Clam Jam slated for Saturday at Penfield Beach
FAIRFIELD — Parking restrictions and DUI checkpoints will be in place in the beach area on Saturday due to Fairfield University’s annual Clam Jam.
The end of the year party, once the bane of year-round residents, is now hosted by the university at Penfield Beach, with tickets required for entry. In case of rain, the decision whether to move the event on campus or cancel it will be made by university administration in consultation with the police department.
In order to reduce overcrowding on streets, there will be no parking on all streets south of Quincy Street. Any cars parked on those roads after 10 a.m. on Saturday will be ticketed and towed. Beach residents were alerted to the parking restrictions on Wednesday, via a Code Red message.
Police will have DUI checkpoints set up on Reef Road at One Rod Highway, and on Fairfield Beach Road at Birch Road from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Buses will bring students from campus to Penfield beach.
Lt. Robert Kalamaras, police spokesman, said the department’s obligation is to the safety and quality of life for all residents in the beach area, and there will be a zero tolerance approach to alcohol violations and other disruptive behaviors. Members of the police and fire departments will be staged in the parking lot across from the beach.
A dedicated ambulance and first aid tent will also be on site.
Fairfield University made a total of 1,700 tickets available to juniors and seniors. Wrist bands designating who is over 21 and who is under 21 will be distributed by the university. Seniors paid $40 for a ticket, with a guest ticket costing $60. The cost to juniors was also $60.
The ticket prices covers beer, cider, and soft drinks, as well as food from Sodexo, Domino’s, and Qdoba. A student DJ will kick off the entertainment followed by the Ying Yang Twins and Cheat Codes.
Kalamaras said plans call for shutting the bar down at 4, with the music turned off at 4:15 p.m, before a final push to clear the area around 4:30 p.m. The beach will then be cleaned by Fairfield University staff and volunteers.
Accoring to Kalamaras, there will be seven officers within the event perimeter, and eight outside in the neighborhood perimeter, along with the DUI checkpoints. Fairfield University is paying for the 15 officers, while a state DUI grant will cover the cost of the officers staffing the checkpoints.
The university has also hired G-Force Security to provide staff the event.