GROTON — After a number of false starts, it now appears that the annual Grotonfest celebration is on track for an Oct. 9 debut…that is unless it rains, in which case the event will be held the next day.
“The situation has made me a bit frustrated but everybody has been very supportive,” said event organizer Jane Bouvier of happenings out of her control that have resulted in the eagerly awaited event having to be rescheduled at least three times.
Originally scheduled for Sept. 24, the date kept being pushed back due to weather and then conflicts with such holidays as Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. Luckily, Columbus Day to be celebrated on Oct. 10 is not expected to interfere!
“We’ve gone to a rain date before and a second weekend, but we’ve never encountered anything like this,” said as flustered Bouvier.
First held some 30 years ago under the name of Septemberfest, Grotonfest was renamed over a decade ago when first the Groton Business Association then the Groton Board of Trade took it over and transformed it from a purely cultural celebration to one that spotlights hand crafts while also promoting local businesses.
With its mix of advertising, crafts, food, music, entertainment, and of course, local pols, Grotonfest has attracted as many as 5,000-6,000 people in past years and Bouvier expects no different this time despite the delays.
“Temperatures are expected to be in the 80s,” said Bouvier of an Indian summer that has visited New England since Labor Day marked the end of the summer season.
In past years, Grotonfest has been noted for its eclectic mix of entertainers from jazz and rock groups to local dance troupes and this year is expected to be no different.
According to Bouvier, lined up for the 2011 edition, will be animal adventure and the Elbows for the children and for more mature tastes, the Gary Wilson Group Blues Project will supply the music. Also on tap will be the Center Stage Dancers, the Nashoba Valley Dancers, the Tokyo Tramps, and the Spotlight Dancers among others.
Giving demonstrations of skill and fitness will be Planet Gymnastics and Lute’s Karate.
As for the sponsors and craftsmen who have signed on to set up booths at Grotonfest (last year there were 170 of them), Bouvier said the delays will have little impact.
“The delays will effect participation by sponsors a little bit but not too much,” Bouvier reported. “Actually, they seemed very pleased about it. I think everybody was pretty happy to do it this weekend. We’ll lose a few but they were mostly artisans who had other shows already scheduled so they’ll not be able to make it.”
Either Sunday or Monday, Grotonfest is scheduled to take place on the Legion Common off Hollis Street from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.