Category Archives: Arts and Culture

Win Big & Help Out a Charity at the ‘Junk in the Trunk’ Tag Sale

NEW FAIRFIELD, CT — The Community Service Club of New Fairfield presents their annual “Junk in the Trunk” tag sale which will be held on Saturday, Sept. 8, 2018, from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. The rain date is Sunday, Sept. 9, 2018, at the New Fairfield Senior Center, 33 CT-37, New Fairfield, CT.

The event includes a wide variety of crafters and a large basket which will be raffled off. Raffle tickets are $5 each or 8 tickets for $20. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the Community Service Club of New Fairfield.

The winner need not be present and will be drawn at the end of the event. The basket has a retail value of over $750 and includes items that can be split up for gift giving— perfect for the beginner paper crafter or scrapbooker.

The Community Service Club of New Fairfield began in 1983 which exists “For the Good of Our Town,” according to their website. Parking spaces are sold to people who wish to sell some of their garage and attic treasures. For more information, click here.

Photo: Eileen Cunningham

Unleash Your Inner Author at Westport Writer’s Workshop

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WESTPORT, CT — If you’ve ever thought about writing a memoir, screenplay or best-selling mystery, young adult or women’s fiction novel, now’s the time to fulfill your dream! The Westport Writer’s Workshop, a nonprofit community group dedicated to the instruction of the craft of writing, is hosting several workshops this summer for aspiring writers of all ages and skill levels.

Led by a highly trained team of professionals in the industry, the class offerings are varied and the small class size ensures writers receive the time and attention they need. Most classes max out at seven participants.  Workshops are designed to spark your imagination while focusing on the positive to help you discover and develop your own unique voice.

Class offerings are as follows:

For a full schedule, click here.

Can’t join the classes but still want to support the Westport Writers Workshop? Support them with a tax-deductible gift. Make an online donation by clicking here.

Questions? Call(203) 227-3250 or email info@westportwritersworkshop.com.

Local Gymnasts Win Big at Xcel Gold State Championships

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BROOKFIELD, CT — A Brookfield gymnastics studio has lots to be proud of after four out of their five Xcel Gold State gymnasts placed in the championships held at Killingly High School on April 21 and 22, 2018.

Kratos Gymnastics, owned by Ashley and Mihael Anton, had four of their gymnasts on the Xcel Gold Team compete. In their first season of the Xcel Gold level, everyone qualified to the CT State Championships and medaled in their individual age groups.

  • Izabella Dobkowski, of Danbury, placed fourth on the floor exercise.
  • Ella Penna, of Sherman, came in ninth place on balance beam and second place on the floor exercise.
  • Mila Kuilan, of Danbury, came in fifth place on balance beam, fourth place on vault and uneven bars and all-around, and came in first place CT State Champion on floor exercise.
  •  Madison Larkin, of New Milford, came in ninth place on vault, second place on floor, and 1st place CT State Champion on uneven bars, balance beam, and all around.
Out of the overall approximate 300 gymnasts who competed, Madison Larkin placed fifth all around which earned her one on of only seven spots granted on the CT Xcel Gold Regional Team. This team will compete at the 2018 Xcel Gold Region 6 Regional Championships taking place at Shrewsbury High School, in Shrewsbury MA. on May 19.
At the Regional Championships, the top seven gymnasts in Xcel Gold from CT, NY, MA, NH, VT and ME will compete representing their State for the title of Region 6 Regional Champion.

 

Congratulations to the entire team on their accomplishments.

2018 CT Farmer’s Markets Take Root on May 12

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FAIRFIELD COUNTY, CT — Spring has sprung, summer is just around the corner, and with it is the thought of fresh, local produce. Farmers and market organizers across Connecticut are gearing up to share their local produce, dairy, bread, cheese and more with hungry locavores at weekly farmer’s markets this summer.

The first market in the Fairfield and Litchfield County areas will be on Saturday, May 12, 2018 in New Milford. Opening day vendors include the following:

Many of the markets have live music, children’s entertainment, special events and guest speakers. Be sure to bring your own bags, as well as cash or check, as many of the markets do not accept credit cards. Check your local market’s page for detailed information.

Happy shopping!

 

Local Farmer’s Markets in Fairfield and Litchfield Counties

Bethel: 

  • Bethel Farmer’s Market (Stony Hill), Saturdays, 9 am – 1 pm, June 28 – Christmas
    Rte. 6, Fairfield Cty Extension Service Bldg, 67 Stony Hill Rd, opposite Stony Hill Inn, 
    bethelfarmersmarket.org.
  • No plans have been announced yet for the Downtown Municipal Center Farmer’s Market, which, according to a Board Member, has not been held “in several years.”

Brookfield: 

  • Brookfield Farmer’s Market, Fridays, 3 – 6:00 pm, July 10 – October 23, Town Hall, 100 Pocono Rd., Facebook

Danbury: 

  • Danbury Farmer’s Market, Saturdays, 10 am – 2 pm, June 22 – October 21
    Danbury Green, 
    SNAP doubled, Website

Monroe: 

  • Monroe Farmer’s Market, Fridays, 3 pm – 6 pm, Monroe Town Green, Corner of Fan Hill Road & Rte. 111, monroefarmersmarket.org. The Monroe Farmers’ Market is open from June 22–October 26, 2018.

New Fairfield:

New Milford:

  • New Milford Farmers Market, Saturdays, 9 am – 12 pm, May 12 – November 18, Town Green, Main Street, newmilfordfarmersmarket.com. Saturday, May 12 is opening day for 2018.

Newtown/Sandy Hook:

  • Newtown Farmer’s Market, Tuesdays, 2 pm – 6:30 pm, June – October, Fairfield Hills Campus at Wasserman Way, Facebook

Redding/Georgetown:

  • Georgetown  Held every Sunday from late June to the end of October, Sundays, 10 am – 2 pm, June 17 – TBA, 4 Old Mill Road, Redding, Facebook

Ridgefield:

Southbury:

  • The Southbury Farmer’s Market opens in late June and runs through mid-October on Thursdays from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm.  It is held at Town Hall, 501 Main St. S.
    Southbury. Click here for more info.

For a full list of markets across the state, visit CT Nofa’s website by clicking here.

Photo by Matt via Flickr Creative Commons

Do you know of a market we missed? Email it to ctbuzznews@gmail.com.

 

‘TradFest’ Irish Music Festival Set for April 29 in Danbury

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DANBURY, CT — A popular tradition in Dublin, Ireland is coming to Danbury, on a bit of a smaller scale, but still packed with tons of talent and fun— TradFest, a traditional Irish music festival.

Organized by Julie Sorcek, the festival will be held on Sunday, April 29, 2018 at the Greater Danbury Irish Cultural Center. The event  celebrates Irish culture and music with dance performances by students of the Newtown-based Ashurst Academy of Irish Dance, a demonstration by the Greater Danbury Irish Cultural Center (GDICC) set dancers, and traditional acoustic Irish music from Damien and Sally Connolly, musicians from the GDICC, Chicks ‘n SyncRingrose & Freeman, and The Kerry Boys.

Food and drinks will be available as well a 50/50 raffle, and lots of Irish music throughout the afternoon and evening. TradFest will all be held at the GDICC, 6 Lake Ave., Danbury, rain or shine.

The schedule is available at https://danburyirishcenter.files.wordpress.com/2018/04/april-2018-tradfest-schedule.pdf.

Admission is $5, children 12 and under are free. More information is available by visiting www.gdicc.org.

Photo by Frederik ‘Freso’ S. Olesen via Flickr 

 

Redding to Kick Off 2 Outdoor Summer Concert Series

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REDDING, CT — The Town of Redding is gearing up for two summer-long outdoor concert series at Topstone Park and the Redding Town Center gazebo.

The Town Green series kicks off on Sunday, June 17 with Yipee Coyote. The Topstone Park series starts on Monday, June 18 with Mexican Night.

Topstone Park Schedule

Monday, June 18, 7:00 p.m. – Topstone
  • Mexican Night  by Rancho Alegre – $12 in advance or $15 at the park
Thursday, July 5, 7:00 p.m. – Topstone
Friday, July 13, 7:00 p.m.  – Topstone
  • Gallows Hill Horns, Brass Sextet, free admission
Friday, July 26, 7:00 p.m.   – Topstone
Thursday, August 9, 7:00 p.m. – Topstone
Wednesday, August 22, 7:00 p.m.  – Topstone
  • *Tentative, Yale A-Cappella: The Society of Orpheus and Bacchus, $10 in advance, $12 at the park

Concert on the Green Schedule

6/17 Yippee Coyote Rock ‘n Roots Band
6/24 Bone Dry Jam Band with a Groove
7/1 Brian Q. Torff & New Duke A special concert in memory of Sally White
7/8 Tracy DeLucia Adult Contemporary Country
7/15 River of Dreams Billy Joel Tribute
7/22 Peter Calo Heroes gone but not forgotten
7/29 Silver Steel Band Steel Drum Band
8/5 Fab Forward Solo Beatle Tribute
8/12 The Currys Americana Trio
8/19 The Mighty Ploughboy Celtic Rock
8/26 Sony Carroll Orchestra Big Band

To purchase tickets for Topstone Park concerts, call (203) 938-5036,  Ext.3. If there is inclement weather, call to find out if the concert will be held indoors.

Photo via Flickr, credit: Diogo A. Figueira

Local Comics Headline at Ridgefield Playhouse 

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By Aline Weiller

RIDGEFIELD, CT — Christine O’Leary has always been funny. But, it wasn’t until she won a stand-up contest in Maine that she quit her day job to pursue a career in comedy. O’Leary is now an award-winning stand-up comedian, professional host and coach for budding comics enrolled in her workshop at The Ridgefield Playhouse. Her spring semester students will take center stage at “Christine O’Leary’s Comedy Graduation Showcase” on Monday, April 30 at 7:30 (doors open at 6:30) at the Ridgefield Playhouse, 80 East Ridge Road, Ridgefield. General Admission tickets are on sale now ($20 each); orders can be placed online (Comedy Graduation Showcase | The Ridgefield Playhouse), called into the Ridgefield Playhouse box office at (203) 438-5795, or purchased in person the night of the show, space permitting.

O’Leary has taught nearly 30 sold-out comedy classes at her post at the Playhouse, with many repeat students, who take an 8-week program to develop a tight, economized, 5-minute set — the first increment of time given to new stand-ups at comedy clubs. The students bring weekly material to “Rip and Read” in class to determine winning content, then video conference one-on-one with O’Leary to finalize their material and hone their set. After two months, they’re ready for an audience.


“Comedy is a way to tell the truth, solve a problem and sell the material with a feeling. I love and live to share with people the greatest ‘high’ and joy I know — standing up and getting paid in laughs! Anyone can do this; there’s enough for everyone. For me, stand up is liberation and freedom. You can ‘up your game’ in life whether your a parent or a podiatrist,” said O’Leary, Founder, Team Green Light Comedy.

O’Leary’s stand up class has been a staple at The Ridgefield Playhouse since 2013. Her Assistant is fellow comic, Sue Ellen Landwehr, who has also performed locally. The April 30th lineup includes amateur comedians: Angel Fredricks, Will Bergen, Judy Eckert, Frank Fuhrman, Stephanie Griffin, Jerry Kuyper, Matthew MacGregor, Michael Mast, Micky Pasquerella, George Reynolds, Ben Robertson, Marcela Rodrigues, Eric Schwartz, Michael Zeitz, and Aline Weiller. They include doulas and designers, wealth managers and writers, students and salespeople, electrical engineers and bankers, teachers and beyond.


“You’ll never see anything like it…they’ll be born as comics before your eyes,” O’Leary added.

Christine O’Leary has worked with headlining comedians to include Gilbert Gottfried, Joy Behar, Chevy Chase, Sinbad, Tracey Morgan, Robert Klein, Margaret Cho, and Janeane Garofalo. She takes her Team Green Light Comedy comrades to area shows and also hosts and performs at companies, colleges, and charitable, club and pride events nearby and nationally. She can be contacted via christine@christineoleary.com and on all social media platforms.

The Ridgefield Playhouse is a not for profit 501 (c) (3) whose mission is to present a variety of performing arts to the community and the surrounding area that they can enjoy and experience at a varied price point. The Playhouse presents national and local acts and is the cultural hub for the town of Ridgefield. For details regarding “Christine O’Leary’s Comedy Graduation Showcase” tickets and classes, visitwww.ridgefieldplayhouse.org.

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PHOTO: Comedian Christine O’Leary and her students gear up for their “Comedy Graduation Showcase” at the Ridgefield Playhouse, 80 East Ridge Road, Ridgefield on Monday, April 30th at 7:30. General Admission tickets $20) are on sale now, are available via www.ridgefieldplayhouse.org, but calling (203) 438-5795, or can be purchased in person on the night of the show, space permitting.

PHOTO CREDIT: Sue Ellen Landwehr

Former Sandy Hook Library Media Specialist Wins Lemony Snicket Prize for Noble Librarians

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NEWTOWN, CT —Yvonne Cech, current Library Director of the Brookfield Library and former Library Media Specialist of Sandy Hook Elementary School, is one of two Librarians who were chosen as the recipients of the 2018 Lemony Snicket Prize for Noble Librarians Faced with Adversity, according to Cheryl Malden, Program Officer with the American Library Association.

Diana Haneski, Library Media Specialist at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, FL, along with Cech will both be presented with a cash prize an award at the American Library Association (ALA) Annual Conference & Exhibition in New Orleans, LA., Malden said in a statement.

The ALA explains the origins of the Lemony Snicket Prize for Noble Librarians Faced With Adversity in the following manner: “It is of the opinion of Lemony Snicket, author, reader, and alleged malcontent, that librarians have suffered enough. Therefore he is establishing an annual prize honoring a librarian who has faced adversity with integrity and dignity intact. The prize will be a generous amount of cash from Mr. Snicket’s disreputable gains, along with an odd, symbolic object from his private stash, and a certificate, which may or may not be suitable for framing. It is Mr. Snicket’s hope, and the ALA’s, that the Snicket Prize will remind readers everywhere of the joyous importance of librarians and the trouble that is all too frequently unleashed upon them.”

The adversity Cech met was on that horrific December day five years ago, on December 14, 2012, when a lone gunman shot his way through the doors of Sandy Hook Elementary School taking the lives of 26 students and educators. According to a release, Cech saved 18 fourth grade children on that day by hiding them in a storage closet, locking the door and barricading it with book trucks and other objects until the SWAT team arrived.  Cech would not open the door until she verified the officers’ identity.

Similarly, five years later, during the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Parkland, FL, Haneski shielded 50 high school students and five adults from harm in a barricaded equipment room. She also refused to open the door until she was sure that the rescuers were who they claimed to be, the statement said.

Cech is now a Librarian at the Brookfield Public Library where she, her bio says, specializes in children’s literature but also loves adult nonfiction books about history. Cech lives in Danbury, received her Master’s in Library Science from Florida State University and holds a Teaching Certification from Southern Connecticut State University, with undergrad degrees from Fashion Institute of Technology in NYC and SUNY Oswego.

 

The deadline for submission of applications for the 2019 Lemony Snicket Prize for Noble Librarians Faced with Adversity is February 1.  Guidelines and applications are available on the ALA website.

Read more here.

Photo by RoccoA via Flickr

39 Best Brunch Spots in Your Area

 

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DANBURY, CT — Blueberry Blintzes, Bananas Foster, Eggs Benedict, Spinach Frittatas, Country Farm Pancakes…. is your mouth watering yet? Looking for a great spot to take the family for Easter Brunch or Passover? Here are the top spots in your area, as ranked by Trip Advisor and Yelp users.

BETHEL

Yelp’s Top 3 

  1. Note Kitchen & Bar, 227 Greenwood Ave.
  2. La Zingara, P.T.Barnum Square
  3. J. Lawrence Downtown, 186 Greenwood Ave.

Trip Advisor’s Top 3 

Trip Advisor’s top brunch spots included two restaurants that are now permanently closed, as well as a deli which is closed on Sundays and a restaurant closed for Easter Sunday. Below are the top ranked brunch places, excluding the above mentioned restaurants.

  1. Stony Hill Diner, 14 Stony Hill Rd. (Route 6)
  2. La Zingara, P.T.Barnum Square
  3. Rizzuto’s, 6 Stony Hill Rd. (Route 6)

BROOKFIELD

Yelp’s Top 3 

  1. Maggie McFly’s, 195 Federal Road
  2. Agora of Brookfield, 834 Federal Road
  3. Bagelman, 14 Candlewood Lake Road

Trip Advisor’s Top 3 

Trip Advisor did not have any rankings in Brookfield specifically for brunch, so below are the top ranked places for breakfast and lunch in Brookfield.

  1. Chick-fil-A, 156 Federal Road
  2. Bagelman, 14 Candlewood Lake Road
  3. Hacienda Don Manual, 265 Federal Road

DANBURY

Yelp’s Top 3 

  1. Marketplace, 33 Mill Plain Road
  2. Mothership on Main, 331 Main Street
  3. Mezon, 56 Mill Plain Road

Trip Advisor’s Top 3 

  1. Mezon, 56 Mill Plain Road
  2. Marketplace, 33 Mill Plain Road
  3. Cheesecake Factory, Danbury Fair Mall, 7 Backus Ave.

NEW FAIRFIELD – SHERMAN AREA

Yelp’s Top 3 

  1. Reverie: Coffee & Craft Beer, 21 Front St., Patterson, NY
  2. McKinney & Doyle Fine Foods Cafe, 10 Charles Colman Blvd., Pawling
  3.  The American Pie Company, 29  Route 37, Sherman

Trip Advisor’s Top 3 New Fairfield & Sherman Area Brunch Spots

  1.  The American Pie Company, 29  Route 37, Sherman
  2. Sonny Side Up, 45 Padanaram Rd., Danbury
  3. Rosy Tomorrows, 15 Old Mill Plain Rd., Danbury

NEW MILFORD

Yelp’s Top 3 New Milford Brunch Spots 

  1.  The Green Granary, 84 Railroad St.
  2.  The Iron Rail, 10 Railroad St.
  3. Zaragoza Restaurant, 31 Bank St.

Trip Advisor’s Top 3 New Milford Brunch Spots

  1. The Green Granary, 84 Railroad St.
  2. Theo’s Downtown Diner, 14 Railroad St.
  3. Diner Luxe, 108 Danbury Rd.

NEWTOWN

Yelp’s Top 3 Newtown Brunch Spots 

  1. Farmhouse Restaurant, 43 S. Main St.
  2. Foundry Kitchen & Tavern, 1 Glen Rd.
  3. Eggs & Co., 71 S. Main. St.

Trip Advisor’s Top 3 Newtown Brunch Spots

  1. Foundry Kitchen & Tavern, 1 Glen Rd.
  2. Blue Colony Diner, 66 Church Hill Rd.
  3. Dere Street, 33 Main St.

REDDING AREA

Yelp’s Top 3 Redding Area Brunch Spots 

  1. Bailey’s Backyard, 23 Bailey Ave., Ridgefield
  2.  The Spinning Wheel, 109 Blackrock Tpke., Redding
  3.  The Redding Roadhouse, 406 Redding Rd., Redding

Trip Advisor’s Top 3 Redding Area Brunch Spots

  1. Wire Mill, 12 Old Mill Rd., Redding
  2.  The Spinning Wheel, 109 Blackrock Tpke., Redding
  3. Black Cat Grille, 58 Redding Rd., Redding

RIDGEFIELD

Yelp’s Top 3 Ridgefield Brunch Spots 

  1. Bailey’s Backyard, 23 Bailey Ave.
  2. SUCRÉ SALÉ, 109 Danbury Rd.
  3. The Hideaway Kitchen & Bar, 30 Grove St.

Trip Advisor’s Top 3 Ridgefield Brunch Spots

  1. Luc’s, 3 Big Shop Lane
  2. Bernard’s, 20 West Lane (Route 35)
  3. Little Pub, 59 Ethan Allen Hwy.

What do you think of their picks? Tell us in the comments.

We wish you a very Happy Passover season and a Happy Easter to you and yours!

Photo Credit: Wilheln Fyles, zzi, Pauline Kletti, Erica Bramham, duncan c, Faruk Ateş, Kevin Micalizzi, mrsapplegate via Flickr Creative Commons

Danbury Irish Set for 2 Weekends Jam-Packed with Fun This St. Patrick’s Day

Screen Shot 2018-03-14 at 9.52.34 PMDANBURY, CT — The corned beef is boiling, the dancers are stretching and the fiddlers are rosining up their bows in preparation for two weekends of St. Patrick’s Day fun. The Greater Danbury Irish Cultural Center’s small army of volunteers are busy preparing for a full day of festivities this Saturday, St. Patrick’s Day, March 17, 2018.

The schedule of events is as follows:

  • 9:00 a.m.: Flag raising at P.T. Barnum Square, Bethel
  • 11 a.m.: Mass at St. Peter Church, Main St., Danbury
  • 12 p.m.: Flag raising at Danbury City Hall, West St., Danbury
  • 12 p.m. Greater Danbury Irish Cultural Center opens

Following the Mass and flag raising(s), the Greater Danbury Irish Cultural Center will serve corned beef and cabbage beginning at 12:30 p.m. at the center, 6 Lake Ave., Danbury. At 1:00 p. m., the Thorne School of Irish Dance will perform, followed by Newtown-based Ashurst Academy Of Irish Dance at 3:00 p.m. From 4:30 to 7:30 p.m., an all-female Irish band, Chicks ‘n Sync will play, followed by Steve O’Tree from 8:00 – 11:00 p.m.

Next weekend, Sunday, March 25, 2018, the Danbury Hibernians will host the 19th Annual Greater Danbury Parade. Step off is at 3 p.m. in front of St. Peter Church on Main St. in Danbury. The parade route continues down Main St., goes left on West St. on to Lake Ave. and ends at the Danbury Irish Club, 6 Lake Ave., where there will be Irish music, dance, corned beef, cabbage, Irish soda bread and refreshments.

For more information, call the club at (203) 739-0010 or visit WWW.GDICC.ORG.

Photo credit: Wendy Ann Mitchell

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