The Millionaires’ Unit Documentary Film Screening

On January 29, the Greenwich Historical Society is hosting the screening of The Millionaires’ Unit Documentary from 3 pm to 5 pm. at the Vanderbilt Education Center on the grounds of the Society. The tickets are Members: $10; nonmembers: $15 and can be purchased at http://greenwichhistory.org or by calling 203-869-6899, Ext. 10.

Millionaires-Unit

The Millionaires’ Unit is the story of an elite group of college students from Yale who formed a private air militia in preparation for America’s entry into World War One. Known as the First Yale Unit and dubbed “the millionaires’ unit” by the New York press, they became the founding squadron of the U.S. Naval Air Reserve and were among the first to fight for the United States in the Great War. Using the squadron members’ letters and diaries, the documentary chronicles the coming of age of these young pioneers against the backdrop of an event that signaled America’s emergence as a world power.

The film focuses on their service and sacrifice and chronicles a great, untold story of early aviation in America. The documentary was inspired by the book The Millionaires’ Unit by Marc Wortman. After seven years in development and production by co-producers Ron King and Darroch Greer, the film is being presented to the public to commemorate the centennial of World War I.

The Witches are back in Kent Connecticut!

Not many people know that Connecticut was New England’s most determined witch prosecutor – even fiercer than Salem. The record is terrible: The first person hanged for witchcraft in New England came from Windsor, and for a time every Connecticut woman indicted for witchcraft was convicted and hanged.

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In another of its continuing “Sunday Series” presentations, the Kent Historical Society will host Walt Woodward, the Connecticut state historian, giving a presentation on witch hunts that happened in Connecticut.

The lecture will be held Sunday, January 18, 2015 at 2 p.m. at the Kent Town Hall.
Walt Woodward animates this extraordinary, but neglected episode in a lecture that begins with the Protestant Reformation and continues through the Hartford Witch hunt of the 1660’s – a nightmare of trials and executions that preceded Salem by a generation. The story improves, too. Woodward documents how Connecticut’s Governor John Winthrop, Jr. played a role in ending executions for witchcraft 30 years before they even began at Salem.

Kent’s own Seger family was caught up in the madness. Elizabeth Moody Seger was accused of witchcraft three times. It is documented on the family’s web site http://www.onsegermountain.org/witchcraft.html

For more winter event information on the Litchfield Hills visit www.litchfieldhills.com

LEGOS AND LIGHTHOUSES BRIGHTEN THE SEASON IN CONNECTICUT

There’s no merrier place to be this season than Fairfield County in Western Connecticut where two of the most original exhibits in New England brighten the season at local museums.

A lavish moving landscape made of a billion LEGO® bricks delights visitors to the Stamford Museum and Nature Center while the 13th annual Festival of Lighthouses contest at the Maritime Aquarium in Norwalk shows off dozens of fabulous new miniature creations.

WIDE WORLD OF LEGOS®

Trains and planes. Cars, tractors and trucks. Ships, shuttles and monorails. Helicopters and spaceships

Just about anything that moves on land, sea, air and space will be seen as colorful LEGO® sculptures, moving through a three-dimensional imaginary landscape at the Billion Bricks 2 exhibit at the Stamford Museum & Nature Center. Everything in the amazing exhibit is made of LEGO blocks.
Master builder Bill Probert & I LUG (LEGO® Users Group) NY return to the Museum Galleries for a sixth season of their popular displays, promising a LEGO world that is even bigger and better this year. The exhibit runs from November 22 to January 25.

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Starting in January, families are invited to make their own LEGO® creations in weekend workshops. Participants on Saturday, January 3 will build and race a LEGO® car while the group on Sunday January 4 will build and fly a Lego helicopter or space ship.

Lights! Camera! Action! Animation Workshops on Saturday and Sunday January 17 and 18 for ages 10 and up will be led by Alex Kobbs, of KooberzStudios. Kobbs will teach techniques for film stop action animation using LEGO® creations and mini figures.

Workshops are limited in size and advance reservations are required. Phone 203-977-6521 to register and see www.stamfordmuseum.org for more information.

LIGHTHOUSES LIGHT UP THE SEASON

Some are funny. Some are clever. Some are beautiful.

For the 13th year, artists and would-be-artists will compete for the most original entry in the Festival of Lighthouses at the Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk from November 22 through January. 19.

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The rules are simple. Entries must be three to six feet tall and have a working light. They may not include animal remains such as shells. Beyond that, it’s up to the creators’ imaginations and the results are guaranteed to amaze. Past entries have been made of stained glass, stone, yarn, clay, candy and tiny coffee cups. One entry was made of holiday greeting cards, another included computer animation. One memorable entry featured all the makings of the 12 days of Christmas.

This year’s exhibit will showcase 24 lighthouses and there is no telling what the creative results will be. Aquarium visitors will follow these one-of-a-kind beacons through the galleries and then cast a vote for their favorite. The winner takes home the $1,500 first prize. Runner-ups divide the rest of the $3300 in prize money. To learn more, see www.maritimeaquarium.org.

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For more information about holiday events and a free copy of Unwind, a full-color, 152-page booklet detailing what to do and see, and where to stay, shop and dine in Fairfield County as well as in the Litchfield Hills, contact the Western Connecticut Visitors Bureau, PO Box 968, Litchfield, CT 06759, (860) 567-4506, or visit their web site at www.visitwesternct.com.

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“Downton Abbey cooking classes” at The Silo

With the premiere of Season 5 of PBS’ enthralling Masterpiece miniseries, Downton Abbey, fans will be glued to their televisions for their next dose of crisis and intrigue. To celebrate the season kick-off, The Silo Cooking School at Hunt Hill Farm in New Milford is offering a “live” chance to experience some of the fun, culinary tastes and tradition of the post-Edwardian era depicted in the lives of the aristocratic Crawley family and their servants.

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On Saturday, January 10 at 6 p.m., and again on Sunday, January 11 at 11 a.m., the Silo is inviting both novice and experienced chefs to join Chef Catherine Felix for “Downton Abbey Dinner and Brunch.” The demonstration classes will feature an “Upstairs/Downstairs” menu based on the Downton Abbey series. Participants will dine on all the prepared courses.

Catherine is a Principal Chef for Unilever Foods, NA, with 25 years of experience in consumer product development. She has contributed to the success of numerous products such as Haagen-Dazs Chocolate Chip CookieDough Ice Cream, Wishbone Raspberry Hazelnut Vinaigrette, and the P.F. Chang line of frozen entrees. A former Food Editor of “Victorian Homes” magazine and 1980 graduate of Le Cordon Bleu, London, she has worked as a pastry chef, consultant, culinary educator and writer. She contributed the chapter on “The Wedding Breakfast” to Romantic Victorian Weddings, Then and Now and has appeared on numerous television food programs, including HGTV’s “A Christmas in Cape May with Kitty Bartholomew.”

Join Catherine as she discusses early 20th century table etiquette, and shares some of her collection of late 19th and early 20th century table-top antiques.

Saturday’s Downton Abbey Dinner includes: Cheese Straws; Oysters A La Russe; Ethel’s Salmon Mousse with Greens; Downstairs’ Lamb Stew; English Peas; Semolina Pudding; Lady Sybil’s Cake; and Crepes Suzettes.

Sunday’s Breakfast or Brunch menu consists of: Vichyssoise; Alfred’s Bouchees au Fromage – (Gougere with Cheese Filling); Lady Mary’s Post-Pig Rescue Scrambled Eggs; Mrs. Patmore’s Kedgeree; Shepherd’s Pie; Raspberry Meringue; and Creamy Rice Pudding.

The Silo Cooking School named Best Cooking School in Connecticut by Connecticut Magazine is located at Hunt Hill Farm, 44 Upland Road in New Milford. The school is part of the Smithsonian Institution affiliated Hunt Hill Farm Trust, a non-profit organization, which provides the public with diverse opportunities to explore the arts amid historic farm buildings and protected open space in the heart of Connecticut’s Litchfield Hills. The cost of the class is $90 per person. For more information and to register for the class, call (860) 355-0300 or visit http://www.hunthillfarmtrust.org. 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.

For more event information on Litchfield Hills visit http://www.litchfieldhills.com/events/index.jsp

“A Prairie Refrain” at Carole Peck’s Good News Cafe

Contemporary realist painter, Karl Hartman, will exhibit his new show titled “A Prairie Refrain” through January 27, 2015 at Carole Peck’s Good News Cafe and Gallery, 694 Main Street South, Woodbury CT.

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Hartman’s paintings focuses on his memories of the prairie landscapes that he grew to love and his evolvement with these landscapes as a geologist in Oklahoma, Texas and Kansas. Hartman describes this part of the United States as spare, quiet and infinitely dynamic, beautiful and terrifying all at the same time. In contrast to his painting of the plains, he is also working on drawings of Bergen County, New Jersey that reflect the tightly packed, crowded suburban local domestic world of this area as well as its occupants and their imprint on it.”

Karl Hartman was born in Billings Montana and grew up mostly in the plains states of Texas, Kansas and Oklahoma. He received his BS from the University of Oklahoma majoring in geology and minoring in art. He received his MFA in painting from the School of Visual Arts in New York where he studied with Sam Cady, Ursula von Rydingsvard and John Lees. He lives with his family in New Jersey and travels back to Oklahoma to see family, take photographs and sketch.

Karl shows at the Mary Ann Doran gallery in Tulsa, OK and the New Arts Gallery in Litchfield, CT. He has exhibited at the Kansas Museum of Fine Art in Wichita, KA, The Butler Institute of American Art in Youngstown, OH, The Charles A. Wustum Museum, Racine, WI. He has also shown at The Grand Central Galleries, The Adam Baumgold Gallery, and the National Academy of Design in New York as well as the Yoyogi School of fine art in Tokyo Japan.

His most recent award was the New Jersey State Council for the Arts Fellowship for painting. For area information visit http://www.litchfieldhills.com. For New Year or dinner reservations, contact Good News Cafe at http://www.good-news-cafe.com/

Can you smell the gingerbread in Kent?

The sweet scents will tease your sense of smell as you enter the quaint village of Kent CT. The rolling pins are spinning and creative minds of all ages are working hard to create over 40 Gingerbread Houses. Ovens are filled to capacity and working overtime to get ready for the 3rd ANNUAL KENT GINGERBREAD FESTIVAL through Jan. 5, 2015.

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Gingerbread Houses of all shapes and sizes will be on display in over 40 beautifully decorated shop windows until the first week in January. As you approach Kent you will find yourself in what looks like a movie set of the perfect little New England town, twinkling lights will guide you through the unique one of a kind shops. What an enjoyable way to do your holiday shopping. Add to that, a little Naughty Gingerbread Man named FREDDIE and you have the recipe for the most exciting Holiday Destination in Connecticut.

FREDDIE and his crew of ten Gingerbread Bad Boys will be hiding out in the shop windows amongst the Gingerbread Houses. So bring the family and friends and put on your detective hats and gumshoes. Vote for your favorite Window Display and House and you can also enter for free to win a great prize. Download a Gingerbread Manhunt Walking Map to find FREDDIE and his girlfriend GINGER, the cute, hot & spicy Gingerbread Girl he rescued from the bakery. Even though FREDDIE has been NAUGHTY, while you are in Kent, you can complete your NICE shopping list, away from the crowded malls & parking lots. Here you will find smiling faces, and even get your gifts wrapped for free in most shops.

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Should you be hungry after your Gingerbread Manhunt Walk there are many temptations that will lure you, from a chocolate shop and baked goods to delicious culinary delights in one of Kent’s twelve restaurants & cafés. Join in the “Find Freddie Fun” and make Kent CT your Annual Holiday Destination.

For more holiday information and the latest on Freddie visit www.kentct.com and for holiday events in Litchfield Hills www.litchfieldhills.com

‘Let’s Play Shakespeare’ free in Rowayton Dec. 12

Shakespeare on the Sound reaches down through the centuries to introduce the enduring and timeless themes of The Bard in premiering the 2015 version of “Let’s Play Shakespeare” Dec. 12 (Friday) at 3:30 p.m. in the Moose Room of the Rowayton Community Center on 33 Highland Avenue.

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The 50-minute production—to be followed by a question-and-answer opportunity—is an original and interactive theatrical work designed to give children from kindergarten to grade five an insight into Shakespeare– but appealing to all ages. Admission is free, donations optional.
The sweep of Shakespeare’s lyrical scythe from comedy to tragedy unfolds onstage as the actors argue over which passages they should perform—and who gets the biggest part– from a palate that shuffles iconic scenes from “Macbeth,” “Henry V,” “Much Ado About Nothing,” “As You Like It” and “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

The performers work with props extracted from a trunk they bring onstage with them. All three are New York-based professionals who have all appeared in previous outdoor productions of Shakespeare on the Sound in Rowayton’s Pinkney Park. They are Katie Wieland, Matthew Lynch and Daniel Levitt.

The playwrights, Kelly and Bryan, created an innovative format where youngsters from the audience are invited on-stage to warm up with the actors and to act in the performance, becoming, for example, part of Henry V’s army. The play with its interactive dimension is also portable and available for presentation in schools and libraries.

For more information visit http://www.shakespareonthesound.org For area information www.visitfairfieldcountyct.com