Bethlehem Christmas Town Festival Set 7 & 8

They call this little town in the Litchfield Hills of Connecticut “Christmas Town” with good reason. Bethlehem’s Christmas Town Festival scheduled for December 7 and 8, celebrates its 35th birthday this year as one of New England’s favorite ways to kick off the season. Wherever you turn, special treats are waiting, from the town green to the post office to the Abbey of Regina Laudis and the 1754 Bellamy-Ferriday House. Some of the unique attractions continue when the festival is over.

The quaint town green, centered with a giant tree, is home to over 70 vendors with unique gift items, wreaths, and delicious foods for sale. Strolling carolers and musicians help keep things lively, Santa will be waiting at the firehouse to pose for pictures with young friends, and everyone is invited to climb aboard for hayrides offered in front of First Church. Collectors can garner this year’s unique limited edition Christmas Town pewter ornament, sold only during the Festival.

Bethlehem’s beautiful eighteenth-century Bellamy-Ferriday House & Garden will be festively decorated and open for tours and holiday cheer during festival hours. Guides will offer house tours and there will be hot cider and a scavenger hunt for children. The home is located at 9 Main Street North, information can be found at www.ctlandmarks.org

Hours for the Christmas Town Festival are Friday, December 7 from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. and Saturday, December 8, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information, see https://christmastownfestival.com or phone 203-266-7510, ext. 300. The Opening Ceremony will feature Honorary Emcee WFSB Ch. 3 Anchor, Nicole Nalepa.


Christmas Town Mailings at the Post Office

The Bethlehem post office is busy in December serving the many who come every year to mail holiday cards with their unique postmarks. Visitors can select favorites among the “Christmas Cachet” designs, hand-stamp and mail these unique greetings to friends and family. The idea of the special stamps dates to 1938, when a local Postmaster, the late Earl Johnson, designed a “cachet,” a special rubber stamp featuring a tree and lettering that said “From the Little Town of Bethlehem, Christmas Greetings.” New cachets have been added almost every year since. Over 70 designs are now available and nearly 200,000 cards are mailed each year from this small post office. Located at 34 East Street, the post office will have extended hours during the festival, Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Precious Crèches at the Abbey

One of Bethlehem’s not-to-be-missed jewels is open all month for visitors. The museum-quality eighteenth-century Neapolitan crèche on view in a vintage barn at the Abbey of Regina Laudis includes hundreds of beautiful hand-carved figures. Made of wood, terra cotta, and porcelain, the figures portray the Holy Family, angels, the Three Kings, merchants and peddlers, children, peasants, and farm animals. This fabulous gift from artist and philanthropist Loretta Hines Howard is similar to the one Howard donated to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, where it is prominently displayed every Christmas.

A second Crèche, The Lauren Ford Crèche, created by a favorite Connecticut artist, is displayed in a farm shed near the Lower Abbey Chapel. This charming rustic Nativity scene displays figures of Jesus, Mary and Joseph dressed in typical New England garb.

The Monastic Art Shop on the property offers crafts, cheeses, jams, herbal teas, flavored vinegar, herbs and honey, and all created on site by the residents of the Abbey.

The Abbey of Regina Laudis, located at 249 Flanders Road, is open to visitors daily from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information, visit www.abbeyofreginalaudis.org

Greenwich Winter Antiques Show – Dec. 1 & 2

Benefiting the Greenwich Historical Society, the Greenwich Antique Show is taking place this year on Dec. 1 & 2 at the Eastern Greenwich Civic Center on 90 Harding Road in Greenwich from 10 am to 5 pm each day. This show highlights a variety of antiques from 42 top dealers.

On Saturday, December 1, there will be Rago Modern Design Lecture and Appraisal Day from 12 noon to 5 pm. Join Rago specialists for a lecture, followed by complimentary auction evaluations for Fine and Post War/Contemporary Art, 20th/21st Century Design; 18th/19th Century Decorative Arts and Furnishings, Jewelry, Silver, Coins, and Currency (photographs acceptable). Appraisals by appointment only. Please call 917-745-2730.


This show offers a wide variety of merchandise, including fine art, marine art, estate jewelry, American and continental furniture, prints, handbags and more from the 18th century to the mid 20th century. Exhibitors bring their best material and shopping is fun. Dealers are happy to answer questions and give you some history on the function and creation of the items they are selling.

Admission for $15 per person includes both Saturday (10 am to 6 pm) and Sunday (11 am to 5 pm) and the on-site gourmet cafe is a nice place to sit for a minute.

The preview gala is on Friday, November 30 from 7 pm to 9 pm and tickets are available online. Tour and shop the Greenwich Winter Antiques Show before it opens to the public. Champagne reception, open bar, passed hors d’oeuvres and light buffet by Marica Selden Catering. Tickets: $150 per person. Advance reservations strongly preferred. Gala tickets are non-refundable. Purchase tickets at http://www.greenwichhistory.org/antiquarius.php
or call the Greenwich Historical Society at 203-869-6899 x 10.

The Glebe House Museum announces plans for ‘Holidays in the Hollow’

The holiday season offers each of us a chance to reminisce, connect with family and friends and find joy in our traditions. One of the most anticipated traditions in Woodbury has become the Glebe House Christmas Festival Open House.

Open House & Holiday Boutique will take place on Saturday, December 1 from 10AM to 3PM. New this year: The Museum will open its day with a Waterbury Symphony Orchestra Musical Readers presentation of the Nutcracker. (Sponsored by: TD Bank – Woodbury). During the open house the public may enjoy the beautiful decorations to purchase, along with gift items available in the Holiday Boutique, presented in the Cottage Annex.

Visitors will enjoy experiencing life in this Revolutionary War era house during the holidays re-enacted by adult and youth volunteers. The costumed docents will give first-person accounts of the Marshall family who lived at the “Glebe” from 1771-1786 and share stories about how the family prepared for the holiday season.

Admission is free for the day. Donations are gladly accepted. All proceeds from this weekend event will help support The Glebe House Museum & Gertrude Jekyll Garden. For more information please call the museum at 203-263-2855 / email at office@glebehousemuseum.org

Holidays in West Cornwall December 8

It is time to warm up to the Holidays on December 8 from 12 noon to 3 p.m. at the Wish House, Barbara Farnsworth Bookstore, Ian Ingersoll’s Furniture and the Cornwall Conservation Trust in the bucolic village of West Cornwall on the banks of the Housatonic River in the heart of the Litchfield Hills.

The day begins at the Wish House with a workshop for kids and the young @ heart with lf Joe Brien of the
Lost Arts Workshops crafting an old fashion wooden toy. Santa will be overseeing operations and will be available for Holiday snapshots that are sure to make heartwarming memories. The fun doesn’t stop there@ *Author Sally Cook will be on hand and ready to signer her book that makes the ideal stocking stuffer and includes the very popular -How to Speak Soccer, How to Speak Baseball, How to Speak Golf and How to Speak Football. And, if you work up an appetite, no worries, the Wish House is hosting holiday nibbles and libations including German Gluehwein!

Just up the street, at Barbara Farnsworth’s Bookstore, Susan Susan Hellman will greet customers with a 50% off sale on all of the books in stock. Browse amid a lovely array of handmade book bags, stupendously cute and beautiful crafts and cards. Join this multi-talented Lady for coffee and homemade cookies!

If nature is your thing, be sure to pop into the open house at the Cornwall Preservation Trust. Here you will find maps of the many hiking trails that criss-cross Cornwall making them a good option after a large holiday meal!

If you are in the market for authentically made Shaker Furniture, pop into Ian Ingersoll’s Furniture showroom where bubbly and nibbles will be served while you may peruse the classy local artwork exhibited in the showroom among the gorgeous furnishings.

Can You Smell the Gingerbread in Kent?

The sweet scents will tease your sense of smell as you enter the quaint village of Kent CT. The rolling pins are spinning and creative minds of all ages are working hard to create dozens of Gingerbread Houses. Ovens are filled to capacity and working overtime to get ready for the ANNUAL KENT GINGERBREAD FESTIVAL from December 1 through December 31.

Gingerbread Houses of all shapes and sizes will be on display in many of Kent’s beautifully decorated shop windows until December 31. As you approach Kent you will find yourself in what looks like a movie set of the perfect little New England town, twinkling lights will guide you through the unique one of a kind shops. What an enjoyable way to do your holiday shopping.

Lots of places feature colorful gingerbread houses for the holidays, but Kent, CT goes a step further. The whole town will take place in this sugary sweet celebration. Everyone is invited to follow the Gingerbread Walk through town to view imaginative and ingenious gingerbread delights. Visitors can enjoy the displays as they navigate the gingerbread map and solve the NEW mysterious riddle the Ginger Girls have cooked up this year. At the end, visitors vote for their favorite creations. Displays are guaranteed to delight all ages!

Should you be hungry after your Gingerbread Walk there are many temptations that will lure you, from a chocolate shop and baked goods to delicious culinary delights in one of Kent’s many restaurants & cafés. In addition to gingerbread displays, Kent will have special holiday events every weekend, from the Annual Kent Holiday Champagne Stroll, wine tastings and even Pancakes with Santa to an old-time horse-drawn carriage ride through town and a Messiah sing-along. For more holiday information a visit http://kentct.com

Franklin Street Presents Panel on Media and Paranoia on Dec. 2

Franklin Street Works presents a free, public media studies panel at the Ferguson Library Main Branch on December 2 from 4 – 5:30pm followed by a wine reception at Franklin Street Works from 5:45 – 7:00pm.

Join Franklin Street Works for a panel that welcomes nationally respected artists, scholars and journalists to Stamford to discuss media and journalism today. We will explore media studies topics that connect to some of the themes of “False Flag: The Space Between Paranoia and Reason,” including alternative facts, false flags and more.

Panelists are: Brooklyn-based artist Alexandra Bell, who has exhibited at PS1 and often explores media in her work; Jack Bratich, Ph.D., who is an Associate Professor in the Dept. of Journalism and Media Studies at Rutgers University and wrote the book “Conspiracy Panics: Political Rationality and Popular Culture” (2008); Journalist Alexandria Neason, who is a Columbia Journalism Review staff writer and formerly a reporter for the Village Voice, will bring an on-the-ground perspective to the panel; Connecticut-based artist Jeff Ostergren will connect larger themes to his curation of “False Flag” and will discuss how contemporary art can provide alternate perspectives to dominant narratives.

“Part of my interest in this panel is exploring the way in which the ‘media’ – in its various iterations of television news, talk radio, and social media – foster and in many cases actively create paranoia.” Jeff Ostergren explains, “This is of particular interest to me in that the media, despite all indications of the opposite, still is often understood as objective. No matter the format, news is filtered through corporate agendas, personal perspectives, and latent or overt biases.”

Franklin Street Works is excited to partner with the Ferguson Library on this timely event! Stay tuned for updates on panel themes and more.

RSVPs are not necessary but they help us plan. Please RSVP to info@franklinstreetworks.org.

VENUE PARKING:
There are 3-hour parking meters just outside the entrance to the gallery on Franklin Street that are free after 7 p.m., and 25 cents per 15 minutes before 7 p.m. There is a lot with an attendant on Franklin Street just a couple of doors down on the right side of the street (closer to Broad Street) from Franklin Street Works. Rates are variable. There are also a number of parking garages nearby. The nearest are:

Target
Entrance on Broad; $1 for the first 2 hours, then $2/hour, $11/day.

Summer Street Garage
Entrances on Lower Summer, Broad or Washington Blvd. Northbound;
$1/hour, $9/day, there is also an evening rate of $3/evening
Sat. & Sun. are free until 5pm.

ACCESSIBILITY:
Franklin Street Works has an ADA compliant, permanent ramp that can be accessed from Franklin Street and takes visitors to our back door downstairs. Please call Creative Director Terri C Smith’s cell at 203-253-0404 or email her at terri@franklinstreetworks.org so we can open the door for you from the inside. Once inside there is an elevator available. Bathrooms are large and clear but do not have access bars.