Book Signing May 1 @ Hickory Stick Bookshop

The Hickory Stick Bookshop is a charming independent book shop that has been located in Washington Depot for more than sixty years.  The shop has a lovely selection of books for everyone in the family, as well as a large selection of children’s games, toys, puzzles and, much much more. The shop was voted as “the best bookstore in Connecticut” by Yankee Magazine and is well worth the trip. 

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In addition to offering books and gift items, Hickory Stick also has special events. On Sunday, May 1, at 1 p.m. there will be a lawn signing with author Nan Rossiter for her new book, Promises to Keep. Rossiter is an author illustrator of several children’s books and adult novels and lives in the Litchfield Hills of northwest, Connecticut.

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After the book signing, you might want to head over to the Institute of American Indian Studies on 38 Curtis Road in Washington to visit this museum with permanent and temporary displays that trace the history and culture of Native Americans. They have a replicated  16th century Algonquain Village and the award-winning Wigwam Escape Room and hiking trails on the grounds of the museum.

Seaport Getting Ready for Summer 2021

The Seaport Association in Norwalk is busy getting ready for the summer 2021, season.  April is the time of year when Seaport Association volunteers are busy getting their vessel, docks, and Sheffield Island and Sheffield Island Lighthouse ready for their opening beginning the last weekend in May. This year, the Association will be offering two-hour harbor cruises as well as a cruise to Sheffield Island and its historic lighthouse.

Sheffield Island Lighthouse, Norwalk CT
Sheffield Island Lighthouse, Norwalk CT Caryn Davis from her new book Celebrating Our Coastline and Waterways

The Association is also busy organizing this year’s 43rd annual Norwalk Oyster Festival that will take place on Friday, September 10, Saturday, September 11, and Sunday, September 12. The Association’s new website offers forms for organizations and businesses that want to participate in this popular and highly anticipated event. Forms for food, arts and crafts, merchandising, marketing, and non-profit organizations as well as sponsorship opportunities are all online and can be found by clicking here.

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The Seaport Association is also busy organizing a special outdoor in-person celebration that is scheduled to take place this summer. This fundraising event, which is open to the public, promises to be a “boat-load” of fun with lots of fun, food, drinks, and auction items.  “We have a lot to be grateful for especially our many supporters, friends, and volunteers,” said Mike Reilly, President of the Seaport Association.

The Seaport Association has also just announced that it has finalized the details for the Annual Golf Tournament that will be held on October 4, 2021, at the Silvermine Golf Club in Norwalk. The golf tournament will help support the programs for education and restoration of the Sheffield Island Lighthouse. It will include a friendly competition, prizes, raffles, food, and a gift package for every player. For more information click here.

The Art of Spring Foraging in the Eastern Woodlands- April 18

Native Americans lived off the land and were able to identify edible plants and fungi from a young age. Most people today don’t invest the time to gain the experience required to know where to look for and how to identify wild food and edible plants. If you have ever been curious about foraging and what is edible in the woodlands of Connecticut, don’t miss the Spring Foraging Forum on April 18 with Griffin Kalin, a Museum Educator and Traditional Skills Expert at the Institute for American Indian Studies located at 38 Curtis Road in Washington, Connecticut. This program is recommended for the entire family and will be held in three one-hour time slots starting at 1:00 pm.

Griffin Kalin with Hen of the Woods foraging forum

Simply put, foraging is searching for wild food and provisions. It is a wonderful way to experience the natural world and connect with the land through traditional ways that have become less commonly practiced. Wild greens and edibles in the Spring were an important source of nutrition for many Native communities and this forum offers a fascinating glimpse of how important this food source was. Spring is one of the most important times of year to forage because many types of plants and fungi are just starting to re-emerge after a long winter’s rest, which helps supplement the end of winter food supplies.

Foraging can be as simple as picking berries or identifying plants, tubers, and mushrooms that are good to eat. It can also involve more complicated and time-consuming processes, like grinding acorns into fine flour or tapping a maple tree for sap. This forum teaches us that foraging is an art that requires us to use all our senses and to understand and respect the habitat that plants grow in. Please note, this program is intended for educational purposes only; never eat any forage item you can’t be 100% certain about.

Space per time slot is limited and pre-registration is required. To sign up for this workshop, visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/spring-foraging-forum-with-griffin-kalin-tickets-149317226845. Please call (860) 868-0518 or email events@iaismuseum.org with any questions.

About Institute for American Indian Studies 

Located on 15 acres of woodland acres the Institute For American Indian Studies preserves and educates through archeology, research, exhibitions, and programs. They have the 16th c. Algonquian Village, Award-Winning Wigwam Escape, and a museum with temporary and permanent displays of authentic artifacts from prehistory to the present that allows visitors to foster a new understanding of the world and the history and culture of Native Americans. The Institute for American Indian Studies is located on 38 Curtis Road, Washington, CT.

How to Make Exploring Norfolk, Connecticut Easy this Spring

Norfolk is an enchanting small community located high in the Litchfield Hills. Although it is a small town, it has an amazing number of things to do and see, sure to delight the whole family. Known for its natural beauty, classic village green, interesting shops, good eateries, and architectural treasures, this community also makes it easy for visitors to find their way around town. The folks that live here have made a series of videos that give visitors a sneak peek into the life in Norfolk that they enjoy and like to share with others. These videos are part of a town-wide event called WIN, Weekend in Norfolk that takes place every winter and summer.

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If you are in the mood to explore one of Connecticut’s hidden gems, you might want to watch these short videos to get the lay of the land.  A must-see video before an in-person exploration of Norfolk is the guided tour of the Bartell Chapel’s beautiful stained glass windows, designed by D. Maitland Armstrong and Louis Comfort Tiffany. Three large windows designed by Armstrong and made of opalescent glass fill the west end of the chapel. Tiffany’s five smaller windows face them from the east; they depict the four seasons, with a brilliant sunrise as the center. In addition to highlighting the magnificent stained glass windows, this video provides an overview of all of the attractions that surround Norfolk Green including the First Congregational Church, the White House of the Yale Summer School of Music, the Stanford White Fountain, Norfolk Historical Society, Norfolk Library, the Battell House and the Town Chapel. To view, the Stained Glass Windows and more click here. Another option for history and architectural lovers is the nine-minute tour of Norfolk with historian, William Hosely. For the architectural tour of Norfolk click here
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Originally founded in 1744 as a farming community, today Norfolk’s farmers proudly carry on the town’s agricultural heritage that can be seen in a fascinating video, “What Farmers Do in the Winter.” Everyone knows that summer is the busiest time for farmers when they are taking care of their crops and produce, making cheese, and tending to their animals. This video gives viewers a sneak peek into life on a New England farm in the winter. To watch the video click here.
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Husky Meadows Farm is situated on three acres and is an organic-certified farm sustainably growing a wide variety of vegetables. In addition to vegetables, they tend to antique fruit trees including a one-hundred-year-old pear tree, planted by John Curtiss. A new venture that is highlighted in this video is the cultivation of log-grown mushrooms including shitake, chestnut, and pearl mushrooms. Coming in the summer of 2021, Husky Meadows Farm will also be offering a Seed and Spoon Culinary Retreat to one Covid pod per weekend. For more information click here.  This is your chance to actually live on a Connecticut farm!
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Broad Field Farm grows organic tomatoes and fresh vegetables and sells them at local farmers’ markets as well as at their own stand on Winchester Road in season. In this video, enter an empty greenhouse and learn about the work and different techniques used to cultivate organic produce. The surprising amount of winter office work from ordering seeds to planning for crop rotation and getting the greenhouse ready for cultivation is also discussed.
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Lost Ruby Farm is a micro goat dairy and creamery specializing in crafting small-scale handmade cheeses. They use only milk from their small herd of pasture-raised goats. This video is heartwarming and shows how lovingly these goats are cared for. It is an interesting glimpse of how the goats live in the winter. If you are a cheese lover and want to try their cheeses, Lost Ruby Farm is open for farm pick-ups Thursday – Sunday at 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. Pre-orders 24 hours in advance are required and can be made by clicking here.
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These are just a few highlights of the many videos to choose from when visiting the Weekend in Norfolk website. There is something for everyone online that will appeal to the entire family and make in-person visits easy. For a complete listing of videos click https://weekendinnorfolk.org

Kent Art Association gallery opens

Get ready to join the Kent Art Association for the Spring Juried Show on April 25. This is followed by a Student Show from May 2 – 15. The final Spring show, Elected Artist and Solo Show takes place May 22 – June 13 and is highly anticipated. A series of summer shows can be viewed on the website. Follow their Facebook Page for updates.

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About the Kent Art Association 

The Kent Art Association was founded in 1923 by nine well established artists who knew each other when they lived in New York before moving to Kent: Rex Brasher, Elliot Clark, Floyd Clymer, Williard Dryden Paddock, F. Luis Mora, George Laurence Nelson, Spencer Nichols, Robert Nisbet and Frederick Waugh. Six were National Academicians.

At first, the nine held an annual show in which only their work was exhibited. Later, more artists were accepted and others were invited to be associates. By 1935, they had a membership which voted upon and accepted a set of rules as the Association’s By-Laws. In that year they were issued a Certificate of Incorporation by the State of Connecticut, and in 1940 were authorized by the Federal Government to be tax exempt, making it possible for future donations to have a tax free status.

Up until 1956, the KAA held exhibitions wherever space was available in Kent. In that year the Association acquired a two-story colonial house on South Main Street (Route 7), and as time went by, architectural improvements were made to allow the entire interior to be converted into its present spacious well-lighted and air conditioned galleries.

Call for Exhibitors & Sponsors for the Norwalk Oyster Festival 2021

The Seaport Association is looking for vendors, sponsors, and exhibitors that want to get in on the fun at the 43rd annual Norwalk Oyster Festival being held this year on September 10,11, and 12, 2021 at Veterans Park in Norwalk. The festival has a proven track record making it the perfect place to showcase your business or non-profit organization.

The Norwalk Oyster Festival offers artists and craftspeople, non-profit community groups, museums and institutions, vendors, food concessions, and sponsors the opportunity to be associated with one of the most popular events in New England that attracts tens of thousands of people year after year. “We are seeking local and regional food merchants, clothing, jewelry and merchandising vendors, museums and institutions as well as artists and craftspeople that have interesting and unusual items to sell at our event,” said Mike Reilly, President of the Norwalk Oyster Festival. “We are always open to talented and innovative vendors and exhibitors. The festival is ideal for people in search of an opportunity to earn money and work at a high-energy and popular event that has been successful for 42 years. Our reputation is stellar because our festival provides valuable exposure for all that participate because it is well known and popular with the public.”

Applications for sponsors are now available online. Sponsors get extensive in-person exposure at this event and are aggressively promoted on the Seaport’s social media platforms and in their highly successful public relations and advertising campaigns. This is an excellent opportunity to showcase your business in a highly cost-effective way. For sponsorship opportunities click here. For an arts and crafts application and all the details of how to display your products click here. Applications are being accepted now through August 17, 2021. The Seaport Association will select approximately 125 arts and crafts exhibitors for the festival, so get your applications in today. Applications for nonprofits are available by clicking here.

The Norwalk Oyster Festival is tailor-made for brands and specialty products that want to interact and engage with the public. A booth at the festival allows sales and merchandising participants to enjoy valuable face time with prospects. Click here to get your Marketing and Merchandising application. If you are a food vendor or have a concession and would like to be considered for this year’s festival click here for details.

Slots are expected to fill up quickly for this highly anticipated annual event so it is recommended to get your applications in early.

About the Norwalk Oyster Festival
Started in 1978 by a small group of people to celebrate Norwalk’s maritime heritage, this festival has grown exponentially over the years attracting tens of thousands of people to one of the best events in New England of its kind. Proceeds from the Festival’s support the Seaport’s Sheffield Island Lighthouse, Ferry service for public access and environmental programs. Over the years, the Norwalk Seaport Association Oyster Festival has been recognized by the state of Connecticut, Library of Congress, American Bus Association and the International Festival and Events Association as one of the top events in the country and for the vital role of the volunteers and nonprofit organizations in the production and continuing success of the Oyster Festival.