One of the most recognizable symbols of the December holiday period — the Christmas tree — can be seen on car roof tops, if not already in windows of homes complete with decorations and all, with regularity as December 25 fast approaches. Time is running out for families or individuals to get their green, festive, scented reminder of the season. In Newtown, there are several options for residents and nonresidents alike, including family-owned, cut-your-own tree farms.
’Twas the night before the 29th annual Holiday Festival’s daylong celebration, which started with a dash of musical cheer. Filling the Edmond Town Hall Alexandria Room with seasonal songs and the plucky sound of banjo and guitar strings was the Goldrush band, playing holiday favorites. The Jingle Jam on Saturday night, December 6, was a new part of a traditional Holiday Festival to benefit Newtown Youth & Family Services (NYFS). Festivities continued with house tours and activities along Main Street and at the Edmond Town Hall on Sunday, December 7.
The Newtown Rotary Annual Pancake Day was underway for less than two hours, Saturday, December 6, and more than 200 guests had already dined on pancakes and sausage, said Rotary member Myra Leuci. With three more hours of the 8 am to 1 pm breakfast still to go, the line out the door seemed to indicate that the event, in its 54th year, would be a great success.
Children participated in working to create quilt squares for a Comfort Quilt project at Newtown Middle School on Saturday, December 6. The table was part of the Parks & Recreation Breakfast with Santa event, but organizers Suzanne Davenport and Jan Brookes are working on the project outside of the event.
Ms Brookes said when she read about how one of the many signs of support that was sent to Newtown in the wake of 12/14 disappeared, she responded emotionally. A 35-block comfort quilt created by students at St Hillary Catholic School in Fairlawn, Ohio, and sent to a school in New Jersey to offer support for children affected by 9/11, was then sent to Newtown after the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
A few months ago town officials realized that the comfort quilt was missing from its vast collection, either taken purposely from its Newtown Municipal Center display or through error. The Comfort Quilt has not yet been returned, despite numerous pleas from town officials and archivists.
Shannon Letts was one of dozens of early birds shopping at The Garden Club of Newtown Annual Greens Sale, Saturday morning, December 6. Seeking primarily wreaths, Ms Letts said she comes to the event every year. “Honestly, I can’t find wreaths decorated as nicely anywhere else," she said. Dozens of wreaths lined the aisles at The Meeting House on Main Street, with even more of the hand decorated greens filling the pews. In recent weeks, Garden Club members had artfully applied ornaments, dried and fresh fruits, spices, candy canes, holly, pinecones, and more, accented with lushly tied bows, to the wreaths, with each wreath a one-of-a-kind creation.
"The Good Lie," a Reese Witherspoon feature that was released in October, will be the next film offered at Edmond Town Hall Theatre. The film will be screened daily, December 12-19. On Saturday and Sunday, December 13-14, all seven shows that are planned will be offered free of charge. Ingersoll Auto of Danbury, which has been offering at least one free movie screening each month at the theater at 45 Main Street since January 2013, has announced all of the coming weekend’s shows will be free to the public.
It is not shiny and it is not new, but Rich Murdy is as proud of the dusty 1926 Ford Model T roadster pickup parked in his Hattertown garage, as if it were a 2015 Tesla. The early 20th Century car is the fourth in Mr Murdy’s current collection of vintage cars. It was bid on and won at the November 15 auction at Cherry Grove Farm, just over a mile from his home. From the moment he spotted the 1926 Model T listed in the advertisement for the Cherry Grove Farm auction, though, he knew he would be in attendance. He was actually surprised to see it listed, Mr Murdy said, as he had not seen it on the farm property in more than 20 years. The little pickup was a huge draw at the auction, said Mr Murdy, with most of the more than 500 registered bidders holders hanging on until the end, when the truck went on the block. He was bidder number 219, even though he arrived at 7:30 am for the 10 am auction. It was active bidding for the pickup, he said, but in the end, he walked away with the winning bid, going barely over the number he had set in his mind.
When the Newtown Holiday Festival returns to Main Street on Sunday, people of all ages looking for some holiday-themed fun should be able to find something that appeals to them. The festival runs from 11 am until 4 pm, rain, shine, or light snow. The Holiday Festival, anchored at Edmond Town Hall, offers a little bit of everything under one roof including The Festival of Trees, The Gingerbread House Contest, performances from "Nutcracker Suite," a Yankee Candle sale, a Scholastic Books sale, and Frozen Frenzy, a new offering for children. Historic Trolley Tours will be offered four times, departing from and returning to the courtyard in front of the historic building at 45 Main Street. Back by popular demand — following a one-year hiatus — is the Historic Homes Tour, with three private homes and the building that housed the town's first library all open for visitors. Kicking everything off, on Saturday night, will be a brand-new Holiday Festival event: The Jingle Bell Jam, with live music by Sandy Hook-based band Goldrush.
The classic 1939 film "Gone With The Wind" drew an enthusiastic crowd last weekend to Edmond Town Hall Theatre, where Newtown Cultural Arts Commission hosted one of its Sunday Film Series programs. Guests were encouraged to dress their “Oscar best” and attend a red carpet reception between 1 pm and show time in the theater at 1:30. Many couples entered the lobby arm-in-arm dressed as movie personalities, which pleased NCAC member and Sunday Cinema Series Coordinator Jen Rogers. “I was so thrilled that our audience embraced the spirit of the event,” she said.