December 2, 2013
Middletown’s 28th Annual Holiday on Main Street began this past Friday and is off to a terrific start.
Friday night’s festivities included four tree lightings, a parade on Main Street, holiday music with the Middletown High School and Woodrow Wilson Middle School bands and choruses and the Keigwin Middle School chorus, free horse & carriage rides, pictures with Santa, hay rides and much more. The Human Rights Commission administered a food drive to benefit the Amazing Grace Food Pantry, as did Webster Bank through its 8th Annual Giving Tree. The folks at Fred Astaire Dance Studio in Middletown held a holiday dance demonstration on the South Green, and the Berenstain Bear Kids & Parents helped honor 3rd grade Middletown students who were chosen by their teachers because they show good school citizenship. The fun continued for kids and families on Saturday morning with free rides on the fun train, Santa’s Stamp Hunt Game, Holiday Story Time with Fire Chief Gary Ouellette, a mobile petting zoo, and a Kung Fu Demonstration by the Tat Wong Kung Fu Academy on the front lawn of Holy Trinity Church. Holiday on Main Street continues this Sat. Dec. 7, kicking off with Breakfast with Santa at 9:30 a.m., and continuing through the day with additional activities including a Holiday Craft Fair, Photo Booth, Holiday Story Time with Mayor Dan Drew, classic holiday films at the Goldsmith Family Cinema on Wesleyan’s campus, and much more. For all of the up to date information on Middletown’s 28th Annual Holiday on Main Street, please visit www.HolidayOnMain.com. I would like to again thank all of our sponsors for their unbelievable support. Led by Pratt & Whitney and the City of Middletown, Holiday on Main Street sponsors also include: Citizens Bank, Middletown Downtown Business District, Eli Cannon’s Tap Room, Liberty Bank, Malloves Jewelers, Webster Bank, Glitsy Girls Mobile Salon, Greco Design, Metro Movies 12, Middlesex YMCA, Wesleyan University Center for Community Partnerships, Tat Wong Kung Fu Academy, Ädelbrook Behavioral & Developmental Services, Guilmartin, DiPiro & Sokolowski, Roadside Academy and St. Vincent de Paul Middletown.
Friday night also marked the official Opening Celebration and Lighting of the Mountain for Powder Ridge Mountain Park & Resort in Middlefield. Chamber Chairwoman Darlene Briggs and Vice President Jeff Pugliese attended the event which featured entertainment, local vendors, raffles, and the ceremonial ribbon cutting. Powder Ridge Chief Executive Officer Sean Hayes has done an unbelievable job with this facility which is already proving to be an economic generator for Middlefield and for our region. I also want to recognize the efforts of Middlefield First Selectman Jon Brayshaw, and the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development, who supported this important project from the beginning. The Welcome Home Celebration is another positive step in the historic restoration of Powder Ridge. To have the Powder Ridge mountain lights back on after eight years is truly a wonderful thing. I would like to again congratulate Sean and his team on a job well done.
Last Monday morning, we welcomed former Senator Chris Dodd back to a Chamber Member Breakfast Meeting. Senator Dodd is now the chairman and chief executive officer of the Motion Picture Association of America, Inc., serving as the voice and advocate of the U.S. motion picture, home video, and television industries around the world. Chris gave an outstanding talk on the importance and economic impact of the television and film industries, but he also took time to recognize the importance of public service, and he again thanked the citizens of Connecticut for the opportunity to represent the state in Washington for 36 years. It was a great Chamber event, and I would like to again thank The Mohegan Tribe for sponsoring, and Senator Dodd for attending.
This morning, at 9:30 a.m., I will attend a grand opening celebration in Centerbrook along with Essex First Selectman Norm Needleman. We look forward to visiting with Pharmacist Greg McKenna and the team at Quality Care Drug, opening at 33 Main Street. We wish them the best and welcome them to the Middlesex County business community. ProTech Automotive & Tire recently opened at 1611 Portland-Cobalt Road in Portland. I look forward to celebrating the grand opening this Wednesday at 9:30 a.m. across the river. Matt, Jamie, and Tim Callinan, along with the entire ProTech team, have done a terrific job with their Middletown facility and will undoubtedly do the same with the Portland facility.
Next Tuesday, Dec. 10, the Chamber will continue a long standing Middlesex County tradition when we welcome the Governor of the State of Connecticut to our December Member Breakfast Meeting. Governor Dannel P. Malloy will speak to a sold out group of Chamber members at this event sponsored by Connecticut Light & Power and Yankee Gas, Northeast Utilities Companies. The Member Breakfast Meeting will begin with networking at 7 a.m., Breakfast Buffet 7:30 a.m., and Meeting Program 8-9:00 a.m. I would like to thank Governor Malloy for continuing this important tradition, and CL&P and Yankee Gas for sponsoring. The Governor’s Breakfast is always a huge event for us and this year is no different. We look forward to a great morning next Tuesday at the Crowne Plaza Cromwell.
The Chamber’s 2014 Role Model Breakfast Meeting will be held on Friday, Jan. 3rd, as we welcome Sergeant First Class Joe Kapacziewski to Middlesex County. Known as “Joe Kap” by his comrades and friends, Joe is the only amputee in the history of the United States Army Rangers to return to combat, serving ten tours in the Middle East. On May 24, 2011, he became the first enlisted soldier ever to receive the No Greater Sacrifice Freedom Award, given to individuals who epitomize selfless service to the nation. Since losing his leg, he has completed three triathlons and finished the New York City Marathon twice. When not deployed to war zones, he often visits wounded soldiers at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C. and Brooke Army Hospital in San Antonio. Joe Kap is the author of “Back in the Fight”, a terrific book about his amazing story. Copies of “Back in the Fight” will be available for sale, and a book signing will be a component of the Member Breakfast Meeting. AT&T is the sponsor for this important Chamber event and we appreciate their support. It is holiday time in Middlesex County, and the Chamber continues to be on the move.
For more information on Chamber events and activities, please contact Jeff Pugliese at email@example.com.