MERIDEN — Hundreds of Daffodil Festival volunteers and sponsors gathered at Hubbard Park Thursday evening for an appreciation dinner hosted by the festival committee.
The festival committee traditionally hosts a reception for the dozens of local businesses and civic organizations that sponsor the festival, as well as the hundreds of festival volunteers.
Visitors were given a special 40th anniversary wine glass on their way into the reception and could use it to sample wines and beer, while they snacked on catered food and danced to live entertainment by the band Sharades.
Jane Dunn, a festival committee member who organized the appreciation dinner, said it was a night dedicated to all the
people that have supported the festival.
“It’s our way of saving thank you,” Dunn said.
Attendees were also treated to a fireworks show dedicated to Steve Zygmont, who handled the fireworks for the city’s Daffodil Festival for over a decade and was a popular automobile mechanic and owner of Expert Auto Service in Meriden before he died in February.
Ric Suzio, co-owner of Suzio York Hill, said his company has been sponsoring the festival since it first started accepting sponsors in the early ’90s.
“We’re a Meriden family, we’re a Meriden business, this is a great event for Meriden, it supports a lot of different organizations with the nonprofit food tent,” Suzio said.
Suzio has also served on the festival committee for almost two decades and has found his kids and wife to be just as involved.
“It’s become a family affair for us, it’s pretty special,” Suzio said. “My kids have been volunteering, you know, watching them grow up at the festival almost has been great.”
Mayor Kevin Scarpati joined in celebrating the festival’s 40 years and the people that have made it possible.
“The festival is impossible without sponsors and volunteers,” Scarpati said. “This is really just a way to give back and say thank you.”
The Daffodil Festival will be held this weekend, April 28 and 29, from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday at Hubbard Park.