Category Archives: Arts and Culture

Aspiring & Established Writers Are Invited To Westport Online Writing Workshops

WESTPORT, CT— While vaccines are rolling out to more age groups in Connecticut, many still find themselves quarantined and working from home. The COVID-19 pandemic has not only impacted the way we live but has also changed the way we learn. Students and adults alike have learned the ins and outs of Zoom which has been an important tool for students, employers, and other organizations.

The Westport Writers Workshop found the Zoom online platform to be invaluable in enabling them to continue their online learning workshops not only in Connecticut but across the nation.

Liz Matthews, Executive Director of Westport Writers Workshop said, “Now that our workshops are being offered remotely, we have writers joining us from all over the country. The writers benefit from a broader range of feedback, and we preserve the closeness of each group with a max of seven participants.”

Matthews, a writer, and editor began her professional career in publishing at a literary agency and as an Editorial Assistant at Random House before teaching middle and high school English at Poly Prep Country Day School in Brooklyn. A mom of two school-aged children, Matthews learned to adapt to juggling responsibilities of working from home, homeschooling her children, and running a nonprofit agency since the COVID-19 shutdown back in Mach of 2020.

Last spring Matthews shared that their swift decision to move to online classes and workshops was due to being located in a town with one of the highest numbers of Coronavirus cases in the state. She added that “rolling with the changes” was something they had to do for the sake of everyone’s health and sanity.

“Writing, like many, provides a creative escape in the crazy times we’re living in,” she said.

Since last spring’s launch of an online-only learning environment, they have added even more classes and workshops to cater to the needs of their current and soon-to-be attendees. Students range from beginning and aspiring writers to published authors. All are welcomed in a supportive environment that offers valuable feedback and positive critiques that have enabled their student to land literary agents, book deals, prestigious awards, and more.

“The class gave me material for further exploration! Also, my classmates were wonderful. It’s as though we all became friends through the class and it felt as though we were all in a non-virtual class together, fully participating.” -M.S. a student.

Since its inception in 2003, the Westport Writers Workshop has developed into one of the most highly respected programs in the area for writers of fiction, memoir, romance, playwriting, children’s literature, and much more. Through leadership and training from a stellar team of published, award-winning authors, students gain a deep understanding of the elements of writing and many go on to be published authors as well.

Spring 2021 Westport Writers Zoom Workshops offerings are as follows:

Memories Real & Imagined with Rahla Xenopoulos

· This workshop is designed for experienced, published authors as well as for novices who have a hidden story to excavate and tell. It is designed for people who have a flickering feeling that they might have a book hidden within but need to discover what that book is about, for people who have been sitting on a book but haven’t managed to start and so too it is designed for people who enjoy the therapy of creative writing. But, above all it is designed for people who yearn for a place of kindness. Bring pen, paper and an open heart. All people who identify as women are welcome.

· 7 Tuesdays, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.

· March 30, April 6, 20, 27, May 4, 11, 18

Workshop in Poetry, All Levels – Manuscript Course with Charles Rafferty

· This class is for students interested in learning about the genre from Charles Rafferty, a frequent contributor to The New Yorker. Each week, participants will share a poem, and the instructor will lead a discussion of the manuscript, highlighting what is working well and suggesting ways to improve it. As time allows, there may also be general discussions of craft and perhaps some in-class writing. The manuscript component of this course will be the following: each student may submit one poem in advance of each class to the instructor, for classroom discussion.

· 7 Tuesdays, 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

· March 30, April 6, 20, 27, May 4, 11, 18

Picture Book Writing 101 with Valerie Bolling

· Have you always wanted to write a picture book? Maybe you have a story idea but haven’t written it down yet. Perhaps you have a draft of a manuscript that you want to revise. No matter where you are in your writing journey, this course is specifically designed for you … if you want to WRITE A PICTURE BOOK! Plus… A special guest will visit one of our sessions! James McGowan, an agent at BookEnds Literary Agency, has generously offered to answer class participants’ questions about picture books and the publishing industry.

· 7 Tuesdays, 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

· March 30, April 6, 20, 27, May 4, 11, 18

Creative Writing for Kids with Christina Pakkala

· Join Christina Pakkala for an hour of writing fun! Yes, you heard right. Writing CAN be fun when the only rule is to let your imagination FLY. We’ll play some writing games, write some stories, poems, and whatever we feel like. For grades 3 through 5. Christine Pakkala is the author of six books for children, including a picture book, Chasing Ricky.

· 7 Wednesdays, 4 p.m. to 5 p.m.

· March 31, April 7, 21, 28, May 5, 12, 19

Young Adult Fiction with Mike Belanger

· This workshop deals with the nuts-and-bolts of writing young adult fiction. Throughout the workshop, the focus will be on different aspects of craft, including voice, setting, plot, and dialogue. Examples from current popular YA novels will be provided along with exercises to help hone your work in progress or inspire your new novel. Students will share their writing and receive feedback from other students and the instructor. This class is for adults writing novels in any genre (i.e. realistic fiction, fantasy, historical fiction) for young adult readers, and is suitable for all levels of writers.

· 7 Thursdays, 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

· April 1, 8, 22, 29, May 6, 13, 20

Register for a class by clicking here. To check if a class is full, call (203) 227-3250 or email exec@westportwriters.org.

All of the Westport Writers Workshop spring workshops offered on Zoom are open to writers of all skill levels. Visit their Zoom tutorial pages to learn more about how to use the platform or contact Liz Matthews Executive Director, Westport Writers’ Workshop at exec@westportwriters.org or (203) 227-3250.

About Westport Writers Workshop:

Since 2003, the Westport Writers’ Workshop has been offering workshops for every level of writer, from novice to published! Our instructors offer friendly, supportive writing workshops designed to encourage, inspire, and spark your imagination.

With over 100 workshops a year to choose from, we welcome writers of all skill levels and genres. Our workshops are designed to suit your schedule, with options in the morning, afternoons, and evenings. We also host several Saturday-only workshops and one-week writing-intensive programs throughout the year. You can learn more about our workshops by visiting our WORKSHOP page. Let Westport Writers’ Workshop help you discover and develop your own unique writing talent and voice.

Our Philosophy: You can expect a supportive group led by an experienced instructor. You’ll write, read, and learn from each other. Focus is always on the quality of the writing – not on the subject matter. Writing begets writing. The more you commit to your writing, to showing up for your writing group, the more you will write. By joining a community of writers, you will become a stronger writer and influence others to refine their craft. Our philosophy and practices are inspired by Amherst Writers & Artists and Pat Schneider’s book, Writing Alone and With Others.

Our Mission: The Westport Writers’ Workshop is an independent literary arts center offering enriching, supportive creative writing classes, as well as literary readings to the local public. Our organization also provides free writing workshops to underserved populations in their own communities.

Our History: In 2003, Jessica Bram founded Westport Writers’ Workshop. In 2010, Jessica moved the workshops into the second floor of the historic building on 3 Sylvan Rd. South in Westport. In 2013, Valerie Leff bought WWW and became the Director. In 2014, Valerie created a Board of Directors and transformed the business into a nonprofit with a mission to offer enriching, supportive creative writing classes, as well as literary readings to the local public, and free writing workshops to underserved populations in their own communities. In 2018, Michelle Bradley came on board as the Executive Director, and in summer 2019 when Michelle’s family was transferred to Chicago, Liz Matthews took over as the Director. In March of 2020 with the onset of COVID-19, the workshops transitioned to the Zoom platform and were offered remotely. The organization grew to include writers and instructors outside of our immediate community.

westportwriters.org

Photo credit: Westport Writers Workshop

“EGG” Your Friends This Easter with a Custom Lawn Sign Package or a Unique Gift Basket from Salutations Custom Greetings!

FAIRFIELD COUNTY, CT—A local mom has created a new business that’s geared towards helping children and families celebrate the holidays, birthdays, and other special occasions while still remaining socially distant. What started as ‘Veggie-Grams” this past summer, Advent deliveries for local church kids this past Christmas, as well as sympathy, birthday, get well, and general pick-me-up baskets had one entrepreneur thinking that this surprise greeting is a welcome idea during difficult times.

Salutations Custom Greetings was born out of the owner, Wendy Mitchell’s idea to bring her vegetable surplus to family and friends during the early months of the quarantine during the COVID-19 pandemic. It then turned into customized cards and gift baskets for her family who she could not visit due to lockdown, and packages for her friends and neighbors. This past month, Wendy she created a highly successful “You’ve Been SHAMROCKED!” fundraiser at a nonprofit where she volunteers and soon after decided to launch her own business.

The business is a women-owned, mother-daughter venture in which Wendy’s 20-year-old apprentice, Ruby Mitchell, helps with buying, packing, delivering, and shipping packages. Ruby said, “I’ve worked with my mom for the last few years with her kids events and I’m a creative person so this is something that’s fun for me to do. Plus aI can go to school [at WestConn] and help out with this when I have my free time. I think it’s a great idea and people really seem to like the baskets. We have ones for pet owners too!”

All food items are from U.S.A. Mom & Pop businesses whose quality and safety standards are second to none.

Salutations Custom Greetings, states on their social media pages that they are “Super EGG-cited” to bring their very FIRST lawn sign/gift basket offering to the local community….”You’ve Been EGGED!” is an Easter lawn sign package that brings the holiday spirit from your hearts to your loved ones’ homes.

Those who purchase the package(s) can surprise their kids, friends, teachers, a local hero, and/or loved ones with a colorful lawn decoration set that says, “You’ve Been EGGED!” The package includes a festive lawn sign with two egg smaller Easter signs, a dozen candy-filled eggs and a personalized poem. Additional offerings include a gourmet Easter candy basket with gourmet chocolate-peanut butter bunnies, chocolate-dipped Peeps, chocolate covered Oreos and more. Another option is a candy-free toys only basket that includes a mini sketch journal, colored pencils, bubbles, sidewalk chalk and a cute pink, purple, or blue stuffed bunny.

While Salutations Custom Greetings’ website is under construction, they’re asking you to HOP on over to their Eventbrite page to peruse their one-of-a-kind gifts and goodies. Order by clicking here before they’re all sold out!

QUESTIONS? Call, text, or email (203) 501-7424 SalutationsCustomGreetings@gmail.com.

Danbury Irish Cultural Center Plans Scaled-Down St. Patrick’s Day Plus 2 Fundraisers

DANBURY, CT—Almost a year since their last St. Patrick’s Day Parade and events were canceled due to COVID-19, the Greater Danbury Irish Cultural Center​ (GDICC) has opened at limited capacity and is ramping back up with a smaller-scale, safety-conscious St. Patrick’s Day. This year’s normally month-long “most wonderful time of the year” for the Hibernians, will be held online via Facebook live stream and in-person with a limited number in attandance.​

In partnership with the Greater Danbury Irish Cultural Foundation (GDICF), the Greater Danbury Irish Cultural Center (GDICC) Board has planned an in-person and a live-stream St. Patrick’s Day with curbside pick-up and live music with limited attendance due to Covid safety regulations.  ​

In addition to the 2020 and 2021 parade cancellations, last year’s Danbury Irish Festival cancellation, and the nixing of this year’s St. Patrick’s Day Ball all due to COVID, the Foundation and Fundraising Committee has come up with two unique fundraising activities to bring the spirit of the Emerald Isle from their hearts to your homes. 

The first of these is the Irish Breakfast Basket​ fundraiser. For just $40, the Irish Breakfast Basket (bag) includes one pound each of fresh, top-quality bacon, sausage, pudding, brown bread, and a selection of yummy products from the fine folks at Kerrygold USA. Order online here.​ The order deadline is March 8, 2021.  Order pickup is curbside at the GDICC, 6 Lake Ave. Danbury​ on Saturday, March 13 between 12 – 5 p.m. 

The second fundraiser is “You’ve Been SHAMROCKED​!” which is a fun way to decorate your front lawn or surprise your friends. For only $20, you can deck your lawn or nominate a health care worker, teacher, school employee, a local hero, and shamrock them as your way to say “THANK YOU” for their selfless service during Covid!​

Each lawn decorating package includes 1 lawn sign, 7 lucky shamrocks, 3 balloons* (colors of the Irish flag), ribbon, a “pot” of GOLD in the form of gold-foil-wrapped chocolates, and a poem. Order now through 3/17 (or until they sell out). Order online here​ or complete an order form at the GDICC – ask the bartender for a form. Checks for $20 are payable to “GDICF. Order pickup is curbside at the GDICC, 6 Lake Ave. Danbury​, ​on Saturday, March 5, and Sunday, March 6 between 12 p.m. – 6 p.m. 

Both fundraisers benefit the Greater Danbury Irish Cultural Foundation, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. For more information, email DanburyIrish@gmail.com.

On St.Patrick’s Day, Wednesday, March 17th, corned beef will be available for take-out and curbside pick-up. Plans are still being finalized for in-person St. Patrick’s Day celebrations at the club. For the most up-to-date information, check the GDICC’s Facebook page​.​​​

Photo credit: Sean MacEntee via Flickr Creative Commons

#DanburyCT #JusticeforGeorge Peaceful Protest Ends in Group Split, Shutdown of Highway: #CTTraffic

All information in this article was due to the incredible live coverage from Al Robinson, owner/editor of My Left Nutmeg. To watch his entire live stream, please click here.

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DANBURY, CT—Danbury’s peaceful protest began with a crowd gathered in front of the Danbury Police Department (DPD) shouting the names of victims of police brutality and soon turned into chants of “F**k the police.” After about five minutes of chanting, one of the leaders invited the crowd to take a knee out of respect for the death of George Floyd.

“Let me speak, I’ve earned that. I don’t need to prove [inaudible], I wear it every day,” one of the speakers said. “Let the Chief speak.”

Danbury Police Chief Patrick Ridenhour addressed the crowd by saying he has been doing everything he can to address racial tensions because “it’s not right,” and “maybe this time will be different.”

While speaking, someone in the crowd interrupted the Police Chief yelling, “I am the victim of police brutality.” Another asked the question about what sort of diversity training the police does which was answered as “eight hours, every couple of years.”

Chief Ridenhour acknowledged that the diversity training protocols that are in place are not enough and they need to be changed.

As tensions grew, the shouts from the crowd made it difficult to hear the police chief. Mayor Mark Boughton also attempted to address the crowd, however, someone grabbed his microphone, according to Al Robinson of My Left Nutmeg, and the crowd and viewers were unable to hear what he had to say.

After about 20 minutes, the protesters split into two groups—one walking to the Danbury Public Library, and the other going to the highway.

The protesters who shouted, “Black Lives Matter” and “No justice, no peace” assembled on the highway, causing it to be temporarily shut down on I-84 at Exit 5.  Police from Newtown, Danbury, and State Police kept control of the crowd and no one was hurt.

Reporter Al Robinson of My Left Nutmeg said he had “mad respect” for the police who “did a good job keeping everyone safe.

 

Danbury Police Sgt. John Krupinsky said, “Working together can always get things done.”

Robinson said for the most part people were peacefully demonstrating and expressing their frustration on the lives lost due to past incidents of police brutality.  He ended his live stream by saying:

“We shouldn’t be here are looking for anything to pop off or anything violent. We should be here honoring why people are here in the first place—because a black man was murdered in broad daylight by the police again and enough is enough. Enough has been enough for a long time.”

The protest was organized by Solomon James and the Western CT Democratic Socialists.

Photo credit: Screenshot from Al Robinson’s Live video posted on My Left Nutmeg

To watch his entire live stream, please click here.

Danbury Kids Invited to Open House Sat. Sept, 7 & to Perform ‘Dia de Los Muertos’ Theater Show

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DANBURY, CT— Young Danbury area actors are invited to join the the GDICF Theatre Troupe‘s Open House on Saturday, Sept. 7th from 10am-12pm at the GDICC, 6 Lake Ave., Danbury. There will be free face painting, coloring, theater games, snacks and FUN!

Children who sign up for the 12-week session at the Open House get 10% off each student. If a child can not attend the Open House on Sept, 7, they can still register with the discount by signing up before Sept. 28, 2019, the day of the first class.

The fall mini production is a Dia de Los Muertos theme with songs from the popular Disney movie “Coco” on Saturday, Oct, 27, 2019 at 12 p.m. The winter play is on Saturday, Dec. 7, 2019 at 2 p.m. and is called “Christmas Around the World.” Classes are on Saturday mornings from 10-11:30 a.m. at the GDICC, 6 Lake Ave. Danbury and is for ages 3-12.

All productions are 100% original, written directed and produced by “Miss Wendy” Mitchell who specializes in teaching beginner’s theater classes. Wendy has her Head Teacher Certification in Early Childhood Education through the State of Connecticut and over 20 years of experience teaching youth theater, preschool and working as a daycare director. Each child is taught at their own pace and kids of all skill levels are welcomed and embraced.

All proceeds from the winter show go to benefit the Greater Danbury Irish Cultural Foundation, a 501(c)3 nonprofit, a charity that helps those in need in the community. In addition, we also hold a toy drive for Family & Children’s Aid the day of the winter show.

The GDICF Children’s Theater Troupe teaches kids that they can use their gifts and talents to help those in need in their community.

Questions? Call, text or email Miss Wendy: Wendyannmitchell@Live.com (203) 501-7424.

Photo by Therese Beck via Flickr Creative Commons

Danbury Area Children’s Theater Open House Includes Free Face Painting, Theater Games & Fun: Saturday, Sept. 7th

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DANBURY, CT—A local children’s theater troupe is inviting area children to come out to their fun and free children’s theater open house with the Danbury Youth Theater Troupe this Saturday, from 10 a.m. until 12 p.m. at the Greater Danbury Irish Cultural Center, 6 Lake Ave., Danbury, Conn. The event includes free face painting, theater games, arts and crafts, refreshments, and a meet and greet with the teachers.

Led by theater director Mrs. Wendy Mitchell, the theater classes encourage self-expression for children ages 3 – 12 years old in a safe, nurturing environment while educating kids about Irish folklore and various cultures. All productions are 100% original, written directed and produced by “Miss Wendy,” as the kids call her, who specializes in teaching beginner’s theater classes.

Miss Wendy has her Head Teacher Certification in Early Childhood Education and over 20 years of experience teaching theater, preschool and working as a daycare director. Each child is taught at their own pace and kids of all skill levels are welcomed and embraced!.

Students who sign up for the musical theater fall/winter 10-week session on the day of the open house will save 10%! The 10-week session is $150/student with a 10% sibling discount. Classes begin on Saturday, Sept. 28 and run each Saturday from 10-11:30 a.m. through Sat. Dec. 7, the day of their big show.

A free mini-production of “Wandering in the Willows” will be held at their Halloween blacklight GLOW party on Sun. Oct. 26th at 12 p.m. Songs from the popular movie “Coco” will be the backdrop for this colorful, engaging production.

The winter production of “Christmas Around the World” will be held on Sat Dec. 7th with a dress rehearsal on Fri. Dec. 6th. Tickets are $12 for adults and $6 for kids 3+up. All proceeds from the winter show go to benefit the Greater Danbury Irish Cultural Foundation, a 501(c)3 nonprofit, a charity that helps those in need in our community. In addition, we also hold a toy drive for Family & Children’s Aid the day of the winter show.

The youth theater company is community-minded and teach kids that they can use their gifts and talents to help those in need in their community.  The weekly theater classes are for kids ages 3-12 years old. Siblings and friends are welcome and encouraged.

Questions? Call, text or email Miss Wendy: wendyannmitchell@Live.com (203) 501-7424.

Magic, Music & Culture in Store at This Year’s Danbury Irish Festival

DANBURY, CT —​ The 2019 Danbury Irish Festival is bigger and better than ever at its new location, 65 Sand Pit Rd., Danbury.

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Dancers from Bethel’s Doherty-Petri School of Irish Dance will perform at the indoor/outdoor event which takes place rain or shine. The festival features three local Irish dance schools, Irish vendors, cultural activities, children’s entertainment, Irish food and refreshments and nonstop musical entertainment all weekend long.

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The festival takes place on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, Sept. 20, 21 and 22, 2019 and is presented by the Greater Danbury Irish Cultural Foundation, the Men’s and Ladies Ancient Order of Hibernians, the Greater Danbury Irish Cultural Center, committee members, and volunteers.

This year’s festival is dedicated to its founder, Gerry Curran, who passed away in July of 2019. Curran, the former President of the Danbury Division of the Ancient Order of Hibernians, co-founded the Irish Festival with the help of Sharon Higgins, Ladies Ancient Order of Hibernians president, as a fundraiser to build the Greater Danbury Irish Cultural Center which is now located at 6 Lake Ave. in Danbury. The first Irish Festival was held at Rogers Park in 1995 then moved to the Ives Center for many years before finding its new home on the grounds of the Danbury Portuguese Cultural Center.

Live music will perform on the main stage inside and festival goers can peruse authentic, traditional Irish jewelry and apparel from close to a dozen vendors. The Ladies Ancient Order of Hibernians prepare delicious baked goods in the hospitality tent, and there is Irish food and drinks available for purchase as well.  Shop in the Irish Village and get your holiday shopping done early! Peruse gifts, jewelry, Irish instruments, and other authentic, unique gift ideas from the Irish vendors who will sell their wares. ​

Outside, the cultural tent showcases a broad range of Irish heritage and gives festival-goers an up-close experience of Irish traditional music, Gaelic language, history, dance, genealogy, film, theater, and literature through live performances, displays, lectures, and workshops. All weekend long there will be displays on Women of the Easter Rising, Book of Kells, Irish crochet, Irish language and classes, Irish family histories, genealogy, Irish blessings, Irish literature, history of the potato famine, Irish traditional music history and classes and much more.​

Also outside under the Cultural Tent will be the Children’s Tent which is open from 12-6 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday and includes a wide variety of entertainment and activities for children and their families. The Children’s Tent headline entertainer is Danny Diamond who will do balloon twisting on Saturday, Sept. 21 from 3-4 p.m. and a magic show from 1 – 2 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 22.  Miss Angie from PopRox Productions will be face painting Saturday and Sunday from 1-5 p.m. each day and there will be arts, crafts, games and more for children of all ages to enjoy.

The Greater Danbury Irish Festival will be held at 65 Sand Pit Road, Danbury, on the beautiful grounds of the Portuguese Cultural Center. Click here for more information.

INSIDE: Entertainment on the Main Stage:

Friday, Sept. 20, 2019:

  • 6:30 p.m. GDIF All-stars
  • 7:45 p.m. Mighty Ploughboys​

Saturday, Sept. 21, 2019:

  • 12:00 – Traveling Danburys
  • 1:00 – Thorne Academy of Irish Dance
  • 1:45 – Steve O’Tree and Friends
  • 2:45 -Ashurst Academy of Irish Dance
  • 3:30 – Highland Rovers
  • 4:15 – Tipperary Knights
  • 5:15 -Madz and the Ladz
  • 6:15 -Morrighan’s Flight
  • 7:30 – Highland Rovers
  • 8:45 – Tipperary Knights​

Sunday, Sept. 22, 2019:

  • 12:00 – Doherty Petri School of Irish Dance
  • 12:45 – Uncle Bill Whiskey and Friends
  • 1:45 – Celtic Cross Pipe and Drum
  • 2:30 – SHILELAGH LAW
  • 3:45 – Cunningham Brothers
  • 5:00 – GDIF All-Stars​

OUTSIDE: Cultural Tent Entertainment Schedule & Children’s Tent:​

Friday, Sept. 20, 2019

  • Displays on: Celtic Art, Book of Kells, Irish Crochet, Irish Language and Classes, Irish Family Histories, Genealogy, Irish Blessings, Irish Dance, Irish Literature, Irish Traditional Music History, World Meeting of Families in Ireland, Classes, and more

Saturday, Sept. 21, 2019

  • 12:00-1:00 PM: Music & Games with Miss Wendy
  • 1:00 – 6:00 PM: Face Painting with Miss Angie from PopRox Productions
  • 1:00 – 2:00 PM: Uilleann Piper – Chris Finnegan, Irish Speaker
  • 2:00 – 3:00 PM: Cultural Exhibit
  • 3:00-4:00 PM: The Magic of Danny Diamond balloon twisting
  • 4:15 – 5:15 PM: Tipperary Knights ​
  • 5:15 – 6:00 PM: Cultural Entertainment

Sunday Outside – Cultural/Kid’s Tent

  • 1:00 – 2:00 PM: Children’s Magic Show with The Magic of Danny Diamond
  • 2:00 – 3:00 PM: Children’s Sing-a-long & Games
  • 3:00 – 5:00 PM: Harp Performance – Regina Delaney
  • 5:00 – 6:00 PM: Andrew Carey Music

Children’s Activities

  • Bubble Zone
  • Chalk Zone
  • Face Painting
  • Leprechaun Bean Bag Toss
  • Carnival Games
  • Make & Shake a Shamrock
  • Thumbprint Rainbows
  • Scavenger Hunt
  • Kid’s Crafts & and MORE!

Raffle Tickets:

  • Tickets are $5 each
  • First Prize is $2,000
  • Second Prize is $1,000
  • Third Prize $500
  • Email Colleen O’Rourke at corourke2@aol.com for raffle tickets

For more information, click here, email DanburyIrish@gmail.com, call the club at 203-739-0010 or call Publicity Chair Wendy Mitchell at 203-501-7424.

Bethel Summerfest Reschedules Activities Due to Heat Advisory

Screen Shot 2019-07-17 at 2.54.46 PMBETHEL, CT— The Town of Bethel has postponed this Saturday’s Summerfest due to the heat advisories issued by the National Weather Service.

Brad Koltz, President & Executive Director of the Bethel Chamber of Commerce announced Wednesday that the Bethel Summerfest scheduled for Saturday, July 20 will be rescheduled due to excessive heat forecasted for this weekend.

“After months of planning, we are reluctantly forced to reschedule this year’s SummerFest due to the unsafe heat advisory that has been issued for Saturday, with heat and high humidity creating unsafe conditions for outdoor activities. We will release the revised date and times soon, so please keep a lookout for that announcement.”

BeerFest is still on for Friday, July 26 from 6 to 9 p.m. with unlimited beer tastings and food samplings from local restaurants, live music, and games. Discounted tickets are available online at bethelbeerfest.com.

This Saturday, July 20, local merchants are hosting activities indoors for Summerfest due to the weather warning. The following businesses are hosting special events this Saturday:

PhotoWorks, who is celebrating their 10th anniversary, is hosting an artist reception on Saturday from 2 – 5:00 p.m. at 226 Greenwood Avenue. Click here for details.

Byrds Books, located at 178 Greenwood Avenue, is hosting an indoor summer “sidewalk” sale and visits by several authors throughout the day on Saturday:

  • 11:00 a.m.: Lauren Baratz-Logsted will sign “I Love You Michael Collins”
  • 12:00 p.m.: Donna Marie Merritt will sign her poetry and children’s books, including: “Her House and Other Poems” and Teensy Meensy Mice”
  • 1:00 p.m.: National Book Award nominee Vesper Stamper will sign “What the Night Sings”
  • 1:00 p.m.: Jack Sheedy will sign “Gandy Dancing”
  • 2:00 p.m.: Bethel’s Poet Laureate Cortney Davis will sign her poetry and “Learning to Heal”
  • 2:00 p.m.: Rob McWilliams will sign “The Kiss of Sweet Scottish Rain”

The Toy Room is an indoor sidewalk sale as well on Saturday with savings on merchandise of up to 75% off. From 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. the Sandcastle Guy from Create a Castle will visit and showcase his product. The Toy Room is located at 180 Greenwood Avenue.

For more information on this or other events, visit the Bethel Summerfest website.

Who & What is ‘CT Buzz News’ and How Can I Share My Business Information? Find Out Here!

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RIDGEFIELD, CT — Hello CT Buzz News readers, followers, and new group members! We’ve seen a recent large spike in traffic on our website and many new members joining our 10 group Facebook pages so we wanted to explain who we are and how it works with sharing posts and information in our groups.

CT Buzz Media is a news and information website with a passion to help small businesses and nonprofits in our community. We encourage residents and readers to shop local and strive to do the same. The main towns we cover are Bethel, Brookfield, Danbury, Newtown, New Fairfield, New Milford, Redding, Ridgefield, and Southbury but we also occasionally cover Monroe, Wilton, and surrounding towns.

Wendy grew up in Sandy Hook, attended Bethel High School and graduated from Newtown High School. She has also lived in Brookfield and New Milford and now lives in Ridgefield with her husband, 23-year-old son, 19-year-old daughter, and 5-year-old rescue dog, a black lab mix. Her oldest son lives in Brooklyn and is a SAG/AFTRA actor in NYC. Wendy is very connected to the community and serves on a number of boards and committees as a volunteer.

Now that you know about all CT Buzz and its Queen Bee, learn how to share your story and your news on our website and social media pages.

TO SHARE YOUR NEWS:
Anyone can share local news to the page it pertains to: Ex: An accident in Danbury would go on Danbury CT Buzz. We ask that you don’t “dump and run.” Take a few minutes to talk to others on the page, share your local tips, photos and local news and be active on the pages to boost engagement.
If you want to post about your business please follow the rules below. If you want to share a press release or are requesting coverage for your local fundraiser and/or event, please email CTBuzzNews@gmail.com.
We have *paid sponsors who support the website who we share info about on a daily, weekly or bi-weekly basis. You’ll know who they are because you will see #sponsored on the post.
For **unpaid sponsors, anyone is allowed to post if you follow these simple rules:
  1. LIKE the main CT Buzz Media page by clicking this link: https://m.facebook.com/ctbuzzmedia/?__nodl&_rdr
  2. Join the CT Buzz Media (Group Page) Page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/CTBuzzMedia/
  3. Only share ***ONCE a week, on “Follow Friday” and only post on the town where the event is located and the main CT Buzz Group Page. Ex: If your business is in Ridgefield, only post on Ridgefield CT Buzz & CT Buzz Media Group pages. The CT Buzz Group page is for any town in CT.
***IF you would like your announcement, coupon, event or business information shared to neighboring towns or more than once per week, please email Wendy to become a paid sponsor at CTBuzzNews@gmail.com. We offer very reasonable rates that give you maximum exposure across all of our platforms: Facebook, Facebook Groups, Twitter, Instagram, CT Buzz website, e-news blasts.
**A paid sponsor is a business who pays weekly or monthly to support the website.
***An unpaid sponsor is a business who pays weekly or monthly to support the website.
Follow Friday
WHO ARE “WE?”
“We” is mainly me, Wendy Mitchell. I’ve been a news editor, journalist and local reporter in the greater Danbury area and Fairfield/Litchfield counties for the last 12 years and have lived in Newtown/Bethel/Danbury/Ridgefield nearly my entire life, save for a brief stint one summer on Martha’s Vineyard and two years in Mesa, AZ. I sometimes have students, interns and bloggers share their stories on our site.
You may recognize my name from Patch.com, a national news website I worked for on and off for 7+ years. I have also been a “SEEN” photographer for the Danbury News-Times, worked for ORTV, Cumulous Broadcasting and other local newspapers. I have been very active in the community, volunteering with nonprofits and running my own.
I work as a professional marketing and social media consultant for a number of small and large local businesses helping them to gain an online presence through the creation of a strategic marketing plan personalized for their business, content creation, social media, digital advertising, event planning and much more.
I launched my CT Buzz Media website in 2011 and took a break in 2012-2013 to volunteer to open a nonprofit children’s arts organization in the wake of the tragic school shootings in my hometown of Sandy Hook. Read more here. After several years, I took another break to focus on raising my kids and also to battle the “Evil C Word,” breast cancer. You can read my story here.
I am now four years cancer free and I am redesigning and relaunching after a number of post-cancer health scares.
CT Buzz News Ad
My advertisers have been very happy with their ads and have seen an increase in their business and Facebook likes since signing on with CT Buzz Media. We do weekly shout-outs, giveaways,  “Tip of the Week” columns, events, and much more to help raise awareness for local businesses. 
We also write “advertorials” that include an interview with the business owner and a full photo gallery and/or video. Email CTBuzzNews@gmail.com for a rate sheet and more information.
Thanks for listening and help spread the BUZZ about CT Buzz!
wendy theater kids
Pictured: Wendy Ann Mitchell and her children’s theater students. In addition to running CT Buzz News, Wendy teaches ages 3-12 from the Greater Danbury Irish Cultural Center on Saturday mornings and donates the proceeds from the shows to local charities. For more information, click here.
More about Wendy:

Wendy is an award-winning marketing manager, regional editor, entrepreneur and communications professional with expertise in brand development, strategic communications, print design, project management, and marketing. As the founder of CT Buzz Media, Wendy creates positive and innovative aesthetically-focused storytelling for small and large business owners across industries ranging from nonprofits to attorneys and medical practitioners. She has been featured on national news sites and is an award-winning writer and marketing professional.

Wendy sits on the Danbury Irish Cultural Foundation’s Board of Directors, manages all publicity and marketing for the Greater Danbury Irish Cultural Center and the Ladies Ancient Order of Hibernians Division #58, creates marketing campaigns. manages events from concept to completion for audiences of up to 3,000 and much more. The Danbury Irish Cultural Foundation is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization.

Wendy brings a diverse background to her role, with more than 15 years of experience in nonprofits including fundraising and events, over 15 years of marketing and communications experience, and 25 years of customer engagement including 10 years in retail and restaurant management.

Wendy has won numerous awards, attended dozens of leadership workshops and brings passion, energy, enthusiasm, and creativity to her work.

•Winner: Townvibe Reader’s Choice Awards 2017, Best Art/Music School, Arts & Nature School of Ridgefield.

•Awarded #7 of “Top 10 Most Fascinating People of 2013” in the Greater Danbury Area by Hearst Media Services for volunteer work at the Sandy Hook Arts Center for Kids, a nonprofit I founded in response to the tragic school shootings of 12/14.

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Wendy Ann Mitchell
Owner/Editor, CT Buzz Media
ctbuzznews@gmail.com
(203) 501-7424

Picture-Perfect Day for Danbury’s Memorial Day Parade

DANBURY, CT — Dozens of marching units, thousands of spectators, and even a visit from Lady Liberty made Monday, May 27, 2019, a picture-perfect day to honor the brave men and women who fought for our nation’s freedom. Photographer Al Robinson of My Left Nutmeg captured the colorful spirit and diverse culture of the City of Danbury beautifully in the photos below. Thank you to all the brave men and women, our country’s true heroes, for your selfless service.

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Photos: Al Robinson, My Left Nutmeg

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