Fall festival, hike on tap this weekend in Naugatuck

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NAUGATUCK — The borough’s annual Ion Bank/Mission 22 Fall Street Festival will take place downtown on Saturday.

The festival runs from 3 to 9 p.m. on Maple Street and Old Firehouse Road. The festival will feature about 90 vendors, including local restaurants and food trucks, and live music. There will be children activities, including crafts, games and a bouncy blast. Festival goers can also try to ride a mechanical bull.

The day begins with the 22 for 22 Hike. The purpose of the hike, which is 22 kilometers long, is to raise money and awareness for Mission 22, a nonprofit organization that seeks to raise awareness of and end veteran suicide from post-traumatic stress and traumatic brain injury.

This year’s hike is dedicated to former Naugatuck police Officer Robert “Tommy” Byrne, who committed suicide in 2017. His family will be presented with a plaque during a ceremony.

People who are going on the hike will meet at the Naugatuck Event Center, 6 Rubber Ave., from 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. for registration. Hikers will board the buses at 8:15 a.m. sharp to go to the trail.

Participants will hike through the Naugatuck State Forest and back to downtown for the festival. The hike is free but the suggested donation is $22. Hikers can pre-register Thursday and Friday from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Naugatuck Event Center.

American Legion Post 17 will celebrate the 100th anniversary of the American Legion and Post 17 with a ceremony at about 7:30 p.m. on the main stage during the festival. The ceremony will feature remarks from Post 17 Commander Ron Fishcer and a presentation by a veteran representing each of the major wars since World War I.

The rain date for the festival is Sunday from 3 to 8 p.m.