The Mansfield Downtown Partnership invites area residents to gather at the 14th Annual Celebrate Mansfield Festival for music, food, and fun! The excitement begins with the Celebrate Mansfield Parade at noon and continues until 4:00 pm. The Celebrate Mansfield Festival will be Sunday, September 17 on and around Betsy aterson Square (if it rains, the event will be held inside E. O. Smith High School).
Be sure to arrive early to grab a seat on the street because Storrs Road (Route 195) will close at 11:45 am to accommodate the Parade. The UConn Marching Band will anchor an eclectic line-up of community groups, local businesses, sports teams, animals, and larger-than-life puppets from the Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry.
Follow the Celebrate Mansfield Parade from the Post Office, north on Storrs Road to Paterson Square, where Festival Chair Betsy Paterson will welcome one and all to the Festival.
Throughout the afternoon, nearly 100 Mansfield businesses and organizations will host activity booths featuring hands-on fun for all ages. Hungry visitors can check out one of the Festival food booths or stop by one of the many Storrs Center restaurants which will be open during the event. The UConn Dairy Bar truck and Food for Thought truck will also be ready to serve visitors.
This year’s Festival will feature unique entertainment! The Second Stage, across the street from the Nash-Zimmer Transportation Center, will feature children’s entertainment with Kidsville Kuckoo Revue (1:30 PM) and Pete Haddad’s Hubba Bubba Magic Show (2:30 PM).
On Dog Lane, UConn’s Dining Services returns to host their popular cooking demonstrations at 1:00 and 2:00 PM. The Flower Pot will offer demonstrations for children and adults at 1:30 PM and 2:30 PM, respectively.
Following the Parade, visitors are invited to take part in the “Puppet Pageant & Brass Band Bonanza!” The Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry, CT Museum of Natural History, and Mansfield Downtown Partnership have teamed up to present a truly unique spectacle featuring larger-than-life army ant puppets and the Hartford Hot Several Brass Band. Audience members are encouraged to participate in the puppet pageant, which will be followed by performances by the Hartford Hot Several and Blueline Brass Band. The puppets in the pageant will be the results of the Ballard and Partnership’s annual free Community Puppet-Building Workshop (Saturday, Sept. 9 and Sunday, Sept. 10).
The headlining performance of the 14th Annual Celebrate Mansfield Festival will be by Lawrence. After years of consuming Stevie Wonder, Janis Joplin, and Eggo waffles, Lawrence delivers Breakfast, their twelve-song debut LP. Led by siblings Clyde Lawrence, 23, and Gracie Lawrence, 20, the New York-based soul-pop group blends old-school and new-school vibes to create a set of songs that sound as good on the record as they do at their high-energy live shows.
To create Breakfast, Lawrence teamed up with Grammy Award winning producer Eric Krasno (Lettuce/Soulive/Tedeschi Trucks Band) and brought in several NYC soul/funk mainstays including Adam Deitch (Lettuce), Cory Henry (Snarky Puppy), and Maurice “Mobetta” Brown (Tedeschi Trucks Band) for guest appearances. Following two short runs with Blues Traveler in the fall of 2015, Lawrence is currently promoting Breakfast with a national tour of headline dates, festival appearances, and as many pancakes and omelets as possible.
With Breakfast, Lawrence doesn’t shy away from the oft-maligned idea of “pop” music but instead is on a mission to write the music they wish “pop” sounded like. They draw from the past and present, combining their love of The Beatles, Randy Newman, and Etta James with Beyoncé, Ben Folds, and Amy Winehouse.
Lawrence will perform at 2:30 PM on the stage of the Jeffrey P. Ossen Family Foundation Pavilion on Betsy Paterson Square.
The Mansfield Downtown Partnership produces the Celebrate Mansfield Festival with the generous support of local businesses. The 2017 Platinum Sponsors are: Barnes and Noble UConn; The Day; Gulemo Printers; LeylandAlliance; and The Oaks on the Square. The 2017 Gold Sponsors are: Town of Mansfield; Regional School District #19; UConn; Educational Playcare; Hartford HealthCare Center for Healthy Aging at Windham Hospital; Kahan, Kerensky & Capossela, LLP; Mansfield OB/GYN; Price Chopper; and WILI. The 2917 Silver Sponsors are: Amazon@Storrs; Dr. Karen Calef; Cipparone & Zaccaro; Design Center East; East Brook Animal Hospital; Key Bank; LAZ Parking; Moe’s Southwest Grill; Mooyah Burgers, Fries & Shakes; Nathan Hale Inn & Conference Center; People’s United Bank; Renewal by Anderson; Savings Institute Bank & Trust; SBM Charitable Foundation; T-Mobile; Tony’s Garage; UConn Foundation; Universal Package Store; Updike, Kelly & Spellacy, P.C.; Weichert Realtors Four Corners Real Estate; Wilcox & Reynolds; and Willimantic Waste.
For more information about the 14th Annual Celebrate Mansfield Festival, please visit downtownstorrsfestival.org or call the Mansfield Downtown Partnership, 860.429.2740.