Though Darien lost to New Canaan 20-0 for a Turkey Bowl three-peat on Thanksgiving morning at Darien High School, the event itself was a win for the community. Darien Police issued traffic guidelines and indicated there would be no tailgating allowed on the campus, which is much smaller than Boyle Stadium in Stamford where the game has been held in the past.

This was the first time the game has returned to Darien High School since 2012.

Darien Police Chief Don Anderson gave the credit to Capt. Jeremiah Marron.

“He did an excellent job working with the High School Administration in the overall planning and logistics of this event. Our Darien Police staff likewise executed the plan without a hitch,” he said in an email to the Darien Times.

“This is the way it is supposed to work; proper advance and collaborative planning involving all stakeholders followed by solid execution; this virtually ensures an enjoyable and safe public event for all attendees,” Anderson said.

On Wednesday, Darien High School Principal Ellen Dunn forwarded to parents an announcement she’d made to the students.

“When you attend an event like this, remember that you represent your school and your community. The young children who will be there look up to you as role models and we expect that you will be the examples they seek,” Dunn said.

“Tomorrow, we ask that you bring a Thanksgiving spirit of gratitude to the game. We all have so much to be thankful for and this is a day set aside to recognize the gifts that enrich our lives,” Dunn said.

Schools Superintendent Alan Addley shared photos and also expressed his enthusiasm for how the day went in a tweet, saying “A great community Turkey Bowl tradition. Thanks to everyone for supporting today’s event and for cheering on the kids!

Anderson said the event went much like the Fourth of July fireworks, also held at the high school.

“It seems like many people heeded the traffic advisory and local folks seemed to take a pre-Thanksgiving meal stroll to the game and left the car at home. I think because of this, we did not have any significant traffic delays or parking issues. Thanks are due our residents and guests for their cooperation,” he said.

With tailgating prohibited on the school grounds, many held local private tailgate events before the game at homes within walking distance to the school.

“Although the Blue Wave faithful were obviously disappointed with the outcome of the game, the event itself went off without a hitch,” Anderson said.

Darien (9-1) suffered its first loss of the season and dropped to the No. 3 seed in the Class LL playoffs.

The Blue Wave has another chance for a successful home field community event — it will host No. 6 Greenwich (9-1), the defending Class LL champion, on Tuesday at Darien High.