Rick Norcross at his tractor-trailer of Chew Chew Festival gear
If you participated in a lard fight in Burlington's City Hall Park in June of 1988, there's a T-shirt commemorating the event that you may want to snag. Despite the passage of time, you'd likely remember if you had flung fat in this particular food fight: It was a special event at the Chew Chew Festival
that involved taking 10 paces, turning around, and lobbing a load of lard at your opponent.
The shirt — and other relics from the erstwhile Chew Chew — will be for sale Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon at a puddle-pocked trailer lot off Pine Street. The food festival was founded in 1984 by musician Rick Norcross, who is selling its memorabilia and gear.
The festival, which operated for 25 years in Burlington, featured food from local restaurants. Norcross has been storing Chew Chew objects in a 40-foot tractor trailer behind the old bus station on the west side of Pine Street. He's organizing the trailer tag sale because he's being evicted from the lot, Norcross said.
"I'm just going to haul stuff out of there and people can go in and root around," he said. Items that will be for sale include a mish-mash of Chew Chew leftovers including signs, big wooden utensils, laundry sinks, strings of lights, hats and a hot water heater.
Of the festival memorabilia he accrued over the years, Norcross has sold one set of objects: the tokens people used for buying food from the vendors. He sold 30,000 tokens to a scrap dealer for $1,000, Norcross said. He bought the tokens for 48 cents apiece.
Dennis Havey, owner of the lot, confirmed that he asked a number of people who lease space for trailers and other vehicles to leave the premises. The lot's longtime caretaker, Mick Deloreto, died in the spring
Havey says that with trailers parked on his land, his options for what he can do with the property are limited. He has no plans to sell it, Havey said. "The tax consequences would be too great," he said. "I can't afford to sell it."