Short Beach Days — three days of family activities, sports events, a lip sync contest, sand sculptures and an upbeat parade featuring original floats — celebrated its 63rd anniversary this Labor Day weekend.
The sand sculpture show, originated by longtime resident Peggy Carpenter years ago, is always a favorite. One winner showed a sand carving of a flying pig (pictured above) with the words “The Swine Flew.” A sand sculpture of a snail also won a top prize. There was an octopus, a castle, a peace symbol – all clearly visible in the sand until the tide came in.
Sunday night members of the community gathered for the annual Ella Wheeler Wilcox Short beach Illumination night. Ella’s life as poet and resident were depicted by local actors and actresses, all costumed in the dress of 1891. Wilcox started illumination night, in which homes and gardens and beach areas are lit with candles, lanterns or lights.
The annual parade began at 11 a.m Monday and the sidewalks were lined with residents and children. It was a perfect day for a parade and as it got underway one young girl, Maria Louise Mack (pictured) emerged as the Statue of Liberty.
One of the most creative floats was a replica of the much loved Short Beach Post office. Fearing it might be closed in the current round of post office cut-backs, Warren Gould, the mainstay of Short Beach Days, organized a petition to save “this treasure,” he said.
He helped to collect over 2,000 signatures and that helped to fight off possible closure. “You have to be prepared,” he said.
The marchers included First Selectman Unk DaRos, who walked with State Rep. Lonnie Reed (pictured).
Behind them came State Sen. Ed Meyer, his dog, Moe, and Second Selectman Fran Walsh.
They were followed by a bevy of fire trucks, some new, some old.
And then came the bicycles, some new, some old.
The parade took about 40 minutes and folks said it was extremely uplifting and creative. “Best we’ve had,” said one parade viewer. Many praised a float depicting various pirates.
The parade began in 1946, a year after World War II ended. This year’s permanent addition were those sidewalks, long in coming but finally achieved as a result of the work of Meyer, DaRos and Gould.###