This will be our last Cool Events, so bookmark this page to plan your holiday activities. Open houses, concerts, local shopping opportunities, church fairs, as well as two beloved holiday events – the Stony Creek Christmas Pageant and the Branford Messiah. Happy holidays from the staff of the Branford Eagle.
Holiday Fundraisers for Homeless Cats
Branford Compassion Club’s Wishing Tree fundraiser runs 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’ wishes to Santa or cookie sale, visit branfordcompassionclub.org.
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
Santa’s Trolley Winter Wonderland
Ride the trolley at the Shoreline Trolley Museum, River St., East Haven, on 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.
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.
Sunday, Dec. 2
Menorah Lighting on the Green
The first night of Chanukah will be celebrated on the Branford Green on Sunday, Dec 2, at 4:30 p.m. with the lighting of the Menorah followed by a Chanukah party in the historic Academy on the Green, 200 Montowese St. Music by East Rock Klezmer, Chanukah refreshments and fun activities for the kids. There is no charge.
East Rock Klezmer plays a rich musical mix of blues and jazz, bringing to life the authentic “old-world” Jewish sound of clarinet, accordion, and fiddle.
For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 203-533-7495 for more information.
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.
Saturday, Dec. 8
Stony Creek Pageant
The annual Stony Creek Christmas Pageant takes place from 6 to 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 8. Hosted by the Stony Creek Congregational Church with support from the Stony Creek Community and the town of Branford, the long-running holiday event depicts seven biblical Christmas scenes staged in and around the quaint Village of Stony Creek.
At 6 p.m. the Stony Creek Fife & Drum Corp kicks off the night’s activities by marching the half-mile route from the Stony Creek Museum to Madera Park. The biblical scenes feature a number of local actors, sheep and other livestock. Over 1,000 luminaries light the festival route. Allegro Performing Arts Academy will perform in the sanctuary of the Congregational Church at 6:15 p.m.
That evening, the general public is invited to walk through the Stony Creek Museum. An open house will be held The Church of Christ Congregational in Stony Creek during pageant hours for refreshments. Stony Creek Shops and Restaurants plan to be open for the event. Donations toward the work of various town agencies will be accepted. There is no charge for any of the pageant activities but donations to help defray the costs of the pageant will be accepted at the event.
In case of severe weather, the event will be postponed until Dec. 15. Email Jenny Glass at email@example.com to volunteer or donate to the pageant.
“How the Chorale Stole Christmas” from the small screen to the silver screen, will be presented at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 8, at Tabor Lutheran Church, 45 Tabor Drive.
Tickets are $15 for adults, $13 for senior and children, available at Town Pharmacy or by calling 203-804-8101 or at the door.
Sunday, Dec. 9
Branford Messiah, Rehearsals and Performance
Branford Messiah, now in its 31st year, will perform Part I of Handel’s Messiah on Friday evening, Dec 21 at 7:30 p.m. in the First Congregational Church on the Branford Green, 1009 Main St. Under the baton of conductor Roy Wiseman, a professional chamber orchestra and soloists join over 50 community singers to share the joy of the season in this beautiful and festive space.
Community singers are invited to join the chorus at rehearsals and for the concert. All voice ranges are welcome. Rehearsals are Sunday, Dec. 9 and 16, 2 to 4:30 p.m.; and Wednesday Dec. 19, 7 to 9:30 p.m. All rehearsals take place in the Meeting House at the First Congregational Church. The chorus will rehearse with the orchestra on Friday, Dec. 21 at 5:30 p.m. The concert will begin at 7:30 p.m. For more information or to sign-up to sing email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit branfordmessiah.org.
Soloists for this performance will be Lielle Berman, soprano; Krysty Swann, mezzo soprano; Paul Shikany, tenor, and Jorell Williams, baritone.
The concert is free of charge and seating is on a first come, first serve basis.
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, email@example.com, or call 860-334-4642.