The 44th Norwalk Oyster Festival Fri., Sept. 09, Sat., Sept. 10, and Sun. Sept. 11 @ Veterans Park, Norwalk

One of New England’s favorite events, the Norwalk Oyster Festival presented by First County Bank is back in full swing in 2022. There is no better way to say goodbye to summer, than at the three-day festival-taking place from Friday, September 9th through Sunday, September 11th at Veterans Park, adjacent to Norwalk’s historic harbor. “Performances by nationally known musicians, incredible family entertainment, and “Kids Cove” activities are free with admission, making it fun for the whole family,” says Mike Reilly, President of the Norwalk Seaport Association, and Chairman of the Norwalk Oyster Festival. “For 15 years First County Bank has supported us, helping to make the Norwalk Oyster Festival a longtime Fairfield County tradition.” “As the official end of summer celebration, the Norwalk Oyster Festival is something that First County Bank and the Fairfield County community looks forward to year after year,” said Robert Granata Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of First County Bank.

For the Whole Family
There are so many ways for families to have fun this year. Nationally enjoyed professional entertainment will be taking place throughout the day at various locations on the festival grounds. If you are feeling lucky, head to the midway where you will find a variety of exciting games of chance. Don’t miss the mind-boggling act called Big Bee the Transforming Robot Car. Kids are thrilled to watch a regular car turn itself into a 15- foot action robot and, then get their photo taken with it! There is always something around the next corner that amazes and delights young and old alike. Here is a partial list of some of the acts you can catch, free of charge with the price of admission.

Ready Go Dog Show
This year the whole family will enjoy the Ready Go Dog Show that packs plenty of oohs and aahhs with its combination of comedy, family fun, and amazing high-flying canine athletes. The show consists of rescued dogs and features champion Frisbee dogs, thrill-seeking diving dogs, and the highest box jump dog in the world! A highlight for the audience is the chance to meet and greet the four-legged stars of this thrilling show after their riveting performance. The Ready Go Dog Show has been seen on the FOX game show, Game of Talents, ESPN, the Today Show and Friends, and many others!

Sheffield Island Circus
Pink cotton candy, the smell of popcorn, glittering costumes, and the astounding feats of daredevils make the Sheffield Island Circus something magical. Show favorites include clowns whose laugh-out-loud antics will have children rolling with non-stop laughter!

The circus fun doesn’t stop there. For thrill-seekers, there is the terrifying Globe of Death motorcycle performance that keeps spectators at the edge of their seats. The performers have been amazing audiences around the world, as two or more motorcycles run together in the large steel globe known as the “Globe of Death.” This energetic act is perfect for all ages because it always delivers the “wow” factor. Other acts include the performance of elegant aerial tricks from more than 20 feet up in the air and the colorful and fast-moving hula-hoop show.



Sunday is Family Day Plus Rides and Wristbands

Sunday, September 11th is Family Day all day when all kids get in Free with one paid adult admission. Carnival rides are one of the most exciting and thrilling things you can do at the Norwalk Oyster Festival. One of the best deals around on Saturday and Sunday is the specially priced wristband @ $30 each which is available for unlimited rides from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. for everyone.

The Music
The 2022 has live music from dozens of bands on multiple stages throughout the weekend and features a variety of crowd-pleasing entertainment.

On Friday night, September 9, the Norwalk Oyster Festival kicks off with Jana Kramer direct from Nashville. Kramer is an actress, an AMC award-winning country music singer, and a New York Times best-selling author. Known for her role as Alex Dupre in the television series One Tree Hill, she started her music career in 2012, seven of her singles charted on Hot Country Songs and Country Airplay, including the top 10 platinum-selling hits “Why Ya Wanna” and “I Got the Boy.” Kramer went on to win ‘New Female Vocalist of the Year at the 2012 Academy of Country Music Awards and, in 2015, she was nominated for ‘Best Female Vocalist of the Year at the ACMs.

To get Saturday night rocking, Alex Shillo takes the stage at 7:30 p.m. with his eclectic brand of rock and country music with a nod to his favorite, Bruce Springsteen. Shillo’s band is composed of top-notch musicians, that have performed with such artists as Clarence Clemons of Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band, The Four Tops, The Temptations, Johnny Mathis, Gloria Gaynor, and John Cafferty, to name a few.

When Mike DelGuidice and Big Shot, take the stage on Saturday @ 8:30 p.m. the party really gets started. Mike DelGuidice, a multi-instrumentalist, dynamic vocalist, singer, songwriter, and recording artist is currently on tour with Rock N Roll Legend Billy Joel. Mike DelGuidice and his band, Big Shot is known nationwide for performing a show of astonishing renditions of Billy Joel’s songbook, in addition to songs by Elton John, Van Morrison, Paul McCartney, Marc Cohn, The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, The Eagles, John Denver, James Taylor, Chicago, and a few of Mike’s eclectic original songs, and much more. DelGuidice is a world-class vocalist and can sing just about anything. “We are delighted to bring this world-class entertainer and his band to the 44th annual Norwalk Oyster Festival,” said Mike Reilly, President of the Norwalk Seaport Association and Chairman of the Norwalk Oyster Festival.

This year on Sunday, September 11, the Norwalk Oyster Festival wraps up with the high-energy music of Get the Led Out, a band that has captured the essence of the recorded music of Led Zeppelin. Hailing from Philly, this band of six accomplished musicians brings Led Zeppelin to the Main Stage in all its mythic glory. Their two energy-driven heart pulsing set spans the career of the legendary “Zep” in all its depth and glory with the studio overdubs that Zeppelin themselves never performed live. Whether you like blues-soaked groove-driven rock anthems or more intimate acoustic sounds, by the end of the performance, you will understand why Get the Led Out has been hailed as “The American Led Zeppelin” nationally.



New This Year – Sheffield Island Laser Lightshow

New this year, the Sheffield Island Laser Lightshow promises to take you on a phantasmagorical journey. This 22- minute 3-D laser beam light show will be projected over the heads of the entire audience at the festival. The show is set to the music of Pink Floyd which is sure to carry the audience away with cutting-edge effects, high-powered lasers, and tons of smoke and haze effects. The show features bright colorful laser beams that sweep and move thru the sky at night along with animated artwork projected all over the stage. This professionally produced award-winning laser show will take place on Friday and Saturday night at the conclusion of the Main Stage entertainment to keep the party going just a little bit longer.

Arts and Crafts Galore
If you like to shop, head to the Arts and Crafts area where there’re more than 100 fine artists and crafters that display whimsical as well as practical items that appeal to all tastes, budgets, and ages. Jewelry, paintings, pottery, sculpture, clothing, home décor, and wearable art are just some of the treasures to be found here. At the Seaport Tent, learn about Norwalk’s oyster history, Sheffield Island Lighthouse, and browse specialty items on sale celebrating the island and lighthouse.

For the Foodies
Whether you are craving a salty or savory meal, a sugary treat to satisfy your sweet tooth, or an afternoon or evening snack, you’re guaranteed to find a favorite fair food at the Norwalk Oyster Festival and much more. After exploring the fairgrounds head to the International Food Court that dishes up everything from Mexican, Columbian, Greek, Jamaican, and Italian to funnel cakes, cotton candy, and, popcorn to name just a few goodies. New England favorites include fresh oysters shucked before your eyes, authentic New England lobster dinners, and fresh melt-in-your-mouth lobster rolls. Some of this culinary fare is prepared by dozens of local nonprofit organizations allowing them to raise funds for their charitable causes. And, if you work up a thirst there are plenty of choices from lemonade, fruit, and soft drinks to our popular craft beer tent offering more than forty beers.

Where
The Norwalk Oyster Festival is held at Veteran’s Park, adjacent to Norwalk Harbor on Seaview Avenue in Norwalk, CT.

Admission

This year pricing is Adults -$14, seniors – $10, Children – 5 to 12 years old $6 on Friday and Saturday, and Children under 5 are free. Sunday is Family Day and all children are free! To avoid the wait, tickets can be purchased online at http://www.seaport.org.

Hours: Friday, Sept. 9, from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m., Saturday, September 10, from 11 a.m. – 11 p.m., and Sunday, September 11 from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Parking & Shuttles
Free parking and shuttle buses are available at these locations:
9/10 – Norwalk Community College and Calf Pasture Beach 5:30– 11:30 p.m.
9/11 – Norwalk Community College and Calf Pasture Beach and Norwalk City Hall – 10:30 a.m. – 11:30 p.m.
9/12 – Norwalk Community College and Calf Pasture Beach and Norwalk City Hall – 10:30 a.m. – 11:30 p.m.

Fee Parking

Webster and Haviland Street parking lot, and the Maritime and Iron Works garage. All are within walking distance of the festival.

About First County Bank – Presenting Sponsor
First County Bank, headquartered in Stamford, Conn. for 170 years, is an independent mutual community bank with 16 branches in Stamford, Norwalk, Darien, Greenwich, Fairfield, New Canaan, and Westport offering deposit products, mortgages, wealth management, business banking services, and a full array of digital banking products including mobile and online banking. First County Bank has more than 220 employees, assets in excess of $1.7 billion, and is a winner of the Hearst Connecticut Top WorkPlaces 2020 award. For additional information, please visit www.firstcountybank.com.

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; 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.

Fall After School Programs@ Glebe House

If you are looking for a fun and educational after-school activity for your kids look no further than the Glebe House Historic House Museum and Jeykll Garden located on Hollow Road in Woodbury. Give your kids the opportunity to become part of living history at the Glebe House Museum & Gertrude Jekyll Garden – join the Marshall Children Young Docent Program. Here is your chance to really learn about what life was like for families who lived here in Connecticut during the Revolutionary War. You will learn to conduct guided tours of the museum in period costumes and will be taught candle making, quill writing, and other colonial crafts so that you might teach them to other children. You will be doing colonial cooking, visiting area museums, and having lots of fun immersed in the history of the historic house museum on the most historic street in Woodbury.

The Marshall Children Young Docent program is named for the nine children of John and Sarah Marshall who lived in the Glebe House from 1771-1786. These young docents are our greatest ambassadors in the community and participate in events like the Memorial Day Parade and the Woodbury Christmas Festival. All Hollow’s Eve, a wonderfully scary event now in its 21st year would not be the same without the inclusion of our young docents in the roles of some of Woodbury’s early citizens.

The program is open to children 6 & up and meets on select Thursday afternoons from 4:00 – 5:30. The upcoming Fall Session begins on Thursday, October 6th, and will include six meetings.
This is a wonderful opportunity to meet children from all over the region who share your interest in local history. You will become a significant part of the museum experience and enrich those who visit by sharing your enthusiasm and new-found knowledge.

*All CDC and State Health & Safety guidelines will be followed.

Please call the Museum Director for more information and to register at 203-263-2855. Information, registration forms, and scheduled dates are available on our website at www.glebehousemuseum.org.
The cost for the Fall Session is $125/Members and $150/Non-Members. There is limited space available. Registration will remain open until all spaces are filled.

14th Annual Blackberry Festival @ White Silo Farm

Sweet yet tart blackberries are good for you! They are packed with vitamin c, high in fiber,a high source of manganese, vitamin K, and high in antioxidants. One could almost consider blackberries a superfood.

At the White Silo Farm on 32 Rte. 37 in Sherman, they also consider blackberries fun and are once again hosting their annual Blackberry Festival on August 13 and August 14th from 1-4:30 pm. The cost is $25 per person for a 1 ½ hour reservation.

The ticket cost includes four items made with fresh Blackberries – Shredded hoisin blackberry chicken tacos (vegetarian option available), blackberry rhubarb chutney and goat cheese crostini, blackberry arugula and kale salad, and blackberry tiramisu. Guests with reservations will have priority seating if it is raining.

Reservations are limited and can be made on whitesilowinery.com website. Music with Greg “Cowboy”, Saturday 1-4:30 PM and Marty Meyer, Sunday 1-4:30 PM. This is a child and pet friendly event.

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.

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.

Drum Making Workshop @ the Institute for American Indian Studies

Rhythm and sound are important to just about every culture around the world. Throughout the Americas, indigenous peoples have been using drums as part of their culture for thousands of years.

If you are asked to think about Native American music, there is a good chance you will think of the sound of drums, but did you know that the drum is considered to be a living and breathing entity to Native peoples and symbolize a strong relationship with the creator?

On Sunday, March 20 the Institute for American Indian Studies, located at 38 Curtis Road in Washington, Connecticut is hosting an in-person drum-making workshop, with sessions at 11 a.m. and at 2 p.m.

The highlight of this workshop is to learn how to make your very own rawhide drum. The drums made in this workshop will be 14- inches in diameter and constructed of a traditionally used material, elk rawhide. Each drum will come with a drumstick. While creating a drum for their own personal use, participants will learn about their cultural significance, and how they remain a vibrant part of today’s indigenous cultures in the Americas.

Space is limited for this workshop and pre-payment and pre-registration is required. To register online, please visit the Museum website to register via Eventbrite. If you have questions about the workshop, please call 860-868-0518 or email events@iaismuseum.org. The price for this workshop is $90 for IAIS members and $110 for non-members.