Cool Events This Weekend, Here & Beyond

St. Patrick’s Day parade—everyone’s Irish… It comes early to New Haven. Did you buy your corned beef and cabbage yet?

Saturday, March 10

Saddle Up With Bob Bovee

Bob Bovee will perform at Branford Folk Music Society Saturday, March 10, 8 p.m., in the auditorium at the First Congregational Church on the green.

Bob Bovee will perform at Branford Folk Music Society Saturday, March 10, 8 p.m., in the auditorium at the First Congregational Church on the green.

Since 1971, he has traversed the country bringing his authentic cowboy songs, ballads, blues and ragtime, square dance tunes, sentimental songs, novelty numbers and yodels to audiences at just about every type of musical venue from intimate coffeehouses to huge bustling country fairs and folk festivals.

Bovee hails from Minnesota, but he’s a Nebraska native whose family sang and played the old-time songs. Many of the western and railroad songs he does were learned from his grandmother and uncle. He plays banjo, guitar, autoharp and harmonica and is renowned for his dry and witty stage humor spiced with stories, history and folklore. This is rural music as played in homes, at dances and for earlier entertainments such as minstrel shows and country radio.

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

Sunday, March 11

Pancake Breakfast

As part of her Senior Capstone Project, Olivia Sullivan will host a Pancake Breakfast on Sunday, March 11, 8:30 to 10 a.m., at Eli’s on Branford Hill. Proceeds will support the Dan Cosgrove Animal Shelter.

The cost is $8 per person. RSVP to Olivia at

Jazz Brunch

The Elm City Market, 777 Chapel St., New Haven, features a jazz brunch on Sundays from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Enjoy established and emerging jazz artists performing everything from old-time Dixieland to modern funk in a cozy family-friendly setting, celebrating the city’s history as a prewar jazz hub.

Performances in March include David Chevan + Friends, March 11; Morris Trent + Friends, March 18; and Jeff Fuller + Friends, March 25.

The menu features favorites like avocado toast topped with baby greens and a farm-fresh egg; a sandwich of thick-cut bacon and eggs scrambled with melty muenster cheese; and a vegan berry-acai smoothie bowl topped with granola and in-season fruit, all paired with fresh-brewed coffee and herbal teas.

For more information, visit

St. Patrick’s Day Parade

Bill O;Brien PhotoNew Haven St. Patrick’s Day parade steps off from Chapel Street at 1:30 p.m. Sunday, March 11.

Since the mid-1950s, the St. Patrick’s Day parade has become one of New England’s premier Irish events. As the sixth oldest parade in the nation, its fame was recognized by the Library of Congress in 1999. The parade features 3,000 marchers and musical units celebrating the diversity of many cultures, including the Stony Creek Fife and Drum Corps.

The St. Patrick’s Day Parade tradition was born in New Haven on March 17, 1842, when about 90 members of the Hibernian Provident Society, a mutual aid organization formed the previous year, marched through the city streets behind a banner made especially for the occasion.

For more information, visit

Saturday, March 17

Uncover Branford Planning Meeting

Uncover Branford activities continue on Saturday, March 17, from 10:30 to 11:30 p.m. at the Blackstone Library. Get up, get out and uncover Branford. Neighbors come together to share their favorite Branford places and stories, then plan a group outing to a special spot. As participants go out into the community to explore and uncover new places, they will make new friends, have fun, and discover the hidden gems of Branford.

Their adventures are documented with photos and a short write up of their own personal favorites, which are turned into a community exhibit on display in the library.

For more information, call 203-488-1441.

Sunday, March


Branford Forum schedule

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 

Wednesday, March 21 to Sunday, March 25

Shrek, the Musical at BHS

Tickets are on sale for Branford High School Performing Arts presentation of “Shrek, the Musical, which takes place Wednesday, March 21, to Sunday, March 25, at the Cathyann Roding Auditorium.

Performances are at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday; 1 p.m. and 8 p.m. Saturday; and 2 p.m. Sunday. Shrek will be played by Logan Distasio, and Fiona by Maddie Oberempt.

Tickets are $18; $15 for students and seniors. For reservations and information, call 203-315-7972.

Saturday, March 24

March For Our Lives

March For Our Lives take place on the Guilford Green at 12:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 24. The event is as part of a national movement in support of promoting common sense gun reform legislation in America. Speaking will be US Sen. Richard Blumenthal, State Reps. Sean Scanlon and Lonnie Reed and Mike Song, the father of a teen killed in a home shooting.

A sign-making event ahead of the march will take place at the Branford Art Center Gallery and Workshop, 1229 Main St., on Thursday, March 22, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. For more information, go to

Wednesday, March 28

Books ’n’ Brews

This month Books & Brews will discuss either “March, Book 1” by John Lewis or “Boy, Snow, Bird” by Helen Oyeyemi. The group will meet Wednesday, March 28, 6 to 8 p.m. st the Thimble Island Brewery, 16 Business Park Drive. Come to the meeting and grab a book for next month, or borrow one from the library or purchase a own copy.

Feel free to bring your own snacks. Thimble Islands offers a selection of craft beers (must be 21+ to drink alcoholic beverages), wine, soda, and water. No purchase necessary to take part in the book club. New members welcome. For more information, call the Blackstone Library, 203-488-1441.

The Most Famous Private in George Washington’s Continental Army

Tim Chaucer will portray Joseph Plumb Martin as a 70-year old man recalling his days as a much younger man during the Revolutionary War. The event takes place at 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 28, at the Branford High School Auditorium. 

Martin was one of very few soldiers who stayed with Washington almost the entire length of the war. He wrote his memoirs at age 70 when he came to realize that Americans did not know about the intense suffering of the average continental soldier during the years 1776-1783. He will tell in great detail what happened to soldiers like him during those many trying years and why he did not rejoice when the war was over.

Tim Chaucer is a former American history teacher who became interested in Martin because Joseph grew up in Milford, living with his grandparents, the Plumbs. Tim is an active preservationist with the Milford Preservation Trust and a member of the 6th Connecticut Regiment.

The event is sponsored by the Branford Historical Society. For more information, call 203-488-4828.

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, located at the Metropolitan Business Academy School, 115 Water St., open on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

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.

Tuesday, April 3

Healthy Families in the Digital Age

Branford Families is presenting a series of programs for parents and kids, titled “Growing Healthy Families in the Digital Age.” The free programs take place at 6:30 p.m. at Walsh Intermediate School (unless otherwise noted). For reservations, email

Tuesday, April 3: “The Lay of the Land: Screen-time, Devices, and Schools” is a panel presentation by school staff, consisting of the WIS school counselor, social worker, the school district’s director of technology, and Dr. Mary Alice Curran, Professor of Social Media Citizenship. What are the rules, how does it work with 1:1 device ratio. What if scenarios during school hours.

May: Growing up KIND in the Digital World. Digital can be real: Review of “good digital spaces” for independent time for all age groups. “Don’t Be Mean Behind the Screen” movement. Special surprise presentation.

June 16: Family Fun – Summer Sites and Awesome Apps. Branford Families will have a booth during the Branford Festival with a few good apps running and options for family togetherness in a digital world.

Yale Collection of Musical Instruments

Here’s something different to explore. Atlas Obscura, the wonderful website that features quirky historical information of all kinds, recently featured the Yale Collection of Musical Instruments. Established in 1900, after the university was gifted a collection of historic keyboards by Morris Steinert, the offbeat collection features an assemblage of Western and non-Western instruments. Its stock has since expanded and now contains instruments spanning many different time periods and cultures.

The museum is built around a celebrated core collection of organs, clavichords, harpsichords, spinets, virginals, and pianos from the past three centuries. There are also gorgeous string instruments with looks that rival the beauty of their sounds, a piano small enough to play with your thumbs, colorful bells, and even instruments that date back more than 2,000 years.

The collection is housed in a Romanesque structure at 15 Hillhouse Ave., built in 1895 for a fraternity. The collection moved into the space in 1961. The facilities host the occasional concert, which you can attend—if you’re quick enough to snag a ticket. The Smithsonian Chamber Players will perform on Sunday, April 22, at 3 p.m.

The collection is not open to the public on Saturday, only in the afternoon and never on university holidays or during August.

For more information, visit 

Beginning April 21

Thomas the Tank at Essex Steam Train

Thomas & Friends will be at the Essex Steam Train, Railroad Avenue in Essex, on April 21, 28, 29, as well as May 5 and 6, with departure times every 45 minutes from 9 a.m. to 5:15 p.m. Passengers select a departure time when purchasing a ticket (ride is approximately 25 minutes), but family activities take place all day.After meeting Thomas, guests will also have the opportunity to meet Sir Topham Hatt, the Controller of the Railway on the Island of Sodor, and Percy the Small Green Engine. Included in the ticket price is access to unlimited rides on five carnival rides, face painting featuring Day Out With Thomas characters, Isle of Sodor storytelling, a special Thomas the Tank Engine video theater and magic show, and Thomas the Tank Engine play areas. Caboose the Clown will create colorful balloon characters, while Sunny Train presents her music show.For more information, go to or call 860-767-0103.###

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