Trails of the Norwalk River Valley and Vicinity

The Norwalk River Watershed Association has launched “Trails of the Norwalk River Valley and Vicinity,” which includes hiking trail maps of the entire watershed region, including Norwalk, Wilton, Ridgefield, Weston and Redding.

Both the map and David Park’s “Kayaking In and Around the Norwalk Islands” book are available through the NRWA website at http://norwalkriver.org/. Proceeds from each purchase go toward funding NRWA efforts to protect the Norwalk River watershed.

The map is available in paper for $5 and in water-resistant outdoor quality for $8 (100% of proceeds support NRWA). The book is available for $10 (40% of proceeds go to NRWA).

The maps were produced by NRWA and printed with funds from a grant from Norwalk outdoor gear and apparel store Recreational Equipment Inc. (REI). The map charts existing and proposed trails from Calf Pasture Beach in Norwalk north to Danbury throughout the watershed and surrounding vicinity.

Kayaking in and around the Norwalk Islands by NRWA board member and kayak enthusiast, David Park, is packed with superb information on kayaking the Norwalk area.

The Norwalk Islands, located one mile off shore, include islands open to the public for camping and exploring, a few being part of the Stewart McKinney Wildlife Refuge. The guidebook, complete with color photos, includes information on three local rivers, complete descriptions of all the islands including local wildlife, history, and points of interest such as the Historic Sheffield Island Lighthouse and other Norwalk lighthouses as well as other useful tidbits such as where to launch, coastal and off-shore paddling information, and safety guidelines.

For information on free programs, research, volunteer opportunities, and membership, contact http://www.norwalkriver.org.

About the Norwalk Watershed Association

The Norwalk River Watershed Association, incorporated in 1996, is a not-for-profit membership organization whose mission is to improve the water quality and aesthetic value of the 40,000-acre Norwalk River watershed; to encourage recreational use of the existing trails and open space; and to promote research, education, cooperation, and action on the part of the stakeholders in the seven watershed towns in CT (Ridgefield, Redding, Wilton, New Canaan, Weston, and Norwalk) and NY (Lewisboro).

New Milford Connecticut Village Fair Days Set for July 25th and 26 in Litchfield Hills

The center of New Milford located in the scenic Litchfield Hills is noted for it’s long traditional village green laid out in 1872. Here you will find monuments from past wars as well as a bandstand, first built in 1891 that is a symbol of New Milford’s sense of community.

You can also explore many exceptional galleries, boutiques, restaurants and antique shops that are clustered in the heart of this village. Many are located in beautifully restored 18th and 19th century homes and buildings. Town Hall, facing the Green, marks the home of one of New Milford’s most illustrious citizens, Roger Sherman, the only Connecticut man whose signature is on all key documents of the founding of this nation.

On July 25 and July 26, 2014 the New Milford Green becomes a hive of activity with the many activities and family fun offered up at the 47th Annual New Milford Village Fair Days.

This is the largest annual event in New Milford. Hundreds of vendors including local businesses, organizations, church groups and clubs exhibit their unique offerings. If you like crafts, you won’t be disappointed as many skillful crafters offer their wares along with antique dealers that offer a variety of sought-after antiques.

Food is a big element of any Fair and New Milford’s food vendors won’t disappoint. There is even a dining tent and two days of entertainment that add to the festivities. Participants in this year’s food court include: New Milford Rotary Club, Water Witch Hose Co 2, The Cookhouse, CC’s Spiral Potatoes, Crab Cakes & Coconut Shrimp, Alfredo’s/Colosseo Restaurants, New Milford Lions Club, Thomas’s Ice Cream Truck, American Pie Company, Greek Isle and Primos Deli.

New Milford Village Fair Days

Exploring the south Green you will find a variety of businesses, organizations, church groups and clubs, while the north Green hosts master crafters and sought-after antiques. Food vendors can be found in the mid-section of the Green where fair goers, will find everything from tasty snacks to a wonderful meal that can be enjoyed in the large sit-down dining area.

The Fair opens at 10:00 am and closes at 10:00 PM on July 25th. Among the many highlights on the 29th are the tour of town hall at 2:30 p.m., a performance by Theatre Works from 1:45 p.m. – 2 :15 p.m., historic walking tours at 4 p.m., a Children’s Fun Run at 6:00 PM and music by Higher and Higher from 7 p.m. – 10 p.m..

On Saturday, July 26 the Fair opens at 9:00 am and closes at 10:00 PM. Highlights on the 30th include: the 47th Annual 8 Mile Road Race & 12th Annual Fair Days 5K at 9:00 am, and Old Fashion Pie eating contest from 2 p.m. – 2:45, historic tours at 2:30 and 4 PM and Steppin Out with Curtis T band from 7 p.m. – 10 p.m.

For further information, please contact the Chamber of Commerce at 860.354.6080 or visit http://www.newmilford-chamber.com for up to the minute information.

Ready for Halloween? A Haunting at Mill Hill in Norwalk October 15 and 22

As the sun sets, on Mill Hill in Norwalk, the spirits come out to play. Take a lantern-light tour through the historic Mill Hill graveyard and hear chilling tales from the spirits of Norwalk’s past on Saturdays, October 15 and 22 (rain or shine). Tours are scheduled at 5:30 p.m., 7:00 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. Each tour will be followed by refreshments in the old one-room schoolhouse. This pre-Halloween event is organized by the Norwalk Historical Society.

During “A Haunting at Mill Hill,” participants will hear stories of murder, death, destruction and more while they meet renegade Tory Easias Bouton, Chester, the haunted Civil War statue, and other entities from Norwalk’s colorful history. The cemetery is located at 2 East Wall Street, Norwalk, CT 06851.

Space for each tour is limited so reservations are recommended (203-846-0525). Advance tickets are $10 for adults/teens and $6 for children ages 8-12 (not recommended for children younger than 8). Tickets at the door are $12 for adults/teens and $8 for children. There is a $2 discount for Norwalk Historical Society members. For more information visit http://norwalkhistoricalsociety.org.

About Mill Hill Historic Park

The Mill Hill Historic Park consists of three historical buildings and the third oldest Burying Ground in Norwalk.

The Burying Ground on Mill Hill dates to 1767 and was originally called Whitney’s Hill after a miller that opened a mill on the site. A list of those buried in the Mill Hill Burying Ground was recorded in 1924 and consisted of the names on the headstones that were clearly readable. Not all that are buried on Mill Hill are accounted for because in the Colonial Period less than a third of the burials were marked with an inscribed headstone. Some of the time, a simple rock was used.

Several notable buildings are located on the grounds of the Mill Hill complex. The federally styled brick Norwalk Town House dates to 1835 and served a multiple of purposes over the years as a gathering place for special groups.

The Law Office of Governor Fitch is also on the grounds. Thomas Fitch was Governor of the Colony of Connecticut from 1754 to 1766. Restored in 1971, the small colonial style building I saw on the grounds was reconstructed as a colonial law office. Originally, it was part of the kitchen wing of Governor Fitch’s house. I was told that it was the only portion of the house that survived the burning of Norwalk by the British on July 11, 1779. The house that stands on Mill Hill today, was once located in East Norwalk. It was moved in 1956 because it was in the construction path of the Interstate 95.

The red-clapboarded building known as the Downtown District School House is also located in the complex and was built in 1826. The building was used as a school until 1871. The British destroyed the original school, and the present schoolhouse was built on the lines of the first utilizing its original foundation.

Norwalk Seaport Association Stages Murder Mystery to Preserve Historic Sheffield Island Lighthouse October 21!


Who done it? Find out as Norwalk Seaport Association (NSA) hosts a murder mystery dinner, “Double Trouble,” to benefit Sheffield Island lighthouse. The event will be held at the Norwalk Inn and Conference Center on Friday, Oct. 21, at 7 p.m., and includes hors d’oeuvres and dinner while guests solve an exciting and entertaining mystery.

“It’s great fun to stage this murder mystery in support of our ongoing efforts to demystify the historic beauty and magnificence of our Sheffield Island lighthouse,” said Tom Shrum, president of the non-profit, volunteer-run NSA. “There’s no better way for southern Connecticut residents to show our pride in our local maritime heritage.”

This is the second event this year to benefit the lighthouse. In March, a sold-out crowd at NSA’s Light Keeper’s Gala collectively donated a record $49,000 for the environmental organization’s stewardship of the lighthouse.

Reservations to the murder mystery are required. Tickets are $75 per person for Seaport Association members and $85 for non-members, and can be purchased online at www.seaport.org.

About Norwalk Seaport Association

Norwalk Seaport Association was established in 1978 and stewards the Sheffield Island lighthouse, which celebrates 142 years as the jewel in Long Island Sound. During the summer, its C.J Toth ferryboat takes visitors to Sheffield Island for tours of the historic lighthouse, special events and enjoyment of a walking trail through the Stewart B. McKinney Wildlife Refuge.

NSA provides environmental education programs that use Sheffield Island and offers diverse special events and community projects, including the annual NSA Oyster Festival, now in its 34th year. This event attracts up to 50,000 people during three days in early September and provides $200,000 in fundraising opportunities for more than 20 other local non-profit organizations. In addition, the Seaport Association helped create Norwalk’s Coastal Area Management Plan; establish the Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk; and revitalize historic South Norwalk.

More information can be found at www.seaport.org.

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.

New Milford CT – TheatreWorks Opens Play With Help From Family of Legendary Actress Lynn Redgrave Through Oct. 8th

TheatreWorks New Milford is presenting legendary actress Lynn Redgrave’s playwriting debut, SHAKESPEARE FOR MY FATHER, with assistance from her immediate family: son Ben Clark, daughter Annabel Clark, and Mr. Clark’s wife, Neva.

SHAKESPEARE FOR MY FATHER runs September 23, 24 & 30, October 1&2, 7 & 8. Curtain time is 8:00 p.m. Fridays & Saturdays, with a 2:00 p.m. Sunday matinee on October 2. Tickets for all shows are $20 for reserved seating. On Thursday, September 15, senior citizens are invited to a free dress rehearsal at 8:00 p.m. Thursday, September 22 at 8:00 p.m., is TheatreWorks’ Pay-What-You-Want night. At this performance, you name the price for your ticket.

Lynn Redgrave, who passed away last year, had been acting on both stage and screen since the 1950s prior to writing SHAKESPEARE FOR MY FATHER in 1993. This autobiographical one-woman tale of Ms. Redgrave’s memories has been crafted into a complex, funny, and moving portrait of a child’s longing for the love of Sir Michael Redgrave – the inscrutable, daunting, and charismatic Shakespearean actor who was her father. Acclaimed in America and the UK, SHAKESPEARE FOR MY FATHER weaves scenes from the Bard that delightfully fuse with events in Ms. Redgrave’s young life, eliciting memories of Sir Michael and engaging impressions of the celebrated stars who frequented the Redgrave’s home and lives.

The play’s director, Jane Farnol of Gaylordsville, had become well-acquainted with the renowned actress over the past few years as they had several things in common. “We both lived in Kent , Connecticut at the time, we’re both English, and she adored my Mum,” Farnol said. “I recall a time when Lynn and I went to see ‘Guys and Dolls’ at New Milford High School and she leaned over to me and said, ‘This was Dad’s favorite song.’ It fascinates me, because here we are mounting the first play she ever wrote, and Susan Pettibone, who’s doing an outstanding job portraying Lynn , speaks of Sir Michael Redgrave’s love of American Musicals in the play. I get goose bumps thinking about it.”

“When I first knew I was going to be playing Lynn Redgrave, I was very nervous and considered it a daunting task,” said actress Susan Pettibone of New Milford . “What’s made it so incredibly special is working with Jane [Farnol]…she has such insight and is such a wonderful director, plus she knew Lynn personally. So needless to say, I was honored she chose me for this part. The more I delve into the character of Ms. Redgrave, my respect for Lynn as a person and an actress reaches new heights. It’s been a very moving experience.”

Ms. Redgrave’s children have retrieved vintage photographs of the Redgrave family for the production. Also, the Clark/Redgrave family provided TheatreWorks with the original chair that Ms. Redgrave herself used on Broadway along with the show’s original music that was used when her play debuted there in 1993.

“The whole family has been ever so supportive,” Farnol said. “We had initially played around with lots of different ideas on how to execute Lynn ‘s story…and the family was fine with that. But in the end I told Ben [ Clark ] we’d gone back to his Mum’s basic wonderful play. We’re so proud to be producing her show in her memory. Lynn impacted so many people’s lives, including mine.”

In addition to Ms. Farnol and Ms. Pettibone, who both designed the show’s set, the show’s crew includes producer and lighting designer Richard Pettibone, sound designer Tom Libonate, and stage manager Sonnie Osborne.

Reservations can be made online at http://www.theatreworks.us or by calling the box office at (860) 350-6863.

TheatreWorks is an award-winning, regional theatre company located on 5 Brookside Avenue , just off Route 202 (next to the CVS), in New Milford, Connecticut.