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

  • 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

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

  • Isaia Fall Trunk Show

    2014.09.19
     @ Richards

  • 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...

  • The Many Faces of Multi Media

    2014.09.20
     @ Meli-Melo of Greenwich

    Dr. Julia Trebing, Director Creative Therapies in Stamford, CT exhibits her paintings at Meli-Melo Creperie & Juice Bar  during Sept...

  • SoulCycle GWCH for Make-A-Wish CT

    2014.09.20
     @ SoulCycle

    Make-A-Wish Connecticut is thrilled to be partnering with SoulCycle's Greenwich location for a charity ride on Saturday, September 20th!...

  • Wall Street Tennis Challenge

    2014.09.20
     @ Greenwich Country Club

    The goal of The Wall Street Tennis Challenge is to support the Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation’s efforts while spreading awareness...

  • Nam Cho Trunk Show

    2014.09.20
     @ Richards

  • Arts & Crafts on Bedford

    2014.09.20
     @ Bedford Street

    Shop at over 100 craft and artisan boutiques on Bedford Street, which will be closed to traffic for the weekend. Dine in our extended sidewalk...

  • Puttin’ On The Dog Festival

    2014.09.21
     @ Roger Sherman Baldwin Park

    Puttin’ On The Dog Festival Greenwich, Connecticut the place to be on September 21st for dogs and their owners...

  • Candy Fairies Book Reading

    2014.09.21
     @ Imagine Candy

    SCARSDALE, NY, Imagine Candy brings the acclaimed children's author Helen Perelman, the writer of the wickedly sweet Candy Fairies book...

  • Chizi's Tale Book Launch Party

    2014.09.21
     @ Tudor Investment Campus

    You and your family are invited to join Diane's Books of Greenwich and TUSK USA to celebrate the launch of Chizi's Tale: The True Story...

  • Chizi's Tale Book Launch Party

    2014.09.21
     @ Tudor Investment Campus

    You and your family are invited to join Diane's Books of Greenwich and TUSK USA to celebrate the launch of Chizi's Tale: The True Story...

  • SM&NC Farm Market

    2014.06.15
     @ Stamford Museum & Nature Center

    Sundays, June 15 – October 5, 10am – 2pm We're thrilled to bring back the SM&NC Farm Market — now on Sundays!...

  • "Israel and the U.S."

    2014.09.22
     @ New Canaan Library

    The public is invited to attend a World Affairs Forum Great Decisions event featuring Seth Anziska, Columbia University. Mr. Anziska will speak...

  • Holistic Health Practitioner Kevin W. Reese

    2014.09.24
     @ Meli-Melo

    Meet Holistic Health Practitioner Kevin W. Reese & Take Home a Signed Copy of His New Book! Kevin is a holistic health practitioner,...

  • Annual State of the Town Address and Luncheon | Greenwich, CT

    2014.09.25
     @ Milbrook Club

    Greenwich Chamber of Commerce Annual State of the Town Address and Luncheon will be held at Milbrook Club. Registration 11:30am; start at...

  • Greenwich Harbor Sunset Wine Cruise | Greenwich, CT

    2014.06.05
     @ Delamar Hotel Dock

    The boat "Prudence" departs from the Delamar Hotel Dock on 500 Steamboat Rd. All the wine is sponsored through VALS with food...

  • Aaron Henry Trunk Show & Personal Appearance

    2014.09.26
     @ Richards


Show More...

Most Popular Articles

  1. American Red Cross: Red and White Ball 2014
    NetJets Hangar at Westchester County Airport
  2. Fashion Day Out
    September 13, 11am to 6pm
  3. Stars of Greenwich
    Meet the founders of the Greenwich International Film Festival
  4. 5 Key Pieces To Buy Now
    Buy now and wear all season
  5. Moroccan Nights
    Boys & Girls Club of Greenwich