon and the promise of larger crowds, a board of fourteen key+ advisors (town residents, business leaders and First Selectman Tesei) has been working for several months to make the 2012 party even better. The party begins at 10 a.m. and concludes at 10 p.m., with “family time” (carnival games, face painting, strolling magicians, caricature artists and more) designated between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.

Local bands have been encouraged to submit demo materials for a chance to perform on GTP’s second sound stage. And to get the kids more involved, this month the GTP will begin accepting entries via its website for its Community Art Contest. Children in grades K through 12 are invited to submit drawings, photos and paintings that define what “community” means to them. The young winners will receive free admission and all submissions will be displayed on video at the outdoor party.

Since its inception, GTP has had a goal of making the party accessible to all, relying heavily on donations to subsidize its all-day $40 ticket price (various packages are available for families and seniors). We’re told last year’s GTP tickets would have cost $350 per person if the actual costs had been passed on to attendees. And organizers stress no town revenues are used to support the festivities. The town is reimbursed for any out-of-pocket expenses for services such as police security, a GTP spokesperson explains.

With seventy-five volunteers needed to staff the event, town residents are encouraged to get involved, by signing up to lend a hand. The GTP, after all, is an enormous undertaking, conceived around the idea if “everyone throws something in the pot,” the event will naturally invigorate community spirit. Now, that’s something to celebrate. —Beth Cooney Fitzpatrick

 

Greenwich Agenda

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    2014.10.30
     @ Organic Planet

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  • Exhibit Ira BARKOFF

    2014.10.11
     @ Canfin Gallery

    “The beauty of the physical world becomes a metaphor for the capacity of the spirit to reveal itself". Ira Barkoff Evocation of...

  • Nigh Season: New Paintings By David Konigsberg

    2014.09.13
     @ Kenise Barnes Fine Art

    Dates: September 13 – October 31, 2014 Opening Reception: September 13, 6 – 8:30 PM  Public Invited   NIGH...

  • Undulate: Paintings By Julie Gross and Margaret Neill

    2014.09.13
     @ Kenise Barnes Fine Art

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  • Parties at the JCC Center

    2014.09.02
     @ Stamford JCC

    A place to celebrate birthdays and special occasions. Be a guest at your own party! The JCC offers a wonderful space for you and your guests to...

  • SPLURGE Matches Scarf Donations for Cancer Patients

    2014.10.01
     @ SPLURGE

    SPLURGE and the Cancer Institute at Greenwich Hospital are partnering to bring comfort and encouragement to cancer patients.  From October...

  • Flinn Gallery Art Opening

    2014.10.30
     @ Flinn Gallery 2nd floor

    FLINN GALLERY Opening Reception 'IN FOCUS' Thursday October 30, 6 - 8pm Seven artists share their visions - Carolyn Conrad,...

  • Laurel House Family Seminar Series

    2014.09.18
     @ Laurel House

    Thursday evenings, September 18, October 2, 16, 30, 6:30-8:00 pm Join us Thursday evenings for this four part Family Seminar Series as...

  • Flower Power

    2014.10.08
     @ SM Home Gallery

    SM Home Gallery show featuring two Greenwich based artists: Margaret Bragg and Penny Putnam. The art show runs thorough November 22nd....

  • IMAGINE CANDY- SWEET TASTINGS!!!

    2014.10.24
     @ Imagine Candy

    Imagine Candy located in Scarsdale Village- Winner of 2014 Best West of Westchester by Westchester Magazine- holds a Belgian Chocolate and Candy...

  • Harvest Fair and Gift Show

    2014.11.01
     @ Second Congregational Church

    Event Will Include Hay Mazes, Games, Crafts, Food, Holiday Shopping The community is invited to a Harvest Fair and Gift Show on Saturday, Nov....

  • New Fitness Class: SalsaTone

    2014.11.01
     @ Latin Moves Dance Studio

    Starting November 1st ~ Every Saturday morning 10 to 11 AM Instructor: Melissa Lopez Start your weekend off right with this exciting cardio...

  • Lynne Scalo Design Opening

    2014.11.05

    Please join Lynne Scalo, Greenwich Magazine and athome Magazine to celebrate the Greenwich showroom opening of Lynne Scalo Design Cocktails...

  • Breast Cancer Alliance Benefit Luncheon & Fashion Show

    2014.11.06
     @ Hyatt Regency Greenwich

    Breast Cancer Alliance to Host Branching Out, Coming Together, Aspiring to a Cure 19th Annual Benefit Luncheon & Fashion Show: November 6,...

  • Free Screening of Documentary ' Children of the Inquisition'

    2014.11.06
     @ Bush-Holley House

    Join filmmaker Joseph Lovett as he presents his documentary film and multi-platform project of personal exploration and...

  • P.A.L.S. 2nd Annual Soarin' Soiree~ November 7, 2014

    2014.11.07
     @ Greenwich Country Club

    You are invited to join our State Senator, L. Scott Frantz and our First Selectman, Peter J. Tesei, for an awe-inspiring evening to benefit Patient...

  • John Hardy Event

    2014.11.08
     @ Bloomingdale's

    John Hardy One of a kind. One at a time. Each by hand. Bloomingdale's is inviting YOU to meet the head designer Guy Bedarida as he presents...

  • Olivine Gabbro Opening

    2014.11.08

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  • Meet Joshua Safran, Author of "Free Spirit: Growing Up On the Road and Off the Grid"

    2014.11.11
     @ YWCA Greenwich

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