The Mum Festival & Parade was started over 56 years ago, and this year it made Connecticut’s Top 10 events list! The parade is one of the state’s largest, featuring Bristol and surrounding area businesses, organizations, youth groups, marching bands and units, and several wonderful floats.
The parade has been directed and produced by the Greater Bristol Exchange Club since around 1974. The Festival & Parade involves several months of preparation by the Festival Chairs and Committees to make this great event happen. It also takes more than 30 volunteers on parade day to keep everything on schedule and lined up. We had over 75 volunteers to just set up the Festival on Saturday alone!
The Mum Festival & Parade are directed by the Greater Bristol Exchange Club and our Benefactor is the City of Bristol as well as several sponsors. Special thanks to our 2017 Mum Festival & Parade Marshal, NBC’s and Bristol’s own, Brittany Deckers, who flew in from Alabama!
Many thanks to our Master of Ceremonies Marie Salice and Allen Stone for all they did to make the Festival & Parade extra special this year. I am happy to announce that they have both signed on again for next year!!
We want to thank everyone who attended this year’s Mum Festival & Parade! We had a great day for a parade, with many beautiful floats, wonderful and talented marching bands, dancing units, and of course all the business and civic organizations.
It was great to see other towns beginning to join us as well. We would also like to thank all the other city organizations and parade participants that make this event possible each year.
It was also great to have our U.S. Senator, and our State & City Delegations represented! We want to thank Sue Berard who did an outstanding job decorating the Grand Viewing Stand. It was the most beautiful in many years!!
Special thanks also goes to the Mum Festival Committee & Squad for all they do with the wonderful Mum Festival events and community caring! What an awesome Festival this year!! We have had so many posts, emails, calls and texts on the success of the festival this year! Thank you all!
The addition this year of the Kid’s Depot was a huge hit with families, which featured Touch-A-Vehicles (which included Yale New Haven’s SkyHelp Helicopter), dinosaurs, pony rides, hay rides, horse and carriage rides, pumpkin painting, a petting zoo, a movie night, Stage East and so much more for the families. A special thanks to the Bristol Auto Club… What a car show!
Over 130 classic automobiles adorned the upper half of the Memorial Boulevard this year. Over 30 Food & Beverage vendors, Wine/Beer Garden and another 135 general vendors, not to mention one of CT’s finest Amusement Park companies, Marenna Amusements, filled the Historic MBS Field. Thank you Maria Salice and Casey Potthoff for the great musical entertainment throughout the festival and to Ginger Grant for the outstanding Art Gala under the Big Top on Thursday night! Awesome event featuring local CT artists. What about those fireworks!! It is our hope next year to bring back even more entertainment, like the return of the Chrysanthemum Gala Ball to kick off the 2018 Festival.
We owe a tremendous thanks to all the hard working members of the Greater Bristol Exchange Club who rescued the event a few years ago. We are blessed with so many talented volunteers who brought a new vision to make this festival such an outstanding event, and also to the members of the Bristol All Heart Team/Squad. A word of thanks to Mark Thomas, Marketing Specialist for the BDA All Heart Program and an Exchange Club member as well, for his many talents and assistance!
A note of thanks to the Bristol Police & Fire Departments for all that they do to make this festival a safe event for all to enjoy! To the Water Department, Public Works C.E.R.T., Police Explorers and the Bristol Parks & Recreation Department for their hard work! The Memorial Boulevard looked so beautiful as did this year’s parade route. We could not have done it without all your support!
We would like to also thank the Bristol ICRC Radio Club for assisting us with communications as always. We would especially like to thank our Board of Finance, Mayor, City Council and the City of Bristol Department Heads and their staff for their enthusiastic support and financial resources that have made this great Festival & Parade possible. Without that support we would not have had a Mum Festival.
Finally, a huge shout out to all the spectators that come out to watch the parade, rain or Shine, every year! A very big “You are very welcome” goes out to all the thank you’s and rounds of applause that were received along the parade route as we drove by. It is our absolute pleasure to offer our services to our beautiful city, and to all its residents. It is a wonderful feeling to be able to give back as volunteers to a city, state and country that have given us all so much!
Check out our local newspapers, our Facebook page, our web site at BristolMumFestival.com and www.bristolct.net for information on this year’s award recipients and other upcoming Mum Season of Events, like the Witches Dungeon, Bristol Stomp and the Mum-A-thon! We would also like to recognize our local newspapers, social media posts & BristolCT.net for the great coverage of the 2017 Mum Festival & Parade!
A special Thank You to Ron Tessman for all his work sharing beautiful photo memories of the Festival & Parade well! We would also like to thank Annie Whitehead for photographing all the special moments. We will also have our drone aerial video out in the next few weeks. Watch out for the special release date!! Thank you to Shannen Tack for arranging this awesome footage. Can’t wait to see the entire show.
I know most all of you want this great event around for another 56 years! If you are interested in getting involved with the Mum Festival and Parade, or would like more information on the Greater Bristol Exchange Club, check out our Web site and FaceBook pages, BristolAllHeart.com or please contact us anytime at MumFestivalBristol@gmail.com or BristolMumParade@gmail.com.
Clubs like Exchange need members to continue to produce these great events and other community support venues. However, we need new members and volunteers!! So please consider joining these great volunteer organizations!!
Thank you again and God Bless!
Jack Ferraro, Mum Festival General Chairman
Dianna Tack, Mum Festival Parade Chairperson
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