Cool Events This Weekend, Here & Beyond

While much attention this weekend is on the Super Bowl, there are plenty of activities for those who prefer not to see the pigskin being tossed about. Along with a new art exhibit at Willoughby Wallace, there’s a Branford Forum discussion on race relations with Yale sociology professor Elijah Anderson (pictured) at the Blackstone. Or you can clean your closet, go to the movies, take a nap, explore your neighborhood. Flu season hasn’t reached its peak, so the East Shore District Health Department encourages everyone to get a flu shot; there’s one in East Haven on Saturday. Read on – there are more cool events.

Saturday, Feb. 3
Take Your Child to the Library Day

Take Your Child To the Library for team events on Saturday, Feb. 3, from 10 a.m. to noon at the Blackstone Library and from 1 to 3 p.m. at Willoughby Wallace in Stony Creek.

The fun begins at Blackstone with an Olympic torch craft, games and an Olympic scavenger hunt. The games continue at Willoughby Wallace at 1 p.m. with a library Olympic triathlon and a reader relay race.
For children of all ages. All are welcome (no registration required).

Flu Clinic Saturday

The East Shore District Health Department will be coordinating another flu clinic, this time on Saturday, Feb. 3, from 10 a.m. to noon at the East Haven Senior Center, 91 Taylor Ave., East Haven. ESDHD serves the towns of Branford, North Branford and East Haven. The clinic will be staffed by the health department’s nurses and staff.

• Vaccinations will be provided by Connecticut State licensed nurses. 
• Vaccinations are free for children up to 18.
• Vaccinations are $20 without insurance for anyone 18 and older.
• Residents with insurance are asked to bring their insurance cards or make a copy for when they come to the clinic.

The following insurances are accepted: Anthem, Aetna, Atena Medicare, Cigna, Connecticare, Connecticare Medicare, Husky, Medicare. Children younger than 18 years old must be accompanied by a parent.

Other important steps to fight the flu this season include:

• Wash your hands and when soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.
• Stay home if you are sick.
• Take anti-viral drugs if your doctor prescribes them.

For more information, call 203-481-4233.

The SAT or ACT?

Jas Jernaill, the managing director of Bulldog Tutors, will lead a discussion on successfully navigating the university admissions process at Blackstone Library, 758 Main St., on Saturday, Feb. 3, from 10 to 11 a.m.

Topics will include standardized testing options, how to build a successful college admissions application, and how the admissions timeline differs for aspiring student athletes. The talk will run for about 30 minutes with 15 minutes of questions to follow and is appropriate for juniors and sophomores.

Registration for this program is required since space is limited. To do so please call 203-488-1441, extension 323.

Sunday, Feb. 4

Branford Forum Schedule

Yale Professor Elijah Anderson ( see top photo) will discuss Race Relations in the Age of Trump at 2 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 4, at the Blackstone Memorial Library.

Due to renovations at the Blackstone, the Branford Forum’s spring talks will be at the Willoughby-Wallace Library, 146 Thimble Island Road in Branford, Sundays at 2 p.m.

On March 18, local artists Nancy Eisenfield and Jennifer Davies, will speak on “Creating and Understanding Visual Art.”

The April 22 presentation is being finalized.

On May 20, Yale Law School Professor Stephen Carter will discuss “Lucky Luciano and New York’s First Black Woman Prosecutor.”

The talks are free. For further information, email 

Art Exhibition: Ann McNamara, Marcela Staudenmaier

The open reception of the February Art Exhibition by Ann McNamara and Marcela Staudenmaier will be held Sunday, Feb. 4, from 4 to 6 p.m. at Willoughby Wallace Library’s Keyes Gallery.

Sponsored by the Friends of Willoughby Wallace Library, the exhibition runs through Feb. 27.

Thursday, Feb. 8

Chef’s Table Event

Fletcher Cameron Kitchens, 91 Orange St., New Haven, will host Chef Anne Gallagher, better known as Chef Anne, a professionally trained chef who owns a successful farm-to-table catering company in Litchfield, on Thursday, Feb. 8, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

Guests will also enjoy an entertaining and educational guided wine tasting by The Wine Thief.

Chef Anne will demonstrate how to make flavorful and thoughtful food from scratch, offering professional tips to ensure success.

On the menu will be Rustic chicken stew with fire roasted tomatoes and root vegetables, Hearty minestrone topped with a basil pistou, a crisp salad of olives, capers, tomatoes, sliced fennel in a red wine vinaigrette, a mushroom risotto croquette topped with frizzled leeks, and crusted bread with a selection of cheeses

The cost is $35 per person; limited to 25 people. For more information, call 203-777-7707 or email

Saturday, Feb. 10

Annual Eagle Watches on the Connecticut River

Audubon Shop owner Jerry Connolly will again lead the popular land-based excursions to view Bald Eagles along the Connecticut River, on Saturdays, Feb. 10, 17, and 24 from 7:45 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Bald Eagles make their way down the Connecticut River from Canada every winter in search of ice-free fishing. Participants will observe these majestic birds from a variety of locations along the river. Ticket prices are $25, which includes a soup & sandwich luncheon at Otter Cove Restaurant in Old Saybrook following the field trip.

Reservations must be made in advance by calling 203-245-9056. Carpool from the shop at 907 Boston Post Road in Madison at 7:45 a.m. or meet at first stop (Eagle Landing State Park in Haddam) at 8:30 a.m.

Antidote for Wintertime Blues

The Branford Folk Music Society is offering an antidote to the wintertime blues when it hosts Toby Walker, winner of the prestigious International Blues Challenge Award. Walker has been hailed as a finger style guitar virtuoso, on Saturday, Feb. 10, at 8 p.m. in the auditorium of the First Congregational Church of Branford on the Town Green.

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 access the society’s Web page at

Walker, who made his Branford Folk debut in 2013, combines the styles of blues, ragtime, country, bluegrass, rock and old time jazz into his own unique styling. He was recognized in 2014 as a “Master Blues Artist” by the New York Blues Hall of Fame and four years previous won the New York Music Award for “Best Instrumental CD,” sharing honors on stage with Mariah Carey, Rufus Wainwright, and Judy Collins among other award winners.

His crowning achievement, however, was winning a prestigious first place award in the International Blues Challenge Award given by the Blues Foundation in Memphis, Tennessee.

Walker recently released several instructional guitar DVDs for Homespun Tapes and he just released a new album of traditional blues entitled “From The Ground Up” that is already receiving rave reviews from critics and fans alike. Carnegie Hall recently acknowledged his talent and hired him to augment and teach in their “American Roots” program aimed at honor level middle school students.

Sunday, Feb. 11

Neal Fitzpatrick and Deborah Wang in Concert

A Valentine’s Day Celebration of classic love songs with Neil Fitzpatrick on guitar and jazz vocals by Deborah Wang, titled “Love Songs from the American Songbook,” takes place at 2 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 11, at Willoughby Wallace Library, 146 Thimble Island Road.

Guitarist, performer, and composer Neal Fitzpatrick is a Branford resident who maintains a teaching studio in Branford where he teaches all styles of guitar, bass guitar, banjo, mandolin and ukulele. Deborah Wang has been singing with jazz groups and big bands in Connecticut for more than two decades. Her CD, Deborah Wang Sings Romance, is a collection of classics including My Funny Valentine, Somewhere Over the Rainbow and more.

For more information, call 203-488-8702.

Saturday, Feb. 24

Animal Tracking Classes

The Branford Land Trust will sponsor Animal Tracing Classes from 9:30 to 11 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 24.

Learn to recognize animal footprints and other signs of their passage through the woods during these free classes led by Tom Cleveland and Chris Woerner at the Lake Saltonstall preserve.

Meet at the Regional Water Authority parking lot on the north side of Hosley Avenue, 0.3 miles from Brushy Plain Road. Expect moderate terrain, some sloping trails and inclines, rocky underfooting. Parents should be prepared to carry younger children if they get tired. Wear appropriate dress and comfortable, supportive walking shoes. Bring water. Walking sticks welcome. Watch BLT’s Facebook page for possible schedule changes. For details, call Tom Cleveland, 203-981-9040.

BCC Winter Food, Supply Drive

The Branford Compassion Club Feline Rescue & Adoption Center, 2037 Foxon Road, will celebrate its seventh shelter anniversary with a winter food and supply drive to benefit shelter and feral cats on Saturday, Feb. 24, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Unopened canned and dry cat and kitten food, paper towels, kitchen trash bags, Tidy Cat clumping litter, laundry (HE) and dish detergent are especially needed. Join the volunteers for cake and refreshments.

For more information on the kitties’ wish list, visit the website at

Through March 31

Cityseed Winter Market

If you’ve been missing the hustle and bustle of summer’s farmers’ markets head into New Haven for Cityseed’s Winter Farmers Market, which recently opened at the Metropolitan Business Academy School, 115 Water St, open on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. (the except is Sunday, Feb. 12).

Offerings include winter root veggies such as potatoes, onions, and carrots; jams, jellies, and pickles; fresh herbs, micro mixes, goat cheeses, meats, seafood, dairy products, bacon, eggs, artisan baked goods, and more. Special guests on hand throughout the season, as well as the Caseus Food Trick.

For more information, go to Park in the Community and Ikea lots.


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