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Democratic Debate Beats Out Star Wars, Football For Bernie Fans In Stamford

Organizers of a Democratic Debate watching party set up by Bernie supporters pose for a picture Saturday evening. Left to right: Sean Tarantino, Darren Williams, Nina Sherwood, Rob Roqueta and Chris Yerinides. Photo Credit: Contributed
More than a 120 people turned out at the Seaside Tavern Saturday for a "BernFest" Democratic debate watching party. Photo Credit: Contributed/Bonnie McCarthy
More than a 120 people turned out at the Seaside Tavern Saturday for a "BernFest" Democratic debate watching party. Photo Credit: Contributed/Bill Currier

STAMFORD, Conn. — Nina Sherwood knew her Saturday night Democratic presidential debate television watch party had some competition.

“We were up against 'Star Wars' and the first weekend of football playoffs,” said Sherwood, who organized the event, which was attended by many supporters of Bernie Sanders. Still, the party saw a “massive turnout,” she said.

More than 120 people packed the bar of the Seaside Tavern in Stamford to watch the televised debate, she said.

In addition to good company and the debate, Stamford Democratic City Committee Chairman John Mallozzi explained the state's primary process to those at the event.

Held on April 26 in Connecticut, only registered Democrats are eligible to vote for candidates in the Democratic primary. Republicans can vote for their candidates in their party, but voters not registered with a political party are not eligible to participate.

Although the event was very much about politics, live entertainment from local bands entertained the crowd. Seth Adam and The Trautmann Trio warmed up the crowd. Several other local bands performed later in the event.

The event also featured full-fledged photo booth complete with cutouts of Bernie’s hair and glasses available as props.

The goal was to have fun, especially since Sherwood said most people tend to get caught up in the fighting and frustration of politics. They may not want to watch the debate, she said.

“A lot of people — especially millennials — just don’t pay attention or are just so frustrated they’re kind of boycotting the whole thing,” Sherwood said. “To get people together to watch it, makes it fun. It makes it an enjoyable experience.”

Sherwood said she’s planning another debate watching party for the next presidential Democratic debate, which is scheduled for Jan. 17.

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