Cool Events This Weekend, Here & Beyond

This week and looking ahead, we have a diverse collection of events that reflect our connection to land and sea, art and music. Boats and water safety for sailors. Birding walks for bird lovers – this is a great time to spot them, before all the leaves are out. Music of all genres. Thought-provoking films. Poetry. Food. A feast for the body and soul, all within a short drive. Got a cool event? Email by Wednesday noon.

Friday, May 4


Friday Night Movie:The Post

Willoughby Wallace Library, 146 Thimble Islands Road, will host a screening of “The Post” on Friday, May 4, at 7 p.m.

Set in the early 1970s, The Post depicts the true story of attempts by journalists at The Washington Post to publish the Pentagon Papers, classified documents regarding the 30-year involvement of the United States government in the Vietnam War. It is a 2017 American historical political thriller film directed and produced by Steven Spielberg and written by Liz Hannah and Josh Singer. It stars Meryl Streep as Katharine Graham, the first female publisher of a major American newspaper, and Tom Hanks as Ben Bradlee, the executive editor of The Washington Post.

Free and open to the public.

Bernstein and Other Delights!

The Music4Music Performance Series at Trinity Church on the Green, New Haven, presents Bernstein and Other Delights, a 20th-century American-music extravaganza, at 7:30 p.m. Friday, May 4, at the church, 230 Temple St. (corner of Chapel) in downtown New Haven.

Branford native Ryan Bloomquist (pictured above), a Trinity Boys Choir alumnus, is among the soloists. He is an actor and vocalist based in New York City. He recently played Matt in “The Fantasticks” at the Ivoryton Playhouse.

The event will feature music by legendary American composer and conductor Leonard Bernstein, born 100 years ago and a longtime resident of Fairfield. Program includes the composer’s “Chichester Psalms” as well as selections from Bernstein’s operetta “Candide,” performed by the Trinity Choirs of Men & Boys and Men & Girls under the direction of Trinity Music Director R. Walden Moore

The program also includes art-song arrangements of beloved American sacred songs performed by Trinity Boys Choir alumnus Edward Vogel, baritone, and Sarah Noone, soprano.

Tickets are $30 ($25 online; $20/$15 seniors, students). Call 203-776-2616 or visit to learn more.

Rotary Dollars for Branford Scholars

The Rotary Club of Branford announces its annual scholarship appeal to Branford high school seniors who are pursuing advanced education in fall 2018. The award of $3,000 will be given to the applicant who provides outstanding evidence in academic achievement, community service, Rotary values, and financial need.

Applications are available at and the Branford High School guidance office in addition to the James Blackstone Memorial Library and Willoughby Wallace Library. Completed application packets must be received by Friday, May 11. For more information, call project leader Tony Terry, at 203-481-6424. 

The application has three components. First is a student-written essay focusing on Rotary principles. Then supportive documentation must be provided as specified in the application requirements such as high school transcript, teachers’ references. Finally, is an interview with a panel of Rotarians.

The applicant may be a pending graduate of any accredited Connecticut high school. This scholarship is for undergraduate study at a two or four-year college or technical school. Branford residency is required.

Saturday, May 5, and Sunday, May 6

Connecticut Spring Boat Show

Brewer Essex Island Marina, 11 Ferry St., Essex, hosts to Connecticut Spring Boat Show from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, May 5 and 6.

A boutique in-water boat show, located on the Connecticut River, features both sail and power boats. More than 60 boats of all sizes will be featured and attendees can talk directly with dealers and manufacturers. $5 donation at entrance to benefit Sails Up 4 Cancer, a non-profit organization based in Connecticut. Free parking at Essex Boat Works.

For more information, call 860-332-7639.

High Tea to Celebrate Spring and Mothers

High Tea, sponsored by BSA Venturing Crew 424 in celebration of spring and mothers takes place from 1 to 3:30 p.m. Saturday, May 5, at Trinity Episcopal Church, 1109 Main St.

The menu includes seasonal soup, scones, tea sandwiches, desserts, black, green, and herbal teas. Gluten-free and vegan selections upon request. Suggested donation $20 per person; $70 for group of four. Senior discount upon request. RSVP at 203-376-2819 or

Sunday, May 6

Let There Be Light

The New Haven Chorale welcomes the choruses of the Hartt School and Manchester Community College as well as the Hartt Symphony Orchestra for a performance featuring two major masterpieces on Sunday, May 6, at 3:30 p.m. at Woolsey Hall, 500 College St. Faure’s luminescent “Requiem,” a work of beauty and consolation, and Lauridsen’s transcendental masterpiece “Lux aeterna,” dedicated to his mother who inspired him to become a musician, will be performed and directed by Edward Bolkovac.

Tickets are $15 to $20. Email

Cabaret, Art, and Refreshment at BAC

Cabaret singing by several adult cabaret students of Keely Baisden Knudsen, artistic director of the Legacy Theatre, takes place Sunday, May 6, from 5 to 7 p.m., at Branford Art Center, 1229 Main St.

Doors open at 4:30 p.m. to browse the gallery during a pre-performance reception. Donations accepted. For art classes at BAC, call Yvonne Gordon-Moser at 860-334-4642 or email and visit the gallery website

In the photo are Keely Baisden Knudsen, Barbara Pochan, Jackie Trimble Shapiro, Linda Klein, Jenya Weinreb, Pam Reisler, and Michael Frost.

Thursday, May 10

Mama Meow Italian Buffet

In celebration of moms, including the four-legged variety, Branford Compassion Club will hold its Mama Meow Italian Buffet benefit, 6 p.m. Thursday, May 10, at Pompeo’s Restaurant, 485 W. Main St.

Doors open at 5:30 p.m. for the event, which includes a silent auction, Mother’s Day gifts for those last-minute shoppers, a 50/50 raffle, door prizes, and cash bar.

Tickets are $35, available by e-mail at, online at or by calling 203-444-0653. Tickets are also available Saturdays from 11 3 p.m. at the organization’s Feline Rescue and Adoption Center, 2037 Foxon Road, North Branford. Volunteers are always needed. For more information, visit the website at, or stop by in person.

Water Safety

Journalist, author, and survival expert Ben Rayner will discuss water safety and how to prevent and survive water emergencies at the Willoughby Wallace Memorial Library, 146 Leetes Island Road, on Thursday, May 10, 7 p.m.

He says that more Americans drown every year than die from distracted driving and that the leading cause of accidental death of children aged 14 and under is drowning

The event is free. No registration required. Call 203-488-8702 for more information.

Bartok: Concerto for Orchestra

New Haven Symphony Orchestra will perform Bartok’s Concerto for Orchestra, along with Rachmaninoff’s Isle of the Dead, Korngold’s Violin Concerto, and Zhou, First Sight at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, May 10. Featured will be William Boughton, conductor, and Elena Urioste, violin.Maestro Boughton reflects on his experience as an immigrant to the United States with a curated program of music written by immigrants and refugees. Artist-in-Residence Elena Urioste lends her passion and drama to Korngold’s Violin Concerto and the musicians of the NHSO step into the spotlight for Bartok’s powerhouse Concerto for Orchestra.Tickets are $15 to $74; KidTix free with adult; college students $10. For more information, go to
Friday, May 11

Film Screening ‘RBG’

The ACLU of Connecticut, CWEALF (Connecticut Women’s Education and Legal Fund), NARAL Pro-Choice Connecticut and Planned Parenthood of Southern New England, together with Madison Art Cinemas, will host an opening night screening of “RBG.”

This new documentary highlights Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s legal legacy, from co-founding the ACLU Women’s Rights Project, to her current tenure as Supreme Court Justice, while also outlining how she has become a pop culture icon.

General admission tickets are $12; $9.50 for children and seniors. Call 203-245-3456 or go to

Saturday, May 12

Mother’s Day Open House

Local artists Cynthia Purcell, Owen Sea Luckey, and Martha Link Walsh will host for a Mother’s Day Open House to honor moms at the shops at 188 North Main St. on Saturday, May 12, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. As a show of support for shoreline moms, a percentage of the day’s proceeds will be donated to the Women & Family Life Center in Guilford.

The Mother’s Day Open House is free and open to the public, and includes: Cynthia’s Flower Shop offering unique and inspired flower arrangements; Martha Link Walsh Gallery with original paper cuttings and creative gifts; and Luckey ReDo, featuring re-imagined wearables and accessories

Light refreshments will be served. For more information, call Martha Link Walsh at 203-481-3505 and visit

Frontiers of Geographic Date

“The New Frontiers of Geographic Data: A New Way to Look at the World” will be presented by Tilde Café at 3 p.m. Saturday, May 12, at the Willoughby Wallace Memorial Library, 146 Thimble Island Road.

Dr. Guiseppe Amatulli, Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies research scientist, will discuss how geographic data is being used to assess and monitor the planet, from dealing with climate change, studying deforestation, changes in bodies of water, and even in the construction industry. 

The event also marks the 198th birthday of Florence Nightengale, who was a statistician as well as a nurse and collected data on the mortality of the British Army during the Crimean War.

For more information, visit

Branford Chorale Performs

Branford Chorale presents “Rooted: American Music African Roots” at 7:30 p.m. at the Tabor Lutheran Church 45 Tabor Drive, with Nicholas Filippides, director, and William Speed, accompanist. Selections include Uptown Funk by Bruno Mars, Africa by Toto, and more.

Tickets available at Towne Pharmacy or call 203-804-8101; $15 for adults; $13 for seniors and children.

Saturday, May 12, Sunday, May 13

Spring Bird Walks

The Branford Land Trust’s Nature Explorer Program will host two spring bird walks beginning at 8:30 a.m., on Saturday, May 12 and Sunday, May 13. (See top photo) 

Local birder Chris Woerner will lead these popular walks along the Stony Creek Trolley Trail and into the Land Trust’s Vedder property. He will help identify the birds by sight and by call. Participants should meet in Stony Creek at the far end of West Point Road across from the Willoughby Wallace Library. Choose either day, or both – since the birds sighted will vary on each day.

Terrain is mostly flat with one steep, rocky hill. Families are welcome, but no dogs. Wear appropriate dress and comfortable, supportive walking shoes. Bring water. Walking sticks welcome. For further information, visit

Friday, May 18

Poetry with the Branford Land Trust

The Branford Land Trust will host an evening of poetry featuring shoreline poets Carol Altieri, Juliana Harris, Nancy Meneely, and Jen Payne. The event will be held at the historic Branford Land Trust House (26 School St., Stony Creek) on Friday, May 18, from 6:30 to 8:30pm There will be an open mic at 6:30 p.m. and all are welcome to share a poem about nature or the environment before the reading.

Altieri is a retired English and environmental science teacher. She was the Senior Poet Laureate for Connecticut in 2011, is the author of five books of poetry, and recipient of the State of Connecticut’s Green Circle award for environmental stewardship.

Harris has contributed poems to The New York Times, The Mid-America Poetry Review, The Best Times, Chicken Soup for the Soul and The Kansas City Star, among other publications. A native of Kansas City, Missouri, she now lives in Guilford, CT where she is a member of the Guilford Poets Guild.

Meneely has published poetry, book reviews and articles in a variety of literary publications and newspapers. Her book, Letter from Italy, 1944, which provides the libretto for the oratorio of the same name, was published by Antrim House in 2013 and was the only book of poetry awarded in the Legacy Non-fiction category of the 2016 Eric Hoffer Book Awards.

Payne writes relationships with nature, creativity, and mindfulness, and how these offer the clearest path to finding balance in the frenetic, spinning world. In 2014, she published LOOK UP! Musings on the Nature of Mindfulness. Her latest book Evidence of Flossing: What We Leave Behind features 75 poems about nature and the environment, as well as 80 original and vintage photos.

Books will be for sale and refreshments follow the reading, which is free and open to the public.

The Branford Land Trust is a non-profit organization, celebrating 50 years of protecting Branford’s open space and natural resources. For more information about the Annual Meeting and other upcoming events, visit

Saturday, May 19

Farmers’ Market Grand Opening

The Dudley Farm Summer Farmers’ Market will hold its grand opening with Planting Day, 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Saturday, May 19, at the Dudley Farm, corner of Routes 77 and 80.

Farmers and artisans will be selling seedlings and plants direct from the farm, in addition to their usual seasonal and local organic vegetables, meat, sausage, honey, maple syrup, jams and jellies, baked breads and pastries, salsa, goat milk soap, natural body products, and a dazzling variety of hand-made crafts.

Children will be able to decorate a pot and plant a petunia in it, donated by Van Wilgen’s Garden Center, and assisted by volunteers from 4-H and Guilford High School. The Dudley Farm String Band will perform, and Melly P’s Panini truck and Gypsy Joe’s Coffee will be there. Support your local farmers and artisans, and enjoy a stroll through the historic farm gardens, and visit the sheep, oxen, and chickens.

The market meets weekly through October, and offers a Children’s Corner 10-11:30. For more information, visit, Facebook, or call 203-457-0770.

Guitarist John Knowles in Concert

AcousticMusic.Org, 1250 Boston Post Road, Guilford, hosts John Knowles at 8 p.m. Saturday, May 19 for a special evening of acoustic guitar, followed by a workshop with Knowles on Sunday May 20, at 1 p.m. for guitarists wishing to take their playing to another level.

Knowles has worked with the world’s finest fingerstyle and classical guitarists including Chet Atkins, Jerry Reed, Lenny Breau, Tommy Emmanuel and the Romero Family. He has won a Grammy and two Emmy nominations

Tickets for the show will be $35. Reservations for the performance and workshop are recommended. For more information, call 203-458-8353 or email

Wednesday, May 23

‘Appy Hour’

A hands-on workshop on apps and parental controls will take place Wednesday, May 23, at Fire Headquarters, 45 North Main St. Doors open at 6 p.m.

Bring your own device, learn options for protecting your children and how to monitor activity. Bring your questions, try to stump the technical expert.


Monday, May 28

Memorial Day in Stony Creek

File PhotoThe parade forms at the Veterans’ Memorial Triangle and begins promptly at 8 a.m. with laying of wreaths at the monuments of all veterans from Stony Creek who have served in the various wars. This is followed by the flag raising ceremony, a selection by the Stony Creek Drum Corps, gun salute and Taps.

The parade steps off immediately following and proceeds to the Stony Creek Cemetery.

The Stony Creek Memorial Day parade is never cancelled due to rain.

Transportation to and from the cemetery is being provided for any veterans needing it.

For more information, call Unk DaRos at 203-488-7029.


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