5th Annual Addiction Awareness Vigil Set for Sept. 1


The candlelight vigil held at the conclusion of tonight's event on Sept. 5, 2019. Credit: Jes Sauerhoff

One year after the COVID-19 pandemic forced the event online, an annual vigil that has drawn hundreds to downtown New Canaan to honor those who have died due to addiction and those in recovery is set to return in-person.

Paul Reinhardt of New Canaan. Credit: Michael Dinan

The 5th Annual Addiction Awareness Vigil is to be held from 7 to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 1 in the former “Pop Up Park” area at South Avenue and Elm Street.

“We are excited that unlike last year where we had to do it virtually that we are back in person for it,” town resident Paul Reinhardt, founder of the New Canaan Parent Support Group, told members of the Police Commission during their regular meeting, held July 26 via videoconference. Reinhardt created the support group after losing his own son, Evan Reinhardt, on July 15, 2015, at age 24.

Commission Chair Paul Foley, Secretary Jim McLaughlin and member Shekaiba Bennett voted 3-0 to approve a road closure for the Pop Up Park area from 2 to 10 p.m., with a rain date of Sept. 2.

The candlelight vigil is preceded by live music and testimonials and concludes with prayer led by local clergy and faith leaders. In addition to honoring the deceased and those in recovery, the vigil’s purposes are to discuss addiction and pathways to recovery in an open forum, and educate attendees on how they can help others heal.

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