The Crocodile Club, will celebrate its 132nd reunion dinner with its unique gathering of individuals who put aside their political differences to celebrate this commitment by the park owners. The dinner, sponsored by the New England Carousel Museum, a non-profit institution in the Connecticut community, has received permission from the Norton family to hold the old Crocodile Club and Jerry Brick of Lake Compounce has agreed to work with the Museum to bring back the annual dinner meeting at the usual gathering place, the Lake Compounce Ballroom.
This year’s gathering will be Friday, Sept. 13 at noon, as a capacity turnout is expected. As a special treatk free rides on the carousel will be available from noon to 1 p.m.
As usual, the festivities will begin with the social hour at noon. A cash bar will be available from noon on in the ballroom. The traditional dinner of lamb and fried corn with all the trimmings, which was first served in 1875, will begin promptly at 1 p.m. During dinner, a program with guest speakers will follow. Good speeches and bad jokes are limited to three minutes per person, and no political speeches are allowed.
The “Crocodile Club” was formed in 1875 when Gad Norton, who was a former legislator, and who also started the amusement park in 1846, decided to thank his colleagues in the state legislature for their help in passing a statute that changed the town line between Bristol and Southington so as to put his farmhouse in Bristol. The reason for this request was so that he could vote in Bristol where he did all his trading and knew more people. Also, in the days of horses and buggies, old dirt roads, and tough winters, the three mile ride to Bristol was a lot easier than the six miles to Southington.
Never will you see and meet so many candidates from all sides in one place in such intimate surroundings, all having a good time kidding each other, with no serious politics allowed. That policy was dictated to the original group by host, Gad Norton himself, who said, “There will be no serious politics allowed, no post-mortems from the last legislative session, — just pleasant sociability, good fun, and good food.”
Guests will be accommodated on a first come, first served basis. A check made payable to Crocodile Club for $50 each must be received for each participant by Aug. 30. Mail to the Crocodile Club, c/o Carousel Museum, 95 Riverside Ave, Bristol, CT 06010.
Upon receipt of a check, tickets will be mailed. Transportation will be provided from the Lake Compounce parking lot to the ballroom. Tickets are required to get into the ballroom and eat.
For tickets, contact the New England Carousel Museum, 95 Riverside Ave., Bristol, CT 06010. For more information, call (860)585-5411 or go to www.thecarouselmuseum.org