BRIDGEPORT, Conn. — If you notice an uptick in bellbottoms, flower-strewn hats and peace signs in Bridgeport’s Black Rock neighborhood this weekend, you’re not having a flashback.
Residents are celebrating the 40th annual Black Rock Day Sunday, June 12, with a 5K run, bed race and one of the best small parades in the country — if they do say so themselves — and a tribute to the very first festivities.
“To honor the anniversary, we chose the theme ‘Groovin’ Since 1976,’” said Marni Kiernan, president of the Black Rock Community Council. “So grab those bellbottoms, platform shoes, floppy hats and get ready to groove in Seventies style.”
The day begins at 9 a.m. with the Run for the Rock, a 5K road race around the neighborhood’s streets. One of the oldest races in Fairfield County, the course passes small beaches and stunning water views along Ash Creek and the St.-Mary’s-By-the-Sea promenade.
Registration is available now through race day and dri-fit T-shirts are available for all pre-registrants and the first 70 to register on race day. Walkers are also welcome.
Next up is the wacky bed race at 11:30 a.m. Beginning at the flagpole at Brewster Street and Grovers Avenue, the course runs to the finish line two short blocks away at Ellsworth Park. Participants are encouraged to decorate their beds according to the 1970s theme.
“The Best Small Parade in America” steps off at noon and runs west on Fairfield Avenue from Ellsworth Street, down Gilman Street and through the neighborhood, ending at Ellsworth Park. Featuring fife and drum units and marching bands, as well as floats and other fun walkers, the parade usually culminates with a few band performances on the park’s field.
The festival on the field runs from 1 to 6 p.m. and features food from local restaurants, pony rides, kids games and crafts and a petting zoo. The main musical act of the day is locally known Relative Souls.
Organizers have made several changes to the festivities this year. Race participants may pick up their packets on Saturday at Brennan’s Shebeen on Fairfield Avenue. The restaurant will be hosting a Black Rock Eve event with food and drink specials from 4 to 6 p.m.
“Black Rock Day is a fun way to celebrate all that's great in our community,” Kiernan said. “Don't miss it!”
For more information on all Black Rock Day events and to register for the 5K or bed race, visit www.blackrockcc.org.
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.