Ellen Cupo sent in the following write-up about an event in Quinnipiac River Park on Saturday.
The sound of drums, folk music and children’s laughter could be heard all over Fair Haven Saturday morning as the Friends Center for Children and Alexis Hill Montessori School celebrated the 4th Annual Fair Haven Family Stroll.
Held every year at Quinnipiac River Park, this event and fundraiser aims to raise awareness of the importance of high-quality early childhood education here in Connecticut, and collect funding for such programs. This year, the Family Stroll raised more than $5,000through donations, sponsorships and pledges to empower Alexis Hill Montessori School and the Friends Center for Children to serve more families in the Greater New Haven community.
Saturday, over 650 children, parents, neighbors and friends met at the Quinnipiac River Park in Fair Haven to kick off the event with a 1.5 mile stroll around Historic Fair Haven. Once their journey was complete, they were greeted by the sounds of Wry Bred, a local contra dance/barn dance band, and a day’s worth of family fun.
Mayor Toni Harp was in attendance to welcome children and their families, and underscore the importance of high-quality early childhood programs in New Haven and beyond. “The city of New Haven needs more events like the Fair Haven Family Stroll,” she said. “I can’t wait for the fifth!”
The day was filled with face painting, bubbles, parachute play, sing-a-longs, sunshine and more. The Family Stroll truly brought the community together as local businesses showed their support by donating door prizes, giving contributions or leading activities during the event. Activities such as zumba, yoga, flamenco dance and a puppet show were lead by local businesses such as BEyond FITness, 108 Monkeys, Melinda Marquez Flamenco, the Community Alliance for Research and Engagement (CARE) and more.
Hand in hand with entertainment and activities, the Family Stroll provided valuable information from over 25 community resource partners in the area, each highlighting resources available to families in the Greater New Haven area, from health clinics and healthy food, to literacy and safety.
“Our community comes alive during the Family Stroll,” said Arie Mobley, a Friends Center for Children parent. “It’s an event my family and I are excited to participate in year after year.”
The Fair Haven Family Stroll was sponsored by The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven, The Home Depot, Enfield Builders, Patriquin Architects, Suzio-York Hill, New Haven Parks and Recreation, Seabury-Hill Realtors, Musical Folk and GHP Media.