Elks Fishing Derby to make a comeback in May

Elks Lodge Fishing Derby 2019, which was the last time the derby was held, one year before Covid cancelled the 2020 derby. Photo by Heather Murray via the Lodge's Facebook group.
Elks Lodge Fishing Derby 2019, which was the last time the derby was held, one year before Covid cancelled the 2020 derby. Photo by Heather Murray via the Lodge's Facebook group.

WINSTED — After taking a year off due to the Covid pandemic, the Elks Lodge #844 children’s fishing derby is set to make its return on Sunday, May 16 at Tatro’s Pond.
The derby is a town tradition that started in 1955.
According to organizer Julie Wilcox Machowski, the derby would have celebrated its 55th-anniversary last year if it was not for the pandemic.
“It broke our hearts that we could not have it last year,” Machowski said. “But we had to put the safety of the children first.”
Machowski said that this year that, while the event will go on, the safety of the children will be put first before anything else.
“Masks will be required and people will have to social distance,” she said. “We are hoping we don’t have to turn people away, but we have to play it by ear because we want to keep everyone safe.”
She added that only parents can attend the event with their children.
“In the past, we have encouraged grandparents to come, but because of Covid we prefer it to be as small as possible,” Machowski said. “That way it will give more children an opportunity to fish.”
Machowski said that, due to the digital age where children are more and more on their computers and cell phones, it’s more important than ever to get them outside and fishing.
“Fishing gets them outside to get fresh air, she said. “There is a certain satisfaction when you hook a fish and reel it in, even the small tiny ones. It’s great that kids can say ‘I caught a fish!’ To them, it’s pretty cool.”
The derby itself is open to children four years old to 12 years old.
Registration is open at 7 a.m. on the day of the event and fishing will be from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.
The event is free and prizes will be given out to age groups.
Full disclosure: Editor Shaw Israel Izikson is a member of Winsted Elks Lodge #844

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