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Family Fun Fest celebrates Fairfield history with a holiday spirit

They came in peace, unlike 235 years ago.

A deployment of British "soldiers" -- actually, a contingent of historical re-enactors -- was a highlight Saturday of the first Family Fun Fest, a celebration combining the patriotic panoply of the July 4 weekend and the town's 375th anniversary, with good old-fashioned holiday spirits.

Under brilliant blue skies on historic Town Hall Green and the next-door campus of the Fairfield Museum and History Center, the event, in part, commemorated the British invasion of Fairfield during the American Revolution on July 7, 1779, which left the community devastated by a fiery assault. This time, the friendly red coats were more than happy to share information on military life of that era -- and nary a twig was set ablaze by the invaders.

In the same historical vein, tours were offered of the Old Academy and Sun Tavern, where George Washington dined after surveying the ravages of the attack. The museum also threw open its doors for the day with no admission charge.

Outdoors, there were musical performances, demonstrations of old farming equipment and children's activities.

On a more contemporary note, the Pop Shop Market, the popular open-air eclectic collection of vendors offered everything from jewelry and apparel to foods and repurposed antiques.

And a convoy of food trucks rolled to parking lot adjacent to old Town Hall to make sure the crowds did not go hungry.

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