Cool Events This Week, Here and Beyond

This is the weekend bibliophiles have been waiting for. The Friends of Blackstone Library’s book tents will anchor the green through Sunday. The Friends collect books all year long just for this event. Come for the book sale, and stay for a whole host of other family-friendly activities – pumpkin decorating, food, the Trinity Church Fair, and did we mention the food? And the books?

Friday, Sept. 28

StoryCreek

The Stony Creek Museum, in conjunction with the Willoughby Wallace Library, will host a story-telling experience, “Coming Home” on Friday, Sept. 28, at 7 p.m.

Each storyteller will speak for up to 7 minutes. The story must be true, have a personal connection and relationship to the theme “Coming Home.” This program is inspired by The Moth, www.themoth.org.

To sign up, call 203-488-8702.

Friday, Sept. 28 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 www.booksalefinder.com.

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 friendspumpkincontest@gmail.com. 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.

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, and tag sale.

In the Kidz Corner, youngsters can participate in a variety of games and create their own branch for a “Community Peace and Happiness Tree” hosted by Yvonne Gordon of the Branford Art Center. The Labyrinth is laid out with canned food to be donated to the Branford Food Pantry. Labyrinth walkers can join the spirit of giving by contributing canned goods when they walk.

Beginning Friday, Sept. 28

Haunted Isle

Shoreline Trolley Museum in East Haven gets into the Halloween season with its Haunted Isle, which begins Friday, Sept. 28, and continues from 7 to 10 p.m. on weekends, Sept. 29, Oct. 5 and 6, 12 and 13, 19 and 20, 26 and 27.

The Haunted Isle experience consists of a short trolley car ride (about 5 minutes each way), which will drop off participants at the Isle itself, where they will be walking along an unlit trail through the woods where ghouls, goblins and ghosts will do their best to scare them. Plan to spend at least an hour at the Isle exclusive of time spent waiting in line. See the online information for cautionary

Local food trucks will serve food and beverages on site. General admission tickets are $13 each online, $15 at the door. Express and VIP tickets are available online. For details, go to shorelinetrolley.org/special-events/haunted-isle/.

Friday, Oct. 5

F2G2 Game Night

The Blackstone Library, 758 Main St., hosts Game Night from 6 to 9:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 5. All types of board games will be available, from fast-paced, hilarious party games to highly strategic, thinky games. F2G2 is all about having fun, learning new games, and making friends.

There are games for everyone, regardless of experience level. Feel free to bring your own games too. Adults of all ages are welcome.
Registration required. To register, RSVP on the library’s Meetup site at https://www.meetup.com/Everyday-Adventurers or call 203-488-1441.

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.

The highlight of the day is the Blessing of the Animals at 1:30 p.m., held annually around the Feast Day of St. Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of animals. One can expect to see an impressive variety of dogs, cats, birds, gerbils, ferrets, and perhaps even a horse or rabbit or two, filling the Green to be blessed by local clergy from several denominations.

BCC also uses the event to teach the public about humane treatment of animals, especially for young visitors. Quinnipiac University Prof. Donna Latella returns with Mooka, Mabel and Willy, her popular mini therapy horses, who may look cute and cuddly, but are serious about their role as therapy horses. Therapy dog Gelato joins the trio. Caesar, the very affectionate miniature poodle, makes an encore appearance to the Kissing Booth.

At 3 p.m., New Haven Police Officer Martin and his K-9-unit partner Ax, will demonstrate the skills of a four-legged police officer. The 4-year-old German Shepard is dually trained for both Narcotic Detection and Patrol Work, which includes everything from tracking and evidence recovery to building search and suspect apprehension.

Visitors to the Green also can help care for homeless felines by bringing donations of food or shelter supplies to fill the Sprinter van supplied by Black Rock Truck Group of Branford. Check the Wish List posted at www.branfordcompassionclub.org.

For more information about donating or volunteering at the shelter, visit www.branfordcompassionclub.org or call 203-483-6369.

Saturday, Oct. 13

An Evening with the Spirits

An Evening with the Spirits, presented by Blackstone Library and Branford Wine & Liquor, features a variety of whiskeys and other spirits to sample, plus psychics and mediums to help discover otherworldly spirits.

Psychic Chrystyne McGrath will conduct a large group reading at 7:15 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. — one session or the other can be attended. Additionally, psychics will be available throughout the evening to sit one-on-one for a brief individual reading.
Tickets are $40 per person, open to ages 21+.

Appetizers included with ticket. No physical tickets will be issued, check-in at the door. Silent auction will also be held.

This fundraiser benefits the Blackstone Library, supporting the innovative programs and crucial services we offer to the Branford community.

For more information and to buy tickets, go to http://www.blackstone.lioninc.org/eveningspirits/.

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.

Monday, Oct. 15

Swing Into Rotary Golf

The Branford Rotary Club’s seventh annual Golf Classic takes place Monday, Oct. 15, at the Wallingford Country Club, 195 Long Hill Road, Wallingford, located off I-91 and just minutes from Route 15. The schedule for the tourney is as follows – 7:30 a.m., registration; 8 a.m., continental breakfast; 9:30 a.m., shotgun start; 1 p.m. BBQ buffet, cocktail hour (open bar) raffle, and auction. Prizes will be awarded.

The event will benefit the Branford Counseling Center Basic Needs Program, Cosgrove Animal Shelter, local veterans’ groups, Soundview YMCA Annual Campaign, and the Orchard House.

Registration is $150 per golfer. Appropriate attire and spikeless shoes are required; jeans are prohibited. Spectators are welcome. Cocktail party and lunch buffet available for non-golfers at $30. For more information, call or email Ed Vescovi, 203-415-9191 or ed@fidelitymortgage.com; or Doug Shaw, 203-494-8510 or doug.shaw@ccymca.org. Register online at www.branfordrotary.org. Register online at www.branfordrotary.org.

Wednesday, Oct. 24

“Get Happy”

Branford Counseling Center will be offering a free showing of the award-winning documentary, “Happy,” on Wednesday, Oct. 24, at 6:30 p.m. at the Branford Fire Department headquarters, 45 N. Main St. 2nd floor. 

Moving from the bayous of Louisiana to the deserts of Namibia, from the beaches of Brazil to the villages of Okinawa, “Happy” is a film that explores some of the non-material roots of happiness, and in the process shows that while there isn’t a formula for it, everyone can become happier.

A panel discussion and informational materials will be provided following the film.  Refreshments will be provided.  Call the Branford Counseling Center with any questions: 203-481-4248.

Saturday, Oct. 27

Halloween Hysterics At Henry’s

Learn the secrets that lurk behind the formidable stone walls of Connecticut’s oldest house on Saturday, Oct. 27, from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. when the Henry Whitfield State Museum presents Halloween Hysterics at Henry’s.

Participants can see the 379-year-old Whitfield House in a new light – or rather, in no light. The lights will be off as visitors explore the entire building. The basement, usually closed to the public, will have a few surprises for those brave enough to venture there. Bring a flashlight to investigate all the nooks and crannies.

In the museum’s Visitor Center, enjoy some candy, craft a gravestone or gargoyle out of clay, and do some coloring. In the Education Center, learn about the Guilford Green graveyards, the Whitfield connection to the Salem witch trials, and the origins of Halloween traditions in the display “Holidaze: The Real Story of Halloween, Thanksgiving & Christmas.”

This program is recommended for ages 6 and older. Admission is $6 and free for ages 12 and younger. Parking is free at the museum, located at 248 Old Whitfield Street. For more information, call 203-453-2457, e-mail whitfieldmuseum@ct.gov, visit www.cultureandtourism.org, or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/henrywhitfieldstatemuseum.

Tuesday, Oct. 30

Halloween Pawty

A Dress Up Halloween Pawty for adults to benefit the homeless animals at Dan Cosgrove Animal Shelter takes place from 6:30 to 10 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 30, at Rossitto’s Ristorante, 284 E. Main St.

The cost is $30 per ticket, which includes hors d’oeurves and one glass of wine. There will be a 50/50 and prizes for costumes. For more information, go to Dan Cosgrove Animal Shelter on Facebook.

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