Pipes in the Valley, in its 15th year, continued to attract crowds at the Riverfront on Saturday.
A few changes in recent years to the event have made all the difference. No longer must visitors to walk through a crowded tent reeking of spilled beer if they wish to get to the children’s activities. The upper plaza, which is the entry point for most, has become the more family-friendly part of the festival, hosting mini-golf, storytelling, children’s songs, and more.
Keeping most of the beer, along with the liqueur and Scotch whiskey tastings on the lower level, meant keeping the human traffic jams out of the way of those not choosing to partake and forcing those who were drinking to burn off some of the booze every time they walked back up the stairs.
As has been the practice, the potentially dangerous sports like weight throwing and the caber toss, were also on the lower level, in a cordoned off part of the lawn. Irish Road Bowling returned, forcing visitors to look out for steel balls rolling down the path or risk getting smacked in the ankles. Proceeds from the bowling tournament will go to Saint Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
Pipes in the Valley is presented by Riverfront Recapture and Olde Burnside Brewing Co.; its sponsors include Greater Hartford Arts Council, SBM Charitable Foundation, Highland Park Market, Phoenix, Travelers, the Town of East Hartford, the City of Hartford, GCR Tire Centers, Laphroaig, Pratt & Whitney, Price Chopper, and Aer Lingus.