Back in the day, the Westport Woman’s Club’s Yankee Doodle Fair raised money to build sidewalks on Main Street, install toilets at Compo Beach, and bring hot meals and health care to our schools.
That day was 100 years ago.
Today we’ve got sidewalks (some in retro red brick). There are toilets at Compo (both permanent and portable). And our schools serve plenty of hot meals (though at least Two Angry Moms think they’re not exactly healthful).
But the Yankee Doodle Fair still raises money for local causes. Last year, the Woman’s Club donated $200,000 to community groups.
That would pay for a lot of Port-a-Potties.
This year’s Fair opens tomorrow (Thursday, June 17, 5-11 p.m.). It continues through Sunday at the Woman’s Club on Imperial Avenue.
There’ll be a Ferris wheel, flying Dumbo, kiddie cars, basketball toss, bumper cars, tower drop, giant slide, scrambler, and the “brand new and breath-taking Zero Gravity.”
For the less adventurous, there’s face painting, sand art, and plant and bake sales.
The Westport Woman’s Club downplays their civic contributions. Few Yankee Doodle Fair-goers — little kids enjoying the rides; middle schoolers primping and preening; adults reliving a relic of their youth — even realize they help the organizers support dozens of worthy charities.
That’s fine. The last thing you want to think about — hanging upside down on the banks of the Saugatuck River, your change falling out of your pockets — is where your money is going.
Well, let me rephrase that…