By Janet Serra

Posted: 05/19/2017 17:44:50

The annual Barnum Festival is a seasonal celebration of the City of Bridgeport and its surrounding towns including Monroe, Trumbull, Easton, Shelton, Stratford, and Fairfield. Dating back to 1948, the festival originated to help support local businesses and honor P.T. Barnum—a world-renowned showman and city leader. The Barnum Festival events span May 13 - June 25, 2017 and culminates in a weekend-long Barnum Palooza that hosts parades, concerts, fireworks, and other family-friendly festivities.

The festival celebrates many of Barnum's imaginative concepts for entertaining the populace. The Wing Ding Parade for kids at Beardsley Zoo, concerts and musical competitions in the spirit of Jenny Lind, and the concluding event, a grand civic parade celebrating all of the wonderful assets the City of Bridgeport and surrounding area have to offer, are created to delight attendees of all ages.

If you want to sail the sound don't miss the May 20th  picnic dinner that begins at 5pm, with a sunset cruise to follow at 7:15pm. Tickets are $60 each and includes 2 FREE drinks on board, plus 2 FREE round-trip walk-on ferry tickets ($54 value) to use before 12/31/17.

On May 28, Memorial Day weekend join the Barnum Festival for the Aquarion Water Company Barnum Festival 5k & 10k Road Race. The timed race will begin at 8:30am at Webster Bank Arena taking runners along the picturesque Long Island Sound through Seaside Park with heart-thumping finish inside The Ballpark at Harbor Yard. There will be a FREE Kid's Run in the Ball Park with kid's prizes, a Bounce House, face painting, clowns & a magician to keep the fun going post-race. The race will be followed by The Best Race "After-Party on Earth" featuring great food & beer, a live band, swag bags, Dri-Fit shirts & tons of fun for the whole family.

On June 1, you can eat, drink and be merry!  Join festival goers for a day of fun hitting the hot spots of historical Black Rock. There will be plenty of libations, food and drink specials, music, raffles, and fun. Each attendee must purchase a wristband* 21 and over only. All proceeds will benefit Barnum Festival activities and scholarships. Bar Crawl Itinerary: Hub & Spoke: 5-6pm Event Kickoff!, Tautog Tavern: 6-7pm, Fire Engine Pizza Co.: 7-8pm, Smitty's of Black Rock: 8-9pm, Brennan's Shebeen Irish Bar and Grill: 9-10pm & Afterparty *Pricing: Drinking wristbands = $25.00, Designated Driver = $10.00 (Includes free soda) Wristbands available for purchase day of for $30., Wristbands purchased online require pickup at The Cardinal Shehan Center. 1494 Main St, Bridgeport, CT 06604 Pickup Hours: 9am – 5pm, Monday-Friday.  Purchase of wristband includes special drink pricing & free t-shirt! Once wristband is purchased t-shirt size will be noted and will be available to pick up at Brennan's Shebeen 2 weeks prior to event; Please note: Guests are encouraged to wear their t-shirt to the crawl!

The Wing Ding Parade takes place beginning at 9 am on June 17 at the Beardsley Zoo.Bring the whole family for a day filled with excitement and entertainment. Get creative as you dress up for the kid's parade through Beardsley Zoo. Your means of transportation are up to you—make a float, pull a wagon, ride a bike, or just walk together. Prizes will be awarded for best costume. Enjoy entry to the zoo until 12pm, as well as face painting, balloon animals, music, and food. It's fun for the whole family. Registration opens at 9am and the parade starts at 11am. Admission is FREE.

June 24 promises to be a "Barnumpalooza" of family fun from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. at Seaside Park! The Barnumpalooza is an all-day festival with food trucks, live music, and carnival rides for kids. Bring the whole family for a day of fun celebrating the city of Bridgeport and its surrounding communities. Admission is free. The Bridgeport Symphony will perform at 9 p.m. and there will also be fireworks at 9 pm. that is sure to impress the whole family.

The Barnum Festival concludes with the "Great Street Parade" that begins at 12 noon. Firetrucks, bands, floats, clowns, and more will travel from the corner of Brooklawn and North Ave all the way to the corner of Lincoln Blvd and Capitol St. in Bridgeport.

For more information visit the website. http://barnumfestival.com

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