HiSTORYtime at the Litchfield Historical Society

The Litchfield Historical Society is inviting children aged 3 and up, along with their caregivers, for “story time” at 10:30 a.m. on September 18. After the stories are read and discussed with an educator from the Litchfield Historical Society, kids will be entertained with a craft project or game.

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On Thursday, September 18, the funny tale about Noah Webster, one of Connecticut’s most famous residents will be the highlight. The book Noah Webster and His Words, written by Jeri Chase Ferris and illustrated by Vincent X. Kirsch, provides a fun chronicle of Noah Webster.

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Webster, whose father wanted him to be a farmer, grew up to write schoolbooks, language, and grammar books, and the dictionary. Kids will hear the tale of how this school teacher united the 13 colonies using words and language. The story will be read aloud and then a game will be played or a craft project will be presented that relates to Noah Webster’s words.

This program is a suggested $2 donation. It is for children aged 3 and up. It will be from 10:30 am to 11:30 am at the Litchfield History Museum. No registration is required. Litchfield History Museum is located at 7 South St., Litchfield, CT. For more information about this or other programs, please see www.litchfieldhistoricalsociety.org or call (860) 567-4501.

WWI Posters on View at the Litchfield Historical Society

The exhibit Join the Brave Throng: Poster Art of WWI at the Litchfield Historical Society will highlight a selection of WWI posters from the Museum’s collection. It will be on view through November 30, 2014.

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When the Great War broke out in Europe in 1914, the town of Litchfield was actively involved in war efforts from the start. Ranging from work of the local Red Cross chapter to the collection of medical supplies, Liberty Loan campaigns, food conservation efforts, and enlistment of local soldiers, the residents of Litchfield did whatever they could to show their patriotic zeal.

To rouse the public’s interest in the war, colorful posters dotted walls and billboards across the county. Designed by some of the nation’s most talented artists, these propaganda items appealed to the public’s patriotic side, while others incorporated shocking anti-German imagery.

Come see some of the posters that ignited Litchfield residents to actively support the national war effort. The Litchfield History Museum’s hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 11:00 am to 5:00 pm, and Sunday, 1:00 to 5:00 pm. Litchfield History Museum is located at 7 South St., Litchfield, CT. For more information about this or other programs, please visit www.litchfieldhistoricalsociety.org or call (860) 567-4501.

PJ Party and Story Time at Stepping Stones Museum for Children… with the Bears!

The life size Berenstain Bears will be the highlight at the Pajama Party hosted on Friday, Sept. 12 from 6 p.m. – 8 p.m. at the Stepping Stones Museum for Children in Norwalk located on 303 West Ave. So put on your most furry or comfy pajamas, perfect for hibernating like a bear (!), and head over to the Museum!

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Stepping Stones is excited to bring this classic, lovable Bear Family who recently celebrated their 50th anniversary to their museum. Participants will hear the tale “The Berenstain Bears Go To School.” In the story, Sister Bear, nervous about entering kindergarten, overcomes her fears when she discovers that school is really fun.

After the story, kids will have the opportunity to meet Brother and Sister Bear! The museum’s friends at Berenstain Bears describes these two lovable characters:

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Sister Bear is a highly-competitive, born-to-win, self-reliant third-grader, who is often braver than she imagines. She loves acting, her Bearbie dolls and the color pink. Sister is very outdoorsy and sports-minded, but she also loves fairytales, writing and jump rope

Brother Bear is 10-years old and a stand-up guy. He is very sports- minded, with his favorite being soccer. He is also a big fan of T. Rex dinosaurs, model airplane building, and “wheels” of all kinds. Brother is computer literate and into video games. He often acts as protector and stands up for Sister and the smaller cubs at school.

In addition to listening to the story and meeting Sister Bear and Brother Bear, pajama party guests can participate in a variety of school-related activities throughout the evening. Practice packing a backpack with school supplies and have fun with apple stamping – stamp real apples with paint! Make a 3-D bus model out of paper and “Be the Teacher” using white boards and markers to draw and write like a teacher.

Kids can even create their own text book cover by tracing an illustration of the Berenstain Bears using a light table. In the bedtime story corner, kids can enjoy a quiet family snuggle time reading other Berenstain books while relaxing on beanbags.

At the end of the evening, kids are invited to hold their 3-D bus model high as they march and sing along with the Wheels on the Bus Parade. Then, it’s time to go home for a little hibernation, like bears do in the winter, but only for the night – and maybe some extra sleep because it’s the weekend!

Tickets for this event cost $10 per person for museum members and $15 per person for non-members. Children under the age of one will be admitted for free. Storybook Pajama Party tickets are non-refundable and non-transferable. Registration is required. Space is limited and tickets are selling briskly, so register early. Call 203 899 0606, ext. 264 or http://www.steppingstonesmuseum.org/ to register.

Stepping Stones is located at 303 West Avenue, Norwalk, CT, exit 14 North and 15 South off I-95. Museum hours are: Labor Day through Memorial Day, Tuesday—Sunday and select holiday Mondays from 10 am-5pm; and Memorial Day through Labor Day, Monday-Sunday from 10 am-5 pm. Admission is $15 for adults and children and $10 for seniors. Children under 1 are free. To learn more, visit www.steppingstonesmuseum.org.

Baby Clothes 1800-1950 and Tool Exhibition at Wilton Historical Society

The Wilton Historical Society’s fall show called White Linen and Lace, Baby Clothing from 1800- 1950 that will be on display through October 4. Pure yet practical, white has been the traditional choice for baby clothing for hundreds of years. In this small exhibition, tiny garments made with love and lavished with fine needlework are on display. There are christening gowns and slips, night gowns, caps, bonnets, bibs, dresses and petite shoes created between 1800 and 1950. The delicate attire is shown with some of the furnishings of childhood – a cradle, blankets, highchair, silver mugs and utensils, baby bottles and rattles.
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A circa 1870 sewing box reminds us of the countless hours women spent laboring over their precious snowy creations, working by the light of candles, oil lamps, or by rays of sunlight through a window. Exquisite clothing with nearly invisible stitches, tiny tucking, tatting, crochet, soutache, cutwork, drawn work and embroidery — their needle skills are remarkable.

Of particular interest are the family connections many of these heirlooms have with Wilton. Do these names sound familiar? Sturgis, Hurlbutt, Ambler, Belden, Davenport, Evans, Nash, Marvin, Parisot, Rounds – many are now memorialized as road names, while others still boast descendants living in town today.

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Another exhibition, Changing Times: Hand Tools Before the Industrial Revolution, features Connecticut Tools of the Trades from the Walter R.T. Smith Collection. Mounted on the walls of the Burt Barn Gallery, the setting compliments the sculptural appearance of the old tools. They have an almost folk-art quality, with their worn wood and rather eccentric shapes. The machines that supplanted them in the Industrial Revolution would never have the soul of these antique implements.

Both exhibitions will continue through October 4, 2014. The Wilton Historical Society is located on 224 Danbury Road and is open Tuesday—Saturday, 10:00-4:00. There are house tours every day at 2:00, and by appointment. For more information http://www.wiltonhistorical.org

The Abbott Blacksmith Shop, also on the property, with a working blacksmith, is open most Saturdays, except in winter.

ROBERT ANDREW PARKER: BY LAND, SEA & AIR—Paintings, Drawings, Etchings

The David Hunt Library located in the bucolic village of Falls Village in the Litchfield Hills on 63 Main Street is hosting an art exhibition featuring the work of Robert Andrew Parker through October 10. An opening reception with refreshments will be held from 6pm to 8pm on Friday, September 12. This event is free and open to the public.

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The poet Marianne Moore said, “Robert Andrew Parker is one of the most accurate and at the same time most unliteral of painters. He combines the mystical and the actual, working both in an abstract and in a realistic way.” Ms. Moore’s is an apt description of Parker’s recent work in this exhibit including serial images of an Avro Bison aircraft combining print and watercolor and a series of ships in the far distance, possibly warships. These are accompanied by landscapes, images of animals, and water conveying an overall sense of movement and adventure.

Besides being a foremost American artist, illustrator, and printmaker, Parker is also a writer and a working musician. Bob continues to perform with his band mates locally at the Interlaken Inn and other spots.

Parker’s artworks have appeared in the pages of The New Yorker, The New York Times, and Esquire just to name a few. His drawings and paintings have accompanied the writings of Franz Kafka, Vladimir Nabokov, W. H. Auden, and Marianne Moore. His work is in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum, the Morgan Library and Museum, and private collections throughout the world. Most recently, Parker was the subject of a Century Masters career retrospective at The Century Association in New York.

David M. Hunt Library, 63 Main Street, Falls Village, CT 06031, 860-824-7424, www.huntlibrary.org

Sessions Woods is calling all runners!

If you enjoy walking and running on beautiful nature trails then join the Connecticut Forest & Park Association (CFPA) for the 3rd. Annual Run for the Woods on Saturday, September 6 at Sessions Woods Wildlife Management Area located on Rte. 69 about three miles south of Rte. 4 in Burlington Connecticut.

courtesy Miranda Linsky

courtesy Miranda Linsky

CFPA advocates for people that love the outdoors with the support of the CT Department of Energy and Environmental Protection have organized a 10K Trail Race that begins at 8:30 a.m., a 5K Trail Race at 9 a.m. and a 5K walk at 9:15 a.m. at Sessons Woods.
Participants will walk or jog on beautifully maintained trails and will pass by wetlands, meadows, and a beaver pond. Lucky participants may even catch a glimpse of a pileated woodpecker, white-tailed deer, wild turkey, ruffed grouse or a majestic broad-winged hawk.

Registration fees are $25 for the 5K run or walk, and $35 for the 10k run. Check-in begins at 7:30 a.m. on the day of the race. If you can’t join in the events, and love the outdoors, you might consider making a general donation to CFPA or dedicating it to one of the runners or walkers. All donations go to the protection of Connecticut forests and trails. For more information, registration, and pledging guidelines visit http://www.ctwoodlands.org/runforthewoods2014

This year CFPA’s Run for the Woods has joined the Blue-Blazed Trail Running Series. The races, which are run primarily on the Blue-Blazed Hiking Trails (BBHT), are organized and directed by a variety of running enthusiasts and clubs across the state. The Connecticut Forest & Park Association (CFPA) is grateful for their cooperation and support in making this series possible. The goals of the series are to promote and create greater awareness of trail running on the BBHT System, attract more runners to Connecticut trail running races, strengthen the running community, raise awareness for CFPA’s trail maintenance efforts and enhance the experience for the runners who already support our races through series points and recognition. To learn more about the Blue-Blazed Trail Running Series, please visit www.ctwoodlands.org/TrailRunning.

About Sessions Woods

The biggest threat facing CT’s wildlife is the loss of habitat. Since more than 90% of land in CT is privately owned, the Wildlife Division established the Sessions Woods Management Area to begin to meet the needs of the State’s wildlife.

Sessions Woods is more than a tract of natural land set aside for wildlife, it also introduces visitors to wildlife and natural resources management through a variety of educational programs, demonstration sites, displays and self-guided hiking trails.

When you walk the trails here, you experience more than just the benefits of a healthy hike in the fresh outdoor air. Along the sides of the Beaver Pond Trail, Forest Meadow Trail and in the Backyard Habitat Demonstration Area you will find demonstrations of wildlife and habitat management practices.

About CFPA

The CFPA is Connecticut’s first nonprofit conservation organization that was established back in 1895 and is best known for maintaining the 825-mile Blue Blaze hiking system. Their mission is to protect forests, parks, walking trails, and open spaces for future generations by connecting people to the land. CFPA directly involves individuals and families, educators, community leaders, and volunteers to enhance and defend Connecticut’s rich natural heritage. CFPA is a private, non-profit organization that relies on members and supporters to carry out its mission.

CFPA envisions Connecticut as a place of scenic beauty whose cities, suburbs, and villages are linked by a network of parks, forests, and trails easily accessible for all people to challenge the body and refresh the spirit. They picture a state where clean water, timber, farm fresh foods, and other products of the land make a significant contribution to our economic and cultural well being.

Don’t miss the 37th annual Norwalk Oyster Festival

Don’t miss the 37th annual Norwalk Oyster Festival that promises to be the biggest and bester ever!
Fun for families and friends from nine to ninety, the 37th annual Norwalk Seaport Association Oyster Festival will be held this year from Friday, September 5 through Sunday, September 7. This year’s entertainment highlights include music from nationally known-bands on all three days including Scott Stapp of Creed on Friday and Joan Jett and the Blackhearts on Saturday at 9 p.m.. Festival goers will enjoy a wide variety of rides, cooking competitions, arts and crafts and a diverse assortment of attractions and entertainment that promise unforgettable fun.

A festival favorite will feature the action packed Paul Bunyan Lumberjack Show that will feature world champion lumberjacks demonstrating their log rolling, axe throwing, chopping, sawing, tree climbing and dragster chainsaw skills. This show will take place on all three days: Friday at 7 p.m. and 8:30 p.m., Saturday at 7 p.m., 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. and Sunday at 1 p.m., 3 p.m. and 5 p.m.
The New England Fishing Village with demonstrations, samples and displays as well as the International Food Court offering a diverse selection of dining choices add to the fun.

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For the Kids
The festival’s Pirates Coast Adventure will wow children of all ages. Here, kids can meet real life pirates and look for booty in treasure hunts, hear storytelling and join in other fun-filled activities. New this year will be realistic demonstrations. The Kids’ Cove includes games, rides and entertainment. This interactive pirate encampment gives kids a taste of what seafaring was like during the golden age of piracy from 1650-1750. 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. The perk of family day on Sunday is that one child under 12 gets in free with each adult paid admission and for a mere $15 can ride all the amusement rides free from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. To round out the family fun there will be live shows for kids on the festival’s main stage.

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. A multitude of fine artists and crafters display whimsical as well as practical items that appeal to all tastes, budgets and ages. For on the water fun, head to the festival docks to tour historic vessels and to cruise the scenic and historic Norwalk Harbor.

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For the Foodies

Food demonstrations and competitions, including the always-popular chowder and chili cook-offs will take place throughout the festival. A highlight of the Festival is the wide variety of great food from around the world that 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. The celebrity Slurpoff will be held on Saturday at 3 p.m. in front of Oyster Pavilion.

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 $5. Children under 5 and U.S. military personnel on active duty are free. Sunday is Family Day with special pricing on that day only — 1 child (age 5-12) free with each paid adult admission. Tickets can be purchased at www.seaport.org. Free Parking and Free Shuttle Bus service is provided from four (4) local parking lots, just follow the signs to Oyster Festival Parking.
Save on Metro-North Railroad/Norwalk Oyster Festival Tickets

Festivalgoers can save on admission and rail fare when they purchase the Metro-North Railroad/Norwalk Seaport Association Oyster Festival discount package. Packages are available at all ticket offices and ticket machines (except South Norwalk Station). On sale starting July 15. Package price from GCT/Harlem-125th Street: Adults, $27; Seniors, persons with disabilities and individuals receiving Medicare, $21; Children 12, $22; Children 5-11, $5; Children under 5, free. – See more at: http://web.mta.info/mnr/html/getaways/outbound_oyster_fest.htm
Packages also run from other stations.

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 www.seaport.org or call (203) 838-9444.