'We're all coming together': Fairfield group hosting neighborhood music fest to beautify Stratfield

FAIRFIELD — The Stratfield Village Association is approaching its final fundraising push as it seeks to complete a project, which would beautify one of the neighborhood’s busiest intersections.

The SVA will be hosting “Lincoln Parkapalooza,” an all new event, from 2:30 to 9:30 p.m. on Sept. 11 at Lincoln Park on Jackman Avenue.

All of the streets surrounding Lincoln Park will be closed to cars during the event. Eight live bands will play in different locations throughout the Stratfield neighborhood, including the front lawns of a few homes. The headline band, The Tom Petty Project, will close out the event at Lincoln Park.

“When we got together we wanted to bring together some of the vendors that lived in the area, but we also wanted to bring together music,” said Dylan O’Connor, SVA co-president. “We have done a number of fundraisers in the past and they have all centered around music.”

O’Connor said the event is a continuation of their previous “Party in the Park” events that centered around music in 2018 and 2019.

“Our idea was to do a porch fest kind of event,” he said. “It’s going to be a nice little community event.”

Since the event will be on the 20th anniversary of 9/11, The SVA and the Fairfield Fire Department plan to have 30-minute tribute to pay their respects to those who died in the terrorist attack. The fire department is also providing a color guard to kick off the event, followed by a moment of silence.

Food trucks and vendors will be in attendance for those who come out as well.

“I think as a community we always come together,” said Brooke Lalumiere, the event planner. “It benefits the town to have the neighborhood beautified, but at the same time we are all coming together after a tough year and supporting the efforts that Jamie [McCuster] and Dylan have initiated.”

The SVA’s plan for the Four Corners includes adding larger brick sidewalks to create more outdoor eating space for restaurants, planting trees that can be decorated during the holidays, as well as adding gas lamps.

The association has been around for quite some time, however, the new iteration of the organization was founded by O’Connor and fellow co-president Jamie McCusker in 2016. O’Connor said the two were “fed up” with some of the things going on in their neighborhood. More specifically, they were upset about how the four corners of the commercial center of Stratfield looked, which includes the intersection of Fairfield Woods Road and Route 59 Stratfield Road.

“It was just run down and poorly cared for,” O’Connor said. “It just looked terrible.”

O’Connor and McCusker decided to revive the SVA and set the initial goal to bring attention to the four corners and get some improvement done.

Five years and several fundraising events later, the organization is at the 90 percent mark of the design phase with the town. The group has raised more than $1 million for the project to date and plans to break ground over the next year. However, before that can happen, they need to hit their fundraising goal which has increased due to the pandemic.

“Hopefully, this is our final fundraiser and this can kind of get us across the finish line,” O’Connor said. “The initial cost was about $1.2 million when we started it, but of course with the pandemic prices started to rise.”

O’Connor said the project total now is about $1.5 million and estimates they’re less than $50,000 from their goal.

“The town has been very supportive in those efforts and very collaborative in work with us,” he added. “We feel very good this this project will start to break ground hopefully this fall, but possibly next spring.”

Tickets are on sale at the SVA website. All proceeds will go to the SVA and to a local Sept. 11 charity.