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Compo is More than Just a Summer Beach

Brynn Flesig, Staff Writer

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Compo Beach is known for the cannons, the playground, and Elvira’s Deli just a road crossing away. As with everything, history lies just beneath the surface.

A few paces from the chilled water, there are a pair of large metal cannons on a granite base. They were placed there to commemorate the fighting near and on the beach as the British returned to their ships in 1777. The monument was dedicated in 1901 and restored in 1999. It has survived at least four hurricanes and many more punishing storms. This and the Minute Man statue show how Westport is set on remembering the past to influence the future.

Compo Beach is one of many beaches in Fairfield County. They all are worth visiting for the sunny weather, picnics, and dogs splashing in the water. Some events to celebrate at Compo are the Point to Point Swim, where ages 10 and up can participate in swimming a mile. Additionally, the Polar Plunge welcomes participants to plunge into painfully cold water on Jan. 1 to welcome the winter. There’s “snow” way I’m going to miss it!

My all time favorite Compo Beach event is the Fourth of July, where you can find fireworks, lights, and food. It is quite a “shellabration”! It is also a time to gather with friends, family, and pets. The final and most popular event is the annual Castles in the Sand event. It takes place on May 9, and draws more than 150 participants.

You have a certain amount of time to create a sculpture with sand, shells, and things that may be washed up on the shore including seaweed, rocks and sticks. Afterward, judges come around and ask about your piece and the inspiration. Hundreds of spectators and artists have the opportunity to admire the works before them. Past sculptures include animals, mythical creatures, couches, and even a few castles. The event raises thousands of dollars for Homes With Hope, which provides support services to homeless people. The winner of this contest wins a shovel spray painted gold.

The one and only downside to Compo Beach is that from April 1 to September 30, animals are not allowed on the beach. The one exception is when you are going to and from boats at Compo Beach. Beach areas include the water, the sand, the parking areas, the grass areas and roads. You also must have your dog on a leash, but can carry your pet across the beach and onto the sandbars at low tide, where all the dog lovers gather.

Emmah Tait, a sixth grader, vouched for Compo. “I love how Compo is welcoming and warm. There are little tide pools where the water is warm and a drop off where the water gets really deep. The best part is the animals, like horseshoe crabs, tiny schools of fish and lots of dogs. It is always enjoyable to swim and watch the tides,” she said.

When 10 people were asked which beach is their favorite beach, 60 percent said other, 30 percent said Compo Beach, 10 percent said Old Mill.

Overall, Compo Beach is a fun and interesting place with dogs, family, and activities. It’s worth the drive.

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Compo is More than Just a Summer Beach