NEW BRITAIN - As Bo Duke on the popular 1980s television show âThe Dukes of Hazzard,â John Schneider was best known for the daring way he drove the familyâs souped-up 1969 Dodge Charger.
So it was only fitting that in his video shout-out congratulating Little Poland on celebrating its 10th anniversary, that he warned Police Chief James Wardwell and Attorney Adrian Baron that he may need a little help if he decides to go roaring through Broad Street.
âI promise but Iâm not going to go speeding through your town,â Schneider says to Wardwell on the 30-second video shown on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. âBut if I happen to have a little bit of a lead foot and you happen to catch me, I have a friend and a fan in Adrian and Iâm counting on you Adrian to get me out of trouble.â
The video has had 20,000 views since it began airing a few days ago, Baron said.
Schneider is one of several celebrities from the 1980s and 1990s who agreed to do a video message honoring Little Poland for celebrating 10 years as one of the most vibrant areas of the city. Former Mayor Timothy Stewart officially designated the Broad Street area âLittle Polandâ on Sept. 23, 2008. Since then Broad Street has become one of the main attractions for visitors to the city with shopping, restaurants and services flourishing.
Baron, the president of the Polonia Business Association, came up with the idea for the social media campaign after someone mentioned to him that the area had its own âHollywoodâ sign at the end of Main Street and the intersection of North Street announcing the entrance to Little Poland in big silver letters.
âI started thinking about that and how we could bring a little Hollywood to Little Poland as we celebrate the 10th anniversary,â Baron said.
The videos started airing last week with Lance Bass of the boy band NSYNC kicking off the campaign with a congratulatory message for message for Little Poland. Baron plans to run the videos throughout the 10th anniversary year and pull in local and state politicians and other Connecticut personalities.
Bass gave a shout out to Baron, Kris Rutkowski, a local businessman and Margaret Malinowski, who works for the cityâs economic development department and sheâs the owner of Staropolska restaurant on Broad Street during his video.
Other celebrities who are slated to do videos include Danica McKellar, who played Winnie Cooper on âThe Wonder Years,â singer Tommy Lee from Motley Crue, Larry Wilcox who played Jon on âCHIPSâ and more.
Wardwell liked the concept and appreciated the nod from Schneider, he said. âAs a community partner Adrian Baron has done so much for our city,â Wardwell said. âLittle Poland continues to be a gem in New Britain. On a related note, I am very pleased to report there were no reported traffic violations committed by John Schneider while in town. He is welcomed back anytime. â
Itâs clear that as we get closer to the 10th anniversary of the city officially designating Broad Street as âLittle Polandâ that members of the Polonia Business Association have a few tricks up their sleeves,â said Mayor Erin Stewart. âThe work that the organization is undertaking to promote this unique business district is a boon to New Britain and Little Poland, as evident by its increasing popularity.â
Baron is hoping to get the celebrities to include as many people who have helped revitalize Broad Street as possible in their videos.
âItâs a fun little campaign,â Baron said. âTo have Bo Duke ask me with help in getting out of a speeding ticket, it made my day.â
Lisa Backus can be reached at 860-801-5066 or Lbackus@centralctcommunications.com.