See Future Olympians @ Salisbury’s JumpFest Feb. 3-5

This year marks the 97th year of Salisbury Connecticut’s annual Ski Jump Competition called Jumpfest where spectators can watch some of the finest potential Olympic hopefuls compete on Satre Hill, at 80 Indian Cave Road in Salisbury, CT. Even if you have no snow where you live, the organizers of this event make it; so get ready to experience a winter wonderland that has a lot of action!

“If you have never seen ski jumping live, you have never really witnessed this sport,” said Willie Hallihan, Association Director of SWSA (Salisbury Winter Sports Assoc.) “The hint of frost in the air, the cacophony of ringing cowbells, spectators cheering on their favorites, and the slap of skis as they hit the landing hill, make this event unforgettable.”

Jumpfest offers three days of heart-pounding excitement and competitions to watch. The tower stands 70 feet atop Satre Hill and jumpers perch on their bar 350 feet above the ground. As the flag is dropped they speed their way down the 300-foot run, picking up speed along the way. Imagine watching as jumpers soar up to 200 feet through the air at speeds of 50 miles an hour! There are only six ski jumping venues on the East Coast and, Salisbury is among the oldest. Satre Hill is also one of the most respected jump venues because of past hopefuls that have competed in the Olympics.

Jumpfest kicks off on Friday, February 3 at 7 p.m. with target jumping under the lights. This is an exciting warm-up for the events on Saturday and Sunday and a great time to spot your favorites and cheer them on. Target jumping is followed by a crowd favorite, the Human Dog Sled Race where teams of six compete in this madcap event for a variety of prizes. There are only a half dozen places in the country that host this event and most of them are pretty far from Connecticut making this spectacle of fun something not to be missed! If you want to compete contact info@jumpfest.org, the cost is $25 per team with proceeds going to the mission of SWSA, youth skiing programs.

On Saturday, February 4, the day begins at 9:30 a.m. with the Junior Competition on the 20-meter and 30 meter hills. It is thrilling to watch these young athletes that have trained so hard tackle the hills.

The Salisbury Invitational Ski Jumping Competition begins at 11 a.m. with practice jumps followed by the competition that begins at 1 p.m. Jumpers come from far and wide making it exciting to watch them demonstrate their strength, skill, and conditioning that makes them fly effortlessly through the air. At the conclusion of the competition, medals are awarded on the hill. They are the next generation of jumpers to watch.

To end the day on a high note, spectators are invited to attend the “Snowball” taking place at the Lakeville Town Grove at 42 Ethan Allen Street from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. There will be plenty of food and music by the Steve Dunn Band at this beautiful venue replete with a stone fireplace and chandeliers. Entry to the Snowball is $20 per person with children under 12 free.

On Sunday, February 5, the highly anticipated Eastern U.S. Ski Jumping Championships begins with practice jumps that run from 11 a.m. through noon. The long-awaited annual competition starts at 1 pm. At this event, there are often Olympic hopefuls competing. These expert jumpers seem fearless as they display the tremendous coordination, skill, balance, and strength that it takes to soar so far and so high in the air and, most importantly, to land smoothly. If you want to see some of the bravest athletes in sports just stand at the bottom of a ski jump and watch them soar. It is something that you will never forget because as most jumpers will tell you, it is the closest you get to flying…without wings or a parachute!

To add to the festivities there are food trucks, craft beer, hot toddies, and bonfires on all three days. Tickets are available at the gate and are $15 for adults on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Kids 12 and under are free all three days. Parking is free. The ski jump complex is located at Satre Hill on Indian Cave Road in Salisbury. Proceeds for Jumpfest fund the SWSA youth skiing programs. Before setting out check www.jumpfest.org for updates, scheduled changes, or more information or email the Association at info@jumpfest.org.

ABOUT SALISBURY WINTER SPORTS ASSOCIATION
In the winter of 1926, John Satre a resident of Salisbury jumped off the roof of his shed wearing skis to show his friends and neighbors a sport he learned in his native homeland of Norway. Town residents were so amazed as they watched Satre soar through the air that they decided to build a proper ski run that summer, and form the Salisbury Winter Sports Association. The Association hosted the first ski jump competition in January 1927. JumpFest has become a highly anticipated event in Connecticut and throughout much of the East Coast.

Make it a Beach Party to Remember! Sheffield Island @ the Beach July 23, 2022 With the Norwalk Seaport Association

Kick off your sandals, sink your toes in the sand, and grab a cold drink, listen to the music and the sound of the waves because summer 2022 is here. And, what better way to celebrate than with the Norwalk Seaport Association, right on beautiful Calf Pasture Beach in Norwalk. On Saturday, July 23, the Norwalk Seaport Association is hosting an in-person seaside celebration, Sheffield Island @ The Beach from 6:30 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Culinary Delights, Signature Drinks, Music & More!

The Seaport Association has whipped up a recipe for a night to remember! The festivities include delectable specialties from the land and sea by Ripkas Beach Café’s, Chef Clyde, highly esteemed for his culinary creativity. A highlight of Sheffield Island @ the beach will be a Raw Bar of fresh, local clams and oysters that can be washed down with signature cocktails like the Seaport Swizzle, beer, wine, a selection of soft drinks, and infused water.

The culinary delights don’t stop there! For example, delicacies that may be included on the menu for seafood lovers could be mini crab cakes, fried oysters, conch fritters, and, other delights to name a few. Meat lovers aren’t left out and might enjoy mini Cubano bites, coconut curry chicken sate, mini beef kebobs, and more. Vegetarians can indulge at the cheese, crudités, and tapenade tables as well as at the wood-fired pizza station. Many more tantalizing goodies will be served at this amazing beach party that is not to be missed!

Friends, Sunsets, & Laughter all for a Good Cause

A beautiful sunset, seeing friends, S’mores on the beach, fire pits, and music add to the convivial ambiance of this seaside celebration. The tickets @ $125 per person are on sale now and are limited to 125 people. Tickets are available online at seaport.org or by calling the Seaport Office at 203-838-9444, so get them today so you don’t miss out on the fun. Proceeds from this event will be used in the maintenance of Sheffield Island Lighthouse, Connecticut’s Maritime Icon.

About the Seaport Association
The Seaport Association in Norwalk was founded in 1978 by a group of local citizens who had the vision to revitalize South Norwalk and preserve Norwalk’s maritime heritage. The Seaport Association offers a cultural, environmental, and historical journey to the Norwalk Islands. The Sheffield Island Lighthouse and the Light Keeper’s Cottage provide a unique historical and educational venue that strives to increase awareness, appreciation, and consideration for the environment and how the preservation of historic buildings contributes to our quality of life. The combination of the Lighthouse and the Stewart B. McKinney National Wildlife Refuge offers an unparalleled opportunity to educate children of all ages and adults about the importance of preserving Long Island Sound, our environment, and our maritime heritage.

Bradley Airport New Transportation Center

Today, the Connecticut Airport Authority celebrated the anticipated opening of its Ground Transportation Center at Bradley International Airport with a ribbon-cutting ceremony. The new $210 million state-of-the-art facility is on track to open to the public in mid-July.

The key elements of the new Ground Transportation Center include:

Convenient Rental Car Services
The rental car operations for nine brands will be consolidated under one roof in this facility, including vehicle pick-up and drop-off, car storage, cleaning, and fueling. Passenger access is available within a short and sheltered walking distance from the main terminal, Terminal A. Passengers will no longer need to use a shuttle to access their rental cars.

Additional Public Parking
The facility will add 830 new public parking spots, increasing the airport’s parking availability by ten percent. More than half of those spaces will offer covered parking, and the remainder will be surface parking spots next to the facility. All new spots are within a short walking distance to Terminal A.

Improved Access to Public Transportation
In addition to housing charter bus traffic, the facility will also include a dedicated area that, in the future, will be used to receive high-frequency buses connecting the airport to the CTRail line, as well as regional bus services.

Lacrosse – More Than Just A Game New Exhibition @ Institute for American Indian Studies

Lacrosse was originally played by eastern Native Americans and Canada’s First People. The Institute for American Indian Studies located at 38 Curtis Road in Washington Connecticut has just opened a fascinating special exhibition, “More Than a Game: The Story of Lacrosse,” that will be on view at the Institute through August 2022.

This well-researched exhibition touches on a variety of subjects, many of which are unexpected in light of the game many of us know today. Some of the most interesting aspects of the exhibition relate to the spiritual importance of lacrosse and how it connects to creation stories, the way they settle differences, and its continued social and communal significance.

This exhibition also explores the appropriation of lacrosse by Euro-Americans and Canadians. In the 1860’s Dr. George Beers of Canada wrote the first standardized rulebook for lacrosse in an attempt to “civilize” the game. By the 1890s, Native American communities were banned from participating in national competitions. This part of the exhibition includes documentation in the form of newspaper clippings and images that depict the history of lacrosse in popular culture and how it was interpreted.

More Than a Game also highlights how traditional lacrosse sticks evolved in North America. Several lacrosse sticks on display showcase the three major styles of Native American lacrosse and demonstrate the different regional interpretations of the game.

This exhibit touches on the relationship between lacrosse and Native communities today. It delves into the saga of the Iroquois Nationals, the only Native American athletic team
permitted to compete in international competitions. Don’t miss the exhibition’s video that shows Native Americans making wooden sticks in the traditional way and relating why it is important to the future of their culture. This exhibit can be summed up by a quote by Rex Lyons, Onondaga, “Lacrosse is part of the story of our creation, of our identity, of who we are. So when we play the game, we always say that there’s a simultaneous game going on in the Sky World and our ancestors are playing with us.”

The Institute for American Indian Studies is open Wednesday – Sunday 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. and admission is $12 for adults, $8 for children 3-12, $10 for seniors, and members are free.

About Institute for American Indian Studies
Located on 15 acres of woodland acres the Institute For American Indian Studies preserves and educates through archeology, research, exhibitions, and programs. They have the 16th c. Algonquian Village, Award-Winning Wigwam Escape, and a museum with temporary and permanent displays of authentic artifacts from prehistory to the present that allows visitors to foster a new understanding of the world and the history and culture of Native Americans. The Institute for American Indian Studies is located on 38 Curtis Road, Washington, CT.

Learn How to Make Traditional Native American Bark Basket Workshop At Institute for American Indian Studies

Native Americans have created baskets for centuries. In fact, archeologists believe that basket-making is one of the oldest known crafts in the world. If you have always wanted to learn how to create a bark basket of your own, join this in-person workshop conducted by Jennifer Lee of Pequot and Narragansett ancestry on Sunday, June 5 at the Institute of American Indian Studies located on 38 Curtis Road in Washington, Connecticut. This four-hour workshop begins at 11 a.m. and has a break for lunch.

Join artist and educator Jennifer of Lee, Narragansett descent

About Native American Baskets

Baskets have been an integral part of Native American material culture for centuries. Native American baskets range from very simple to very elaborate. Often the art of basket making was passed down from generation to generation among Native American Indian mothers to their daughters. It is a skill that takes the place of pride among many Indigenous people today.

Bark baskets made by Eastern Woodland Indians were used for cooking, gathering berries, hauling water, storing food, as cradleboards, and even for burying the dead. Most often baskets were made from pine, ash, or birch bark that was harvested in the spring when the bark was most pliable. The bark was then folded into the desired shape and sewn with spruce root and rimmed with arrowwood or other natural materials.

White Pine Bark mokok with collar (4 ½H x 7W x 3D)

About the Workshop

Jennifer Lee is an 18th-century re-enactor and material culture presenter. Bark basket making is one of the programs that she offers. “I want my programs to dispel old stereotypes and increase awareness of present-day Native Americans,” says Lee.

Participants in this workshop will learn about the lore and tradition of basket making from Lee while creating their very own bark basket. A highlight is learning about how baskets were used in everyday life and their role in Native American communities today. Lee will guide participants through the process of creating a bark basket using white pine bark, spruce root, and willow. During the scheduled lunch break (please bring your own snack and non-alcoholic beverage) participants can wander through the museum for inspiration and brainstorm with others for ideas.

White Pine Bark mokok with collar (7H x 4W x 3D).

Participants can choose from three different basket designs that include a white pine bark wall pocket, and two sizes of a white pine bark mokok with collar. Whatever basket you choose to make, it is something unique to treasure at the end of the day.

Space is limited for this workshop that is expected to sell out, so sign up early. To participate, please register and pre-pay by June 2. The cost of participation, including all materials and tools, is $75 for members of the Institute and $85 for non-members. To register click here. If you have questions call (860) 868-0518 or email events@iaismuseum.org.

White Pine bark wall pocket, curved bottom (7H x 7W x 4D)

About the Institute for American Indian Studies

Located on 15 acres of woodland acres the Institute For American Indian Studies preserves and educates through archeology, research, exhibitions, and programs. They have a 16th c. Algonquian Village, Award-Winning Wigwam Escape, and a museum with temporary and permanent displays of authentic artifacts from prehistory to the present that allows visitors to foster a new understanding of the world and the history and culture of Native Americans. The Institute for American Indian Studies is located on 38 Curtis Road, Washington, CT.

Norwalk’s Sheffield Island Gets Ready For Summer 2022

Sheffield Island Lighthouse located off the coast of Norwalk has been renovated and maintained by the volunteers of the Seaport Association since 1978 so that summer visitors taking the Association’s ferry to the island can enjoy its’ unspoiled natural beauty. The outing to Sheffield Island is one of the most popular activities in Connecticut, not only because of the thrill of being out on the water but also for the chance to tour a historic lighthouse on the National Register and, explore a private island.

Expect a warm welcome on Sheffield Island

Seeing how beautifully maintained the island is, it begs the question, what goes into opening Sheffield Island for the season? The short answer is a lot! Linda Cappello, a long-time Trustee on the Executive Board has taken on the task of putting together a team of volunteers that get Sheffield Island ready for summer guests that take the Seaport’s ferry to it. “The first thing I do is visit the island prior to putting together a work party to see how the island and lighthouse have weathered the winter. I have to access if there are any particular concerns that need to be addressed in addition to the routine tasks that have to be accomplished each year before we open,” Cappello said. “I inspect the interior and exterior of the lighthouse and grounds to determine what tasks need immediate attention, as well as those that require eventual attention.”

On the initial trip to the Island, the work party spends about five hours cleaning the place up. Tasks like cutting up fallen limbs, painting picnic tables, cutting down all seagrass, and weeding the pathways are just some of the many things to do. Lighthouse tasks are a bit more challenging. All the windows, that were boarded up have to be uncovered, the gutters and downspouts have to be cleaned and checked for damage, the tower has to be checked, the lighthouse rooms have to be cleaned, and the furniture and displays polished and set -up for the season. The work party, consisting of 20 to 25 volunteers will go out to the island several times before Memorial Day Weekend in order to make sure everything is in tip-top shape.

Cleaning up the Brick Memorial Walkway in Front of the Lighthouse

When asked, why she organizes this seasonal pilgrimage, Cappello says, “It is my passion. I have cruised the waters of Long Island Sound and the Norwalk Islands for as long as I can remember. My father introduced me to the Sound when I was a child, and I have loved it ever since! If I could live on the Island I would! As for our volunteers, and we always welcome the help, just contact us. I think it offers them a unique opportunity for a good cause, especially if they have a love for Norwalk’s maritime history and Long Island Sound,” Cappello concluded. The work of course doesn’t end there. Throughout the summer season, the lighthouse has to be cleaned, the grass has to be mowed, and the shells along the pathways have to be maintained, along with a myriad of other tasks to keep Sheffield Island and Lighthouse welcoming for visitors.

This year, the Seaport Association is offering a sunset cruise on Thursday, May 26, Friday, May 27, Saturday, May 28, and Sunday, May 29 from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. A cruise to Sheffield Island is scheduled for Saturday, May 28, and Sunday, May 29 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Special bird cruises departing at 8 a.m. are scheduled for Sunday, May 15, and Saturday, May 28 and Sunday, May 29. Beginning in June sunset cruises will run from Wednesday to Sunday and three-hour cruises to Sheffield Island and Lighthouse will run on Saturday and Sunday. Starting June 28, cruises to Sheffield Island will run twice a day, Tuesday – Sunday at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. The vessel does not offer cruises on Mondays. For tickets and more information http://seaport.org.

Passengers are asked to arrive 30 minutes prior to departure. The vessel leaves from the Seaport Dock on 4 North Water Street in Norwalk. The dock is adjacent to the Stroffolino Bridge at the corner of Washington and Water Streets in South Norwalk. Parking is available at the adjacent lot or at the Maritime Center Parking Garage across the street from the dock. Tickets are available online in advance by clicking here.

Getting ready to welcome summer visitors

About the Norwalk Seaport Association
The Norwalk Seaport Association was founded in 1978 by a group of local citizens who had the vision to revitalize South Norwalk and preserve Norwalk’s maritime heritage. The Seaport Association offers a cultural, environmental, and historical journey to the Norwalk Islands. The Sheffield Island Lighthouse and the Light Keeper’s Cottage provide a unique historical and educational venue that strives to increase awareness, appreciation, and consideration for the environment and how the preservation of historic buildings contributes to our quality of life. The combination of the Lighthouse and the Stewart B. McKinney National Wildlife Refuge offers an unparalleled opportunity to educate children of all ages and adults about the importance of preserving Long Island Sound, our environment, and our maritime heritage.