BRISTOL, Conn. (WTNH) – The 139th annual Crocodile Club at Lake Compounce in Bristol was back this year. Politicians poke fun at one another and skip the campaigning, but something was different in the air.

This is a charity event for the Carousel Museum. If you have a horse in the race for the midterm election, you go to the Crocodile Club event, but that wasn’t the case for the Democrats this year.

Around 200 people filled the country’s oldest amusement park event hall for some lamb, creamed corn, and political jokes.

“I have heard of Leora Levy. That was national news Trump called her, and that’s fantastic, but he called me that day too. He called everybody,” said Max Reiss, Simpsons Comedy Writer.

The event is back after a three-year hiatus because of COVID. It’s billed as an opportunity for candidates to throw barbs at one another in order to build bipartisan friendships.

Top-tier Democrats running for statewide office, including Governor Ned Lamont, did not show up.

“Sometimes we take things too seriously. It’s good to get both Republicans and Democrats out and put things in perspective,” said Bob Stefanowski, GOP candidate for governor.

“I was disappointed that a lot of people were canceling, but to give John Larson credit, he is voting on a bill that is a game changer for our country,” said State Rep. Kerry Wood.

Organizers say every candidate was invited. The governor’s scheduler said he had a conflict.