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Holiday Festival Offers A Full Slate Of Events



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Holiday Festival Offers A Full Slate Of Events

By Shannon Hicks

The 18th Annual Family Counseling Center Newtown Holiday Festival will be presented on Sunday, December 7, with most events running from 11 am to 5 pm.

Five private homes will be open for tours. The homes have been decorated by local nurseries, flower shops, and craft stores. Live music will be performed in each of the homes. Details on the homes and their locations are on the cover of the Real Estate section of this week’s Newtown Bee.

Music will also be offered by strolling musicians. Ballet performances will return to Edmond Town Hall, at 45 Main Street, with The Malenkee Ballet Repertoire Company of Newtown Centre for Classic Ballet offering The Nutcracker Suite. The dancers will be performing a condensed version of the holiday classic.

Singing and instrumental groups on various instruments will also be performing all day in the town hall’s third floor Alexandria Room. They will be offering background music for The Victorian Tea, which offers a relaxing atmosphere for teas, coffees, soft drinks, and fresh baked goods.

Edmond Town Hall will also be home to the family workshop, which will run continuously from noon to 4 pm. Parents and their children will be able to have face painting, make crafts, and have free photos taken with Santa Claus. This is a family event; at least one parent or guardian must stay with the children when they visit the workshop (it is not a baby-sitting service).

The town hall’s gymnasium will also be busy. Antiques dealers from Newtown, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and surrounding states will return for the Holiday Festival Antiques Show & Sale. This event will open at 10 am.

Also opening at 10 will be The Holiday Festival Arts & Crafts Show, which moves this year to Newtown High School, 12 Berkshire Road in Sandy Hook. A collection of 53 fine artisans and crafters have been selected for the show. This is the one Holiday Festival event that is open to the public free of charge (a Holiday Festival ticket is not necessary to attend the show).

Also open on Sunday will be Matthew Curtiss House at 44 Main Street (headquarters for Newtown Historical Society), Newtown General Store at 43 Main Street (not usually open on Sundays), Newtown Meeting House at 31 Main Street, and Trinity Episcopal Church at 30 Main Street.

Peter Leone, the owner of Newtown General Store, will once again make a large donation to Family Counseling Center after the festival. Mr Leone has been opening the general store on the day of the Holiday Festival for a few years. He sees is as his way to help the festival and its beneficiary. After he takes out costs and expenses from the day of the festival, Mr Leone donates a large percentage of his proceeds to Family Counseling Center.

“This is really their day,” he said this week. “If I can help by donating out proceeds, then I want to do that.”

Trinity will be the location for this year’s New England Café. From noon to 4 pm visitors will be able to enjoy food and drinks provided by local restaurants. The church’s annual Advent Service of Lessons and Carols will be offered at 4.

Shuttle buses will be running for the duration of the festival. Bus stops are set up at 13 Sugar Street, 1 Academy Lane, the town hall, the library, Newtown Middle School, and Newtown High School. Using the parking lots at the middle school stop is being encouraged to alleviate congestion and parking difficulties on Main Street.

Two routes will be running with the buses. One route will stop at the library, the homes on Sugar Street and Academy Lane, the town hall, and the library. The second route will cover the library, the town hall, and the two schools.

Admission to festival events is by ticket. Adult festival tickets are $20 in advance, $25 on December 7. Tickets for seniors and children between the ages of 6 and 14 are $15 in advance, $18 on Sunday.

Advance tickets are available until Saturday at Drug Center Pharmacy, 61 Church Hill Road; Family Counseling Center, 121 Mt Pleasant Road; and Newtown Savings Bank branches in Newtown, Monroe, and Southbury. The Greenwood Avenue branch of Newtown Savings Bank in Bethel is also selling tickets in advance.

Ticket vendors will be set up at Edmond Town Hall and C.H. Booth Library on Sunday.

The Holiday Festival is the annual major fundraiser for Family Counseling Center, Inc. The center is a not-for-profit agency begun in 1983 to meet the changing needs of individuals and families in the greater Danbury and Southbury area through counseling, support groups, education, and referral services. These are all available regardless of a person’s or group’s ability to pay.

The center is a United Way-funded agency and its counseling and substance abuse programs are state licensed; its counseling program and educational program are nationally accredited. In 2001 the center provided services to 642 individuals, families, and children.

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