Ride a Vintage Train to Visit the Easter Bunny !

The Danbury Railway Museum is planning to greet the Easter Bunny once again this spring. The Easter Bunny will make his home in a authentically restored train car where he will greet young and old alike on special weekends this April!

To reach the Easter Bunny you will first enter the historic Danbury Railroad Station where you will board a vintage train that will take you on a fun filled ride through the historic railyard to the Easter Bunny. The short train ride in a fully-restored 1953 New Haven RR Rail Diesel Car (Budd RDC), will take visitors past the fully operational turntable, over 70 vintage railroad cars and locomotives, and many unique pieces of railroad history, including a Boston & Maine steam locomotive built in 1907. Of special note is the museum’s beautifully restored circa-1910 Railway Post Office (RPO) car that will also be open.

The train ride will stop at the Easter Bunny’s special railroad car. Each child will receive a small gift from the Bunny making this a great time for memorable photos that will be cherished though out the years.

An extra treat for those visiting the Easter Bunny are the exhibits inside the restored 1903 Danbury Station that include a coloring station, temporary tattoos, Thomas® play table, and operating model train layouts. A fully-stocked gift shop will also be open.

This popular annual family event will take place on Sunday, March 25; Saturday & Sunday, March 31 & April 1; and Friday & Saturday, April 6 & 7. Museum hours are 10:00-4:30 on Friday and Saturday; noon-4:30 on Sunday. Reservations are suggested and may be made by visiting the museum’s Web site at www.danburyrail.org.

The Danbury Railway Museum is a non-profit organization, staffed solely by volunteers, and is dedicated to the preservation of, and education about, railroad history. The museum is located in the restored 1903 Danbury Station and rail yard at 120 White Street, Danbury, CT. For further information, visit the Web site at www.danburyrail.org, email info@danburyrail.org, or call the museum at 203-778-8337.

Free Family Halloween Event Features a Hay Maze Oct. 29 and Oct. 30 At Bartlett Arboretum & Gardens

The Bartlett Arboretum & Gardens at 151 Brookdale Road in Stamford becomes home to a huge hay maze, fun activities for kids and other Halloween happenings on Saturday, October 29, 2011 and Sunday October 30, 2011 from 12 p.m.- 4 p.m.

The event, AMAZEing Halloween, also features free admission to The Bartlett Arboretum & Gardens and its new Outdoor Explore Classroom, as well as the “Monster Mash” costume parade at 1pm and 3pm, face-painting, magicians, pumpkin carving, and many other kid-friendly activities.

“We wanted to showcase our grounds at a free Halloween event to let people see how wonderful the property looks in the fall” said Peter Saverine, Bartlett Arboretum’s Executive Director of Operations. “We’re excited about the hay maze and we’ll have lots to do for kids and their families.

With the recent opening of our new Silver Educational Center and its outdoor complement, the new Nature Explore Classroom, we are sure the Bartlett Arboretum will become a must-visit location for families to learn about nature together.”

The event is FREE and open to the public. It is being held in partnership with Stamford Recreation Services and supports the Food Bank of Lower Fairfield County. Families are encouraged to bring any non-perishable items they would like to donate to help others in our community.

Register at http://stamfordhalloween.eventbrite.com for your child or children to receive a free Halloween goody bag on the day of the event.

About The Bartlett Arboretum & Gardens:

The Bartlett Arboretum & Gardens is located at 151 Brookdale Road in Stamford, CT and is a natural preserve like no other in this region. The property features 91 acres of irreplaceable open space highlighting the best of what Connecticut’s

Native landscape has to offer: magnificent award-winning Champion trees, charming gardens, wildflower meadows, red maple wetlands and boardwalks, woodland walking trails, varied wildlife and native habitats. A wonderful getaway from the hustle and bustle of daily life, it serves as a leading recreational and educational resource for area residents and visitors of all ages. For weekend gardeners to budding young botanists, the Bartlett offers a place to relax, learn and play. The mission of the Bartlett Arboretum & Gardens is to inspire the community to explore, examine, understand and appreciate the natural history of the botanical world and its place in our lives. It is open to the public 365 days a year. Children under 12 are always free, adult entry is $6. Individual, family, and senior memberships are available for free access year round and discounts to programs, special events and local merchants. Visit www.bartlettarboretum.org or call 203-322-6971 for more information.

Photo Credit: P. Pogo

Ready for Halloween? A Haunting at Mill Hill in Norwalk October 15 and 22

As the sun sets, on Mill Hill in Norwalk, the spirits come out to play. Take a lantern-light tour through the historic Mill Hill graveyard and hear chilling tales from the spirits of Norwalk’s past on Saturdays, October 15 and 22 (rain or shine). Tours are scheduled at 5:30 p.m., 7:00 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. Each tour will be followed by refreshments in the old one-room schoolhouse. This pre-Halloween event is organized by the Norwalk Historical Society.

During “A Haunting at Mill Hill,” participants will hear stories of murder, death, destruction and more while they meet renegade Tory Easias Bouton, Chester, the haunted Civil War statue, and other entities from Norwalk’s colorful history. The cemetery is located at 2 East Wall Street, Norwalk, CT 06851.

Space for each tour is limited so reservations are recommended (203-846-0525). Advance tickets are $10 for adults/teens and $6 for children ages 8-12 (not recommended for children younger than 8). Tickets at the door are $12 for adults/teens and $8 for children. There is a $2 discount for Norwalk Historical Society members. For more information visit http://norwalkhistoricalsociety.org.

About Mill Hill Historic Park

The Mill Hill Historic Park consists of three historical buildings and the third oldest Burying Ground in Norwalk.

The Burying Ground on Mill Hill dates to 1767 and was originally called Whitney’s Hill after a miller that opened a mill on the site. A list of those buried in the Mill Hill Burying Ground was recorded in 1924 and consisted of the names on the headstones that were clearly readable. Not all that are buried on Mill Hill are accounted for because in the Colonial Period less than a third of the burials were marked with an inscribed headstone. Some of the time, a simple rock was used.

Several notable buildings are located on the grounds of the Mill Hill complex. The federally styled brick Norwalk Town House dates to 1835 and served a multiple of purposes over the years as a gathering place for special groups.

The Law Office of Governor Fitch is also on the grounds. Thomas Fitch was Governor of the Colony of Connecticut from 1754 to 1766. Restored in 1971, the small colonial style building I saw on the grounds was reconstructed as a colonial law office. Originally, it was part of the kitchen wing of Governor Fitch’s house. I was told that it was the only portion of the house that survived the burning of Norwalk by the British on July 11, 1779. The house that stands on Mill Hill today, was once located in East Norwalk. It was moved in 1956 because it was in the construction path of the Interstate 95.

The red-clapboarded building known as the Downtown District School House is also located in the complex and was built in 1826. The building was used as a school until 1871. The British destroyed the original school, and the present schoolhouse was built on the lines of the first utilizing its original foundation.

New Canaan Nature Center’s 42nd Annual Fall Fair October 15

The crisp days of autumn are here! It is a glorious time of year in Connecticut when families can enjoy traditional fairs and festivals amidst a backdrop of orange, scarlet and gold leaves.

The New Canaan Nature Center’s 42 annual Fall Fair is chock full of traditional fall fair activities that will please young and old alike. Visitors to the Fair will enjoy pony rides, a “haunted” woodland trail, apple slingshots, nature-based crafts, a hay maze, cupcake and pumpkin decorating, and fire engine rides on New Canaan’s antique fire engine, Old Faithful. The giant bungee jump, one of last year’s most popular attractions will also be back along with the “Kids On The Go” obstacle course and other inflatable rides.


The Fall Fair will feature a wide range of entertainment throughout the day. The Moses Brothers band will entertain families with a live performance of their blues/bluegrass/rock music from 11a.m. – 3 p.m. The 4th Annual Apple Pie Eating contest will begin at 3 p.m. with categories for youth and adults. There is an entry fee ($5 for youth and $15 for adults) and prizes will be awarded. Other live shows include birds of prey demonstrations, shadow puppet shows and story readings between 10:30am – 2:30pm.

New this year will be an “Eco-Village” where attendees can learn about the latest products, services and businesses to help green their home, family and life. Participating Eco-Village sponsors/exhibitors include Alteris Renewables, BPC Green Builders, Going Green Landscape Lighting, Graze Delivered, Sunlight Solar Energy Inc. and Vinylume Inc. Renewal by Andersen.

A wide range of fresh foods will be available to purchase throughout the day, including grilled hot dogs, pulled pork and vegetarian sandwiches, pizza, hot soup and hot and cold beverages. A variety of homemade baked goods will be for sale courtesy of Nature Center volunteers.

Admission to the Fall Fair is free and parking is available at St. Mark’s and the First Presbyterian Church. Tickets can be purchased for $1 each for the activities and food, which range from 1-7 tickets.

About the New Canaan Nature Center

The New Canaan Nature Center is a not-for-profit organization that is an environmental education center and sanctuary dedicated to helping people of all ages better understand, appreciate and care for the world of nature. The annual Fall Fair helps raise funds to maintain and offer this community treasure admission-free to residents of New Canaan and the surrounding area throughout the year. For more information about the Fall Fair visit www.NewCanaanNature.org of call (203) 966-9577.

HawkWatch and Hawkwatch Festival & Green Bazaar at Greenwich Audubon Through Nov. 20

Each autumn, 17 species of hawks, eagles and vultures migrate southwest over Quaker Ridge’s scenic hilltops in northern Greenwich.

The fields are one of the highest locations in town and the sweeping views are an excellent vantage point for spotting birds. On clear days in September when winds are from the North, birders may count a few thousand broad-winged hawks as they swirl in ‘kettles’ before heading South along migration routes.

In the late 1960′s, birders searched Fairfield County for the best sites where large numbers of migrating raptors could be observed. Over several years, more than a dozen sites were tested on weekends and in the end, it was determined that the Quaker Ridge Hawk Watch at Audubon Greenwich, was the best site in the area.

Ever since 1972, migrating hawks have been officially counted as they pass over Quaker Ridge (a.k.a. Hawk Watch Lawn). As part of the network of hawk watch locations nationwide, the Greenwich Audubon Society hired a full-time hawk watcher in 1985.The Official Hawk Counter staffs the site 9:00 am-5:00 pm, Monday-Friday, from August 20-November 20, each year.

On weekends, volunteer counters help to staff the site. Anyone is welcome to volunteer to become a counter at the Audubon’s Hawk Watch. The more eyes the better because the seasonal counts average 18,000 raptors. You don’t need to be able to identify the hawks. Greenwich Audubon simply needs eyes watching the skies! In fact, some of the best spotters are beginners that know very little about identification. Volunteers count and record the data and then, researchers can try to gauge the health of Northeastern raptor populations.

Visitors are encouraged to visit the Greenwich Audubon Center during this exciting time of year and to ask questions, talk with volunteers, and enjoy counting eagles, hawks, and falcons from Hawk Watch Lawn.

For detailed data about raptor sightings at Greenwich, visit http://www.hawkcount.org.

Hawkwatch Festival & Green Bazaar October 1 & 2

Coming up on October 1 & 2, at the peak of the migration spectacle, Greenwich Audubon will host the ‘HawkWatch Weekend Festival & Green Bazaar’ that will feature two days of live birds of prey and animal shows, hands-on nature education, bird workshops, activities for kids, eco-shopping, food, and more! Festival is Rain or Shine from 11 am-5 pm. Admission is $7 for youth/$10 for adults (New or current Audubon Members: $5 for youth / $7 for adults). $35 National Audubon Society family memberships will be available at the Festival Gate.

For more information visit http://greenwich.audubon.org. To learn more about exhibiting or the schedule, call Jeff Cordulack at 203-869-5272 x239.

About the Audubon Center at Audubon Greenwich

The Audubon Center in Greenwich opened in 1942 as the National Audubon Society’s first environmental education center in the United States on land donated by Eleanor Clovis Reese and H. Hall Clovis. The 295-acre sanctuary has approximately seven miles of trails that lead to a hardwood forest, old fields, lake, streams and vernal ponds. Reminders of the past are the stone walks, an old apple orchard and original New England homestead buildings. Audubon Greenwich’s main sanctuary is the site located at 613 Riversville Road, which is comprised of 285 acres, with 7 miles of walking trails. There you will find the Kimberlin Nature Education Center building with exhibits, staff offices and classrooms. The Center contains the Hilfiger Children’s Learning Center with hands-on nature activities and interpretive natural history exhibits, the Kiernan Hall Nature Art Gallery, a Wildlife Viewing Window and honey bee hive exhibit, a Nature Gift Store: books, binoculars, birdfeeders, gifts. The Kimberlin Center is also available for event rentals and children’s parties. Audubon Greenwich is comprised of 11 other sanctuaries totaling 686 acres of woodlands, meadows, and wetlands, and 15 additional miles of hiking trails.

Birds in Their Habitat Art Exhibition at Birdcraft in Fairfield Connecticut Sept. 24 & 25

Connecticut Audubon Society is bringing together talented artists from around the country who specialize in avian art during its second annual Birds In Their Habitat juried artists’ exhibition and sale at Birdcraft located on 2325 Burr Rd. in Fairfield Connecticut. This annual event is taking place September 23-25.

Twenty one artists working in a variety of media have been selected to display and sell their works. Jury selection of participating artists was based upon technique, execution, quality and uniqueness of work. The exhibition will illustrate that wildlife artists are committed to close observation and rendering fine artworks so that others may recognize the beauty of our natural world. Media includes: painting, photography, sculpture, printmaking, wood carving and fine art crafts. In addition to the art show, live birds of prey will be on hand for live demonstrations. Refreshments will be provided by the Butterfly Garden Cafe Committee.

This year’s Juried Show and Sale will feature the following Painters: Sue deLearie Adair: Etching, Del-Bourree Bach: Acrylic,
Wendy Brockman: Graphite and Watercolor, Mary Christiansen: Gouache and Graphite, Michael DiGiorgio: Watercolor and Oil,
Katie Lee: Graphite and Acrylic, Carol McArdle: Oil and Acrylic, Sharon Rowley Morgio: Oil and Watercolor, Sean Murtha: Oil and Watercolor, Dorie Petrochko: Watercolor, Kelly Leahy Radding: Gouache and Watercolor, Carolyn K. Smith: Graphite and Watercolor, Linda Thomas: Watercolor and Oil, and Patricia J. Wynne: Colored Pencil and Etching. Photographers featured at the show include: Paige Alexander, Michael Amodeo, Lori Bolle, and Margaret Harris. The pottery works of Judith Taylor and the Woodcarving of Roscoc Condon and Bill Rice will also be highlighted.

In addition, Connecticut Audubon Society has selected Floyd Scholz as its 2011 “artist of the year.” A professional carver since 1983 and in his fortyfirst year of carving, Floyd Scholz is universally recognized as a top carver of birds in the world. His portrayal of eagles, hawks, owls and many other large birds has won him a large international following and many top awards at major shows throughout the country. When not in his studio, traveling and doing essential field studies of birds take up most of his time.

The Preview Party is Friday, September 23 from 6:30 to 9:30 at Birdcraft located on 2325 Burr Street in Fairfield CT. The Show and Sale opens to the general public on Saturday, September 24 and Sunday, September 25 from 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM; adults are $5.00 and children under 10 are free. Proceeds from this event will benefit educational programs in the Fairfield region. For additional information, call 203-259-6305 ext. 109 or visit http://www.ctaudubon.org.

About Birdcraft Museum

Founded in 1914, Birdcraft is the first private bird sanctuary in the United States. This six-acre site was originally planted as a refuge to attract, harbor, and feed migratory and resident birds. To date, more than 120 bird species have been recorded on its grounds. Birdcraft’s focus today is offering premier natural history education programs and events for children and adults. It is also a federally-licensed Bird-Banding Station.

The Museum and Cottage were the original headquarters of the Connecticut Audubon Society. The Museum contains dioramas of Connecticut’s wildlife and habitats as they existed at the beginning of the 20th Century; the Four Seasons Room, which shows bird diversity over the years; the Frederick T. Bedford Collection of African Animals, and changing exhibits.

Ride Your Harley, Stay For Charlie Palace Hosts First Ever Motorcycle Ride Fundraiser Oct. 15


Rev up your hog and join the Palace Theater for its first ever motorcycle ride on Saturday, October 15, at 1:00pm. The event will serve as a fundraiser for the theater’s Ticket and Travel Subsidy Fund, a program that provides children with access to experience live, educational theater programs at the Palace.

Registration for the ride is from 1:00pm – 2:00pm at the theater, which is located at 100 East Main Street in Waterbury. At 2:00pm, riders will begin a scenic drive that will take them North through the Litchfield Hills, loop through Woodbury and Middlebury, and conclude at the theater where a street festival will be getting under way.

The festival will take place from 4:00pm – 7:30pm, and will feature local vendors, food, drawings and musical entertainment by Crosseyed Cat, Eran Troy Danner and Jimmy Jack. Both sides of East Main Street will be closed for the event, which is open to the public and supported by Main Street Waterbury, Spirit of Waterbury, and the Arts & Culture Collaboration Waterbury Region. Both the motorcycle ride and street festival will take place rain or shine.

For those who wish for the fun to continue, the Palace will end the day with a performance by “Easy Rider” himself, Charlie Daniels, who will perform with his band on the theater’s stage at 8:00pm. Tickets for the concert, which is sponsored by Naugatuck Savings Bank, Darter Specialties, and WTNH/MyTV9, are on sale now and can be purchase by phone at 203-346-2000, online at http://www.palacetheaterct.org, or in person at the box office.

Registration for the motorcycle run is $25 per rider and $15 per passengers. A special package for riders who want to attend the Charlie Daniels Band performance is also available for $55. To pre-register, or for more information, call the box office at 203-346-2000.

Bravo! A Century of Theatre in Fairfield County at the Fairfield Museum and History Center


Photo Caption: Katharine Hepburn as Portia in Merchant of Venice American Shakespeare Festival Theatre, Stratford. Photo Credit: Friedman-Abeles Courtesy, ASFTA Archives

When the curtain rises on Bravo! A Century of Theatre in Fairfield County, Fairfield Museum and History Center expects the crowds to be standing room only!

The six-month exhibition will begin with a special gala fundraising preview that will honor actor Christopher Plummer; playwright A.J. Gurney; director Mark Lamos; and costume designer Jane Greenwood on Saturday, September 24th at the Museum.

The honorary event chair is distinguished actor Joanne Woodward and the gala event chairs are Mary Jane Berrien, Lisa Callahan and Caroline Owens Crawford, all of Fairfield.

According to Director of Exhibitions and Programs for the Museum, Kathleen Bennewitz, Bravo! opens to the public on Sunday, September 25th and will run through Sunday, March 18th, 2012. “It will be the largest, first-of-a-kind exhibition the Museum has undertaken and will focus on the legacy of Fairfield County’s regional theatres, highlighting the Westport Country Playhouse, the White Barn Theatre and the American Shakespeare Festival Theatre and Academy,” she said.

Photo Caption: From left…Actors Maggie Lacey, Paul Newman and Ben Fox in the 2002 Westport Country Playhouse production of Our Town.

The Fairfield Museum and History Center is working in partnership with Martha S. LoMonaco, PhD, Professor of Visual and Performing Arts at Fairfield University, who is guest curating this exhibition. The Fairfield Museum has chosen this topic because Fairfield County holds a unique place in the history of American theatre and is rich with vibrant stories. “One of Connecticut’s important roles in the performing arts has been as an ‘incubator’ of emerging talent, providing a place where playwrights, actors and designers have had the freedom to experiment with groundbreaking ideas,” Bennewitz noted. “Over the past century, regional theatres have provided opportunities for internationally known artists to ‘try out’ their craft on a regional stage to allow audiences to experience the best in classical, popular and innovative dramatic art in a different setting outside New York. “Collectively, the productions have comprised a who’s who of stage artists like Katharine Hepburn, Alfred Drake, Morris Carnovsky, Paul Newman, Joanne Woodward, Christopher Plummer, James Earl Jones, June Havoc, Robert Ryan and Bert Lahr, to mention only a few.

Bravo! will offer visitors a unique opportunity to hear the fascinating stories behind those actors and some of their landmark performances,” Bennewitz added. Bennewitz explained that interactive stations will provide a window to “behind the scenes” stage production and a colorful array of costumes, props, photographs and manuscripts will combine to illustrate Fairfield County’s theatrical history.

Photo Caption: The internationally famous and glamorous producer, Lucille Lortel, popularly known as the “Queen of Off-Broadway”, opened the White Barn Theatre in 1947 on her Westport estate in a former horse barn.

The Museum will also offer a slate of public education programs, related to Bravo!, where visitors may participate in activities, presentations and performances at the Museum and at partnering institutions. These programs will provide the experience of live theatre while inspiring the artists and audiences of tomorrow.”Another of the very exciting aspects of Bravo! is the partnerships we have established with more than 60 performing arts organizations throughout Fairfield County that will co-promote the exhibition and its related educational programs and performances,” Bennewitz said. “These partnerships will help make the exhibition and their own performances appealing.”

For more information on Bravo! A Century of Theatre in Fairfield County, its programs and the opening gala, visit http://www.fairfieldhistory.org or call 203-259-1598.

6th Annual Watertown CT House Tour Saturday September 24th

The 6th Annual Watertown House Tour will take place on Saturday September 24th from 11am to 3pm, rain or shine. Five fabulous homes will be featured in this year’s tour including The Hickcox House at 235 Main Street, The Woodward House at 126 North Street, The Long House at 241 Woodbury Road, The Guernsey Davis House at 141 Merriam Lane, and Trillium at 2579 Litchfield Road. The Watertown Historical Society Museum and the Nova Scotia Schoolhouse at 22 DeForest Street will also be open for viewing.

The Watertown House Tour is a benefit for the Watertown Historical Society Museum. The Watertown Historical Society is a private, nonprofit, all volunteer organization dedicated to collecting, preserving, and sharing Watertown and Oakville’s history through the Museum.

Advance tickets are $25 per person, and will be $30 the day of the tour. Tickets for this self-guided house tour are non-refundable & can be purchased by mailing a check or money order to: Watertown House Tour, c/o 107 Vaill Road, Watertown, CT 06795.Checks should be made payable to the “Watertown Historical Society”. Tickets can also be purchased online with a credit card at: http://www.watertownhistoricalsociety.org

All tickets and maps will be mailed to those that purchase advance tickets, starting at the beginning of September. Advance orders must be received no later than Friday September 16th. Requests for tickets after this date will be held for pick-up on the day of the tour at the Museum.

Tickets will soon be available at the beginning of September at the following retail locations: LaBonne’s Market in Watertown, Chubba’s, the Health Complex, The Watertown and Oakville Libraries, Hosking’s Nursery, Depot Square Farm Shoppe, Jimmy’s of Watertown and at the Watertown Fall Festival.

On the day of the tour tickets will be available at all of the businesses, all of the houses and at the Museum, which will be tour headquarters. Call the Museum at 860-274-1050 or view http://www.watertownhistoricalsociety.org for more information.

Roxbury Race for Open Space Set for September 17


A 5K “Race for Open Space” will be held in Roxbury on Saturday, September 17, starting at the River Road Preserve on River Road at 8:30 a.m.

Co-sponsored by the Roxbury Land Trust and Roxbury Road Race Series, the race is open to all ages for walking or running. Registration is $5 per person, with children under 10 free.

The race will benefit the stonewall restoration project at the Mine Hill Preserve that was completed this summer.

Work at the historic 19th century iron ore mining complex, which is on the National Register of Historic Places, encompassed reconstruction of massive stonewalls in five areas, as well as much-needed drainage improvements.

The Roxbury Land Trust has preserved 3,400 acres of farmland, woodlands, wildlife habitats, watercourses, wetlands and open space in Roxbury and neighboring communities since it was established in 1970.

The non-profit organization, which is governed by a volunteer board of directors and is supported by membership dues and charitable contributions, now maintains 32 preserves with 30 miles of hiking trails and three active farms, as well as offers a wide range of educational programs.

For more information, visit http://www.roxburylandtrust.org or call 860-350-4148.

Sunset/Moonrise Kayak Paddle Around Norwalk Islands Sept. 12

Experienced and novice kayakers are invited to join Friends of the Norwalk Islands for a sunset/moonrise paddle that coincides with the mid-autumn festival on the Chinese calendar.

A guided Kayak Paddle to the Norwalk Islands will launch at 4:30 p.m. on Monday, September 12, from The Small Boat Shop dock at 144 Water Street. Children (age 10 and above and weighing at least 100 pounds) are welcome to participate. Water safety and basic paddling techniques will be discussed before the tour to the Norwalk Islands begins.

“If you have never seen the sunset from a kayak or paddled beneath the moon, this trip is for you,” says Susan Snider, president, Friends of the Norwalk Islands. “After launching, we’ll head down the Norwalk River into Long Island Sound to enjoy the beauty of the Norwalk Islands and the night sky. We’ll return to the dock by 8:00 p.m.”

The Small Boat Shop is sponsoring several kayak paddles to support the Friends of the Norwalk Islands. The event fee of $85 includes a kayak, paddles, life jacket and $25 donation to Friends of the Norwalk Islands. Reservations are required by calling Friends of the Norwalk Islands (203-849-8341) or The Small Boat Shop (203-854-5223) or visit http://www.TheSmallBoatShop.com/kayaktours2011.html.

Led by Snider, the Friends of the Norwalk Islands has partnered with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service to conserve, protect and enhance the environmental, recreational and cultural significance of the Norwalk Islands and to promote the National Wildlife Refuge System. The Norwalk Islands of Chimon, Peach, Goose and Sheffield are part of the Norwalk Islands unit of the Stewart B. McKinney National Wildlife Refuge. To learn more, visit the web site at http://www.FriendsoftheNorwalkIslands.org.

Photo Credit: Dick Ramsey

The Taste of Greater Danbury Connecticut Sept. 10-11

Danbury has always been a place about community and nowhere can the community celebrate with all its citizens, friends and visitors better than downtown. Nothing proves this more than the long awaited popular Taste of Danbury that begins on Saturday, September 10 and ends on Sunday, September 11. In it’s 11th year, the Taste of Danbury promises more food, more fun for the entire family and more music than ever before! This is an event that is not to be missed.

On Saturday, September 10th, the Taste is kicked off with the Regional Y Kid’s Run at 10 am. That is followed by the 3rd Annual Run for Children at 10:30; the Regional Y Awards will be at 12:30 PM. The Official Opening Ceremony and the Walk of Honor takes place from 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM. From 1:30 to 2:30 participants will enjoy the YMCA Family Zumba. At 2:45 PM – 3:30 PM Taste goers will enjoy Sherry Winston and at 3:45 PM – 5:00 PM the Quadrasaurus take over. At 5:30, Kicks 105.5 Country Showdown Winner, Bobby Kendall will perform. He is followed by Pete Herger and Friends from 6:45 PM – 7:30 PM. From 8:00 PM to 10 PM taking front and center stage is Bad Company’s former lead singer Brian Howe, the Taste’s premier act.

On Sunday, September 11th the day begins at 11:00 AM with the News Times Community Parade on Rose Street to Boughton Street. The Parade is followed by DJ music from noon until 12:45. Afternoon entertainment includes: Golden Angels Jazz Band from 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM; Bad Company’s Former Lead Singer Brian Howe from 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM; Tracey DeLucia and Band from 4:30 PM – 5:15 PM; and In Harmony from 5:30 PM to 7:00 PM.

The Taste of course is not all about music and entertainment – it is also about Food! This year’s variety of foods include: ceviche, hornados, empanadas, patacones, bubble milk tea, thai fried rice, pad thai, spring rolls, lobster rolls, philly cheese steak sliders, New England clam chowder, cubano sandwiches, bbq chicken, tostones, sausage and peppers, rice balls, stuffed breads, pretzels, pizza, ziti, stuffed eggplant, fried dough, pork and beef shish kebabs, ice cream, hamburger, hotdogs, fajitas, kielbasa, bratwurst, paninis, baked goods, cookies, cotton candy, Italian ice, and specialty sodas

Participating area restaurants include: El Sabor, Thai Awesome, The Blue Dog, Teddy’s at the Holiday Inn, Primo’s Deli, Roma’s Deli, Nick’s Restaurant, Romy’s BBQ, Sprinkles Ice Cream, Two Steps Downtown Grille, Fajita Joes, Curro’s, Mysore, Weenie Lynn’s, Bruegger’s Bagels, Stony Hill Bakery, and O’Delli’s Catering.

For up to the minute information check out http://www.citycenterdanbury.com.

16th Annual Colonial Fair at Woodbury CT’s Glebe House Sept. 18

Woodbury, whose name means a dwelling place in the woods was settled by 17 colonists in 1659 making it one of Connecticut’s oldest western inland towns. In 1673, Woodbury was purchased from Chief Pomperaug of the Pootatuck Indians. The present day Main Street (Rte. 6) was laid out in the 1670′s along an old Indian trail where Chief Pomperaug is buried.

Woodbury was always a prosperous town. By the end of the 18th century, it was a thriving center of agricultural trade. In the early 19th century, industrial growth led to a building boom and many of the houses and four of the five churches along Rte. 6 date from this period.

One of Woodbury’s architectural gems is The Glebe House Museum & Gertrude Jekyll Garden dating from the 1740′s. The Glebe House became a minister’s farm or glebe for Woodbury’s first Episcopal minister, John Rutgers Marshall. Only weeks after American Independence was secure, a group of clergy met secretly at the Glebe House, to elect the Reverend Dr. Samuel Seabury as the first Bishop in the new nation, a decision that assumed the separation of church and state, and religious tolerance in the new nation. This event established the Glebe House as the birthplace of the Episcopal Church in America.

On September 18th the Glebe House is gearing up for its 16th annual Colonial Fair & Muster Day in the Hollow on Sunday, September 18 from 1:00-5:00.

The Pisgah Mountain Primitives will return to demonstrate blacksmithing, rope making and colonial cooking. Other colonial craft demonstrations will include spinning, quilting, wood working and basket making.

Children will have the chance to make candles, practice quill writing and churn butter. Colonial stories will be told by professional storyteller Joyce Marie Rayno and Sandi Eustace from Double D Pony will hitch up Dixie and Diego to their cart for pony rides.

The museum has special tours planned along with food, music and much more colonial era fun for the entire family. The Fair is free for children under 18 and $5 for adults.

34th Norwalk Seaport Association Oyster Festival Set for September 9-11

Fun for families and friends from nine to ninety, the 34th annual Norwalk Seaport Association Oyster Festival will be held this year from Friday, September 9 through Sunday, September 11.

Highlights include music from nationally known-bands such as Soul Asylum, Fuel, Silverado, Springsteen cover band, The Rising, as well as rides, cooking competitions, arts and crafts and a diverse assortment of attractions and entertainment that promise fun for festival goers.

The event is held at Veteran’s Park, adjacent to Norwalk Harbor on Seaview Avenue in Norwalk, CT. Admission for adults is $10 on Friday, $12 on Saturday and Sunday. Senior tickets are $10 all days. Children 5-12 year’s old are $3. Children under 5 and U.S. military personnel on active duty are free. Tickets can be purchased at http://www.seaport.org.

For the Kids
Children of all ages are wowed by Pirates Coast Adventure. Here, kids can meet real life pirates and look for booty in treasure hunts, hear storytelling and join in other fun-filled activities. The Kids’ Cove includes games, rides and entertainment. Another favorite activity is the work of a world-renowned sand sculptor that exhibit his talents with help from the kids! In addition, there will be an action-packed performance by Marvel Super Heroes. Sunday is Family Day with special family and children’s packages for entrance, rides and meals.

For the Whole Family
The festival offers a wide array of attractions the whole family will enjoy, including continuous entertainment by local musicians and national acts. The Go Greener Pavilion features hands-on demonstrations and displays with an environmental theme. Action sports and high energy combine in BMX and Motorcross Stunt Shows sponsored by f’real. A multitude of fine artists and crafters display whimsical as well as practical items that appeal to all tastes, budgets and ages.

For the Foodies
The BBQ Pit, endorsed by the New England Barbeque Society and the Kansas City Barbeque Society, offers finger-lickin’ good food, demonstrations and competitions, including the always-popular chowd
er and chili cook-offs. More great food from around the world is available at the International Food Court. This culinary fare is prepared by dozens of local nonprofit organizations allowing them to raise vital funds for their charitable causes. At the Oyster Pavilion, learn about Norwalk’s oystering history while watching slurping and shucking contests.

About the Norwalk Seaport Association
The Norwalk Seaport Association was founded in 1978 as a non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation, education and public awareness of Norwalk’s maritime environment and heritage. The Seaport Association and its volunteers are solely responsible for organizing and financing the Oyster Festival. In addition to the Oyster Festival, the Norwalk Seaport Association owns Sheffield Lighthouse and its volunteers maintain the lighthouse and grounds as a museum and nature preserve. For more information, visit http://www.seaport.org. or call (203) 838-9444.

Area Information:
For further information on Fairfield County and other area activities visit http://www.visitfairfieldcountyct.com or call 800-6631 for a free Fairfield County brochure.

FEARSOME OR FRIENDLY, FUN FILLS THE LITCHFIELD HILLS FOR HALLOWEEN


Dracula, Frankenstein and other heroes of the horrors will be on hand, while spooks and spiders, ghouls and goblins will abound in haunted graveyards. The Litchfield Hills of Northwestern Connecticut will be filled with unique ways to celebrate Halloween throughout the month of October. Families can choose from fearsome to friendly, with many chances for younger children to don their costumes and parade in happy small town celebrations.

Scary Scenarios

For chills, make haste to the Haunted Graveyard at Lake Compounce Family Theme Park in Bristol, which has been called “The granddaddy of the horrifically good time.” An unholy order of monks keep watch over the graves in the dark caverns of the Catacombs here and a dark and misty fog envelops the graveyard where zombies and night stalkers have wakened from the dead. Some are real; others are amazing animatronic creations made by The Haunted Graveyard’s crazed staff. Recommended for adults, teens and very brave children, the park opens at dusk weekends from September 30 to October 31, and runs to midnight on Fridays and Saturdays, to 10 p.m. on Sundays. The Haunted Graveyard will not be open October 2 and rides will not be open on October 31st. Lake Compounce will also be operating 17 thrill rides including Boulder Dash, Wildcat, Down Time, and Zoomerang. Proceeds will benefit the American Diabetes Associations. (www.lakecompounce.com)

This will be the 45th year for the annual Witches Dungeon Halloween Classic Movies Museum in Bristol. The Graveyard Of Classic Ghouls sets the atmosphere as you enter the dungeon where accurate life-size figures of Boris Karloff, Vincent Price, Lon Chaney, Bela Lugosi, and others are featured in 13 scenes or dioramas based on the vintage movie chillers. Many of the figures are made from the actual life casts of the actor’s faces, plus some original costumes or props, in a wax museum style setting with special voice tracks by Vincent Price, Mark Hamill, and John Agar. Many Hollywood props are on display and vintage films may be shown outdoors, weather permitting. A special highlight this year is the display of the classic 1966 “Batmobile” for the opening weekend of Sept. 30 to October 2. Hours are Friday through Sunday evenings, 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m., September 30 to October 31. The Museum is not recommended for children under age 7. A $2.00 donation is suggested for all ages! (www.preservehollywood.com)

Historic Happenings
At the historic Glebe House Museum in Woodbury on Saturday, October 22 costumed spirits will lead the way through the Ancient Burying grounds, where 20 of Woodbury’s most famous and infamous ‘spirits’ await at their gravesites to relate tales from the darker side of 18th and 19th century Woodbury. There will be a spooky candlelit tour in the museum itself and stories and tales from Moll Cramer, the Witch of Woodbury, told in the Museum cottage. Madame Suzolo will be offering Tarot Card readings and there will be free fall refreshments for all. The Hollow will be closed to traffic and the area, including the walk to and through the cemetery will be lit with over 200 luminaries. Hours are 5 pm to 9 p.m. The rain date is October 29. http://www.theglebehouse.org.

The night of October 29 also brings the Halloween Spooktacular at the Tapping Reeve Law School on Rte. 63 South Street in Litchfield beginning at 6:30 PM.. The Litchfield Historical Society has partnered with the White Memorial Conservation Center for a spooktacular that promises candlelight reading of excerpts from the Washington Irving classic, “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” interpreted by local thespians, Ilvi Dulac, Jane Coughlin, and Michael Medeiros. Next get ready to take a guided walking tour along Gallows Lane, site of the hanging and death of America’s first mass murderer. The evening ends at White Memorial’s A.B. Ceder Room with spooky treats. Here kids will also meet an owl and a bat and watch out for other things that go bump in the night! Bring a flashlight! Halloween costumes are suggested but not required! (860-567-0857). http://www.whitememorialcc.org

Once again this year, the festively decorated Railroad Museum of New England in Thomaston is scheduling Halloween Weekend train rides on its vintage trains on Saturday, Oct. 29 and Sunday, Oct. 30. The Halloween Express will take costumed passengers on a scenic 20-mile round-trip ride that runs along Mattatuck State Forest to the Brass Mills of Waterbury and back to the spectacular Thomaston Dam amid splendid fall foliage. Free pumpkins are given to every child as long as the supply lasts. (860-283-RAIL; http://www.rmne.org).

Hunt Hill Farm on Upland Road in New Milford is hosting “The Silo and the Supernatural” on October 30 from 4pm to 6 pm. Participants will enter the realm of the paranormal with The Northwest Ct Paranormal Society’s professional investigator John Zontok and Bob Mills, a professional photographer who helps the team differentiate true paranormal pictures from forged images. Tools of the trade, the history of paranormal photography, and audio of ghostly voices and videos of what could be a revolutionary soldier will be shared and experienced. Local hauntings, including a Barkhamsted barn investigation featured on the Animal Planet’s “The Haunted” series and “My Ghost Story are highlights of this macabre evening of paranormal fun. Due to the nature of this program, ages 12 and up please. (860-355-0300). http://www.hunthillfarmtrust.org.

Small Town Fun—for Free!!

Everyone is invited to join the 35th Annual Kent Pumpkin Run on October 30th. The festivities begin with a Kids Fun Run at 11:15 AM followed by the 5 mile run / walk at noon. The spectator friendly certified course starts and finishes at Kent Green in front of Town Hall. Festivities include music, refreshments (including Billy’s famous Pumpkin Soup!), face painting, Halloween fun and much more.

The 19th Annual Halloween on the Green in Danbury will take place on Saturday, October 29 from 2 pm to 4pm with a Costume Parade scheduled for 3:30 pm. Prizes will be awarded for Most Original, Scariest, Cutest and Funniest get-ups. Children will have their own costume parade and games and get to decorate a pumpkin. (203-792-1711; http://www.citycenterdanbury.com).

Bristol is hosting the 17th Annual Free Halloween Carnival and Costume Parade for boys and girls up to 5th grade that will take place on October 30, from 11:45 to 3 p.m. at Rockwell Park. The parade begins at noon and Amazing Andy’s Magic Show follows. Carnival games, arts and crafts, Big Daddy’s Racing, an old fashioned photo booth, Twinkles and Jingles the clowns and Train Rides are also on the agenda. Each child will receive a free reflective trick or treat bag. Children participating in the Costume Parade will receive a small bag of treats. There is no charge to participate in the Fall/Halloween Carnival. (860-584-6160)

The Big Day

On October 31, beginning at 4:30 pm, the annual Halloween Costume Party for Children will go on at the New England Carousel Museum in Bristol, with the costume contest scheduled for 5 p.m. Ghoulish games and fun are promised, along with a crazy costume contest and what is billed as “frightening foods.” Kids are free, but adults are asked to contribute $1.

Finally, anyone who is in the area on Halloween night is invited to join the Safe Halloween fun at the Terryville Fairgrounds in Terryville from 6pm to 10pm. Sponsored by the Terryville Lion’s Club, it will feature hayrides, games, food and treats. All you need to participate is a non-perishable food item for the Plymouth Food Pantry.

For more information about Halloween happenings and other fall events and a free copy of UNWIND, a 112-page color guide to lodging, dining and all the attractions in Western Connecticut, contact the Western Connecticut Visitors Bureau, PO Box 968, Litchfield, CT 06759, (860) 567-4506, http://www.visitwesternct.com.