WEST HAVEN, July 15, 2016 — The 35th annual Savin Rock Festival will pay homage to the legacy of Savin Rock Park.
The four-day event will begin Thursday, July 28, in Old Grove Park with a midway of games, rides, music and, of course, boatloads of mouthwatering seafood.
The festival is Thursday, July 28, 5-9 p.m.; Friday, July 29, 5-10 p.m.; and Saturday-Sunday, July 30-31, noon-10 p.m.
A number of civic and fraternal organizations and nonprofit groups will have informational booths set up, and the food court will have a row of area vendors serving up the fare — fried seafood, split hot dogs, frozen custard — that catapulted old Savin Rock to notoriety as “the Coney Island of Connecticut.”
At 8:30 p.m. Saturday, July 30, festival headliner The Official Blues Brothers Revue, featuring Wayne Catania as Jake and Kieron Lafferty as Elwood, will perform classic hits from the timeless catalog of The Blues Brothers, including “Soul Man,” “Rubber Biscuit” “Sweet Home Chicago,” “Rawhide,” “Peter Gunn” and “Gimme Some Lovin.’”
Catania and Lafferty are the only duo in North America that has been sanctioned by Dan Aykroyd and Judith Belushi to don the signature hat and sunglasses and walk in the legendary footsteps of Jake and Elwood Blues.
Discovered in Las Vegas, Catania and Lafferty capture the infectious humor and unbridled spirit of The Blues Brothers like no one since John Belushi, who died in 1982 at age 33, and Dan Aykroyd walked the stage. Backed by a powerhouse band, concertgoers are in for a night of laughter, dancing and foot-stomping fun.
West Haven’s flagship festival was established by the Chamber of Commerce — initially under the direction of Brian M. Stone, David Gesler and Michael Shiner and thereafter by John L. Perrone and his wife, Mary Perrone — to bring organizations, clubs, businesses and families together for a summer festival that celebrates life in one of America’s oldest coastal communities.
From the dawn of the Savin Rock House hotel in 1838, Savin Rock had long been a resort hub until it was officially incorporated as an amusement park by the Savin Rock Park Co. on Memorial Day 1925, when it opened to 300,000 visitors and 66,000 automobiles in one spectacular day.
For the next four decades, the famous seaside park captured the hearts and imaginations of “Rock rats” of all ages with its distinctive sights, sounds and smells. “Connecticut’s playground” shuttered Sept. 21, 1966, to pave the way for the Savin Rock Urban Renewal Project.
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