Festival By The Sound
An on-the-water pirate battle, fencing demonstrations, and a series of science talks will highlight a two-day Festival by the Sound at the Avery Point campus on Oct. 22 and 23.
The festival, “Sea, Science, and Swashbucklers” is co-sponsored by UConn, the Greater Mystic Chamber of Commerce and a number of area businesses.
“The festival offers us a chance to invite the public to see our shoreline campus and get a taste of the many marine science and maritime activities that take place here,” says Joseph Comprone, associate vice provost for the campus. “We are pleased to partner with the Mystic Chamber of Commerce, which is responsible for bringing so many people out to area landmarks and activities.”
The festivities begin with a pirates’ ball on Friday, Oct. 22 from 6:30 p.m. to midnight. The costume ball, which costs $75 per person, features live and silent auctions and will raise money for marine-related scholarships. It will showcase the Branford House, a Newport-style mansion on the campus. Built by railroad magnate Morton Plant, the house fronts on Long Island Sound. Activities will take place both in Branford House and in a heated tent on the lawn.
Saturday’s festivities, many of which will be on the lawn at the Branford House, will include a pirate battle on the water at 10:30 a.m. and again at 3 p.m., as well as a number of talks by scientists and authors. Admission to the Saturday event is free, and there will be a charge for some activities. Parking will be $5 per car at off-site lots. Patrons will be bused to the Avery Point campus.
The festivities coincide with an open house for the campus, which offers four-year undergraduate degree programs in American studies, maritime studies, and coastal studies, and also undergraduate courses for students who want to spend their first two years at the campus before completing their degrees in Storrs.
The activities on Saturday will include wandering swashbucklers, fencing demonstrations by the Thames River Fencing Club, demonstrations of UConn’s remotely-operated undersea vehicles, and music by several groups including True North, Craig Edwards, and Rick Nestler.
There will also be schooner rides on the Argia, an authentic replica of a 19th-century gaff-rigged, 81-foot sailing schooner named for a Roman goddess, and on the Quinnipiack, a two-masted, gaff-rigged, centerboard schooner designed along the lines of a Biloxi, Miss., freight schooner.
Lectures will focus on such topics as plankton, red tides, and bivalves, and there will be exhibitors, including the International Ice Patrol and Mystic Seaport. Vendors will include food booths, and others selling a variety of merchandise.
Project Oceanology will offer a biology cruise on Long Island Sound and a cruise to the ledge lighthouse.
A complete schedule of activities and tickets for the ball are available at: http://web.uconn.edu/festivalbythesound/