Time to party it up in city’s West End

by KAITLYN NAPLES

The city’s West End Association has been having a positive and productive year so far, and its getting better for the members. They had their West End Cleanup a few months ago, which was deemed a success, and now Dave Hamelin, treasurer of the association, said Thomaston Savings Bank has come forward as a sponsor of the association and the West End Association’s festival at Rockwell Park next month.
The bank recently donated $3,500 to the association, which Hamelin said will “do wonders” for brochures and advertising for the association.
“It is a major, major boost for us,” he said. “It is a tribute to our efforts getting recognized, it shows that we are doing something positive for the area.”
The association is putting on a three-day event at Rockwell Park in August, to put the spotlight on the West End, and its “jewel,” the park. Hamelin said the association is working with the Fisher House Foundation, an organization that assists military families who have a loved one undergoing medical treatment with housing options, to put on the weekend event. Originally, the West End Association had reserved the day with the Parks Department, and Fisher House contacted the association to collaborate to hold the event. Hamelin said what started out as a “meet and greet” is turning into a “block party.”
The festival will be held on the weekend of Aug. 17 to 19. It will feature many activities like a 5K and a 1/2 marathon, a car show, vendor and food booths, various music concerts, and rides. There will also be informational booths focused on personal and spiritual growth.
On Friday, Aug. 17, Kevin Creed will be entertaining the crowd with his band Good Head with a free concert from 6 to 9 p.m.  There will be vendors for food and drink and other vendors are welcome to set up booths. On Saturday, vendors can set up in the morning, and the festival officially begins at 10 a.m. There will be a basketball tournament and a volleyball tournament that will begin at noon, with no entry fee to participate. There will be an art show that will run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and judging will take place during the day as is convenient for the judges. The skateboard competition will begin at noon and the Bristol Car Club Invitational Show will run from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. There will be places to sit and eat, inflatable rides for kids, and The Mum Festival Committee will be selling hamburgers, sausage patties and apple fritters, The Cub Scouts will be selling hot dogs. These sellers will continue selling food through the afternoon as well as up to the evening concert times. Fisher House volunteers will be selling cold drinks and water at five locations throughout the park. 
The Bristol Ukelele Band will be performing from 11 a.m. until noon, and the Bristol Choral Society will be putting on a three hour show with solo performers as well as some musical presentations at 1 p.m.
The band “Mid Life Crisis” will play in the evening, with classic rock hits from the 1950s to today’s sounds. The “Sea Scouts” will be providing a security presence and will be camping out in the park at night to provide vendor security. On Sunday, there will be a Pet-A-Palooza, and vendors will be operating from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday will also serve as a day for rain date events.
For more information visit the West End Association’s website at www.westendbristol.org.