by JAMILA YOUNG
The City of Bristol wrapped up another Mum Festival this past weekend.
Bristol resident, Mona Huggard said she has been attending the festival for the past 40 years. She likes the people, and being part of the community.
Guy Racini works nearby, and attended the festival with his family.
“It’s quiet, and relaxing,” said Racini. When Racini asked his daughter Riley if she liked the festival, she said, “Yeah, duh!”
On Sunday, the annual parade was held. This year’s grand marshal was Mike Reiss, who grew up in Bristol and attended Bristol Eastern High School. He had been a writer for the television series, “The Simpsons.” He was an Emmy and Peabody Award winner.
“I am very honored to have been named this year’s Festival Grand Marshal, and to be included in the festivities as Bristol celebrates ‘Growing Together,’ ” said Reiss.
“Growing Together” was this year’s theme for the festival, which opened on Sept. 19 and continued through to Sept. 22 on Memorial Boulevard.
This year’s installment of the annual event featured food trucks, vendors, amusement rides, and other activities.
This year, the Mum Festival committee shook things up for visitors with the “Jazz Under the Stars” on Sept. 19, which featured the Sharp Five Band performing.
On Friday, this year’s Hometown Heroes, the city’s World War II veterans were honored. Two quilts were passed around to the veterans, one of which was signed by those veterans in attendance.
Each veteran received a 48 star American flag, which resembled the one WWII soldiers fought under.
(Hawaii and Alaska had not become states yet.)
“The Bristol Hometown Hero embodies what Bristol is all about. Its heart and soul,” said Mum Festival Chairman, Jack Ferraro in a press release. “Those who help make life in Bristol better, and have had a lasting impact on our community. So this year we seek to honor the 4,762 men and women WWII veterans of Bristol as the heroes they are.”
“Time is passing quickly, and this is a generation that never asks for accolades or honors,” said Hometown Chair, Neal Supranovich in a press release.
Joe Christobhero was one of the WWII veterans honored.
“I was in war at 17 years old; I was in the South Pacific for three years on an aircraft carrier,” said Christobhero. “The ship got hit and we lost 109 men. We had a bomb on our ship. They (the men who died) were the heroes.”