WALLINGFORD — The town’s history as a business hub will be celebrated by the Quinnipiac Chamber of Commerce during its June 22 Business - Agriculture Day, part of the Wallingford 350+2 Jubilee.
Hosted by Gaylord Specialty Healthcare, the day will start off with a chamber awards ceremony recognizing seven businesses for contributions to the town. It will be followed by the Sip and Savor – local breweries and wineries will offer samplings and a documentary about the town’s business history will be aired.
The event will have a fun, casual atmosphere, with food and games available in several tents outside Gaylord’s Brooker Building, said Chamber Director of Sales and Relationship Management Gary Ciarleglio. There will also be hot air balloon rides.
He’s particularly excited about the documentary the chamber created with help from Bob Beaumont, of the Wallingford Historical Society, and local video production company Captvid. It will be playing on a loop in the main tent.
“I learned that Wallingford has been making things and producing things and exporting things since 1670 and that’s an amazing feat,” Ciarleglio said. “ … It's a vibrant economic development community,”
From the days that it was known for its silver production through today, the range of specialized and everyday items created in town has remained impressive. He said research showed that various businesses in town have exported wheels, hats, barrels, farm produce and chickens. Some of the largest firms in town today have international sales in aerospace, paint additives and coating resins.
“Wallingford, since its inception, was about producing things, building things, making things...and it's carried over to today,” Ciarleglio said.
Nucor, a steel mill, is one of the seven businesses which will be honored during the awards ceremony, taking home the Diversity and Inclusion Award in recognition of its support of the Spanish Community of Wallingford.
The Shining Star Award for large, medium and small businesses will go to Inframetals, Candid Real Estate Group and The Advisor, respectively. The Community Impact Award is being presented to Wallingford resident Tarn Granucci, a poet and writer who edits Wallingford Magazine. Nonprofit of the year is Ulbrich Boys and Girls Club for its work supporting families throughout the pandemic.
The Heritage Award will be presented to White Way Laundry, one of the original members of the chamber.
The ceremony will begin at 5 p.m. and the event will run through 9 p.m. Tickets are $85 for chamber members and $95 for nonmembers and can be purchased on the chamber’s website or by calling its office.Gala sold out
The jubilee will be closing with a traditional black tie gala ball.
Wallingford 350th Jubilee Committee co-chair Bob Devaney Jr. said tickets for the event at Choate Rosemary Hall’s Hill House building sold out fast. There were 350 tickets available for $90 each.
“Our society has changed a lot, people don't get dressed up when they go out, but it’s going to be really awesome to see people get all dressed up to celebrate the birthday of our town,” he said.
Alison Cady, chief communications officer for Choate, said the school is looking forward to celebrating its bond with the town.
“It's a perfect opportunity to come together and celebrate the community and our neighbors,” she said. “ … Choate has always been pleased to be centrally located in the town of Wallingford and very much a part of the vibrant downtown.”
Having varied activities was a goal from the onset of planning the jubilee, said jubilee committee co-chair Christine Mansfield. The formality of the ball will be matched by the relaxed atmosphere of events like the Sip and Savor or the block dance on June 24.
“It was an opportunity for us to provide literally something for everyone,” she said.
The dance will be in front of the Town Hall starting at 4 p.m., though an hour earlier Devaney hopes they’ll be able to set a record for the largest game of “Simon Says.”
Reporter Devin Leith-Yessian can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.