Litchfield Jazz Fest takes center stage Aug. 6 & 7

Set in the picturesque, rolling Litchfield Hills, the Litchfield Jazz Festival was launched in 1996 with a line-up any well-established festival would have been proud of. Once again this year, this highly anticipated popular event is taking place on Saturday, August 6 and Sunday, August 7 at the Goshen Fairgrounds located on Rt3. 63, 116 Old Middle Street in Goshen. Tickets are a bargain and range from $25- $500.

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The themed program, Generations Of Jazz, pairs young stars-in-the-making who came out of the Fest’s teaching arm, Litchfield Jazz Camp, with iconic players. Two decades of top jazz instruction by the best clinicians in the world at Litchfield Jazz Camp have produced the stars of today and tomorrow. We have selected a roster of ultra-talented, young musicians, players who have been a part of Litchfield Jazz Camp, to grace our Main stage alongside established jazz musicians who have served as their mentors and helped them grow as musicians.

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Some of these pairings will surprise you. All will delight you. Young lions like saxophonist Albert Rivera and pianist Emmet Cohen will be joined by guitarist Paul Bollenback and saxophonist Jimmy Heath. Other well-known artists includes Steve Johns, Orrin Evans, Dave Stryker, Donald Harrison, Avery Sharpe. Matt Wilson and many more.

This year the Festival sports a new look with its Sunday kickoff, Scat & Scramble- A Jazz Brunch with a New Orleans flair in food and music led by saxophonist Donald Harrison and an all-star band. Brunch tickets are included with all Best Friends and Sunday VIP
Tickets. Delicious food Southern style by festival favorite O’Deens BBQ and music to match. Donald Harrison will head up a big band of our top jazz campers and instructors in music from the Big Easy. Get ready for a swinging good time and bring those second line umbrellas. We’ll bring the beads!! Brunch tickets are included in all Sunday VIP passes.

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Tickets are on sale now online. Visit the website www.litchfieldjazzfest.com or call 860-361-6285 for assistance and information. For more area information about where to stay and dine www.litchfieldhills.com
The line up*:

Saturday 8/6
Adrew Hadro w/ Tony Malaby
Richie Barshay w/ Jimmy Greene
Albert Rivera w/ Paul Bollenback “Back At It”
Nicole Zuraitis w/ Dave Stryker
Daryl Johns w/ Orrin Evans “Saluting Errol Garner’s Concert by the Sea”

Sunday 8/7
Friends of the Festival Scat & Scramble Brunch w/ Donald Harrison
Big Bass Blowout w/ Avery Sharpe & Matt Wilson
Emmet Cohen w/ Jimmy Heath
Litchfield Jazz Orchestra “Earth Wind & Wonder”
The Curtis Brothers w/ Donald Harrison

*line up is subject to change

“A WEEKEND IN NORFOLK” INVITES VISITORS TO DISCOVER AN EXTRAORDINARY LITCHFIELD HILLS TOWN

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.

BHI# 08-029 Yale Norfolk

BHI# 08-029 Yale Norfolk

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.

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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.

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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.

A Trio of Danbury Events

The Circus is Coming to Town! On Saturday, July 23rd, the extremely nimble Nimble Arts Circus, from Brattleboro, VT, takes center ring at this year’s Family Fun Festival, presented by CityCenter Danbury and sponsored by Danbury’s Promise for Children Partnership. The FREE event, which features aerialists, jugglers, food & ice cream vendors, games, and family fun, begins at 3:00pm and plays through 7:00pm. on the CityCenter Danbury Green at Ives Street.

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Nimble Arts was founded by identical twin aerialists Elsie Smith & Serenity Smith Forchion to create inventive works of theatrical circus. The rest of the ensemble includes performers formerly with the worlds leading theatrical circus companies including Cirque du Soleil, Cirque Eloize, Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey Circus, Pickle Family Circus and Circa. The troupe of jugglers and aerialists and acrobats have garnered numerous awards for their individual talent. It’s truly a family affair.

On the following Saturday, July 30th, World Conscious Pact Northeast takes to the Green with Chaski Fest, an international celebration in honor of Mother Earth. This environmental qamchuykancha (Quechua for circus), begins at noon and runs through 8:00pm. The event, which will feature the WestConn Drum Circle, combines live music, natural products, vegetarian snacks, and yoga in its family entertaining mix. (For info, call 203-448-9886).

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Then, on Saturday, August 6th, a Country Music ‘n’ Food Truck Rally rolls into town, featuring the best food trucks from the area and country rock recording artist, Tim Charron, headlining. The event begins at 3:00pm and closes at 10:00pm.

Summer Saturdays in CityCenter Danbury represent only a part of the the new buzz and energy of Downtown Danbury. Summer Concerts on the Green, which runs through Saturday, August 27th, is supported, in part, by Union Savings Bank, Savings Bank of Danbury, Danbury Cultural Commission, Danbury Parking Authority, Danbury’s Promise for Children Partnership, and Frontier Communications. Filled with tributes to some of the most famous bands of all time, the series is a must-do for music lovers of all ages. For more information about CityCenter Danbury’s Concerts on the Green, call (203) 792 1711 or visit citycenterdanbury.com

For more area information www.litchfieldhills.com

Ralph Nader to appear @ Scoville Memorial Library in Salisbury

Ralph Nader will be appearing at the newly renovated Scoville Memorial Library, located on 38 Main street in Salisbury Connecticut on Saturday, July 23, from 1:45 to 3:00 p.m. to celebrate the library and a few other topics. Nader as always is an ardent activist and this time he is promoting a different cause locally, getting more people, especially youth, to read.

The Scoville Memorial Library Salisbury, CT

The Scoville Memorial Library Salisbury, CT

His philosophy is simple: “Readers Think and Thinkers Read” is the wisdom behind the inception of the Booming Winsted Book Festival on Saturday July 30 (9:00 am to 6:00 pm) and Sunday July 31 (10:00 am to 2:00 pm) at 414 Main Street, Rt. 44 in downtown Winsted, Connecticut. The Festival will present five prominent area authors each of whom will autograph their books, deliver a presentation and engage in a discussion with book-lovers in attendance.

At the Scoville Library Nader will be selling and signing “Unstoppable: The Emerging Left-Right Alliance to Dismantle the Corporate State.” He will donate all proceeds to the library. “This is the 50th anniversary year for my book, “Unsafe at Any Speed”, that led to improvements in the auto industry, and I thought a book festival in my home town would be a good way to celebrate the continual importance of books,” said Nader. Nader will speak informally about his new book and the upcoming book festival.

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Festival authors include Pulitzer Prize winning American historian Eric Foner, who will sign his new book “Gateway to Freedom: Hidden History of the Underground Railroad,” and Patricia Klindienst, author of “The Earth Knows My Name: Food, Culture, and Sustainability in the Gardens of Ethnic Americans.”

After, take a ride to nearby Winsted to visit the American Museum of Tort Law, started by Nader and the only museum in the nation dedicated to American law. For more informaiton https://www.tortmuseum.org.

For more area information www.litchfieldhills.com.

Second Annual Arts Fest in Stamford July 30 & 31

Get inspired and celebrate the arts at the 2nd Annual Stamford Art Festival at Harbor Point, taking place on Saturday, July 30 and Sunday, July 31 from 10 am to 5 pm, rain or shine.

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A juried event featuring more than 100 artists selected locally and from across the country, Canada and Israel,the Stamford Art Festival offers a selection of paintings, photography,drawings, prints, sculptures, mixed media, jewelry, ceramics, fiber, metal and glass pieces that are original works and available for collecting in every price range.

Held at the beautiful Harbor Point waterfront in Stamford, exhibitors will display their work on the gorgeous new boardwalk overlooking Stamford Harbor – an extraordinary backdrop for this visual feast.

Visitors will be able to browse and buy from a wide variety of artists. The Festival includes live musical performances on both days, as well as free arts activities and demonstrations for children and adults, plus a variety of food temptations ranging from gourmet food to homemade desserts. Sunday, July 31 features a Farmers Market to enjoy. And it all happens rain or shine, under tents.

Admission to the Stamford Art Festival is free. There is ample free parking. Harbor Point in Stamford is easy to reach via Connecticut Exit 7 on I-95 northbound and southbound. For more information, visit www.StamfordArtFestival.org

The Penguins are romping @ Beardsley Zoo this summer

Get ready to meet Squirt, Sal, South and Tubbs — four African Black-Footed Penguins that are spending their summer at the Beardsley Zoo located on 1875 Noble Ave. in Bridgeport Connecticut. They will be on exhibit from May 7 through Sept. 30 — so make plans to stop by and see them. They are charming and fun to watch.

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The Penguins will be in a temporary exhibit across from the Zoo’s Peacock Cafe. Their Education Department is planning Wild Adventure Animal Shows, Animal Bytes storytelling and scavenger hunts — all designed to help you learn, and care, about penguins.

These medium sized penguins, that weigh between two and three pounds are found along the African shore and considered to be endangered. Overfishing of their prey, oil spills and guanaco are just some of the reasons why this species of penguin is in decline.

One of their distinctions is a pink patch above their eyes that is actually a gland that helps them adapt to changing temperatures. The hotter the penguin gets, the pinker the gland turns. These penguins are also known for their unusual call that sounds like a donkey that is braying. Each individual penguin also has a black stripe with black spots on their chest and, much like fingerprints, no two are the same.

Check out our facebook page https://www.facebook.com/LitchfieldHills.FairfieldCounty.CT/

Photo courtesy of Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park.

Westport Arts Festival

The Westport Fine Arts Festival is held in lovely, historic downtown Westport, along the lovely Saugatuck River and has become a highlight on the calendars of thousands of art lovers and art collectors. This year the festival is being held on July 16 and 17 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on both days.

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Festival goers will delight in the hundreds of original juried works in Painting, Watercolor, Photography/Digital Art, Sculpture, Drawing (Pastel, Pencil, Ink), Printmaking, Mixed Media, Glass/ Ceramics, Jewelry, and Wood as well as the chance to chat with the artists. This event, now in its 43rd year has been voted as one of the top 100 events for the sale of fine arts by Artfairsourcebook.com.

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Kids aren’t left out of the fun as organizers have set up the Westport Arts Children’s Zone where they are encouraged to make magical creations. Using their imagination, children will color, cut, build and more as they design works of art inspired by knights, heroes, princesses and magic using traditional and unique materials. The children’s area is located in Parker Harding Plaza and is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on both days.

The festival also boasts lots of great entertainment and the performers on Saturday include:Eric Michael Lichter, Shiny Lapel Trio, Neighborhood Jazz, Mill River Band, Ken Atkins and the Honky Tonk Kind, and Oh Casius. On Sunday, festival goers will be entertained by Gracie Day, Wide Old Moon, TTIKS, Chase Leonard & Jerome Goosman, Jekyll & Hyde and Chris McKay and the Tone Shifters.

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Westport is serviced by the Metro North New Haven Line for daily schedules visit http://www.mta.info/mnr. If you are driving in, there is free parking throughout downtown Westport as well as on Gorham Island, Elm St., Jessup Road, Imperial Ave. Parking Lot and Main St and Post Road.

For more area information www.visitfairfieldcountyct.com