August 5, 2012

Crocodile Club gathers on September 7

Frank Nicastro and Richard Inglis, with a crocodile, at a Crocodile Club gahering  more than a decade ago.
Press release:
BRISTOL, CT – The Crocodile Club is back again this year and will be held at Lake Compounce on Friday, September 7, 2012. Lake Compounce General Manager Jerry Brick continues to support this event in 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 131th reunion dinner with its unique gathering of individuals who put aside their political differences to celebrate this commitment by the park owners.
Please join in, as a capacity turnout is expected.

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, which was first served in 1875, will commence promptly at 2:00 PM. During dinner, Crocodile Club President, Ray Dunaway will preside over a lively and interesting program. Good speeches and bad jokes are limited to three minutes per person, and NO serious political speeches are allowed.

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.

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.”

Guests will be accommodated on a first come, first served basis. A payment made payable to Crocodile Club for fifty dollars each must be received for each participant by August 20, 2012. Mail to the Crocodile Club, c/o Carousel Museum, 95 Riverside Ave, Bristol, CT 06010. The dinner registration form can be downloaded from the Carousel Museum website.

Upon receipt of your payment, your name will be entered into the guest database and your ticket(s) will be mailed to you or they can be picked up at “will call” at the front gate. 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.

Copyright 2012. All rights reserved. Contact Steve Collins at

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