Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Lake Compounce Announces Name of New Ride!

Lake Compounce has announced that their new Zamperla Mega Disk'o ride will be called Rev-O-Lution. Lake Compounce fans chose their favorite name from the two posted on Facebook and on Susan Healey of Deerfield, MA was the lucky fan chosen to bring a guest on the ride's maiden voyage in May.

The Rev-O-Lution combines a rocking motion with a spinning motion, and positions riders on pedestal, motorcycle-like seats that face outward. Each ride accommodates 24 riders, 48" or taller, and the outward facing seats provide a visual experience for onlookers as well.

"We are happy with the name Rev-O-Lution, and it was fun to involve our guests in the naming because we appreciate their enthusiasm for and loyalty to the park" says Lake Compounce General Manager Jerry Brick. "We had some fun with the logo and the theming, and we hope our guests are as excited about this new addition as we are."

Lake Compounce, part of the Palace Entertainment family of parks, is New England's Family Theme Park and the oldest continuously operating amusement park in North America and is preparing for its 166th season.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

End of the Line Film and discussion at Audubon Greenwich Connecticut

If you are interested in learning about how overfishing is impacting the environment, our food, and our future be sure not to miss the special film "End of the Line" presented by the Audubon Greenwich this Friday, Jan. 28, 2011 from 6:00 pm - 9:00 p.m.  In this moving documentary, Rupert Murray dives deep to illuminate the cold truth about industrial pillaging of Earth's oceans with his film, "The End of the Line". This is the first major feature documentary film to reveal the devastating effect that global over-fishing is having on fish stocks and the health of our oceans. Researched and shot over a two year period, the film follows the indefatigable investigative reporter Charles Clover as he confronts the politicians and celebrity restaurateurs who exhibit little regard for the damage their policies-and their menus-are doing to the oceans. Narrated by Ted Danson and endorsed by and with major marketing support from National Geographic, Greenpeace and the Waitt Family Foundation, "The End of the Line" is a must-see for all who love the ocean and its creatures.

In addition to the film, attendees are in for a special treat and discussion.  Jamie Pollack will attend the event as the New York Representative for the Pew Environment Group's 'National Fisheries Reform Project' which focuses on ending overfishing by 2011. She is also the Co-Founder of Shark Savers, a international shark conservation organization focusing on lowering the demand for shark fin soup and setting up shark sanctuaries around the world. The Pew Environment Group is currently working on a campaign to ban surface longline fishing in the Gulf of Mexico which they use to catch swordfish and yellowfin tuna. While longlines kill swordfish and yellowfin, they also kill bluefin tuna, marlin, sharks and sea turtles as well. This method of fishing is extremely destructive and indiscriminate because It kills everything in its path.  She will be on hand to take questions from the audience, distribute sustainable seafood cards and explain the innovative "fishphone" app that is available on cell phones.

Space is limited and RSVPs are required. Suggested donation only $12 online or $15 at the door. Under 21 years old: $5 suggested. Includes an organic wine & cheese reception from 6:00-7:00 pm. To reserve your seat online, visit: To check for door ticket availability, contact Jeff Cordulack at 203-869-5272 x239 or For more information about the film & event, visit: or

Friday, January 21, 2011


A snowy winter means mountains of fun in Connecticut's Litchfield Hills, where opportunities for many kinds of outdoor recreation abound.

Imagine the quiet swoosh of a cross country skier gliding across the winter landscape in one of the many state parks and nature centers that abound in this unspoiled northwest corner of the state.  Here are a few of our favorite spots to cross country ski.

White Memorial Foundation, on 71 Whitehall Rd. (off Rte. 202) in Litchfield offers 35 pristine miles of trails to explore.  The Apple Hill Trail is especially scenic for x-country skiing as it meanders for approximately two miles from Laurel Hill to the summit of Apple Hill, the highest point around Bantam Lake.   An observation platform located on top of Apple Hill provides stunning views of the lake, hills and unspoiled countryside as far as the eye can see.  Gliding through open fields and forests you may catch a glimpse of a white tailed deer or a red fox.

Burr Pond State Park, on Burr Mountain Rd. in Torrington offers a lovely blue blazed three mile trail with very little elevation that circles Burr Pond making it easy to ski on.  The trail takes you through a portion of Paugnut State Forest with its sheltering pines and hemlocks.  In addition to including many fine views of the pond – popular with ice fishermen, you will also glide through a variety of habitats.

Collis P. Huntington State Park on Sunset Hill Rd., in Redding is a quiet hideaway park that offers several unexpected charms.  The hill at this park is excellent for sledding and sliding and the network of trails here, most were former roads offer excellent and easy cross -country skiing.   The Blue Trail circles the park in a 5.7-mile loop that is perfect for an afternoon excursion.  A highlight of the park is the unique bronze animal sculptures made by Anna Vaughn Hyatt, one of America's most prolific sculptors.

Ski Jump Network - Litchfield Hills picked for national ski jump competitions

Ski Jump Network - Litchfield Hills picked for national ski jump competitions

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

State’s Three Regional Tourism Districts Announce Plans to Participate in International Tourism Summit

State’s Three Regional Tourism Districts Announce Plans to Participate in International Tourism Summit

CONNECTICUT, JANUARY 19, 2011 – In support of the Governor’s recent announcement reinvesting in Discover New England, the State’s three Tourism Regions have announced that they will participate in Discover New England’s Annual Summit and International Marketplace on April 4-6 in Washington, New Hampshire.
The three offices – the Western Regional Tourism District, Central Regional Tourism District, and Eastern Regional Tourism District – will join efforts to host an interactive booth and be a participating sponsor at Discover New England’s annual major annual marketing event.
At the Summit, Connecticut’s Regions will meet with International Tour Operators and Travel Agents and International Press from the U.K., France, Germany, Belgium, and other European countries to tout Connecticut’s many attractions. The presence of the State’s Region’s Tourism leaders will ensure that Connecticut and the many tourism industry businesses represented by the three regions can deliver their marketing messages directly to key decision-makers.

Over the past few years, Connecticut has been losing market share in the very lucrative market of international visitors. While the State Tourism Office has been unable to promote Connecticut as a destination to these travelers, the State Regional Tourism Districts have been working together to maintain Connecticut’s presence. In rejoining the Discover New England organization, the Regional Districts and the State will once again be able to immediately call on their support to encourage foreign visitors to choose Connecticut as a destination.

Connecticut Tourism Regions have a long track record of representing Connecticut’s hotels and attractions at the Discover New England Summit and International Marketplace as well as at the U.S. Travel Association’s Annual Pow Wow, one of the biggest International Marketplaces in the World.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Bridgeport’s Arena is Renamed Webster Bank Arena at Harbor Yard

Webster Bank, a leading New England commercial bank, has entered into a ten-year naming rights agreement for the Arena at Harbor Yard in Bridgeport, Connecticut with Centerplate. Effective immediately, the Arena will be named Webster Bank Arena at Harbor Yard.

Centerplate is responsible for managing and marketing the arena for the City of Bridgeport and is also the leading hospitality provider to North America's premier sports and convention centers.
"We are extremely proud and pleased to welcome Webster Bank as the naming rights sponsor for our Arena at Harbor Yard," said Mayor Bill Finch. "This is a great day for the City and for the bank."
In exchange for the naming rights investment, Webster Bank will be featured prominently in signage, including a new full-color outdoor marquee. There will also be signage facing the harbor and visible from the Long Island Ferry and the Metro North Railroad Station, and another facing the northbound side of Interstate 95.

"We're delighted to demonstrate Webster's commitment to Connecticut's largest city and to have the Webster Bank brand paired so prominently with this spectacular entertainment venue in the heart of the Park City," said Michelle Crecca, Webster Bank's chief marketing officer. "This is an extraordinary opportunity for us to create a multi-faceted, long-term Webster brand experience – not only with the people who attend a game or a show, but with city residents and commuters who will see the Webster name from Interstate 95, the train station and the ferry landing."

In addition to the exterior building signage, Webster Bank will appear on highway directional signage, at the box offices, on either end of the basketball court, and within the center ice location whenever ice hockey is in operation. The agreement also provides Webster Bank with the exclusive rights to install Webster ATMs in the arena concourse. Webster will also receive digital messaging rights, promotional exposure in brochures, collateral materials and websites, and premium hospitality options.

"We are delighted to have found the ideal naming rights partner for this signature Bridgeport property," said Des Hague, President and CEO of Centerplate. "Together with Webster Bank, we have crafted a platform to engage consumers and provide a meaningful benefit to Bridgeport and its citizens."

Celebrate a Traditional Burns Night in Washington CT

Scotland’s most famous poet, Robert Burns, will be honored at a Highland Feast with a piper, Celtic music, and Haggis on January 29 at St. John’s Episcopal Church Parish Hall, Washington Green. This Burns Night celebration, a Scottish tradition, will feature a six-course meal with smoked salmon, venison, partridge, and a tasting of 6 to 10 single malt whiskies.

It may not be Scotland, but anyone can celebrate the anniversary of the famed poet’s birth, and St. John’s is ready to do it in style. A piper will announce the Haggis, delivered to the main table by the chef.  Haggis, a sheep’s stomach filled with the sheep’s intestine and oatmeal, is a big part of the tradition, although there will be plenty of other good things to eat at this Burns Night. Scottish fare includes tatties (potatoes) and neeps (turnips), and a pudding called a “Tipsy-Laird-Trifle.”  The meal will be preceded by cocktails and hors d’oeuvres and wine will be served with dinner.

Kilts, trews and tartans are encouraged and everyone will join in the recitation of favorite Burns poems, toasts, prayers, and the singing of “Auld Lang Syne.”

The Highland Feast is $95 per person, and a portion of the proceeds will benefit St. John’s Community Outreach Committee. For more information or to make reservations, call St. John’s at 860-868-2527. St. John’s Episcopal Church is located at 78 Green Hill Road, just across from the Washington Green. The Parish Hall faces 9 Parsonage Lane, with plenty of convenient parking.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Western CT Blog: Mohawk Mountain Ski Area Makes Planning Easy

Western CT Blog: Mohawk Mountain Ski Area Makes Planning Easy: "Western CT Blog"

Music Under the Stars in January?

Yes!  The Discovery Museum's Planetarium presents "To the Stars and Back" on Saturday, January 22, 2011 from 6:30 p.m.-9 p.m.

This presentation in the Henry B. duPont III Planetarium is  a natural combination--timeless music played under the dome of the starlit heavens.  Music will be provided by The Haven String Quartet, an ensemble of exceptionally talented musicians who have performed around the world.  A star show will accompany and inform the musical presentation.

The program will feature "Tenebrae," an original work by Osvaldo Golijov (2000) inspired by a unique juxtaposition of events experienced within a week's time--a visit to Israel during a time of great strife followed by visit to New York's planetarium--and "String Quartet No. 5," Philip Glass, Composer (1991).  Discussion will follow.

There is limited seating so make sure to RSVP by  Thursday January 20, 2011.  The tickets are $15 per person and  $10 for Discovery Museum Members with Membership Card  Light refreshments will be offered. To reserve your tickets in advance, please call 203-372-3521 with your credit card information or send your check with name, address, telephone number, and e-mail address  to The Discovery Museum, 4450 Park Avenue, Bridgeport, CT 06604, Attn: Music Haven

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Warm Up the Winter at the Zoo!

Connecticut's Beardsley Zoo, the state's only Zoo, has an exciting February planned with most events and activities free with the cost of admission.  From a Black Tie Ball to a celebration for the Year of the Rabbit and a February Folic for children  there is plenty of winter fun for the entire family.

On February 5, from 12:00 pm - 3:00 pm, there will be a Asian New Year Celebration.  Children will join with their friends to celebrate the Year of the Rabbit with special stories, crafts, a children's parade, and many more fun activities.  Snow date is February 12.

The elegant black tie Red Ribbon Ball will be held on Feb. 5th at 6:30 pm at the The Waterview, 215 Roosevelt Drive in Monroe.  Dinner, Dancing and a live silent auction honoring Charles Carroll, director of public facilities for the City of Bridgeport are in store for those in attendance.  For a table of ten the cost is $1,500 or $150 per ticket. Sponsorships are available.  For information, call (203) 394-6573.

The 5th Annual Monkey Love Drive wil be held through Feb. 9th – stuffed monkeys collected at the Zoo will be distributed to children at Casey Family Services of Bridgeport, Valley YMCA in Ansonia, Covenant to Care for Children in the New Haven area, Boys and Girls Club of the Lower Naugatuck Valley, and to area Congregations. In addition, monkeys are being given to children of soldiers currently stationed abroad.  Visitors to the Zoo are asked to bring a stuffed monkey to donate and will receive $1 off regular admission for participating.

The Zoo Celebrates Valentine's Day  with a special story time , craft activity and even an animal encounter.  All activities are free with Zoo admission.

The Zoo's popular February Frolic, is offered from Feb. 22- 24 from 9:00 am - 12:30 pm.  This daily school vacation program is for children ages six through twelve who love animals, the environment and learning.  Each day may include zookeeper talks, behind the scenes tours, hands-on learning, games, crafts, and more.  Children may sign up for a day or more.  Cost of the program is $40.00 per day, cost for Zoo members is $35.00 per day.  For information and to register, call 203-394-6563 or visit

To beat the winter doldrums, visit the  Zoo's Tropical Winter Greenhouse  where the Vanilla Orchid is in bloom!  As you explore the Greenhouse you will see bananas and other fruits growing overhead as well as  several species of orchids and cacti  that flower all winter long.  It's a short walk through another world!  The Greenhouse is free with Zoo admission.

The Zoo is open every day from 9 am - 4 pm., the Café and Carousel Concessions will be closed Mondays and Tuesdays and will close at 2:30 pm Wednesday - Friday.  The Gift Shop will close at 3:30 pm Monday - Friday.  The Café, Carousel and Gift Shop will operate regular hours on weekends and holidays.  Adult admission (ages 12 & older) is $11.00, children (ages 3 -11) and senior admission (62 and older) is $9.00, and children under 3 years old and Zoo members are admitted free.  Parking at the Zoo is free of charge.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

New Canaan Historical Society Presents Carl Schmitt, 1889 - 1989 An Artist’s Life: A Retrospective Exhibit

Located in the lovely town of New Canaan, the New Cannan Historical Society has organized a fabulous exhibition of over two dozen works by Carl Schmitt that include: paintings, pastels, etchings, drawings, and sculpture.  The exhibit also includes photos, exhibition catalogs, sketchbooks, and other items from the Foundation's archives illustrating Schmitt's long career and life as an artist.

Carl Schmitt  was born in 1889 in Warren, Ohio and was encouraged by his parents to further his artistic interests. He left Warren at  seventeen to begin formal art studies in New York. Within a few years he headed to Silvermine, Connecticut, where he bought an acre of land with a ruined eighteenth-century stone structure across the road from the American sculptor Solon Borglum. Schmitt refurbished the building and began to attend meetings of the "Knockers Club". Schmitt helped found the more formal Silvermine Guild of Artists, taking part in numerous exhibits.

 Throughout the 1920's Schmitt's paintings were accepted for the most important national exhibitions, including those at the Carnegie Institure, the Corcoran Gallery, the Art Institute of Chicago as well as numerous galleries in New York City. The New Canaan Historical Society is hosting this show as part of its series highlighting members of the Silvermine Group of Artists.

The wide scope of the exhibit is intended to give a broad overview of Schmitt's achievement in many different styles, all animated by his unique aesthetic vision.  It also aims to present his life and work in the context of the artists' colony in Silvermine.  It is a rare opportunity to see many works loaned from private collections, most of which have not been exhibited in many decades and may not be so again.

The New Canaan Historical Society is located at 13 Oenoke Ridge Road in New Canaan, Connecticut and is open Tuesday through Saturday: 9:30 a.m.- 4:30 p.m. On Saturdays, the gallery is closed between 12:30 and 2 p.m. For further information, you may call the Society at 203–966–1776, or visit their website, The exhibit runs through March 28, 2011.