For the past four years, the bucolic village of Norfolk, Connecticut has welcomed visitors to a town-wide festival where all the events are free. Rather than totally canceling the event because of the pandemic more than 25 businesses, organizations, and individuals have come together to welcome folks from near and far to a Virtual Weekend in Norfolk on July 31, August 1, and August 2. This year all events will be online, some will be live, and others will be On-Demand allowing viewers to watch them from home at their convenience. Best of all, every event is free of charge.
A special Virtual Weekend in Norfolk website has been set up that lists live and On-Demand events by category. The length of each video and description is included to make planning your viewing time easy. On-Demand events begin at 12:01 a.m., July 31, and run through August 2. Five live events are also scheduled.
On-Demand Event Highlights
Natural foods and herbs have been used medicinally for centuries. If you want to learn more about how to prepare healthy food don’t miss the 39-minute video by Wendy Roberts from Norfolk’s Mountain View Green Retreat on how to prepare a variety of food from Sweet Potato Black Bean Burgers, Chocolates with coconut oil, good for HDL cholesterol levels, a virgin Pina Colada, Nut Cheese made with heart-healthy raw cashews, and fresh-pressed juice to supercharge your health. These fun and instructive videos guide viewers in a step-by-step presentation with recipes included.
Viewers are invited to take a 20-minute virtual walking tour of the delightful village of Norfolk. Highlights of this tour include the classic village green, an extraordinary fountain, and interesting architectural buildings, and homes. The highlight is a tour of Battell Chapel’s Stained Glass windows designed by D. Maitland Armstrong and Louis Comfort Tiffany. An in-depth view of the techniques used that make these windows special and a discussion on the restoration process of these historic gems makes this video riveting.
One of the most interesting ways to understand the history and cultural heritage of a town is to visit a graveyard. The backstory told on the gravestones helps to define the character and tradition that gives people a sense of place. Don’t miss the chance to dive into Norfolk’s history with Historian William Hosley, former curator of the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art in Hartford, and the former Director of the Connecticut Landmarks Society. Hosley’s fascinating 12-minute video visits Norfolk’s Center Cemetery established in 1757. Every stone here tells a story from first settlers dating back to the 1770s and war heroes, to children, ministers, and politicians. A highlight is the story of Jupiter Morris. No rural town has the depth and richness of African American history as Norfolk; this video explains why.
If you have always wondered what it was like to live on a farm with goats, chickens, and pigs, then plan to spend a few minutes to see what life is like on Lost Ruby Farm in Norfolk, makers of some of the best goat cheese you will ever taste. Join owners Adair Mali and Antonio Guindon as they share their life on the farm and the love they have for their animals, and their commitment to fresh healthy food.
If architecture is of interest don’t miss the four-minute architectural glimpse of four of Norfolk’s most historic homes with Tom Mc Gowan. Highlighted homes include The Joseph Battell House circa 1799 known locally as “The White House,” Knolly Brook circa 1875 that offers a mélange of architectural styles, Beechwood Cottage, 1895 that looks like it should be in the English Cotswolds, and the Victorian style Tea Cozy Cottage, circa 1898. Another video details the story of the Victorian-styled Norfolk Library that was designed in the 19th century’s Golden Age of architecture and compares it to different libraries throughout the U.S. designed in a similar style.
Kids are not forgotten at this year’s Virtual Win. They can tune in any time over the course of this three-day weekend to watch a fun, 18-minute video with artist and printmaker, Susan Rood. Kids and adults are guided through the process of printmaking using paper, paint, leaves, and found material. This video encourages imaginations to run wild with artistic creations!
Virtual Weekend in Norfolk also features five live streaming videos including a Puppet Show called Lisa the Wise on Friday, July 31, from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. that is perfect for kids and family fun. On Saturday, August 1 there are two different concerts by The Norfolk Chamber Music Festival’s Emerging Artist Showcase at 10:30 a.m. – 12 noon and from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. For art lovers don’t miss Saturday’s watercolor workshop with artist Pamela Harnois from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. On Sunday, August 2, the final live virtual workshop from 2 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. is with renowned artist and metal sculptor, Karen Rossi; participants will learn how to make metal flowers with soda cans! Visit the website to register for a live event. After registration, a Zoom link will be sent about 30 minutes before the event streams live.