With live music, games, water rides, crafts, jewelry, food, cake decorating, and even a tug of war, this year’s third annual Weed Beach Fest is sure to be a good time for all.
Weed Beach Fest, which is free and open to the public, will take place Saturday, June 1, from noon to 7 p.m, across 25,000 square feet at Weed Beach, 155 Nearwater Lane, in Darien.
At the event, which is hosted by Darien Parks & Recreation, there will be three live bands performing in waves.
“We have a massive stage we tow out right to the middle of the beach where bands perform throughout the event,” said Jami Gore, Recreation Program supervisor for the town of Darien and event coordinator for Weed Beach Fest.
The bands include Gunsmoke, a Darien-based band that plays country music and is returning from playing at the first Weed Beach Fest. There are also two new bands this year: Chasing Day, a folk band from Darien; and The Alex Shillo Band from Manchester, which is a Bruce Springsteen cover band.
Food will include burgers and hot dogs, as well as a fresh clambake.
There will be a variety of 15 to 20 crafts and business vendors on-site.
"The Kids Cove, hosted by the Darien Foundation, will be from noon to 5 p.m. There will be with games and activities targeted for ages 4 to 12, but welcome to children of all ages. The Kids Cove will also have a net with badminton and beach balls to play volleyball.
It is free and the first 100 children who come will get a free T-shirt and wrist band while supplies last.
The Darien Foundation has sponsored Kids Cove in honor of the 10th birthday of the Playground by the Sound. The Darien Foundation supplied the initial grant to fund the project.
“They provided a $57,000 leadership grant to fund the playground,” Gore said.
The Darien Youth Commission is coordinating Kids Cove. “It will be themed for the playground’s birthday,” Gore said.
There will be birthday cake decorating from noon to 4 p.m. At 4 p.m., “we will bring all the kids up on the big stage on the beach,” Gore said. “They will show off what they created and we will sing ‘Happy Birthday.’”
She added that the Darien Youth Commission “has been extremely involved in helping us prep for the event and will have volunteers on-site to assist during the event as well.”
The Masonic Club of Darien will be providing parents and caregivers with information about the CT Chip Identification Program, which is a free, statewide child recovery and identification program. It helps police to find children if they are missing.
Children will also get to handle sea animals that live in the Sound. “That way the kids get to see, touch and learn about the creatures living in the water right at their beach,” Gore said.

It took many months to prepare for Weed Beach Fest, according to Gore.
“It’s a combination effort across our entire staff,” Gore said. “We already started planning the 2020 Weed Beach Fest.”
Weed Beach Fest has been growing, according to Gore.
Even though it rained both years, the first year, there were between 500 and 800 people; and last year, 1,200 people came, she said.
“It’s our town kickoff to summer event,” Gore said. “We truly believe it’s the definition of a community event. There will be all local community sponsors and local vendors.”
VIP parking is on-site at the beach for $20. There is free parking at Hindley Elementary School, 10 Nearwater Lane, with a free shuttle running all day.
Weed Beach Fest is in the location of Darien’s 2020 anniversary celebration, which will take place next year.
For more information, or to purchase clambake tickets, visit darienct.gov/parkrec or call the Parks & Recreation office at 203-656-7325.
sfox@darientimes.com