It's not just about the live music or the politicians pressing the flesh or the time spent on a blanket or in some lawn chairs with your family or old friends.
It's not even just about the gentle, ocean breezes or laughter and love and sweet memories of childhood amid the rarefied air of midsummer.
It's about all of that -- and keeping alive the spirit of the old Savin Rock amusement park decades after the park itself is gone -- in a collective celebration that is
The 33rd annual Savin Rock Festival starts Thursday and will continue all weekend in
Don't worry -- you'll find it!
For festival co-chairwoman
But for DeRosa, whose father and grandfather,
For her, as for many of those who come to the fest, it's a tie to her past.
"The festival means to me that I'm part of the history" of what her father and grandfather helped create, DeRosa, who has served on the Savin Rock Festival Committee for 28 years, said earlier this week.
"I feel very comfortable here, like my grandfather and father are part of the festival," said DeRosa, youngest of three sisters. Seeing how wonderful the festival is each year, "I feel like people never forgot about my father and my grandfather."
Looking around the crowd, "It's such a wonderful feeling to see the smiles on their faces," she said. "They're having such a good time ... They are wonderful people that come down here and they really love that festival ... They look forward to it."
If you're new to the area or just crawled out from, well ... a rock, Savin Rock was southern
It was officially incorporated as an amusement park by the
For the next four decades, the famed seaside park captured the hearts of "Rock rats" of all ages.
The festival, a four-day event organized each year by the Savin Rock Festival Committee, offers a midway, albeit temporary, of games, food, rides and entertainment.
It will kick off at
The event is sponsored by the
For the first day's entertainment, contemporary jazz group Airborne will perform at
A number of civic and fraternal organizations and nonprofit groups will have informational booths set up, and the food court will feature a row of area vendors serving the fare -- fried seafood, split hot dogs and frozen custard, among other treats -- that made Savin Rock famous as "
On Saturday, rock band Tears Fall Down will go on at
If it rains, Changes in Latitude and Magic of Motown will play in the
On Sunday, Infinity will perform at
The festival will close with concerts by The Asberry Boys -- four brothers who harmonized their way into viewers' hearts on the 2008 season of "America's Got Talent" -- at
The West Haven High School Band Parents will hold a craft fair from
There also will be the six-person
This year's double-elimination tournament fees will be donated to 9-year-old
And there will be beach art and architecture featuring members of the
"It's nice to have something down on the beach that's different" and the exhibition "is part of the biggest event of the summer for
To help with expenses, the Savin Rock Festival Committee will sell T-shirts in the hospitality tent.
"This exceptional group of men and women has worked tirelessly to make this event a faithful celebration of Savin Rock's legacy, which will be both enjoyable and memorable," O'Brien said of the organizers.
"We're very excited," said Morrissey, a
Morrissey said she likes the festival because, "It gives everybody the opportunity to go down and it's very family oriented ... They've got rides ... good food, good music."
The Savin Rock Festival was established in 1982 by the
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