Norfolk, Connecticut, population 1600, is not a town that tends to blow its own horn. In fact, many who live in this unspoiled hamlet in the Litchfield Hills rather like having their hometown’s New England charm and beautiful surroundings to themselves.
But, three -residents. Sue Frisch, Holly Gill and Ruth Melville, think it is high time that their town was recognized. Together with local businesses and organizations, the trio has planned “A Weekend in Norfolk” to be held on August 5, 6 and 7, a fun-and activity-filled three days to show off what they love.
Among Norfolk’s often unheralded assets to be displayed are the Yale Summer School of Music and its annual concerts in the Norfolk Festival Music Shed, three scenic state parks and miles of forest trails.
On the weekend docket are concerts for every taste from chamber music by the Emerson Quartet to rock groups and the U.S. Coast Guard Band. The scenic surroundings attract many artists who will show their work in an art exhibit by Norfolk Artists and Friends, and there will be readings by novelist Courtney Maum and Poet Susannah Wood.
Walking tours will point out the classic village green, shuttered Colonial homes, white church spires and exceptional architecture like the 1899 library, the Tiffany windows in Battell Chapel, the Stanford White fountain on the green, and some of the grand local estates. Other walks will include a wildflower walk at Aton Forest and a guided hike in Great Mountain Forest.
Foodies will enjoy a farmer’s market on Saturday, an ice cream social on Sunday and special deals and menus at the town’s restaurant all weekend.
Norfolk’s parks beckon this weekend and every weekend. An easy trail to the summit of 240-acre Dennis Hill State Park rewards hikers with panoramic views and the observation tower at Haystack Mountain State Park can be reached by auto or a steep climb. Campbell Falls State Park, a natural reserve area, offers views of the falls tumbling over craggy rock formations.
Visitors who stay overnight will discover some delightful local lodgings like the Blackberry River Inn, a 1761 Colonial; Mountain View Inn, an elegantly restored Victorian; and Manor House, a romantic 1898 Tudor bed and breakfast inn.
If the romantic spirit of the town inspires, you can make an appointment to be wed or renew your vows on the village green. The town’s first selectman will officiate; fresh bouquets will be supplied and ring bearers and witnesses will be standing by. For more information, see Weekend in Norfolk on Facebook or visit the website www.weekendinnorfolk.org.
For more information about the area and a free copy of Unwind, a full-color, 170-page booklet detailing what to do and see, and where to stay, shop and dine in the Litchfield Hills and Fairfield County in Western Connecticut, contact the Western Connecticut Visitors Bureau, PO Box 968, Litchfield, CT 06759 or visit their website at www.visitwesternct.com. A colorful visitors map and guide to Norfolk is also available.