Short Beach Days

eg9_2009012.jpgShort 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.

eg9_2009018.jpgThe 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.

eg9_2009025.jpgOne 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.

eg9_2009026.jpg The marchers included First Selectman Unk DaRos, who walked with State Rep. Lonnie Reed (pictured).

eg9_2009027.jpg Behind them came State Sen. Ed Meyer, his dog, Moe, and Second Selectman Fran Walsh.

eg9_2009038.jpgThey were followed by a bevy of fire trucks, some new, some old.

eg9_2009037.jpgAnd then came the bicycles, some new, some old.

eg9_2009032.jpgThe 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.


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posted by: Moshe Gai on September 8, 2009  4:20pm

Warren Gould is the unsung hero of Branford. Most of the time working behind the scene, he is devoted to making Branford a better place in which to live. His charm and personal example stimulated many of us, myself included, to be involved in the affairs of our town.

Let us all raise a glass and publicly thank this person who has done so much for our town without ever asking for the note of thank you he so deserves.

Thus Spake Moshe Gai

posted by: ginger charlotte on September 30, 2009  11:06pm

While I appreciate the article on Short Beach Days, I don’t believe it
captured the fact that the weekend is strictly a neighborhood activity and
in NO WAY meant to be political.  While we all appreciate Warren Gould’s
work in the neighborhood, you failed to give credit to a long-standing
committee that puts the days together - including, but not limited to, the
entire Kelly family who prepare the park, do all the collections to
support the day, handle registrations, etc.  Also, Kate Marsland who
coordinates the Lip Sync contest, Liz Gallagher who orders and organizes
all the prizes, Peg Carpenter who does the Sand Sculpture, Alieta Lynch
and her committee who sell the ads and put together the program, Short
Beach Hose, Hook & Ladder Co. 4 who organize and run the athletic events
on Saturday, the Riverside Fire Department who run the Sunday Family Day
(with great help and encouragement from the Murray family), George Norden
and the Johnson Family who run the concession, Judy Dube and committee of
judges for the parade, and many many others (apologies to those I left
out).  Most of the above listed have run these events for more than 20
years.  Please give credit where credit is due.  Thank you.

Ginger Charlotte (treasurer & “unofficial” coordinator)