2019 Barnum Festival ringmaster talks about theme, plans

November 28, 2018

BRIDGEPORT — More than 200 people gathered at Testo’s Restaurant on Tuesday to hear the 2019 Barnum Festival ringmaster’s plans for the upcoming festivities.

Tuesday was the annual Meet the Ringmaster event, which the festival has been putting together for over a decade. The event is considered the kickoff event of the Barnum Festival, which pays tribute to the life of P.T. Barnum.

“I’m so delighted to be a part of that,” Schwartz said.

“It’s a tradition, a celebration, in many ways, of Bridgeport,” said Mayor Joe Ganim of the festival.

Former Kennedy Center CEO and President Marty Schwartz was named the 71st ringmaster of the Barnum Festival. He chose the theme of “Everyone Counts” for the 2019 festival.

Schwartz said the theme pays tribute to his 39 years at the helm of The Kennedy Center, a nonprofit organization that provides services and programs for those with intellectual disabilities. He retired from the center last year.

Armando Gonclaves, regional president of People’s United Bank and president of the Barnum Festival Board of Directors, said Schwartz’s theme, “is really going to resonate with the community.”

Charles Carroll, executive director of the Barnum Festival and 1999 ringmaster, said the Tuesday evening kickoff event was just the beginning of what’s to come.

“The ringmaster talks about his plans for the year, since the festivities run pretty much year-round up until the day of the festival,” Carroll said.

As ringmaster, Schwartz has some say in where the funds raised by the festival go. And though a portion goes toward keeping the festivities running on a yearly basis, some of the funds raised during the 2019 festival will go toward inner-city special needs children, Schwartz said.

Visit barnumfestival.com for more information.

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