7th Annual Washington Green Cemetery Tour

The 7th Annual Washington Green Cemetery Tour, with a special World War One theme, will take place on Friday, October 24from 6:30-8:30pm.

Costumed guides will lead groups of visitors every ten minutes from the Gunn Museum to the Washington Green Cemetery where the town’s departed citizens will be stationed at their gravestones to tell their tales of tragedy and triumph.

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Tour groups will follow a magical path of 1,000 luminaries spanning a quarter mile through the shadowy cemetery and hear the lively and dramatic stories of Washington’s residents from World War One. The costumed character actors stationed at each gravestone will share such stories as the perilous tales of combat in Europe; the life of a soldier stationed in muddy rat infested trenches; women will describe what the fascinating experiences they had as nurses and YMCA workers; summer residents from New York City will talk about how they joined forces with the locals to form war relief organizations such as the Sister Susie Society on the home front; and so much more.

The tours depart from the Museum in groups of fifteen people every 10 minutes between 6:30-8:30 pm, and last approximately 45 minutes. Numbers for the tours are handed out at the Museum starting at 6:15pm. A Halloween themed movie will be shown and treats will be served in the Wykeham Room of the Gunn Library as you wait for your tour group to depart. The Museum will also be open for viewing of the exhibit, Over There: Washington and the Great War. The cemetery is dark and cold, please bring a flashlight with you and dress warmly.

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While this event is free, donations are always appreciated. The rain date is Sunday October 26. The Gunn Museum is located at 5 Wykeham Road, at the intersection of Wykeham Road and Route 47, on Washington Green, Connecticut. Parking at the Gunn is limited, please use nearby lots and side streets. Call 860-868-7756 or view www.gunnlibrary.org for information.

For information on Litchfield Hills www.litchfieldhills.com

Wednesday Workshops Challenge Kids’ Creativity

Every Wednesday now through December 17, the Westport Historical Society has organized a series of workshops for curious creative kids from 3:45 p.m. – 5:15 p.m. These fun workshops will allow kids ages 6 to 12 years old to create a new project each week.

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The workshops will be a fun way to encourage kids to explore their creativity. Projects will be of interest for kids with a variety of interests. For the child fascinated by technology, there’s “Industrial Revolution Robots,” where kids will make their own bots from nuts and bolts. For the budding artist there are workshops on how to make folk art signs and decoupage treasure boxes. Workshops on making sock dolls, parchment paper, scary Halloween stuff, antique toy reproductions and holiday gifts round out the syllabus.

“Wednesday Workshops,” Wednesdays, Oct. 1-Dec. 17, 3:45 to 5:15 p.m. Ages 5-12. There is a $25 per session fee, $20 for members. For 10 sessions, the fee is $150 members, $200 non-members; includes all supplies. Reservations suggested: (203) 222-1424. For additional information visit http://westporthistory.org.

Audubon Greenwich offers late October Family Fun

Audubon Greenwich located on 613 Riversville Road has several exciting events planned for late October that are sure to please young and old alike.

On Sunday, October 19, the Audubon has planned two family fun events. The first event, a Wild Bird Banding Demonstration begins at 12:30 p.m. This hour long demonstration will show how scientists study bird migration, health, and ecology using ‘bird ID bands’ that are placed on birds, large and small, as they pass through the Audubon’s 285-acre sanctuary in Greenwich, CT. After a short learning session indoors, guests will venture into the field for an up-close bird encounter with bird banding expert, Sean Graesser. All ages welcome.$10/person includes cookies & cider afterwards. RSVP required & space limited.

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The bird banding demonstration is followed by an Autumn Nature Art Class that will take place from 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Special guest teacher, Adriana Rostovsky, will show how to create textures and collages with autumn treasures found outdoors. These sessions willfocus on using natural items like grasses, cones, seed heads and other itemsto create nature-themed decorations. All ages welcome. $25 for first two peopleand $5 per additional. RSVP required & space limited.

On Saturday, October 25, the Audubon Greenwich will host an Enchanted Orchard and Live Animal Show from 6 p.m. – 9 p.m. This fun Halloween-themed evening for the whole family. Meet kid-friendly, costumed animal characters on a tour of the ‘Enchanted Orchard’. After the tour, participants will enjoy dinner, treats and a live animal show, too. Costumes welcome but are not required! All ages are welcome to this event and it is $10 per person. Space very limited so RSVPs & parent supervision is required. The rain date for this event is October 30.

Warner Theatre hosts International Playwrights Festival

The Warner Theatre on Main Street in Torrington Connecticut in the center of the Litchfield Hills is hosting the 3rd Annual International Playwrights Festival. The Festival is a celebration of new works by playwrights from across the country and around the globe. For the third year, over 200 plays were submitted from across the United States and Canada and as far away as Australia, Israel and Great Britain. 12 winners have been selected.

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The festival will consist of three nights of performances by the top three winning playwrights featuring four playwrights each night.

On Thursday, October 16 at 8 pm – BREAKING UP IS HARD TO DO GROW UP JULIET will be featured. This play was written by Rex McGregor from Auckland, New Zealand. This will be followed by FIREFLY IN AUGUST by Sheila Curran Bernard from New York, MOVES LIKE JAGGER by Suzanne Bailie from Washington, and THE COUNTER OFFER by David L. Williams from Pennsylvania.

On Friday, October 17 at 8 pm – I’VE GOT A PROBLEM WHATEVER by Cynthia “Andy” Landis from Tennessee will start off the evening. This performance will be followed by CRACKED by Gwydion Suilebhan from Maryland, TIME TRAVEL IS GOOD FOR THE COMPLEXION by Shari D. Frost from Massachusetts, and CUTHBERT’S LAST STAND by Andrew Biss fromPennsylvania.

On Saturday, October 18 at 8 pm the first performance will be CAPTIVE AUDIENCE SWORD PLAY* (By Invitation only) by Charlene A. Donaghy from Connecticut. This play will be followed by CHECKING THE BASEMENT FOR LEAKS by Doug DeVita from New York, BUDDHISTS IN THE BASEMENT by Mary Beth Smith from Massachusetts, CAPTIVE AUDITION by Paul Braverman from California and THE ELEVEN O’CLOCK NUMBER by Julie Weinberg from New York.

Tickets are $15 per night or $30 for all three nights. For tickets, call the Box Office at 860-489-7180 or visit www.warnertheatre.org

On Sunday, October 19 at 3 p.m. the Warner is hosting the Connecticut Artists & Playwrights Festival that brings together visual art featuring Connecticut artists exhibiting in Torrington’s Five Points Gallery with Connecticut playwrights to create new ten-minute plays that will be produced at the Warner Theatre’s Nancy Marine Studio Theatre.

The Connecticut Artists & Playwrights Festival recognizes the work of emerging and established artists from across the state. It gives visual artists an opportunity for their art to serve as inspiration for a piece of dramatic writing. It gives playwrights a forum for production of their ten-minute plays that are inspired by one of three pieces of visual art.

THIS YEAR’S ARTISTS & PLAYWRIGHTS:

ANNUNCIATION – Judith Thorpe
VENUS SMILED by Steven Otfinoski (Stratford, CT)
FLIP by Jonathan Yukich (Hamden, CT)
QUELCHED by Robert Schneider (New Haven, CT)
THE SEQUENCE – Katherine Myers
THE SEQUENCE by Bob Tilton (Storrs, CT)
LOBSTER SPECIAL by Mara Dresner (Rocky Hill, CT)
CIRCLING THE GLOBE by Victoria Z. Daly (Goshen, CT)
OMNES ORGANUM TRIPLUM – Pam Bramble
TO TELL THE TRUTH by Allan Appel (New Haven, CT)
FAULT by Julie Weinberg (Goshen, CT)
YOUR EYES, THE STARS by Darcy Parker Bruce (Norwich, CT)

Tickets are $15, for tickets, call the Box Office at (860) 489-7180 or visit www.warnertheatre.org

THREE TOP FALL FESTIVALS LURE FOOD LOVERS TO WESTERN CONNECTICUT

The aroma of steaming chowder, the tantalizing scent of garlic, and the chance to sample the best specialties of Iceland await autumn visitors to Western Connecticut, home to three of the season’s top food festivals.

Chowdafest, New England’s largest cooking competition, will be held at Norwalk’s Calf Pasture Beach on October 12, a new location spacious enough to accommodate the growing fan base, while another popular event, the tenth annual Connecticut Garlic & Harvest Festival takes place October 11-12, 2014 at the Bethlehem Fairgrounds. The following Saturday, October 18, the fifth annual Iceland Affair and Fire and Ice Music Festival once again will bring fans to Winchester, CT. for a rare treat, one of only two such festivals in the United States.

YOU ARE THE JUDGE AT CHOWDAFEST

At this SOUPerbowl of festivals to benefit the Connecticut Food Bank, attendees are the judges as more than two dozen of the regions best restaurants compete in four categories: classic New England Clam Chowder, Traditional Manhattan and Rhode Island chowders, “creative” chowders that might be anything from sweet potato to Cajun shrimp, and bisque soups such as Butternut Squash and Golden Corn. Everyone receives a spoon, pencil and ballot and can sample unlimited chowder and soups, grading entries on a scale from 7 to 10. Winners are announced at the end of the event.

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For tasting variety, samples are offered at the Cheese and Cracker Corner, at ChowdaMex featuring salsas and chips and at a beverage center stocked with beer and wine. The ChowdaKIDS area will provide samples of ice cream and milk as well as free chef hats, coloring books and stickers provided by Stop & Shop, the event sponsor.

Admission is $10 in advance for adults, $15 at the door on October 11. Ages 6 to 12 pay $5, children under 6 are free. Hours are 12 noon to 4 p.m. Proceeds from this food festival to fight hunger have provided over 100,000 meals for the CT Food Bank. For information, see www.chowdafest.org

GARLIC IN ITS GLORY

Foodies flock each year to the Connecticut Garlic & Harvest Festival where they enjoy cooking demonstrations, informative food talks, lessons in growing garlic, plus free samplings of garlic dips, spreads, cheeses and oils from specialty food vendors. Visitors can buy farm-fresh garlic as well as other bounty from the fall harvest. All of that is the warm-up for some serious eating that includes treats like homemade roasted garlic sausage with peppers and onions, garlic marinated steak sandwiches, garlic roast pork sandwiches, deep fried garlic, and even garlic ice cream.

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Live bands add to the festive feel, fine artisans are on hand offering hand made crafts and young visitors will find rides and games to keep them entertained.

The Garlic Festival will be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday October 11 and 12
at the Bethlehem Fairgrounds, Route 61 just north of town. Adult admission is $7, under age 12, just $1. Find more details at www.garlicfestct.com

TAKE A TRIP TO ICELAND

One woman’s love affair with Iceland was the spark that began this unusual festival. Gerri Griswold, a former chef and current broadcaster, visited the “land of fire and ice” and fell in love.
She has made over a dozen trips to Iceland since 2002 and in 2009, decided to introduce more Americans to their northern neighbor in what she thought would be a one-time event in her home town. Instead, the Iceland Affair keeps growing. At this year’s fifth edition at Winchester Center’s Grange Hall visitors will hear experts talk about Iceland’s arts and amazing nature, see prize photography of the land’s lavish geysers and waterfalls, and will be able to sample authentic Icelandic foods such as goat sausage, smoked and dried fish, sensational chocolates and licorice, the special local yogurt known as skyr, pure Icelandic water, and what Griswold calls the best hot dogs in the world.

On the Winchester Center Green the public will meet Iceland’s biologically pure animals including Icelandic horses, sheep, sheep dogs, and chickens. The event will be held on October 18 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. All the day’s activities are free.

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At night, the original small concert in a barn has morphed into the Fire & Ice Festival, to be held this year at Infinity Hall in Norfolk at 8 p.m. Those attending will hear a host of top entertainers rarely seen in this country, and, perhaps discover the next Bjork, Iceland’s best known performer in the U.S.. For details on the festival and information on concert tickets, see http://icelandaffair.com or phone 860-307-6144.

For more information about lodging and other activities in the area 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 and the Litchfield Hills of Western Connecticut, contact the Western Connecticut Visitors Bureau, PO Box 968, Litchfield, CT 06759, (860) 567-4506, or visit their web site at www.visitwesternct.com

“The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” Performance by Jonathan Kruk in Litchfield

On Sunday, October 5 the Litchfield Historical Society is hosting master storyteller Jonathan Kruk. Accompanied by music, Kruk’s theatrical performance will delight kids and adults alike. Bring lunch and a picnic blanket to spread out on the Tapping Reeve House Lawn for this fun family event!

Credit: Todd Atteberry

Credit: Todd Atteberry

Jonathan Kruk has been featured on CBS Sunday Morning with Charles Osgood and has performed for various historic sites. He was selected “Best Storyteller in the Hudson Valley.” Kruk is accompanied by musician Jim Keyes, on multiple instruments and effects.

In Kruk’s rendition of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, this story will leap to life during his theatrical reading. This event will take place on the lawn of the Tapping Reeve House, located at 82 South Street, Litchfield, CT. Performance begins at 1:00 pm. Rain location: Litchfield History Museum
Tickets are $5 for members; , $10 for individual non-members; $15 for a family group.

Purchase tickets online here, email registration@litchfieldhistoricalsociety.org or call (860) 567-4501.

For up to date information on Litchfield Hills visit www.litchfieldhills.com

Westport Arts Center Presents a New Performing Artists Season with Local and International Musicians

The Westport Arts Center is proud to announce a new season for their Performing Arts Series of Jazz and Chamber concerts. The season will feature international musicians, such as Croatian guitarist Ana Vidovic as well as local gems like the Hartford Jazz Orchestra. Bernard Purdie and the Juilliard String Quartet will return for encore performances after their wonderful performances from the Arts Center’s past performing arts seasons.

Julliard String Quartet

Julliard String Quartet

The Center begins and closes the season with Sunday-afternoon performances by some of America’s most distinguished veteran artists. It all starts on Sept. 7 with a concert at the Pequot Library by the long-respected duo-pianists Misha and Cipa Dichter, who have brought their elegant style and technical command to the major music capitals of the world. Audiences will remember that the incomparable Juilliard String Quartet created a sold-out sensation when they performed here during the 2012-13 season, and they will wrap up the new season with another concert at the Pequot on May 17 with a salute to the musical traditions of Vienna.

Dover Quartet

Dover Quartet

The younger artists performing at the Westport Arts Center are all first-rate. When the late-winter storm of 2013 forced the cancelation of the dazzling Armenian clarinetist Narek Arutuynian’s concert, the Center knew they had to re-engage Arutuynian—and he’ll play at the Pequot Library on March 1. Another Young Concert Artists winner, Ana Vidovic, continues the Center’s tradition of solo guitar recitals at the Westport Arts Center gallery on April 26, presenting a satisfying program of music by Bach, Paganini, William Walton, and pieces from the Spanish repertory. On Nov. 9 will be the Dover Quartet, will perform at the Westport Arts Center. The Dover Quartet has swept the major string-quartet competitions in the last two years and is on track to become a major ensemble.

Bernard Purdie

Bernard Purdie

The 2014-15 WAC jazz series will provide a panoramic view on American and world music styles. Legendary funk drummer Bernard Purdie will kick things off in October followed by an intimate concert in November with jazz vocalist Nicole Pasternak featuring Chris Brown in a tribute to Ella Fitzgerald and Billie Holiday. Brasilian sounds will be presented in 2015 with Ali-Ryerson and Joe Carter followed by the Hartford Jazz Orchestra lead by the esteemed pianist Donn Trenner.

Tickets are $30/ $25 for Members of the Westport Arts Center, with a $65 ticket available for the Juilliard String Quartet. Student tickets start at $10 per concert and Jazz Jams are $20/ $15 for WAC Members. Season tickets for the Jazz Season are $125/ $105 for Members, and Chamber Season tickets are $165/ $145 for Members of the Westport Arts Center. A limited number of discounted Senior tickets will be available for presale at the Westport Center for Senior Activities, 21 Imperial Avenue, Westport.Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased at www.westportartscenter.org and 203-222-7070.