Frisbee festival debuts at Seaside Park
A competitive Ultimate Frisbee and Disc Golf player with about 30 years experience, Fairfielder Dan O'Connor decided awhile ago that Bridgeport deserved its own Frisbee festival.
His idea is being turned into reality on Saturday, May 9, when "Circles on Sounds" debuts at Seaside Park with the support of the city and numerous area organizations.
"This event is all about Frisbees and Bridgeport's proud past with the Frisbie Pie Co., and a bright future with sports and active play outside at the city's beautiful parks," O'Connor wrote in an email.
O'Connor said in a chat that the history of the Frisbee disc begins at Bridgeport's former Frisbie Pie Co. (which closed in the late 1950s), where employees apparently tossed around pie tins for amusement on lunch breaks. Hence the idea for the sport using plastic "Frisbees" (with a slightly different spelling).
Ultimate Frisbee and Disc Golf competition will take place around the park. The hub of activity, O'Connor said, will be the area around the Seaside Park bandshell, which will be fenced off and require admission tickets.
Among the festival features will be performances by the World Famous Frisbee Dogs, a World's Top Freestyle Frisbee competition, demonstrations by a troupe of hula-hoopers, a blueberry pie-eating contest, a children's tent, face painting, food vendors, merchandise tents and sponsor tents.
More InformationSeaside Park, Park Avenue, Bridgeport, near the bandshell. Saturday, May 9, 11:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Admission is $7 online through May 8; $15 at the gate. Children 12 and younger are free with paying adult. Family Fun Pack is $20, which includes two adults/two teenagers. Competition begins at 9 a.m.; spectators welcome. circlesonsounds.com,
Musical entertainment at the bandshell will include Gatsby's Green Light, Funky Dawgs Brass Band, Alpaca Gnomes, Rockwell, Mojo and the School of Rock House Band.
O'Connor, a certified USA Ultimate coach, said the event is planned to coincide with Mother's Day weekend.
"This is a great opportunity for moms and dads and the children to enjoy each other's company at a great family fun festival," he said.
Interest in Frisbee sports is at an all-time high, O'Connor said.
"Ultimate Frisbee (team competition) is the fastest growing sport in America, with 20 percent growth in 2013 and over 5.1 million players in the United States. There are now professional Ultimate teams throughout the United States, and Ultimate Frisbee is now part of the International Olympic Committee review for future Olympics.
"Frisbee sports, including disc golf, freestyle and canine Frisbee demonstrations, are growing in both participation and exposure through the U.S. and throughout the world."
According to discgolf.com, "Disc golf is similar to regular golf; however, instead of using golf clubs and balls aiming for a hole, disc golf players use golf discs and aim for a disc pole hole, a pole extending up from the ground with chains and a basket where the disc lands. The object of the game is to complete each hole in the fewest number of throws, starting from a tee area and finishing at the disc pole hole."
O'Connor said he hopes the festival attracts about 5,000 festival-goers throughout the day, and that he has an opportunity to break two Guinness World Records: the largest Ultimate Frisbee event with 100 participants, and the largest Frisbee Toss with 1,000 participants.
The organizer said proceeds from the event will go to the Bridgeport Summer Camp program for the purchase of Frisbees, and all equipment for an Ultimate Frisbee program. Monies also will be used for Ultimate Frisbee coaching sessions during the summer camp.
Seaside Park, Park Avenue, Bridgeport, near the bandshell. Saturday, May 9, 11:30 a.m.-6:30 p.m. Admission is $7 online through May 8; $15 at the gate. Ages 12 and younger are free with paying adult. Family Fun Pack is $20, which includes two adults/two teenagers. Competition begins at 9 a.m.; spectators welcome. circlesonsounds.com.