Cool Events This Weekend, Here & Beyond

Have you turned on your heat yet? If you’ve been a hold-out, this may be the weekend – an Arctic cold front is descending on us, bring the coldest weather of the season. Indoor activities top the list this week, but given the fickle nature of New England weather, we’ll be heading outside soon. Got a cool event? Email by Wednesday noon.

Saturday, Nov. 11

Push/Pull CrossFit competition

The PIT Fitness Club, 83 School Ground Road, will join fitness centers across the country in hosting a Push/Pull Crossfit competition at 8 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 11, in support of pancreatic cancer research.

The competition, which is part of November’s Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month, will challenge participants to complete as many pull-ups, push-ups, dead lifts, and a 200-meter run in a 20-minute period. There will be prizes for the best overall male and female, under 40, and for top fundraisers.

There is no fee to participate but donations are welcome. A $25 donation will include a T-shirt. Register or donate at by searching for The PIT Fitness Club.

Uncover Branford

Participants have been meeting monthly at the Blackstone Library to share their favorite Branford places and stories, then they plan an outing to a special spot. The next meeting is Saturday, Nov. 11, from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. (See top photo)

They discover new places and new friends, then document their adventures with photos and a write-up that will be turned into a community exhibit at the library.

Registration required. To register, call 203-488-1441, extension 318.

One-Man Minstrel Show

Bob Zentz, who has been described as a one-man minstrel show, brings his smorgasbord of contemporary, traditional and original songs and stories to the Branford Folk Music Society on Saturday, Nov. 11 at 8 p.m. in the auditorium of the First Congregational Church of Branford, 1009 Main St.

Zentz is from the Tidewater region of Virginia and has been performing for more than five decades. He offers a program that is a unique testimony to this vast repertoire and varied personal interests. Concertgoers can expect to hear a concert that includes traditional Celtic tunes and ballads, science fiction songs, sea chanteys, tales of “old timers and old rhymers,” and the work of poets that he’s set to music.

He has been described in many ways, all of them right on and to the point, including a singer of songs, old and new, about people, places and times gone by; a player of dozens of the usual (and unusual!) “unplugged” folk instruments and a scholar of the evolution of “homemade music.”

Admission is $20 for non-members, $17 for members and $5 for children age 12 and under. For more information, call 203-488-7715 or visit

Thursday, Nov. 16

Game On!

A Board Game Night takes place at Thimble Islands Brewery Thursday, Nov. 16, from 6 to 8 p.m. There will be a fun selection of card and board games available including Codenames, King of Tokyo, The Resistance, Sushi Go Party!, Dixit, Smart Ass, Hive, Pandemic and more. Participants also welcome to bring their own games.

Adults of all ages welcome. Registration required through the Blackstone Library, 203-488-1441.

Friday, Nov. 17

Read to a Dog

The Building Literacy Skills with Pet Partners program takes place at Blackstone Library, 758 Main St., from 4 to 5 p.m. Friday, Nov. 17. Since research shows that children reading aloud to dogs reduces stress and creates a slight gain in reading ability, the library has paired up with Pet Partners to provide therapy dog read-aloud sessions.

The program runs for an hour once a month where participants will sign up for 15 minutes blocks to read aloud to a dog of their choice with a book provided by the library or from home. All participating dogs have been vetted through the Pet Partners program; which means they have passed all of their therapy dog training, are up to date on their vaccines, and have experience working with a range of people and ages.

This program is for kindergarten through fourth grade and registration is required. To RSVP call 203-488-1441, extension 323.

Sports Hall of Fame Dinner

The 30th Annual Branford Sports Hall of Fame Induction Dinner honoring 2017 inductees takes place at Woodwinds Restaurant (29 Schoolground Road) on Friday Nov. 17. Cocktails will be served at 5:30 p.m. and dinner at 6:30 p.m.

The following will be inducted: Gary “Jeep” Ciarleglio, George T. Dummar Jr., Melissa McGow Klauder, Kevin McDonough, Sally Murphy-Noel, Savas Synodi, Ryan Thompson, Richard Tott, and Michael R. Tracy. The 1990-1991 Branford High School Girls Field Hockey State Championship Teams will also be honored.

Tickets are $55 per person and can be purchased through Andrea Steady at the Branford Recreation Department, 40 Kirkham St., and by calling the Recreation Department office at 203-315-2355 for additional information. Tickets can only be purchased in advance as they will NOT be sold the night of the event at the doors.

Saturday, Nov. 18

Holiday Fair

St. John Bosco Parish will host a Holiday Fair at St. Therese Church, 105 Leetes Island Road, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 18, and from 9 a.m. to noon, Sunday, Nov. 19, featuring more than 20 vendors, handcrafted items, penny auction, home baked goods, jewelry and a tag sale. Breakfast and lunch are available for purchase. For more information, call 203-488-2998.

Book Signing for ‘Evidence of Flossing’

Writer/artist Jen Payne, author of “Evidence of Flossing: What We Leave Behind,” will sign copies of her book at Rock Garden, 17 Main St., on Saturday, Nov. 18, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The book was recently featured on the Arts Council of Greater New Haven and Bored Panda websites. See the Evidence, meet the author, and support local business during this November book signing event, which is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served.

For more information and to purchase copies of the book, visit

Just Desserts — A New Musical

In support of the Legacy Theatre, a reading of a new musical fresh off the press in New York City and a meal by Chef Silvio take place at noon on Saturday, Nov. 18, at The Woodwinds, School Ground Road. Five strangers will put their hearts, reputations, and baking skills on the line to become the creme de la creme of bakers at a county fair.

Just Desserts features a score by composer Brad Ross and lyrics by Barbara Campbell. Tickets are $75 each and include the meal and performance. VIP “Dessert First” tickets are $1,000 and include a table of 10.

For tickets, go to

Sunday, Nov. 19

Annual Loeb Lecture: Protecting Plum Island

The annual Loeb Lecture will be a presentation on Plum Island by Chris Cryder, special projects coordinator for Save the Sound. Sponsored by the Friends of the Library, the lecture takes place at the Blackstone Library, 758 Main St., on Sunday, Nov. 19, from 2 to 4 p.m. Cryder is the outreach coordinator for the Preserve Plum Island Coalition.

Included will be a 10-minute film produced for PBS, “Conservation of a Precious Island,” starring Sam Waterston and a virtual tour of Plum Island with the latest efforts to protect it.

Plum Island, located in eastern Long Island Sound, is home to the nation’s foreign animal disease center, as well as several endangered species and unique habitats. But, the island is to be sold by the federal government to the highest bidder. Many organizations would rather see the amazing island conserved and are fighting to save it.

To register, call 203-488-1441.

Through Tuesday, Nov. 21

Avian Art of Michael DiGiorgio

An exhibit of Avian art, featuring nationally recognized artist Michael DiGiorgio takes place in the Keyes Gallery at Willoughby Wallace Library through Nov. 21. DiGiorgio’s work has appeared in a variety of nature books and journals, including the latest& Peterson Field Guide to Birds, Wildlife Conservation Society Birds of Brazil, and Bird Watcher’s Digest.

Thursday, Nov. 23

Branford Rotary-YMCA 5K

The Branford Rotary-YMCA 5K takes place Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 23, at Walsh Intermediate School, 185 Damascus Road. Registration pack pic-up begins at 7:30 a.m. and the race starts at 9 a.m. with the Kids Fun Run and the 5K starts at 9:10. Early packet pickup is Tuesday, Nov. 21, 2 to 6 p.m. and Wednesday, Nov. 22, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Trailblazer/Denali, 1004 Main St.

The first 850 entrants receive Tech Tees; cotton tees for remaining participants. All Kids Run entrants receive cotton t-shirts.

Food will be collected for the Branford Food Pantry. Non-perishable food donations can be dropped off during early packet pick-up at Trailblazer/Denali or on race morning at Walsh Intermediate School.

Friday, Nov. 24

Gift Drive to Benefit Counseling Center

Bruce Pantani’s Christmas Caddy will be in Branford during the holidays to collect toys, cash, and gift card donations to be delivered to the Branford Counseling Center.

The schedule is as follows: Branford Walmart from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday, Nov. 24, Saturday, Nov. 25, and Sunday, Nov. 26, and on the Branford Green in front of town hall from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 3. Pantani, who died in 2008, was known in the community for his generosity for more than 40 years.

Saturday, Dec. 2

Fill the Forester

The Greater New Haven Cat Project’s Fill the Forester for Ferals takes place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 2, at Premier Subaru, 150 North Main St. Donna Velardi, animal communicator and certified animal massage therapist, will be on hand to give five-minute readings. For more information, email

Traditional Christmas Fair

The traditional Christmas Fair at First Baptist Church of Branford, 975 Main St., will be held from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 2, offering everything in the spirit of the season.

All proceeds go to the Dominican Republic Joe Hartman School Mission Project and Feed Branford Kids. Shoppers will find a large selection of gifts, tag sale, breakfast sandwiches from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. and lunch available after 11:30 a.m. There will be holiday music by pianist Michael Cretella and Santa will visit with children and be available for pictures.

Call the church office at 203-488-9777 for additional information.



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