Coming this weekend is a fun-in-the-sun community event to launch the summer season.
The 6th Annual ABB Summer Kickoff and Food Truck Festival is set for 5-8 p.m. Saturday, June 1 in downtown Bridgeport. Main Street traffic will be shut down at 4:45 p.m. so the summer fun can spill onto the street.
Live entertainment, kids’ inflatables, a cruise-in car show, beachball drop and food vendors to suit every palate are just a handful of treats in store. As is the December Light Up Night, Summer Kickoff is a signature event of the Associated Businesses of Bridgeport.
“The ABB is one of the many reasons why Bridgeport is such a special community. We are so happy to offer fun evenings for families to attend in downtown Bridgeport,” said ABB President Jaclyn Rominger.
The Main Stage at Main and Center streets will feature singing DJ Byron “Six Six” Cooper and returning to emcee festivities will be Dr. Mark Povroznik. It is his second year to serve as master of ceremonies and the ABB appreciates his willingness, quick wit, and fun costume changes which keep everyone guessing.
“I don’t consider myself overly proficient at this, just a willing heart to help,” he said. “It’s a way to share my creative side and to be a steward of support for a collaborative community. It’s also a way to share gratitude to those working tirelessly to orchestrate the event.”
Greg Harrison will sing at Winnie’s Cafe and LeRoy and Giggs will perform at About You Monograms. Inflatables will be set up at the Civic Center for hours of fun.
While meandering West Main Street between the Civic Center and Lloyd Lang Bridge, community members can enjoy shined up classic cars; an undertaking organized by the ABB’s Doug Marquette.
“The Cruise-In harkens back to summers of our youth – cruising the streets and checking out all the cool cars while we enjoyed great music,” Marquette said.
Food trucks on site will include Mister Crabs Catering & Boil Truck, So Texas Barbecue Company, East of Chicago Pizza, Mountain Ear Kettle Corn, Drifter Doughnuts, Wonder Bubble, Big Kahuna, Hanlan’s Meat Market, The Groove coffee shop, Kettle Korn & Company and Groove on the Move.
Including About You Monograms, Ford Funeral Home, NC Building Solutions, Hinkle Counseling, All Saints Church, Kaufman Realty & Auctions, Compass Realty, Hempworks, T-Mobile and All Saints Church, ABB member businesses and other community organizations will be represented, offering fun activities for kids and families.
Trivia will return to Summer Kickoff. Participating attendees will be gifted with items donated by Artworks in Bridgeport. Chosen at random, one of the participants will win a limited edition print of Bridgeport, penned by Artworks owner Lotus MacDowell.
The hotdog eating contest will not take place this year, but a couple of new contests have been added to the mix.
“This year, we are featuring an apple pie baking contest and Hula Hoop contest for the kids,” Rominger said. “We can’t wait to see what delicious pies our community presents and who are the best Hula Hoopers in town!”
Those entering the pie baking contest must enter one apple pie between 5 and 6 p.m. A designated table will be set up near the Main Stage. Between 6 and 6:45 p.m., members of Bridgeport City Council will rate the pies and choose a 1st, 2nd and 3rd place which will be announced by Povroznik at 7 p.m. In addition to prize ribbons, all three bakers will receive souvenir engraved pie servers and the first-place baker will also be awarded a prize basket full of baking gear: Bamboo mixing bowls, silicone mat and rolling pin, measuring cups, wooden spoons, aprons, baking mitts and more. Prizes are courtesy of Della’s Deli. An entry form can be downloaded HERE. The contest is open to adult and teen amateur bakers, as well as professionals.
The event will open with prayer and the Pledge of Allegiance led by Boy Scout Troop #40. Every element of the kickoff event has been designed with Americana hometown spirit in mind.
“I hope the feeling of ‘hometown’ is not lost in the minds of our young adults and youth. Each community event is a reminder of our freedom and what it means to be neighborly,” Povroznik said. “For a community to have a strong sense of togetherness and to celebrate tradition, providing children fun, encouraging family and friends to gather…is not only a joy, but also a privilege.”