April 24, 2018
Life-long Forestville resident Bob Knepper will be the featured guest at the 2018 Vacant Lot Fest in Forestville, which is taking place Saturday July 7th at 6PM, Forestville time.
This annual event features a private meet and greet with vacant lot land owners and includes an autograph session and a photo session too.
In addition to owning vacant lots in Forestville, Mr. Kneeper also owns vacant and abandoned properties throughout the region including memorable ones in New Britain, Plantsville, Meriden and Turner Falls Massachusetts.
Knepper began letting his properties go in the 1990s because he is lazy and stopped caring. The properties feature a wide swath of neglect and debris from garbage to general overgrowth. The motivation for abandoning his properties varies from property to property.
Empty lot historian Alex Chipley will once again lead fans on a trolley tour of the vacant lots and conduct a trivia contest too. Winners will not receive any prizes just the knowledge that they won.
During the 31-minute tour fans will learn about Forestville’s rich history of vacant lots, and what the future holds for vacant lots.
There is no charge to go on the trolley but it costs 12 bucks to get off the trolley.
This event is sponsored by the Forestville Historical Society and Intimate Encounters, a popular Forestville escort service owned by Mr. Knepper.
Vacant Lot Trolley Tour
* Trolley tour leaves every 30 minutes beginning at 6PM
* The last trolley leaves at 6PM
* Adults: NO charge to get on 12 bucks to get off
* Children (5 – 12): $8.00 to get on $0 to get off
* Children younger than 5 ride free but they are not allowed to speak or talk
May 13, 2017
Right it down! Vacant Lot Fest 2017 is taking place Saturday July 8th. This special one-day event will feature a walking tour of the vacant lots in Forestville by noted empty lot historian Alex Chipley.
Mr. Chipley explains the history and explores the properties along East Main Street that were once vital to the community, but have fallen on hard times
Join Mr. Chipley for a journey back in time at one of America’s premier collection of empty lots. You will find inspiration and neglect as you explore the empty land parcels dotted along Forestville’s landscape.
Ken Wormer will be the featured guest. Mr. Wormer once owned a lot that is now contaminated with overgrowth, trash and industrial waste. He will be available for autographs, photos and signing vacant lot memorabilia.
The tour will leave from the post office at 6PM and is expected to take two hours. This event is sponsored by the Forestville Historical Society.
Vacant Lot Fest 2017 will be opened by the classic rock band Foghat. The band, known for the hits “Slow Ride,” and “Fool For the City” was briefly popular in the 1970s.
Admission to the event is free but the ticket is $10.00.
May 19, 2016
Vacant Lot Fest is returning to Forestville on Saturday July 9th!
The popular event, sponsored by the Forestville Tourism Association (FTA), is a one day celebration of the vacant lots in the village, and is attended by a loyal and dedicated fan base. “I went last year and it was awesome to see all those empty, neglected lots in total disrepair,” said John Singer, a vacant lot enthusiast from Southington, who met his wife at the 2012 Fest.
Heather Ross, director of the event for FTA, likens the devotion of the Vacant Lot fandom to Trekkies – those overzealous, obsessive followers of Star Trek. “Just like Trekkies they come here and know every minute detail about every unattended parcel. From plant growth to toxics it’s incredible.”
This year will include never-before-seen items gathered from the unsightly landscapes for display, including litter, solid waste and a wide variety of dirt, sand and silt.
The vacant lots of Forestville can be discovered with a walking tour provided by Alex Chipley, an empty lot historian. He will bring the lots back to life with history, trivia and local lore. The tour will leave from in front of the post office at 6PM and is expected to take two hours. “Nothing like seeing that last vacant lot just before dusk,” Mr. Chipley said.
Tickets can be obtained from the Forestville Tourism Association if you plead or grovel.
May 9, 2015
Vacant lot enthusiasts from across the country will descend on Forestville for Vacant Lot Fest 2015 this June. This is the third time Vacant Lot Fest has come to Forestville and the timing could not be any better because the property at located 43 E. Main Street is now barren. The brick building that had been there since 1920 was recently demolished because it was falling into the Pequabuck River.
Legions of vacant lot fans annually attend such festivals and Forestville never leaves them disappointed. “It wouldn’t be Forestville if there weren’t a vacant lot somewhere,” said John Singer, a vacant lot enthusiast from Southington.
Vacant Lot Fest consists of autograph signings by vacant lot property owners, panel discussions, debris from former buildings, face painting, dunk tanks and a Saturday evening tour of all the vacant lots at dusk. “Forestville really knows how to do this right,” Singer said.
For Vacant Lot Fest attendees much of the excitement comes just from meeting others who share the same interest. “I thought I was the only one into this but I’m not,” Singer said excitedly, while standing at the empty lot at 259 E. Main Street. “It’s going to be so cool hanging with others who share this interest.”
Singer was in Forestville checking out the new attraction prior to the festival because he could not wait to see it, “I heard there was another vacant lot in Forestville so I just had to be here to see it myself before the festival.”
Vacant Lot Fest 2015 will be held the last Saturday in June and attendees are to gather in the empty lot near Todd Street at 10 AM. Tickets can be bought from the Forestville Tourism Association.
43 E. Main Street