Canoers Ride The Q

Contributed PhotosHundreds of people descended on Front Street to bask in the sun, hear music, drink beer, and explore the neighborhood from a paddler’s perspective, as a new tradition in Fair Haven celebrated its fifth year.

The occasion was the 5th annual Quinnipiac Riverfest, which the Chatham Square Neighborhood Association hosts every year on the first Sunday of May on the banks of the Q River.

Organizer Carlos Galo sent in these photos, taken by Fair Haveners Uma Ramiah, Sarah Miller, and Nathalie Bonafe.

About 700 people showed up in the parking lot of the Waucoma Yacht Club at 279 Front St. for the event, according to Galo. That’s double the number of people from the previous year, he said, and a sign of a successful community-led initiative “where we support, strengthen and promote our own neighborhoods and local businesses.”

Attendees collected free samples of beer ...

... and basked in the sun ...

... while listening to music from three bands: The Backyard Committee, Goodnight Blue Moon and The Jean Sandoval Quartet.

Across the parking lot, kids made art out of recycled water bottles.

Canoe rides along the Q River are a highlight of the festival. Each trip cost $5, to cover the cost of boating insurance for the day. For the first time, festival organizers raised donations beforehand so that no kid would be turned away if he or she didn’t have the money, Galo said. The donation drive was a “huge success,” he reported: The festival ran nearly 100 canoe trips, nearly triple the number from the previous year.

Galo said the successful donation drive helped achieve the “mission for this event, which was to get everyone to enjoy the water.”

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posted by: robn on May 7, 2014  3:27pm

I’ve always wanted to go to this festival but usually can’t due to collisions with other non-profit events and the end of the academic year. It would be great if it was bumped further into May.

posted by: Eva G on May 7, 2014  4:00pm

My husband and child had a BLAST on the canoe ride—here’s to the determined people who ran that part of the festival. I would buy them all a beer, if I knew who they were. God knows they deserve it!

posted by: kgalo on May 7, 2014  4:22pm

Eva, the canoes were expertly paddled by the Quinnipiac River Watershed Association, based in Meriden. They are terrific!

posted by: LeeCruz on May 7, 2014  4:45pm

Thank you for a good article about a great event. If you missed it this year there is always the 1st Sunday in May, 2015, mark you calendars now.

Correction, this event was at The Quinnipiac Marina, home of The Boathouse Cafe, 307 Front Street. The Quinnipiac Marina and The Boathouse Cafe are our partner businesses for this event. The Quinnipiac Marina is public marina so if you have a boat, canoe or kayak talk to them about a spot so you can more conveniently enjoy your boat on the Quinnipiac River. We love the fact that the Wacoma Yacht Club in our neighborhood, it just that the event was not there.

Organizers of this event are all proud homeowners, renters, business owners and staff of nonprofit organizations in Chatham Square Neighborhood. Chatham Square is a diverse neighborhood with historic homes and a beautiful waterfront. Chatham Square Neighborhood just one part of Historic Fair Haven and proud of it! For more information about who we are and what we do visit:

posted by: mlpavela on May 8, 2014  9:29am

This was a really great event, and kudos to Carlos and all the others who pitched in to make this happen.

Carlos invited some constructive criticism for the event - I would just say the park might have made for a nicer setting.  I’m sure there were permitting issues, and that it was easier for Anastasio’s to cater from its own front door, and the issue of the boat launch, but a view of the bridges would have been nice.

And on the other side of the coin - it was a bonus to see how affordable the event was.  I had a great porchetta sandwich for $5 where comparable events might try and fleece me for lesser fare at carnival prices.  The boat trips were subsidized, and the beer as well; and this surely went a long ways towards making the event accessible to everyone in the community.

Bravo Carlos & Co.