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Connecticut's Event Industry Wants Answers On Pandemic Restrictions

Courtesy: Jonathan Jennings
The interior of The Barns at Wesleyan Hills

It’s been seven months since a large event like a wedding has been permitted indoors in Connecticut. Jonathan Jennings, executive vice president of the Connecticut Wedding Group, said it’s time to change that. 


“As industry leaders we pledged to the governor we will follow the rules,” said Jennings. “As a matter of fact, we helped create these rules.”

With the holiday party season coming up, event planners, venue workers and caterers said they need the chance to show they can hold events safely.

Jennings, who is also on the board of the Connecticut Restaurant Association, said he sees tens of thousands of people still unable to return to work. The industry is hurting and needs answers soon, he said. 

“The problem you have now is that the industry leaders are largely on the sidelines, but that doesn’t mean parties have stopped,” said Jennings. “You are still seeing parties happen all over Connecticut. The problem is many of these parties are happening in unregulated environments. They are happening where people choose to not follow the rules, or don’t know the rules exist.”

Credit Courtesy: Jonathan Jennings
Gov. Ned Lamont meets with Jonathan Jennings and members of the Connecticut Restaurant Association.

Jennings is usually planning weddings at The Barns at Wesleyan Hills this time of year. Instead of welcoming guests into the venue, last week he welcomed Gov. Ned Lamont. He urged Lamont to put in place guidelines that will allow large events to take place and happen safely.

“What we asked for was a path forward, and we asked to be treated like they treated restaurants in the spring,” said Jennings. “We asked for 50 percent of a venue’s capacity indoors with perhaps a sensible cap like 150.”

Last Thursday, Lamont said he would put together those guidelines within the next 10 days. 


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