Monday, January 30, 2012

Ski Jump Thrills In The Litchfield Hills Feb. 10-12, 2012

The 86th annual Jump Fest, slated for February 10 to 12 at John Satre Memorial Hill in Salisbury features the Eastern U.S. Championships, where the region’s best will show off their skill and grace, reaching speeds up to 50 miles per hour as they soar over 200 feet in the air.

Jump Fest begins Friday night with a chili cook-off at 6:30 p.m.. This is followed by target jumping under the lights starting at 7 p.m.

On Saturday, the Salisbury Invitational Competition for juniors goes on from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. featuring 20 and 30 meter jumps, and leaps of 65 to 98 feet. Saturday also brings the event that has become a tradition along with ski jumping, the 11th annual Ice Carving Competition from 11 a,.m. to 3 p.m. on the grounds at Salisbury’s Scoville Memorial Library. Another tradition, open to all, is the Snow Ball Dance with live music, to be held at the Lakeville Firehouse on Saturday night at 8 p.m.

On Sunday the Eastern U.S. Ski Jumping Championships begins at 1 p.m. Participants will be aiming to beat the course record, an impressive 231-foot jump!

The all-volunteer Salisbury Winter Sports Association, long-time boosters of the sport and hosts of the annual championships, provides cross-country and jumping equipment and training to area children and maintains cross-country ski trails at several sites in town.

For additional information about this event contact For information about Litchfield Hills

Monday, January 23, 2012

Get Funky at Stage One Jan. 27!

The Fairfield Theater Company has featured more funk bands recently and is proud to present a new, young band on the rise. The buzz-worthy Brooklyn-based nine-piece powerhouse Sister Sparrow delivers a refreshingly cool blend of gut-busting soul, horns, earthy rock, and new school funk.

The band is led by singer Arleigh Kincheloe who is backed up by her brother Jackson on harmonica, Bram Kincheloe on drums, Aidan Carroll on bass, Sasha Brown on guitar, Ryan Snow on trombone, JJ Byars on alto saxophone, Johnny Butler on baritone saxophone, and Phil Rodriguez on trumpet. While Kincheloe is the main lyricist, the entire ensemble works together to produce the the musical arrangements.

As the New York Daily News puts it "Sister Sparrow & The Dirty Birds has been tearing up local clubs since 2008 with its rollicking blend of soul, funk and backwoods Americana rock 'n' roll, which draws even indifferent hipsters onto the dance floor. The pint-sized singer packs a voice that shakes the rafters, while her brother shreds the harmonica — which they've dubbed "the Mississippi saxophone."

If you're down with a solid group of talented young artists reviving one of the most timeless musical genres, inspired by Parliament Funkadelic, James Brown, The Meters, Deep Banana Blackout and Phish, Sister Sparrow is the show to see. One Facebook fan describes them as "a cross between Amy Winehouse and Tina Turner with Mick Jagger and a dose of the Squirrel Nut Zippers?"

Glide Magazine gushes, "The lead off track "Untie my Shoelaces" carries a swank strut and smooth guitar swing from Sasha Brown. Kincheloe's voice immediately jumps out front with a sexy, smoky vibe that belies her young age and will bring the boys up front all night long. Horn accents provide faultless fits and starts of melody both propelling the music forward and offering precise counterpoint to the bass and vocals. When backup vocals swerve in at the end, the bootays will shake and the lips will smile. This is just fun."

Sister Sparrow and the Dirty Birds

Date: Friday, Jan. 27
Doors: 7:00 PM
Show: 7:30 PM
Venue: StageOne 70 Sanford St., Fairfield, CT 06824
Tickets: $12 Buy tickets: Box Office: 203.259.1036 or buy online:

FTC on the Horizon: Upcoming Shows to Watch Out For

Thu., Jan. 26 @ StageOne: The Malone Brothers – A collaboration of artists from The Radiators and The Subdudes
Sat., Jan. 28 @ StageOne: The English Beat – Punk reggae/ska masters
Sat., Feb. 4 @ StageOne: Christopher Robin Band – Fairfield's southern rocker with tales of pain, love and truth

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Winter Carnival Hi-Jinks in Salisbury CT Jan. 28 and 29

A new Winter Carnival Weekend January 28th and 29th will be a festive prelude to the annual Jumpfest Ski Jumping Championships in Salisbury, the town in Connecticut's Litchfield Hills that has been a mecca for ski jumping for nearly a century.

The Carnival Weekend highlight will be a wacky Gelande Jumping Exhibition, from 5 pm – 7 pm on Jan. 28th and from 11 am – 2 pm on Sun., Jan. 29. This event, also known as "Alpine Skiing" is where skiers burdened with downhill equipment try to emulate the ski jumpers who will soon be showing for real what it takes to excel at this challenging sport.

Another new event debuting during Winter Carnival will be the Human Dogsled Race that will feature five people pulling a sixth on a sled over a .5 k course. The race will be held around 2 pm on Sunday after the Gelande Jumping event ends. In addition, activities for youngsters such as ice carving and the Children's Ski Jumping Meet from 1pm – 3 pm have been planned.

Admission to all events is $10 for adults, children 12 years old and under free. For happy viewing, the Association recommends that spectators dress warmly in lots of layers. Satre Hill is on Indian Cave Road, off Route 44 in Salisbury. Signs in the center of Salisbury point the way to ample free parking. For up to the minute information, please visit: For dining and lodging information visit

About SWSA

A Salisbury Connecticut tradition for 80 years, this all-volunteer organization has fostered the exhilarating sport of ski jumping among all ages and generations. SWSA continues to improve its snowmaking capabilities, ensuring that the Eastern National Ski Jumping Championships will remain an annual event in Salisbury, CT.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Charlie Hewitt Cut & Printed at the Center for Contemporary Crafts Jan 22- March 12

The Center for Contemporary Crafts in Norwalk CT has announced a new exhibit that will be on view from January 22 to March 12, 2012. The name of the exhibit is Charlie Hewitt: Cut and Printed, Recent Color Woodcuts. The opening reception is on Sunday, January 22 from 2 PM to 5 PM.

Charlie Hewitt is a printmaker, painter and sculptor, who has taught extensively since 1986 at schools including Dartmouth College and Fordham University. He has had many solo exhibitions and has his work in major private and public collections including the Museum of Modern Art, The Whitney Museum of Art, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Brooklyn Museum, the New York Public Library, The Library of Congress and the Portland Museum of Art.

In addition to the exhibition, Charlie Hewitt will be leading a workshop, "Wet-On Wet Woodcut Intensive", with Master Printer David Wolfe from February 17th – 19th at the studios located at the Center for Contemporary Crafts. They will co-teach this workshop in multi-colored woodcut and relief printing methods. Students cut and print using a wet-on-wet ink process that produces a spontaneous, immediate print. The workshop concentrates on creating unique print variations by working with a variety of cutting and inking techniques. Participants need to bring their own tools if they have them. Tools will also be available for those that do not own them. To register please visit the website at, or call 203-899-7999.

Two additional workshops are offered in January. Mezzotint with Carol Wax is offered from Jan. 27 through Jan. 29 from 10 AM – 4 PM. This worshop features direct, non-toxic engraving with the resulting luminous prints with rich tones and dramatic lighting effects. Participants will learn the most efficient way to prepare a mezzotint ground, proper care and handling of tools, image making and printing techniques, alternative grounding methods (no rocking!), use of mezzotint with other intaglio techniques, color printing, registration methods, cool tricks and more.

There is also a 6-week evening workshop on Carborundum aquatint that takes place on Wednesdays, from January 18 through February 21. The workshop includes 6 hours of studio time per week, during the workshop session.

Carborundum aquatint is a painterly intaglio technique in which the artist paints directly on a Plexiglas plate with a mixture of carborundum grit and acrylic medium. When dry, the plate is inked and wiped as an etching. Using a variety of sizes of grit, a printmaker can achieve a wide range of tones. Participants will also explore multiple plate registration methods and printing in color.

The Center for Contemporary Printmaking is located in Mathews Park, 299 West Avenue Norwalk, CT 06850 203.899.799. The website is

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Quassy’s New Roller Coaster Named Attraction Of The Year

Quassy Amusement Park’s “Wooden Warrior” roller coaster has been named Attraction of the Year in a poll conducted by the theme park enthusiasts’ Web site Behind The Thrills.In making the announcement today, Racheal and Erik Yates, who operate the popular site, said the “Wooden Warrior” has been a huge success for Quassy, a small family-owned park in Middlebury, Conn.

“We’re absolutely delighted by the news,” said Quassy President Eric Anderson. “We were up against some other fantastic attractions from throughout the world.”

Attraction of the Year was a new category added to a list of 10 awards presented by Behind The Thrills. Nominations for this distinguished award were submitted by readers.

“We received over a hundred different attractions (nominations) from parks all over the world,” the Yates said in announcing the honors. “Not all of the attractions were new. In fact, a lot of the new attractions barely made our top 30 to be placed on the ballot.”

Roller coasters, dark rides and some classic attractions at large theme parks were among the nominations.

The Yates went on to say: “The little roller coaster (“Wooden Warrior”) stood up against an army of bigger, meaner, more technologically advanced rides and came out victorious!”

Quassy’s new coaster captured 35 percent of the vote with * “Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey” TM, at Universal Orlando’s Islands of Adventure, coming in second with 12 percent of the tally. “The Voyage” roller coaster at Holiday World in Santa Claus, Ind., placed third in the voting.

The “Wooden Warrior” has received praise from coaster and theme park enthusiasts since opening last April.

“The ride speaks for itself,” noted George Frantzis, a Quassy owner. “It’s a small ride that offers a fantastic experience for its size. We’ve been told that time and again by our guests and coaster experts who have traveled great distances to ride it.”

The 1,250-foot ride was designed by The Gravity Group of Cincinnati, Ohio, and is the first “junior coaster” in the firm’s portfolio. In addition, Quassy selected The Gravity Group’s sister firm, Gravitykraft, to provide its state-of-the-art Timberliner train for the ride. The “Wooden Warrior” is the first new coaster in the United States to feature the sleek train.

“The resulting ride is fast, smooth and a lot of punch for a little coaster,” the Yates said in their award statement.

Quassy Amusement Park will open its 104th season on April 28. For more information visit

Also, visit these related Web sites: and

Friday, January 6, 2012

Weir Was here – Secret Rooms, Doors and Windows Now On Exhibit Through May 31, 2012

Weir Farm National Historic Site commissioned New York photographer and former Artist-in-Residence Xiomáro to create a photographic record of the interiors of the Weir House, Weir Studio, and Young Studio. The results of this photo expedition comprises the current show that is on view in the Burlingham House Visitor Center. The Center is open on Saturdays and Sundays, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., now through March 31, 2012 and from April 1st through May 31st, from Thursday through Sunday, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

All three buildings are currently empty allowing Xiomáro the chance to focus on the details of these spaces — features that might otherwise go unnoticed in a fully furnished setting. This is the first artistic collection of photographs of the building interiors in the site’s history, and captures the beauty and texture of these intimate spaces. “There is a mystery and secrecy to these relatively empty spaces,” Xiomáro explained, noting how “the same eyes and hands that created works of Impressionism also unlocked these doors and opened the shutters to take in the inspiring landscape framed by the windows.”

The selection of the images that comprise the new exhibit titled “Weir Was Here – Secret Rooms, Doors, and Windows”, offers visitors a small glimpse into the historic structures of Weir Farm while they remain closed to the public.

A special highlight of this show will be five gallery talks presented by Xiomáro from 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm on January 7, February 5, March 4, April 1 and May 6. There is no fee to participate in the gallery talks, but registration is required. For more information on the exhibit, or to register for one of the gallery talks, please call (203) 834-1896 x12.

To learn more about Xiomáro and his photography, visit

About Weir Farm National Historic Site

Weir Farm National Historic Site was home to three generations of American artists. Julian Alden Weir, a leading figure in American art and the development of American Impressionism, acquired the farm in 1882. After Weir, the artistic legacy was continued by his daughter, painter Dorothy Weir Young and her husband, sculptor Mahonri Young, followed by New England painters Sperry and Doris Andrews. Today, the 60-acre farm, which includes the Weir House, Weir and Young Studios, barns, gardens, and Weir Pond, is one of the nation’s finest remaining landscapes of American art. For more information about Weir Farm National Historic Site, please visit or call (203)834-1896.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Woodbury CT’s New Morning Natural and Organic Store Announces their January Class Schedule

New Morning Market announces their schedule of free classes for January, to be held at the Woodbury Public Library. Classes support living a natural lifestyle are open to the public, however registration is required due to space limitations. Registration can be done online at, by calling Julie at 203-263-0673 ext. 317, or in person by stopping into the store in Woodbury.

On Tuesday January 17, 2012 from 5:30 to 6:30pm at the Woodbury Library the focus will be on The Art of Tea Blending and the presenter will be Alison Birks MS, AHG, CNS. This class will cover the basics of how to create a signature tea blend for well-being. Participants will learn about the many varieties of tea, including: green, black, white, rooibos, honeybush, tulsi and several herbal tisanes. Everyone will take home one-ounce of a unique signature blend that they create in class. The many health benefits of tea will be discussed as well as how to use tea and herbal infusions in cooking, body care and more! This class is free.

On Tuesday January 24, 2012 from 6:30 to 7:30 pm at the Woodbury Library the subject will be Improving Your Mood with Natural Medicine, presented by Dr. Shawn Carney ND. Did you know that an estimated 15% of people will experience depression at some point in their lives? Join Dr. Shawn M. Carney, a naturopathic physician at Northeast Natural Medicine, LLC, for this informative talk on effective ways of improving your mood with Natural Medicine. He will review how dietary and lifestyle changes can improve mood. He will also discuss scientific research supporting the use of herbal therapies or nutritional supplements for patients with mild to moderate depression. This session is free.

To end the month, on Tuesday January 31, 2012 from 6:30 to 8:00 pm at the Woodbury Library the discussion will focus on “Inspiring U!”, and will be led by Yota Schneider a Life Transitions Coach. Think about it — we are in a brand new year, full of new beginnings and a sense of infinite possibilities! Are you ready? This session suggests that right now is the perfect time to reflect, renew and recommit to living your life to the fullest. In this interactive workshop with Yota Schneider you can explore and discover or reconnect with what makes your heart sing. This event is free.