Editor’s note: The Wilton Wood Turtle Committee decided at its meeting Thursday, April 8, to suspend the festival, with the possibility of reviving it in the future. The following is a letter from director Nalani Bever explaining the decision.
An open letter to the residents of Wilton:
The annual celebration sponsored by Wilton Wood Turtle Days, Inc., has been suspended for 2021.
Of course, the question is “why?” The answer is relatively simple: the continuing lack of workers needed to sustain the festival and maintain the quality that both the organizers and the community have come to expect.
We will sponsor the “Turtle Trot” on Saturday, July 31, as a fundraiser to continue our support of projects and activities in both the Village of Wilton and the Norwalk-Ontario-Wilton School District.
We want to assure you this decision was not made lightly or in haste.
We could never have had the success of the festival without the support of so many folks, both residents and those who resided away from Wilton, but were willing to be a part of the festival because they still considered Wilton “home.” You are and will always be special, for without you, we would never have made it this far.
My family have so many memories, not only of Turtle Days, but also of Wilton Fun Fest. Circling the ball diamond and volleyball courts with orange fence before the days of the permanent fencing. We have home movies of Kenny Koebernick, Jan Brandau and the Brueggens gathering around our kitchen table to mark and put umpteen decks of cards into separate envelopes for the poker run. We worked together with those same folks and others in the wee, small hours of the morning to clean the park and ready it for the next day. Memories of selling chances on the duck races. Memories too numerous to put in this letter. My girls could always count on mother to fund their weekend activities, be they kids’ games, hot shots, carnival rides, tractor pull, or whatever they could be a part of. Bug mother when she was in the middle of something, and the dollar bills were easy to get!
We do not know what the future holds, but we cannot thank you enough for your support in the past.
I could not conclude this letter without thanking Lori Brueggen, for it is she who has been the driving force these past few years, with the able assistance of Mike O’Rourke and Phyllis Brandau. Lori’s immediate and extended family also have spent countless hours to help over the years.
Nalani Bever, Director
Wilton Wood Turtle Days, Inc.