By TAYLOR MURCHISON-GALLAGHER
The Central Connecticut Chambers of Commerce is debuting a new and improved Duck Race on Sunday, May 5, in Forestville center.
Instead of hosting the event during the hours of the race itself, the chambers have organized an all day festival for the entire community, beginning at 10 a.m. 5,000 rubber ducks will be launched into the Pequabuck River at 2 p.m.
The festival will span from 10 a.m., to 4 p.m., and will include fun and entertainment for attendees of all ages.
To cater for younger citizens, City True Value has sponsored a kids game zone, which will be set up in Nuchie’s Parking Lot, 164 Central St.. It will be available for the duration of the festival. From 10:15 to 11 a.m., in this area, Duck Race mascot, Wally, will be available for photographs.
Also available during the duration of the festival will be a food truck row, which will span a portion of Broad Street. Chamber officials said that food vendors will include Cheez Trailer in Paradise, Chris’s Concessions, Dippin Dots, Fried Cookie Dough Factory, Giant Stuffed Potato Grenades, Low & Slow, Nutmeg Concessions, Thai Kitchen, and Val’s Vittles LLC.
Area restaurants will also be running specials during the festival. 150 Central will offer walking tacos and strawberry and banana margaritas throughout the festival. From 11 a.m., to 9 p.m., San Gennaro will offer taco pizza, margarita, and corona specials. From 1 to 4 p.m., Delish Lounge will offer happy hour specials and live music.
The City Arts and Culture Commission also organized musical entertainment. From noon to 1 p.m., the Hartford Hot Several, will march from O’Brien Funeral Home to the Central Street bridge as part of their interactive marching band.
According to the website, www.hartfordhotseveral.bandcamp.com, the group came together in 2012, on a mission to become “a funky marching band to bring brass, ruckus, and joy to all the parties.”
The group consists of between 10 and 24 members and describes itself as “like the Justice League of funk and rumble: we show up, make people smile and dance, then go back to our fancy lair.”
The City Arts and Culture Commission has coordinated a mural artist to create an interactive mural during the festival, which will then be displayed in the city.
Commission chair, Lindsay Vigue has worked with the Black Pearl Custom Artwork to ensure a large-scale piece that is interactive, similar to popular butterfly wing murals found throughout the country. Similar to the butterfly murals, this piece will represent different aspects of the City of Bristol, while also encouraging viewers to pose with and take photos with the mural.
Black Pearl Custom Artwork will be on scene for the entire festival, and will be located by 150 Central.
Throughout the day, there will be martial art demonstrations by Ascension Athletics (190 Main St.) which will be conducted on the traffic island across from 150 Central.
For those hoping to do a bit of shopping while their duck races down the Pequabuck, there will be several craft and business vendors. These vendors include Bath Fitter, Kitchen Magic, Sara Sherman, Sutton Dental and Braces, Clove & Anchor, FB Products, The City Arts and Culture Commission, and more.
Once again, the first 36 ducks to cross the finish line will win a prize for their ticket holder. First prize, sponsored by The Ultimate Companies Inc., is $1,500 cash. Second prize, sponsored by Yarde Metals, is $750 cash. Third prize, sponsored by Sandy’s TV and Appliance, is a 43 inch LG Smart 4K HDTV, valued at $500.
Prizes will also include gift certificates for area businesses and restaurants, gift baskets, and more.
To comment on this story or to contact staff writer Taylor Murchison-Gallagher, email her at TMurchison@BristolObserver.com.