By Jenn McCulloch/Zip06.com • 08/17/2021 01:30 p.m. EST
In the midst of the COVID lockdown, the Town of East Haven saw many residents step up to give back to their community with several traveling DJs that drove around town playing music to entertain the community. With public gatherings off the table at that time, the Town of East Haven decided to host an East Haven Proud Motorcade that traveled through town for residents to enjoy.
“During COVID, our town was thinking of safe and creative ways to bring our community together during those unprecedented times and the turnout was overwhelming,” said Michelle Benivegna, the assistant director of administration and management for the Town of East Haven. “We witnessed a great deal of enthusiasm from our residents. They are proud to live in this wonderful community of East Haven and that is when the decision was made to make this an annual event.”
The 2021 East Haven Proud Motorcade will launch at noon on Saturday, Aug. 21, with a concert to follow on the Town Green at 4 p.m.
Benivegna took on the task of organizing the event, though she is quick to point out that, “as with every event we hold in town, all town departments have a vital role—from the [East Haven Police and Fire Departments] and our Public Works [Department], no event would be able to be held with out the collaboration between these departments.”
Benivegna is excited that the town is able to expand the event and add more. Due to the large number of expected participants, the East Haven Police Department moved the starting location to Commerce Street in the industrial park. (See the end of the story for the full route.) For those not along the route, Benivegna suggests the corners of Hemingway and Coe avenues or the Town Green as best places to watch.
Everyone is welcome to be a part of the motorcade and residents are encouraged to decorate their cars, though it’s not required. Registration is not required, but participants should arrive at Commerce Street no later than 11:45 a.m. and the motorcade will begin at noon.
“Residents can expect a larger motorcade than last year. There will trucks be outfitted with music, classic cars, emergency vehicles, and proud residents of East Haven with cars decorated,” said Benivegna. “We were thinking of a way to make it even larger than last year’s and since we are able to safely hold concerts, we thought holding a concert to conclude the motorcade would be an awesome way to end the day. Everyone is invited to the Town Green to enjoy the entertainment, not just those who participated in the motorcade. The entertainment is going to be epic.”
Mayor Joe Carfora reached out to Mike DelGuidice about performing as the headliner of the day. Mike DelGuidice Rock & Roll Show from the Cans takes the stage at 5 p.m.
DelGuidice tours with Billy Joel throughout the country and performed Billy Joel’s music with Big Shot for 18 years.
“Mike is a brilliant vocalist and composer and a master of several instruments including bass guitar, guitar, piano, and drums,” said Benivegna. “Being able to have Mike and his band play here in East Haven will be a show you won’t want to miss.”
The entertainment begins at 4 p.m. with Alex Shilo, who performs original music and Bruce Springsteen covers. In addition to music, there will be food trucks, including Shoreline Prime, Louise’s Homemade Food and Baked Goods, Ben & Jerry’s, and more.
“This event is the epitome of East Haven. We are a community that, when facing challenges like COVID-19, we come together to support our neighbors,” said Carfora. “This motorcade is a symbol of our town’s pride and unity during challenging times and good times. My hope in having this be an annual event, is for the residents to celebrate our East Haven community.”
East Haven Proud 2021 Motorcade Route
Starts at Commerce Street
Right on Silver Sands Road,
Left on Cosey Beach Road,
Right on Catherine Street,
Left on Cosey Beach Avenue,
Left on Coe Avenue,
North on Hemingway Avenue,
Left on Main Street,
Left on Thompson Avenue,
Right on Dodge Avenue,
Right on Robert Drive to Gerrish Avenue,
Left on Burr Street,
Right on James Street,
Right on Charter Oak Avenue,
Right on Main Street,
Left on High Street to North High Street,
Right on Willow Road,
Right on Borrman Road,
Right on Hellstrom Road,
Left on North High Street,
Right on Laurel Street,
Right on Granniss Street,
Left on Strong Street,
Right on Eddon Drive,
Left on Leigh Drive,
Right on Strong Street,
Left on Russo Avenue,
Right on John Street,
Quick right then left on Foxon Boulevard,
Right on Center Street,
Left on Dale Street,
Right on North Street,
Left on Englewood to Charnes Drive,
Right on Jeffery Road,
Left on Thompson Street,
Left on Cortina Road,
Right on Jardin Drive,
Right On Cortina Road,
Left and a quick right on Bennett Road,
Right On Route 80,
Left on Hunt Lane to Maple Street,
Right on Maplevaleroad,
Right on Maple Street,
Left on Rock Street,
Left on Glenmoor Drive,
Left on River,
Straight into high school entrance.