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Major Sponsor, New Team Members, and 2023 Celebrate! West Hartford Dates Announced

Celebrate! West Hartford Director Linda Geisler (left) receives a check for $10,000 from PeoplesBank Senior Specialist Karmeliz Camacho. PeoplesBank has renewed their commitment as a Presenting Sponsor. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

PeoplesBank has renewed their commitment as a Presenting Sponsor for Celebrate! West Hartford, which will return on June 10 and 11, 2023.

Celebrate! West Hartford. June 11, 2022. Photo Credit: Lily Guberman (we-ha.com file photo)

By Ronni Newton

West Hartford was definitely ready to celebrate last spring, and after a two-year hiatus the town’s signature festival, Celebrate! West Hartford, returned with an event that many remarked was the best-ever.

Thanks to a major re-investment from PeoplesBank – which became the festival’s first-ever Presenting Sponsor last year, announcing a donation of $10,000 before even opening the doors of their branch on LaSalle Road – planning for the 36th annual Celebrate! West Hartford, which will take place on Saturday and Sunday, June 10 and 11, 2023, is already well underway.

“Renewing their sponsorship for the 2023 festival demonstrates PeoplesBank’s commitment to investing in our community,” said Linda Geisler, the event director. “We are very grateful to them. Celebrate! West Hartford is a not-for-profit self-sustaining event. The festival depends on sponsorship funds to cover the costs of producing the festival.”

At a presentation of the $10,000 sponsorship donation on Dec. 9, Banking Center Manager Kris Lucke said the support is in line with their mission. “We are a community bank. We reinvest in the neighborhood we’re in. We really believe in that.”

The Celebrate! West Hartford team and PeoplesBank met for the presentation of a sponsorship check. From left: Festival Committee Co-Chair Marsha Jacobskind, Banking Center Manager Kris Lucke, Arts & Crafts Show Coordinator Rebecca Holmes, Festival Director Linda Geisler, Banking Center Senior Specialist Karmeliz Camacho, Banking Center Operations Specialist Neelam Parmar, Festival Committee Co-Chair Elina Tannenbaum, FUNd Run Committee Chair Peter Travers. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Matthew Bannister, head of corporate responsibility for PeoplesBank, said they are proud to return as presenting sponsor for Celebrate! West Hartford.

“We have found the community to be so special, and so welcoming, that it is truly a pleasure to support this event,” he said in a statement. “We look forward to seeing many smiles on many faces that weekend.”

The Festival Committee welcomes some new members this year, and Geisler has also announced the appointment of co-chairs Marsha Jacobskind and Elina Tannenbaum. The Festival Committee works with Geisler and other Town of West Hartford staff to provide and coordinate volunteer support needed to run the annual event.

Jacobskind, who moved to West Hartford in 2019, participated in the festival as a sponsor last year and is excited to jump in and be involved in this new role.

“Celebrate! West Hartford is a unique opportunity for our entire community to gather and embrace what makes our town uniquely wonderful,” she said. “It is a wonderful time to kick off summer with fun for everyone from toddlers to retirees.”

She and Tannenbaum know each other well, and both also co-chair the Moms & More group and are active with other community-enhancing organizations.

“Celebrate! West Hartford is only possible with the support of our entire community,” Tannenbaum said. “Volunteers are crucial to the festival’s success – and I encourage each member of our town to find a way to participate.”

Peter Travers has returned as chair of the FUNd Runs Committee, which is responsible for the Kids’ K and 5K, both held on the Sunday morning of the festival, Geisler said.

Geisler also welcomes Rebecca Holmes, who has joined the Celebrate! West Hartford staff as the coordinator for the Arts & Crafts Show, following the retirement of long-time coordinator Barbara Belmont.

“After living and working in West Hartford my whole life, I am excited to be part of coordinating the Celebrate! West Hartford Arts and Crafts Show,” Holmes said. “I’ve already heard from many returning artisans, and I am looking forward to welcoming new artists to our juried show.”

Celebrate! West Hartford team members include (from left): Rebecca Holmes, Marsha Jacobskind, Elina Tannenbaum, and Peter Travers. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Geisler said returning members of the Festival and FUNd Runs Committee for 2023 include Jeff Billing, Steph Blozy, Michael Byrne, Peter Hawley, Kitty Horigan, Marisa Mascolo Halm, Joan Karas, Owen Kutscher, Bob McCue, Dodie Mendal, Ronni Newton, Ann Parizo, Lisa Pillow, Lynne Tapper, and Paul Turco.

Applications are now being accepted for Arts & Crafts show participants as well as nonprofits, food vendors, and sponsors. For more information, visit the website CelebrateWestHartford.com.

The two-day Celebrate! West Hartford Festival, which will be held for the 36th year, will be held on the grounds of West Hartford Town Hall on Saturday, June 10, and Sunday, June 11, 2023. The annual event traditionally draws close to 40,000 visitors, and is highlighted by a juried arts & crafts Show that includes more than 150 vendors, a business and nonprofit expo with more than 100 organizations, a food court offering a wide variety of ethnic cuisine as well as festival food, live music, a carnival, and the 5K and Kids’ K FUNd Runs.

Celebrate! West Hartford. June 12, 2022. Photo credit: Ronni Newton (we-ha.com file photo)

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