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Bridgeport, Connecticut

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Bridgeport in Connecticut.

 

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Bridgeport is the most populous city in the U.S. state of Connecticut. Located in Fairfield County, the city had an estimated population of 144,229 in 2010 census and is the core of the Greater Bridgeport area. The city is part of the New York combined statistical area and is the fifth largest city in New England.

Bridgeport is also the center of the 41st largest urban area in the United States, just behind Austin, Texas (40th).

The city is marked by its attachment to its famous resident, the circus-promoter and once mayor P.T. Barnum. Barnum built three houses in the city, and housed his circus in town during winters.

Culture

Bridgeport has a number of venues for live theater and music events, ranging from intimate performing spaces to a stadium hosting rock concerts.

Downtown Cabaret Theatre - cabaret, children's theater, concerts.
Playhouse on the Green - (228 seats) theater with plays and varied musical events.
Klein Memorial Auditorium - (1400 seats) home to the Greater Bridgeport Symphony, touring shows and concerts.
Arena at Harbor Yard - Sporting events venue, but also hosts large concerts.

Music festivals and concert series

Bridgeport has been the annual home to Gathering of the Vibes, a weekend long arts, music and camping festival featuring some of the best names in festival talent. In 1999, 2000, and 2007 through 2010, thousands of people have come from all over the world to camp in Seaside Park and enjoy such talent as Buddy Guy, Bob Weir and Ratdog, Deep Banana Blackout, Les Claypool, Assembly of Dust, Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Los Lobos and Bridgeport's own The Alternate Routes.

Bridgeport is also the home of the Black Rock Art Center, a multi-cultural center that presents performing artists from Africa, Asia, the Caribbean and the Americas both at the Art Center and also in a Summer Sounds of the World concert series. The series has featured such artists as blues musician James Cotton, Grammy-award winner Eddie Palmieri, the Cambodian Angkor Dance Company, salsa master Larry Harlow, and folk artists Richie Havens and Odetta. The Art Center features a world music series, a cabaret series, the Black Rock Blues Festival, in addition to cinema, gallery, and educational programs.

Bridgeport has a number of museums, ranging from the science-oriented to fine arts and historical, as well as the state's largest zoo.

The Discovery Museum and Planetarium emphasizes exhibits on science, with the state's only Challenger Center, affiliated with the national space program.
Housatonic Museum of Art, located at Housatonic Community College, has the largest collection of art of any two-year college in the nation.
The Barnum Museum celebrates the showman, circuses and Bridgeport history.
Beardsley Zoo is the only such center in Connecticut.

Parks

Bridgeport's first public park was the 4-acre (16,000 m2) Washington Park in East Bridgeport, first set aside as a park in 1851. As the city rapidly grew in population, residents recognized the need for more public parks and by 1864, Barnum and other residents had donated approximately 35 acres (140,000 m2) to create Seaside Park, now increased to 375 acres (1.52 km2). In 1878, over 100 acres (400,000 m2) of land bordering the Pequonnock River was added as Beardsley Park. Frederick Law Olmsted, famous for creating New York City's Central Park, designed both Seaside and Beardsley Parks. Over time, more parks were added including 35-acre (140,000 m2) Beechwood Park and Pleasure Beach, home to a popular amusement park for many years.

The "Park City" now has these parks:

Alice Street Lot, located on Alice Street
Baldwin Plaza, on Broad Street
Beardsley Park, located on Noble Avenue where Harding High School plays Baseball and Softball games; picnic areas are also visible, located adjacent to Beardsley Zoo
Beechwood Park, Madison Avenue, incorporating Kennedy Stadium
Ellsworth Park, on Ellsworth Street
Fairchild Memorial Park, located on Trumbull Road
Glenwood Park , where tennis courts are abundant
James Brown Park (Waterview Park), located on Waterview Avenue
Johnson Oak Park on Logan Street (now part of the Tisdale Elementary School)
Lafayette Park, located on Oak Street
Longfellow Park, on St. Stephens Road
Newfield/Jessup Park located on Newfield Avenue has a playground,
Pleasure Beach is closed
Puglio Park on Madison Avenue consecutive to the North End Library
Rogers Elton Park on Frenchtown Road
Seaside Park, the largest park in Bridgeport with baseball/softball/soccer fields, fishing areas, picnic areas, playgrounds, Groomed beach and swimming, and boat launch stretching from Bridgeport Harbor to Black Rock Harbor
Saint Mary's-By-the-Sea located on Grovers Avenue
Success Park on Granfield Street
Svihra Park on Ezra Street
Upchurch Park on Hallett Street
Wood Park on Wood Avenue
Veteran's Memorial Park, formerly, 90 Acres Park, runs between Park and Madison Avenues in the North End (undeveloped/reclaimed)
Washington Park located on East Washington Avenue
Waterfront Park located on Water Street primarily for baseball usage
Went Field Park on Wordin Avenue (play area, Baseball/softball was Barnum's Circus winter grounds
West Side 2 Park located on Bostwick Avenue

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