Barnum Festival To Crown the 2023 Royal Family

For Immediate Release
Call Frank Szivos


BRIDGEPORT, May 1 – For the first time since 2019, the Barnum Festival will select its Royal Family on May 7th at Vazzano’s Four Seasons Restaurant in Stratford.

The Festival selection committee will name the King and Queen/Prince and Princess from a field of 23 students from 14 Greater Bridgeport High Schools in a tradition dating back to the origins of the Festival.

The crowning takes place from 3-6 pm. Tickets are $30 with a cash bar; visit for more information.

Maureen Arszyla of Bridgeport and Nancy McKiernan of Trumbull, co-chairs of the King and Queen festivities, view the event as restoring the Festival to its roots that were curtailed because of the Covid pandemic.

“We are very excited to complete the Royal Family that will represent the Festival along with Ringmaster George Estrada,” Arszyla said. “It takes us back to the beginnings of what the Festival is all about, building community spirit and creating fun.”

The selection process involves a five-person judging panel who have observed and interviewed all candidates at three separate gatherings as a lead up to the final selection.

Candidates are judged based on the following criteria:

  • Academic achievement (Candidates must rank in the top 20 percent of their class).
  • Social Interaction
  • Leadership skills

“The talent of these candidates is amazing,” McKiernan said. “They are judged on their interaction and interviews. The committee takes its job seriously in selecting the best King and Queen/Prince and Princess. It’s a challenging job because these students are all so talented.”

The five-person selection consists of:

  • Adon Brown of Bridgeport
  • Joe Larcheveque of Bridgeport
  • Maria Lazar of Fairfiled
  • Lisa Knopf of Stratford
  • Sharon Martinez of Monroe

For the first time since 2019, the Barnum Festival has returned to its traditional roster of events as it celebrates its 75th anniversary.