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2010 Mum Festival in Bristol, CT

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  • BRISTOL 860-940-6569 1188 Farmington Ave. ShopRite Plaza www.WirelessZone.com/Bristol

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  • By JACKIE MAJERUSSTAFF WRITER

    BRISTOL The cover of the Mum Festival brochure is differ-ent this year, carrying a dedication and photo.

    The brochure is in memory of Jerry Heresko, the owner of Bristol Mums, who died last November at age 63.

    It was a decision that was made by the Mum Festival Committee, said Elliot Nelson, a member of the committee who was in charge of the brochures this year.

    He was just a kind man, said Darlene Sawe, who is the chair-woman of the Mum Festival Committee. This was just our way of thanking him.

    Nelson said Heresko was deeply involved in the festival, helping the committee, but also the groups that had floats in the parade. He said he doubted that Heresko made any money on any of the flowers he sold for the parade, charging only his own cost.

    Everybody dealt with him for years, said Nelson. He was community oriented. He took care of the organizations. He was a very nice gentleman.

    Above the dedication on the brochure, theres an old photo of the front of Hereskos store and greenhouse at 50 Pinehurst Road, the former site of Bristol Nurseries, with colorful mums in full bloom.

    Jerry was so involved in help-ing the Mum Festival over the years, said Sawe.

    Heresko always donated close to 100 mums every year, Sawe said.

    She said they used the mums throughout the festival and when it was drawing to a close, the committee sold them, with Hereskos blessing.

    He knew all our activities were free, said Sawe. I think he felt like that was his donation.

    The annual donation of flow-ers saved the committee $300 to $350, she said.

    So not only did the committee get the mums free of charge, awe

    said, they made money for the festival on them by selling them at the end.

    It was like a fundraiser for us, said Sawe.

    No mum retailer has offered the same deal, said Sawe, who said the committee is simply looking for the best price it can get this year.

    Heresko, who owned Bristol Mums for more than 20 years but worked there for more than four decades didnt just sell mums and other flowers locally.

    He grew thousands of them, shipping 200,000 of the tiny plants around the country and into Canada each spring.

    Some of the companys 75 to 80 varieties of mums were Hereskos own creation, includ-ing a late-blooming, bright red one he named Vampire.

    Program honorsBristols mum man

    2 | Thursday, September 23, 2010 2010 MUM FESTIVAL The Bristol Press | www.BristolPress.com

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    Jerry Heresko stands with his mums at Bristol Mums in 2008..

  • By JACKIE MAJERUSSTAFF WRITER

    BRISTOL After living for almost two years at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, 23-year-old Sgt. Matthew Lavoie is coming home to a heros welcome in Bristol.

    Lavoie, a graduate of Bristol Eastern High School, is the Mum Festivals Hometown Hero.

    Its the biggest honor Ive had yet, said Lavoie, speaking from the hospital in the nations capital. This is one of the best things thats hap-pened to me.

    The acclaim from his hometown is espe-cially welcome, said Lavoie.

    It gives me just a lot of hope, he said, and it pushes me to get better.

    Oct. 4 will mark his second year in the hospital, said Lavoie, who has had 59 surgeries.

    Staying in the hospital can get to a person after awhile, said Lavoie,

    who is looking forward to spend-ing about two and a half weeks in Bristol before he has to return.

    Highest on his list is spending time with his family.

    Im really excited to see my nephew, said Lavoie, who said hes happy to be able to spend time with Ethan Lacic, and share his fourth birthday with him.

    The surgeries hes had on his arm and leg are to help him

    recover from a terrible blast in September 2008 that nearly cost him his life while serving in Iraq.

    Hed been driving a H u m v e e south of B a g h d a d

    when it hit a roadside bomb that demolished the vehicle and threw Lavoie to the ground.

    On a visit home in January 2009, Lavoie spent time with at his old high school, recounting that day and urging students to stay in

    school and get good grades so they can get through college.

    Part of his job as Hometown Hero is being the grand marshal of the Mum Festival Parade on Sunday, Sept. 26.

    Lavoie cant wait.Im pretty pumped for it, he

    said.Lavoie said hes grateful for the

    support of his friends and family and others in Bristol.

    I appreciate everybodys sup-port, he said. It means a lot to me.

    Darlene Sawe, who chairs the Mum Festival Committee, said shes excited to have Lavoie as the festivals first Hometown Hero.

    She said she came up with the idea of naming someone to this position as a way to get the com-munity involved in the festival again.

    Sawe knew Lavoie, she said, so she suggested with the commit-tees enthusiastic approval that he be the first one to have the honor.

    He is the kindest, sweetest boy you ever want to meet, said Sawe.

    Before the Mum Festival Parade on Sunday, Bristol veterans will

    host a buffet breakfast at the American Legion hall for people to meet Lavoie.

    Lavoie, who planned to fly home to Bristol for his visit said he would drive back to the hos-pital in his new car, a 2010 black Challenger.

    I love it, he said.The Mum Festival, which

    begins Friday , is in its 49th year.For the 50th anniversary,

    Sawe said her committee will take nominations for the second Hometown Hero designation.

    Hometown Herohappy to be homeFestival salutes local soldier wounded in Iraq

    Hometown Hero Sgt. Matthew Lavoie

    It [honor] gives me just a lot of hope and it pushes me to get better.SGT. MATTHEW LAVOIE

    Thursday, September 23, 2010 | 3The Bristol Press| www.BristolPress.com 2010 MUM FESTIVAL

    Jessica Laprise cuts the ribbon after being named Miss Mum 2009 at Bristol Central High School during the opening ceremonies for last years Mum Festival. The crowning of Miss Chrysanthemum, which traditionally kicks off the Bristol Chrysanthemum Festival, will be held Friday night at Bristol Central High School.

    Opening nightfor Mum Festival

    Mike Orazzi | Staff

  • 4 | Thursday, September 23, 2010 2010 MUM FESTIVAL The Bristol Press | www.BristolPress.com

    BRISTOL The 49th annual Mum Festival Parade will use the old parade route running along West Street.

    Produced by the Bristol Exchange Club, the parade will take place on Sept. 26, stepping off from Race Street at 1:30 pm.

    The theme for the 2010 parade is Mum Festival Celebrates 225 Years of Bristol.

    In addtion, this years march will feature Miss Connecticut, Brittany Decker of Bristol.

    The parade will go down Race Street.to West Street, turn down South Street to Mellon Street, to the Boulevard. From the Boulevard, the parade will turn right onto North Main Street and end in front of the City Hall.

    In 2008, due to construction in the East Road area, the route was changed because West Street had to stay open for vehicle traffic. The construction is finished so the tradition march through the West End will resume.

    Parade backto old route

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  • Thursday, September 23, 2010 | 5The Bristol Press| www.BristolPress.com 2010 MUM FESTIVAL

    339th Engineer Detachment (Firefi ghters) - Vehicle American Legion, Bristol Post 2 - Marching Unit and VehicleArt Ward - Mayor, City of Bristol - VehicleBristol 225th Anniversary Committee/Bristol Historical Society - FloatBristol Auto Club - Float and VehicleBristol Boys & Girls Club and Family Center - Marching Bristol Brass & Wind Ensemble - Playing UnitBristol Central High School Marching Band - Playing UnitBristol Chrysanthemum Festival, Inc - FloatBristol Chrysanthemum Festival Hometown Hero (Sgt. Matthew Lavoie) - VehicleBristol Democratic Town Committee - Float & Marching Unit Bristol Disabled Buggy Riders - VehicleBristol Cub Scout Pack 30Bristol Eastern Cheerleading - Marching UnitBristol Eastern High School - Playing UnitBristol Elks No. 1010 - VehicleBristol Fire Department - VehiclesBristol Girls Little League Softball State Champions Ages 10 to 11 All Star Team - FloatBristol Girls Little League City Champions - FloatBristol Lions Club - Marching Unit and VehicleBristol Police Dept - VehiclesThe Bristol Press - VehicleBristol Probate Judge Andre D. Dorval - VehicleBristol Republican Town Committee - Marching UnitBristol Salvation Army - Float, Marching Unit & VehicleBristol Soap Box Derby - Marching Unit and VehicleBristol Solar - Vehicle

    Bristol Theatre Arts - FloatColapietr