New Milford Connecticut Village Fair Days Set for July 25th and 26 in Litchfield Hills

The center of New Milford located in the scenic Litchfield Hills is noted for it’s long traditional village green laid out in 1872. Here you will find monuments from past wars as well as a bandstand, first built in 1891 that is a symbol of New Milford’s sense of community.

You can also explore many exceptional galleries, boutiques, restaurants and antique shops that are clustered in the heart of this village. Many are located in beautifully restored 18th and 19th century homes and buildings. Town Hall, facing the Green, marks the home of one of New Milford’s most illustrious citizens, Roger Sherman, the only Connecticut man whose signature is on all key documents of the founding of this nation.

On July 25 and July 26, 2014 the New Milford Green becomes a hive of activity with the many activities and family fun offered up at the 47th Annual New Milford Village Fair Days.

This is the largest annual event in New Milford. Hundreds of vendors including local businesses, organizations, church groups and clubs exhibit their unique offerings. If you like crafts, you won’t be disappointed as many skillful crafters offer their wares along with antique dealers that offer a variety of sought-after antiques.

Food is a big element of any Fair and New Milford’s food vendors won’t disappoint. There is even a dining tent and two days of entertainment that add to the festivities. Participants in this year’s food court include: New Milford Rotary Club, Water Witch Hose Co 2, The Cookhouse, CC’s Spiral Potatoes, Crab Cakes & Coconut Shrimp, Alfredo’s/Colosseo Restaurants, New Milford Lions Club, Thomas’s Ice Cream Truck, American Pie Company, Greek Isle and Primos Deli.

New Milford Village Fair Days

Exploring the south Green you will find a variety of businesses, organizations, church groups and clubs, while the north Green hosts master crafters and sought-after antiques. Food vendors can be found in the mid-section of the Green where fair goers, will find everything from tasty snacks to a wonderful meal that can be enjoyed in the large sit-down dining area.

The Fair opens at 10:00 am and closes at 10:00 PM on July 25th. Among the many highlights on the 29th are the tour of town hall at 2:30 p.m., a performance by Theatre Works from 1:45 p.m. – 2 :15 p.m., historic walking tours at 4 p.m., a Children’s Fun Run at 6:00 PM and music by Higher and Higher from 7 p.m. – 10 p.m..

On Saturday, July 26 the Fair opens at 9:00 am and closes at 10:00 PM. Highlights on the 30th include: the 47th Annual 8 Mile Road Race & 12th Annual Fair Days 5K at 9:00 am, and Old Fashion Pie eating contest from 2 p.m. – 2:45, historic tours at 2:30 and 4 PM and Steppin Out with Curtis T band from 7 p.m. – 10 p.m.

For further information, please contact the Chamber of Commerce at 860.354.6080 or visit http://www.newmilford-chamber.com for up to the minute information.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Silo Cooking School Introduces “Second Thursdays: Literary Lunches” A Culinary Book Club Sept. 8, Oct. 13 & Nov. 10


What could be better than this new series at The Silo Cooking School that joins two passions – reading and eating?

Cooking School Director Chef Mary Kravec and Book Maven Lauren Daniels combine a book discussion with a hands-on cooking class and lunch on the second Thursday of the month, beginning September 8. Lauren, a long-time Silo Cooking School volunteer, is a short story author and humor guest columnist for local newspapers, and the former manager of Walden Books and Borders in Southbury.

Recipes for Romance!

Thursday, September 8, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Book Discussion: Lunch in Paris by Elizabeth Bard.

Menu: Wild Mushroom Turnovers, Goat Cheese Salad with Figs, Fruit Yogurt Cake.

A Menu for Magic

Thursday, October 13, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Book Discussion: Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen.

Menu: Apple Fennel Salad, Calendula Biscuits, Herbed Swiss Chard Souffles, Mini Pound Cakes with Blueberry Lavender Syrup.

The Power of Food and Companionship

Thursday, November 10, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Book Discussion: The School of Essential Ingredients by Erica Bauermeister. Menu: Sherry-Soaked Cranberry-Stuffed Pancetta-Wrapped Turkey Scalloppines, Butternut Squash Risotto, Carl’s White Cake.

$30 per session. Registration required.

Programs are held at Hunt Hill Farm, 44 Upland Road, New Miford, CT. For more information and to register visit http://www.hunthillfarmtrust.org, or call (860) 355-0300. Registration is also available at The Silo during regular business hours. The Silo Gallery and store are open Wednesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m.

Drawing on the creative legacy of Skitch and Ruth Henderson, the Henderson Cultural Center at Hunt Hill Farm, a Smithsonian Institution affiliate, is a vibrant and unique regional resource, offering the public opportunities to explore music, art, cuisine, and permanently protected historic open space.

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.

Harwinton Antiques and Design Weekend Sept. 3 and 4

Summer is fleeting and so is your opportunity to score those great antique, vintage and decorative items at the Harwinton Antiques & Design Weekend.

This coming Labor Day Weekend, September 3rd & 4th, marks the second and final show of the 2011 Harwinton Antique& Design Weekend season. So, spend your holiday weekend treasure hunting at the charming Harwinton Fairgrounds, located in beautiful Litchfield Hills.

Shop from country’s leading style makers. Over 200 renowned vendors, in tented and indoor booths, will offer the unique design essentials that simply can’t be found at the mall. Whether you’re beginning a decorating project or looking for those perfect finishing touches, you’ll find great design inspiration as well as the very finest in antiques. Bring your friends and family, enjoy the great food and savor one of the last and best shopping experiences of the season.

The Harwinton Antiques & Design Weekend will be held September 3-4, on the Harwinton Fairgrounds- 150 Locust Rd, Harwinton, CT. Show hours will be Saturday 8 am – 5 pm and Sunday 10 am – 5 pm. Admission will be $10.00 with Saturday’s admission good for both days. For more information visit www. harwintonantiquesweekend.com.

Fine Fare, Friends & Fun in The Litchfield Hills at the 26 Annual Taste of The Litchfield Hills Sept. 3-5

Connecticut’s Oldest Food and Wine Festival Announces Menu for Labor Day Weekend.

From comfort food to gourmet dishes and from live entertainment to a shopping bazaar, you and your friends will enjoy a menu of fine fare and fun at the 26th Annual Taste of The Litchfield Hills.
Connecticut’s oldest food and wine festival will be held on Labor Day weekend, Sept. 3-5, 2011, at its new location, Ski Sundown, 126 Ratlum Road, New Hartford.

Each year, since 1985, the festival has attracted thousands of guests for a sampling of the region’s food and wine, plus upscale shopping and live entertainment.

This year’s menu will feature such dishes as Angus beef sliders, baked mac and cheese, cedar plank roasted salmon, corn and Maine blue crab fritters, cherry-smoked chicken, fried goat cheese salad, gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches, grilled pizza, Lao crispy egg rolls, lobster salad sliders, mesquite-smoked pulled pork, New England clam chowder, seared scallops & braised short ribs, sesame chicken, shrimps in a blanket and many other delicious delicacies.

Sweet offerings will include apple cider cinnamon donuts, banana & toffee pie, dessert crepes, fruit smoothies, New England kettle corn, pumpkin chiffon roulade and many other delectable desserts. Northwest Community Bank is sponsoring an Internet download link for the complete 2011 Menu at http://www.LitchfieldFestivals.com.

Foodies will enjoy “grazing-sized” portions of house specialties prepared by chefs from regional restaurants, bistros and other purveyors of fine food with prices ranging from $4.00 to $8.00 per item. Table seating will be available in the festival’s Culinary Tent, at outdoor picnic tables and inside the air-conditioned ski lodge. Plus, guests are invited to picnic on the grounds with their own lawn chairs and blankets.

Participating culinary vendors include Chatterley’s Restaurant (New Hartford); Backstage Restaurant (Torrington); Faddy’s Donuts & Ice Cream (Bloomfield); Farm Restaurant (Avon); The Foothills Delery (Pine Meadow); The Green Papaya (Canton); The Green Room (Winsted); Little Sister’s Grilled Cheese (New London); Indochine Pavilion (New Haven); Infinity Bistro (Norfolk); KJ’ Grilled Pizza (Torrington); Mustard’s Last Stand (New Hartford); Rocket Fine Street Foods (Torrington) and Summertime Sno-Balls (New Hartford).

The festival will offer wine by the glass from Litchfield Hills wineries, including Hopkins Vineyard (New Preston), Jerram Winery (New Hartford), Miranda Vineyard (Goshen), Sunset Meadow Vineyards (Goshen) and White Silo Winery (Sherman). Thomas Hooker draught beer, plus a variety of soft drinks will also be served.

New this year is the The Farmers Market which will showcase locally grown and raised foods. Barden Farm, Hayes Dairy, Marwin Farms and other family farms located in the Litchfield Hills will offer native fare to enjoy at the festival and to take home.

Live entertainment will include country singer-songwriter Courtney Drummey (Saturday, 1-4 p.m.), oldies band The Rockin’ Hearbeats (Saturday, 5-8 pm), jazz recording artists The Christine & Elliot Spero Duo (Sunday, 1-4 p.m.), blues artists The Andy James Band (Sunday, 5-8 p.m.) and jam band Flipper Dave (Monday, 1-4 p.m.).

Festival goers will also enjoy an upscale shopping experience in the festivals’ outdoor bazaar featuring such unique gift items as artisan-crafted jewelry, gourmet food products, kitchenware and other products and services.

Hours for A Taste of the Litchfield Hills will be 12 to 8 p.m. on Saturday & Sunday, Sept. 3 & 4, 2011, and 12 to 5 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 5, 2011. Ticket prices are Adult (age 12-64): $10 On-Site or $8 Advance Purchase; Senior (age 65+): $8 On-Site or $6 Advance Purchase; and Child (Under 12): Free admission. Advance tickets and more information is available at http://www.LitchfieldFestivals.com. Admission does not include food and beverage, which is purchased separately.

Ski Sundown is located at 126 Ratlum Hill in the charming riverside town of New Harford, Conn., just a few minutes from the intersection of Routes 44 & 219. This central location makes this Taste of Litchfield Hills Festival an easy day-trip from Albany, The Berkshires, Hartford, The Hudson Valley, Metro New York, New Haven and Springfield.

With its antique shops, art galleries, covered bridges and quaint villages, the Litchfield Hills is an ideal get away destination for this three-day holiday weekend. Lodging optionsin the Litchfield Hills include dozens of charming bed and breakfasts, cozy country inns, and world class resorts, hotels and motels.

For more information on where to stay and what to do visit: http://www.litchfieldhills.com

Rainforest Reptiles is at Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo for a limited engagement! Aug. 25- Aug. 28!

Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo concludes its summer programming schedule with Rainforest Reptiles, a dynamic, interactive, and educational show that is sure to engage and excite young and old alike. Rainforest Reptiles features over 200 exotic reptiles, ranging from iguanas, Burmese pythons, and boa constrictors to lizards, turtles, and American alligators. Visitors also will appreciate the Zoo’s newly renovated “Alligator Alley” exhibit, which is home to five new alligators.

Alligator Alley’s redesigned exhibit accommodates the five new alligators, all male, which reside there. A new deck has been constructed for the alligators, allowing visitors to better observe these reptiles as they go about their daily activities and feedings. A new roof now provides visitors with shading and protection from the elements, and the new audio system allows zookeepers to better interact with the audience. A higher plexi-glass wall prevents debris from easily falling in.

Alligators have been around longer than the dinosaurs, almost 65 million years, and are relatively unchanged in that time. Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo’s alligators are between the ages of four and five and are still small, the largest weighing approximately 55 lbs, while the smallest averages 30 lbs. They range from four to five feet long.

Known to grow continuously throughout their lives, these creatures are known to reach lengths of thirteen to twenty feet and weights from 400 to 2,000 pounds. They can bite down with 2,000 pounds of pressure with a mouth that contains 65 teeth. Formerly an endangered species, more than one million adult alligators live in the wild today, representing a conservation success story!

The Rainforest Reptile Shows are Thursday, August 25 – Sunday, August 28; the shows take place on Thursday & Friday at 11:00 am and 1:00 pm. On Saturday and Sunday the shows take place at 11:00 am, 1:00 pm, and 3:00 pm. All shows are FREE with paid admission to the Zoo!

T-Rex Extinctions Imminent Again With “Dinosaur Summer” Ending Sept. 5 At The Maritime Aquarium At Norwalk

Dinosaurs are about to go extinct again, with only a few days left to enjoy the “Dinosaur Summer” exhibit at The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk.

It may have been a comet that did in the dinosaurs 65 million years ago, but it’s the looming end of a contractual lease that will doom the Aquarium’s life-sized moving roaring robotic beasts, which include a young and adult Tyrannosaurus rex.

“The exhibit will definitely become extinct at the end of the day Sept. 5 – Labor Day,” said Chris Loynd, the Aquarium’s marketing director. “We’ll miss them. They’ve been very popular with our visitors, especially with kids, who have been able to compare their world with what it was like to be a young dinosaur growing up.”

The robotic exhibit delves into how quickly young dinosaurs grew, how big they got, what they ate and how they were protected from danger. It explores these concepts by pairing young and adult dinosaurs of four species: Stegosaurus, with the line of bony plates across their backs; the long-necked Apatosaurus; the crested Parasaurolophus; and Tyrannosaurus rex (no introduction needed).

The dinosaurs move, roar – even blink their eyes – in realistic fashion. But they’re fully lighted – not dark and scary – in an educational dinosaur exhibit fit for even the youngest visitor. An extra “cut-away” T-rex offers a peek inside a robotic dinosaur, so kids can see how it works and even control it. And an outdoor “fossil dig” has been entertaining budding paleontologists.

The exhibit is presented by Purdue Pharma L.P.

“Dinosaur Summer” is free with paid Aquarium admission, which is $12.95 for adults, $11.95 for seniors 65+, and $9.95 for children 2-12.

“Dinosaur Summer” opened June 18 as part of a summer-long dinosaur triple play that also includes the IMAX movie “T-Rex: Back to the Cretaceous” (showing at noon & 4 p.m. daily through Aug. 31, then at noon daily from Sept. 1-5) and the simulator ride-film “Dino Island II: Escape from Dinosaur Island” (running every 10 minutes daily). The IMAX movie and the ride-film both also close on Labor Day.

“T-Rex: Back to the Cretaceous” is a fictional tale of a teen-ager magically transported back through time, where she meets famous dinosaur experts doing field research and eventually ends up 65 million years in the past. She – and audiences – encounter Pteranodons with 20-foot wingspans, duck-billed Hadrosaurs and and one miffed T-rex momma, rendered in incredible detail on the giant IMAX® screen.

Tickets for the Aquarium (including the dinosaur exhibit) and an IMAX movie are $19.45 for adults, $17.95 for seniors 65+ and $14.45 children for 2-12.

And in the rollicking simulator ride-film, “Dino Island II: Escape from Dinosaur Island,” riders join an international team of scientists trying to save prehistoric animals from an island about to be destroyed by a volcano. From within an all-terrain/submersible vehicle, the team must deal with flowing lava, an angry Stegosaurus, a primordial swamp and Tony the T-rex.

The ride-film runs every 10 minutes. Riders must be 36 inches tall to board.

Tickets for the Aquarium (including the dinosaur exhibit) and ride-film are $19.20 adults, $18.20 for seniors 65+ and $16.20 children 2-12. Maritime Aquarium members pay $4.50.

For the full “Dinosaur Summer” triple play (Aquarium with dinosaur exhibit, IMAX and ride-film), tickets are $24.45 for adults, $22.95 for seniors 65+ and $19.45 for children 2-12.

For more information about The Maritime Aquarium’s exhibits, IMAX movies and programs this summer, go online to http://www.MaritimeAquarium.org or call (203) 852-0700.