The Bristol Blog features news and information about Bristol, Connecticut.
July 13, 2010
Crocodile Club makes a comeback
Press release from the New England Carousel Museum:
The Crocodile Club is back!
The New England Carousel Museum, a non-profit treasure in the Connecticut community, has received permission from the Norton family to resurrect the old Crocodile Club. Lake Compounce has agreed to work with the Museum to bring back the annual dinner meeting at the usual gathering place, the Lake Compounce Ballroom. Lake Compounce General Manager Jerry Brick continues to support this event as a symbol of his commitment to the tradition established by the Norton family for Lake Compounce, the oldest continuously operating amusement park in the country. The Crocodile Club, will celebrate its 129th reunion dinner with its unique gathering of individuals who put aside their political differences to celebrate this commitment by the park owners. Please join us on Tuesday, August 31, 2010, as a capacity turnout is expected. This is a big and exciting local election year! As a special treat from our generous hosts, free rides on the carousel will be available from 12:00 noon to 1:30 pm.
As usual, the festivities will begin with the social hour at 1:00 P.M. (when crocodile tears are shed!) For early arrivers, a cash bar will be available from 12:00 noon onward upstairs in the ballroom. The traditional dinner of lamb and fried corn with all the trimmings, that was first served in 1875, will commence promptly at 2:00 PM. After dinner, a lively and interesting program with guest speakers will follow. Remember, good speeches and bad jokes are limited to three minutes per person, and NO political speeches are allowed.
We are told by the Norton family that the “Crocodile Club” was formed in 1875 when Gad Norton, who was a former legislator, and who also started the amusement park in 1846, decided to thank his colleagues in the State Legislature for their help in passing a statute that changed the town line between Bristol and Southington so as to put his farmhouse in Bristol. The reason for this request was so that he could vote in Bristol where he did all his trading and knew more people. Also, in the days of horses and buggies, old dirt roads, and tough winters, the three mile ride to Bristol was a lot easier than the six miles to Southington.
For newly-invited members, you must come and learn all of the traditions, meet new and old friends, relish the unique menu, and shake hands with all the important politicians, including this year’s political candidates from all parties. Never will you see and meet so many candidates from all sides in one place in such intimate surroundings, all having a good time kidding each other, with no serious politics allowed. That policy was dictated to the original group by host, Gad Norton himself, who said, “there will be no serious politics allowed, no post-mortems from the last legislative session, -- just pleasant sociability, good fun, and good food.”
Invitations have gone out and a large crowd is expected. Guests will be accommodated on a first come, first served basis. A check made payable to Crocodile Club for fifty dollars each must be received for each participant by August 15, 2010. Mail to the Crocodile Club, c/o Carousel Museum, 95 Riverside Ave, Bristol, CT 06010.
Upon receipt of your check, your name will be entered into the guest database and your ticket(s) can be picked up at “will call” at the front gate. There are four ticket booths where volunteers will be serving you alphabetically. Transportation will be provided from the Lake Compounce parking lot to the main gate. You must have your ticket with you in order to get into the ballroom and get fed.
For tickets contact the New England Carousel Museum, 95 Riverside Avenue, Bristol, CT 06010. 860 585-5411. www.thecarouselmuseum.org
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