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Victorian Days this weekend – house tours, high tea, carriage rides

Horse-drawn rides past historic Victorian homes are part of the 14th annual Victorian Days activities that run from Thursday, May 31 through Sunday, June 3 (most events are Saturday and Sunday). Photo courtesy of the Willimantic Victorian Neighborhood Association

Willimantic, Connecticut will invite visitors into some of its 600 Victorian-style homes listed on the National Register of Historic Places during the 14th annual Victorian Days events, which begins Thursday, May 31 and continues through Sunday, June 3.

This very popular event, which draws people from throughout New England, also includes garden tours, unique museum exhibits, live music, art exhibits and Victorian teas that sell out every year.

Victorian Days is sponsored by the Willimantic Victorian Neighborhood Association, which promotes the preservation of Willimantic’s Victorian past.

Most events take place on Saturday and Sunday.

Willimantic’s Hill Section abounds with old Victorian homes. It is “sort of a hidden treasure,” says event manager Lynn Duval. “It was built when the textile mill industry was at its prime.”

During that era, immigrants came from France, Poland, Ukraine, Ireland and other countries to work at the thread mills, and “their families are still here,” Duval said.

The George Tiffany House on Prospect Street is one of the Victorian-style homes that will be open for tours during the 14th annual Victorian Days, the weekend of June 2-3, 2012. Photo courtesy of Wilimantic Victorian Neighborhood Association

“They all left something here in the community,” she said, and so the Victorian Days weekend also celebrates the diversity of Willimantic’s history.

“People come from all over New England,” Duval said, and “when we bring the people here, they see that Willimantic is kind of a cool town.”

New to this year’s festivities will be Saturday tours of five churches with historically interesting stained glass windows and organs.

“They’re all historic. They all have magnificent stained glass. It’s going to be a beautiful tour,” Duval said.

Thursday – with cooler and less humid weather in the forecast – will start the three-day event with a walking tour of historic Main Street that will include a viewing of the old Franklin Hall Vaudeville Theater.

Friday night, the public can attend a free Classic Brass Band Concert at the First Congregational Church, 199 Valley St. Following the performance will be a large buffet.

The Connecticut Eastern Railroad Museum will take part in the 14th annual Victorian Days the weekend of June 2-3, and will offer 1.5-mile train rides in an open car with benches. Photo of the "round house" courtesy of the Railroad Museum

Saturday and Sunday, visitors can tour Victorian homes, the Willimantic Camp Meeting Association (Saturday, only), the Elks Lodge, the Old Willimantic Cemetery, Windham Mills, the magnificent Garden on the Bridge neighboring the renovated mills and ArtSpace, Wright’s Pleasant Street Garden and the Windham Town Hall with its newly installed exhibit, “Connecticut’s Connection to the Titanic.”

The Windham Textile & History Museum/Visitor’s Center, the Windham Historical Society at Jillson House and the Connecticut Eastern Railroad Museum (set back from Bridge Street) will also feature exhibits and other activities.

The railroad museum will offer 1.5-mile train rides in an open car with benches. “The kids will love it,” Duval said.

The Victorian Teas are “real high teas,” using real china, silverware and linen napkins and tablecloths. Sandwiches, handmade scones, pastries and tea are served in one of the Victorian homes. The tea gatherings sell out quickly. “We tell people to reserve ahead of time, and they have to,” Duval said.

For information on where to buy tickets or to make advance reservations for tea on Saturday or Sunday, call (860) 428-7573.

To download a brochure detailing all the events and a map, visit the Willimantic Victorian Neighborhood Association Web site at http://www.victorianwillimantic.org/events/victorian-days-in-willimantic

Posted May 31, 2012 as edited by HTNP.com Editor Brenda Sullivan

Have a news item, event or Letter to the Editor you’d like posted on this news site? Simply send your information to editor@htnp.com and include your town in the subject line of your email. Please also include a phone number where you can be reached if there are questions. For daily updates on local and Connecticut news, “like” us on Facebook at HTNP News. https://www.facebook.com/HTNPnews and find us on Twitter at HTNP News (@HTNPNews )

Coventry Regional Farmers Market returns for 2012 season

The Coventry Regional Farmers Market is enters its eighth season beginning Sunday, June 3, 2012. This photo is from the market's opening day in 2007, recently posted on the Coventry Regional Farmers Market Facebook page.

Hailed as the largest farmer’s market in the state, the award-winning Coventry Regional Farmers Market will kick off its eighth season on Sunday, June 3, 2012.

The market is held on the grounds of the Hale Homestead at 2299 South St., the former family home of the Revolutionary War hero, Nathan Hale.

Market vendors will sell their homemade goods and homegrown produce from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m on Sundays from June to October.

Market goers will also be able to see the new barn now under construction. The barn was won in a contest earlier this year.

Bridges to Healthy Cooking School, a registered 501c3 now oversees the market.

The market generates sales exceeding $350,000 every year and draws more than 75,000 visitors annually.

Market Executive Director Winter Caplanson said she thinks the market’s secret is its “sincerity.”

“We believe in creating this community of people, to understand what it means to eat well,” Caplanson said.

Caplanson said the market specializes in organic, heirloom, ethnic and gourmet varieties of fruits and vegetables, and offers grass­fed beef, free-range eggs, milk, yogurt, smoked bacon, rustic breads, farmstead cheeses and flowers, among other items.

The market offers “great diversity,” she said.

Market officials are planning a ribbon-cutting ceremony for their new barn on June 17, with Gov. Dannel P. Malloy in attendance.

The barn was won by the market in the “Yankee Post and Beam Great Barn Giveaway,” a national contest last summer in which the public voted on who should win the barn.

The 24-foot-by-36-foot post and beam barn was made possible by W.H. Silverstein Inc.

Caplanson said there have been some glitches with getting the structure finished.

Permits took longer than expected and, “We may lose some vending places,” she said. “We are currently in the process of figuring out how many spaces are being impacted and where else can those vendors be placed.”

The barn will be used to house demonstrations, classes, exhibits, live music and other events at the market. It will also be leased to other groups by the Town of Coventry on non-market days.

Earlier this year the town and fans of the market from the surrounding area were distressed to learn the market might lose its home at the Hale Homestead.

Market organizers, while trying to work out issues with Connecticut Landmarks, the agency that oversees the site and with the Town of Coventry concerning a site offered in town, also entertained invitations from other towns to give the market a new home.

Ultimately, Connecticut Landmarks and the market’s directors reached a 10- year agreement in which the Town of Coventry will act as the tenant and the farmers market will sublease.

Something new this year, thanks to newly passed legislation – Sunday alcohol sales will now take place at the market.

“We will be able to have a wine vendor (this season),” Caplanson said. She added that she’s been “holding onto one spot” at the market for that specific reason.

“We are planning on having one, but it may not (be ready) the first weekend. It’s something we’ve wanted for awhile,” she said.

Town Manager John Elsesser said the market “is a point of pride for the town… It sends a positive message about our community and who we are. We are glad it’s going to start another year here.”

The Coventry Regional Farmers Market also is a “dog friendly” market – visitors can bring their four-footed companions as long as they are on a leash and well-behaved.

To keep up-to-date on entertainment, demonstrations, vendors and special events at the market, visit http://www.coventry­farmersmarket.com or find it on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/CoventryFarmersMarket

Editor’s note: You are encouraged to also bring necessary “equipment” for cleaning up after your dog, and to bring some fresh water for your dog, since both you and your dog will be walking in an open field.

Posted May 31, 2012 as edited and added to by HTNP.com Editor Brenda Sullivan

Have a news item, event or Letter to the Editor you’d like posted on this news site? Simply send your information to editor@htnp.com and include your town in the subject line of your email. Please also include a phone number where you can be reached if there are questions. For daily updates on local and Connecticut news, “like” us on Facebook at HTNP News. https://www.facebook.com/HTNPnews and find us on Twitter at HTNP News (@HTNPNews )

Enjoy Connecticut’s many beautiful state parks at a discount

Harkness Memorial State Park in Waterford, CT offers views of Long Island Sound, nature trails, picnic tables, beautiful gardens and a tour of the historic mansion (for an additional fee).

The State offers a number of seasonal passes to Connecticut’s many and varied state parks for reasonable prices.

With the cost of gas up one day and down the next – usually up once the summer vacation season rolls around – a day at a state park can be an affordable day trip.

Some parks, such as Harkness Memorial State Park in Waterford, offer ocean views and many offer picnic and cookout sites.

Most have hiking trails that vary from relatively flat and easy, to steep and challenging, often leading to a summit with an inspiring view.

Some parks are great for bird-watching, and others allow fishing.

Some parks, such as Gillette Castle State Park in East Haddam, also offer tours of historic and unusual estates.

Before bringing your four-legged family member along, check that a particular park allows dogs. If it does, your dog must be on a leash and you should bring drinking water and the necessary equipment for cleaning up after your dog.

Here is some information about discounted passes.

Season passes

For the frequent park visitor, Connecticut offers a season pass (a windshield sticker) that allows unlimited vehicle access to any state park or recreation area that has a parking fee, for no extra charge.

Season passes are valid for one vehicle per pass (non-transferable to any other vehicle) for an entire calendar year.

Season passes are not valid for admission to Dinosaur or Fort Trumbull State Park Exhibit Centers or tours of Gillette Castle (but you can visit the grounds), camping or special events with charges; if an area is closed to the public for any reason; for commercial use or on a commercial vehicle; if not adhered to the windshield (motorcycle operators may handhold the pass) of a registered vehicle.

A separate Heritage Passport will allow for unlimited access to Dinosaur, Fort Trumbull and Gillette Castle State Parks until the end of the calendar year. The cost is $67 and is good for a family (2 adults and up to 4 children). You can buy your Heritage Passport at any one of the three parks.

A season pass for access to all other parks is $67 for Connecticut residents and $112 for Out-of State residents and can be paid for online at the DEEP Store (The Connecticut Department of Energy & Environmental Protection) http://www.ctdeepstore.com, as well as by mail or in person.

By mail, send a check for the fee, plus $2.50 for shipping and handling, made out to Treasurer, State of Connecticut to: DEEP Store, 79 Elm St., Hartford, CT 06106-5127

Your pass will be sent via first class mail with delivery confirmation to the address provided in your request.

Free lifetime passes

Called the Charter Oak Pass, this one provides access to all Connecticut state parks and forests and is available free to Connecticut residents age 65 or older.

It is accepted at all day-use areas where a parking fee applies and allows free access for the entering vehicle and passengers. And the pass holder does not have to be the vehicle driver.

It also allows free admission for the Charter Oak pass holder when visiting Gillette Castle, Dinosaur or Fort Trumbull State Parks, or fishing at the Quinebaug Valley Hatchery. Accompanying visitors, however, will be required to pay the appropriate fee.

Please note that each pass is issued to a specific person and can only be used when presented by that individual. Also, they are not valid for camping or special events that have separate admission charges, and may not be used for commercial purposes.

For a list of offices where you can buy your Charter Oak Pass in person (please bring proof of age and Connecticut residency), click this link and scroll half-way down the page.

Another free, lifetime pass is available for disabled veterans.

The Disabled Veteran Pass provides access to Connecticut state parks and forests and is available free to Connecticut residents who have a service-connected disability.

It allows free access for the entering vehicle and all passengers. Again, the pass holder does not have to be the driver.

This pass is not valid for camping or special events that have separate admission charges and may not be used for commercial purposes.

However, this pass can be used for free admission to Gillette Castle, Dinosaur or Fort Trumbull State Parks, or fishing at the Quinebaug Valley Hatchery. Accompanying visitors will be required to pay the appropriate fee.

You will need to show (or mail a copy of) your current Connecticut drivers license or other legal proof of residency, as well as a copy of your VA card or VA Benefits Letter indicating a service-connected disability. Mail to: DEEP Disabled Veteran Pass, State Parks Division, 79 Elm St., Hartford, CT 06106-5127. Questions? Call 860-424-3200 state office hours.

Letterboxing

And did you know that many state forests are included in letterboxing activities? Letterboxing is something like a treasure hunt in which boxes containing a log book and rubber stamp are hidden in the parks. Maps are created and the boxes hidden by participants, and clues to finding the boxes are posted on the Web.

You can learn more about letterboxing in this area at this site http://letterboxing.org/faq/faq.html

And this link will take you to a map of Connecticut counties and links to the letterbox maps for those areas.

And here is a link to Connecticut state forests with letterboxing trails and their clues.

More info

For descriptions of the state parks and the facilities they offer, click on this link http://www.ct.gov/dep/cwp/view.asp?a=2716&q=325086&depNav_GID=1650

For more information about passes, click on this link http://www.ct.gov/dep/cwp/view.asp?a=2716&q=325090&depNav_GID=1650

Also note that from time-to-time, the governor has declared certain dates to be admission-free at state parks and forests. Watch for those announcements here.

Posted May 29, 2012

Have a news item, event or Letter to the Editor you’d like posted on this news site? Simply send your information to editor@htnp.com and include your town in the subject line of your email. Please also include a phone number where you can be reached if there are questions. For daily updates on local and Connecticut news, “like” us on Facebook at HTNP News. https://www.facebook.com/HTNPnews and find us on Twitter at HTNP News (@HTNPNews )

Fiber arts, tea party among local Sunday events

The Friends of the Prudence Crandall Museum Inc., will present the annual Spring Tea Luncheon from 1 to 3 p.m. at Carter House, next to the Prudence Crandall Museum in Canterbury.

Here are just a few of the fun and interesting events, many of them free, happening in our area today, Sunday, May 20.

FIBER ARTS FESTIVAL — COVENTRY

A Stitch in Time Fiber Arts Festival will take place from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Expected are spinners, knitters, weavers, quilters and other artists at the Hale Homestead, 2299 South St., Coventry. Donations accepted. Free tour of the homestead for CT Landmarks members. Members-to-be can take a guided tour for just $5. Info: (860) 742-6917.

THIRD ANNUAL CRUISE DAY

The Ashford Senior Center presents the third annual Cruise Day from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at 25 Tremko Lane, Ashford. Info: (860) 487-5122.

EXHIBIT OPENING — CRANDALL MUSEUM

The Prudence Crandall Museum, 1 South Canterbury Road, Canterbury, will host an exhibit opening of “Friends and Neighbors: Canterbury’s 18th and 19th Century African- American Residents” beginning at 11 a.m.

RABIES VACCINATIONS — SCOTLAND

The Town of Scotland will host its annual rabies vaccination clinic next month. The clinic will be held at the Scotland Fire Safety Complex, 47 Brook Road, from 1 to 3 p.m. The cost is $12 per vaccination and only cash will be accepted.

POETRY READING — CRANDALL MUSEUM

Prudence Crandall Museum, 1 South Canterbury Road, Canterbury, will host a poetry reading from 1 to 3 p.m. Poets Marilyn Nelson (Connecticut Poet Laureate 2001-2006) Bessy Reyna and Kate Rushin will read from the book “Miss Crandall’s School for Young Ladies and Little Misses of Color.” Program includes dance performance by Deborah Goffee, artistic director and founder of Scapegoat Garden dance theater in Hartford. Admission: $6 adults/$4 senior citizens (60 and over) and youth (6-17), ages 5 and under free. Info: (860) 546-7800.

SPRING TEA LUNCHEON — CRANDALL MUSEUM

The Friends of the Prudence Crandall Museum Inc., will present the annual Spring Tea Luncheon from 1 to 3 p.m. at Carter House, next to the Prudence Crandall Museum in Canterbury at the intersection of routes 14 and 169. Cost is $17 per person and reservations must be made due to limited seating. In addition, the fee includes entrance to the Crandall Museum. Call (860) 546-9266 now to reserve your place.

CHICKEN BARBECUE — WILLIMANTIC

The Willimantic VFW Post 1724 Ladies Auxiliary, will host a chicken barbecue from 3 to 6 p.m. at the VFW home, Main Street, Willimantic. Cost is $7/person.

WVNA MONTHLY MEETING

The Willimantic Victorian Neighborhood Association will conduct its monthly meeting at 3:30 p.m. at its meeting house at 869 Main St., Willimantic. Potluck dinner to follow at 201 Lewiston Ave., Willimantic.

WINE AND BEER FESTIVAL IN HAMPTON

Joshua’s Tract Conservation and Historic Trust will host a wine and beer festival at the Hampton Community Center, 178 Main St., Hampton, to raise funds for its land conservation activities from 4 to 6:30 p.m. Co-sponsored with Bombadil’s Spirit Shop, Mansfield. Cost is $35 per person for members, $40 for non-members. Advance reservations are recommended. A reservation form with online payment is available at www.joshuaslandtrust.org. Tickets will be available at the door until the event is sold out.

Have a news item, event or Letter to the Editor you’d like posted on this news site? Simply send your information to editor@htnp.com and include your town in the subject line of your email. Please also include a phone number where you can be reached if there are questions. For daily updates on local and Connecticut news, “like” us on Facebook at HTNP News. https://www.facebook.com/HTNPnews

Events for Saturday May 19: Plant sales, live music, quilt show and more

On Sunday, May 20, the congregation of St. Paul's Episcopal Church and local residents take time to give back to our creator with a 9 a.m. service of song and thanksgiving. Then plant trees, retrieve trash, tour the Taylor Court Community Garden where we grow vegetables for the Covenant Soup Kitchen, take a walking tour, visit our plant sale – and have lunch at St. Paul's. For a minimum donation of $5, each person will receive a seedling tree, a recycle bag, bumper sticker, bottled water and an informational packet on the “Spring Thing.” Everyone is invited to join us for lunch.

Here are some of the fun community events taking place on Saturday, May 19. If you’d like your activity or group meeting included in the weekend listing, please send your information (see below for format) to editor@htnp.com

BIRD WATCHING

The Natchaug Ornithological Society hosts a free field trip to Boston Hollow. Because of limited parking, the group will meet at 7:30 a.m. at Ashford Elementary School on Route 89 and carpool from there. Questions? Contact, Tom Harrington at greatgrayowl@sbcglobal.net

PLANT SALE AND MORE – WILLIMANTIC

St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 220 Valley Street, Willimantic hosts, “Do the Spring Thing.” For complete details, visit http://stpaulswillimantic.org Kick off is 9 a.m. on Sat, May 19 with start of annual plant sale. Sunday, May 20, the congregation of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church and local residents take time to give back to our creator with a 9 a.m. service of song and thanksgiving. Then plant trees, retrieve trash, tour the Taylor Court Community Garden where we grow vegetables for the Covenant Soup Kitchen, take a walking tour, visit our plant sale – and have lunch at St. Paul’s. For a minimum donation of $5, each person will receive a seedling tree, a recycle bag, bumper sticker, bottled water and an informational packet on the “Spring Thing.” Everyone is invited to join us for lunch.

CHAPLIN PLANT SALE

Chaplin Elementary School, 240 Palmer Road, Chaplin, hosts a plant sale in the school cafeteria from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

FLEA MARKET — MANSFIELD

Southeast Elementary School, 134 Warrenville Road (Route 89), Mansfield, hosts a flea market from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

NATURE HIKE — HAMPTON

The Goodwin Forest Conservation Education Center, 23 Potter Road, Hampton, leads an interpretive 3.25-mile hike to Black Spruce Pond from 9 a.m. to noon; it will feature looks at returning migratory birds, spring wildflowers and a newly regenerated hardwood forest. Info/registration: (860) 455-9534.

SWIM LESSON SIGN-UPS

Sign-ups for Red Cross swim lessons will take place at the Lebanon town pool, corner of Route 87 and 207, Lebanon, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

SPRING BAZAAR — MANSFIELD

Mansfield Senior Center, 303 Maple Road, Storrs, holds its spring bazaar from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

TOWN-WIDE TAG SALE – Andover

The Town of Andover holds its annual town-wide tag sale from 9 a. m. to 3 p. m. Maps are available in the town clerk’s office or in the bulletin board in front of the town office building, 17 School Road, Andover.

ANNUAL PLANT SALE — WINDHAM

The Garden Club of Windham invites residents to its annual plant sale from 9 a.m. to noon in the cafeteria at Windham High School, 355 High St., Willimantic. Proceeds are contributed to the Windham community in support of enrichment programs, activities and public space beautification. Visit us at http://gardenclubofwindham.org

VILLAGE COFFEE — WINDHAM CENTER

St. Paul’s Church, Plains Road, Windham Center, hosts a village coffee event every other Saturday through the beginning of June from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. These coffee hours offer Windham Center residents and anyone else a place to gather, catch up on happenings in the area, discuss local issues, meet neighbors and relax over free coffee, tea and snacks.

PLANT AND BAKE SALE — SCOTLAND

The Congregational Church of Scotland hosts a plant and bake sale from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the Scotland Green, Route 14, Scotland.

FARM DAY — SCOTLAND

Scotland Historical Society hosts Farm Day from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Waldo House, Waldo Road, Scotland. Many demonstrations and other events. Antique cars and farm vehicles will also be on display. Rain or shine. Admission: $5 adults; children under age 12 free. Info: (860) 456-0081and/or www.scotlandhistoricalsociety.org PLEASE, no pets.

FIBER ARTS FESTIVAL — COVENTRY

“A Stitch in Time Fiber Arts Festival” will take place Saturday and Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Expected are spinners, knitters, weavers, quilters and other artists at the Nathan Hale Homestead, 2299 South St., Coventry. Donations accepted. Free tour of the homestead for CT Landmarks members. Members-to-be can take a guided tour for just $5. Info: (860) 742-6917.

SCHOOL FUN FAIR — MANSFIELD

Goodwin Elementary School, 321 Hunting Lodge Road, Mansfield, hosts a fun fair from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Come enjoy hours of fun with something for everyone.

FAMILY STORY TIME — MANSFIELD

Mansfield Public Library, 54 Warrenville Road, Mansfield, holds a family story time at 10:30 a.m. All ages welcome. Info: (860) 423-2501 or visit www.mansfieldpubliclibraryct.org

HISTORIC OPEN HOUSE – SCOTLAND

From 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., tour guides will lead visitors through the birthplace of Samuel Huntington, signer of the Declaration of Independence and considered by some to be the true first American president. The Gov. Samuel Huntington Trust opens the homestead on the first and third Saturdays of each month through October and is located on Route 14 just west of the Scotland town center. Free admission, but donations appreciated. Info: Visit http://huntingtonhomestead.org or call (860) 423-1547.

BEREAVEMENT SUPPORT – MANSFIELD

Hospice of Eastern Connecticut holds its Saturday Bereavement Group from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at 34 Ledgebrook Drive, Mansfield. This support group is appropriate for those who are grieving a year or more and is open to the community. Info: (860) 456-7288 ext. 293

‘PURAPLICIOUS’ TEA PARTY – S. WINDHAM

Guilford Smith Memorial Library, 17 Main St., South Windham, hosts a tea party at noon. Drop by for tea and wear fancy clothes. Info: (860) 423-5159.

300 YEARS OF QUILTS – COVENTRY

300 Years of Coventry Quilts exhibit will take place from noon to 4 p.m. Sponsored by the Coventry Historical Society at the Strong-Porter Museum, 2382 South St., Coventry. View nearly 100 antique and new quilts in all phases of construction along a picturesque woodland path. Info: email gdilk@aol.com or call (860) 742-9656. Donation: $5 per person.

LAMPWORK EXHIBIT — LEBANON

The Jonathan Trumbull Jr. House, 780 Trumbull Highway, Route 87, Lebanon opens for the 2012 season from noon to 4 p.m. with a reception for Lebanon artist Jaci Sinkewicz and the opening of her exhibit, “Glass and Fire: The Art of Lampworking.” Lampworking is a type of glasswork that uses a gas-fueled torch. Info: (860) 642-7987. To learn more about Jonathan Trumbull, Jr. visit http://historicbuildingsct.com/?p=642, and to learn more about his father, the Connecticut governor, visit http://www.govtrumbullhousedar.org

MEMORIAL MUSIC FEST – LEBANON

The Casey Yates Memorial Music Festival will be held at 1 p.m. at the Lebanon Fairgrounds, Mack Road, Lebanon. Admission is $10. This event will portray Yates’ love for music by providing a place for family, friends and people in the community to come together and enjoy music by several local musicians. Members of Yate’s band, “Moss.” will perform songs written and recorded by Yates that will be played live for the first time at the Memorial Music Festival. Donations/checks can be made to Casey’s Charities, 175 Sisson Road, Lebanon 06249. Casey Dane Yates, 24, of Lebanon, CT died July 5, 2011 after a tragic accident in Dallas. He was born in Willimantic, CT on July 24, 1986. Casey was a passionate and caring young man with a unique sense of humor. He loved his music and helping people. He was an accomplished scholar, earning many awards in high school and college. He graduated from Lyman Memorial H.S. in 2005 and from University of Hartford in 2009 with a bachelor’s degree, summa cum laude in Radiology/CT. At the time of his death, he was a post- baccalaureate pre-med student at the University of Texas at Dallas.

FARMERS MARKET — STORRS

Storrs Farmers Market is open every Saturday from 3 to 6 p.m. The market is located in the Mansfield Town Hall parking lot on Storrs Road (Route 195) You can find Storrs Farmers Market on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/StorrsFarmersMarket

POTLUCK AND LIVE MUSIC — WILLIMANTIC

The Country Misfits will perform at the VFW Post 1724, Main Street, Willimantic, from 4 to 8 p.m. Potluck, bring a dish to share.

HAM AND BEAN SUPPER — MANSFIELD

Echo Grange 180 holds a ham and bean supper at the Grange Hall, 483 Storrs Road (Route 195), in Mansfield Center from 5 to 7 p.m. Proceeds from the supper will be used to further community service projects. Adults are $8, seniors $7, children 4-12 are $5 and children under 4 eat for free. Takeout dinners also available.

LASAGNA DINNER — LEBANON

Goshen Congregational Church, 157 Church Road, Lebanon, hosts a lasagna dinner from 5 to 7 p.m. in the fellowship hall. Adults $10, seniors $9, children age 12 and under $5, children under age 5 eat for free. Proceeds to benefit GCC Scholarship Fund. Info: (860) 642-4336.

HAM AND BEAN SUPPER — HEBRON

St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, 30 Church St. (Route 85), Hebron, holds a ham and beans dinner from 5 to 7 p.m. Cost is $12 adults, $6 children ages 6-12, and kids 5 and younger eat for free. Info: (860) 228-3244 or visit www.StPetersHebron.com

PROGRAM AND POTLUCK — MANSFIELD

First Church of Christ in Mansfield, UCC, 549 Storrs Road hosts a Sierra Leone presentation with potluck supper at 6 p.m. Artifacts, food, history of Sierra Leone. All invited. Info: (860) 423-9008.

SPAGHETTI AND RAFFLE – WILLINGTON

Willington Nursery Cooperative hosts a spaghetti dinner at the Willington Hill Fire Department, 24 Old Farms Road, Willington at 6 p.m. Info: (860) 617-2339

DANCE SHOWCASE – WILLIMANTIC

EastConn’s Capitol Theater Arts Academy (CTAA) will present its annual Spring Dance Showcase at the Capitol Theater, 896 Main St., Willimantic, featuring 63 young dancers from across northeastern Connecticut at 7 p.m. General admission tickets are $10. Tickets for students and seniors are $8. For tickets and information, contact Jessica Folta at (860) 465-5636.

Posted May 19, 2012, links added by Brenda Sullivan, HTNP.com Editor

Have a news item, event or Letter to the Editor you’d like posted on this news site? Simply send your information to editor@htnp.com and include your town in the subject line of your email. Please also include a phone number where you can be reached if there are questions. For daily updates on local and Connecticut news, “like” us on Facebook at HTNP News.

National Bike-to-Work Day is May 18

With the theme, “It’s Easier Than You Think!,” Bike Walk CT is taking the lead to encourage bike commuting on National Bike to Work Day, on Friday May 18, 2012. All events are rain or shine.

Breakfasts for bike commuters will be held in Bethel, Bridgeport, Hartford, New Haven, New London, Norwalk, Norwich, Stamford, Waterbury, West Hartford, and the UConn Health Center (Farmington). See http://www.bikewalkct.org/bike-to-work for the details.

DEEP Commissioner Esty will ride into the West Hartford and downtown Hartford events, from Cheshire!

We plan to have a friendly competition among the events – the prize is bragging rights for the bike to work event with the highest attendance per capita for the city in which it’s located (so bigger towns won’t have an unfair advantage).

Another “prize” is showing that residents of your town are serious about non-motorized transportation and that it deserves attention and resources. Recruit your family, friends, co-workers, city officials and all the public and private sector employees you can convince that they should give bike commuting a try!

To be sure you have the most up-to-date information on the breakfasts and the meetups on May 18, click this link http://www.bikewalkct.org/bike-to-work/meet-ups

May 1 kicked off the three-month National Bike Challenge. Whether you bike daily or infrequently, for recreation or for transportation, we need you and all of your biking friends to sign up.

Our goal is to end the challenge as a top-10 state; with your help, we can get there.

And you will be eligible for prizes after just three days of riding! Visit the Bike Walk CT web site for details at http://www.bikewalkct.org

Bike Walk CT has a team of 10 and invites others to create their own teams … something like Bike Walk CT – Sound Cyclists… any name that identifies your team as part of the Bike Walk CT organization combined with your own identity.

Simsbury has an event planned for almost every day during Bike Month, including the unveiling of a new bike sculpture on Saturday, May 19.

If you know of other events, please let us know and we will add it to the May is Bike Month calendar, and post it on our web site, Facebook and in our eNewsletter. Send your information to bikewalkct@bikewalkct.org

Posted May 16, 2012

Related link: http://www.slideshare.net/bikewalkct/bike-to-work-on-may-18-events-scheduled-across-connecticut

Editor’s note: We are currently making security improvements to our Web site, and you may sometimes receive a message that the site is temporarily unavailable. We thank you for being patient.

Have a news item, event or Letter to the Editor you’d like posted on this news site? Simply send your information to editor@htnp.com and include your town in the subject line of your email. Please also include a phone number where you can be reached if there are questions. For daily updates on local and Connecticut news, “like” us on Facebook at HTNP News.

Save your appetite for the return of the Third Thursday Street Fest

Besides live music and other entertainment, the Willimantic Third Thursday Street Fest includes tables set up by local businesses, some offering samples of their goods and services. In prior years, for example, massage therapist Diane Marion has offered chair massages - a nice break for visitors after making a tour of everything going on on Main Street. Photo copyright 2011 by Brenda Sullivan.

Have you missed the Third Thursday Street Fest? Well, the new 2012 season begins this week on Thursday, May 17. Admission is free and all are welcome. Forecasts are for sunny skies and comfortable temps.

Downtown Main Street will be closed to traffic from 5 to 9 p.m., and the streets will be taken over by bands and other entertainers, food vendors of all kinds – from burgers to falafel – and tables with representatives of civic groups and other local organizations, as well as a variety of craftspeople and artists.

Good food tastes even better listening to the music by performers on the many stages at the festival, beginning at 6 p.m. until about 8 p.m.

Every year the Street Fest grows – drawing thousands of visitors from the area.

For details about each month’s music, food and other events, visit the web site at http://willimanticstreetfest.com (there you can also find an application to showcase your goods, services or band at a future Street Fest).

Third Thursday is also an opportunity to visit some of the restaurants, businesses, coffee shops and art galleries that make Downtown Willimantic special.

“Way uptown” is the home of Main Street Café and Brew Pub. That’s the one with all the awards, like the 2011 Best Brew in Connecticut, and 2010 6th Best Brew Pub in the World.

Then there is Cafémantic, in the beautifully renovated, colorful “Victorian” building with a large selection of fresh-made gourmet sandwiches and treats, as well as delicious coffees and teas.

Also on Main Street is the newly opened Fred’s Blues and BBQ and the City Side Deli.

The rock-climbing tower at the Willimantic Third Thursday Street Fest. Photo copyright 2011 by Brenda Sullivan.

Turn onto Church Street and find The Harp on Church, an Irish spot with tasty sandwiches and drink.

Go “way downtown” and you’ll find Tony’s Pizza, or buy their pizza by the slice at the Third Thursday Street Fest.

Also at the festival:

Domino’s Pizza with pizza and breadsticks; First Congregational Church with fried dough with various toppings; Hosmer Mountain Soda with its famous ice cream floats; Windham Bigg Play will have pulled pork and coleslaw; Wings Express selling Indian food like chicken tika masala, matter paneer and samosas; Ternullo Ministries offering French fries and onion rings; Chappy’s II has custom sausage and smoked products; Keiffer’s Kettle Korn also has Italian ice; Iglesia Corozon will have beef empanadas, rice with pigeon peas and roasted pulled pork; Raw Youniverse will make you an organic smoothie; and for your sweet tooth, cotton candy from St. Mary’s Church.

There truly is something for everyone at the Willimantic Third Thursday Street Fest – bring your friends and family.

Editor’s note:Please, if bringing your (friendly) family dog, keep him/her on a leash, plan to clean up after any accidents and bring some water because you, your children and your four-footed friend are likely to get thirsty. And if you have a good time at the festival, why not stop by the main information booth and buy a button to help support future fests. Each festival costs about $16,000 to produce. About $10,000 is covered through in-kind services and volunteer labor, leaving about $6,000 – which includes about $4,500 to pay performers, $1,000 for advertising and about $500 for insurance, Port-a-Potties, postage and other fest expenses.

Posted May 15, 2012, based on a press release from the Willimantic Third Thursday Street Fest organizers

Editor’s note: We are currently making security improvements to our Web site, and you may sometimes receive a message that the site is temporarily unavailable. We thank you for being patient.

Have a news item, event or Letter to the Editor you’d like posted on this news site? Simply send your information to editor@htnp.com and include your town in the subject line of your email. Please also include a phone number where you can be reached if there are questions. For daily updates on local and Connecticut news, “like” us on Facebook at HTNP News.

You are invited – Worldfest 2012 at UConn

The 42nd annual free Worldfest will be held 1 to 4 p.m. in Storrs-Mansfield on Saturday, March 24, 2012. This is an educational experience for all ages. Admission is free of charge. (A fee will be charged for food and beverages.)

The 42nd annual free Worldfest will be held 1 to 4 p.m. in Storrs-Mansfield on Saturday, March 24, 2012. Everyone is invited.

The Office of Global Programs – The International Center, and The International Students Organization are sponsoring this event, which will be held at the University of Connecticut Student Union in the ballroom (third floor)

The hallmark feature of the annual Worldfest has been the exhilarating performances of the various international student groups.

Some of this year’s performers include: the UConn Irish, The Saudi Student Club, Bangladeshi Student Association, Nepali Student Association, Ukraine Dance, UConn Capoeira, Tarang, UConn Taiko, UConn B.A.I.L.E, and the Polish Cultural Society, just to name a few.

Also, be prepared to treat your taste buds with exotic cuisines in “Appetizers from around the World” while you chat with UConn students from around the world.

Have a postcard taken of yourself and friends at the “Postcards from around the World” booth, sponsored by the Student Union Board of Governors (SUBOG).

Please join us to celebrate UConn’s rich cultural diversity and show your support for our growing international community.

This is an educational experience for all ages. Admission is free of charge. (A fee will be charged for food and beverages.)

Questions? Please call 869-486-3855.

Posted March 6, 2012

Have a news item, event or Letter to the Editor you’d like posted on this news site? Simply send your information to editor@htnp.com and include your town in the subject line of your email. Please also include a phone number where you can be reached if there are questions. To keep up-to-date on local news, “like” us (HTNP News) on Facebook and follow us ( @HTNP) on Twitter!

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Connecticut Water refutes criticisms of UConn water plan

Connecticut Water Eric Thornburg from Town Talk

Connecticut Water is well positioned to provide the water necessary to meet the needs identified for the University and the community over the 50 year planning horizon. The EIE considered the projected demands for the University’s Tech Park and the Next Generation initiative, as well as the Town of Mansfield’s plans for redevelopment of the Four Corners, the proposed managed care facility, and other potential development in the community consistent with their local plans.

Future of local water supply is topic of public forum July 29

water - drinking water - water faucet

Questions about water sources, usage and quality have come into focus recently in light of the Storrs Center development, UConn’s plans to bring in water to support a new Tech Park and the concurrent needs of the towns in this region, particularly in terms of their own development plans.

Coventry Farmers Market invites you to a ‘wellness’ swap

SWAPPERS logo Coventry Farmers Market 2013

As always, anything handmade, handcrafted or homegrown is swappable. But remember – you must sign up and bring something to get something in return!

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