(Norwalk, CT, April 30, 2007) The 13th annual Norwalk Harbor Splash! is being postponed this year while its sponsoring organization, the South Norwalk Business Association (SNBA), redefines itself and transitions into a business interest district for South Norwalk.
According to Nick Pacella, immediate past president of the SNBA, "The area that is known as SoNo has changed from a street or two of boutiques and bars to a neighborhood filled with businesses, unique stores, residential buildings and restaurants. The organization representing this area has to evolve as well. The SoNo Business Association has been working toward the formation of a business interest district for many years and, with the expansion of SoNo due to the renovation of the Lock Building, the addition of the Maritime Garage, the soon-to-be-completed Maritime Yards, the construction of the new O'Neill's building and plans for the former Norwalk Company, the time is ripe for bringing this long-hoped-for goal to fruition. Therefore, SoNo Business Association resources that previously were focused on organizing Splash! are being directed toward developing the structure for the new business district."
"Splash! is rooted in what draws both businesses and visitors to the area -- the waterfront" says Donna Schlegel, Splash! Executive Committee member. "From its beginning in 1995, this festival has emphasized the importance of preserving our water environment for the use and enjoyment of everyone in the community. Splash! celebrates the Norwalk River and estuary – a natural treasure in an urban setting. The growth and continuing success of Splash! during the past 12 years can be attributed to an organizational committee of dedicated volunteers and to the enthusiastic support of SoNo merchants and other businesses, city agencies, community organizations and the thousands of attendees who have filled the streets of Historic SoNo during each year's festival. Property owners who were originally drawn to the rich water environment and maritime heritage of South Norwalk have been continuing Splash! supporters -- from mounting corporate teams for the Dragon Boat Races to sponsoring the chowder cook-off, environmental presentations and entertainment stages."
The Splash! Committee is exploring options for presenting two of the major elements of the festival -- the Hong Kong Dragon Boat Races and the popular Chowder Cook-Off -- later in the year.