For the tenth year a collection of cardboard boxes have been decorated and filled with Halloween offerings. For the first time, they are being sold around town. This year, the boxes have been decorated by members of Newtown United LLC, along with a few local artists, and are being sold for $10 each as a fundraiser for FAITH Food Pantry, the Salvation Army Food Pantry at Newtown Social Services, and Ann’s Place. Rosemary Rau is the creator of the seasonal offerings, which started, she said, when she found cardboard boxes at a craft store a decade ago and envisioned tiny homes. Part of their inception in 2004, said Mrs Rau, was that serendipitous moment while the other was a rekindling of the New England tradition of “Booing” neighbors and friends. Think Secret Santa, but during October: people can surprise friends, co-workers, even strangers with a small gift. Mrs Rau’s boxes are meant to help people do just that.
The second annual Newtown Pumpkin Festival was held at Fairfield Hills on Saturday, October 11.
The festival — which was a collaborative effort between A Bead of Roses, NYA Sports & Fitness Center, Newtown Kindness, The Chase Kowalski Fund, and many other Newtown nonprofit groups and local businesses — was held between 3 and 9:30 pm.
The event is based on an annual pumpkin carving event in Keene, N.H., and celebrates the luminous beauty of thousands of glowing pumpkins. The pumpkins were lit at dusk to glow throughout the evening.
In a recent chat with Annie Haslam, the multi-tiered soprano now leading the classical prog-rock ensemble Renaissance, I mentioned how in 1977, I was dragged along by high school pals Trish and Salli to see the band at Waterbury’s Palace Theater. After playing me a recording of arguably their most accessible hit, “Carpet of the Sun,” I was intrigued enough to go, and it turned into one of those life-enhancing experiences music lovers crave and covet. I suppose to their most ardent fans, there is a sense of ownership — a feeling like you’ve discovered a little personal treasure chest you can go to and open when you’re suffering through a momentary musical recession.
John Voket was presented with a 2014 Ambassador of Hope Award on October 15, during the monthly Hearts of Hope-Newtown painting party. Hearts of Hope Founder and Executive Director Judy Pederson said Wednesday morning that “an Ambassador of Hope is awarded to someone who goes above and beyond in service to others.” While the winners of the honor were named in September, Ms Pederson traveled to Sandy Hook this week to present a framed certificate to Mr Voket, who could not be at a Hearts of Hope Awards Luncheon last month. He was busy volunteering his time elsewhere that day.
As the Sunday Cinema Series continues into autumn, a collection of classic horror films will be offered on Sunday, October 19, at Edmond Town Hall Theatre. Newtown Cultural Arts Commission has been presenting the monthly series since May, offering moviegoers the chance to celebrate what many consider to be the greatest year of film history while enjoying films released in 1939 the way they were meant to be seen: on the big screen. This month’s offerings will, appropriately, delve into the horror genre. The October 19 program will begin with screenings at 1 and 4 pm of "The Hunchback of Notre Dame." At 7 pm, moviegoers will be treated to a double-feature of "The Return of Doctor X" and "Son of Frankenstein." In addition, Newtown High School student and filmmaker Max Galassi will celebrate the premiere of his latest film, "A Really Bright Star." Max’s 16-minute short will precede the 7 o’clock double feature offerings. Series Coordinator Jen Rogers has also contacted Bethel artist Richie Nigro, and invited him to display some of his paintings and prints that are modeled after classic film posters.
No matter how intelligent they may be, no matter what their status in the work world, Jean Leonard knows that women tend to put financial matters on the back burner. “A lot of women don’t have the time to focus on learning about investments and and finances,” she said. Ms Leonard hopes to remedy that deficit through a series of Newtown Continuing Education classes she will lead in October and November.
All Hallow’s Eve is creeping up on us. For those who cannot get enough thrills and chills on October 31, there are plenty of opportunities around the state to get a jump on the frightful fun of the autumn holiday. On the light side, right here in town the Second Annual Newtown Pumpkin Festival took place yesterday at Fairfield Hills. The fun continues, however, with local offerings from Newtown Lions Club's upcoming Great Pumpkin Races and Newtown Parks & Recreation's Halloween parties. Beginning October 26, Mackenzie Page will be collecting carved pumpkins for her Fourth Annual Great Pumpkin Challenge, while other groups will be well into their seasonal offerings.