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‘Conny’ Has a ‘Whale’ of a 40th Birthday Party in West Hartford

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The Children’s Museum celebrated the 40th birthday of its iconic whale statue on Saturday.

By Ronni Newton, video by David Chmielewski/Direct Line Media

The Children’s Museum in West Hartford capped off the “Year of Conny” with a gala celebration Saturday of the whale’s 40th birthday.

According to Membership and Marketing Coordinator Tessa Rickart, approximately 375 people attended the celebration which was held outdoors near the whale statue as well as inside the museum.

“We had 20-25 of the original builders here. It was awesome to have them come back 40 years later and be honored,” Rickart said. It took hundreds of hours of volunteer labor to construct Conny in 1975-76, and some of those who attended the birthday said it was like a family reunion and they wanted to “pay homage” to Conny.

The Children’s Museum was awarded a $2,006 Connecticut Humanities grant in support of the 40th annivesersary of the building of the 60-foot sperm whale statue, originally built in honor of Connecticut adopting the sperm whale as its state animal. The name “Conny” is short for “Connecticut.”

“We’re very grateful for the support of Connecticut Humanities, without which we would be unable to offer this wide array of educational and cultural activities for families throughout our region,” Children’s Museum Executive Director Michael Werle said in a statement.

West Hartford Mayor Shari Cantor attended the party, and read a proclamation declaring June 25, 2016, “Conny the Whale Day.”

The celebration also included educational programs and activities for children, and guests from the Cetacean Society International, Mystic Seaport, Don Sineti and Friends, the Connecticut River Ramblers, and Country 92.5.

“It was a great day, and a good time for all,” said Rickart.

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