Boar's Head and Yule Log Festival held

01/04/1981 |


The annual Boar’s Head Yule Log Festival was held at 4:00 pm at the Asylum Hill Congregational Church.

  1. James L. Kidd sat at the altar
  2. The event was celebrated by the Asylum Hill Oratorio Choir and Cast
  3. Two beefeaters carried in a 40-pound boar’s head decorated with cherry eyes and an apple in its mouth.
  4. Animals participating in the event included
    • Arthur, a camel
    • Gwendolyn and Gunther, geese
    • Jack, a donkey
    • Scottie and Daisy, sheep

  1. Commerford said that “a few weeks ago” his animals had performed at the White House.
  2. This article quoted the event program’s description of the boar’s head festival, and it matched exactly the descriptions offered by the Courant on December 28, 1968.

  1. James Kidd was the senior pastor at Asylum Hill Congregational Church.
  2. Richard Einsel directed the Asylum Hill Oratorio Choir and Cast.
  3. Charlotte Bacon owned many of the animals in the procession, including the geese.
  4. Bob Commerford owned a business that leased animals, including Arthur and Jack. Commerford – aka Robert W. Commerford – continues to operate the Commerford Zoo in Goshen.
  5. This may have been the final performance for Arthur the Camel at the Boar’s Head. He died in 1982, and it isn’t clear if he performed at the 1982 Boar’s Head.
  6. Jack the Donkey was 37.
  7. The president who was entertained by Commerford’s animals was Jimmy Carter.

Sevick, Stephanie, “Animals, congregation join in for Boar's Head Yule Celebration,” Hartford Courant, January 5, 1981, page A5.

Asylum Hill Congregational Church


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