Summer Concerts at Calf Pasture Beach in Norwalk

Summer nights in Norwalk mean music by the Sound, and there is no better place to enjoy a concert as the sunsets than at Calf Pasture Beach. In addition to music, four concert evenings begin with a classic car show organized by The Coachmen for several hundred-car buffs from throughout the tri-state area.

Billy Genuario
Billy Genuario

On July 3, Norwalk will celebrate its annual Independance Day Celebration (rain date July 5). Dance to the Music with DJ Nuxxo opens Shady Beach entertainment at 6 p.m. and family fun at Calf Pasture Beach starts at 5:30 p.m. with The Amazing Andy Show. Bill Genuario, one of the most popular vocalists in the tri-state area, headlines at 8:00 p.m. at Shady Beach. He will be joined by his band, Destiny, which includes Tommy Hartlett (keyboard and vocals), Linda Fakundiny (guitar/vocals), Johnny Mennonna (bass guitar) and Ron Nihoff (drums). Parking will be available at Calf Pasture Beach only.

On July 10 at 6:30 p.m. concertgoers will enjoy Curious Creatures, a hands on exhibit of exotic animals followed by Scarborough Fair. With voices that blend effortlessly into that Simon & Garfunkel signature sound, brothers Jeb and Jock Guthrie pay tribute to the famous musical duo.

A Classic Car Show beginning at 6:00 p.m. on July 17 is followed by the music of The Royal Kings. This musical ensemble features vocalists Joey Bennett, Douglas Dorsey, Timmy Hayes, Tommy Talercio and Richard “Cookie” Thomas. These performers have opened for headlining acts from the 50s, 60s and 70s that include Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes, Little Anthony, AWB and the Flamingos. They continue to perform on the Oldies Rock and Roll circuit, as well as concerts and special events, and have two CDs, “Dreamin’ Through the Years” and “Dreamin’ at Christmas.”

Fleetwood Macked
Fleetwood Macked

The final July concert on July 24 headlines Fleetwood Macked at 7 p.m. This tribute band recreates the musical experience of Fleetwood Mac’s most popular line-up — Mick Fleetwood (Frank Saitta), John and Christine McVie (Bobby Trombley and Sue Rowe), Stevie Nicks (Hillary Epstein) and Lindsey Buckingham (Mike Epstein).

The Facts
Each Wednesday night throughout the summer, area residents look forward to packing a picnic and a blanket and heading to the beach to enjoy a relaxing evening of music beside Long Island Sound. A $5.00 parking fee is charged for cars without a Norwalk beach sticker. For updates and additional information call the Norwalk Recreation and Parks Office at 203-854-7807. All concerts have a rain date of the following day. For cancellation information call 203-854-7938. A $20.00 parking fee is charged for cars without a Norwalk beach sticker.

Celebrate Art at The Norwalk Arts Festival

Lockwood Mathews Mansion Norwalk
Lockwood Mathews Mansion Norwalk

An exciting new festival is happening this year in Norwalk — the 2013 Norwalk Arts Festival. This event is slated to take place on June 29 and 3o at Mathews Park conveniently located on West Ave. off exit 15S and 14N on I-95. Even better, this event is free and open to the public both days from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information call 518-852-6478 or visit www.gordonfinearts.org or norwalkartfestival.org.

This juried fine art and craft festival, will bring over 75 of the country’s top artists and craftspeople to Fairfield County along with several outstanding performing artists. A children’s art project and a creative arts area rounds out the event with fun for the entire family.

The Norwalk Art Festival provides the perfect opportunity to find an original painting for the empty corner of a family room, the perfect birthday or wedding gift as well as the chance to just get to know the artist before you bring your newly found treasure home.

Center for Contemporary Printmaking
Center for Contemporary Printmaking

In addition to the artwork featured at the festival, don’t miss the opportunity to visit three museums that call the park home. The Center for Contemporary Printmaking, http://www.contemprints.org, located in a 19th c. stone carriage house offers quality original artwork and printmaking. The Lockwood Mathews Museum, http://www.lockwoodmathewsmansion.com, a National Historic Landmark built in the Second Empire Style has a special exhibit that focus’s on the “futuristic” discoveries of the Victorian Era that are still relevant today. The award winning and recently expanded Stepping Stones Museum for Children, http://www.steppingstonesmuseum.org, is featuring the Dinosaur Revolution in their traveling exhibit section that let’s kids become junior paleontologists through the discovery of fossils and facts about these magnificent beasts among their many fascinating exhibits for kids.

Gourmet food trucks and vendors have food at the ready so don’t forget your blanket and lawn chairs.

For area information www.visitfairfieldcountyct.com.

Discover 19th Century Inventions at New Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum Exhibit

Lookwood Mathews Mansion
Lookwood Mathews Mansion

Technology is a major part of our lives and our culture and the Lockwood Mathews Mansion has put together an exhibit that explores the roots of today’s technology by displaying the “futuristic” inventions of the Victorian Era. The Mansion was ahead of its time and one of America’s most technologically advanced buildings during the Civil War and the Victorian era so it makes the perfect backdrop for this new exhibit called What is It? Technologies and Discoveries of the Victoria Era.

Victorian era gadgets, technologies and breakthroughs will be on display at the Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum through October 6th. What Is It? Technologies and Discoveries of the Victorian Era will tantalize student and adult audiences in the exploration of mid-to-late 19th century inventions and discoveries in many diverse areas including communication, transportation, manufacturing, medicine, food and recreation. Visitors are sure to be surprised at how some of those historic breakthroughs are still very relevant today.

A highlight of the exhibit allows visitors to view cutting-edge Victorian Era technology that were precursors of some of today’s technologies, including telegraphs, Dictaphones, gas lighting and early examples of telephones, as well as burglar alarms, stock tickers and much more.

Visitors will discover items still enjoyed today, from board games to food such as condensed milk and breakfast cocoa. Artifacts on display include loans from Connecticut’s Mattatuck Museum and the Museum of American Finance, New York City, among others.

Lockwood Mathews Mansion
Lockwood Mathews Mansion

The Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum is a National Historic Landmark located at 295 West Avenue in Norwalk. Tours for the museum and exhibit are offered Wednesdays through Sundays, at noon, 1 p.m., 2 p.m., and 3 p.m. Admittance is $10 for adults, $8 for seniors and $6 for children. Children under 8 are admitted free. For more information, visit www.lockwoodmathewsmansion.com, or call 203-838-9799. For area information www.visitfairfieldcountyct.com

African Penguins Return to Maritime Aquarium At Norwalk through April 22

The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk is bringing back one of the most popular species it’s ever displayed: African penguins, who will waddle in for a celebratory encore exhibit through April 22, 2013.

Aquar.AfricanPenguin

African Penguins” will be open through April 22 in an outdoor exhibit on the Aquarium’s riverfront courtyard. It’s free with admission. The small colony of penguins will be on loan from the Leo Zoological Conservation Center in Greenwich (www.LEOzoo.org).

Educating visitors on where penguins live may be one of the first basic goals of the exhibit. None of them live at the North Pole, or with Eskimos or polar bears. Some species do live in Antarctica. But many penguins can be found in warmer climates of the southern hemisphere, like African penguins in South Africa and several species that live up the western coast of South America, all the way to the equator and the Galapagos Islands. The African penguins – whose conservation status is listed as endangered – will help call attention to Africa’s troubled coastal environments, which receive far less conservation protection than the continent’s inland savannahs, plains and jungles.

African penguins (Spheniscus demersus) stand about two feet tall and weigh 8 pounds. They’re recognizable by the black stripe that loops up across their chest and their pink “eyebrows.” The pink “eyebrows” actually are an adaptation that helps them to survive in a warmer habitat like South Africa – or Norwalk. The “eyebrows” are featherless patches with lots of blood vessels underneath. When a penguin gets too hot, these patches get brighter as the penguin circulates more blood there to dissipate body heat.

African penguins also have evolved shorter feathers because, unlike Antarctic species, they do not face extreme cold.

The previous penguins exhibit at the Aquarium was open from February 2009-December 2010. For more details about The Maritime Aquarium’s exhibits, programs and IMAX movies, go to http://www.maritimeaquarium.org or call (203) 852-0700.

Norwalk Oyster Festival Sept. 7-9

Lobsterman. Photo credit: Kersten Schriel, Shadow Lounge Productions.

Fun for families and friends from nine to ninety, the 35th annual Norwalk Seaport Association Oyster Festival will be held this year from Friday, September 7 through Sunday, September 9. This year’s entertainment highlights include music from nationally known-bands such as: The Rising on Friday, Village People on Saturday and Lou Gramm on Sunday. Festivalgoers will enjoy a wide variety of rides, cooking competitions, arts and crafts and a diverse assortment of attractions and entertainment that promise unforgettable fun.

New this year the festival will feature the action packed Paul Bunyan Lumberjack Festival that will feature world champion lumberjacks demonstrating their log rolling, axe throwing, chopping, sawing, tree climbing and dragster chainsaw skills. Another new event venue will offer hands on interactive race-themed attractions by nationally recognized Fast Action Motorsports Entertainment. These dynamic additions to the Oyster Festival are awe inspiring and unforgettable.

For the Kids

The festival’s Pirates Coast Adventure will wow children of all ages. 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. This interactive pirate encampment gives kids a taste of what seafaring was like during the golden age of piracy from 1650-1750. 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. The perk of family day on Sunday is that one child under 12 gets in free with each adult paid admission and for a mere $15 can ride all the amusement rides free from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. To round out the family fun there will be live shows for kids on the festival’s main stage.

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. A long tradition of the festival is the multitude of fine artists and crafters display whimsical as well as practical items that appeal to all tastes, budgets and ages. For on the water fun, head to the festival docks to tour historic vessels and to cruise the scenic and historic Norwalk Harbor.

For the Foodies

Food demonstrations and competitions, including the always-popular chowder and chili cook-offs will take place. A long awaited treat of the Festival is the wide variety of great food from around the world that 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.

The event is held at Veteran’s Park, adjacent to Norwalk Harbor on Seaview Avenue in Norwalk, CT. Admission for adults is $5 on Friday, $12 on Saturday and Sunday. Senior tickets are $10 all days. Children 5-12 year’s old are $5. Children under 5 and U.S. military personnel on active duty are free. Sunday is Family Day with special pricing on that day only — 1 child (age 5-12) free with each paid adult admission. Tickets can be purchased at http://www.seaport.org. Free Parking and Free Shuttle Bus service is provided from four (4) local parking lots, just follow the signs to Oyster Festival Parking.

Festivalgoers can save on admission and rail fare when they purchase the Metro-North Railroad/Norwalk Seaport Association Oyster Festival discount package. Packages are available at all ticket offices and ticket machines (except South Norwalk Station) or by visiting http://www.mta.info/mnr/html/getaways/outbound_oyster_fest.htm

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 800-6631273 for a free Fairfield County brochure.

Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum Hosts Victorian Tea May 6

Lookwood Mathews Mansion

The Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum at 295 West Avenue will host its fourth Annual Victorian Tea, May 6, 2012 at 2 p.m. in the Rotunda of the Mansion. The event will feature English tea ceremony expert and celebrity caterer Carol Timpanelli, owner of the Royal Tea Company of Trumbull, CT. She has catered for Martha Stewart and Tommy Hilfiger among others. Ms. Timpanelli’s English tea will include a wide selection of desserts, sandwiches, traditional scones and cream and her signature chocolate toffee trifle.

The Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum is one of the most significant Gilded Age mansions in the U.S. and a very elegant venue for a formal tea,” said Publisher of Cottages & Gardens Publications, Marianne Howatson, event chair. “LMMM’s annual Victorian tea is also a delightful event where families and friends get together to enjoy a cherished tradition while supporting a National Historic Landmark.”

The event will also feature harpist Katie Critelli. Katie has received two prestigious Gold Cup awards for excellence from the American Harp Society at Fairfield University’s Young Musicians Festival. Before leaving Darien to attend University of Pennsylvania, she was a harpist with the Norwalk Youth Symphony Concert Orchestra for three and a half years, played in the Western Regional Orchestra in 2009 and was a member of the Darien High School Orchestra.

For reservations contact: info@lockwoodmathewsmansion.com or call 203-838-9799 ext. 4. Admission: $45 non-members $35 members.

About Lockwood-Mathews Mansion

During the season, full tours at the mansion are $10 for adults, $8 for seniors and $6 for children and young adults ages 8-18. Children under 8 are admitted free. Tour hours are 12- 4 p.m., Wed.-Sun. Tours are on the hour, and the last tour starts at 3 pm. For additional information visit: www.lockwoodmathewsmansion.com.