Betsy Paterson Square


The Mansfield Downtown Partnership is pleased to present an exciting, diverse schedule of entertainment for our 18th Annual Celebrate Mansfield Festival!

In addition to the artists performing on the Jeffrey P. Ossen Family Foundation Pavilion on Betsy Paterson Square, we will also have strolling artists, cooking demonstrations, and special children's entertainment in our new "Kids' Zone!"


Opening Ceremony

2:00 PM

Join us as we kick off the 18th Annual Celebrate Mansfield Festival with an opening ceremony featuring Mansfield Mayor Antonia Moran, Poet Denise Abercrombie, and the E.O. Smith Drumline!


Drumming About You

Everyone Plays with Bob Bloom!

2:15 PM

Downtown Storrs is going to shake, rattle, and rock & roll!

With your hands on his huge cargo of drums, you and Bob Bloom will launch some high octane beats at this interactive drumming hoot.

Bob Bloom’s participatory-music shows have rocked the: First Night Celebrations in Hartford, Westport, Bridgeport, Providence, and Worcester; Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts; and the New Haven International Festival of Arts and Ideas.

For over a decade, Bob Bloom performed as a drummer and singer in Dr. Babatunde Olatunji’s legendary, African music and dance company, “Drums of Passion” in concerts at venues including Lincoln Center, The Washington Monument, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York Towne Hall, and Jorgenson Center for the Performing Arts. 

2017 Puppet Pageant

Beetles, Bittersweet, and Butterflies Species Change Puppet Pageant 

with the Ballard Institute & Museum of Puppetry and Joshua's Trust

3:00 PM


One of the more unique traditions of the Celebrate Mansfield Festival is our Puppet Pageant, led by the Ballard Institute & Museum of Puppetry and performed by participants from our free Community Puppet-Building Workshops!

In collaboration with Joshua’s Trust, the theme for this year's Ballard Institute community pageant for the Celebrate Mansfield Festival is CLIMATE CHANGE – it’s not just about us humans!

Climate change is affecting many plant and animal species – including here in Connecticut.

The Beetles, Bittersweet, and Butterflies Species Change will feature over-life-sized masks and puppets representing insects, trees, birds, and other species that are being affected by the changing climate in Connecticut and will help each of us think about how we can help counteract this change as a community.



3:30 PM


Zikina is a group of people who came from across continents and cultures to show that despite all the forces in the world that emphasize our differences, we can come together to make something beautiful and new. It doesn’t take long for this music to get you dancing, clapping along, connecting with the people around you, and savoring the beauty of the present moment. You might start with curiosity when Uganda native and Mansfield resident Gideon Ampeire draws you in with a variety of traditional East African instruments that are rare and fascinating to US audiences, including enanga (zither), adungu (harp), and kalimba (thumb piano)- all of which he builds himself.

Once your interest is piqued by the instruments, you’ll quickly discover that there’s so much more to the band. Mike Cardozo uses his guitar to improvise intricate melodic conversations with Gideon and dances through the beat with punchy rhythmic lines. Roston Kirk on bass and Kade Parkin on drums weave a sonic landscape that flows seamlessly from intense grooves to joyous dance beats to dreamy textures. Gideon's vocals cut powerfully through the fabric or float lightly above. It all adds up to something completely unique, yet immediately accessible.

Nanette Addesso

4:30 PM


Nanette "The Motherbusker" Addesso has been performing in the Central Connecticut area for nearly 20 years. She has played with several CT-based bands, including Tuesday Saints and Sodbuster, and is currently paying tribute to her life-long inspiration, Linda Ronstadt, through Willin' a rock-and-roll band featuring Nanette on lead vocals and guitar.

Not just a guitar-playing, fiddle-wielding singer, Nanette is an avid songwriter as well. Her lyrics reveal aspects of the human condition, leavened by a graceful touch of humor. She also likes to write pretty songs about nature. 

She earned her Motherbusker status by serenading the community of Downtown Storrs and UConn all throughout Covid. Moving from sidewalk to stagefront, this soulster is excited to share original songs for fans of folk rock.


The Professors of Sweet, Sweet Music

5:00 PM


The Professors of Sweet Sweet Music (POSSM), Jeremy, Ben, Earl, Craig, and Dave, have an infectious charm and enthusiasm for life, and love to spread their laid back love for life wherever they go. The POSSM are 3 time Best of Hartford Winners, co-creators of the Hartbeat Music Festival in Hartford, and according to The Hartford Courant, The POSSM “have been turning the Hartford music scene on its ear for the last couple years as the Professors of Sweet Sweet Music.


The Funky Dawgz Brass Band

6:30 PM


Closing out our 18th Annual Celebrate Mansfield Festival will be the one and only Funky Dawgz Brass Band!

The Funky Dawgz Brass Band are one of the premier touring acts on the live music scene today. Emerging from Connecticut, these young men have engulfed the spirit and traditions of New Orleans as well as earned the respect from local musicians who grew up and reside in the city. It is impossible not to enjoy yourself during a show as they play a contagious upbeat mix of traditional New Orleans R&B, original music, hip hop, funk, and today’s top hits with a brass twist.

They have toured internationally; shared the stage with Trombone Shorty, Snarky Puppy, Soul Rebels, and more; and played to sold-out crowds at Madison Square Garden. 


With their ties to UConn and the greater Mansfield community, we are excited to welcome them back to Downtown Storrs!


Read more about The Funky Dawgz Brass Band here.

COVID Mask_social ad.png

As of August 14, 2021, the Town of Mansfield requires everyone to wear a mask that covers your nose and mouth when indoors in public spaces and private businesses - regardless of vaccination status.

Read more about our health and safety measures here.

Thank you for your cooperation. Let's all do our part to keep our community safe and healthy!