Delicious food and drink, live music, retail outlets and comraderie—what more could you ask for on a Saturday afternoon?
Just south of Ridgefield, the neighborhood of Saugatuck will be more animated than usual this weekend, as festival-goers gather from 12 to 3 p.m. for the second annual "Slice of Saugatuck" wine and food tasting and retail experience.
The festival is the brainchild of Westport Representative Town Meeting member Matthew Mandell, whose district includes Saugatuck.
The founder of the festival said he hopes it will "promote Saugatuck as a vibrant community aspect of Westport which people should use and enjoy."
Last year, Mandell said, 36 businesses participated in the festival. This year, the number's risen to 48—including more than 20 restaurants and food vendors. (For a full list of businesses participating or to see a map of the festival, click here—though Mandell said since the map's been published, three more businesses have come aboard.)
"There were 2,500 to 3,000 people there last year—that's the police estimate," he said.
The cost of admission? Five dollars, which will be donated to the Gillespie Center's Food Pantry.
"Essentially that's a win-win," Mandell said. "It's food for those who come out, and food for those who can't afford any."
Tickets can be purchased on Saturday only at four locations: by Tutti's, by the Tarry Lodge, by Bridge Street and by .
Eight artists—Trag, the Marvin Beach Bums, Too Blue, the String Fingers Band, Five in the Chamber, Breaks Over, Lisa Furman and Shawn Taylor—will be performing at five venues across the neighborhood. There will also be Tae Kwon Do and fly-fishing demonstrations at Luciano Park.
What's in a name?
"The reason there’s a slice: Physically the property is in the shape of a triangle," Mandell said. "But the slice also represents a slice of pizza or a slice of life. The name harkens back to the Italian heritage of the area, which was settled by Italian immigrants."
Railroad Place will be closed to traffic for the event, Mandell said, adding that there should be plenty of parking available at the Westport Train Station.
"Carpooling is always welcome, it’s a green thing to do," he said. "People in the area should definitely walk on down to show that Saugatuck is a walkable community—walk the slice."
For more pictures of last year's festival and more information, click here.