The Fourth Annual Newtown Arts Festival opened last Friday with William Inge’s classic theater piece, "Bus Stop." Celebrating 80 years of community theater, The Town Players of Newtown are continuing their tradition of producing quality work that excels in every way. Written by Inge in the mid 1950s, "Bus Stop" tells a timeless story of random people coming together under circumstances that both challenge and enlighten them. On a snowy, stormy night in Kansas City, Mo., a bus full of passengers is halted in transit at Grace’s Diner, and forced to put in for the night. The delay pushes some troubled souls to their limits and forces others to recognize their true values and natures.
After being closed for the summer months for “revamping, reorganizing, and cleaning,” said VNA member Joan Reynolds, the VNA Thrift Shop will reopen for a new season on Saturday, September 12. “We have been cleaning everything up, as well as bringing in new merchandise,” Mrs Reynolds said September 4. She and fellow VNA members Mae Schmidle and Anna Wiedemann were at the shop, located on the lower level of Edmond Town Hall, but with its own entrance, to see what needed to be done in the week before the shop would reopen.
“Useful, with a pleasant degree of humor,” touts the cover of the 2016 Old Farmer’s Almanac. This year’s issue is filled with tips and trends, tales of the usual and unusual, recipes, folklore, essays, and of course, weather predictions. Getting right to it, this year the Almanac warns of “a super cold winter” for most of the United States, and “a slew of snow.” Be prepared to bundle up and get those shovels ready, because the Farmer’s Almanac press release notes that the 2015 predictions “of a bleak and biting winter scored a stunning accuracy of 96.3 percent.”
Making a list and checking it twice is not just for Santa Claus. Newtown Labor Day Parade organizers were checking lists once, twice, and maybe multiple times more as coordinating the parade entries got underway, early Monday morning, September 7, at the top of Main Street. While organizers tweaked the order of march, thousands of paradegoers settled in along the parade route in anticipation of the annual end of summer event. It wasn't just Newtown residents who were looking forward to the parade. Visitors from all around the area spilled out of friends’ homes along the parade route, or secured a spot at the edge of the road. Friends Riley Burke, 5, and Arianne Lauf, 6, were with their families from Danbury, just to see Newtown’s Labor Day Parade.
Newtown Woman’s Club is ready to begin sales of its newest pewter Christmas ornament. The 2015 ornament — which has once again been produced by Woodbury Pewterers, Inc — depicts Newtown Hall at Fairfield Hills. The building was one of three that stood at the entrance to the state psychiatric hospital when it opened in June 1933. The Newtown Hall ornament will be available for purchase for the first time this year during the Labor Day Parade. On Monday, September 7, Project Chair Mary Antey will have a table set up in front of C.H. Booth Library, at 25 Main Street. She will be selling ornaments to paradegoers that morning and early afternoon. The ornaments are still $10 each.
“We’re serving as a bridge to connect people to the horses. The horses are really the therapists,” said PATH (Professional Association for Therapeutic Horsemanship) certified therapeutic riding instructor Diana Kruzshak. Ms Kruzshak and Christine Patella, of Therapeutic Recreation Center in Woodbridge and director of the Animal-Assisted Therapy Services at Miles Hill Farm in Guilford, have joined with Barbara Gaydosh of Timber Hill Farm on Huntingtown Road to open Animal-Assisted Therapy Services, an equine therapy program. The first session will begin Saturday, September 19, said Ms Kruzshak, with programs geared to people of all ages on the autism spectrum, and for riders who suffer from emotional, physical, and mental issues.
The Sandy Hook-based LOF Adaptive Skiers invites the community to participate in a one-of-kind waterski event to benefit people with disabilities. Dam Buster, an 11- and 22-mile Waterski-A-Thon, runs from the Shepaug Dam to Stevenson Dam. The event is Saturday, September 12, on Lake Zoar from 9 am to noon. Visit the website at LOFadaptiveskiers.org or call 203-426-0666.
When the timer starts ticking on Friday, September 18 for the Fifth Annual Connecticut Chefs Challenge, a fundraiser to support the Optimus Foundation, at the Lincoln Culinary Institute in Shelton, one of the eight chefs vying for the championship belt and $1,000 grand prize, will be Sandy Hook resident Justin Kern.Chef Kern will not be the only Newtown representative there, though. Hosting the fundraiser will be Chef Kristopher Plummer (better known as “Chef Plum”), a personal chef from Newtown, and owner of Plum Luv Foods and Pork Belly Productions. Chef Plum has appeared on Food Network, ABC, CBS, Jamie Oliver’s Food Tube. He is also a former Chefs Challenge participant. The Chefs Challenge — a evening of food, music, and raffles, and open to the public — raises funds that go toward renovation of medical office facilities, investment in technology and equipment, staff training, research and development, as well as increasing public awareness of Optimus Health Care’s community services.