WALLINGFORD — Board games and activities will be set up outside the Town Hall for public use as part of Wallingford Center Inc.’s new Game Night program.
The nonprofit purchased around a dozen different activities, such as Jenga, Connect Four, chess, ping pong and cornhole, for free use every Friday from 5 to 7:30 p.m. The games, which were purchased through a grant provided by the Wallingford Rotary Club, will be set up every Friday from Aug. 19 to Sept. 23.
“We just hope that people come down and take advantage of it and have fun with it. And it’s open to everybody,” said WCI Executive Director Liz Davis.
The weekly event is part of WCI’s efforts to create interest in the town center and Davis hopes it will also foster new connections between residents who might otherwise not interact.
“We want older people, younger people to go out and kind of mix and mingle with each other,” she said.
With fewer than 60 days remaining before Celebrate Wallingford, Davis, other WCI staff and volunteers are hard at work on the nonprofit’s marquee festival, which is held downtown. She’s anticipating over 90 crafters, vendors and civic organizations will be participating, in addition to restaurants and food vendors.
The annual festival will be returning to the area around the intersection of Center, North Main and South Main streets on Oct. 1 and 2. A segment of Center Street will be closed from North and South Whittlesey avenues to North and South Main streets.
This will be the festival’s first return to the “upper downtown” since 2019.
WCI President Michael Glidden said if the weather cooperates, attendance is typically between 10,000 and 15,000 over the weekend. Despite the large turnout, the festival retains a hometown feel, he added.
“We may have a population close to 50,000, but we still have the feel of a small town,” he said.
The event has steadily been growing since its inception as Taste of Wallingford in 1986. Some new activities and additions will be revealed over the coming weeks.
Davis said the organization is trying to apply some out of box thinking learned during the pandemic to the to the social aspect of the celebration.
“We're trying to do some new entertaining, fun activities,” Davis said. “We ended up doing a bunch of new things this year, so I think people will be pleasantly surprised that there has been such a change to a main event like this, but it's a good change.”