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

  • TREEHOUSES: Look Who's Living in the Trees!

    2014.06.21
     @ Stamford Museum & Nature Center

    Saturday, June 21 - Monday, September 1 Hidden in the leaves, snug in the trunk or burrowed under the roots, what types of animals actually...

  • 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...

  • 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!...

  • Exclusive Tour of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Yale University Art Gallery

    2014.09.09
     @ Yale University Art Gallery

    Join JCC Greenwich for an exclusive tour with museum curator Elizabeth Manekin. The collection is noteworthy for exemplary works from the...

  • Understanding the Gaza War: Strategic & Political Implications

    2014.09.09
     @ Greenwich Library, Cole Auditorium

    Dr. Efraim Inbar is a Professor in Political Studies at Bar-Ilan University and Director of its renowned Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic...

  • Bruce Museum: Look and See - Into the Deep

    2014.09.10
     @ Bruce Museum

    A program especially designed for children ages 3-5 years and their adult caregivers, who will explore the Museum’s exhibition through...

  • College Admissions Boot Camp | Greenwich, CT

    2014.09.13

    College Prep 360 will be offering two college admissions “boot camps” in their Greenwich office over the summer. The first workshop...

  • 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...

  • Greenwich Area Newcomers Annual Lobster Fest

    2014.09.14
     @ Tod's Point Clambake Area

    This is our kickoff event each year-held at Tod's Point Clambake area. The event is scheduled for Sunday September 14th starting...

  • Information Fair

    2014.09.16
     @ YMCA

    Our Annual Information Fair - This event showcases non profits , community businesses, schools and  services in the Greenwich...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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...


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