Voices of Poetry at Hunt Hill Farm – Comfort and Joy!

The Silo will present “Voices of Poetry / Comfort & Joy” on Sunday, December 21, 2014 at 2 p.m. This afternoon of original poetry and music – to celebrate the holiday season – will be held at The Red Barn at Hunt Hill Farm, Crossman Road, New Milford, CT. A “meet and greet” reception with the poets & musicians – with holiday desserts – will follow the program.

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The Silo will present “Voices of Poetry / Comfort & Joy” on Sunday, December 21, 2014 at 2 p.m. This afternoon of original poetry and music – to celebrate the holiday season – will be held at The Red Barn at Hunt Hill Farm, Crossman Road, New Milford, CT. A “meet and greet” reception with the poets & musicians – with holiday desserts – will follow the program.

There is an admission charge of $15 @ person for this program; and reservations are encouraged. For more information, and to reserve tickets, please call (860) 355-0300, visit www.hunthillfarmtrust.org, or e-mail info@hunthillfarmtrust.org. Reservations can also be made at The Silo during regular business hours. The Silo Gallery and Store are open Wednesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday from 12 to 5 p.m.

For more holiday event information www.litchfieldhills.com

About The Silo

Drawing on the creative legacy of Skitch and Ruth Henderson, the Henderson Cultural Center at Hunt Hill Farm, a Smithsonian Institution affiliate, is a vibrant and unique regional resource, offering the public opportunities to explore music, art, cuisine, and permanently protected historic open space.

About Voices of Poetry (VOP)

VOP was founded by poet and poetry activist Neil Silberblatt. Since 2012, VOP has presented a series of poetry and music events featuring distinguished poets and writers at venues throughout the state, including The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum in Ridgefield; The New Britain Museum of American Art; The Sherman Playhouse; Minor Memorial Library in Roxbury; Gunn Memorial Library in Washington; Ridgefield Library; Hopkins Vineyard; and Hartford Public Library. VOP also has presented poetry events to raise support for community organizations. Voices of Poetry / Thanks for the Giving events (in 2013 and 2014) raised more than $2,500 for Loaves & Fishes, New Milford’s community soup kitchen and food pantry. VOP hosts a Facebook “group” page which (at last count) had more than 1,900 members, including numerous poets and writers, editors, publishers, composers, musicians in all genres, professors, and fans of the printed, written or sung word.

All Aboard with Santa in Thomaston and Danbury

We know that Santa gets around during the holiday season, but sleighs are not his only favorite mode of travel. In Litchfield Hills, you can often find the man in red enjoying a holiday train ride–and he loves company.

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On December weekends, Santa can be found aboard the Santa Express leaving from Thomaston, CT, ready with bags of goodies for all the young passengers he meets along the way. Santa is so fond of trains that he even has two satellite workshops in train cars, one reached via a vintage train ride at the Danbury Railway Museum and another along the way on the Northern Lights Limited, a nighttime train excursion from Thomaston.

Rides are just part of the special railroad fun for families this year in Fairfield and Litchfield Counties, where lavish displays of working model trains are a traditional holiday treat in several locations.

The Santa Express in Thomaston This 1920s vintage train travels along the scenic Naugatuck River for a warm, cozy 80-minute round-trip ride. Santa brings along Mrs. Claus and some friendly helper elves to visit with each child on board. Trains depart from the historic 1881 station in Thomaston Saturdays and Sundays at 2:00 p.m. Dec. 13,14,19,20,21.

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Light displays inside and out make for an exciting outing at night aboard the Northern Lights Limited from Thomaston. The train makes a stop at Santa’s Train Workshop, where the great man will board and greet everyone with gifts. Trains depart at 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. on December 14,19,20,and 21.

Back at the gaily decorated station, a model train layout is in action, and a large selection of railroad theme gifts, books and memorabilia can be found. Tickets and information are available from the Railroad Museum of New England, online at www.rmne.org, or by phoning (860) 283-7245.

All Aboard in Danbury At the Danbury Railway Museum, a classic 1903 station with a railroad yard filled with vintage train cars, visitors can ride a working vintage train through the yard to Santa’s Workshop. They will find him busily supervising his elves as they make toys, but still with time to talk with visitors and offer a small gift for every child.

A miniature train layout whizzes its way around the restored station, where once again, there are gifts for railroad buffs of all ages. Trains leave every half hour from noon to 3 p.m. on weekends, December 14, 20 and 21. For tickets and information, see www.Danbury.org/drm or phone: (203) 778-8337.

For information on the Litchfield Hills visit www.litchfieldhills.com

Osborne Homestead decked out for the holidays

The Osborne Homestead Museum located on 500 Hawthorne Ave in Derby is festooned for the holidays. Each year six regional garden clubs get together to decorate the house in accordance with a theme, this year the theme is music… and they are celebrating Holiday at the Symphony!

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Each room if the Osborne Homestead showcases the different musical components of the symphony orchestra. Upon entering the museum, visitors will see and learn about the musical instrument families and the Osborne family’s influence in the music industry.

Frances Osborne Kellogg, an accomplished violinist and secretary of the National Association of Conductors and Composers shared her love of music with the community by bringing world-renowned performers and opera singers to the Sterling Opera House in Derby. She was also the founder of the Derby Choral Society and hired the distinguished Yale composer, Horatio Parker to direct the choral club. This years holiday decorations showcase the love of Frances’ and her family’s love of music.

Recently renovated, the Osborne Homestead built in the mid.-1800’s encompasses the former Frances Osborne Kellogg Estate. This house was enlarged and remodeled in the Colonial Revival style during the 1920s. The house is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and the interior displays original contents of the estate that includes fine antiques and paintings.

This festive house tour, with each room lavishly decorated is sure to inspire you to decorate your home or apartment. The tours are free of charge although donations are appreciated. Tours of the house are available on Thursdays through Sundays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. through December 20.

For a special treat, take one of the twilight house tours on Friday, December 19. If you will be touring the house with a group of 8 or more people, please call ahead 203-734-2513 to reserve a tour date and time.

Celebrate the Season at the PT Barnum Museum

The PT Barnum Museum located on 820 Main Street in Bridgeport is hosting two holiday events that detail traditions that began in the Victorian times and are still celebrated today.

On December 10 at 12:15 for example, guests will get a sneak peek at the Barnum Museum. This free event is open to the public and will explore the fact that Christmas as we know it today is really a wonderful creation dating back to the Victorian times. The tradition of the Christmas tree, gift-giving and joyous celebrations with family and friends began in America in the mid 19th-century. Join the museum staff as they showcase some holiday costumes and finery that speak to the opulence of the holiday season!

On December 14 at 2 p.m. the musuem is celebrating the season with journey back in time. Escape the hustle and bustle of the holiday season for an hour or so while listening to the lecture by Museum Director Kathy Maher. She will present the evolution of the tales and traditions of the Victorian Age Christmas. There is no registration but a $5 donation is suggested. The museum is free for kids under 12.

For more information about the P.T. Barnum Museum visit http://www.barnum-museum.org.

For area information www.visitfairfieldcountryct.com

Washington’s Festival of Trees & Lights

Washington’s Gunn Memorial Library and Museum invites you to start a new tradition this holiday season! Fun for all ages, Gunn Memorial’s annual Festival of Trees & Lights cocktail party will take place in the historic Wykeham Room on Friday, December 5, from 5 to 7pm.

This event features creatively-decorated holiday trees, wreaths and stockings, as well as one-of-a-kind ornaments by local artists, which will be sold by silent auction to benefit the Gunn Memorial Library & Museum. Peruse the festive hall while sampling wine and hors d’oeuvres provided by local restaurants.

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The Library’s tree will be decked with Treasure Pouches, each containing a slip of paper bestowing a mystery gift. Attendees may purchase a pouch and claim an item or service that has been donated by a local business including gift baskets, theater tickets, edibles, gift certificates and more.
The suggested donation for the Friday evening cocktail party is $15 per person or $25 per couple. The tree display will be open for viewing at no charge on Saturday, December 6, from 10am-2pm.

Items not sold at the cocktail party on Friday evening will be available for purchase on Saturday. For further information call (860) 868-7586 or email gunndevelopment@biblio.org.

Tickets are available in advance at the circulation desk, or guests may pay at the door the night of the event. The Gunn Memorial Library is located at 5 Wykeham Road at the juncture of Route 47 opposite the Green in Washington, CT. For more information and for library hours visit www.gunnlibrary.org.

For information on holiday events in Litchfield Hills www.litchfieldhills.com

Feed and Count the Birds in Dec. at Sharon Audubon

Do you enjoy watching the birds at your feeders but don’t know what types of birds they are? Do you like to feed the birds, but are not sure which types of seed to offer or what kind of bird feeder to fill? Harlan will help you to understand which types of seeds most birds prefer and why, which feeders work best for your bird feeding set up, and how to identify some of the common species visiting your feeder this winter. All bird seed and bird feeders will be on sale as part of the Mega-Nature Store Sale this day, so you can leave the Center knowledgeable, prepared and stocked up for the winter bird feeding season!

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The Audubon Sharon Nature Store Sale takes place through December 13th. During the sale, you’ll find great discounts on various types of bird feeders, bird seed (including their very own Northwest Corner Blend,) t-shirts, toys, kids’ books, field guides, knick-knacks, coffee, ornaments, bird baths and so much more! Everything in our store will be on sale during the Mega-Sale on Dec. 6th and 7th!

On December 14, the Sharon Audubon is sponsoring an all day event called Trixie Strauss Christmas Bird Count that is free and open to the public. Audubon Sharon will once again be taking part in this count and they love to have people join them!

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The count area is a 15 mile circle with its center at Hotchkiss School, and includes good birding areas in Sharon, Salisbury, Amenia and Northeast. Teams from all over the state and country take part in Christmas Bird Count. The numbers are compiled and reported to help better understand flock formation and migrations.

For more information and for store hours, contact the Audubon Center at (860) 364-0520 or www.sharon.audubon.org. For holiday event information www.litchfieldhills.com