New Canaan Nature Center’s 42nd Annual Fall Fair October 15

The crisp days of autumn are here! It is a glorious time of year in Connecticut when families can enjoy traditional fairs and festivals amidst a backdrop of orange, scarlet and gold leaves.

The New Canaan Nature Center’s 42 annual Fall Fair is chock full of traditional fall fair activities that will please young and old alike. Visitors to the Fair will enjoy pony rides, a “haunted” woodland trail, apple slingshots, nature-based crafts, a hay maze, cupcake and pumpkin decorating, and fire engine rides on New Canaan’s antique fire engine, Old Faithful. The giant bungee jump, one of last year’s most popular attractions will also be back along with the “Kids On The Go” obstacle course and other inflatable rides.


The Fall Fair will feature a wide range of entertainment throughout the day. The Moses Brothers band will entertain families with a live performance of their blues/bluegrass/rock music from 11a.m. – 3 p.m. The 4th Annual Apple Pie Eating contest will begin at 3 p.m. with categories for youth and adults. There is an entry fee ($5 for youth and $15 for adults) and prizes will be awarded. Other live shows include birds of prey demonstrations, shadow puppet shows and story readings between 10:30am – 2:30pm.

New this year will be an “Eco-Village” where attendees can learn about the latest products, services and businesses to help green their home, family and life. Participating Eco-Village sponsors/exhibitors include Alteris Renewables, BPC Green Builders, Going Green Landscape Lighting, Graze Delivered, Sunlight Solar Energy Inc. and Vinylume Inc. Renewal by Andersen.

A wide range of fresh foods will be available to purchase throughout the day, including grilled hot dogs, pulled pork and vegetarian sandwiches, pizza, hot soup and hot and cold beverages. A variety of homemade baked goods will be for sale courtesy of Nature Center volunteers.

Admission to the Fall Fair is free and parking is available at St. Mark’s and the First Presbyterian Church. Tickets can be purchased for $1 each for the activities and food, which range from 1-7 tickets.

About the New Canaan Nature Center

The New Canaan Nature Center is a not-for-profit organization that is an environmental education center and sanctuary dedicated to helping people of all ages better understand, appreciate and care for the world of nature. The annual Fall Fair helps raise funds to maintain and offer this community treasure admission-free to residents of New Canaan and the surrounding area throughout the year. For more information about the Fall Fair visit www.NewCanaanNature.org of call (203) 966-9577.

HawkWatch and Hawkwatch Festival & Green Bazaar at Greenwich Audubon Through Nov. 20

Each autumn, 17 species of hawks, eagles and vultures migrate southwest over Quaker Ridge’s scenic hilltops in northern Greenwich.

The fields are one of the highest locations in town and the sweeping views are an excellent vantage point for spotting birds. On clear days in September when winds are from the North, birders may count a few thousand broad-winged hawks as they swirl in ‘kettles’ before heading South along migration routes.

In the late 1960’s, birders searched Fairfield County for the best sites where large numbers of migrating raptors could be observed. Over several years, more than a dozen sites were tested on weekends and in the end, it was determined that the Quaker Ridge Hawk Watch at Audubon Greenwich, was the best site in the area.

Ever since 1972, migrating hawks have been officially counted as they pass over Quaker Ridge (a.k.a. Hawk Watch Lawn). As part of the network of hawk watch locations nationwide, the Greenwich Audubon Society hired a full-time hawk watcher in 1985.The Official Hawk Counter staffs the site 9:00 am-5:00 pm, Monday-Friday, from August 20-November 20, each year.

On weekends, volunteer counters help to staff the site. Anyone is welcome to volunteer to become a counter at the Audubon’s Hawk Watch. The more eyes the better because the seasonal counts average 18,000 raptors. You don’t need to be able to identify the hawks. Greenwich Audubon simply needs eyes watching the skies! In fact, some of the best spotters are beginners that know very little about identification. Volunteers count and record the data and then, researchers can try to gauge the health of Northeastern raptor populations.

Visitors are encouraged to visit the Greenwich Audubon Center during this exciting time of year and to ask questions, talk with volunteers, and enjoy counting eagles, hawks, and falcons from Hawk Watch Lawn.

For detailed data about raptor sightings at Greenwich, visit http://www.hawkcount.org.

Hawkwatch Festival & Green Bazaar October 1 & 2

Coming up on October 1 & 2, at the peak of the migration spectacle, Greenwich Audubon will host the ‘HawkWatch Weekend Festival & Green Bazaar’ that will feature two days of live birds of prey and animal shows, hands-on nature education, bird workshops, activities for kids, eco-shopping, food, and more! Festival is Rain or Shine from 11 am-5 pm. Admission is $7 for youth/$10 for adults (New or current Audubon Members: $5 for youth / $7 for adults). $35 National Audubon Society family memberships will be available at the Festival Gate.

For more information visit http://greenwich.audubon.org. To learn more about exhibiting or the schedule, call Jeff Cordulack at 203-869-5272 x239.

About the Audubon Center at Audubon Greenwich

The Audubon Center in Greenwich opened in 1942 as the National Audubon Society’s first environmental education center in the United States on land donated by Eleanor Clovis Reese and H. Hall Clovis. The 295-acre sanctuary has approximately seven miles of trails that lead to a hardwood forest, old fields, lake, streams and vernal ponds. Reminders of the past are the stone walks, an old apple orchard and original New England homestead buildings. Audubon Greenwich’s main sanctuary is the site located at 613 Riversville Road, which is comprised of 285 acres, with 7 miles of walking trails. There you will find the Kimberlin Nature Education Center building with exhibits, staff offices and classrooms. The Center contains the Hilfiger Children’s Learning Center with hands-on nature activities and interpretive natural history exhibits, the Kiernan Hall Nature Art Gallery, a Wildlife Viewing Window and honey bee hive exhibit, a Nature Gift Store: books, binoculars, birdfeeders, gifts. The Kimberlin Center is also available for event rentals and children’s parties. Audubon Greenwich is comprised of 11 other sanctuaries totaling 686 acres of woodlands, meadows, and wetlands, and 15 additional miles of hiking trails.

Ride Your Harley, Stay For Charlie Palace Hosts First Ever Motorcycle Ride Fundraiser Oct. 15


Rev up your hog and join the Palace Theater for its first ever motorcycle ride on Saturday, October 15, at 1:00pm. The event will serve as a fundraiser for the theater’s Ticket and Travel Subsidy Fund, a program that provides children with access to experience live, educational theater programs at the Palace.

Registration for the ride is from 1:00pm – 2:00pm at the theater, which is located at 100 East Main Street in Waterbury. At 2:00pm, riders will begin a scenic drive that will take them North through the Litchfield Hills, loop through Woodbury and Middlebury, and conclude at the theater where a street festival will be getting under way.

The festival will take place from 4:00pm – 7:30pm, and will feature local vendors, food, drawings and musical entertainment by Crosseyed Cat, Eran Troy Danner and Jimmy Jack. Both sides of East Main Street will be closed for the event, which is open to the public and supported by Main Street Waterbury, Spirit of Waterbury, and the Arts & Culture Collaboration Waterbury Region. Both the motorcycle ride and street festival will take place rain or shine.

For those who wish for the fun to continue, the Palace will end the day with a performance by “Easy Rider” himself, Charlie Daniels, who will perform with his band on the theater’s stage at 8:00pm. Tickets for the concert, which is sponsored by Naugatuck Savings Bank, Darter Specialties, and WTNH/MyTV9, are on sale now and can be purchase by phone at 203-346-2000, online at http://www.palacetheaterct.org, or in person at the box office.

Registration for the motorcycle run is $25 per rider and $15 per passengers. A special package for riders who want to attend the Charlie Daniels Band performance is also available for $55. To pre-register, or for more information, call the box office at 203-346-2000.

Halloween in Litchfield Hills CT

Find accurate life-size figures at this seasonal museum written up in Believe it or Not!

FEARSOME OR FRIENDLY, FUN FILLS THE
LITCHFIELD HILLS FOR HALLOWEEN

Dracula, Frankenstein and other heroes of the horrors will be on hand, while spooks and spiders, ghouls and goblins will abound in haunted graveyards. The Litchfield Hills of Northwestern Connecticut will be filled with unique ways to celebrate Halloween throughout the month of October.  Families can choose from fearsome to friendly, with many chances for younger children to don their costumes and parade in happy small town celebrations.

Scary Scenarios

For chills, make haste to the Haunted Graveyard at Lake Compounce Family Theme Park in Bristol, which has been called “The granddaddy of the horrifically good time.”  An unholy order of monks keep watch over the graves in the dark caverns of the Catacombs here and a dark and misty fog envelops the graveyard where zombies and night stalkers have wakened from the dead.  Some are real, others are amazing animatronic creations made by The Haunted Graveyard’s crazed staff.  Recommended for adults, teens and very brave children, the park opens at dusk weekends from October 1 to 31, and runs to midnight on Fridays and Saturdays, to 10 p.m. on Sundays.  Lake Compounce will also be operating 17 thrill rides including Boulder Dash, Downtime, and Thunder and Lightning.  Proceeds will benefit the American Diabetes Associations. (www.lakecompounce.com)

This will be the 44th year for the annual Witches Dungeon Halloween Classic Movies Museum in Bristol.  The Graveyard Of Classic Ghouls sets the atmosphere as you enter the dungeon where accurate life-size figures of Boris Karloff, Vincent Price, Lon Chaney, Bela Lugosi, and others are featured in 13 scenes or dioramas based on the vintage movie chillers.  Many of the figures are made from the actual life casts of the actor’s faces, plus some original costumes or props, in a wax museum style setting with special voice tracks by Vincent Price, Mark Hamill, and John Agar.  Many Hollywood props are on display and vintage films may be shown outdoors, weather permitting.  Hours are Friday through Sunday evenings, 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m., October 1 to 24. The Museum is not recommended for children under age 7. (www.preservehollywood.com)

Historic Happenings

At the historic Glebe House Museum in Woodbury on Saturday, October 23 costumed spirits will lead the way through the Ancient Burying grounds, where 20 of Woodbury’s most famous and infamous ‘spirits’ await at their gravesites to relate tales from the darker side of 18th and 19th century Woodbury.  There will be a spooky candlelit tour in the museum itself and stories and tales from Moll Cramer, the Witch of Woodbury, told in the Museum cottage.  Madame Suzolo will be offering Tarot Card readings and there will be free fall refreshments for all.  The Hollow will be closed to traffic and the area, including the walk to and through the cemetery will be lit with over 200 luminaries.  Hours are 5 pm to 9 p.m. (203-263-2855; http://www.theglebehouse.org).

The night of October 23 also brings the annual night Haunted Trail Walk from 6 to 10 p.m. at The Institute for American Indian Studies Museum and Research Center in Washington.  The Institute promises spiders, ghosts, goblins and monsters spooking the half-mile walk, which ends at the museum’s Indian village where apple cider and marshmallows roasted over the campfire await. (860-868-0518; http://www.birdstone.org).

For the first time, the Railroad Museum of New England in Thomaston is scheduling Halloween Weekend train rides on its vintage trains on Saturday, Oct. 30 and Sunday, Oct. 31.  The 20-mile round-trip ride runs along the Mattatuck State Forest to the Brass Mills of Waterbury and back to the spectacular Thomaston Dam.  Check for further details on Halloween Weekend happenings. (860-283-RAIL; http://www.rmne.org).

Small Town Fun—for Free!!

Everyone is invited to join the Naugatuck Park and Recreation Department and Connecticut Signcraft at the “Children’s Halloween Village” at Naugatuck Park on 258 Rubber Ave., the weekend of October. 22-24th, and the following Thursday to Saturday October 28-30.  Children can have their photos taken with costumed Halloween characters.  Kurt Beckley from Balloon Benders will be creating balloon sculptures on Saturday, Oct. 23rd and Friday, Oct. 29th.  Hours are 5:30-7:30 p.m.  Cocoa, coffee and cider will be served. The only admission is a non-perishable donation for the food bank.

The 18th Annual Halloween on the Green in Danbury will take place on Saturday, October 30 from 2 pm to 4pm with a Costume Parade scheduled for 3:30 pm.  Prizes will be awarded for Most Original, Scariest, Cutest and Funniest get-ups.  Children will have their own costume parade and games and get to decorate a pumpkin.  (203-792-1711; http://www.citycenterdanbury.com).

The Big Day

Two special events will mark Halloween day in Bristol. The town’s free Halloween Carnival and Costume Parade for boys and girls up to 5th grade will take place on October 31, from noon to 3 p.m at Rockwell Park.  The parade begins at noon and Amazing Andy’s Magic Show follows.  Carnival games, arts and crafts, Big Daddy’s Racing, an old fashioned photo booth, Twinkles and Jingles the clowns and Train Rides are also on the agenda.  Each child will receive a free reflective trick or treat bag. (860-584-6160)

On October 31,beginning at 4:30 pm, the annual Halloween Costume Party for Children will go on at the New England Carousel Museum in Bristol, with the costume contest scheduled for 5 p.m. Ghoulish games and fun are promised, along with a crazy costume contest and what is billed as “frightening foods.”  Kids are free, but adults are asked to contribute $1.

Finally, anyone who is in the area on Halloween night is invited to join the Safe Halloween fun at the Terryville Fairgrounds in Terryville from 6pm to 9pm.  Sponsored by the Terryville Lion’s Club, it will feature hayrides, games, food and treats.  All you need to participate is a non-perishable food item for the Plymouth Food Pantry.

For more information about Halloween happenings and other fall events and a free copy of UNWIND, a 112-page color guide to lodging, dining and all the attractions in Western Connecticut, contact the Western Connecticut Visitors Bureau, PO Box 968, Litchfield, CT 06759, (860) 567-4506, http://www.visitwesternct.com.