In photos: Friends of Sherwood Island get creative for annual clambake
WESTPORT — Current viral restrictions didn’t slow down the waves of hungry supporters that took part in the ShoreFest on a Roll fundraiser at Sherwood Island State Park Sunday afternoon.
While it didn’t have the capability of holding its traditional clambake event this year due to COVID-19, the Friends of Sherwood Island decided it could still combine a celebratory event with the features of Connecticut’s oldest state park.
“We thought about all kinds of ways to do things safely and we realized that we wanted to continue the local person’s experience of Sherwood Island,” explained Cece Saunders, who co-chaired the event with Westporter Steve Axthelm.
The Friends made pickup food available through their annual vendor, Westfair Fish & Chips, which provided lobster rolls, slaw and more.
At the same time, when people drove into the park to get their food, they were also encouraged to enjoy various fun features taking place, including several bands that were performing, immense kites that were being flown, and the model airplane escapades of the Country Squire Modelers club, which has operated on the northeastern side of the park since the 1970s.
To augment the experience, Axthelm also created a podcast that enabled those taking part to hear details about all that was happening as they drove the large circuit around the park.
Ironically, Saunders said, since the spring shutdown closed Westport’s beaches this spring, more local people than ever started come to Sherwood Island and discovered its extensive features and environment.
“So we thought we would glory in all of the things here at Sherwood,” she said.
“I’m glad to see people are outside,” said board member Peter O’Gorman of Norwalk, who flew a 50-foot manta ray kite — among others — during the event. “As long as people practice social distancing, I don’t see any reason this can’t be held and be a success.”