Learn How to Make Native American Leather Pouches @ Institute for American Indian Studies

A Sunday afternoon is the ideal time to learn how to make your own leather Native American style pouch on October 17 @ the Institute for American Indian Studies. This in-person small group workshop has been organized in one-hour time slots from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Under the guidance of the museum’s Education Department, you’ll learn how Native Americans used leather for clothing, pouches, bags, and other items of daily life.

Native Americans historically used leather pouches to carry many of life’s necessities. Pouches were made from a variety of materials, some were woven, and others were made from the hides of different animals, most commonly deer.

Sign up for a workshop that is both educational and engaging, as you learn how to make your very own unique and practical leather pouch that you can decorate with buttons, stones, and shells. After you have completed your project, you may find that you have a newfound appreciation for the artistry that went into making some of the artifacts in the museum’s collections.

Sign up with your friends and family to reserve a timeslot by clicking here. For questions call 860-868-0518 or email general@iaismuseum.org. The cost of participation including materials is $25 per person for non- members and $20 for members.

About the Institute for American Indian Studies
The Institute for American Indian Studies preserves and educates through discovery and creativity the diverse traditions, vitality, and knowledge of Native American cultures. Located on 15 acres of woodland IAIS is home to permanent and temporary exhibits, nature trails, and a replicated 16th century Replicated Algonkian village. During the school year, over 7,000 school-age children visit for hands-on programs to learn about the Indigenous people who have called Connecticut home for thousands of years.

Institute for American Indian Studies Modified Summer Camp June 26-August 7, 2020

We all know that this summer will be different. We also know that it is important for children to get out of the house and be engaged socially, mentally, and safely. With that in mind, the Institute for American Indian Studies located on 38 Curtis Road in Washington, Connecticut announced that they are opening a modified summer camp program of weekly themed outdoor fun and education that follows strict state guidelines. The Summer Camp is available one week at a time, Monday- Friday, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m., from June 26 through August 7. The programs are geared for children ages 6-13. “We decided to offer our camp programs because we feel it can be a gateway back to normalcy for children. We expect these experiences will help our young campers face new challenges with resilience,” Chris Combs, Executive Director said.

There are so many benefits to sending children to summer camp, especially this summer. It gives children the chance to develop confidence and get unplugged; it allows them to make new friends, experience the great outdoors, and to explore new interests while learning at the same time. “This year, parents can definitely expect to see safety as the first and foremost focus at our camp, Chris Combs, Executive Director said. “ For all of our staff, the health and safety of our campers is paramount. All camp activities will be held outdoors and there will be regular sanitizing, social distancing, and smaller group activities as well as staggered arrivals and pick-ups, all in accordance with guidance issued by various state and federal agencies,” Combs continued. For more information, registration and protocols click here

Camp Director Gabriel Benjamin and Assistant Camp Director Susan Scherf have developed a range of exciting activities and projects that follow current health guidelines. Each week, campers will join experienced educators on a journey through one of several themes that relate to the museum’s core mission, such as ecology, archaeology, and traditional skills. While hiking in the woods, playing games, and creating crafts, campers will practice survival skills, teamwork, and problem-solvinghttp://www.iaismuseum.org as they develop confidence while experiencing the great outdoors, and making new friends. Besides the memories that will last a lifetime, campers will learn valuable skills and connect with a culture that has more than 10,000 years of history in this area.

Summer Camp Themes
Weekly camps will have different experiences. On June 29- July 3 the theme is “Wonderful Wildlife” and will include exploring the forests and rivers of the Eastern Woodlands. The camp running from July 6- July 10 will focus on the gifts of the natural world and how Native Americans used their understanding of the natural world to thrive for thousands of years right here in Connecticut.

On July 13 to July 17, children will learn outdoor survival skills similar to those used for centuries by Native Americans. And, if your children love science and technology sign them up for the week of July 20-24 to learn how people of the past figured out creative ways to move around, construct shelter, find food, and make tools.”

For budding archeologists and kids that are intrigued by puzzles, don’t miss the July 27 – July 31 camp where they will learn how to dig and discover.

The last camp of our 2020 summer season, from August 3-7 is for kids that like a challenge – and don’t they all! If your kids want to be amazed, sign them up, and challenge them to put their skills to test! They will come away enriched and confident.

For complete registration information, visit http://www.iaismuseum.org.

About The Institute for American Indian Studies
L
ocated 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.

Watch Future Olympians Soar in Salisbury’s 94th Annual JumpFest February 7,8, and 9, 2020

This will be the 94th year when ski jumpers and lovers of winter sports converge in Salisbury at Connecticut’s signature winter event, JumpFest. Ski jumping was introduced to this bucolic town in 1926 when a Norwegian farmer, Mr. Satre sailed off his barn; making ski jumping a winter tradition here ever since. This year, JumpFest is taking place on February 7, 8, and 9, 2020, at Satre Hill on Indian Cave Road in Salisbury. For updates and more information click here or info@jumpfest.org or www.jumpfest.org.

There are only a half a dozen ski jump facilities on the East Coast, with JumpFest being the southernmost location. Some of the best athletes will be here competing in an event that has launched many Olympians. As a matter of fact, three of the four men that participated in the Olympics at Sochi had something in common, they were all from the east coast, and they all participated at JumpFest.

For the Tri-State area and beyond, JumpFest offers a very special opportunity to watch these graceful athletes fly through the air — up close! The anticipation of watching competitors travel up to 200 feet through the air at more than fifty miles an hour and, guessing who is the fastest — and highest in real-time — is an unforgettable experience. It is so much fun to be part of the excitement! The crowds’ ring cowbells to cheer on their favorites and the jumpers take notice. The excitement reaches a crescendo when the slap of skis hits snow in a smooth landing with everyone hoping that this jump beats the Salisbury record, an impressive 231-foot jump.

Festival Schedule
JumpFest kicks off on Friday, February 7 at 6 p.m. with Target Jumping beginning at 7 p.m. Target Jumping is followed by the infamously fun Human Dog Sled Race, a crowd favorite that begins between 8:30 p.m. and 9 p.m. Teams of six participate, five pulling the sled and one riding. The sleds and costumes, of course, boggle the imagination! Trophies are awarded for the best in men’s women’s, mixed categories. Competitors navigate a .3-mile course through the snow. It’s all in fun, and teams can get very creative with both their costumes and sleds. Two large bonfires and warm food and beverages are available.

On Saturday, February 8, things warm up with a Junior Meet that is followed by the practice of participating jumpers from 11 a.m. to 12 noon. The Junior 20 to 30-meter competition begins at 1 p.m. It is thrilling to watch these Olympians in the making defy gravity and soar through the air with runs of 65 to 98 feet. Another tradition is the Snow Ball Dance taking place at the White Hart Inn with entertainment by the Steve Dunn Band. This is the perfect time to mingle with fellow sports lovers, bid at the silent auction, and take a chance on a raffle ticket that benefits the Salisbury Winter Sports Associations (SWSA) programs. The admission to the Snow Ball Dance is $15. The highly anticipated Eastern U.S. Ski Jumping Championships on Sunday, February 9 begins with practice at 11 a.m.; the competition begins at 1 pm. At this event, there are often Olympic hopefuls that display the tremendous coordination, skill, and grace that have what it takes to soar so far and so high with a smooth and successful landing. Make ski jumping history and be there to see if the Salisbury record is broken – perhaps a new contender for the Olympics! Even the most sedentary spectators will appreciate the extraordinary coordination and skill required to make this jump! Judging from past history, some of the competitors here will go on to the Olympics.

Details and More
Coffee, food, and hot chocolate will be available at all events. As this is an outdoor event, and it is winter, please dress warm – don’t forget your cowbell and cellphone for great photo opportunities! On Friday, February 7, the event ticket booth opens at 6 p.m. and admission is $15; on Saturday, February 8, the event opens at 10 a.m. and tickets are $15, on February 9 the event opens at 11 a.m. and tickets are $15. The Snow Ball Dance is $15 at the door. The Human Dog Sled Race entry is $25 on Friday, February 7 with the downloaded pdf.

Between events, there will be plenty of time to explore the charming town of Salisbury with its many intriguing shops and restaurants all within walking distance of Jumpfest. A highlight is an art show, The Wonders of Winter hosted by the Salisbury Association that includes art by 34 national and international artists showcasing sixty works of art in six locations including William Pitt/Sotheby’s International Realty, Sweet William’s Coffee Shop & Bakery and the White Hart Inn, all within walking distance of each other on Main Street, Salisbury. Many of the paintings are on sale with a portion of the profits going to the Salisbury Winter Sports Association youth skiing programs and ongoing facility improvement.

About Salisbury Winter Sports Association (SWSA)

It all began in 1926, when a gentleman named John Satre (Say-tree) showed off the sport he had learned in his native Norway with the unlikely feat of jumping from the roof of a shed while wearing skis. To everyone’s surprise, instead of crashing Satre soared through the air and glided to earth. It looked like fun and by the next summer, several neighbors had gotten together to begin building a proper takeoff and ski run. A former cow pasture became the landing area. On January 29, 1927, the club, the Salisbury Winter Sports Association (SWSA) held its first competition with a crowd of more than 200 spectators. This all-volunteer group has hosted several National Championships and, today continues to maintain Satre Hill, introduces young and old to the sport of ski jumping, and organizes the competitions.

BETHLEHEM (CT) OFFERS A FESTIVE START TO THE HOLIDAY SEASON

They call this little town in the Litchfield Hills of Connecticut “Christmas Town” with good reason. Bethlehem’s Christmas Town Festival scheduled for December 6 and 7, celebrates its 39th birthday this year as one of New England’s favorite ways to kick off the season. Wherever you turn, special treats are waiting, from the town green to the post office to the Abbey of Regina Laudis and the 1754 Bellamy-Ferriday House. Some of the unique attractions continue when the festival is over. This year the opening ceremony will feature Honorary Emcee WFSB Ch, 3 news personalities, Irene O’Connor.

Vendors and More On the Green

The quaint town green, centered with a giant tree, is home to over 70 vendors with unique gift items, wreaths and delicious foods for sale. Strolling carolers and musicians help keep things lively, Santa will be waiting at the firehouse to pose for pictures with young friends, and everyone is invited to climb aboard for hayrides offered in front of First Church. Collectors can garner this year’s unique limited edition Christmas Town pewter ornament, sold only during the Festival.

On Saturday there is a 5K, Santa Made Me Do It road race, 2-mile walk and ¼ mile kids fun run at the festival. The five mile race and two-mile walk begin at 10 a.m. and registration is at Town Hall beginning at 8:30 a.m. The free kids ¼ kids Fun Run starts at 9:30 a.m.

Bethlehem’s beautiful eighteenth-century Bellamy-Ferriday House & Garden will be festively decorated and open for tours and holiday cheer during festival hours. Guides will offer house tours and there will be hot cider and a scavenger hunt for children. The home is located at 9 Main Street North, information can be found at http://www.ctlandmarks.org

Hours for the Christmas Town Festival are Friday, December 6 from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. and Saturday, December 7, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information, see www.christmastownfestival.com or phone 203-266-7510, ext. 300.
Christmas Town Mailings at the Post Office

The Bethlehem post office is busy in December serving the many who come every year to mail holiday cards with their unique postmarks. Visitors can select favorites among the “Christmas Cachet” designs, hand-stamp and mail these unique greetings to friends and family. The idea of the special stamps dates to 1938, when a local Postmaster, the late Earl Johnson, designed a “cachet,” a special rubber stamp featuring a tree and lettering that said “From the Little Town of Bethlehem, Christmas Greetings.” New cachets have been added almost every year since. Over 83 designs are now available and nearly 200,000 cards are mailed each year from this small post office. Located at 34 East Street, the post office will have extended hours during the festival, Friday, December 6 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Precious Crèches at the Abbey

One of Bethlehem’s not-to-be-missed jewels is open all month for visitors. The museum-quality eighteenth-century Neapolitan crèche on view in a vintage barn at the Abbey of Regina Laudis includes hundreds of beautiful hand-carved figures. Made of wood, terra cotta, and porcelain, the figures portray the Holy Family, angels, the Three Kings, merchants and peddlers, children, peasants and farm animals. This fabulous gift from artist and philanthropist Loretta Hines Howard is similar to the one Howard donated to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, where it is prominently displayed every Christmas.

A second Crèche, The Lauren Ford Crèche, created by a favorite Connecticut artist, is displayed in a farm shed near the Lower Abbey Chapel. This charming rustic Nativity scene displays figures of Jesus, Mary and Joseph dressed in typical New England garb.

The Monastic Art Shop on the property offers crafts, cheeses, jams, herbal teas, flavored vinegar, herbs and honey, and all created on-site by Abbey’s residents.

The Abbey of Regina Laudis, located at 249 Flanders Road, is open to visitors daily from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information, visit www.abbeyofreginalaudis.org

Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo Makes the Holidays Merry and Bright at Breakfast with Frosty and Friends

Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo located on 1875 Noble Avenue, Bridgeport, has a longtime family tradition: Breakfast with Frosty! A full buffet breakfast in the Carousel Building includes a visit with Santa and his elf, photo opportunities with Frosty the Snowman, Stripes the Tiger, and Thirsty the Penguin, carousel rides and lots of family fun. These breakfasts sell out every year, but there’s still time for local families from around the region to enjoy the holidays at the Zoo! Pre-Registration is required: https://www.beardsleyzoo.org/breakfast-with-frosty.html

Breakfast with Frosty requires online reservation & pre-payment is required to attend. All days but December 14th are $20 per person for Zoo Members and $25 per person for non-Members. December 14 (Special Activities Day!) prices are $25 for members and $30 for non-members. Children 2 years old and younger are free.

Frosty will be visiting the Zoo on Saturday and Sunday, December 7 and 8, Saturday and Sunday, December 14 and 15 and Saturday and Sunday, December 21 and 22. In addition to Frosty the Snowman, kids will visit with Santa Claus and his Head Elf, Stripes the Tiger, and Thirsty the Penguin

About Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo

Let your curiosity run wild! Connecticut’s only zoo, celebrating its 97th year, features 300 animals representing primarily North and South American species. Guests won’t want to miss our Amur tigers and leopards, Mexican and Red wolves, and Golden Lion tamarin. Other highlights include our Spider Monkey Habitat, the Natt Family Red Panda Habitat, the prairie dog exhibit with “pop-up” viewing areas, plus the Pampas Plains featuring maned wolves, Chacoan peccaries and Giant anteaters. Guests can grab a bite at the Peacock Café, eat in the Picnic Grove, and enjoy a ride on our colorful, indoor carousel. For more information, visit beardsleyzoo.org.

Images – Jack Bradley

WonderSpark Puppets present The Gingerbread Man

On November 30 from 2 pm to 3 pm the Wilton Historical Society located on 224 Danbury Road is hosting a special puppet show from NY that is noted as the best puppet theatre in NYC from 2 pm to 3 pm.

The show called Run, run as fast as you can can – you can’t catch me I’m the Gingerbread Man is the classic story of a little running cookie – with a Christmas twist. Kids will watch the Gingerbread Man outwit and outrun various hungry animals – and figure out what he really wants for Christmas. During the show, the children will listen, laugh, interact directly with characters, and can ask questions about puppetry and storytelling afterward. This ancient art form engages the imagination and kickstarts a love of theater at an early age. Best of all, you get a theater experience in a historic barn!

After the show, there will be a puppet craft activity. This event is $10 per person and tickets are available online. To get your tickets, click here.