Woodmont celebrates its coastal neighborhood with annual celebration

The Borough of Woodmont is quintessentially New England, especially on Woodmont Day.

This past Saturday, the sun had risen, shining on a picturesque beach as people tagged with numbers ran a 5K race as part of the annual Woodmont Day.

This year marked the 51st Woodmont Day, and the 110th anniversary of the borough.

A few scattered fisherman stood on the rocks that jut out into the water, and residents began to gather outside their beachfront homes, many surrounded by white picket fences, to await the early-morning Woodmont Day Parade.

As a woman and her friend jogged toward the finish line, one said to the other, “Do you remember when we were kids and we used to decorate our bikes for the parade?”

She mentioned a children’s art show that also highlighted the Woodmont Days of her youth.

A borough is an incorporated section of a town, and throughout the state, there aren’t too many of them left.

There were 18 boroughs in the state as of 1850 and a total of 26 as of 1910. Most of those disincorporated to become cities.

As of 2007, there were nine boroughs left in Connecticut, Woodmont being one of them, according to an online source.

“The Woodmont Association, originally a community improvement organization, began in 1901 and was incorporated by a charter from the State Legislature on June 18, 1903, and at that time Woodmont became a borough within the City of Milford,” according to a proclamation Mayor Ben Blake read at this year’s Woodmont Day.

“Elected officials of the Borough of Woodmont were empowered by the charter to levy taxes, control health and sanitation, build roads, sidewalks and drains, appoint special police and do anything to improve the Borough of Woodmont which did not specifically encroach upon the powers exercised by city government.”

Woodmont Day celebrates the coastal neighborhood with food, music and events.

Former State Rep. Richard Roy spoke during opening ceremonies of this year’s event, noting that in days long past, “men wore shirts and ties and women wore long dresses and hats, even on a day like this.”

Shorts and bikinis were more the style at this year’s Woodmont Day. Jim and Donna Mallico served as grand marshals of the annual parade, which had a storybook theme.

Barbara Genovese, who worked the fried dough booth for much of the day, said the theme was meant to remind people about the Woodmont Library.

“A lot of people don’t know it’s here,” Genovese said.

The Ellen Aftamonow Woodmont Volunteer Library is located in the Fannie Beach building on Dixon Street. It is run completely by volunteers.

The event concluded after sunset, and as the RumRunners played a cover of Johnny Cash’s Ring of Fire, a large bonfire was lit on the beach.