“You Can't Raise Your Kids in Fear”: Families Look Forward to Weekend Events in Connecticut

It’s the height of the summer season with so many events planned before the school year starts up again.

But last weekend’s tragedies in Texas and Ohio are weighing on the hearts of many folks around the country.

Folks we spoke to in Lebanon and in Mystic Friday said the horrible actions of a few bad actors is not worth living in fear.

“You can’t raise your kids in fear. Unfortunately, there’s going to be those people everywhere. You go and you just kind of have to hope for the best,” said Melissa Wilkinson, visiting Mystic from Rhode Island.

As preparations are underway for the Mystic Outdoor Art Festival, those we spoke to in town won’t be shying away from this crowded event and others.

And in Lebanon, the more people the merrier.

Families looking forward to the Lebanon Country Fair every year for 60-years now, “For me it’s a family affair,” said Marissa Mackewicz, co-director of the exhibition hall.

Organizers here are welcoming the community with open arms all to support local organizations, “We’re very excited for the weather this year, so it’s a great day to be out and enjoying what Connecticut has to offer,” said Mckewicz.

Sadly, the town’s first selectwoman said that security and safety is something they have to think about though.

And back in Mystic, 10-month-old Parker is enjoying her first family vacation. “I’ve become very soft and I love her so much. Everything we do is for her now. Came here to Mystic to get her breakfast, ice cream, and walk around and see everything,” said Parker’s dad Jared Teich, visiting from the Philadelphia area.

While having kids is a major life change, some we spoke to here say they’re also living more cautiously after hearing about last weekend’s tragedies, “Definitely we’re concerned when we go to large crowds or big events, we keep an eye on her and hope for the best and hopefully we can enjoy ourselves.”

One tourist we met has taken matters into her own hands.

“Some colleagues and I started a festival in Keene, NH,” said Elizabeth Nieuwsma-Dell of Vermont.

She hopes celebrating diversity during a multicultural festival will effect change in her community. “We wanted to do something to combat hatred, and what could we do. And this was an idea, something concrete that would effect a lot of people.”

From the Mystic River to the Lebanon fairground, wherever we traveled we heard similar sentiments,

“We wouldn’t know what to do if that ever happens, so we just cross our fingers and just keep living,” said Wilkinson.

“You got to live your life get out here and enjoy it,” said Mackewicz.

“I just feel like you have to live your life you can’t just sit at home and not go out and explore,” said Allison Teich from Philadelphia.

The Lebanon Country Fair runs Friday through this weekend.

The Mystic Outdoor Art Festival is Saturday and Sunday beginning at 10 a.m.

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