Virtual Cemetery Tour in Washington begins on Oct. 30

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Gunn Historical Society has decided not to host an in-person cemetery tour this year. Instead, the Gunn Historical Museum’s 13th Annual Washington Cemetery Tour will be pre-recorded and posted on the Museum’s website www.gunnmuseum.org and social media channels at 6:30 pm on Friday, October 30 and will remain there for future viewing.

The Washington Cemetery Tour is an annual “living history” event that showcases the rich history of Washington using costumed actors to portray residents from the past. In this year’s tour, we will be sharing stories from 100 years ago, including those of Washington, Connecticut suffragists, bootleggers, and those who faced the flu pandemic of 1918. The tour is produced by the Gunn Historical Museum with support from local theater luminaries Doug and Martha Winkel of the Washington Dramalites. Videographers, Philip Dutton and Ulrich Vilbois are the creators of the film.

For more information contact the Gunn Historical Museum in Washington, CT at 860-868-7756 or info@gunnhistoricalmuseum.org or visit the website

Halloween Stroll in Torrington Oct. 30 and 31

Something very special is happening at dusk in the charming town of Torrington located in the heart of the Litchfield Hills. The spirit of Halloween is alive and well here on Friday, October 30, and Saturday, October 31 beginning at dusk.

This year the Main Street in downtown Torrington will be a-glow with one hundred jack-o-lanterns that line both sides of the street. It will be a magical experience to see how these jack-o-lanterns flicker and glow from shop windows. The “parade” of jack-o-lanterns begins at the St John Paul Academy and continues to the Torrington Library. Along the way, visitors can admire a multitude of creative pumpkin carvings and vote for their favorites. To add to the festivities, kids are encouraged to wear their Halloween costumes.

If you work up an appetite while strolling, no worries, there will be plenty of food trucks around that offer a variety of refreshments. Food trucks include Batchy Brew, Mi Amor Eats, Singing Sliders, and Pete’s Ice Cream truck.

For additional information about this festive outdoor Halloween event, please click here.

Pseudo- Archeology…Martians, Atlanteans, and “Lost Tribes” @ Institute for American Indian Studies Oct. 30

The Institute for American Indian Studies, located in Washington, Connecticut is hosting the 15th annual Native American Archaeological Roundtable via Zoom on Friday, October 30 for $10. To register click https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN__Ks8PHcgSlecQEZzE8d1iA The program will take place from 11 am to 2 pm on both days.

Pseudo-archaeology is also known as an alternate, fringe, or cult archaeology. It is a study that has drawn not only professionals but also the American public. Initially, these pseudoarchaeological ideas were most accessible through books, such as Erich Von Däniken’s Chariot of the Gods? (1968), which has sold over 65 million copies (Bond 2018). In recent decades, however, television and the internet have spread pseudoarchaeology to an increasingly large audience. Shows like Ancient Aliens comes immediately to mind.

In this evocative roundtable discussion concepts such as aliens, giants, and Atlanteans will combine with the most visible archaeological sites around the world, and the romantic fantasies generated that often offers a wider appeal than the boring truth. Yet often, the ideas behind pseudo- archaeology hold racist and even dangerous ideas. This year’s roundtable brings together scholars who study this phenomenon to help explain not only the motivations behind these theories but also why they are so attractive to us.

IAIS is proud to be hosting this event online! There will be many discussions about different sites in the Americas, and research being done to uncover them in an effort to increasing access to a public looking for answers. The goal is to find innovative ways to share real archaeological research and to discuss the pitfalls of pseudoarchaeology.

Five Animals Announce Candidacy for Mayor of Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo

Five animal candidates are vying for the much sought-after title of Mayor of Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo. This important election will decide the Zoo’s first Mayor, the highest-ranking animal official who will showcase the important role of animal ambassadors. The five candidates who have made it past the primary rounds to the general election are:

· Peaches the Nigerian dwarf goat. Peaches is the mother of two sets of triplets and a set of twins. She has raised all the kids on her own, demonstrating her can-do spirit. She’s quiet and friendly unless she needs to assert herself and is rarely in a baaaaad mood.

· Wiggles the 18-year-old chinchilla. As a long-time animal ambassador and a veteran of ZooMobile visits to senior centers as well as starring roles at children’s birthday parties, Wiggles has the experience and know-how to get the job done. Plus this crepuscular rodent has very cute ears.

· Matilda the red-footed tortoise. Matilda is one of the quietest candidates, signaling her position on issues with head movements. Her campaign materials state that while she may not have lightning speed, she believes that slow and steady wins the race.

· Jolene the Whistling duck. Jolene is a born politician. Sociable, boisterous, and noisy, she has supported the rights of ducks who prefer to walk on land as well as those who prefer to perch in trees. She considers all ducks equal under the law.

· E.O. the Giant anteater. E.O., named for famed American biologist E.O. Wilson, shares Wilson’s love of science. A devoted father of two with his partner Pana, E.O. champions ambitious science-based agendas when not enjoying an insect slurry.

This highly contested race will be decided by online votes. The general public can vote for the candidate of their choice by making a one-dollar donation for each vote at https://CBZMayor.givesmart.com. Voting begins on Wednesday, October 21. Polls close at four p.m. on Tuesday, November 3.

“Similar to other elections taking place around the country, the race for Mayor of Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo is highly contested as each candidate attempts to win the support of voters,” said Zoo Director Gregg Dancho. “Unlike other elections, we encourage people to vote early, vote often, and stuff the ballot box.”The winning Mayor will hold a 12-month term. All donations to the ballot box will be used to support the Zoo’s mission of conservation, education, research and fun.

Ghosts of Ridgefield

Get ready for a spooktacular time at the Keeler Tavern’s guided walk on Friday, October 23 at 6 p.m. and Saturday, October 24 at 5 pm with Timothy Keeler!
On this guided walk of Timothy Keeler’s Haunt, visitors will meet some of the ghosts of Ridgefield’s past from across three centuries going back to its founding days in early 1700.

These ghosts came from all walks of life, some wealthy and influential, others from the fringes of society. But all left their mark on our town’s history and their stories live on forever. This is the time to hear their voices and meet them — in the flesh!

Dress warmly and wear appropriate shoes; we have uneven walkways. Your guide will carry a flashlight to lead the way. Parking is at the First Congregational Church, 103 Main Street, Ridgefield, CT 06877, across the street from our campus. Please exercise caution when crossing the street.

Check-in 5 minutes before the start of your tour at the Keeler Tavern Visitor Center, 152 Main Street, Ridgefield, CT 06877. The tour will last about 75 minutes. Restroom facilities are available only at the start of the tour.

Tours will start promptly. We will not be able to accommodate late arrivals.
Appropriate for families with children ages 7+.We will run this program unless torrential rainstorms ensue. The tickets are $10 and can be purchased by clicking here.

Two Outdoor Events @ Westport Historical Society

If you are a fan of spooktacular tales don’t miss the outdoor event at the Westport Historical Society on October 21 at 4 pm. The Legend of Sleepy Hollow will be resurrected for a special reading of this frightful tale about the headless horseman. Come and hear his famous story while socially distanced on the museum’s lawn.

Space is limited and masks at this event are required. Guests are encouraged to bring their own lawn chairs and blankets. The tickets are $10 per person and can be purchased by clicking here.

The annual lantern tour is scheduled for October 31 from 2 pm to 4 pm. Participants will creep through the cemetery virtually with their own lantern and pick up their goodie bag with tricks and treats. Tickets begin at $30, reservations are required, to register, click here.