Deep River Day Set for Sept. 16
The 23rd annual Deep River Day town-wide celebration will be held on Saturday, Sept. 16, offering many events and activities for all ages.
The Parks and Recreation Commission (PRC) is taking the lead with this year’s celebration, which marks the 76th anniversary of the town’s renaming from Saybrook in 1947. PRC Director Carol Jones said the celebration was the brainchild of former First Selectman Richard Smith as an idea for “a family day that all Deep River residents can come out and celebrate the sense of community.”
“It is such a fun day, and we want to keep it going,” said Jones.
The day begins with the Run to the River 5K road race at Devitt Field at 9 a.m. The race takes participants to Main Street, then onto Kirtland Street, towards River Street, back to Main, then back to Devitt Field. Participants will cross through a gate on the B Field at the facility to the finish line near the goalpost.
Jones said the race is open to the youngest runners in town, some of whom have participated in a 5K running program at Deep River Elementary School.
“We added new age categories for the 5K. We added them last year based on feedback from the year before,” she said. “All the kids just are running a lot more. We have so many kids running 5Ks now that we just did away with that other option.
Registration and more details on the Run to the River 5k race are available at runsignup.com/Race/CT/DeepRiver/RunToTheRiver5K. Onfield registration on the morning of the race is open at Devitt Field at 7:30 a.m.
Much of the activity during the day will center around Marvin’s Field at Deep River Congregational Church, including the second holding of the Deep River Farmers Market and an artisans market featuring more than 30 artists selling their work. Apizza Grande will also be at the field serving up its slices.
Nonprofit organizations will have information booths set up, including the American Legion, the Deep River Sustainable Committee, the Deep River Land Trust, and the Sierra Club.
The Community Health Committee will have a booth collecting toilet paper for the food pantry. Its goal is to have enough to form a “toilet paper tower” to show that there is a need for hygiene products and ease the financial stress on families in need of such products.
“There’s quite a need for those kinds of things. So, when people come in and we have toothpaste that’s been donated or shampoo, people are just so excited because that’s so expensive,” said Jones.
Other town groups at Marvin’s Field will include the Deep River Public Library with a book and bake sale and the Deep River Garden Club with seasonal mum plants for sale. Children’s activities, such as face painting, a dunk tank, and balloon sculpting, will also be on-site.
Live music will be played during the day, with performances by resident Kenny Hebert’s band, the LP’s, as well as music by local band Righteous Continental. Jones said Church Street will be closed during the day to accommodate the events and activities.
The Deep River Historical Society will also participate in the day’s celebration, with an exhibit featuring antique farming equipment at the Carriage House and the Annex from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
One of the other major events of the day will be the particularly popular pet parade, which Jones said has been a point of attraction for people coming to town.
“We’ve had people tell us that they moved to Deep River because we had a costume pet parade,” Jones said. “[They said], ‘It was between this community and another, and then we heard about your pet parade.’”
Registration for furry friends to participate in the parade can be accessed at deepriver.recdesk.com/Community/Program.
The daylong celebration will be capped off at Plattwood Park at 6 p.m. with music provided by DJ Mike Prodoti and sweet treats provided by Deep River Ice. A fireworks display will conclude the day at 8:30 p.m.
For more information on the day’s celebration, visit www.deepriverct.us/parks-and-recreation-news/bulletins/deep-river-day-2023.