Cool Events This Week, Here and Beyond

Counting down to the holidays – Halloween and Election Day have passed. Veteran’s Day is coming up and Branford always has a great parade. Come on out and honor our veterans. The weather is supposed to be sunny and chilly. Often it seems that there’s a mere nod to Thanksgiving before the frenzy of Christmas kicks in, so don’t forget to give thanks with family and friends. When you do shop, shop local. Branford artists are throwing open their doors and churches are holding their annual holiday fairs.

Friday, Nov. 9

“Stories of Christmas” Book Launch

The book launch of “Stories of Christmas,” the new Paper-Cut Christmas book from Branford artist Martha Link Walsh, takes place from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 9, at her Gallery, 188 N. Main St. The book launch and reception kick-off the 2018 Shoreline Arts Trail weekend. “Stories of Christmas,” the third in Walsh’s series, feature the traditions, myths, and memories of the season. 

“Stories of Christmas” will also be launched at a reception at the Holiday Open House from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday Nov. 30, featuring Cynthia’s Flower Shop, Lucky Re-Do, and guest artists Susan Roberts, Anita Griffith and Bob Parrot.

For more information, go to or call 203-481-3505.

Saturday, Nov. 10

Annual Holiday Festival

United Methodist Church, 811 E. Main St., holds its annual Holiday Festival from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 10. Included will be handcrafts, food items, Christmas ornaments, plants, jewelry, and Granny’s Cellar (tag sale). Breakfast sandwiches and lunch menu available. Santa may be available from 10 a.m. to noon for picture taking. Children’s craft room available.

Branford Folk Music Society Hosts Bill Staines

One of the most popular performers to appear at Branford Folk through the decades, Staines performed at 40th anniversary year and returns at 8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 10, for its 45th year. The concert takes place at the First Congregational Church on the Green, 1009 Main St.

A major supporter in the organization’s early years, he appeared for 18 consecutive years from 1974 to 1991.

Now, well into his fifth decade as a performer, he has rightly gained an international reputation as a gifted songwriter and performer. Singing mostly his own songs, he has become one of the most popular and durable singers on the folk music scene today, performing nearly 200 concerts a year and driving over 65,000 miles annually. He has recorded 27 albums and there are three published collections of his songwriting that remain in print.

Admission: $20 non-members, $17 members, $5 children 12 and under. For more information, go to

Saturday, Nov. 10-Sunday, Nov. 11

Shoreline Arts Trail

The Shoreline Arts Trail’s 17th annual Open Studios Weekend will feature 30 studios in Branford, Guilford, and Madison, on Saturday, Nov. 10, and Sunday, Nov. 11.

This juried event includes award-winning artists and their work in their studios. Artists who work in pottery, clay, stone, glass, metal, fiber, sculpture, and more, will be available for one-on-one discussions of their work.

More information is available at and on Facebook, including an interactive map, a downloadable print map, and Family Activity Brochure. The Facebook page will feature profiles of individual artists and special events.

Sunday, Nov. 11

Branford’s Veterans’ Day Parade

The Veteran’s Day parade will be held on Sunday, Nov. 11, with a ceremony beginning at 1 p.m. on the front Green with the parade stepping off at 1:30 p.m. There will be six musical marching units participating and several floats.

The parade will be preceded by a Naval Memorial Service on the South Montowese Street Bridge beginning at 12:15 p.m. Members of the committee will also conduct ceremonies at the town’s seven cemeteries starting at 9 a.m.

Marching units include Stony Creek Fife and Drum Corps, the 2nd Company Governors Foot Guard, Branford High School Marching Band, East Shoreline Catholic Academy Fife and Drum Corps (formerly St Mary’s School Fife and Drum Corps), and Totoket Ancient Fife and Drum Corps. The Branford Town Band will not march but will perform Military songs on the Green during the parade. Also taking part will be members of the police and fire departments, various floats, scout troops, members of the Knights of Columbus and Elks Club.

Tuesday. Nov. 13

Kid’s Paint and Sip… with Cider

Bishop’s Orchards will hold a Kids’ Ornament Class in conjunction with Painted by the Shore on Tuesday, Nov. 13, from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m.

Each child who joins will get to paint two reclaimed wood slice ornaments, either in the design pictured or a design of their choosing. Artists and pencils will on hand to sketch on each ornament prior to painting.

Each $20 ticket includes materials and instruction from Painted by the Shore and a cup of cider and treats from Bishop’s Orchards. RSVP to

Saturday, Nov. 17

Holiday Fair

Stony Creek Congregational Church will hold its Holiday Fair from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 17. Featured will be gift baskets, children’s gifts, and specialty foods such as pies, breads, desserts, jams and more. Lunch will be available.

For more information, call 203-488-7827 or go to

Uncover Branford

Friends and neighbors get together to share favorite Branford places and stories at the Blackstone Library, 758 Main St., at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 17. Then they plan an outing to a special spot to explore and uncover new places.

To RSVP, call 203-488-1441, extension 318 or visit

Monday, Nov. 26

Home for the Holidays

Home Restaurant, 1114 Main St., hosts Home for the Holidays Monday, Nov. 26, 6 to 9:30 p.m. The event benefits the Dan Cosgrove Animal Shelter.

Tickets are $20 and include appetizers, drink specials and raffles. They can be purchased at Dan Cosgrove Animal Shelter 749 East Main St., or via; click on donate, then follow Paypal instructions. Tickets will be held at the door.

Tuesday, Nov. 27

Film Screening: Resilience Documentary

Blackstone Library and East Shore District Health Department will offer a free screening of “Resilience: The Biology Of Stress and The Science Of Hope” on Tuesday, Nov. 27, from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at Fire Headquarters, 45 N. Main St. The film is about childhood trauma and the adverse effects on health over a lifetime — and the role that everyone in the community can play in reversing them.

This one-hour documentary explores Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and a new movement to treat and prevent Toxic Stress. Now understood to be one of the leading causes of everything from heart disease and cancer to substance abuse and depression, extremely stressful experiences in childhood can alter brain development and have lifelong effects on health and behavior. Find out how people across the country are working to address Toxic Stress.

Following the film, local health professionals will be on hand for a discussion and to answer questions. For more information, call Barbara Naclerio, East Shore District Health Department, 203-488-4233.

Thursday, Nov. 29

Changes in the Land: A Talk by Jane Bouley

The Branford Land Trust hosts Town Historian Jane Bouley for a free presentation on “Changes in the Land,” on Thursday, Nov. 29, 7 p.m. at Branford Fire Headquarters, 45 N. Main St.

Bouley will share her observations about Branford’s changing landscape from the colonial period to the present. What did the landscape look like when the colonists first came and what changes did they and subsequent generations make to Branford’s topography? How did natural events such as hurricane have an impact on the coastal community?

Bouley is a lifelong resident of Branford and as a young adult began to pursue the genealogy of her family, which has roots in Branford and Guilford. In 1985, she was appointed Branford’s Town Historian. As such, she has devoted hundreds of volunteer hours to the study of Branford’s history.

Bouley is also a recipient of an Award of Merit from the Connecticut League of Historical Societies and was inducted into the Branford Education Hall of Fame in 1999. She is the author of several books including “The Origin and Naming of Branford’s Streets,” which will be on sale at the event.

For more information email

Saturday, Dec. 1

Christmas Fair

First Baptist Church of Branford, 975 Main St., will host its Christmas Fair on Saturday, Dec. 1, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Shoppers will find a large selection of gifts, including baked goods, crafts, and Christmas items, with breakfast sandwiches from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. and lunch available from 11:30 a.m. Pianist Michael Cretella will provide holiday music and Santa will visit with children and be available for pictures.  There will also be a huge Tag Sale. Chances for two door prizes will be available to all who visit, with the prizes being awarded at 2 p.m. that day.

For more information, call the church office at 203-488-9777 for additional information.

Thursday, Dec. 6

Holiday Gift Basket Sale

The Friends of the Blackstone Library’s annual Holiday Gift Basket Sale kicks off on Thursday, Dec. 6, from 5 to 8 p.m., with complimentary champagne and holiday cookies in the lower rotunda at the library.

Ready-made and wrapped, themed baskets are designed for holiday giving containing specialty foods, children’s items, entertainment, gardening supplies, kitchenware and more. All proceeds from the sale will benefit the Library programs and services you have come to love.

Baskets will continue to sell throughout the weekend as supplies last. Donated items for the sale can be dropped off at the library by Friday, Nov. 30

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