Cool Events This Week, Here and Beyond

Head over to East Haven this weekend for its Fall Festival. Nostalgia is on tap, especially when it comes to music. Local vendors will showcase their services, school musicians will perform, plus there a road race and classic car show. Dudley Farm in Guilford is open to fairies and elves, something surely to delight the kids. Looking ahead… there’s a fall bonanza of activities. Read on! Got a cool event? Email by Wednesday noon.

Friday, Sept. 7 to Sunday, Sept. 9

East Haven Fall Festival

The East Haven Fall Festival kicks off Friday night with Theo Peoples, former lead singer of the Four Tops and the Temptations. Tony Orlando, 1970s pop star, will return to East Haven on Saturday at 9:30 p.m.

Saturday includes the East Haven Community Classic Road Race and Almost a Mile Fun Run, as well as a business showcase, East Haven High School Marching Band, performances from local self defense, voice and dance studios, the Michael Cleary Band and Avenue Groove.

The festival’s annual car show will be held on the Green Sunday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., attracting classic car owners from around the region. More than 200 cars will be featured and various awards will be presented. Entrance fee is $10 per car.

Sunday’s events will also include East Haven Police Department’s K-9 demonstration, vocal instruction, dance demonstration, and the Tommy Maia Experience at 4:30 p.m.

For more information, go to the East Haven Fall Festival on Facebook.

Saturday, Sept. 8

Fairy And Elf Festival

The Dudley Farm Farmers’ Market, 2351 Durham Road, will offer a free Fairy and Elf Festival from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 8, (rain date Sept. 22). Kids can come dressed in their best fairy or elf attire and participate in fairy-related activities. Crafts and raffle are offered to the first 200 children.

Vendors will offer some fairy treasures as well as local and organic produce, meats, maple syrup, jams, baked breads, pastries and pies, honey, fresh squeezed lemon and limeade, goats milk soap, beeswax candles, alpaca yarn, natural body products, and a wide variety of exquisite hand-made crafts. The Dudley Farm String Band will provide entertainment.

For more information, call 203-457-0770, visit, or Facebook, Dudley Farm Farmers’ Market.

Volunteer Recruitment Day

Branford Compassion Club Feline Rescue & Adoption Center, 2037 Foxon Road, North Branford, will host a Volunteer Recruitment Day from 1:30 to 4 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 8.

Animal lovers wishing to make a difference are invited to spend the afternoon, learn about the many volunteer positions available, chat with volunteers and enjoy refreshments. Volunteers are needed for shelter feeding and cleaning shifts, fostering, fundraising and feeding at feral colonies. It’s a purrfect opportunity for retirees or students wanting to earn volunteer credits. Volunteers under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult.

For more information, visit, or call 203-483-6369.

Sunday, Sept. 9

Opening Reception for Flight Path: An Art Quilter’s Journey

An exhibit by quilter Diane Wright titled Flight Path: An Art Quilter’s Journey takes place from Sept. 1 to 25 at Willoughby Wallace Library, 146 Thimble Island Road. Opening reception will be Sunday, Sept. 9, from 4 to 6 p.m.

This exhibit features the progression of an art quilter’s decades’ old career while remaining identifiable through the use of color and imagery.

Through Sept. 20

Find the Branford Hornet

Forty Branford merchants are joining together to encourage residents to find the Branford High School Hornet and promote their businesses.

Participating merchants will display the BHS Hornet somewhere in their businesses and residents can win gift certificates and prizes by finding them.

Participants will have until Thursday, Sept. 20, to complete a list of 35 out of 40. The winner will be announced at 1 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 22, on the Branford green at the fourth annual Shoreline Harvest and Jazz Festival. (The winner must be present to win.)

To take part, register at (cost $2 per entry to benefit Branford High School), then download the list of merchants, which will be posted online and listed in local papers. Take a photograph with your phone of you or someone in your group with the BHS Hornet and post the photo to Instagram with the hashtag #branfordmerchants.

For more information or to register a business, email Yvonne Gordon-Moser at

Saturday, Sept. 22

Annual Branford River Parade

Branford Land Trust will celebrate the beauty of the Branford River with kayakers and canoeists from Branford and surrounding communities in a boat parade from behind the Branford High School to Branford Point on Saturday, Sept. 22. The event is free and open to the public .

Boaters should drop boats off behind Branford High School between 9:30 and 10:15 a.m., driving to the parking lot at Parker Park at Branford Point to leave their cars/trucks and taking the shuttle bus (hired for this event) back to the high school for the 11 a.m. parade start.

Paddlers are encouraged to decorate their boats (or persons). Then, bring a picnic and enjoy lunch at Branford Point at the end of the river journey. (The rain date is Sept. 23, starting at 11:30 a.m.; drop-off 10 to 10:45 a.m.)

For updated information call Matt Radulski at 203-627-1063.

The Party at the Pond

The Branford Rotary Club Foundation will host “The Party at the Pond,” to benefit the Smilow Center Hospital at Yale-New Haven and the foundation’s Scholarship Program. The event will take place from 5 to 11 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 22, at the scenic nine-acre pond tucked behind Van Wilgen’s Garden Center in North Branford under a giant tent beside a field of colorful mums.

Tickets are $100 and include wine, beer from Thimble Islands Brewing, BBQ pork and chicken, clam chowder, live music from “The Muddy Rudders,” locally sourced vegetables, pies from Rose Orchard, and Ashley’s ice cream. There will be a live auction and several fun and unique games. Seating is limited, so reserve a spot for this one-of-a-kind celebration by going to or email

The event also celebrates the foundation’s 50th anniversary and the Branford Rotary Club’s 90th anniversary. The organization has grown in membership and resources to become of the state’s largest and most effective service organizations.

Rotary Foundation Treasurer Bill Van Wilgen and his family will also be honored. They established the Male Breast Cancer Van Wilgen Fund at Yale New Haven Hospital. Proceeds will also support the Rotary Foundation’s scholarship fund, which annually awards $7,500 to Branford high school students pursuing higher education.

The party is open to all, but seating is limited. Register at or email for more information.

Elks To Celebrate 150 Years

Branford Elks #1939 will celebrate its 150th anniversary from 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 22, at its Pavilion, off 158 S. Montowese St.

The all-day celebration includes breakfast, lunch, pig roast, cash bar, games for all ages. Music by Hit List, SteamRoller, DJ Butch & MC Mike. All ages are welcome. Proceeds to Benefit Elks Children’s Charities and Connecticut Children’s Medical Center. In case of rain, bands and food will move indoors

Tickets are $25 for adults, $10 for kids 8 to 12, free for those under 7. Advanced ticket purchase required at or at the Lodge.

Shoreline Arts and Cool Jazz Festival

The 4th Annual Shoreline Harvest Arts and Cool Jazz Festival will take place under the Big Tent on the Branford Green from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 22. More than 40 artists and artisans will display their works of fine art and sculpture, jewelry, wood arts, pottery, metal, stained glass, painting, photography and textiles. Live jazz will be provided by Brasile and friends.

Sponsored by Branford Art Center and Branford Education Foundation, the festival will be held rain or shine. For more information, call Yvonne Gordon-Moser at 860-334-4642 or email and visit the gallery website,

Thursday, Sept. 27 to Sunday, Sept. 30

Friends Book Sale

Friends of Blackstone Library will hold their annual Book Sale under the tents on the Branford Green. The theme this year is “Books and Beyond.” In conjunction with Trinity Church on the Green, activities will be offered for children on Friday evening with Hogwarts Happenings. On Saturday, local environmental exhibitors will be on the green and a concert will

The sale runs Thursday, 7 p.m. to midnight (preview 5 to 7 p.m. with $15 admission fee); Friday and Saturday, 8 a.m. to midnight; Sunday, noon to 3 p.m. Fill a bag on Sunday for $10 per bag.

Café Blackstone will feature Hummel’s hot dogs, Chocolate chip brownies, cinnamon buns, crumb cake, chips, lemonade, water and coffee, as well as baked macaroni & cheese by Shoreline Café.

For more information, go to

Pumpkin Decorating Contest

In conjunction with the Book Sale, the Friends of the Library will also hold a book-themed pumpkin decorating contest in which kids can create their favorite story book character on a pumpkin. To enter the contest, email name, book title, and character to Drop off the pumpkin and book (or cover) at the Book Sale Wednesday, Sept. 26, between 1 and 4 p.m. They can be picked up Saturday, Sept. 29, between 5 and 7 p.m.

First prize is a Fox Field Farm guided horseback ride, up to two hours. Second prize is a parent-child painting session at Branford Art Center. Third prize is Fired Up gift certificate for $25.

Trinity Church Fair

The 111th annual Trinity Church Fair opens Friday night with a grilled cheese and soup dinner from 5 to 8 p.m. Hogwarts Happenings, with scavenger hunt, photo booth, mini Quiddich game and more, will be held from 5 to 7 p.m.

Saturday begins with an all-you-can-eat blueberry pancake breakfast from 7:30 to 10:30 a.m., followed by lunch (hot dogs, hamburgers, and more). There will also be a silent auction, jewelry sale, baked goods, tag sale, labrynith, kids’ activities. M.P.Rice Hose Company Co. 2 Fire Engine will be on site to encourage volunteer recruiting; the fire engine will be available for kids to check out the truck.

Sunday, Oct. 7

Animal Awareness Day

Branford Compassion Club will host its annual Animal Awareness Day, featuring the Blessing of the Animals, from noon to 4 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 7, on the Branford Green. The event is a celebration of the furry, feathered, scaly and finned members of our families – a Petoberfest of music, food, bake sale, special kids’ activities, surprises, education and awareness and fun for all. For more information, email Christina Gagne,

Sunday, Oct. 14

Music from South of the Border

Elaine Thoma, flute, and Neal Fitzpatrick, guitar, will perform “Suite Buenos Aires” by Maximo Diego Pujol, and other Latin American classics, at 3 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 14, at the First Baptist Church of Branford, 975 Main St.

Thoma, a flute faculty member at the Neighborhood Music School in New Haven, studied with Jean-Pierre Rampal and James Galway and holds degrees from Syracuse University, Boston University, and the Tanglewood Institute.

Fitzpatrick has performed with the New Haven Symphony, the Aspen Music Festival, and the 92nd Street Y in New York. He teaches from his studio in Branford, both classical and jazz guitar.

The concert is free; donations are welcome. The event is sponsored by Musical Art Society of Branford, a non-profit organization founded in 1920 to support and promote music in the community. The concert begins the society’s 99th musical season.

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