34th Norwalk Seaport Association Oyster Festival Set for September 9-11

Fun for families and friends from nine to ninety, the 34th annual Norwalk Seaport Association Oyster Festival will be held this year from Friday, September 9 through Sunday, September 11.

Highlights include music from nationally known-bands such as Soul Asylum, Fuel, Silverado, Springsteen cover band, The Rising, as well as rides, cooking competitions, arts and crafts and a diverse assortment of attractions and entertainment that promise fun for festival goers.

The event is held at Veteran’s Park, adjacent to Norwalk Harbor on Seaview Avenue in Norwalk, CT. Admission for adults is $10 on Friday, $12 on Saturday and Sunday. Senior tickets are $10 all days. Children 5-12 year’s old are $3. Children under 5 and U.S. military personnel on active duty are free. Tickets can be purchased at http://www.seaport.org.

For the Kids
Children of all ages are wowed by Pirates Coast Adventure. Here, kids can meet real life pirates and look for booty in treasure hunts, hear storytelling and join in other fun-filled activities. The Kids’ Cove includes games, rides and entertainment. Another favorite activity is the work of a world-renowned sand sculptor that exhibit his talents with help from the kids! In addition, there will be an action-packed performance by Marvel Super Heroes. Sunday is Family Day with special family and children’s packages for entrance, rides and meals.

For the Whole Family
The festival offers a wide array of attractions the whole family will enjoy, including continuous entertainment by local musicians and national acts. The Go Greener Pavilion features hands-on demonstrations and displays with an environmental theme. Action sports and high energy combine in BMX and Motorcross Stunt Shows sponsored by f’real. A multitude of fine artists and crafters display whimsical as well as practical items that appeal to all tastes, budgets and ages.

For the Foodies
The BBQ Pit, endorsed by the New England Barbeque Society and the Kansas City Barbeque Society, offers finger-lickin’ good food, demonstrations and competitions, including the always-popular chowd
er and chili cook-offs. More great food from around the world is available at the International Food Court. This culinary fare is prepared by dozens of local nonprofit organizations allowing them to raise vital funds for their charitable causes. At the Oyster Pavilion, learn about Norwalk’s oystering history while watching slurping and shucking contests.

About the Norwalk Seaport Association
The Norwalk Seaport Association was founded in 1978 as a non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation, education and public awareness of Norwalk’s maritime environment and heritage. The Seaport Association and its volunteers are solely responsible for organizing and financing the Oyster Festival. In addition to the Oyster Festival, the Norwalk Seaport Association owns Sheffield Lighthouse and its volunteers maintain the lighthouse and grounds as a museum and nature preserve. For more information, visit http://www.seaport.org. or call (203) 838-9444.

Area Information:
For further information on Fairfield County and other area activities visit http://www.visitfairfieldcountyct.com or call 800-6631 for a free Fairfield County brochure.

A Riddle Wrapped In a Mystery at The Sherman Playhouse Sept. 9 – Oct. 1

The Sherman Playhouse will debut the classic mystery-drama, AN INSPECTOR CALLS, by J.B. Priestly on Friday, September 9 at 8:00 p.m. The play is scheduled for a four-week run.

AN INSPECTOR CALLS takes place in 1912 in an English industrial city, where a young girl commits suicide and an eminently respectable British family is subject to a routine inquiry in connection with the death. An inspector calls to interrogate the family, and during the course of his questioning, all members of the group are implicated lightly or deeply in the girl’s undoing. The family, closely knit and friendly at the beginning of the evening, is shown up quite differently by the night’s end in the play’s strange and mysterious conclusion.

“When the play is set, prior to World War I, big business and the upper-class – represented by the Birling family – run the world’s mightiest empire,” said director Laura Gilbert of New Milford. “And then the mysterious ‘Inspector’ shows up, a working-class girl is found dead, and that’s when the mysterious questions arise: Is the girl in all the characters’ confessions the same girl? Is there in fact a dead girl at all? And is the inspector really a policeman? The play just keeps you guessing.”

“The play is brilliant because it’s a political statement disguised as a melodramatic thriller,” said producer Katherine Almquist of Sharon, who also portrays Mrs. Sybil Birling. “The play opened in Moscow in 1945 at the end of World War II. And [playwright] Priestly was an avowed socialist. So there is definite social commentary here, but first and foremost it’s a classic drama that provokes audiences to leave the theater talking, and even more importantly, questioning.”

Along with Almquist, the cast features some of the region’s finest actors: David Fejes (New Fairfield), Quinn Uniacke (Sherman), Ben Grinberg (New Preston), Heather Mock (Danbury), and Robin Frome and Alex Echeverria (both New Milford).

In addition to producer/performer Almquist and director Gilbert (who also designed the set), the show’s crew includes lighting designer Peter Petrino, costumer Terry Hawley, and stage manager David Almquist.

AN INSPECTOR CALLS was first performed in 1945 in two Moscow theatres. The play had its first English production in 1946 at the New Theatre in London starring a young Alec Guinness. The play opened on Broadway at the Booth Theatre on October 21, 1947 and was also adapted into a 1954 film starring Alastair Sim as Inspector Goole. Variety called Priestly’s work “An engaging play…Its mood is sustained throughout, so that it is practically always interesting.”

AN INSPECTOR CALLS runs September 9,10 16,17,18 23,24 30 and October 1. Curtain time is 8:00 p.m. Fridays & Saturdays, with a 2:00 p.m. Sunday matinee on September 18. Tickets for all shows are $20 for general seating.

On Thursday, September 8, all patrons are invited to attend a “Half-Price Preview Night” at 8:00 p.m. where all tickets are only $10. Students may see any performance for only $10 if they pay in cash only at the door and carry a valid student ID. Students may not make reservations in advance for a performance. On September 9, an opening night party will be held after the show, complete with wine and hors d’oeuvres.

Reservations can be made online at http://www.shermanplayers.org or by calling the box office at (860) 354-3622. The Sherman Playhouse now accepts credit card payments both online and at the door.

The Sherman Playhouse is a local, non-Equity theatre company located on 5 Route 39 North (next to the firehouse) in Sherman, Conn.

Stamford Downtown Summer Restaurant Weeks Through Monday, September 5, 2011

It is back again this year — the Stamford Downtown Restaurant Weeks that runs through September 5th. This annual long awaited and popular three weeks of dining lets you experience lunch or dinner in Stamford Downtown at prix-fixe daily specials. What better way to enjoy your favorite restaurant or try a new one!

There are three tiers of restaurant pricing making sure that there is something for everyone’s budget. The restaurants range from Japanese to Mexican, fish to Italian and even burgers to name a few of the many evocative choices that will please even the most discriminating palate!

The Participating Restaurants

In the $10.11 lunch and $15.11 dinner tier you can dine at: Black Bear Saloon, *Grand Burger (dinner only), Kujaku Japanese Restaurant, Lola’s Mexican Kitchen (excludes Fri./Sat.), Lucky’s Classic Burger and Malt Shop, SBC Downtown Restaurant and Brewery, *Tiernan’s Bar and Restaurant, and Volta Gelateria Creperia.

Restaurants offering fare in the $12.11 lunch and $20.11 dinner tier are: Butterfield 8 Restaurant and Lounge, Capriccio Cafe (lunch only), Kotobuki Japanese Restaurant, Quattro Pazzi (excludes Fri./Sat.), Remo’s Brick Oven Pizza Company and Tengda Asian Bistro.

In the final tier dining establishments offering lunch at $20.11 and dinner at $30.11 include: *Aria Restaurant, *Barcelona Restaurant and Wine Bar, Bar Rosso (excludes Fri. & Sat.), *Capital Grill, Chez Jean Pierre (excludes Sun.), Columbus Park Trattoria, *Emme of Capri, EOS Greek Cuisine (excludes Fri./Sat.), Mitchell’s Fish Market, *Morton’s Steakhouse (Dinner only), Nappa and Co. (lunch only), Tappo Restaurant (excludes Fri./Sat.), and *ZAZA Italian Gastrobar (excludes Fri./Sat.).

To download PDF’s of the menus of the above restaurants visit: http://www.stamford-downtown.com.

Stamford’s Restaurant Weeks Don’t Forget the Kids!

In partnership with the Stamford Hospital, Stamford Tables will host KIDS’ FANS 5-2-1-0, a program designed to promote nutrition and fitness in Stamford. All children under the age of 12 will be offered a healthy lunch for $6.95 and dinner for $9.95 at all above listed restaurants except those with a *.

Popcorn and the Avon Theatre

A special highlight of Restaurants Weeks includes a fabulous offer by the Avon Theater. The first 3,000 patrons will receive a voucher for a free small popcorn with the purchase of a general admission ticket to the Avon Theatre on 272 Bedford Street. The voucher is valid through 9/30/2011. The Avon Theater is a member based non-profit Art Deco Theater that offers the best of independent, world and documentary films, foreign and Hollywood classics, and educational programming. For a list of events, please visit http://www.avontheatre.org.

Harwinton Antiques and Design Weekend Sept. 3 and 4

Summer is fleeting and so is your opportunity to score those great antique, vintage and decorative items at the Harwinton Antiques & Design Weekend.

This coming Labor Day Weekend, September 3rd & 4th, marks the second and final show of the 2011 Harwinton Antique& Design Weekend season. So, spend your holiday weekend treasure hunting at the charming Harwinton Fairgrounds, located in beautiful Litchfield Hills.

Shop from country’s leading style makers. Over 200 renowned vendors, in tented and indoor booths, will offer the unique design essentials that simply can’t be found at the mall. Whether you’re beginning a decorating project or looking for those perfect finishing touches, you’ll find great design inspiration as well as the very finest in antiques. Bring your friends and family, enjoy the great food and savor one of the last and best shopping experiences of the season.

The Harwinton Antiques & Design Weekend will be held September 3-4, on the Harwinton Fairgrounds- 150 Locust Rd, Harwinton, CT. Show hours will be Saturday 8 am – 5 pm and Sunday 10 am – 5 pm. Admission will be $10.00 with Saturday’s admission good for both days. For more information visit www. harwintonantiquesweekend.com.

Fine Fare, Friends & Fun in The Litchfield Hills at the 26 Annual Taste of The Litchfield Hills Sept. 3-5

Connecticut’s Oldest Food and Wine Festival Announces Menu for Labor Day Weekend.

From comfort food to gourmet dishes and from live entertainment to a shopping bazaar, you and your friends will enjoy a menu of fine fare and fun at the 26th Annual Taste of The Litchfield Hills.
Connecticut’s oldest food and wine festival will be held on Labor Day weekend, Sept. 3-5, 2011, at its new location, Ski Sundown, 126 Ratlum Road, New Hartford.

Each year, since 1985, the festival has attracted thousands of guests for a sampling of the region’s food and wine, plus upscale shopping and live entertainment.

This year’s menu will feature such dishes as Angus beef sliders, baked mac and cheese, cedar plank roasted salmon, corn and Maine blue crab fritters, cherry-smoked chicken, fried goat cheese salad, gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches, grilled pizza, Lao crispy egg rolls, lobster salad sliders, mesquite-smoked pulled pork, New England clam chowder, seared scallops & braised short ribs, sesame chicken, shrimps in a blanket and many other delicious delicacies.

Sweet offerings will include apple cider cinnamon donuts, banana & toffee pie, dessert crepes, fruit smoothies, New England kettle corn, pumpkin chiffon roulade and many other delectable desserts. Northwest Community Bank is sponsoring an Internet download link for the complete 2011 Menu at http://www.LitchfieldFestivals.com.

Foodies will enjoy “grazing-sized” portions of house specialties prepared by chefs from regional restaurants, bistros and other purveyors of fine food with prices ranging from $4.00 to $8.00 per item. Table seating will be available in the festival’s Culinary Tent, at outdoor picnic tables and inside the air-conditioned ski lodge. Plus, guests are invited to picnic on the grounds with their own lawn chairs and blankets.

Participating culinary vendors include Chatterley’s Restaurant (New Hartford); Backstage Restaurant (Torrington); Faddy’s Donuts & Ice Cream (Bloomfield); Farm Restaurant (Avon); The Foothills Delery (Pine Meadow); The Green Papaya (Canton); The Green Room (Winsted); Little Sister’s Grilled Cheese (New London); Indochine Pavilion (New Haven); Infinity Bistro (Norfolk); KJ’ Grilled Pizza (Torrington); Mustard’s Last Stand (New Hartford); Rocket Fine Street Foods (Torrington) and Summertime Sno-Balls (New Hartford).

The festival will offer wine by the glass from Litchfield Hills wineries, including Hopkins Vineyard (New Preston), Jerram Winery (New Hartford), Miranda Vineyard (Goshen), Sunset Meadow Vineyards (Goshen) and White Silo Winery (Sherman). Thomas Hooker draught beer, plus a variety of soft drinks will also be served.

New this year is the The Farmers Market which will showcase locally grown and raised foods. Barden Farm, Hayes Dairy, Marwin Farms and other family farms located in the Litchfield Hills will offer native fare to enjoy at the festival and to take home.

Live entertainment will include country singer-songwriter Courtney Drummey (Saturday, 1-4 p.m.), oldies band The Rockin’ Hearbeats (Saturday, 5-8 pm), jazz recording artists The Christine & Elliot Spero Duo (Sunday, 1-4 p.m.), blues artists The Andy James Band (Sunday, 5-8 p.m.) and jam band Flipper Dave (Monday, 1-4 p.m.).

Festival goers will also enjoy an upscale shopping experience in the festivals’ outdoor bazaar featuring such unique gift items as artisan-crafted jewelry, gourmet food products, kitchenware and other products and services.

Hours for A Taste of the Litchfield Hills will be 12 to 8 p.m. on Saturday & Sunday, Sept. 3 & 4, 2011, and 12 to 5 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 5, 2011. Ticket prices are Adult (age 12-64): $10 On-Site or $8 Advance Purchase; Senior (age 65+): $8 On-Site or $6 Advance Purchase; and Child (Under 12): Free admission. Advance tickets and more information is available at http://www.LitchfieldFestivals.com. Admission does not include food and beverage, which is purchased separately.

Ski Sundown is located at 126 Ratlum Hill in the charming riverside town of New Harford, Conn., just a few minutes from the intersection of Routes 44 & 219. This central location makes this Taste of Litchfield Hills Festival an easy day-trip from Albany, The Berkshires, Hartford, The Hudson Valley, Metro New York, New Haven and Springfield.

With its antique shops, art galleries, covered bridges and quaint villages, the Litchfield Hills is an ideal get away destination for this three-day holiday weekend. Lodging optionsin the Litchfield Hills include dozens of charming bed and breakfasts, cozy country inns, and world class resorts, hotels and motels.

For more information on where to stay and what to do visit: http://www.litchfieldhills.com

Rainforest Reptiles is at Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo for a limited engagement! Aug. 25- Aug. 28!

Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo concludes its summer programming schedule with Rainforest Reptiles, a dynamic, interactive, and educational show that is sure to engage and excite young and old alike. Rainforest Reptiles features over 200 exotic reptiles, ranging from iguanas, Burmese pythons, and boa constrictors to lizards, turtles, and American alligators. Visitors also will appreciate the Zoo’s newly renovated “Alligator Alley” exhibit, which is home to five new alligators.

Alligator Alley’s redesigned exhibit accommodates the five new alligators, all male, which reside there. A new deck has been constructed for the alligators, allowing visitors to better observe these reptiles as they go about their daily activities and feedings. A new roof now provides visitors with shading and protection from the elements, and the new audio system allows zookeepers to better interact with the audience. A higher plexi-glass wall prevents debris from easily falling in.

Alligators have been around longer than the dinosaurs, almost 65 million years, and are relatively unchanged in that time. Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo’s alligators are between the ages of four and five and are still small, the largest weighing approximately 55 lbs, while the smallest averages 30 lbs. They range from four to five feet long.

Known to grow continuously throughout their lives, these creatures are known to reach lengths of thirteen to twenty feet and weights from 400 to 2,000 pounds. They can bite down with 2,000 pounds of pressure with a mouth that contains 65 teeth. Formerly an endangered species, more than one million adult alligators live in the wild today, representing a conservation success story!

The Rainforest Reptile Shows are Thursday, August 25 – Sunday, August 28; the shows take place on Thursday & Friday at 11:00 am and 1:00 pm. On Saturday and Sunday the shows take place at 11:00 am, 1:00 pm, and 3:00 pm. All shows are FREE with paid admission to the Zoo!