Cool Events This Weekend, Here & Beyond

This year has been a big one for 50th anniversary events, and there’s a special one right in our front yard: the Branford Land Trust. The land trust is the ever-vigilant custodian of Branford’s open space, overseeing more than a 1,000 acres in over 130 parcels. The organization, which is run by volunteers and supported by more than 500 members, also holds easements on an additional 400 acres in Branford. Celebrate with them on Saturday. And don’t forget Saturday night’s fireworks, held this year at Foote Park. 

Saturday, June 23

BLT 50th Anniversary Event

The Branford Land Trust will host a celebration that includes the dedication of the new walkway through the Red Hill Woods marsh and a 50th Anniversary Reception on Saturday, June 23, from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Admission is free.

The event presents the official unveiling of the 1,200-foot bog walk (see top photo), constructed in 2017. Supported by efforts of the BLT Trails Committee and donations from Ellen Matloff and Mike Bowler, and the Branford Rotary Club, the raised walkway traverses the 29-acre property with views of the tussock sedge-red maple floodplain and adjacent streams. In the spring and summer, this wetland is sunny and filled with clumps of sedges, different species of ferns, and numerous leafy herbaceous plants growing beneath a high canopy of maples and other hardwood trees. Other property features include an upland forest with high ledge outcrops that overlook a vernal pool and a Native American rock shelter.

Following an official ribbon cutting ceremony for the bog walk, guests can enjoy a guided mile-long walk through the preserve followed by a community celebration of the BLT’s 50th anniversary featuring educational displays and refreshments.

Directions: From Leetes Island Road, turn onto Red Hill Road and continue past Van Wie Pond to the very end of the road. Park along the gravel lane.

For more information call 203-483-5263 or email info@branfordlandtrust.org. For more information about the Branford Land Trust’s 50th anniversary events, visit branfordlandtrust.org/.

Dudley Farm Farmers’ Market

The Dudley Farm Farmers’ Market meets from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Saturday, June 23, at 2351 Durham Road, Guilford.

Vendors will offer local and organic vegetables meats, maple syrup, jams, baked breads, pastries and pies, honey, butter, goats milk soap, bees wax candles, alpaca yarn, natural body products, dog products, and a wide variety of exquisite hand-made crafts.
Patty Mackenzie will be bringing Llamas and goats to the Children’s Corner (10 a.m.-11:30 a.m.), and the Dudley Farm String Band will provide entertainment.

For more information, call 203-457-0770, visit www.dudleyfarm.com, or Facebook, Dudley Farm Farmers’ Market.

Uncover Branford

Join the Uncover Branford group on Saturday, June 23, from 10:30 a.m. to noon, to share favorite Branford places and stories. Then, plan a group outing into the community to explore and uncover new places. Make new friends, have lots of fun, and discover the hidden gems of Branford.

At the planning meeting, participants will talk about their favorite places in town, and plan where they’ll venture to next. RSVP at meetup.com.

Branford’s Fireworks Display

File PhotoBranford’s annual fireworks display will begin at dusk this year at Foote Park, Melrose Avenue, due to the reconstruction of the Harbor Street bridge and the associated detour limit access to Branford Point, the usual venue.

Parking is very limited and people are encouraged to use the shuttle bus service from Cherry Hill Commuter Lot located by Starbucks or Branford High School, 185 East Main St.  Shuttle service will begin at 5:30 p.m. and will be continuous throughout the evening. Food trucks will be on site, so all can enjoy dinner or dessert in the park. 

For questions, call 203-488-8304. 

Sunday, June 24

Stony Creek Church Restoration

A concert to celebrate the Restoration of the Historic Stony Creek Congregational Church will be held at 4 p.m. Sunday, June 24, featuring the premier performance of “Canticles of Light and Glass” by Frank Vasi. 

Also performing will be The Thimble Islands Saxophone Quartet with Skyler Hagner, Frank Vasi, Will Cleary, and Tim Moran, along with soloists Elana Vasi and Kevin Buno and organ/piano by Martha Medford. 

This treasure of the shoreline, built in a neo-gothic style and constructed using Stony Creek granite, has served the community for over 115 years. The church is conducting a restoration project and campaign. More than $220,000 has already been raised, and phase one of the restoration is complete. 

Phase Two includes a complete rehabilitation of the iconic church tower, which has sustained heavy damage over the years. The church has received grants from both the Department of Economic Development and Community Development /State Historic Preservation Office/ Historic Restoration Fund and The Connecticut Trust for Historic Preservation.

The concert is free but seating is limited. For reservations, call the church office at 203-488-7827or email restoration@stonycreekchurchct.org..

Jeff Fuller at Home

As part of its Sunday Jazz series, Home Restaurant, 1114 Main St., will host Jeff Fuller from 5 to 8 p.m.

Seating is first come, first served in the restaurant’s “living room.” Enjoy a cocktail or a full meal.

For more information, call 204-483-5896, or visit HomeRestaurantCT.com.

Thursday, June 28

Branford Jazz on the Green

Branford Jazz on the Green opens Thursday, June 28, with North Branford Intermediate School Jazz Band and Run N’ Fly.

The NBIS Jazz Band is a group of advanced sixth through eighth grade band students at North Branford Intermediate School. These students work on a variety of music throughout the year to enhance their musical experience. They perform several concerts during the school year, and compete annually in the High Note Festival in Bristol. Meredith Zoll is the band director at North Branford Intermediate School, where she directs 200 students in three concert bands, the NBIS Jazz Band, and the Spotlight Players Drama Club pit band.

Known for its depth of infusion blending American pop, jazz and soul into their culture, Run N’ Fly will demonstrate its musical spirit as the opening act the series. Since moving to the United States from his native Brazil 20 years ago, guitarist Sandro Albert has joyously transcended all attempts to pigeonhole his musical enthusiasm, working as a sideman, artist and producer with everyone from War and Leon Ware to Robben Ford, the Yellowjackets and fellow countryman Milton Nascimento.

This summer’s Branford Jazz on the Green includes 10 concerts; they run through Aug. 30, beginning at 6:30 on the beautiful Branford green. Be there!

Monday-Friday, July 16-20

Animal Camp

Registration is underway for the Dan Cosgrove Animal Shelter’s Animal Camp, a fun, educational, hands-on camp that allows children to interact with and learn about all kinds of animals. The camp’s focus is to promote respect for all living creatures including each other. Children will participate in fun games like animal tracking, nature art and water games, and they can learn all about FLEMDS.

Open sessions are: July 16-20, July 23-27, Aug. 13-17; and Aug. 20-24. Register soon – June slots are already filled.

Camp is for children between 6 to 11 years old and runs from 9 a.m.to 3 p.m. each day. Cost is $175 and includes lunch bag, water bottle, camp shirt and field trip. Checks or credit cards only accepted as payment. For more information, go to http://www.branford-ct.gov/animalshelter/.

Saturday, July 21 and Sunday, July 22

Call for Artists Branford Sidewalk Sale

Branford Art Center invites artists and artisans to display their art, crafts, and jewelry at the Branford Art Center Gallery, 1229 Main St, Saturday, July 21 and Sunday, July 22, for the Annual Summer Branford Sidewalk Sale.

An 8-foot space for both Saturday and Sunday can be rented for $50. Bring your own table or racks (and awning if you want). Call Yvonne Gordon-Moser at 860-334-4642 or email 1229bacgallery@gmail.com and visit the gallery website www.branfordartcenterct.com.

Friday, Aug. 17

Environmental Day Camp

Branford Land Trust’s 23rd annual Environmental Day Camp for kids takes place from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday, Aug. 17, at Killam’s Point Conference Center.

Children ages 5 to 9 will take part in hands-on activities, including touch tanks, woodland and Long Island Sound exploration, nature crafts, and more.

A full day’s agenda, map, and list of what to bring will be mailed upon receipt of registration and payment of $45; additional children, same family $35. Scholarships available. Registration deadline is Tuesday, Aug. 14.

For more information, call Martha Rice, 203-314-7128, or email mhbrice@gmail.com, or go to www.branfordlandtrust.org. 

Call for Artists/Artisans Branford Fall Art Festival

Branford Art Center invites all artists/artisans to participate in the 4th Annual Shoreline Harvest Art and Cool Jazz Festival that will take place under the Big Tent on the Branford Green on Saturday, Sept. 22, from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Spaces are 10x10. Bring your own racks/tables or rent a table for $5. There will be food vendors. To participate in the festival, go to www.branfordartcenterct.com by June 31 for early registration, $50, or by Aug 31 at the regular fee of $70.

For further information or questions, call Yvonne Gordon-Moser at 860-334-4642 or email 1229bacgallery@gmail.com.

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