It may still be cold and windy out, but if there is ever a sign that spring is right around the corner, it's The Shad Derby. Connecticut's longest continuously-run festival and its associated events are now in full swing, and, as far as local good news is concerned, few things are better.
Fried-dough's powdered sugar on your hands and clothes. Shriners in a spiraling motorcade down Broad Street. The fishing. The Shad Derby Queen. Few things surpass the great Shad Derby memories made during my childhood, and now adulthood, in Windsor. This year, things are only getting better.
The Shad Derby is steeped in civic responsibility. Started on the hopes of increasing awareness of environmental sustainability, the festival only continues today because of the hard work and sacrifice of Windsor residents.
Just two years ago, the festival and its events were organized by eight Windsor civic groups. Today, with the addition of the Windsor Women's Club, Win-TV, the Rotary Club and the Windsor Leisure and Recreation Department, that number has ballooned to 14.
Thanks to their hard work, the parade and green festivities are just the culmination of over 20 events scheduled to be held across town this season. Those events began with the recent introduction of the 2013 Shad Derby queen candidates, but the season will officially open on March 22 with The Shad Derby Kick-Off event at Bloomfield's Hooker Brewery.
Tickets are just $20 for the event, which helps fund the parade and green festival, but what may be most immediately appealing is the limited-edition merchandise that'll be available.
I can't tell you how many times I heard someone say, "I wish they sold Shad Derby t-shirts," while on the green last spring. Well, the Shad Fest Bureau has responded with a custom-designed Shad Derby logo for residents to show off and celebrate their Windsor pride. In addition, Shad Derby lovers can enjoy a cool beverage this spring and summer, kept cold by a custom Shad Derby koozie. T-shirts and koozies are $15 and $4, respectively, and help fund the parade and green festivities. Those interested should contact John Jary at email@example.com.
Just a couple days after the Hooker Brewery event (Which is a great time, by the way. You can even go on a guided tour of the facility.), The Shad Derby Bowling FUNdraiser will be held at Bradley Bowl will be held. Tickets are just $15 per person for shoes and two games.
Civic organizations organizing this year's events include:
- Windsor Rod & Gun Club
- Windsor Chamber of Commerce
- Windsor Jaycees
- Windsor Junior Women's Club
- Windsor Lions Club
- Windsor Kiwanis
- Windsor Civitans
- Windsor Free Masons
- Windsor Exchange Club
- Windsor Historical Society
- Windsor Recreation Department
- Windsor Women's Club (GFWC)
- Windsor/Windsor Locks Rotary Club
Happy Shad Derby season, Windsor!