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.

Ride a Vintage Train to Visit the Easter Bunny !

The Danbury Railway Museum is planning to greet the Easter Bunny once again this spring. The Easter Bunny will make his home in a authentically restored train car where he will greet young and old alike on special weekends this April!

To reach the Easter Bunny you will first enter the historic Danbury Railroad Station where you will board a vintage train that will take you on a fun filled ride through the historic railyard to the Easter Bunny. The short train ride in a fully-restored 1953 New Haven RR Rail Diesel Car (Budd RDC), will take visitors past the fully operational turntable, over 70 vintage railroad cars and locomotives, and many unique pieces of railroad history, including a Boston & Maine steam locomotive built in 1907. Of special note is the museum’s beautifully restored circa-1910 Railway Post Office (RPO) car that will also be open.

The train ride will stop at the Easter Bunny’s special railroad car. Each child will receive a small gift from the Bunny making this a great time for memorable photos that will be cherished though out the years.

An extra treat for those visiting the Easter Bunny are the exhibits inside the restored 1903 Danbury Station that include a coloring station, temporary tattoos, Thomas® play table, and operating model train layouts. A fully-stocked gift shop will also be open.

This popular annual family event will take place on Sunday, March 25; Saturday & Sunday, March 31 & April 1; and Friday & Saturday, April 6 & 7. Museum hours are 10:00-4:30 on Friday and Saturday; noon-4:30 on Sunday. Reservations are suggested and may be made by visiting the museum’s Web site at www.danburyrail.org.

The Danbury Railway Museum is a non-profit organization, staffed solely by volunteers, and is dedicated to the preservation of, and education about, railroad history. The museum is located in the restored 1903 Danbury Station and rail yard at 120 White Street, Danbury, CT. For further information, visit the Web site at www.danburyrail.org, email info@danburyrail.org, or call the museum at 203-778-8337.

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.

Bravo! A Century of Theatre in Fairfield County at the Fairfield Museum and History Center


Photo Caption: Katharine Hepburn as Portia in Merchant of Venice American Shakespeare Festival Theatre, Stratford. Photo Credit: Friedman-Abeles Courtesy, ASFTA Archives

When the curtain rises on Bravo! A Century of Theatre in Fairfield County, Fairfield Museum and History Center expects the crowds to be standing room only!

The six-month exhibition will begin with a special gala fundraising preview that will honor actor Christopher Plummer; playwright A.J. Gurney; director Mark Lamos; and costume designer Jane Greenwood on Saturday, September 24th at the Museum.

The honorary event chair is distinguished actor Joanne Woodward and the gala event chairs are Mary Jane Berrien, Lisa Callahan and Caroline Owens Crawford, all of Fairfield.

According to Director of Exhibitions and Programs for the Museum, Kathleen Bennewitz, Bravo! opens to the public on Sunday, September 25th and will run through Sunday, March 18th, 2012. “It will be the largest, first-of-a-kind exhibition the Museum has undertaken and will focus on the legacy of Fairfield County’s regional theatres, highlighting the Westport Country Playhouse, the White Barn Theatre and the American Shakespeare Festival Theatre and Academy,” she said.

Photo Caption: From left…Actors Maggie Lacey, Paul Newman and Ben Fox in the 2002 Westport Country Playhouse production of Our Town.

The Fairfield Museum and History Center is working in partnership with Martha S. LoMonaco, PhD, Professor of Visual and Performing Arts at Fairfield University, who is guest curating this exhibition. The Fairfield Museum has chosen this topic because Fairfield County holds a unique place in the history of American theatre and is rich with vibrant stories. “One of Connecticut’s important roles in the performing arts has been as an ‘incubator’ of emerging talent, providing a place where playwrights, actors and designers have had the freedom to experiment with groundbreaking ideas,” Bennewitz noted. “Over the past century, regional theatres have provided opportunities for internationally known artists to ‘try out’ their craft on a regional stage to allow audiences to experience the best in classical, popular and innovative dramatic art in a different setting outside New York. “Collectively, the productions have comprised a who’s who of stage artists like Katharine Hepburn, Alfred Drake, Morris Carnovsky, Paul Newman, Joanne Woodward, Christopher Plummer, James Earl Jones, June Havoc, Robert Ryan and Bert Lahr, to mention only a few.

Bravo! will offer visitors a unique opportunity to hear the fascinating stories behind those actors and some of their landmark performances,” Bennewitz added. Bennewitz explained that interactive stations will provide a window to “behind the scenes” stage production and a colorful array of costumes, props, photographs and manuscripts will combine to illustrate Fairfield County’s theatrical history.

Photo Caption: The internationally famous and glamorous producer, Lucille Lortel, popularly known as the “Queen of Off-Broadway”, opened the White Barn Theatre in 1947 on her Westport estate in a former horse barn.

The Museum will also offer a slate of public education programs, related to Bravo!, where visitors may participate in activities, presentations and performances at the Museum and at partnering institutions. These programs will provide the experience of live theatre while inspiring the artists and audiences of tomorrow.”Another of the very exciting aspects of Bravo! is the partnerships we have established with more than 60 performing arts organizations throughout Fairfield County that will co-promote the exhibition and its related educational programs and performances,” Bennewitz said. “These partnerships will help make the exhibition and their own performances appealing.”

For more information on Bravo! A Century of Theatre in Fairfield County, its programs and the opening gala, visit http://www.fairfieldhistory.org or call 203-259-1598.

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.