Lt. Governor Nancy Wyman Leads Connecticut Day Celebration at 2012 Big E
Posted on September 21, 2012
Lieutenant Governor Nancy Wyman led the celebration of Connecticut Day September 19 at the Big E in West Springfield, Massachusetts. Arriving at the Nutmeg State building on the Avenue of States around 2:30 p.m., Wyman was greeted by Sgt. Jeff Samonajczyk and other members of the Connecticut Environmental Conservation Police. Wyman spent the better part of the afternoon mingling with exhibitors and constituents before taking the podium on a stage out front to address the crowd.
“Connecticut will always bring you a sunny day,” said Wyman, speaking under clear, blue skies.
Gene Cassidy, first year president of the Eastern States Exposition – nicknamed the Big E – spoke too as part of pomp and circumstance that also featured the governor’s guard at attention along the front walkway for the playing of the national anthem. That proceeded a kick-off of the Connecticut Day parade led by Wyman. A slight delay in the start gave her a chance to step out of parade formation and shake hands with spectators.
“Nancy is everywhere,” said Master of Ceremonies and Connecticut broadcaster Brad Davis, in his 25th year as emcee of the event.
On a somber note, Davis who is a friend of Wyman’s, praised her for initiating a Wall of Honor at the state Capitol in Hartford to memorialize Connecticut military personnel killed in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
“The saddest thing I’ve ever attended,” Davis said recalling a Wall of Honor ceremony.
“Brad is not only the ‘voice of Connecticut’ but he is the voice of Connecticut here in Massachusetts,” Cassidy said during an interview with newsandviewsjb.
Inside the Connecticut building, which is a state house replica, Wyman chatted with Craig McBurney at the Connecticut Corsair exhibit. Renown aviator Charles Lindberg flew combat missions in a Corsair. Described as the first single engine
United States military aircraft to achieve 400 miles per hour in level, Corsair was designed to use the “largest available propeller, while keeping the airframe as small as possible.” During the height of World War II production, a Corsair is said to have been produced in Stratford, Connecticut “every 55 minutes.”
Corsair is now the centerpiece of a “restoration through innovation and education” project explained McBurney. Involving Connecticut students in rebuilding of the Corsair, the project aims to attract students of all ages into the state’s engineering and manufacturing workforce. Educational programs connected with the Corsair project include, Sikorsky Aircraft Innovations High School STEM Challenge, Connecticut NASA Space Grant Consortium, CT First Robotics and the University of Connecticut School of Engineering Senior Projects.
“The lieutenant governor is a big supporter of STEM. She invited us to an event with fourteen high schools at Chester Airport on the 27th, ” noted McBurney.
On the lighter side, Connecticut building exhibitors also included Rosie-Blake’s Chocolates, Wooster Street Pizza, J. Foster Ice Cream of Avon, Papa’s CT Mountain Brew Old Fashioned Soda, authors, and a fun display by LEGO. A Mark Twain impersonator and the Glamour Girls of Hartford performing popular hits of the
Over at the New England Grange building, a handcrafted quilt was being raffled off to benefit the CT Wounded Warriors Project. According to grange members, Bob Brockett of Granby, Conn. and Richard DeCosta and Charles Martin of Worcester,Vermont, this is the eighth consecutive quilt raffle to help various causes in New England. The last one raffled for a Connecticut cause was in 2007 when $2300. was raised for the Connecticut Children’s Medical Center, they said.
Led off by Wyman, also taking part were the Connecticut National Guard Color Guard, the 2012 Junior League Connecticut Champions, the Connecticut State Police, a CT National Guard monster truck, antique car club, South Windsor Kennel Club, Ms. Senior Connecticut , businesses such as Guida Dairy and Clydesdale horse-drawn wagons. High school marching bands turned out from across the state – Bethel High, Cromwell, East Hartford, East Haven, East Windsor, Ellington High, Hartford Magnet, Lewis S. Mills, Portland, Shelton and Somers along with the U.S Coast Guard Band. Judging from the smiles and applause from viewers, the parade did not disappoint.
Who doesn’t love a parade photo gallery…