Alright y'all, the past two years have been, well….Insane. The pandemic put us in for a spin. We had a ton of hiccups, questions, concerns, solutions, laughs, and incredible experiences with incredible people. How were we supposed to navigate running community arts engagement events safely? How could we make an impact in our community while we were hunkered down in our own homes? There had to be a way to bring everyone together, and create a lil’ bit of light in these unprecedented times.
Thus, Virtual Downtown Sounds was born. In 2020, Michael, Nicole, and Jimmy came up with a spectacular idea- we could live stream Downtown Sounds! There would still be local music for everyone to enjoy from the comfort of their own homes. And they did. Maybe you’re one of them. 20,000 people tuned in to listen to live performances of Phat Astronaut and The Alpaca Gnomes. That’s half of the population in Shelton! It was crazy, incredible, and it felt right.
That’s when we realized that Celebrate Shelton, our passion project we began in 2014, was expanding in a real way. There was a need and a WANT for connecting and creating, even during a pandemic. As small business owners, respectively BringtheHoopla and The Glass Source, we wanted to utilize our platform to continue to strengthen shopping local initiatives, shine a light on local to national talent, enjoy local delicious food and be as accessible as possible to all Shelton residents and beyond. And there you guys were, ready to receive the local love!
Navigating 2021 events were hard, but everyone in the city of Shelton had our backs. Thank you so much to everyone who showed up for us: the sponsors, volunteers, the event attendees, the local businesses, artists, and musicians. As the world opened up, you supported us. We will forever be grateful for the Valley. Which is why this year, we’ve got to go big or go home. You showed up for us, and now we’re going to show up for you. Bigger events, more outreach, and we’re catapulting forward to expand our mission and to continue to build upon this awesome place we call HOME.
This year, we’re entering 2022 with a larger than life energy. We’ve got a beautiful new website (Huge thank you to Jorge and team at Peralta Design!!) and a homebase for all of the Celebrate Shelton news. We’ve rebranded all of our events (big shoutout to the incredible Magge Gagliardi!!) We have been focusing closely on our non-profit partnerships and our corporate and community sponsors are committed to Celebrate Shelton and the future of what we do. We are genuinely excited about what we’re bringing to the table for you guys this year, so buckle in.
There are so many amazing events for 2022 that we’ve got planned for our community. The first one up is Mamas and Mimosas, which is FINALLY returning! We are heading over to Adam’s House on May 7th from 10 AM to 3pm (right after The Great Give on May 4 and May 5, a 36 hour online giving event to support non-profits). If you haven’t heard of Mamas and Mimosas, let us give you the lowdown: Shopping. Drinks. Wellness. Selfcare. Yes. Please. Sign me up!
Your favorite local handmade artisans are going to be there, offering skin care, candles, pottery, flowers, jewelry, and much, much more. Our beauty sponsor, Sona Bella Salon & Spa are handling our VIP ticket holders; offering swag bags and a mini manicure or hair service as part of the VIP package (they raised $3200 for Adam’s House during their one day Glam-A-Thon!) . And if you want to dive in deeper - we’ve got you. Tarot readings and aura readings are also available. Personally, we are mostly excited for the wellness workshops. Art therapy, guided meditations, intimacy, female empowerment, and you know it, real estate. It’s absolutely imperative to share these resources, to become the best versions of ourselves and to reflect that to the people who surround us.
Mamas and Mimosas is a feel-good event for the ladies while shining a light on all things local, and it benefits our good friends at Adam’s House. Adam’s House is a moving foundation that helps children, teens, and families cope with grief and loss. It is a cause that is very dear to our hearts, and we are absolutely honored to work with them as much as we can. It takes a village, which is why we do this, and are grateful for the growing support.
After that, we’ve got Food Trucks on the River on Saturday, June 18th at Veterans Memorial Park. This annual event is a homerun. Every. Single. Time. The Last Food Trucks event had over FIVE THOUSAND people show up.This year, we’ve got to keep up with you guys. More Food Trucks. More people. And yes, we’re still having live music and delicious craft brews! Obviously, there’s going to be so many different foods to choose from. But I can’t wait to get my hands on some good barbeque and tacos. Nothing makes us happier than y’all with local eats. You know when it’s local, it tastes better.
If you didn’t catch our lineup for Downtown Sounds last year, you are in for a real treat this year. There are so many local musicians with amazing talent that you better see now before they get scooped up! We’ve got great drinks, great space, awesome food, and incredibly talented artisans this year, all showcasing their best work. We’ll be jamming for three weeks this year on each Friday. date: July 22nd, July 29th, and August 5th at Veterans Memorial Park. Bring your buds, get some brews from New England Brewing Company, and let’s get down to some local sound.
Of course, there always has to be an encore to Downtown Sounds. 3 weeks is just never enough for us. We’ve always got to keep going. And what is living in Connecticut, without Fall? Hoodies, leaves changing, pumpkins, Halloween, and that crisp chilly air. That’s why we’re doing Downtown Sounds: Fall Edition on October 8th with The Alpaca Gnomes!!! The weather is always perfect for this one, it’s never too cold or too hot. We’ve always got a hot beverage truck, and some delicious comfort food to warm you up. It’s definitely my favorite event. There’s nothing like vibing with a blanket and a beer, while your fave local band is jamming in front of you.
Last but not least, to end the year joyously, host our Community Holiday Tree Lighting with so many friends: Boys Scouts, Valley Shakespeare Festival, Center Stage Theater and Boys & Girls Club of LNV. Last year we had Santa, horse drawn carriage rides, community performances, our first ever bonfires, hot cocoa &
cookies, handmade artisan vendors, and some really great community give back booths. Stay tuned for this year, and what we’ve got planned for you!
And, if you were reading this entire blog post, unsure of what’s going on, who we are, or what our deal is. Hi. We’re Celebrate Shelton. We are making our community brighter, one event at a time. Our mission is to provide high quality concerts, community gatherings, and seasonal experiences that improve arts engagement within the Shelton community and beyond. We seek to provide low-to-no cost events that strengthen the ties within our community, bring together families, and promote cultural enrichment.
Shelton, we love you. And we’re excited to kick off our event season with you. Here’s to our community. Cheers!