Yankee Doodle Comes To Town

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.

Yankee Doodle Fair-goers try their hand at an arcade game. (Photo by Laura Buckman)

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…

One response to “Yankee Doodle Comes To Town

  1. Innocent Bystander

    After seeing the sign for the Fair, I recalled the first (and only) time I ever won anything. It was the ball toss and you had to knock down three bowling pins sitting on a board to win a straw hat. Well the mighty toss of my strong 8 year old arm hit the board and knocked all the pins down. Ended up with the hat which I never wore but cherished. Fun memories of a fun time at a fun fair. Good ole time Westport at its best!