Dog show

St. Mark’s May Fair adds dog show and sustainability to New Canaan

NEW CANAAN — A black Labrador named Zipper sat upright and perfectly still, waiting for a prayer to end before eating, at the family dog ​​show at the recent St. Mark’s Fair.

Zipper was one of 18 rescue and non-rescue covers on the new show, displaying their training and being introduced by children from the dog’s family. After a short interview conducted by Mark Thorsheim, the siblings often worked together to coax dogs onto a training ramp. Some have. Some did not.

“The goal was to showcase the children in our community and their love for their pets,” said volunteer Margot Bright. “The cutest thing was trying to get the dogs up the ramp.”

The event had 21 participants originally, but had fewer due to rain.

“People really seemed to like it because it was focused on young families. The kids were so proud of their dogs,” said event organizer George Wright, IV. “All the dogs were so funny and well behaved.”

Despite the rain, the fair drew 5,000 to 6,000 visitors to the green of St. Mark’s Episcopal Church at 111 Oenoke Ridge, according to Wright.

The event, held on Friday and Saturday and formerly called the Strawberry Festival, has attracted nearly 7,000 attendees in the past, but this year, after a two-year hiatus, it has faced… rain and wind both days.

Christa Carr brought her three children aged 7, 11 and 15 to the fair. “The kids are so excited, it’s been two years, they don’t care about the rain. It’s all about fun,” she added.

Families came to enjoy the 20 rides, carnival games, food trucks, face painting and crafts, and shopping at the white elephant sale.

After eating St. Mark’s “famous” strawberry shortcake and other offerings, visitors were led by volunteers to separate compostable food waste and recyclables at four food waste stations. The stations met the church’s sustainability goals and were sponsored by Planet New Canaan.

Not all visitors needed guidance on practicing sustainability, recalled Robin Bates-Mason, president of Planet New Canaan.

“I ran a little girl to the compost bin to throw away a container of popcorn — which isn’t accepted because the container is covered in plastic,” Bates said. “I told her it wasn’t accepted and she looked at me and said, ‘The popcorn goes in the compost and the box goes in the trash.’ She was absolutely right and she knew what she was doing.

The effort collected 26 large bags of food scraps with the busiest station near the popular Strawberry Shortcake Tent, Bates-Mason added. The stations will be available for other city events in the future, as organizers hope to inspire locals to recycle leftover food at home.

Planet New Canaan raised over $2,000 from more than 80 people who sponsored the stations. The church had purchased the compostable utensils and the waste was collected by Curbside Compost.

The sale of white elephants took place in tents offering furniture, plants, books, toys, outdoor furniture and sports equipment.