The 45th Annual Sailing Masters of 1812 Burning of the Ships Ancient Fife & Drum Parade in Essex not only drew hundreds of spectators, but also a host of local and state politicians.
Melissa Schlag, the Green Party challenger to Democrat Eileen Daily for Connecticut State Senate District 33, was collecting signatures on a petition from residents of the district. Schlag is the former executive director of (CPPL) and was instrumental in opposing the controversial .
As a third-party candidate, Schlag will need to get 8,000 signatures. The 33rd district includes the towns of Chester, Clinton, Colchester, Deep River, East Haddam, East Hampton, Essex, Haddam, Lyme, Old Saybrook, Portland and Westbrook.
To read more about Schlag's run for office, read this article in the Haddam Bulletin.
The event itself began at Essex Town Hall and ended at the cul de sac in front of the Connecticut River Museum. The festive event was highlighted by a speech from Gov. Dannel P. Malloy.
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Malloy commended the Sailing Masters for 50 years of keeping the historical Essex parade alive. He was joined by First Selectman Norm Needleman and State Rep. Phil Miller (D-36th) and museum directory Jerry Roberts, among others.
On the second Saturday of each May since 1964, the "Sailing Masters of 1812" of Essex marks the Burning of the Ships with an ancient fife and drum corps parade down Main Street and ceremony at the steamboat dock, wearing historical United States naval uniforms.
Joining them were 14 other fife & drum corps, including Niantic, Deep River, the Connecticut Valley Field Music (based in Middletown), Stony Creek, Totoket Ancient from Branford, Colonial Navy of Massachusetts, Fall River; and Mystic Highland Fife Band. Women dressed in period garb lined the beginning of the parade route.