The highlight of this weekend is Branford’s tree lighting and parade. Don’t forget to bundle up! In lieu of the malls, be sure to take part in Small Business Saturday and shop local. And, in this season of giving, think about supporting the local animal shelters – Cosgrove Animal Shelter and Branford Compassion Club. They’re both having fundraisers coming up.
Beginning Friday, Nov. 23
Santa’s Trolley Winter Wonderland
Ride the trolley at the Shoreline Trolley Museum, River St., East Haven, on Nov. 23, 24, 25, and Dec. 1, 2, 8, 9, 15, and 16. The first trolley leaves at 11 a.m., the last at 4:30 p.m.
Children can visit with Santa and receive a small gift, antique trolleys decorated for the holiday can be inspected, along with the model train layout
In the evening the museum transforms itself into a wonderland of festive holiday lights. Many of the trolleys, buildings and sites in the yard area have been decorated for the holidays adding a wonderful soft glow reminding visitors of Christmas’ past.
The cost is $10 per person. Special weekday and evening charters are available. Tickets can be purchased at the door or at shorelinetrolley.org.
Saturday Nov. 24
Tree Lighting and Parade
The town’s annual tree lighting and parade takes place at 6 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 24, from Branford High School and ending at town green for the tree lighting.
Bring a non-perishable food item to benefit the Branford Food Council. The raindate is Sunday, Nov. 25. For more information or to register a float, go to branfordrecreation.org or call 203-488-8304
Holiday Fundraisers for Homeless Cats
Branford Compassion Club’s Wishing Tree fundraiser runs from Saturday, Nov. 24 through Saturday, Dec. 29. Choose a gift tag off the tree and return with your gift for the kitties any Saturday during December.
BCC will be holding its Annual Holiday Cookie Sale on Saturday, Dec. 15, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at BCC Feline Rescue and Adoption Center Lobby, 2037 Foxon Road, North Branford. A great selection of cookies will be available at only $5 for a baker’s dozen. Plated and wrapped cookies will also be available for the purrfect holiday hostess gift.
For more information about the kitties’ wish to Santa or cookie sale visit branfordcompassionclub.org.
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 branfordanimalshelter.org; 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.
The 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 email@example.com.
Friday, Nov. 30-Saturday, Dec. 1
Open House at 188 N. Main
The artists at 188 North Main Street will host their 26th Annual Holiday Open House on Friday, Nov. 30, 5 to 8 p.m., and Saturday, Dec. 1, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. This year Cynthia’s Flower Shop, the Martha Link Walsh Gallery, and Luckey Redo will welcome guest artists Anita Griffith, Bob Parrott, and Susan Roberts.
A percentage of the sales from the event will be donated to Feed Branford Kids, a grass roots organization operating under the Branford Food Bank that works to ensure all Branford kids have food on weekends. It is 100 percent volunteer run and is supported solely by monitory and food donations.
The Holiday Open House is free and open to the public. Guests can enjoy refreshments provided by Take the Cake (Guilford) and special surprises all weekend
Saturday, Dec. 1
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.
Dudley Farm Open House And Holiday Market
Dudley Farm, 2351 Durham Road, Guilford, hosts a variety of holiday events from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Dec. 1 and 8, and from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Dec. 2.
In the farmhouse, there will be cookies, carols, and merriment. In the Munger Barn, 34 vendors will have fresh cut holiday greens and wreaths, nature-based tabletop holiday decor, ornaments, late seasonal vegetables, naturally raised meat and eggs, jams, salsa, maple syrup and candy, hot chocolate, cider and coffee, platters of holiday cookies and sweets, breads, natural body products, organic teas and elixirs, and a variety of handmade artisanal crafts.
For further information, visit www.dudleyfarm.com, or call 203-457-0770.
Thursday, Dec. 6
2nd Annual Branford Sip, Shop & Stroll
Join Branford’s Town Center Merchants on Thursday, Dec. 6 from 5 to 8 p.m. for an evening of sipping, shopping and strolling! Special holiday promotions will be offered by various businesses, which will offer beverages and sweet and savory snacks.
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.
Sunday, Dec. 9
Holiday Show at Branford Art Center
An opening reception for the Annual Holiday Art Show at the Branford Art Center, 1229 Main St., will be held on Sunday, Dec. 9, from 1 to 3 p.m. Free refreshments.
Local artists and artisans will show and sell their handcrafted artwork for gift giving. The BAC will also offer artwork created by Yvonne Gordon Moser MAAT, including hand epoxied coasters, whimsical paintings, monotypes, monoprints, etchings, mixed media, and intention dolls. Some of the proceeds from the sale of these items will provide funding to sustain BAC programs.
The show, which runs from Nov. 29 through Jan. 3, includes works of art for the person who has everything, jewelry, upcycle and art clothing, pottery, sculpture, stained glass, and a variety of small gift items.
Email Yvonne Gordon-Moser for more information, firstname.lastname@example.org or call 860-334-4642.