Barnum Festival Announces Frank T. Gennarini as 2020 Ringmaster

Milford Resident Frank T. Gennarini Named 2020 Barnum Festival Ringmaster

Frank T. Gennarini was recently named the 72nd Ringmaster for the 2020 Barnum Festival at the Aquarion Headquarters in Bridgeport. A Festival volunteer since 1995, Gennarini, a Milford resident and Bridgeport native, said becoming the Ringmaster is realizing a childhood dream; the Festival is part of his DNA.

“This is a tremendous honor,” Gennarini said, dressed in his Ringmaster’s traditional red jacket and matching red shoes. “The Festival has always played a special part in my life. Living on Charles Street in Bridgeport as a child, I remember watching the Goodyear blimp promoting the events of the Festival. I plan to continue this great tradition that has brought so much fun and good will to the Greater Bridgeport Region.”

Gennarini’s theme for the 2020 Festival is 20/20 – a Vision for the Future, where he expects to enhance the traditional lineup of Festival events as well as introducing new ones. He points out that his extensive volunteer experience with the Festival will help him rally support from the community and generate a buzz of anticipation in the Greater Bridgeport Region. It’s also part of his vision to host events or programs year round to create good will throughout Fairfield County.

For example, Gennarini and his wife, Cynthia Tsokalas are planning to debut an illusion and magic show this Spring, featuring Kalin and Jinger, a world-renowned illusionists team who has performed on Broadway and around the world. Jinger is the daughter of Cynthia and Gennarini.

Charlie Carroll, Barnum Festival Executive Director, said: “Gennarini is highly qualified to be Ringmaster because of his long-time involvement in every facet of the Festival.”

A Volunteer of the Year in 1999, Gennarini knows how critical the hundreds of volunteers are to the Festival’s success. His resume demonstrates his 25-year commitment to the Festival:

  • Chairman of the Car Show,
  • Great Street Parade Grand Marshal,
  • Fireworks Marshal,
  • Chair & Host of The Comedy Show,
  • Tom Thumb & Lavinia Judge,
  • President of the Barnum Festival,
  • Chairman of the Barnum Museum

“Frank is eminently qualified to be the Ringmaster,” Carroll said. “He’s done it all. He’s ready to hit the ground running and has a lot of enthusiasm, which is what you need. It’s a lot of work, but he’s up for it. We look forward to working with him.”

The Vice President of D’Addario Industries of Bridgeport, Gennarini is confident he can rally the support of area sponsors, which are the lifeblood of the Festival.

“Our sponsors are critical to the success of the Festival,” he said. “With the help of all our volunteers I know we can maintain and build on our success. We have already begun the planning.”

Gennarini points out that the Festival offers several free events that instill pride and enjoyment in the Greater Bridgeport communities, which he plans to continue, such as The Road Show, visiting area rehabilitation and nursing homes, the Wing Ding children’s parade, and the Royal Family competition offering scholarships to area high school students.

“I was bitten by the Barnum Bug a long time ago because I’ve seen the fun and community spirit it creates,” Gennarini said. “We’re going to build on that in 2020.”

The Barnum Festival began in 1949 to allow people to experience the fun in celebrating the life of the local great showman P.T. Barnum. The Festival creates an entertainment environment that bonds the Greater Brideport community, culminating in the country’s birthday celebration on the Fourth of July.