Election years can make for bitter rivalries between political opponents–perhaps never more so than this coming November, when the midterm elections across the country hold the likelihood of high conflict. So perhaps before election season starts, it’s always a GOOD idea for local politicians to face off in a friendlier way, as they do each year in Wilton with the Frivolity Bowl Softball Game.
The annual athletic contest between Wilton Republicans and Wilton Democrats takes place each year on July 4th, usually at noon, on the WHS varsity softball field. And the game lives up to both the spirit of the holiday and the “frivolity” it promises.
“The Frivolity Bowl is a great old Wilton tradition that sets aside partisanship and focuses on a important, common goal: getting through a six-inning softball game without any serious injuries. The exception of course is egos, which are injured every year,” says Republican Town Committee chair Bill Lalor.
In occasional years the win happens by forfeit, only because getting enough players to turn out can be a challenge. But this year looks to be one where both teams will be ready to take the field.
DTC member Eric Fanwick is coaching the Democratic Town Committee team, which he has dubbed the “Borglum Bombers.”
“I see a new energy this year and more people have promised to come than I have ever had recently,” Fanwich said.
The game is one where public officials often participate. The Republicans typically have some help from state officials like State Rep. Gail Lavielle and State Sen. Toni Boucher; this year there’s a possibility that Congressman Jim Himes will attend to support the Democrats.
In a display of just how collegial the Frivolity Bowl can be, Lalor even teased one of his own: “Our team captain this year is RTC vice chair Josh Cole, and needless to say I’ll be blaming Josh if things go badly. This will help get him ready for the Board of Selectmen.” [Ed. note: Cole was nominated by the RTC to fill a vacancy on the Bd. of Selectmen, which has not yet decided between him and DTC nominee Ceci Maher.]
Photo, above: Former chairs of the town committees Al Alper (L) of the RTC and Deb McFadden, of the DTC.