Easton held its second annual Town Party, presented by the Ashlar-Aspetuck Lodge No. 142, on Saturday, Sept. 18. More than 600 residents poured into the Masonic Hall green at 200 Center Road across from Easton Town Hall to enjoy themselves under sunny blue skies. Eastonites gathered together to celebrate community spirit, dance to live music from Stella’s Blues Band and The Brotherhood, and enjoy local food and beverages with their families and friends.
“It’s about unifying the town and bringing our neighbors together at least once a year,” said Mark Smith, a local member of Lodge No. 142 and one of the event’s organizers. “Especially during this challenging pandemic, it’s nice to come together and enjoy some live music and good food.”
Local food trucks and stands from The Redding Roadhouse, Dave’s Mobile Planet Pizza, Silverman’s Farm and Shaggy Coos Farm provided partygoers with delicious eats. Local craft beer was also on tap, courtesy of Veracious Brewing Company of Monroe. Family fun was also to be had at the event, thanks to a bouncy castle courtesy of the Easton Community Center as well as a face painting booth.
Pat Linnane was one of many Easton residents who expressed her appreciation for the town’s teachers and Covid-19 first responders. “I want to celebrate a few things — particularly our teachers who have done so much for us over the last year,” she said. Linnane helped to organize a group volunteers dedicated to thanking community members who have helped the town during the Covid-19 pandemic. “We’re running a month-long celebration for our Easton teachers, and next month we’re looking to celebrate our EMS,” said Linnane. She decorated her group’s table with short statements written by local students who shared what they love most about their teachers.
Other volunteer organizations staffed tables at the party, including Easton’s Parent Teacher Organization (PTO). “We are happy to be a part of this event and to be able to inform the community about our organization,” said one of the PTO’s parent volunteers. “We are proud to support the parents and teachers at Samuel Staples Elementary School and Helen Keller Middle School.”
Tickets were on sale throughout the day for the Easton Volunteer Emergency Medical Service’s fireworks display to celebrate its 75th anniversary.
Last year’s show, to celebrate Easton’s 175th anniversary, used a drive-in format to ensure social distancing that allowed onlookers to enjoy the beautiful presentation from the comfort and safety of their vehicles.
This year’s dazzling fireworks show took place at Morehouse Fields on the grounds of Samuel Staples Elementary School with proceeds going toward a new building to replace the EMS’s aging and outdated facility.
Seeing residents of all ages sitting outside together on lawn chairs, towels and blankets enjoying the fireworks was a welcome sight for event organizers and attendees after the many pandemic disappointments last year. “This is a very exciting and very special event for the town,” said longtime Easton resident Chester Burley. “We’re raising funds for the Easton EMS which is also important, and it was great to have the town turn out like this. It is obviously very well attended.”
For town party organizers like Smith, the enthusiastic turnout bodes well for the future. “We were thrilled to host the town party event again this year and are already planning for next year,” Smith said.