Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Kent Sidewalk Festival Ready For July 28-31 In Litchfield Hills CT

The Kent Sidewalk Festival  is scheduled for Thursday, July 28 through Sunday, July 31 and is sponsored by the Kent Chamber of Commerce.

I have enjoyed the sidewalk festival for many years and I am looking forward to visiting Kent this weekend for this festive event... If you like to treasure hunt for fabulous gifts amid a charming small town teaming with music and great food, this event is for you!

Every merchant and store up and down Main Street, in the Village Barns and on the Kent Green will be offering special discounted items, many in tents outside their stores. You will find great deals on women's clothing at Terston, Country Clothes, Foreign Cargo and Wanda Elle, antique jewelry, glassware and collectibles at the North Main Street Market Place, David Armstrong prints and books at House of Books, shoes at Sundog Shoe and Leather, antiques galore at both Main Street and Rolling River Antiques, designer samples of wallpaper, pillows and more at LaVoie Color & Design, a designer tag sale at Kent Kitchen Works and a blowout on Reidel Glassware at Kent Wine & Spirit.

St. Andrews Church and the Kent Center School Scholarship Fund will have tag sales to benefit the work they do while the Library's book sale will offer 10% off any purchases over $10.  The volunteer fire department will celebrate their 100th anniversary with memorabilia and sale items near the library. As you go from shop to shop, be sure to enter the drawing for a Summer Shopping Spree at participating businesses. The drawing will be held Sunday at 2 PM on the Golden Falcon Field with a grand prize worth over $500 and 2 others worth $250 each.

Not to be left out, the restaurants in town will offer discounts and special food items. The Villager is open for breakfast and lunch, the Fife'n Drum will feature pulled pork sliders under their tent and popcorn at the Gift Shop, Millstone Café will serve Mexican churros, Smoked will have discounted prices while Webster Bank is bringing in their ice cream truck and Backcountry Outfitters will have Cheeseburgers in Paradise on Friday night.

Children will enjoy a Sidewalk Art Contest Saturday morning, face painting each day thanks to Kent Children's Center.  Fire truck rides from the new firehouse, several family exercise opportunities, a Petting Zoo at Three Monkeys and Me and Dancing on Main Street with the Earl Mosley Institute of the Arts are all part of family fun in Kent.

Music is another big part of the Sidewalk Festival with actors from Tri-Arts in Sharon performing excerpts from their current production, Hairspray.  At Kent Coffee and Chocolate you can stop and listen to an  Elvis impersonator that will sing your favorite hits.  There will also be concerts on the porch at Richard Lindsey Bookseller on Saturday and Sunday afternoons. This year the Concerts will benefit the Fisher House of Connecticut. This house, next to the VA Hospital in West Haven, affords military and veteran's family's a place to stay near their loved one during recovery. The line up for the

Concerts includes Andy and Jeannette Hicks, students from the Litchfield Jazz Camp, John Couch, Homegrown Band, the Joint Chiefs, Joe Bouchard and Bruce Wheeler.
Many merchants will also offer demonstrations and activities to inform and entertain. Fitness Matters Studio will offer free Juice Plus+ tastings as well as a polarity therapist, a resistance/stretching trainer and an energy healer Reiki Master (for a fee). Black Sheep Yarns has fiber related artisans doing demonstrations and selling materials,  and Rolling River Antiques will offer chair caning demonstrations. You can get a Henna Tattoo at Terston for a $10 donation to the Kent Food Bank or try various fitness methods at Curves and Mountain Falls Fitness and afterward sample wine at Kent Wine & Spirit.

New this year and sure to be a big hit is Kent Cruise Night Saturday. This is a chance to show off your car, truck or hot rod. The event will also feature great food and music.

Not all events take place all hours each day, but there will be fun for all four days! Parking is available on the street and on the Kent Green property.   For the most up to date information contact the Kent
 Chamber of Commerce at 860-927-1463 and check the website  The mission of the Kent Chamber of Commerce is to bring local businesses together to develop and promote balanced economic growth that enhances the quality of life in our community.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Fairfield County CT - The Historical Society of Easton holds Antique Car Show August 7

3rd Annual Antique Car Show Easton CT

The bucolic village of Easton located in Connecticut's Fairfield County is well known for it's beauty. Scenically stunning, almost half of the town's land is owned by the Aquarion Water Company, a major supplier of water for Fairfield County. A drive along the  Hemlock Reservoir and Aspetuck Reservoir is pleasant anytime of year.

As you explore Easton, you will see the Bradley-Hubbell House built in 1816.  This excellent example of Colonial architecture with a center-chimney plan and Federal-style ornaments is on the National Register of Historic Places. In 1912, Bradley descendants sold the property to the Bridgeport Hydraulic Company, which flooded much of the farmland for a reservoir and leased the house to one of its employees. In 1998, the house was donated to the Easton Historical Society, which is restoring it.

On August 7 from 1 pm  to 4 pm the Historical Society of Easton will hold its 3rd Annual Antique Car Show on the grounds of the historic Bradley-Hubbell property.  A grand exhibition of Model T-Fords and vintage cars will be displayed by Easton residents and Connecticut's Crankin Yanks, a Model T Ford antique car association. Visitors are invited to view the antique cars and take a tour through the Bradley-Hubbell Museum and the 1860 historic barn.

The Bradley-Hubbell property is a landmark treasure which serves to educate adults, children and Easton's 3rd grade students about the region's rich agricultural history.  The 1860 barn was a tool for the farmer who worked the land.  Its existence tells a story of farming, family and community.  A rare manuscript was found that was written by John Dimon Bradley, a descendant who lived on the property as a boy in the early 1800's who describes in detail his family's farming activities.  Tours will include docent led demonstrations of the extensive collection of historic 18th and 19th century farm and kitchen tools used by farming families in the region.

Suggested Donation:  $5 per person, children free; to benefit the Barn Restoration Fund. For more information contact  The Bradley-Hubbell Museum is located on Westport Rd. in Easton CT.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Summer Sunday Concerts at Stamford's Bartlett Arboretum & Gardens

In 1913, Francis A. Bartlett, a well known dendrologist and founder of the internationally known F.A. Bartlett Tree Expert Company, acquired 30 acres of North Stamford woodlands to use as his residence, training school and research laboratory for his successful tree-care company. Over the years he assembled a large number of woody plant specimens on the property from all over the world in particular from North America, Europe and Asia.

By 1965, Mr. Bartlett's research laboratory had moved to North Carolina and his Stamford home, which now covered some 64 acres, was purchased by the State of Connecticut and was designated the Connecticut State Arboretum. 

Today, the Bartlett Arboretum & Gardens is a  unique natural preserve whose 91 acres highlight the best of what Connecticut's native landscape has to offer: magnificent award-winning Champion trees, charming gardens, wildflower meadows, red maple wetlands and boardwalks, woodland walking trails, varied wildlife and native habitats.

On Sunday's in the Summer, visitors to the Bartlett Arboretum and Gardens can experience a very special treat as Sunday Concerts in the garden are offered through August 7th.

Morning concerts are held in the garden from 10:00 am - 11:00 am and feature student soloists from the Yale School of Music graduate program.  Bring a chair and your newspaper and relax as the classical music blends with the sights and smells of their beautiful gardens in their own version of aromatherapy-a sure-fire way to recharge your batteries for the week ahead! 

Evening Pops on the Lawn takes place from 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm.  Guests are encouraged to bring a chair or blanket, your favorite beverage and a light snack -- (sorry no cooking allowed ) and enjoy a great evening of music surrounded by the natural beauty of the Arboretum and it's gardens.  On July 24  the soft, silky warm voice of singer song writer Ellen Woloshin performs; on July 31, Bluegrass award winning guitarist and mandolin player Orrin Star & the Sultans of String perform under the stars.  The final summer concert on August 7th  brings a performance by  Katie Wilson and the Two Time String Band whose modern all acoustic bluegrass sound has pleased audiences throughout southern Connecticut.   For more information call 203-322-6971.

For concerts, members are free, non members are free with garden admission. Garden admission is $6 per adult and free to children under the age of 12.

About The Bartlett Arboretum & Gardens

 The Bartlett Arboretum & Gardens is open to the public every day of the year. The grounds are open from 9:00am - 7:00pm. Admission is free to members and $6.00 per adult. Children under the age of 12 are free and Wednesdays are free to all.  

The Bartlett Visitor Center, is open Monday through Friday, 9:00 am - 4:30 pm and is closed on national holidays.  Please call for weekend Visitor Center hours.

Visitors to the Arboretum are allowed to walk their dog on the forest trails. Stamford charter and city code Section 111-1 through 111-12 requires that dogs be leashed at all times on the property and that visitors pick up after their dog.

The Bartlett Arboretum & Gardens is located on 151 Brookdale Road Stamford, CT
Tel: 203 322 - 6971 Fax: 203 595 - 9168 or visit 

Annual Green Corn Festival in Litchfield Hills Connecticut

The Institute for American Indian Studies Museum and Research Center  in Washington CT is hosting it's Annual Green Corn Festival on Saturday, August 6  from 11:00 am - 3:00 pm on the grounds of the Museum located on 38 Curtis Road.  The event will be held rain or shine. Adults: $10; children: $6.

Traditionally corn has been an integral part of the annual cycle of life for Native American People and this Festival celebrates the first corn of the season.  Fun filled activities for the whole family including drumming, dancing, face painting, kids’ crafts, and more make this event memorable.

Highlights of the event include exciting Native American ceremonies including traditional Eastern Woodland song & dance with the Wampanoag Dancers & Singer,  guitar music of Ojibwa musician & artist, Allan Madahbee and singing and drumming with the Sint-Sink Singers.  A favorite of young and old alike are the Native American folktales told by storyteller, Janis Us of Mohawk-Shinnecock descent.  Kids will enjoy Native American inspired crafts and facepainting. 

Two not to be missed features of the  Festival are the crafts for sale by local Native American artisans and a taste of traditional cooking including Pow-wow style food for sale  in the outdoor Algonkian Village  hosted by Dale Carson,  of Abenaki descent. 

About the  Institute for American Indian Studies Museum and Research Center

The focus of the Institute has always been stewardship and preservation. In 1991, the name was changed to the Institute for American Indian Studies. With the name change there was a shift in focus to include education in conjunction with research.

The ethnographic collection of the Institute for American Indian Studies contains over 6,000 cultural items. While focusing on the Eastern Woodlands Peoples, the collection represents indigenous communities throughout the western hemisphere. Items vary in raw material composition - textiles, wood, stone, clay, glass, shell and semi-precious jewels – function and style from moccasins, rugs, baskets and leggings to containers, weaponry, personal accessories, recreational objects and fine art. 

The Research & Collections Building is artifact-friendly with a climate controlled vault and spacious laboratory. It is home to an abundance of collections, both ethnographic and archaeological. It also houses both an education and research library, containing over 2,000 books and journals  and is open only by appointment (860-868-0518 ext.109).   

For museum hours and other special events  visit:


Thursday, July 14, 2011

All Ferraris All Day Saturday, July 30 at Lime Rock Park, Litchfield Hills CT

For the first time in five years, the Ferrari Challenge race series is returning to Lime Rock Park in Litchfield Hills Connecticut. The date is Saturday, July 30. The Ferrari Challenge is a six-event/12-race North American racing championship contested by amateur drivers who own either a Ferrari Challenge F458 Italia or Ferrari Challenge F430.

The races at Lime Rock Park are rounds nine and 10 of the 2011 championship. The last time Ferrari Challenge races were held at Lime Rock was 2006.

According to Ferrari North America, the Ferrari Challenge is the longest-running championship of its type: a single-marque sports car racing series. It is designed to allow Ferrari owners to compete with fellow owners on the world's most noted race tracks. The first year of the series was 1993, in Europe; the North American sister series began in 1994.

This year, the series opened at Sears Point in California, followed by Laguna Seca (Calif.), the Canadian F1 Grand Prix (Montreal) and IndyCar Toronto. Lime Rock is next, with the finale at Homestead Miami Speedway in September.

At 184 points, Enzo Potolicchio of Venezuela leads the standings in the "458" division. Two Americans – Cooper MacNeil of Hinsdale, Ill., and San Francisco's Harry Cheung – are just 6 points behind. In the "430" category, Chris Ruud of Wisconsin and Ryan Ockey of Calgary, Canada are tied for the lead with 134 points.

The Ferrari Challenge series is sanctioned by Grand-Am, the NASCAR-owned road racing organizer noted for its Daytona Prototype & GT championship (the series at Lime Rock this past Memorial Day weekend).

Joining the Ferrari Challenge at Lime Rock Park is the popular Shell Ferrari Historics Series; two non-championship races featuring vintage racing Ferraris.

Ferrari Challenge at Lime Rock Park is a one-day spectator event and includes the track's usual amenities, including food concessions, Big Y Kids Club, free parking, kids karting and bounce house, 12 and under free admission and free paddock access. For adults, a full bar is available at "The Pines" café in the Infield. Tickets are $30 in advance and $45 at the gate. Tickets may be purchased online at or calling 860.435.5000.

Trails of the Norwalk River Valley and Vicinity

The Norwalk River Watershed Association has launched "Trails of the Norwalk River Valley and Vicinity," which includes hiking trail maps of the entire watershed region, including Norwalk, Wilton, Ridgefield, Weston and Redding.

Both the map and David Park's "Kayaking In and Around the Norwalk Islands" book are available through the NRWA website at Proceeds from each purchase go toward funding NRWA efforts to protect the Norwalk River watershed.
The map is available in paper for $5 and in water-resistant outdoor quality for $8 (100% of proceeds support NRWA). The book is available for $10 (40% of proceeds go to NRWA).

The maps were produced by NRWA and printed with funds from a grant from Norwalk outdoor gear and apparel store Recreational Equipment Inc. (REI). The map charts existing and proposed trails from Calf Pasture Beach in Norwalk north to Danbury throughout the watershed and surrounding vicinity.
Kayaking in and around the Norwalk Islands by NRWA board member and kayak enthusiast, David Park, is packed with superb information on kayaking the Norwalk area.

The Norwalk Islands, located one mile off shore, include islands open to the public for camping and exploring, a few being part of the Stewart McKinney Wildlife Refuge. The guidebook, complete with color photos, includes information on three local rivers, complete descriptions of all the islands including local wildlife, history, and points of interest such as the Historic Sheffield Island Lighthouse and other Norwalk lighthouses as well as other useful tidbits such as where to launch, coastal and off-shore paddling information, and safety guidelines.

For information on free programs, research, volunteer opportunities, and membership, contact

About the Norwalk Watershed Association
The Norwalk River Watershed Association, incorporated in 1996, is a not-for-profit membership organization whose mission is to improve the water quality and aesthetic value of the 40,000-acre Norwalk River watershed; to encourage recreational use of the existing trails and open space; and to promote research, education, cooperation, and action on the part of the stakeholders in the seven watershed towns in CT (Ridgefield, Redding, Wilton, New Canaan, Weston, and Norwalk) and NY (Lewisboro).

Friday, July 8, 2011

Public Gets First Peek at Piglets and Pygmy Marmoset at Beardsley Zoo Bridgeport CT

Beardsley Zoo's New Resident - Eko - a Pygmy Marmoset
The New England Farmyard just got a little noisier and the Rainforest Building a bit wilder as Connecticut's Beardsley Zoo celebrates the birth of nine new piglets and welcomes an additional Pygmy Marmoset.  The playful piglets join their Guinea Hog parents Hamton J. Pig, the lone male pig, and Olivia.  The new Pygmy Marmoset came to Connecticut's Beardsley Zoo last month from Zoo Montana.

"Good things can come in small packages," commented Zoo director Gregg Dancho. "Our new piglets are all happily eating, sleeping, and playing in their new surroundings; and the new Pygmy Marmoset is adjusting well to her new home."
The public is invited to visit the newborn piglets in the New England Farmyard.  Hamton hails from the Virginia Zoo in Norfolk, Virginia originally, while Olivia came from Sedgwick County Zoo in Wichita, Kansas.

The new female Pygmy Marmoset, named Eko, is 2 years old and has been in the Animal Care Center since her arrival from Montana to give her time to get acclimated to her new surroundings.  She joins a male Pygmy Marmoset, Weechie, who is 5 years old and has been at the Zoo for some time.  Eko was brought to Connecticut's Beardsley Zoo in order to mate, in keeping with the Zoo's goals of animal conservation and species survival promotion.  They were introduced a little over a week ago at the Zoo's Animal Care Center before returning to the exhibit.  If breeding is successful, gestation is usually four and a half months; with between one to four offspring expected.  It is not uncommon for Pygmy Marmosets to give birth to twins.

Pygmy Marmosets are one of the world's smallest primates.  They weigh less than a naval orange and could fit in the palm of a hand.  Unfortunately, these sociable monkeys are often victims of illegal pet trade, in part due to their outgoing demeanor and "cute" appearance.  Their status is continually threatened due to habitat destruction, with shrinking rainforests worldwide.  Half of these species call rainforests home, but have been forced into progressively smaller and less suitable habitats.  Places like Connecticut's Beardsley Zoo, which focus on protecting such vital wildlife, are committed to studying animals like Pygmy Marmosets more closely and providing them with improved opportunities to breed and reside.

Guinea Hogs are quick learners with a substantial memory, using their sense of taste to identify objects.  While the newborn piglets range in weight from one to two pounds, adult Guinea Hogs typically weigh 150-300 pounds and grow to a height of 21-24 inches.  They are hearty grazers who forge for shrubs, weeds, bird eggs, snakes, mice, grasshoppers, roots, tubers, and even manure.  They are gentle animals found in sounders (herds) and tend to call farms home, however, they may be found in deserts and mountainous areas, as well.

About Connecticut's Beardsley Zoo
Connecticut's Beardsley Zoo is closer than you think and features 300 animals representing primarily North and South American species.  Visitors won't want to miss our new Bald Eagle exhibit, Andean condors, Amur (Siberian) tigers, ocelots, red & maned wolves, Andean (spectacled) bear, llamas, vampire bats, and golden lion tamarins.  Other highlights include our South American rainforest with free-flight aviary, the prairie dog exhibit with "pop-up" viewing areas, the New England Farmyard with goats, cows, pigs, sheep, and other barnyard critters, plus the hoofstock trail featuring bison, pronghorn, deer, and more.  Visitors can grab a bite at the Peacock Café, eat in the Picnic Grove and enjoy a ride on our colorful carousel.  For more information, visit

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Summer Jam LIVE Teen Concert Series Rocks STEPPING STONES July 13- Aug. 17

School's out and Summer Jam LIVE @ Stepping Stones is in!  Beginning on Wednesday, July 13, the hottest, up-and-coming teen-aged musicians in the industry will take the stage for a series of concerts to benefit youth enrichment initiatives at the museum.
Kicking Daisies, the infectious, vibrant, punk-pop teen rock band voted by fans as "the next big thing" will strut their stuff on opening night, followed by  headliners eight-year-old rapper Lil' P'Nut on August 3, acoustic sensation Burnham on August 10 and a Battle of the Bands on August 17th to blow concert goers minds!

Billed as one of the hottest teen events of the summer season and rigged with a state-of-the-art sound and theatrical lighting system, high def monitors, intimate staging and plenty of room for the kids to hang, Summer Jam LIVE is sponsored by JALA, Serendipity Magazine, KC101.3, Bank of America and Venture Photography.  Red carpet photos, Serendipity Magazine's casting call for fashion models, drawings, giveaways, food and dance music round out each night's activities.   And for parents and chaperones, be there without being there in Stepping Stones specially created, exclusive Parent's Lounge.

The four summer shows include:

July 13 - Kicking Daisies and Rose and the Thorns
Kicking Daisies was voted by their fans as the "next big thing in music." Wise beyond their years, Connecticut natives, Duran, Ben, Carly and Caitlin have gained a following for their honest lyrics and precocious musical talent that delights audiences of all ages.
Rose and the Thorns is described as rock-n-roll with a little soul. Hailing from New York City with the spirit of the 60's and 70's, their honest and soulful music is extraordinarily refreshing and raw.

August 3 - DJ Jadin in the Mix with Lil' P-Nut
All the way from London to make this special guest appearance, Jadin will get the crowd jumpin' with his mixing mastery of the latest Hip-Hop tracks.
Benjamin "P-Nut" Jr. was born in 2002 in Memphis. This 8-year-old rapping sensation has been featured on the "The Ellen Degeneres Show" and is about to sign a deal with Cartoon Network.

August 10 - Acoustic Concert featuring Burnham and Stereo Skyline
The three Burnham Brothers are from Long Island and have been playing together for seven years. They opened for Justin Bieber in concert last year.
Stereo Skyline formed while its members were still in high school. The Long Island natives have also shared the stage with the likes of Hanson, Cartel, All Time Low and Boys Like Girls.

August 17 – Battle of the Bands
This night will feature the best up-and-coming local bands of the season and concert-goers will have the opportunity to vote for their favorite.

Summer Jam LIVE tickets are $10 in advance and $12 at the door. The doors open at 6 pm and the concerts start at 7 pm.  For more information and for details on buying tickets, visit or become a fan on Facebook: Live at Stepping Stones.
Stepping Stones Museum for Children is an award winning, private, non-profit 501 (c)(3) children's museum committed to broadening and enriching the lives of children and families. For more information about Stepping Stones, to book a field trip or schedule a class, workshop or facility rental call 203-899-0606 or visit

Wine & Roses Celebrates The Jekyll Garden in Woodbury CT

It is hard to resist a glass of wine in a beautiful garden on a perfect summer evening.  That is what you can expect at the Glebe House Museum on Hollow Road in Woodbury, at its festive lawn party, WINE & ROSES, in the Gertrude Jekyll Garden from 5:30 to 7:30 pm on Saturday, July 16.  Surrounded by bursts of summer flowers in the garden and bouquets of roses, guests can sample Gertrude's Garden, a white wine named for Gertrude Jekyll and bottled by Walker Road Vineyards in Woodbury.  Hors d'oeuvres and other wines will also be served.  There will be a silent auction and special items for sale including rose bushes for your home garden.  The museum will be open for the evening. Tickets for the garden party are $20.00 per person and all proceeds for the event will support the renovation and preservation of the Gertrude Jekyll Garden.

Set in the picturesque Litchfield Hills in historic Woodbury's village center, the museum welcomes visitors for a glimpse of Revolutionary War era Connecticut.  The simple but elegant 18th century farmhouse is furnished as the home of the Reverend John Rutgers Marshall, his wife Sarah, their nine children and three slaves who lived in the "glebe" during the turmoil of the American War for Independence. The Glebe House was restored in 1923 under the direction of William Henry Kent, pioneer of early American decorative arts at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.  One of the early historic house museums in the country, The Glebe House opened its doors to the public in 1925.

In 1926, the famed English horticultural designer and writer was commissioned to plan an "old fashioned" garden to enhance the newly created museum.  This year we celebrate the 85th anniversary of the garden design. Gertrude Jekyll had a profound influence on modern garden design and is widely considered the greatest gardener of the 20th century.  Although a small garden, when compared with the 400 more elaborate designs she completed in England and on the Continent, the Glebe House garden includes 600 feet of classic English style mixed border with sweeps of red, yellow and gold and cool waves of lavender and blue hues, and foundation plantings.  It is the only remaining example of her work in the United States today.  The garden is open during daylight hours and the museum is open Wednesday through Sunday from 1-4 pm or by appointment.

To reserve tickets for WINE AND ROSES please call the Museum Director at 203-263-2855.