Topic: Connecticut

Top 20 Connecticut Events

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Call ahead to confirm dates, times, and admission prices. For hundreds of fairs, festivals, exhibits, shows, and other fun activities, go to: YankeeMagazine.com/events

MAY 1: COS COB, May Gardeners’ Market. Twelve juried vendors from specialty nurseries come to Montgomery Pinetum to sell their collections of annuals, perennials, wildflowers, herbs, hanging baskets, plants, and orchids. Plants are also available for pre-order. 203-869-9242 x13; gecgreenwich.org

MAY 7-8: FARMINGTON, May Market. Fifty-plus vendors of hard-to-find perennials and shrubs, antiques, and quality crafts are clustered along Hill-Stead Museum’s historic grounds, with expert horticulturalists and master gardeners on hand for consultations. This year’s special guest is nationally renowned garden designer, lecturer, and author, Gordon Hayward. 860-677-4787; hillstead.org

MAY 16: STAMFORD, Spring on the Farm. Meet and greet the newest additions to Heckscher Farm at Stamford Museum and Nature Center during this annual celebration of spring. Learn how to shear sheep and spin wool, or take a hayride; children can have their faces painted, and families can shop for plants and herbs to take home to their own gardens. 203-322-1646; stamfordmuseum.org

MAY 28-31: LAKEVILLE, Grand-Am Rolex Daytona Prototypes at Lime Rock Park. The Memorial Day opener will showcase Daytona Prototypes and GTs in a combined-class race on Monday. The rest of the weekend spotlights BMWs, Fords, Chevys, Hondas, and Porsches in the KONI Challenge, the Ford Racing Mustang Challenge series, and the Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda. 860-435-5000; limerock.com

JUNE 3-6: WILLIMANTIC, Victorian Days. Step into the past and enjoy guided mill, home, and garden tours around town. Attend concerts and a Victorian tea in one of the homes, and even experience a traditional turn-of-the-century campground. 860-456-4476; victorianwillimantic.org

JUNE 6: SOUTH WINDSOR, Pathways and Blooms. Co-sponsored by the Down to Earth Garden Club and Wood Memorial Library, this tour will feature nine local gardens and a plant sale at one of the tour houses. Optional box lunch (additional fee, prepay required) available with tour ticket. 860-289-1783; freewebs.com/downtoearthgardenclub

JUNE 11-13: MYSTIC, Sea Music Festival. Each year, thousands of people gather at Mystic Seaport to hear performers from around the globe–including the U.S., U.K., Italy, Portugal, Australia, Iceland, Poland, Netherlands, France, Canada, and Africa–as they carry on musical traditions from maritime cultures. 888-973-2767, 860-572-5315; mysticseaport.org

JUNE 12: FARMINGTON/UNIONVILLE, Friends Kitchen and Garden Tour. This fundraiser for the Farmington Library takes participants through a number of distinctive and tasteful homes and lush gardens around neighboring towns. 860-673-6791, 860-677-4444; farmingtonlibraries.org

JULY 3-4: NIANTIC, Niantic Lions Outdoor Arts and Craft Show, Lobsterfest, and Chicken BBQ. Three events wrapped up in one weekend package at this grand annual festival. Juried fine artists and crafters offer jewelry, pottery, paintings, photography, and more on the grassy grounds of Niantic’s town hall; then fill up on lobster and chicken, hot dogs, burgers, clam fritters, and more. 860-739-2805; nianticartsandcraftshow.com

JULY 10: LITCHFIELD, Open House Day. Tour the town’s finest homes, including country estates, grand places on North and South streets, and other historic buildings of architectural interest. The tour includes admission to the Litchfield History Museum and the restored Tapping Reeve House and Law School. 860-567-9423 x253; ctjuniorrepublic.org

JULY 10: PAWCATUCK (CT)/WESTERLY (RI), River Glow. More than 30 bonfires will be set afloat along the Pawcatuck River, lighting the way for celebrations featuring jugglers, a steel-drum band, belly dancing, live jazz, face painting, food vendors, duck boat races, and other fun family entertainment in both downtowns. 401-596-7761; westerlychamber.org

JULY 15-17: GUILFORD, Craft Expo 2010. One of the oldest outdoor juried shows, presented annually on the town green by the Guilford Art Center, featuring 180 traditional and contemporary crafters. All gate proceeds benefit the center, its school, and gallery programs. 203-453-5947; guilfordartcenter.org

JULY 17: NIANTIC, Annual East Lyme Sand Castle Contest. Don’t be fooled by this competition’s name–sand sculptures of all kinds are welcomed and encouraged at Hole in the Wall Beach during Celebrate East Lyme Day. Last year saw everything from a sand igloo to the Grinch under a Christmas tree. 860-739-5828; celebrateeastlyme.com

JULY 30-AUG. 1: MERIDEN, Great Connecticut Traditional Jazz Fest. Sit back and relax to the sounds of live music, including New Orleans-style jazz, swing, and big-band performances at several indoor and outdoor venues at the Sheraton Four Points hotel. 800-468-3836; greatctjazz.org

AUG. 6, 13, 20, 27: OLD SAYBROOK, Chestnut Hill Concerts Summer Series. Don’t miss this series of chamber-music performances featuring world-class musicians at Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center. 877-503-1286, 203-245-5736; chestnuthillconcerts.org

AUG. 14-15: MYSTIC, Mystic Outdoor Art Festival. For more than 50 years, artists and craftsmen, now numbering more than 300, have gathered to display and sell their wares along the streets of historic Mystic. The Children’s Art Park invites kids to participate in themed activities, and the Future Artists Pavilion features the work of local students. 860-572-5098; mysticchamber.org

AUG. 21: CLINTON, Liberty Bank Bluefish 5K. Runners compete along a moderate, scenic loop, starting and ending at Jared Eliot Middle School. Featuring electronic chip timing, mile markers, water stations, post-race food and awards, and a DJ. 860-669-3889; clintonct.com

AUG. 26-29: BROOKLYN, Brooklyn Fair. With the Brooklyn Fairgrounds’ recent expansion, this old-fashioned event offers even more agricultural exhibits, livestock and cattle, poultry and rabbits, home and garden exhibits, a children’s playland, contests, horse shows, tractor pulls, arts and crafts, a midway, and four stages of live big-name entertainment. 860-779-0012; brooklynfair.org

SEPT. 10-12: NORWALK, Oyster Festival. Always held the weekend after Labor Day at Veterans Park, this festival does more than just celebrate Norwalk’s popular sea catch. More than 240 juried crafters will display and sell their wares; plus helicopter displays, skydiving exhibitions, harbor cruises on the seaport ferry, kids’ activities, BBQ contests, and three stages of entertainment. 203-838-9444; seaport.org


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