Three years after the Civil War ended, a group of Union veterans held the first national memorial service on May 5, 1868 where organizers visited Arlington National Cemetery to decorate soldiers’ graves with flowers. Dubbed “Decoration Day” this practice grew by the end of the 19th Century into a national day of remembrance held annually on May 30. It wasn’t until after World War I that this Spring ritual expanded to those soldiers who died in all American wars. By 1971, Congress set the holiday as the last Monday in May. This past week, I noticed the American flags ‘decorating’ veterans’ graves at Newtown Village Cemetery and it made me think that not only were human lives sacrificed in wartime, but those of animals as well.
The first weekend of 2015 Open Day events hosted by The Garden Conservancy will be June 6-7. A number of gardens in Fairfield, Hartford, and New Haven Counties will be open to the public those two days. Included in this year’s program is Jean Sander’s garden in Sandy Hook, which has been included in the Open Day program once each year for the past five years. Jean’s garden is one of two in Fairfield County that will be open on Sunday, June 7, from 10 am until 4 pm rain or shine. It is the only one, once again, to represent Newtown this season.
Music lovers and anyone looking for a family-friendly opportunity to get together with friends while benefiting one of Newtown’s five volunteer fire companies can mark their calendars for a first of its kind fundraiser. “Rockin’ the ‘Ville” is set for Saturday, June 13, on the grounds of Hawleyville Volunteer fire station, 34 Hawleyville Road. Rockin’ the ‘Ville is sponsored by the Stony Hill Four Corners (SH4C) Business Association, which promotes businesses in the Route 6 corridor and hosts community events in the area straddling the western Newtown and eastern Bethel town lines.
The public is invited to Catherine’s Butterfly Party, Saturday, June 6, from noon to 4 pm, at the Fairfield Hills Campus, 4 Primrose Street. A program of the Catherine Violet Hubbard Foundation and the Catherine Violet Hubbard Animal Sanctuary, the event will include a Super Adoption Event, as well as animal- and nature-centered programs, demonstrations, vendors, and live music. The party is intended for all ages. Catherine Hubbard had always pleaded for an “all animal birthday party” for her June birthday, every year, said her mother, Jennifer Hubbard. There is no admission for Catherine’s Butterfly Party, which the CVH Foundation hopes will become an annual event.
“It’s that time of year again,” said Newtown Centre of Classical Ballet (NCCB) Artistic Director Tory Gozzi. The ballet company this year will present Sleeping Beauty, onstage at Edmond Town Hall on Sunday, June 21. The special Father’s Day performances will be offered at noon and 3 pm. The event, sponsored by Rotary Club of Newtown, is intended to be a fun father-daugher type of event, said Ms Gozzi, who is also owner of the South Main Street dance studio. Admission is free, but tickets are available for those who wish to guarantee seating.
In an interview ahead of his Ridgefield Playhouse show June 10, highly respected and award-winning blues artist Matt Schofield said after nearly 25 years in the business, it’s still incomprehensible when he is aligned beside fellow British players like Eric Clapton and Peter Green But all humility aside, Schofield told The Newtown Bee he is excited to be able to thrill true blues fans and newcomers alike, exposing his audiences to the “irreplaceable joy of live music." He said he will accomplish that by drawing from diverse roots in jazz, funk, and early American blues, when he and his power trio hit the Playhouse stage next month. That set will steer past a lot of all-too-familiar blues standards, Schofield said, in favor of showcasing primarily his own material including a decent sampling from his 2014 release, "Far As I Can See."
Just in time for Memorial Day, one of the biggest grilling holidays of the year, the Propane Education & Research Council and Food Network personality Sunny Anderson are debuting a new cookbook, "The Grilling for Heroes Cookbook: Sizzling Recipes for Your Propane Grill," to raise money for wounded veterans. Hundreds of grilling recipe submissions were collected through a contest last summer on grillingforheroes.com. Among those selected for inclusion in the new release is a recipe and personal story of military service from Bernadette Gillen Addessi of Newtown.