Topic: Connecticut

Top 20 Connecticut Events for 2009

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MAY 2-3: COLCHESTER, Zagray Farm Museum Spring Show Gas Up & Swap Meet. Step back in time at this annual event: Explore an 1873 sawmill and operating antique construction and farm equipment, plus a tractor parade, free hayrides, antique cars and trucks, and more. 860-442-5182, 860-537-2252; qvea.org

MAY 8-9: FARMINGTON, Hill-Stead May Market. Enjoy Hill-Stead Museum’s gorgeous and historic estate grounds while browsing 50 vendors of hard-to-find perennials and shrubs, antiques, and crafts. Don’t miss the daily gardening and cooking demonstrations, children’s activities, and this year’s special guest, lifestyle expert and gardening author Mar Jennings. 860-677-4787; hillstead.org

MAY 17: STAMFORD, Spring on the Farm. This annual seasonal celebration offers sheep-shearing and wool-spinning demonstrations, a plant and herb sale, and hayrides around the grounds to see a variety of animals, including the newborns at Stamford Museum and Nature Center. Live music, storytelling, face painting, games, crafts, and refreshments. 203-322-1646 x6521; stamfordmuseum.org

MAY 22-24: STAMFORD, Connecticut Salsa Festival. A fun-filled weekend for everyone, featuring dance performances, instruction, and workshops; live bands; DJs; and new this year, a Battle of the Bands contest, all at the Hilton Stamford Hotel. 203-918-6910; ctsalsafest.com

JUNE 6-7: WILLIMANTIC, Victorian Days. Step into the past and enjoy guided tours through this community’s fine Gilded Age homes. Activities include mill, house, and garden tours; concerts and plays; vintage cars; and a Victorian tea. 860-456-4476; victorianwillimantic.org

JUNE 13: STATEWIDE. Connecticut Open House Day. More than 260 cultural organizations and attractions invite residents to discover the Nutmeg State. Special incentives, discounted or free admission, gifts, special exhibits, and activities. 888-288-4748; ctvisit.com

JUNE 20: DERBY, Derby Day. Shop the works of talented New England artists and crafters, tour the city’s historic opera house, enjoy live music, and sample great food. 203-906-4343; invalley.org/derby

JUNE 26-28: MYSTIC, WoodenBoat Show. Discover traditional classics and contemporary models at Mystic Seaport’s re-created 19th-century seafaring village. A wide variety of sailboats and powerboats will be on display; exhibits host boatbuilders, sailmakers, tools, hardware, books, nautical antiques, and artists, with demonstrations and workshops by industry experts. Presented and produced by WoodenBoat magazine. 800-273-7447, 207-359-4651; thewoodenboatshow.com

JULY 4-5: EAST LYME, Outdoor Arts and Craft Show. A celebration of juried fine arts and crafts, including jewelry, paintings, photography, and pottery, all on the town hall green. Held in conjunction with the annual Niantic Lions Lobsterfest. 860-739-9128; discovereastlyme.com/calendar.php, nianticartsandcraftshow.com

JULY 11: PAWCATUCK, River Glow. Watch as 37 bonfires are set afloat, lighting up the Pawcatuck River. Celebration highlights here and in neighboring Westerly, Rhode Island, include jugglers, a steel-drum band, belly dancing, a fire juggler, live jazz, face painting, food vendors, duck-boat races, and other fun family entertainment downtown. 800-732-7636, 401-596-7761; westerlychamber.org

JULY 11: ROXBURY, Pickin’ ‘n’ Fiddlin’ Contest. Bring a lawn chair and blanket to Hurlburt Park and listen to live old-time and bluegrass fiddle, banjo, mandolin, and guitar music. Plus, bands play between categories, leading up to a winner playoff. Vendors, crafts, food, and a kids’ playground, fun for the whole family. 860-354-5921; roxburyct.com

JULY 17-19: HARTFORD, Greater Hartford Festival of Jazz. New England’s largest free jazz festival boasts 25 hours of live music performed by internationally acclaimed artists, regional talent, and more, plus foods, crafts, and activities, all at Bushnell Park. jazzhartford.org

JULY 17-18: LAKEVILLE, American Le Mans Northeast Grand Prix. America’s top racing series comes to New England, featuring the world’s best sports car drivers, technologically advanced sports cars, great viewing spots, food booths, displays, activities, souvenirs, and much more, all at Lime Rock Park. 800-722-3577, 860-435-5000; limerock.com

JULY 26: STONINGTON, Blessing of the Fleet. Be there at the town dock as the last remaining fishing fleet in the state comes together to remember the lives lost at sea and to ask for protection and success in the coming year. Activities for the whole family include a street parade, entertainment, and the blessing of the boats. 860-535-3150; stoningtonblessing.com

AUG. 2: HEBRON, Mapleleaf Farm Tour. Visit a picturesque dairy operation to meet the farmers and see the new calves. Children receive coloring books, stickers, milk, and cookies. 866-355-2697, 860-642-4600; thefarmerscow.com

AUG. 8-9: MYSTIC, Mystic Outdoor Art Festival. More than 290 of America’s finest artists and artisans gather in the city’s historic downtown to exhibit oils, watercolors, photography, pastels, sculpture, and acrylics. Listen to live music, bring the children for art activities, and enjoy an array of foods. 860-572-5098; mysticchamber.org

AUG. 15: CLINTON, Liberty Bank Bluefish 5K. This moderate, scenic loop course begins at Jared Eliot Middle School and includes chip timing, DJ, and pre- and post-race massages for participants. 860-669-3889; clintonct.com

AUG. 27-30: BROOKLYN, Brooklyn Fair. Enjoy this old-fashioned agricultural event featuring farm exhibits, livestock, poultry and rabbits, home and garden exhibits, kids’ playland, contests, horse shows, tractor pulls, arts and crafts, bingo, a midway with fun for the whole family, and four stages of live entertainment. 860-779-0012; brooklynfair.org

AUG. 21-SEPT. 26: MILFORD, Open Doors of Milford. This five-week outdoor display throughout the downtown area showcases Connecticut artists’ design interpretations on plain recycled doors and culminates with an auction of the doors on September 27. 203-874-0115; downtownmilfordct.com

SEPT. 11-13: NORWALK, Oyster Festival. Celebrate the coming fall and the heritage of this seaside town with a show of 240 juried crafters, tall-ship and harbor tours, kids’ activities, three stages of entertainment, and, of course, plenty of oysters. 203-838-9444; seaport.org


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