Sunday, May 16

Lake Compounce celebrates anniversary, other area entertainment venues opening doors soon 

State residents will soon be able to return to entertainment and sports venues as COVID restrictions ease.

Lake Compounce, 822 Lake Ave., Bristol, was able to open in July of last year at 25 percent capacity before the state ordered the amusement park to close in September.

“It’s been a pretty long off season,” said Paige Schmitt, Lake Compounce’s content manager. “We’re so excited to get ready, get everything moving this year. I know everyone is going to be excited to get out and enjoy the nice summer weather we’ve got coming.”

On April 2, outdoor amusement parks can open along with other outdoor venues, indoor stadiums and summer camps, according to the state’s website. Festivals can also begin making plans for the upcoming season.

Lake Compounce will also be celebrating its 175th anniversary and showcasing a new ride.

“We have a lot going on in the park,” Schmitt said.

The Venus Vortex, a bright yellow and green, six-story water slide will be making its debut this spring.

“Everyone also loves the water park — which how can you not on a hot summer day,” Schmitt said.

The park also features the Phobia Phear Coaster and Zoomerang ride.

The New Britain Bees’ season will begin soon after a shortened 2020 season. Normally the season starts late May but it was pushed back to early July last year. The team, part of the Futures Collegiate Baseball League, plays in New Britain Stadium at Willow Brook Park.

“Our schedule is not out just yet,” General Manager Bret DeRosa said. “This league usually starts at the end of May. So it’s going to start on time as opposed to last season.”

The team has players from over 24 Connecticut towns.

Like Lake Compounce, the stadium could only open to 25 percent capacity last season, which amounted to about 1,500 fans. However, the general manager said this year the stadium will be able to open up to 50 percent capacity.

In Wallingford, Square Foot Theater, 950 Yale Ave., has been closed since the beginning of the pandemic while the indoor tavern has been open since October.

Jared Andrew Brown, the theater’s co-founder and executive director, announced on Facebook Live on Thursday that the theater would be opening on March 19.

“We are so excited to be open in any capacity,” Brown said. “Governor Lamont said that we can open at half capacity and still keep a safe distance.”

While still brainstorming on different ways to hold live shows, the theater will be open for indoor and outdoor private rentals as well as two, two-week theater intensives for all ages.

The Almira F. Stephan Memorial Playhouse, home to Meriden’s Castle Craig Players, shut its doors in March and although the changes would allow the theater to reopen, Melanie DelSole, president of the community theater group, is unsure if opening would make sense now.

“Our theater only (holds) about 60 people,” DelSole said. “It’s awesome that they’re starting to say that we can do something but we aren’t 100 percent sure we’ll be able to.”

The theater group is considering outdoor performances as spring approaches, she added.

fwilliams@record-journal.com203-317-2373Twitter: @faith_williams2

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