To the Editor:

I want to thank again the Chamber and all the amazing people that made this year’s Village Fair Days such a great event.

Bob Hanna and Denise DelMastro deserve to be singled out for their efforts, but there were so many volunteers and participants that made it so special this year. Please consider this a personal “thank you” to all of you.

Like many of you, my family and I immersed ourselves in the fair this year.

The crowning of Fred and Maura Pauli as the king and queen was inspiring. Their careers and service to our town is an example for all of us. And they took their duties seriously, visiting the various booths and events in full regalia on both days.

It was so nice to speak to the community booths on the south end of the Green.

We enjoyed catching up with friends at Loaves & Fishes, where we bought a brick to support the new building; learning about the issues facing Candlewood Lake; talking to the many church groups and buying some raffle tickets; and meeting new businesses like the Urgent Care in Lore’s Plaza and Ryan Murphy Heating and Cooling, who had some suggestions about AC issues.

From Sunny Valley Preserve to Pratt’s turtles Shelly and Bruno, to Kimberly Clark, the Energy Store promoting home energy audits, to all of the gyms, there were so many great people and opportunities, I truly enjoyed speaking to them all.

All American Waste made a huge contribution with the trash cans.

Vanessa and I played a number of unlucky rounds at the Knights of Columbus bingo tent. It was nice to see multiple generations sitting together under the lights good-naturedly groaning about the shout of “Bingo,” which always seemed to come a bit too soon.

Our public safety organizations were out in force with the police department, fire marshal, ambulance and CERT teams all educating people about what they do and tips to stay safe.

I visited all of the political party tents as well. It’s good to see a healthy discussion about political ideas.

And the food! It’s always a good sign when the Lion’s Club runs out of butter for their grilled cheese.

The Rotary sold a lot of fried dough, which is great, because that money gets reinvested in our community.

It was a great food area, and all of the stalls and restaurants did an amazing job keeping up with the high demand.

The music and presentations on the main stage (Bearclaw’s Academy of Music drum circle was a lot of fun, and Olympic Tae Kwon Doe was very impressive) was a nice place to enjoy the entertainment.

Future Tense rocked out as usual, but it was nice seeing local acts like the Blue Yodels and Don Lowe play some great music.

The art gallery was open at the railroad station and we got to see some beautiful art from local artists.

Closing Bank Street and adding events like the classic cars, touch-a-truck (including meeting our beautiful police dogs), adopt a kitten at Barkery Boo’tique, the farmers market (loving that Kimberly Farm corn and milk) created a nice scene to walk and shop at some of our local vendors.

The Friday night fireworks were awesome and drew a lot of families. Maybe it becomes a new tradition.

Like I said before, the theme of this 50th anniversary fair days was our local community and the continuity between 50 years ago and today (loved the Woman’s Club 50th anniversary cake).

Nothing emphasized that more than the opening of the Century Brass (Scovill) time capsule from 1957, which had a newspaper from that time, talking about some of the same issues we face today from planning and development to the sewer plant to expansion of the Pettibone School.

Congresswoman Esty presented a Congressional Commendation of the 50th anniversary and I had the honor of presenting George Fletcher, former Parks and Rec Director, with a plaque commemorating his creation of the 8-Mile Road Race 50 years ago, and still going strong today.

I can’t name all the booths and people I spoke to because it was pretty much all of them, but the result for me, and I hope for you too, was a strengthening of that sense of Community that makes New Milford a special place to live and visit.

I hope you all had as much fun as my family and I did.

Mayor David R. Gronbach

New Milford