August 19, 2022

Old Lyme’s Midsummer Festival Comes Back With a (Joyful) Bang!

The day began with the 5K Midsummer Run hosted by LYSB, in which more than 300 runners participated.

OLD LYME — 8/1 UPDATED with more photos: Clear blue skies and warm temperatures welcomed the return of Old Lyme’s Midsummer Festival yesterday, after a two-year absence due to COVID. From early in the day, Lyme Street was alive with cheerful people of all ages enjoying the activities and festivities on offer and perusing the great variety of art, craft and edible items for sale.

Awards were presented after the race by Alli Behnke and her team of helpers to the winners. The photo above shows Rowan Hallahan receiving his award.

Shortly after, a ribbon-cutting was held at Lyme Academy of Fine Arts (LAFA) to celebrate the official opening of the de Gerenday Fine Art Materials and Curiosities shop on the campus. All the members of the Old Lyme (OL) Board of Selectmen  — First Selectman Tim Griswold (second from left), Selectwoman Martha Shoemaker (fourth from left), and Matt Ward (third from right, at rear) — as well as members of the OL Economic Development Commission (EDC), including chair Cheryl Poirier (third from left) and Mona Colwell (left), were on hand to assist with the ceremony.

Chairman of the LAFA Board of Trustees Michael Duffy cut the ribbon while LAFA Executive Director Mora Rowe to his right looked on enthusiastically. Holding the ribbon at the far right was Cameron Paynter, who is the Store Associate responsible for running the shop.

Outside on the Academy grounds, several different bands played drawing listeners appreciative of a bale of straw on which to take a rest.

Across at the Old Lyme Inn, the Fence Show Artists were plying their trade.

The range of styles and genres of artwork was exceptional this year.

Over at the Lyme Art Association, visitors were first greeted by the smiling faces of members of the OL EDC, in this case, Joe Camean (left) and Cheryl Poirier …

… and now, Mona Colwell and John Stratton.

Nancy Gladwell explained with passion to those, who stopped by the Public Art for Racial Justice Education (PARJE) stand, what PARJE’s mission is and how the group is working on achieving it.

The Old Lyme Land Trust hosted A Place Called Hope, who gave a popular demonstration including the live raptor pictured above.

Fat Stone Farm, located in Lyme, was doing a roaring trade throughout the day in their maple syrups, honeys, soaps, relishes, jellies and more.

Moving up to the grounds of the Florence Griswold Museum, members of the OL Solid Waste & Recycling Committee gathered for a photo at their stand. Fred Behringer (second from right) and his daughter (not pictured) had created an ingenious, interactive game to test people’s knowledge of local recycling facts and figures. It proved a big attraction and attracted many keen participants.

Jim Ward and his wife Sheila McTigue Ward manned the Lyme-Old Lyme Food Share Garden tent encouraging new volunteers to sign up while sharing information about the remarkable project.

Photo by Linda Ahnert.

This fine fellow named Boomer, who opted for a lion headdress in the Parading Paws contest held at the Museum, , deservedly won an award for Best Costume. Our apologies that we do not know his owner’s name.

Staying with the canine theme, here are volunteers for Project Paws: The Tim Buckley Project, which fosters the therapeutic benefits of the human animal bond, impacts social emotional learning for youth, and restores hope to families impacted by mental health and substance use disorders.

Project Paws provides education and resources for bringing Animal Assisted Activity and Animal Assisted Therapy to many organizations.

Old Lyme Emergency Services Management volunteers were hard at work demonstrating the skills they employ to folk who came by their tent, also at the Museum. This young visitor was especially interested in the business of resuscitation!

Going up Lyme Street a tad further to the former Bee and Thistle Inn, now the home of the Roger Tory Peterson Estuary Center, one found the Lyme-Old Lyme Lions hosting their Classic Car Show. An extensive selection of fabulous vehicles was on display and the event culminated with some of the proud owners receiving awards.

The wonderful day ended with the OL Town Band giving a concert on the field behind the LOL Middle School, which preceded a magnificent fireworks display hosted by the Town.

It was a splendid Festival, which thousands came out to enjoy.

Congratulations to the organizers, whose hard work and attention to detail could be seen and appreciated everywhere. Many thanks to them and all who participated in person or as sponsors for your combined efforts.