SHELTON, Conn. – For the seventh straight year, crowds headed for Veterans Memorial Park in Shelton this past weekend to enjoy the annual Soupstock Music & Arts Festival.
The festival, which benefits the Mary A. Schmecker Turtle Shell Fund, offered fun activities for people of all ages, from vendors selling food and wares to a bounce house to live music on two stages.
Tim Warren, lead singer of the band The Alternate Routes, was eager to take the main stage. When asked about the group's history, Warren said, “We formed the band around 2003-2004. If you were to go to a store, you would see us under the pop rock section."
The band writes its own songs. Members include Eric Donnelly on the electric guitar and backup vocals, Ian Tait on the bass guitar, Kurt Leon on the drums, and Taryn Chory with vocals.
“We write about songs that very personal and true to us," Warren said.
Their hit single, "Nothing More," was written for and inspired by the work of Newtown Kindness. The song was featured on the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, as well as a 2013 episode of "NCIS."
One fun spot was the silent disco, where you could listen to music with wireless headphones. Participants chose their own volume and danced away under a giant tent — all without disturbing anybody else.
Some of the vendors included: Bead Dangle Design, Lisa’s Soaps, Trendyhenna, Quark Tees, Tom’s Roid-Rippin’ Hot Sauce, BringTheHoopla, The Little Dog Laughed, BBA Bracelets, Sacred Mystery Arts, Crissy’s Wellness Essentials, Sunset Studio, Melding Minds, Dancing Hands Jewelry, Stone Street Tye Dye and Skippin’ Stones.
“I just opened a studio in May of this year inside the Bikram Yoga studio in Shelton,” said Crissy Forster, owner and massage therapist of Peace of Mind Wellness.
The food vendors included Jim’s Ice Cream, Spuds Your Way, BRYAC, Everything About Crepes, Black Rock BBQ, Common Bond Market, GypsyJoe Café, Juicy J’s Lemonade and Concessions, The Cupcake Chick, and Pierogies On Wheels.
The winners of the soup competition were:
- 1st place: BRYAC
- 2nd place: The Tortilla Boys
- 3rd place: Oscar's Woodmont Kitchen
The Chili Competition winners were:
- 1st place: Common Bond, white bean chili
- 2nd place: Janet Bradley, chicken con carnage
- 3rd place: GROW, sweet pork, kale, white bean chili
Bands set up at two locations: the Soupstock Stage and the Main Stage. The bands included: Relative Souls, Frank Viele, Hub Inger Street, The Big Takeover, Bella’s Bartok, The Primate Fiasco, The Royal Din, Hitch & The Giddy Up, Goose, Eggy, Shwizz, The Van Burens, West End Blend, Turbine, Alpaca Gnomes, The Alchemystics, Kung Fu, Big Bear Tree, Kazoo Crew Family Band, Electric Mayhem, and Back From Earth.
The Mary A. Schmecker Turtle Shell Fund is a nonprofit started by Joe Manganello, his sister Michele Bialek, and her husband Fred to honor their grandmother. Schmecker was a ceramics instructor at Shelton’s Boys & Girls Club from 1970 until her death in 2008. She also ran a ceramics studio at the Shelton Senior Center.
The fund continues her legacy of encouraging the creativity and talents of teens through scholarships, mentor programs, classroom instruction and much more. For more information on the Turtle Shell Fund, visit its website.
Visit the Soupstock Festival's Facebook page for more information on the weekend’s events, including videos and photos from the weekend.
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