MERIDEN — The Meriden Green will be busy with three community events this Saturday.
Sustainable Meriden, a group formed under the Sustainable CT initiative, will host its first event, a chalk art festival called Chalk the Walk on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
“Everyone’s welcome and it's really just to bring the community together, to make everyone feel like they have a place … all while supporting the sustainability practices that will benefit them in the long run,” Maloney High School junior Jordan Rosario said.
The event will take place on the sidewalks in the center of the Green, said Rosario, the communications director for the Sustainable Meriden Youthgroup. Individuals or teams can come and sign up for a space on the sidewalk to draw. Chalk will be provided.
Public Works Director Howard Weissberg said drawings depicting issues related to sustainability will be judged to win prizes. Local artists are also expected to participate, including Apollo Maldonado.
Sustainable CT is a statewide, action-oriented voluntary certification program Meriden adopted last September. The goal is for municipalities to be “thriving, resilient, collaborative, and forward-looking,” while recognizing the “finite capacity of the natural environment” and building community, economy and the health and well being of residents.
“(The event) allows people to get out, express creativity and try to help promote the Sustainable Meriden effort,” Weissberg said. “We’re excited and we’re hoping to use this to build awareness and to get more students involved.”
Taste of Meriden will also be held Saturday on the East Main Street side of the green from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. It will include a variety of food vendors and a DJ.
The food vendors involved are Illiano's Ristorante and Pizzeria, AJ Oasis Cafe, Bebo's BBQ, Los Mariachi food truck, and Mind Body and Soul Food. Organizer Carrie Teele said a pastry chef with Iliano’s will be serving desserts as well. Vendors wishing to participate can still join by contacting Teele by Wednesday.
Teele organized the event as a relief from “a rough summer” of pandemic life, with help from friends and fellow city residents Claire Forcier, Dave Grodzcki, Rosie Agudo, Erik Remillard and Darrell Lucas.
“Especially now, restaurants are struggling,” Teele said.
She hopes the event will encourage people to support their favorite establishments, or learn about places they may want to try.
“There are some restaurants in Meriden that people don’t even realize are there,” she said.
Proceeds will be used to pay for the annual YuleFest planned for Dec 5.
All events are expected to adhere to social distancing and other guidelines to limit the potential spread of COVID-19.
The sidewalk sections for chalk drawing will be 15 feet apart and will leave six feet of space for people to walk by. Taste of Meriden will ask people to follow grocery store-like directional guides.
This Saturday will also be the last day of the Meriden Farmers’ Market, which runs from 8:30 a.m. to noon on the Mill Street side of the Green.
The farmers’ market, which has been running since July, is rain or shine and offers a variety of fresh produce vendors. All farmers accept cash, FMNP Vouchers, Doubling Dollars coupons, and EBT coupons.