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Taste Of Greater Danbury Offers Up Spicy Mix Of Food, Music, Fun

Families attending the Taste of Greater Danbury on Saturday, Sept. 10, hesitate to pet Big Al, an American alligator held by Ron of Curious Creatures in Branford. Photo Credit: Carolyn Mueller
From left, Long Nguyen, Anne Closa and Alex Cernick, all of Fellowship Of Catholic University Students, and Christine Moore and John Feeney, of St. Peter Parish in Danbury, stand ready to share their faith. Photo Credit: Carolyn Mueller
The Danbury Titans hockey is excited for the new season. Back row, Tommy Pecoraro, broadcast staff, and Katie Lockwood, Booster Club member; Front row, General manager Tricia Coe and Booster Club President Ed Lockwood. Photo Credit: Carolyn Mueller
Karolinne Freire rounds up Nicholas, 7, Anthony, 5 and Isabella Gomes, 3, all of Danbury, near the Curious Creatures booth at the Taste of Greater Danbury. Nicholas was enthralled by a young American alligator named Big Al that was on display. Photo Credit: Carolyn Mueller
Visitors to Taste of Greater Danbury cross the Green while a soundcheck is performed at the bandshell, Saturday, Sept. 10. Everclear is the headliner for the event, performing twice over the weekend. Photo Credit: Carolyn Mueller

DANBURY, Conn. — There’s more to CityCenter’s Taste of Greater Danbury than just great food, although tasty treats are a big part of the festival experience. 

Michaela Paternostro and David Jonikas, both students at Western Connecticut State University in Danbury, were ready to explore it all shortly after arriving at the Danbury Green on Saturday afternoon.

“I’m already having so much fun,” Paternostro said. She was looking forward to finding some fried food, especially fried dough. Jonikas admitted to being hungry and said he was looking forward to trying any food he could his hands on.

On such a hot summer day, it wasn’t a surprise when lines formed at the booth of The Ice Cream Guy. Ralph Pietrafesa said it was his 13th year selling ice cream at the Taste of Greater Danbury. Fans also will be able to find his ice cream at the Greater Danbury Irish Festival next weekend.

P.J. Prunty, executive director of CityCenter Danbury, surveyed the array of vendors from the middle of the Green. 

“We have some amazing food trucks and vendors, a diverse selection of food,” he said. “Having beer is new this year, and Frontier is providing streaming TV so people can catch the big college football game." Headlining band Everclear also performed Saturday night and again Sunday afternoon, he said.

A variety of organizations, from Boy Scouts to English bulldog adoptions, education providers cultural and civic clubs, politicians and even local professional sports were represented among the booths. At a table near the band shell, members of the Danbury Titans Booster Club and operations staff were ready to talk hockey.

“We’re looking forward to a great season,” said Tricia Coe, general manager of the Titans. “We have a new coach and a great team. It’s a locally owned team. We’re looking forward to Bruce Bennett’s second year owning the team.”

Asked how the coming hockey season was looking, Titans Booster Club president Ed Lockwood had one word to sum it up. “Awesome!”

Recent college graduates Alex Cernick, originally of Newtown; Anne Closa of New Jersey; and Long Nguyen of Houston, Texas, all Fellowship Of Catholic University Students missionaries in Danbury, were enthusiastic about Taste of Danbury.

“It’s so much fun. I love it,” Cernick said. “It’s such a nice way to get the community of Danbury together.” Asked what her favorite food at the event was, Cernick recommended the shish kabob from Romy’s BBQ.

Dina Reagan, whose family owns Romy’s BBQ, said this is their fifth year serving shish kabob at Taste of Greater Danbury. She noted that there have been “really cool acts” providing entertainment each year.

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