166 Arts Organizations, Including 3 From Danbury, Receive $786K In Grants From Connecticut Arts Endowment Fund
HARTFORD, CT — The Connecticut Office of the Arts recently announced the 166 Connecticut Arts Endowment grants that were awarded to local nonprofits totaling $786,107.
- Brookfield Craft Center, Inc. – $6,488
- Cultural Alliance of Western Connecticut – $1,620
- Danbury Music Centre, Inc. – $1,313
- Friends of the Ives, Inc. – $500
- Kent Singers – $500
- TheatreWorks New Milford, Inc. – $500
- Village Center for the Arts – $969
- Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum – $3,927
- Ridgefield Chorale – $615
- Ridgefield Playhouse for Movies and the Performing Arts – $6,021
- Ridgefield Symphony Orchestra – $1,684
- Ridgefield Workshop for the Performing Arts/Ridgefield Theater Barn – $500
- Arts Escape, Inc. – $875
To see the full list of grant recipients, visit the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development’s website.
Experience the Sights & Sounds of the Emerald Isle at the 2018 Danbury Irish Festival
DANBURY, CT — The 2018 Danbury Irish Festival is bigger and better than ever in 2018 at a brand new location, 65 Sand Pit Rd., Danbury. It will be an indoor/outdoor event that will take place rain or shine! With live Irish music all weekend long, Irish dance, cultural activities, Irish food and beer and a children’s area with non-stop entertainment, it’s sure to be a weekend jam-packed with fun for all ages!
The festival takes place on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, Sept. 21, 22 and 23, 2018 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.
The brainchild of Gerry Curran, former President of the Danbury Division of the Ancient Order of Hibernians, the Irish Festival began in 1995 at Rogers Park in Danbury with the help of Sharon Higgins. Twenty-one years ago, Curran had the dream to bring an Irish music and culture festival to Danbury to raise money to benefit the Irish Club. The festival offers Irish food, fellowship, and fun for people of all ages.
John Feeney, an Irish Gaelic language instructor, heads up the cultural tent which 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.
Wendy Mitchell heads up the Children’s Tent and has organized a wide variety entertainment and activities for children. The Children’s Tent headline entertainer is Danny Diamond who will present a magic show at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 22 followed by balloon twisting. The Magic of Danny Diamond magic is sponsored by Gold Sponsor Wooster School, a co-ed day school located on Miry Brook Road by the Danbury Airport. Balloon twisting is sponsored by Silver Sponsor Pour Me Cafe & Wine Bar, a new food, coffee and wine hot spot located in the heart of Danbury on Main Street.
The Children’s Tent is sponsored by Gold Sponsor Wooster School, Silver Sponsor Pour Me Cafe & Wine Bar, Bronze Sponsors Peterson Chiropractic and Poprox Productions, who will be face painting and Festival Friends Ridgefield Playhouse, Service Unlimited, Danbury Palace Theater, Absolute Limousine, Eddie’s Pizza & Pasta, Arbonne by Nicole Coleman, Charmio’s, Groovy Brew Organic Body Scrubs, and Lucy Super 7 Studios.
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.
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.
The Greater Danbury Irish Festival will be held at 65 Sand Pit Road, Danbury, on the beautiful grounds of the Portuguese Cultural Center. This year’s festival is sponsored by Gold Sponsors Clancy Relocation & Logistics, McKenney Mechanical HVAC/R Solutions; Silver Sponsors Union Savings Bank, Savings Bank of Danbury, McCollam Insurance Agency, Senator Michael McLachlan, and Westchester Modular Homes; Bronze Sponsors Pembroke Pumping, Mulvaney Mechanical, Ashurst Academy of Irish Dance, Belardinelli Services, LLC, Councilman Phil Curran & Maggie Curran, Law Offices of Lawrence M. Riefberg, LLC, South Street Self Storage, Hull Funeral Home, Earthmovers and Levine Automotive.
Click here for more information.
Entertainment on the Main Stage (inside):
Friday, Sept. 21, 2018:
- Ceili Dancing on the Main Stage
- Green Gates (in the Cultural Tent) 7:00 – 10:00 p.m.
Saturday, Sept. 22, 2018:
- The Traveling Danburys 12:15 – 1:15 p.m.
- Steve O’Tree and Friends – 1:30-2:30 p.m.
- Thorne Academy of Irish Dance – 2:45 – 3:30 p.m.
- Keltic Kick – 3:30 – 4:30 p.m.
- Cunningham Brothers – 4:45 – 5:45 p.m.
- Ashurst Irish Dance 5:45 – 6:30 p.m.
- Celtic Cross Pipe & Drums – 6:30 – 7:15 p.m.
- Highland Rovers – 7:30 – 8:30 p.m.
- Humble Hooligans– 8:45 – 10:00 p.m.
Sunday, Sept. 23, 2018:
- Ringrose & Freeman – 12:00 – 1:15 p.m
- Doherty-Petri School of Irish Dance – 1:30 – 2:15 p.m.
- Jeff Conlon – 2:30 – 3:45 p.m.
- Doherty-Petri School of Irish Dance – 3:45 – 4:30 p.m.
- Tiperrary Knights – 4:45 – 6:00 p.m.
Cultural Tent Entertainment Schedule (outside):
~ Friday, Sept. 21, 2018 ~
- 5:30 – 6:30 PM: Céilí Set Dancing Workshop – Brian Reynolds (inside, on the main stage)
- 7:00 – 10.00 PM: Céilí (Irish Social Dancing) – Green Gates Céilí Band (inside, on the main stage)
~ Saturday, Sept. 22, 2018 ~
- 1:00 – 2:00 PM: Uilleann Piper – Chris Finnegan, Irish Speaker
- 2:00 – 3:00 PM: Owen McDonnell – Presentation on McDonnell family history
- 3:00 – 4:00 PM: Harp Performance – Regina Delaney
- 4:00 – 5:00 PM: Harp Workshop – Regina Delaney, learn to play the harp
- 7:00 – 10:00 PM: Irish Traditional Music Seisiún – Nora Hanley starts with a performance and then rolls into an open seisiún
~ Sunday, Sept. 23, 2018 ~
- 1:00 – 2:00 PM: Traditional Irish Music (guitar & flute, voice) – Chicks-n-Sync
- 2:00 – 3:00 PM: Traditional Irish Music (fiddle, tin whistle, flute) – Fiddleuisce GDICC musicians
- 3:00 – 3:30 PM: Traditional Irish Singalong – Fiddleuisce and John Feeney
- 3:30 – 4:30 PM: Harp Performance – Regina Delaney
- 4:30 – 5:30 PM: Traditional Irish Music (Irish lute, guitar, voice) – Aindriú Ó’Ciardha
- Several Historical Figures from Irish History will be roaming the festival grounds – Liz Popiel.
- 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 2018 and Classes, and more.
Children’s Tent Schedule (outside):
~ SATURDAY, SEPT. 22, 2018, 12-6pm ~
- Face Painting with Miss Angie from PopRox Productions, 12-6pm
- Shriner’s Clowns: Saturday, Sept. 22, 11am-2pm
- Costume Parade led by Celtic Cross bagpiper, Saturday, Sept, 22, 1:30pm
- The Magic of Danny Diamond, Saturday, Sept. 22, 2-3pm
~ SUNDAY, SEPT. 23, 2018, 12-6pm ~
- Face Painting with Miss Angie of PopRox Productions
- Bubble Zone
- Kid’s Karaoke
- Kid’s Crafts
- Carnival Games
- Treasure Hunt
- Make & Shake a Shamrock
- Thumbprint Rainbows
- Irish Village
- Kid’s Crafts & and MORE!
- Tickets are $5 each
- First Prize is $2,000
- Second Prize is $1,000
- Third Prize $500
- Call Sharon O’Rourke at 203-470-7570 for tickets
Photo by Wendy Ann Mitchell
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.
Boil Water Advisory Issued for Danbury After Massive Water Main Break
DANBURY, CT — A boil water advisory was issued Tuesday, April 24 for Danbury residents in the area of Hayestown and Tamarack Ave. after a massive water main break that closed Danbury Hospital, Hayestown and Broadview Middle Schools. The City of Danbury is asking residents to voluntarily reduce water usage over the next 48 hours as crews work to repair the problem, according to the city’s website.
The water main break has impacted water customers east of Main Street, East of North Street up to Route 84 and South to South Street. The city’s boil water advisory remains in effect. Click here to sign up for updates regarding the water issue and when your water is safe to use. Periodic updates will be provided on the city’s website.
Mayor Mark Boughton tweeted Tuesday that handmade parts were flown in from Buffalo and that the Public Works Department is taking care of the problem.
The Danbury War Memorial Facilities are available for residents that have been impacted by the water main break. Restrooms, showers, and water is available there.
Photo credit: Mayor Mark
‘TradFest’ Irish Music Festival Set for April 29 in Danbury
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 Sync, Ringrose & 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
Danbury Resident, Former Sandy Hook Library Media Specialist, Wins Lemony Snicket Prize for Noble Librarians
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.
Rep. Ferguson Joins CT School Safety & Security Working Group
HARTFORD, CT – State Representative Michael Ferguson (R-138) has joined a new bi-partisan legislative school safety and security working group to better address the effectiveness of current school security-focused legislation and programs, as well as a canvass of current attitudes, concerns and trends in securing our schools.
Ferguson is a former Danbury Board of Education member and a member of the legislature’s Education committee who has cognizance over education policy in Connecticut.
“This school safety and security working group will allow for a full examination and evaluate the effectiveness of current school security-focused legislation and programs throughout the state. Recent national school violence has created unease among state students and parents regarding their safety in our schools. We, as legislators, have an obligation to talk and consult security experts and education stakeholders to reassure state residents that our institutions of learning throughout our state are as safe as possible,” said Rep. Ferguson.
Ferguson and other legislators on the working group are looking to analyze:
- Summarize current school safety legislation;
- Measure school districts’ knowledge of current legislation;
- Use and availability of existing state and federal funds;
- Review of whether regulations and associated programs have been implemented;
- Availability of school-based mental health professionals;
- Parents’ knowledge and understanding of their district’s security measures;
- Local educators’ view of the effectiveness of legislation and related programs;
- Determine viability of school security measures installed years ago;
- Identify new trends and techniques in school security;
- Collect recent concerns of educators, students and law enforcement;
- Determine what other states are doing
The legislators also intend to communicate with their districts, teachers, superintendents, and students to get feedback on what has been done, how things have changed and what they still feel needs to change.
Among the working group’s proposed participants:
- Republican and Democrat legislators;
- School superintendents;
- Law enforcement personnel;
- Mental health professionals for children.
- Federal agency liaisons
- School security consultants
- Students and parents
A recent report showed Connecticut was above the national average in the percentage of high school students who have been threatened or injured with a weapon at school, in the percentage of teachers who were threatened or attacked, and in the percentage of high school students who said they carried a weapon during the past month, among other categories.
From the Office of John M. Dooley IV, CT House Republicans
Danbury DIY Pizza-Making Company Brings Families Together for Make-Your-Own Dinner
DANBURY, CT — After making and tasting thousands of different types and styles of pizza, a husband and wife duo launched their Ridgefield-based DIY pizza-making company called PIY, Pizza It Yourself, to the delight of families across Fairfield County. Ed Winstanley, from Westchester County, and his wife Grace Winstanley, from the Victoria, British Columbia, originally met at IBM and started a staffing business based in New York City 10 years ago.
“We ate copious amounts pizza while living in NYC before moving to Ridgefield,” Grace said. “We’re obsessed with pizza but with a big family and staffing business, we knew it wasn’t realistic to open a restaurant. Hello Fresh and Blue Apron appeared on the scene but we didn’t see anyone addressing our favorite meal so we started packing up dough, cheeses, and sauce for our neighbors to try out. We loved that the credit was given to the chef at home— neighborhood kids saying that their Mom’s pizza is ‘the best.” Families were enjoying the experience together and wanting more pizza!”
The couple moved to Ridgefield in 2013 after looking for a “family-friendly” town in Fairfield or Westchester County.
“When we first drove through Ridgefield and met some of the locals, it was instant, we fell in love and knew we’d found our new hometown,” Grace said.
Ed who used to work in IT and currently owns a staffing business has prior experience working at a pizzeria with his brother who had a pizzeria in Vermont. Eventually, the brothers moved closer to home and Will took over Il Sorriso in Irvington, New York. Ed experimented making pizza at home until he perfected the recipes and techniques.
“My brother and I talked about pizza recipes on a regular basis and when he came over for lunch one day, he was blown away that I had made a perfect pizza in a regular kitchen oven. It was that moment we knew pizza at home could be very special,” Ed shared.
The couple said what makes their pizza so special is not only the incredibly fresh, clean and delicious dough and ingredients but the experience of making artisanal pizza at home with family and friends.
“We love bringing people together over a delicious, easy to prepare a meal. Families are busy and we’re hoping to bring back a better version of Pizza Friday sans shopping or prep work. Recent studies show the benefit of families eating together, from improved relationships to lower symptoms of depression and drug use. We hope to make a difference by strengthening the family bond, the fabric of our society,” Grace stated.
In addition to bringing family and friends together for a delicious, healthy meal, PIY also does all they can to support the local community by doing fundraisers for organizations and nonprofits.
Grace Winstanley said that the couple loves hearing about their customers’ passion for pizza night. “We enjoy hearing about their new pizza traditions— how they look forward to pizza night and how dinner is prepared with and by their kids. We have 10-year-olds who love making pizza for the family and now the parents can ask, ‘What’s for dinner?'”
PIY currently delivers fresh ingredients to families in Ridgefield, Danbury, Bethel, and Redding. For more information visit www.pizzapiy.com.
Photo by Grace Winstanley
Best Danbury Brunch Spots
DANBURY, CT — Vegetable Omelets, Spinach Frittattas, 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 three spots in Danbury, as ranked by Trip Advisor and Yelp users.
Yelp’s Top 3 Danbury Brunch Spots
Trip Advisor’s Top 3 Danbury Brunch Spots
- Mezon, 56 Mill Plain Road
- Marketplace, 33 Mill Plain Road
- Cheesecake Factory, Danbury Fair Mall, 7 Backus Ave.
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: Henrik Ismarker via Flickr Creative Commons
DANBURY, CT — Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton’s campaign manager said the Republican gubernatorial candidate is recovering at home after a scary scene at a campaign stop in Avon. State Rep. Prasad Srinivasan, another candidate running for governor, is one of three doctors who came to Mayor Mark’s rescue, performing CPR chest compressions on him, according to WFSB.
Team Boughton sent out the following email Friday:
UConn Health Center officials announced that Mayor Mark Boughton was released from UConn Health this afternoon. “Last evening Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton was brought to UConn Health where, according to his doctors, he was treated for dehydration. He was released a short time ago. Before he left, Mr. Boughton asked me to extend his thanks to the people of UConn Health for their care. He said, and I quote “we are lucky to have a place like this.” We thank Mr. Boughton for his comments and UConn Health will have no further updates on this matter.”Thank you for your continued support.– Team Boughton
Doctors said the collapse was due to dehydration and was unrelated to his medical issues stemming from a benign brain tumor he had removed last year.
Photo: Mayor Mark Boughton photographed March 3, 2018, t the Danbury St. Patrick’s Day Ball, presenting Tom McAuliffe with the Men’s Hibernian of the Year award. Photo by Wendy Ann Mitchell.
Danbury Irish Set for 2 Weekends Jam-Packed with Fun This St. Patrick’s Day
DANBURY, 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
Saturday, March 10, 2018
NEW FAIRFIELD, CT — The Greater Danbury Irish Cultural Center (GDICC) is hosting a number of events in the Greater Danbury area leading up to, and beyond St. Patrick’s Day and invite you to join the fun.
On Saturday March 10, the GDICC will host an event in New Fairfield, a 9:00 a.m. Mass at St. Edwards Church, followed by a procession to the Library for refreshments, led by Irish bagpiper, Peter Hearty.
On St. Patrick’s Day the GDICC will host several activities in Bethel and Danbury. There will be a flag raising in Bethel at P.T. Barnum Square at 9 a.m. on Saturday, March 17, 2018. At 11 a.m. on the same day, there will be a Mass at St. Peter Church, Main St. in Danbury. Following the Mass, there will be a flag raising at Danbury City Hall on West St. at 12 p.m.
Following the Mass and flag raising on Saturday, March 17, the Greater Danbury Irish Cultural Center will serve corned beef and cabbage beginning at 12:30 p.m. at the Greater Danbury Irish Cultural 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., a Bethel-based all-female Irish band, Chicks ‘n Sync will play, followed by Steve O’Tree from 8:00 – 11:00 p.m.
The 19th Annual Greater Danbury Parade will be held on Sunday, March 25, 2018 in downtown Danbury. Step off is at 3 p.m. in front of St. Peter Church on Main St. in Danbury. The parade route continues down Main, goes left of West St., on to Lake Ave. and ends at the Irish Club, 6 Lake Ave. in Danbury, where there will be Irish music, dance, corned beef, cabbage, Irish soda bread and refreshments.
For more information about any of these events, please visit www.gdicc.orgor call the club at (203) 739-0010.
Photo: Peter Hearty, left, Dave Albright, right, taken at the Annual St Patrick’s Day Ball, Amber Room, Danbury, March 3, 2018. Photo credit: Wendy Ann Mitchell