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.

West Cornwall Scenery, Shopping & More

There are many reasons to visit the bucolic village of West Cornwall. The West Cornwall Covered Bridge is a wooden lattice truss bridge built around 1864 that spans the Housatonic River. This is one of two bridges that can actually be crossed by auto traffic. Many visitors to West Cornwall take photos of this iconic covered bridge.

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In the heart of the village there are several interesting shops to explore. Cornwall Bridge Pottery http://www.cbpots.com owned by Todd Piker, one of the country’s most prolific potters produces high quality wood fired pots for everyday use. In his shop you will find lamps, planters, mugs, plates, bowls and much more. In addition to pottery, you will also find an official Shaker Furniture Room.

If you are a book lover, don’t miss Barbara Farnsworth Bookseller http://www.farnsworthbooks.com. This shop is located in an old masonic hall and has over 45,000 books ! There are large selections in literature, biography, poetry, diaries and letters, art, architecture, photography, fashion and costume, natural history, cookbooks, children’s books, and many other categories.

The Wish House is a gorgeous shop that offers a wide array of gift items and clothes. The gallery at the Wish House exhibits the artwork of local artists and hosts author events. The West Cornwall Farmers Market is also held here on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. through October. The Wish House often hosts book signings with local authors.

George Geary, Award-Winning Cookbook Author, TV Food Judge and Educator to teach at the Silo Sept. 20 and 22

Do you want to learn what its like to be a Critic Judge for ABC’s “The Taste” with Anthony Bourdain – and to work on television productions like “America’s Next Best Baker” with Jeff Foxworthy, “Hells Kitchen” and many others?

Do you want to meet an award-winning world-traveling cookbook author?

Do you want to take classes with the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP) 2014 Culinary Educator of the Year?

You can do all this and more at The Silo Cooking School in New Milford, CT.

Join Chef George Geary on Saturday, September 20, from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m., and again on Sunday, September 21, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Novice and experienced chefs alike will learn to prepare amazing and elegant dishes.

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Chef Geary is passionate about cooking and sharing that passion with others. His tenth and newest book, “Hollywood Restaurants of the Gold Age,” will be the focus of Saturday’s class and will feature classic dishes including Crab Cakes with Red Pepper Sauce from Spago’s, Paul Newman’s Red Potato Salad, and Pumpkin Cake with Cream Cheese Icing from Clifton’s.

On Sunday, September 21, participants will be “Baking with the Best.” Recipes include Mini Fruit Cheesecakes, Five-Chocolate Brownies with dusting of Bittersweet Ganache, Mini-Apple Crumb Tarts with Grated Cheese Crust, and Pucker Up Meyer Lemon Bars with Raspberries.

When not in a kitchen or television studio, George leads culinary tours of major cities in America and Europe and teaches aboard Holland America Lines.

The Silo Cooking School at Hunt Hill Farm, named “Best Cooking School” in the state by Connecticut Magazine, is located at 44 Upland Road in New Milford. Housed in a converted barn, c.1800, and listed on the National Register of Historic Places it is surrounded by hundreds of acres of open space, and active farmland, stonewalls, and woodlands. The school is part of the Smithsonian Institution affiliated Hunt Hill Farm, a non-profit organization, which provides the public with diverse opportunities to explore the culinary, musical and visual arts amid historic farm buildings and protected open space in the heart of Connecticut’s northwest corner. It is conveniently located – just 90 minutes from New York City and a short drive from Fairfield
and Hartford counties.

The cost of the class is $90 per person. Enrollment is limited. For more information and to register for the class, or to learn about other upcoming classes, 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. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday, from noon to 5 p.m.

Coffeehouse at the Westport Historical Society salutes Peter Seeger

On August 29 from 6 p.m. – 8 p.m. join -songwriter Suzanne Sheridan and other local musicians for an evening of Civil Rights and Vietnam War protest songs in tribute to the late folk icon Pete Seeger.

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The writer of such Sixties anthems as “If I Had a Hammer,” “Where Have All the Flowers Gone” and “Turn, Turn, Turn,” Seeger was also an environmental activist and co-founder of the Hudson River Sloop Clearwater project. He died Jan. 28 at the age of 94.

The evening kicks off with a set by Weston’s Bruce Taylor, a retired teacher and maker of string instruments who was a friend of Seeger’s. Taylor specialized in the “Seeger- style” 12- string guitar and the long-neck five-string banjo that he created just for Seeger. He and Seeger collaborated on a few songs and also performed together, usually in support of the Clearwater project.

Sheridan, who began her music career writing jingles for such companies as Pepsi, Hasbro toys and Texaco and writing music for The Electric Company and PBS television, has been traveling the world the last three years doing tributes to the music of Joni Mitchell and Leonard Cohen. In addition to Seeger’s “If I Had a Hammer,” she will perform other favorites of the Counterculture era.

Also joining the songfest will be Westport keyboardist Bob Cooper. Cooper played piano in the John Mooney Blues Band from 1978 to 1981, and keyboard for Harvey Robbins’ Doo-Wop Hall of Fame concerts from 2000 to 2009.

So, if you were wondering where all the flowers had gone back in the Sixties, or just love great music, come out to the Westport Historical Society on August 29 for an evening that combines Seeger’s songs with a bit of recent U.S. history.
Admission is $15 and reservations are recommended. Light refreshments will be served. For more information and to reserve, call (203) 222-1424.

For more information on the Westport Historical Society http://westporthistory.org.

Silvermine Arts Guild Faculty Exhibition and open house

Silvermine School of Art located on 1037 Silvermine Road in New Cannan celebrated its 90th birthday this year and was once again recognized in Moffly Media’s “Best of the Gold Coast” issue for best art classes for the third consecutive year. The Silvermine Galleries were also voted “best gallery” for the fourth consecutive year.

Liza_Masalimova Silvermine Pond Faculty Exhbition_2014

Liza_Masalimova Silvermine Pond Faculty Exhbition_2014

What distinguishes the Silvermine School of Art is the quality of its faculty. Acclaimed artists, many of whom are Silvermine Guild members, teach a wide range of disciplines and media from painting and drawing to metalwork.There will be an exhibit of their work in Silvermine’s Sara Victoria Hall from August 21st until September 11, 2014 with an opening reception at 6:30 pm on Thursday, August 21st.

To coincide with the Faculty Exhibition, the Silvermine Arts Center will host an open house on Sunday, September 7 from 2 to 4 pm. Visitors can tour the campus and studios, meet with faculty, see demonstrations by Silvermine faculty members, participate in hands-on activities, and register for courses and workshops.

The School of Art offers art students and working artists in-depth courses and workshops in traditional and nontraditional media. Beginners are welcome; in fact the School of Art now offers one-day workshops and evening mini-sessions for those who would like to try a Silvermine course for the first time or explore a new discipline or medium.

Some of the new classes at Silvermine include an anatomy and figure drawing class in which artists learn the structure of the body; a botanical drawing class; and an advanced stained-glass course that involves making the glass and painting onto it with enamels. One-day courses will be offered in pottery, metal sculpture, felting, and precious metal clay jewelry. In the precious metal clay workshop, students create their own crafted metal piece.

Silvermine Galleries are open Wednesday through Saturday, 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, call (203) 966-­9700 ext. 20 or visit the website: www.silvermineart.org.

New Show at Torrington’s Five Points Gallery

Five Points Gallery, Torrington, will open a new show on August 7th which will run through September 6th. The work of four artists will be featured: Kathryn Myers, Stass Shpanin, Ebenezer Singh and Jason Wallengren. There will be an artist talk held on August 22nd at 6 pm. The public is encouraged to attend both events.

Stass Shpanin | The Last Sigh of Sleipnir | Oil on Canvas | 64 x 94 | 2013

Stass Shpanin | The Last Sigh of Sleipnir | Oil on Canvas | 64 x 94 | 2013

“Displacement”, an exhibition featuring the work of Stass Shpanin, will be the show in the East Gallery. Shpanin, a native of Azerbaijan, attended the Hartford Art School , where he graduated in 2012. He has been the recipient of numerous awards including a Fulbright scholarship. Shpanin has exhibited his work around the world and is represented in various public and private collections.

The West and TDP Galleries will showcase the work of three artists: Kathryn Myers, Ebenezer Singh and Jason Wallengren, in an exhibit titled “When Marco Polo Saw Elephants”. Myers’ paintings in gouache and oil, as well as her recent works in video, have been inspired by her interest and research on the art and culture of India. She has exhibited her work widely in the United States and India and has received numerous grants including: Fulbright Fellowships to India; Connecticut Commission on Arts and Culture grants, and the Marie Walsh Sharpe space program grants. Myers received her BA from St. Xavier College in Chicago, an MFA in painting from the University of Wisconsin, Madison and has been teaching painting and drawing at UConn since 1984.

Kathryn Myers | Ascendance | Gouache on Paper | 8 x 5 | 2013

Kathryn Myers | Ascendance | Gouache on Paper | 8 x 5 | 2013

Ebenezer Singh was born in India and studied at the Madras College of Art and at Kingston University in Surrey, U.K. He constructs images with allegorical and religious references, many of which reference several cultures. Singh has exhibited widely in galleries and India, Europe and the United States and his work is in public collections in Germany and India. He has been the recipient of grants, participated in Jason Wallengren is a conceptual artist who divides his time between Nurnberg, Germany and Connecticut. He received an MFA in Visual
Arts from the Art Institute of Boston at Lesley University. Wallengren has exhibited in the United States and abroad.

Five Points Gallery is located at 33 Main Street, Torrington, CT. Hours are Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 1 to 5 p.m. The gallery is also open by appointment. For more information please visit http://www.fivepointsgallery.org.

History comes alive in Litchfield Connecticut this August!

The Litchfield Historical Society located on the corner of the village green and Rte. 63 south has planned a trio of events for lovers of this historic town. On August 20 for example, the Leather Iron Book Club meets at the society from 3:30 p.m. – 5 p.m. and will discuss this month’s book, Remembrance written by Theresa Breslin. This activity is perfect for kids 9 years or older. Remembrance is set in 1915 Scotland, and chronicles the experiences of young Red Cross nurses as they struggle with changes brought on by the Great War. Following the discussion of the book, games and crafts relating to the story will be offered. Register by August 9th to receive a copy of the book.

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An event not to be missed on August 23 at 10 a.m. is the walking tour of West Street, a centerpiece of Litchfield History. The walk begins at 10 a.m. at the Historical Society and is $10 for non-members. Participants will find out about the playhouse that was once on Litchfield’s West Street and learn about this bustling business center and the surrounding area. A tour guide will discuss the street’s residents, summer destinations, stores, and how the area has changed over time.

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On August 29 at 6 p.m. the Historical Society is offering a lecture and guided tasting of the Forgotten Drinks of Colonial New England. The lecture will take place on the lawn of the Tapping Reeve House and Law School located on 83 South Street (Rte. 63 south) and is $20 for members and $25 for non-members. Corin Hirsch, award-winning food and drink writer, will be discussing about her new book “Forgotten Drinks of Colonial New England.” Tippling was a common activity in colonial New England, and Hirsch has resurrected some of these delicious libations in her new publication. She will mix up drinks like flip and grog for participants to sample.

The Litchfield History Museum’s exhibit, The Lure of the Litchfield Hills through November29, 2015 explores the Colonial Revival Movement in Litchfield. This exhibit explores what was behind the Colonial Revival Movement, how the residents of Litchfield embraced their ancestral past and how the community came to look the way it does today. Visitors are invited to join in exploring his social movement that touched all aspects of American life from architecture and landscaping, to fashion, home decoration and beyond.

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For more information about the Litchfield Historical Society visit www.litchfieldhistoricalsociety.org. For information about Litchfield Hills www.litchfieldhills.com