The Great Danbury Fair & Racearena - A Documentary
$544 raised
2% of $25k goal
9 contributors
55 Weeks running
We are producing a feature documentary about The Great Danbury State Fair and the Danbury Racearena, which ran from 1869 to 1981. This is a story of the fond memories about Fair Week and, "A Saturday Night at the Races".

Completion funds for this independent feature documentary is dependent on contributions and/or corporate sponsorship. With proper funding, it is possible for us to continue production and post production and have the DVD complete possibly by the holidays or the first of the year. If adequate funding is not available for us to move forward, the end date will remain open.

We are Kirk Jarvis and Richard Hutwohl. Kirk is the son of C. Irving Jarvis, Jr., and our grandfather is C. Irving Jarvis, Sr, who, for almost 50 years put his heart and soul into The Great Danbury State Fair. He was the Assistant General Manager to John W. Leahy, and together they made the fair grow into one of the most popular destination sites on the East Coast. Our grandfather passed away in 1969, shortly before the opening of the 100th running of the fair. Mr. Leahy passed a few years later. The political and economic climate at that time led to the fair being sold and replaced with a shopping mall. The Great Danbury State Fair is gone, thankfully fond memories live on. 

Beginning in 1869, The Great Danbury State Fair attracted masses of people from across the country until it closed. Racing began in 1908, and the Danbury Racearena became a popular focal point for horse racing, the Mighty Midgets, stock cars, modifieds and even boat races. Our feature documentary will be reminiscing with some of the stock car and modified race car drivers, car owners, crew members and fans from the great days of the Racearena, many of whom attended at least 1 of 9, later years 10, spectacular October days at the Fair.  Danbury students will never forget "Danbury Day"  when all the local schools closed and every student received a free pass for the Fair.  Although the Danbury Fair closed over 35 years ago, the memories of the sounds, smells and excitement are as fresh and real as if it were yesterday. We will show personally-owned 8mm film footage, photographs, memorabilia and original fair sketches by C. Irving Jarvis, recently re-discovered in the Hutwohl/Jarvis attics and closets.  We will present current interviews of many closely associated with the fair and Racearena, and pay tribute to those who have passed, yet made their visions come to life at the Danbury Fair.

The task of assembling and producing the final product will be executed by Jarvis Video Productions. Retired Channel 11 WPIX, New York, Director/Producer Charles Irving Jarvis Jr. is our Danbury Fair historian and production consultant. In his youth, he roamed every square inch of the fairgrounds performing tasks such as ‘Stake Man’, staking out the concessions on the grounds so the vendors would know where to set up, or aiming the new grandstand roof spotlights onto the racetrack with his sister, Evelyn (Jarvis) Hutwohl. Kirk Jarvis, director, editor and cinematographer on this project has produced a handful of environmental and community orientated independent feature documentaries.

Funding is necessary to make this 10 - 12 month, feature-length, broadcast quality production a reality so that the fair memories can be enjoyed for generations to come. The completed documentary will be distributed independently, yet also submitted to film festivals in quest of theatrical release and/or securing distribution outlets. Our project budget includes: research & script writing, fees and donations for archival footage and audio tapes, photos and documents via museums and private collections, union fees for on-camera "union" interviewees, (we have some good surprises in the works) location videotaping throughout the East Coast, original music compositions and usage rights for popular song tracks. Editing/post production  time is estimated at 3-4 months. Needed is external hard drive equipment and drive back ups, DVD packaging, reproduction and mailings, website maintenance, film festival submission fees, marketing and promotions, and theatrical screening(s). 

Once production goals have been satisfied, donations to organizations will include SNYRA, Danbury Historical Society, and Suncoast Service Dogs non-profit, that professionally trains and places dogs for physical, medical and therapy services.

For those who would like to donate, we have set up a progressive level of donation packages to say 'Thank You', for your help. Included in the gift packages are the documentary DVD upon completion, photocopies of one-of-a kind documents, hand drawn sketches and photos seen only in this documentary, official project T-shirts, caps and more. 

Donations on the "higher end" will include all of the incentives in the lower plans, plus free admission, food and beverage to the premiere screening to be held in Danbury CT (TBA) where we will celebrate in ideal "Danbury Fair fashion," with cold beer on draft, sausage & pepper grinders, and of course, Dutch Apple Pie ala mode!

Thank you in advance for your donation to help produce SATURDAY NIGHT AT THE RACES, Memories of the Great Danbury State Fair and Racearena.

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Position Total raised


$10 USD
  • 0 claimed
Thank you for contributing to this documentary project!
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$22 USD
  • 0 claimed
ONE DVD of the documentary
"Saturday Night at the Races"
upon its completion.
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$50 USD
  • 2 claimed
ONE DVD of the documentary "Saturday Night at the Races upon its completion & ONE project Tee.
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$60 USD
  • 0 ordered
Free admission for ONE, food & beverage at screening premiere in Danbury, CT date (TBA).
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$100 USD
  • 2 ordered
DVD. T shirt. Memorabilia items. Complimentary admission at premiere screening & fair party in Danbury, CT, date TBA. Thank you in documentary end credits. Shipping included U.S.
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$250 USD
  • 0 ordered
Free admission, food & beverage for TWO at the screening premiere and fair party in Danbury CT, date (TBA). 2 DVDs.
2 T Shirts. Thank you in documentary end credits.
Shipping included, U.S.
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$500 USD
  • 0 ordered
Free admission, food & beverages for FOUR at screening premiere in Danbury, CT, (TBA) 4 DVDs. 4 project Tees. Thank you in documentary credits. Shipping included, U.S.
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$1,000 USD
  • 0 ordered
Co Executive Producer in documentary credits. 5 DVDS. 5 T's. ONE photocopy Blueprint of early Danbury Fair. Free admission, food & drinks for FIVE at the screening premiere & Fair Party in Danbury, CT, TBA. Co-Executive Producer title in documentary credits.
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$5,000 USD
  • 0 ordered
Executive Producer credit listed on front of DVD packaging and in documentary credits. Free admission, food & beverages
for FIVE at the screening premiere in Danbury, CT, date
(TBA). 5 DVDs. 5 T shirts. Framed photocopy blueprint of
early Danbury Fair. Fair memorabilia. Name prominently
displayed as an Executive Producer in documentary
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Show Discontinued Perks
$22 USD
$50 USD

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