The town is officially in party planning mode, gearing up for a year-long celebration of Fairfield's 375th anniversary that starts Jan. 1.

But at a press conference Monday to kick off events, town officials said 2014 will be not just about the town's storied past, but an opportunity for people to celebrate the present and why they love the town of Fairfield.

"There's a tremendous amount of energy in town," regarding the 375th celebration, said Robert Hojnacki, the committee co-chairman and first vice president of Bankwell. "My phone's been ringing off the hook."

The committee has been meeting since the spring to start planning the celebration.

"We've partnered with several different organizations in town," said Town Clerk Betsy Browne, the committee's other co-chairman. "What we've tried to do is complement the different festivals and fairs we already have."

To that end, First Selectman Michael Tetreau said, there won't be a separate parade to mark the anniversary, it will be observed in conjunction with the annual Memorial Day parade.

All of the events will lead up to a gala open to all residents on Nov. 15, 2014, at Sacred Heart University that Tetreau said he wants to be the "biggest gala in the town's history."

A website for the anniversary celebration is under construction, but visitors to the site at can already sign up for a newsletter to be sent to their email, said Amy Mezoff, who designed the anniversary logo and will be in charge of the website and social media.

She said she expects the website to be functional by mid-December.

Events include a cake contest in early February, sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce. The winning baker will bake the cake for the annivesary gala.

Another event is scheduled for two days in April, run by Probate Judge Daniel Caruso. and dubbed by Tetreau as the "biggest food drive in the history of Fairfield."

"Part of what we are is making sure everybody is treated with respect," Caruso said. "We're a caring community." The food drive, Tetreau said, is something in which every resident and every organization in town can participate.

Hojnacki said planners are actively working on finding sponsorships and donations to make sure everyone who wants to can be involved in the celebration.; 203-556-2771;