Caffeine and Carburetors eyeing four events in 2018
By Humberto J. RochaUpdated
NEW CANAAN — Doug Zumbach, owner of the coffee shop bearing his last name on Pine Street, has applied to the Parks and Recreation Commission for permission to host four Caffeine and Carburetors events in downtown New Canaan and Waveny Park.
Zumbach’s proposed dates are April 22 and Sept. 16 in downtown New Canaan and June 17 and Oct. 21 at Waveny Park. These gatherings for automobile fanatics were hosted for the first time back in 1995.
At a meeting on Jan. 10, the chairman of the Parks and Recreation Commission, Sally Campbell, expressed her concern the events have been too large.
“One of the big concerns is that your last group drew 1,300 people and the park is not enormous,” Campbell said. “We thought it would be helpful coming up with a way that there is a registration system so we have a bit more control.”
Zumbach added that other precautions, such as doubling the insurance policy for the event from $1 million to $2 million, would help ensure that event would go smoothly.
Recreation Director Steve Benko noted that the problem is not particularly with the number of exhibitors but rather additional people who show up and possibly take up more parking spots as a result.
Zumbach noted that the system he’s thinking of using would only register cars that are attending the event, not individuals. “Crowd numbers would be difficult,” Zumbach said.
Campbell said that Zumbach’s presentation on Jan. 10 had been a “heads up.” Campbell added the next Parks and Recreation Commission meeting in February would be where additional questions would be made.
Zumbach will meet with the Police Commission on Jan. 17 as well as with Tucker Murphy, the director of the New Canaan Chamber of Commerce and Tom Stadler, town administrator, to help structure the events in the coming weeks.
First Selectman Kevin Moynihan, in a meeting with local media on Jan. 11, said that the September 2017 Caffeine and Carburetors event had been too big. He added that the walking trails at Waveny Park could be damaged by cars finding parking in order to attend the event.
Zumbach took some time off last year to work on some personal projects. He believes people will be excited to see the return of the automobile event and recalled the success of previous events.
“We’re excited to add some new elements to the show but the basis will remain the same - a car gathering for auto enthusiasts. People from all over New England come down into our community. I’d say it’s the largest event in town after the 4th of July fireworks,” Zumbach said.
When asked for an update on the way cars and people may be registered for the possible upcoming Caffeine and Carburetors, Zumbach said that he had sent a registration application for trial purpose to the Parks and Recreation Commission. “They’ll test it out and base their approval, they want to know the amount of people who come to the event and we’ll do our best to do so,” Zumbach said.
The founder of Caffeine and Carburetors also detailed his idea for a lecture series at the New Canaan Library in an effort to reach out to a younger crowd. “Topics could include restoration of cars and car care, things that would interest someone with that hobby,” Zumbach said.
The Parks and Recreation Commission will meet again on Feb. 14 to cast their votes regarding the Caffeine and Carburetors tentative events.