Friday, August 30, 2013

Hometown Heroes Exhibit at Danbury Museum & Historical Society

Courtesy Danbury Museum
The Danbury Museum & Historical Society located on 43 Main Street in Danbury has launched their new exhibit, Hometown Heroes: An Historic Tribute the Danbury Police & Fire Departments, now open Tuesday through Saturday, 10am to 3pm, through November 9, 2013. This exhibit tells the tale of the birth and development of both departments in the city of Danbury and honors the city's Hometown Heroes, the men and women who serve and protect the citizens that live here in countless ways.

The eighteen display cases in Huntington Hall, the exhibit space, is  filled with memorabilia, including: photographs, uniforms, artifacts, equipment and ephemera that commemorate the history and service of Danbury's police officers and firemen.

In addition to vintage photo displays in each case, an hour-long photo slide show runs continuously and photocopied newspaper articles and other published materials are accessible to visitors to spark memories and spur conversation.

The exhibit is the backdrop for a full slate of films, lectures and special events for all ages. The history of national fire and police service will also be explored, and includes an August 17th visit from Damon Campana, Director of the New York Fire Museum who will discuss NYC fire history at 2pm.

For a nominal fee, visitors to the museum on Fridays and Saturdays from 10am to 3pm can enjoy a guided tour of the historic buildings located at the 43 Main Street campus, including: The John & Mary Rider House (c.1785), The Dodd Hat Shop (c. 1790), The Marian Anderson Studio and the Little Red Schoolhouse.

About the DMHSA: The Danbury Museum & Historical Society was formed in 1947 to acquire, preserve, exhibit and interpret New England's past; focusing particularly on the heritage of Danbury. Situated in downtown Danbury, the museum preserves the John and Mary Rider House (c.1785), the Dodd Hat Shop (c. 1790), the Marian Anderson Studio and the Charles Ives Birthplace. Huntington Hall, a modern exhibit building houses the museum offices and research library.

For more information contact: and for area information

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Farm to Table Dining at Trumbull’s Parallel Post

The Parallel Post located in the Trumbull Marriott Hotel is one of Connecticut’s newest dining hotspots. 

 Best of all, the menu is reasonably priced.  The food is farm to table fresh prepared by chef Dean James Max, a James Beard-nominated chef who is widely respected as one of the foremost seafood provocateurs in America.  Max is also a cookbook author; in his book, “A Life By the Sea: The Atlantic Ocean (2006) he notes, “My love of food is fed from fond memories of smells and tastes of my childhood.”  Considering all these achievements, it is not a surprise that he “wows” diners with his creative farm to table offerings.

Originally, from Virginia’s Chesapeake Bay, Max spent his summers living on a farm. This experience, along with his family’s culinary traditions, helped him to understand the seasonality of food.  His journey as a chef has taken Max to many states; he has created many successful menus and has been recognized as “Best Chef” many times.  One of his most prestigious accolades is from the highly regarded James Beard Foundation, which has recognized Max as a “Great Regional Chef of America.”

Max’s farm to table outlook is not part of a trendy movement rather it is his philosophical approach to food and his diligence to his profession as a chef.  To that end, Chef Max uses many area purveyors such as Norm Bloom and Sons in Norwalk for oysters and lobsters, Ox Hollow Farm in Roxbury for beef, Beltane Farms in Lebanon for Cheese, Gilberties and Sherwood Farms in Westport for fresh herbs.  The menu changes with the seasons so there is always something new to try.

Before dinner, or after work, cocktails can be enjoyed at the swank new bar area that offers all manner of drinks in a convivial and comfortable setting.  Signature drinks include a “healthy” gin tonic upgrade that contains quinine, cucumber and juniper, a refreshing Appleton rum continental with fruits and honey and an evocative Belgian style drink with beer, Orangecello, lemon juice and St. Germain.

When dining at Parallel Post, don’t miss the Katama Bay Oysters that are plump and succulent; they are served with a tarragon mignonette cocktail sauce; another winner in the oyster family are fire roasted with preserved lemon butter and smoked bacon.  A perennial favorite are the hand cut sea salt french fries, they have just the right amount of crunch and are served with a spicy ketchup and old bay vinegar.

Tomatoes are in season so now is the time to try the burrata cheese, heirloom tomato salad that is elegantly mixed with hot soppresata, arugula, piquillo paint, peach oil and grilled bread.  Another refreshing salad is a combination of baby greens, cucumbers, blistered tomatoes and aged farm cheese mixed with delicious hazelnut vinaigrette.

As for entrees try the grilled mahi that is cooked to perfection and served with yukon puree, grilled broccolini, fried okra, and buttery corn with verbena jus.   On the lighter side, pineapple glazed shrimp with sticky rice and grilled vegetables are just enough to satisfy.  The grass-fed beef double burger, voted VT’s Best Burger is from OxHollow Farm in Roxbury and is served on a fresh sesame brioche roll with Vermont cheddar and Benton’s bacon.  This burger is delectable and pairs well with the hand cut fries.  The desert menu offers a medley of goodies from espresso flan to a luscious white chocolate lavender cheesecake with strawberry sauce.

The menu is seasonally inspired and always evolving.  For current menu offerings visit  The Parallel Post is located in the Trumbull Marriott, 180 Hawley Lane, Trumbull CT. Call 203-380-6380 for reservations.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Goshen Fair– August 31-September 2

Horse Show courtesy Goshen Fair
‘Tis the season.  In Connecticut’s rural Litchfield Hills, harvest time means the region’s favorite end-of-summer celebrations, old-fashioned country fairs.  In the quiet hamlet of Goshen, one the largest agricultural fairs in the State will be taking place from August 31 through September 2 for the 101 time! 

Many events featured at this country fair have been attracting families for generations. Baking contests, horse shows, and displays of prized sheep, swine, goats, cattle, cows, oxen, and draft horses offer a rare chance for city and suburban youngsters to see fine farm animals close-up.  Live entertainment, mouth-watering food, a colorful midway and a multitude of displays and imaginative entertainment rounds out the fun.

This year’s celebration includes an Adult Spelling Bee, Fireworks, Hay Bale Toss Contest, a colorful Parade, Pie Eating Contest, Skillet Throwing Contest, Vater’s Monster Truck Show and performances by Hypno Lorezo, Changes in Latitudes: a Jimmy Buffet Tribute Band, Nashville Drive, and Apricot Brandy to name a few.

Chainsaw Demonstration courtesy Goshen Fair
There are some new additions for kids as well this year. Near the Antique Barn, be on the look out for the Frozen T-shirt Contest that will take place on Saturday at 3 pm. On Monday, at 11 a.m. Jester Jim will be on the scene with a show sure to delight youngsters.  A special treat for kids on Monday from 12 noon to 4 p.m. is the offer of a $30 wristband for unlimited rides (admission not included).

Special highlights of the fair also include a draft horse show at 8:30 a.m. on Sat. Aug. 31, a Lumberjack Contest and woodcutting demonstration from 12 noon – 3 p.m. followed by the Hay Bale Throw Contest at 4:30 and fireworks at 9 p.m. On Sunday, Sept. 1, some of the highlights include a Junior Open Dairy Show at 9 a.m., a 11 a.m. parade down the midway, a 1 p.m. horse draw exhibit, pie eating contest at 3 p.m., a skillet toss at 4:30 p.m. and Vater’s Monster Truck Show at 7:30 p.m.  On Monday, Sept. 2 there will be a  Dairy Show and Dog Agility Demonstrations at 9 a.m., a woodcutting contest at noon and the adult spelling bee at 2 p.m and much more.  For a complete list of entertainment check out the website.

Pie eating contest. Courtesy Goshen Fair

 Admission to the Goshen Fair is $8 for adults, children under 12 are free. Senior admission will be $5 on Sat. only.  Visit for a discount coupon saving $1 off admission on Monday, Sept. 2 only.  The Goshen Fairgrounds are located on the right approximately ½ miles south of the center of Goshen on Rte. 63.  The GPS address is 116 Old Middle Street, Goshen, CT.  For an up to the minute schedule visit  For area information

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Step Back to the Summer of 1863 at the Civil War Reenactment in Woodbury

Woodbury, well known as Connecticut's antiques Capitol will host well over 350 Civil War reenactors from all over New England as well as from points south. The reenactors will be camping out in Strong Preserve Park off of Rte. 6 on Scratchville Road on August 24 and 25.

Visitors are invited to step back in time to the summer of 1863 and immerse themselves in this tumultuous period of American history. Begin your walk through history by strolling through replicas of period military camps as well as the civilian town of Unity. Camp layouts are garrison in style with formal company streets and include all of the amenities that one would expect to find in a military camp such as wood, water and hay for horses.

There will examples of both Union and Confederate camps. Along the way, reenactors will engage you with the trials and tribulations of their day -- you may even meet some well known personalities. Listen to period music and enjoy the tales of well versed speakers and authors that make this event come alive. For family fun, kids are invited to take part in a scavenger hunt that will teach them about the American Civil War. Don't miss the 19th century goods for sale on Sutlers Row while enjoying a treat from one of the food vendors.

The camp comes alive with many special demonstrations that include battlefield medicine and surgery as well as period toys and games. The highlight of the event includes the colorful drills that take place and the roar of cannons during the orchestrated battles that are scheduled. This reenactment features unique and elaborate battle scenarios that are not found at other events.

Special battles times have been scheduled for Saturday, August 24 at 2:30 p.m. and Sunday, August 25 at 1:30 p.m.
The gates to the event open at 8:30 a.m. giving guests ample time to see the many chores and activities of the reenactors as they begin their day. 

Admission is $10 for adults, $5 for students and seniors, $4 for children 5 to 10 and kids under 5 are  free. There is free parking and shuttles to the event. For additional information  For area information

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Kissable Camels At Connecticut's Beardsley Zoo

Connecticut's Beardsley Zoo is known for offering special family programming during the summer months. In years past, the zoo has featured a free flight bird show, Rainforest Reptiles, and last year's Galapagos tortoises were a huge hit with the public. This summer, two camels have called Connecticut's Beardsley Zoo home through Labor Day.

The camels, named Toby and Goliath, may be found on the greenhouse lawn and rides will be available from 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. for $5 per person, which includes photos. Visitors will be able to purchase ride tickets at the front gate, gift shop, carousel, and at the camel ride. While there are no age restrictions for riders, anyone five years old and younger requires an adult rider with them. The zoo also is offering a combo ticket for both a carousel and camel ride for $6.00.

Fun camel facts, courtesy of Environmental Graffiti:

Bactrian camels have two humps while Dromedary camels have one hump. (Toby and Goliath are Dromedary camels.)
The name camel comes from Arabic, meaning "beauty."
A camel's hump stores fat - not water - as many believe.
Camels can drink up to 40 gallons at one time.
Camels can go for long periods of time without drinking because of the shape of their red blood cells, which are oval, and allows them to flow easily without clumping. They are the only mammals to have this kind of blood cell.
Camels can kick in all four directions with each leg.
Camels can eat anything without injuring their mouths - including thorny twigs.
Camels can close their nostrils against wind and sand when necessary.
Their coats reflect sunlight and insulate them from the desert heat.
"Spitting" is actually a way that camels defend themselves. They don't actually spit but rather throw up a nasty smelling fluid when provoked.

For more information about Connecticut's only zoo visit For area information

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Family Fun is guaranteed, rain or shine in Litchfield Hills and Fairfield County

When the beach outing or the picnic is rained out, what to do with restless kids on a wet summer weekend?  Plenty of possibilities await in Western Connecticut’s Litchfield Hills and Fairfield County, where special indoor exhibits from bats to dinosaurs to a working carousel are guaranteed to bring smiles. Families can join a workshop learning how to make their own clocks or even have a “stay-cation” at a resort with an indoor water park.

In Norwalk, the Maritime Aquarium is featuring Africa from Dessert to Sea starring amazing creatures from exotic fish to adorable meerkats, geckos and awesome giant boas. Playful meerkats are a favorite, and special windows allow following them into their underground burrows. A viewing bubble even lets young visitors stand up right among the meerkats.

 Not far away in Norwalk at the Stepping Stones Museum for Children, Dinosaur Revolution, a special exhibit through September 8, lets youngsters uncover fossils and facts about dinosaurs as they navigate a giant maze.

The Stamford Museum and Nature Center has a new exhibit through September 2 called Masters of the Night, starring bats, those mysterious and often misunderstood mammals. Visitors can try out a variety of fun and informative interactive stations featuring life-like models, such as "Bat Ears," “Feast in Flight," and the "Echo - Echo Unit."

In Greenwich, Eggs-hibition: Unscrambling Their History at the Bruce Museum through October 20 promises to enthrall all with its array of bird eggs, edible eggs, and eggs both ugly and beautiful.


A ride on an old-fashioned merry-go-round is a treat for all ages, and it is included in the price of admission at the Carousel Museum in Bristol. This unique museum offers one of largest collections of antique carousel pieces in the country in its "Golden Age of the Carousel" exhibit. Visitors also see the workshop where antique carousel creations are restored. Upstairs, a Museum of Fire history awaits and the museum includes a changing art gallery and a children’s craft center, as well.

Waterbury’s Timexpo: The Timex Museum is a fascinating place for older kids with its Time Tunnel and a colorful history of watch making. Fun for all is the museum’s Make A Clock workshops offered every Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Workshop participants choose among many designs, decorate and assemble their own working clock.

Waterbury also offers a unique splurge solution for a rainy weekend. It is always 84 degrees and sunny at the Coco Key Water Resort and Conference Center, where a 50,000 square foot indoor water playground offers an Adventure River, water slides, raft rides, activity pools with water basketball and the Parrot's Perch Interactive Play Island with a special shallow Kiddie Entry Area.  If you don’t want to stay the night, day passes are available.

For more information about family activities and a free copy of UNWIND, a full-color,
152-page booklet detailing what to do and see, and where to stay, shop and dine in
Western Connecticut, contact the Western Connecticut Visitors Bureau, PO Box 968,
Litchfield, CT 06759, (860) 567-4506, or visit their web site at and

Friday, August 16, 2013

Jazz, Chamber Music and a Quartet - Music Mountain has it all!

Galvanized Jazz Band
Music Mountain located in the heart of the Litchfield Hills has planned a musical extravaganza this weekend. On Saturday, August 17 at 6:30 p.m. the Galvanized Jazz Band returns to this venue for the 20th year with their high energy, exciting Dixieland, Blues and Stomps.

The Galvanized Jazz Band with its sparkplug leader cornet player Fred Vigorito and a group of hard playing skilled and very experienced colleagues will deliver another great show as they have done at Music Mountain for 19 years.  This will be their 20th   year here and will feature two special guests: Bob Price, banjo and Jim Fryer, trombone.

On Sunday, August 18 at 3 p.m., the Dover String Quartet returns for their second appearance this summer.   They bring with them their recent European touring partner Roberto Diaz, a wonderful violist and president of the Curtis Institute, from which all the members of the Dover Quartet graduated.

In keeping with our 2013 theme, they will play 2 pieces seldom played at Music Mountain. The concert opens with the Haydn String Quartet in B Flat Major, Opus 76 # 4, one of the last instrumental pieces that Haydn wrote, which will receive only its 7th Music Mountain performance. The concert will close with Roberto Diaz joining the quartet to play the Mendelssohn Viola Quintet in B Flat Major, Opus 87 for its 2nd Music Mountain performance  
The middle piece is the Beethoven String Quartet in E Minor, Opus 59 # 2. It is performed at Music Mountain regularly and is a basic part of our repertory.  One of the three Rasoumovsky quartets, this is the one with the Russian theme from a patriotic hymn in its third movement, the same melody that can be found in the opera Boris Godunov and other works by Russian composers, including the Arensky Quartet for 2 cellos, which was played on August 4. 

Saturday, August 17, Tickets in Advance: $30 Tickets at the Door: $35
Sunday, August 18 Tickets in Advance: $30, Tickets at the Door: $35

Music Mountain is located in Falls Village, Connecticut, in the northwestern corner of the state, approximately 100 miles or 2 1/2 hours from New York City.
Entrances to Music Mountain Road are on Route 63 near the junction of Route 126, and on Route 7, across from the Housatonic Valley Regional High School From the Route 7 turnoff, bear left at every intersection.
From either entrance, a short scenic drive will bring you to Gordon Hall atop Music Mountain. Free parking and picnic facilities are available. Arrive early, bring a box lunch or dinner and enjoy a stroll around our lovely grounds.

Buy your tickets online at or Call 860.824.7126.  For area information

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Sail away this summer at Soundwaters in Stamford CT

If you ever dreamed of sailing on a tall ship, Soundwaters in Stamford Connecticut can make your dreams come true.

Once again this summer Soundwaters is offering afternoon and sunset sails on their 80 foot three masted schooner in June, July, August and September on selected weekends.  

The afternoon sails that take place from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. are perfect for families.  Participants will enjoy the wonder of Long Island Sound as they help raise the sails and examine first hand the rich diversity of aquatic life that exists beneath the waves.  Educators on board will teach participants about the quality of the water, how to test it and how to analyze groundwater.

The sunset sails are perfect for adults and a romantic cruise along Connecticut’s “gold coast”.  Guests on the sunset cruise are invited to bring their dinner aboard and favorite beverage and relax as the sun dips below the horizon of the Sound.

The schooner is located on 333 Ludlow Street in the Stamford Harbor Park Marina in Stamford just off of I-95.  To reserve your spot on the schooner visit for dates and times and your reservation.  If you have additional questions call 203-406-3335 or email

About Soundwaters

Soundwaters is a leading environmental education organization in Stamford CT located on Long Island Sound.  Their award winning programs take place at their Coastal Education Center and on the Soundwaters, an 80-foot three-masted schooner as well as at schools, community centers and field sites throughout the region.  Their mission is to protect Long Island Sound through education.  

For area information