'Festival on the Green' celebrates community

By Melanie Savage - Staff Writer
Mansfield - posted Tue., Sep. 27, 2011
The NCAA championship trophy takes center stage as the UConn men's basketball team signs autographs for fans during Mansfield's Festival on the Green. Photos by Melanie Savage.
The NCAA championship trophy takes center stage as the UConn men's basketball team signs autographs for fans during Mansfield's Festival on the Green. Photos by Melanie Savage.

Moved across the street due to construction near its usual location, the Mansfield Festival on the Green may have found itself a new permanent home. “We didn’t want to take a chance on construction being in the way,” said Mayor Betsy Paterson. “Actually, we’re thinking this location might be even better than the other one.” This year, the festival was held in the parking lot of E.O. Smith High School, which provided room to spread out and a grassy area for picnics and play. “This location is working out very well,” said Paterson.

By 1 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 25, the festival had already drawn a large crowd. Paterson gave a lot of credit to the University of Connecticut. “We got tremendous participation from UConn,” she said. “UConn is what makes this town what it is. We get so much that we wouldn’t have without UConn. Also, so many people who work at UConn live in the town.”

Some of the UConn-provided attractions at this year’s festival were the UConn men’s and women’s basketball teams. Fans flocked to the men’s autograph table, where the 2010 National Championship trophy took center stage. The men were also honored during the Celebrate Mansfield Parade, as they rode in a position of honor atop a float.

For the younger set, the music of Kidsville Kuckoo Revue was again a popular attraction. Drawing the older kids was the traditional pie-eating contest. There were a variety of vendors offering wares for sale, including the Mansfield Public Library, which held a book sale at the event. There was food provided by a variety of vendors.

Many businesses and civic groups sponsored booths. One such group was the Energy Education Team, which also had a presence in the Celebrate Mansfield Parade. “In the parade, we had a brigade of kids who bike and walk to school,” said Sally Milius, an EET representative. The group’s booth featured a bicycle demonstrating pedal-generated electricity, and hand-cranked ice cream.

Reflecting a community-wide concern for lessening dependence on fossil fuels, the group supports alternative energy sources. “We’re not just paying lip service to these ideas, but really making a change,” said Milius.

For information regarding Moving Planet, a worldwide movement on Sept. 24 focused on environmental issues, see the website www.350.org.


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