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Local Dad, Rocky Progano, Takes us Along for the Ride

Article by Dana Epstein Altman

Photography by John Videler

Originally published in Fairfield Lifestyle

If you ask a Dad how he spends a day with this kids, I’m highly confident you’ll get a wide a variety of answers. When we asked Fairfield resident and outdoor enthusiast, Rocky Progano, he gave us an earful—and threw in some life adventure tips for good measure!

Growing up, Progano and his brothers spent a lot of time outdoors so that they wouldn't break too many things inside. There were forts and trails and booby traps galore. He also spent a lot of time fishing and swimming in the reservoir. Outdoor exploration and adventure were always part of the equation, which is why he’s always down for a ride, hike, or paddle. As the Dad of two young daughters, Avellina, 9, and Elianna, 6, the outdoor fun lives on. “On the weekends I’m always looking to get my kids involved in a mini adventure, explains Progano. “We started calling them Riprours, which is a made up the name with a lot of meaning behind it for us”. (Fun Fact: For the past two years, Progano’s been working on a passion project aptly named, Riprour, to help build community around the sport of adventure coupled with responsibility for local surroundings).

A typical day would likely include a brainstorming session with a few ideas that the girls can get behind. “We love to explore the outdoors locally so I’m always on the hunt for a new trail to hike or a place to launch a kayak with them,” says Progano. Under the “life lesson” umbrella, he’s always looks for ways to promote the importance of health, community, and responsibility to his daughters. “Getting outside in nature and being active is one of the best ways to do this. We do our best to pick up any trash we see on the trails and make sure we’re being good stewards of the outdoors.”


Trout Brook Valley Preserve

A beautiful 1,000-acre land parcel owned and managed by a local non-profit Aspetuck Land Trust (ALT) in Easton.

Haskins Preserve

Another ALT property, and a true hidden gem in the Compo area of Westport. 

Ash Creek Preserve

A local Fairfield favorite tucked behind the waterway between Jennings Beach and the St Mary’s section of Black Rock. 

Firehouse Deli 

If they didn’t pack a lunch to eat in the woods, there’s a good chance you can find the Progano’s at this local institution.

Mecha Noodle Bar

An absolute favorite spot for dinner and some slurpin’.

Park City Music Hall 

A huge fan of live music, Progano loves to take the family to this Black Rock venue. Hot Tip:Wednesday nights are Family Night.


A Dad’s Tips on Making Life an Adventure 

by Rocky Progano

Do What You Wanna!

Dream big and have clear goals. Anything is possible.


Try new things and mix it up often. Make it an adventure!

Keep the Balance

You can’t do “everything “and you can’t do “nothing”! Find your balance and keep a steady rhythm.

Go With The Flow

Expect the unexpected and don’t get bent out of shape. Enjoy the ride!

Rest & Relax

Eat, sleep, breathe and go outside.

Be Kind

"Be good to everybody, be a strength to the weak. Be a joy to the joyful, be the laughter in the grief". (‘Getting Ready to Get Down’ by Josh Ritter)

Make Art

Sing, Dance, Draw, Build… Create!

Pack Snacks

When you’re hungry everything looks like a cheeseburger. Be prepared, pack snacks.