Cool Events This Weekend, Here &  Beyond

A busy weekend, which will hopefully include melting snow. You can support the kids, whether it’s through the march in Guilford promoting stricter gun laws or by supporting Branford High School’s musical, “Shrek.” Little kids can enjoy a life-sized version of Candyland. And show your support for the Dan Cosgrove Animal Shelter … who doesn’t love pasta? Got a cool event? Email by Wednesday noon.

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, which includes marches in Hartford and New York, in support of promoting common sense gun reform legislation in America. Speaking will be U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, State Reps. Sean Scanlon and Lonnie Reed and Mike Song, the father of a teen killed in a shooting in Guilford.

Representatives from the League of Women Voters will be on the Guilford green to help with voter registration. They will also be at the march in Hartford, which begins at 12:30 p.m. from Corning Fountain. Tables will be set up on the east side of the Capitol. 

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

Life-Sized Candy Land

Willoughby Wallace Library hosts a life-size Candy Lane game for kids age 5 and up in its Keyes Gallery on Saturday, March 24, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Candy is included, of course.

For more information and to register for a time slot, call 203-488-8702.

Through 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 now through Sunday, March 25, at the Cathyann Roding Auditorium.

Performances are at 7:30 p.m. 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.

Sunday, March 25

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. Jeff Fuller + Friends perform this Sunday,

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.

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

Dan Cosgrove Shelter Pasta Dinner

A pasta dinner to benefit the Dan Cosgrove Animal Shelter will be held from 3 to 6 p.m. Sunday, March 25, at the Italian American Club, Hamre Lane.

Included will be pasta and meatballs, garden salad, Italian bread, dessert, coffee, and beverages; wine and beer will be for sale. The evening features a DJ and dancing, and a 50/50 raffles.

Tickets are $20 for adults; $10 for children under 12. They can be purchased at the shelter, 749 East Main St. or online via Paypal via (click on donate, and note Pasta Dinner. Or call 203-315-4125.

Tuesday, March 27

Live Owls and A Place Called Hope

Join the Branford Land Trust for an educational evening about owls with A Place Called Hope on Tuesday, March 27, 7 p.m. in the Totoket Room at the Canoe Brook Senior Center. Part of the Land Trust’s year-long 50th Anniversary Celebration, this one-hour program introduces guests to four different owl species found in Connecticut. Meet each nocturnal species and learn about special adaptations that help these creatures survive in the wild, plus gain an understand of how owls take advantage of their unique hunting styles and the special characteristics designed specifically for nighttime hunting.

A Place Called Hope is a rehabilitation and education center for birds of prey located in Killingworth. Its goal is to heal injured, orphaned, or ill birds and return them to the wild where they belong. It is state licensed and federally permitted to care for wild birds of all kinds. A Place Called Hope is dedicated to educating the public about how to protect and respect wildlife, in particular raptors.

The event is free and open to the public. Watch for details on these and other upcoming 50th Anniversary events on our website and Facebook page,

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. at 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.

Creating Bird-Friendly Habitats

Katie Blake, bird-friendly communities manager for Audubon Connecticut, will give a brief overview of Audubon’s Healthy Habitat Programs at 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 28, at the Canoe Brook Senior Center. The program was sponsored by Menunkatuck Audubon Society.

She will discuss urban oases, schoolyard habitat and plants for birds and how they are “Creating Bird-Friendly Habitats.”

The talk will give an overview of the Plants for Birds Program and offer practical and simple ways any homeowner or gardener can make a difference for birds right in their own backyard. Blake will highlight the five principals of creating bird-friendly yards and offer useful resources to support taking action for birds at home. 

The programs work to engage families in conservation action in many ways: as stewards of their own backyard habitats, volunteers helping to plant at neighborhood parks or citizen scientists collecting valuable data on birds and their habitats.

For more information, go to

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.

Saturday, March 31

National Stop-the-Bleed Day

The Branford and North Branford Fire Departments will host a cooperative Stop-the-Bleed day of training for the residents of both towns. Two free programs, open to residents of either town, take place Saturday, March 31, at Branford Fire Department Headquarters, 45 N. Main St., from 10 a.m. to noon or 1 to 3 p.m.

Although the recent tragedies in Sandy Hook, Las Vegas, and Florida emphasize the seriousness of mass shootings, a majority of severe bleeding injuries occur at home, at work, or on the roadways, and involve only one victim. The skills learned in the Stop-the-Bleed training will help you be prepared to save the life of someone with a life-threatening wound by applying a tourniquet and packing the wound, along with direct pressure to control severe bleeding until EMS arrives.

Pre-registration is required because seats for the course are limited. Sign up online at or on Facebook,

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.

Wednesday, April 4

Travelling to Africa: A Presentation

Join Denali and Eagle Creek as Denali’s Sean Callinan shares photos, stories, and insights from his recent trip to Africa on Wednesday, April 4, from 6 to 8 p.m. at Denali, 1004 Main St.

Callinan will talk about packing, prep, vaccinations, and safety as well. Following the presentation, the floor will be open to questions and discussion. Beverages and snacks will be provided. Admission is free.

Friday, April 6, and Saturday, April 7

‘The Little Mermaid’

Walsh Intermediate School’s Spring Musical, “The Little Mermaid, will be performed at the school Friday, April 6, at 7:30 p.m., and Saturday, April 7, at 3 p.m.

Director is Jeffrey Rizzo with Amy Buckley, music director; Gavin Hartney, conductor, and Tracy Izzo, producer.

For tickets, call 203-418-7529.

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 

Sunday, April 8

Annual Stan Wheeler Memorial Jazz Concert

With PermissionThe 11th annual Stan Wheeler Memorial Jazz Concert will take place Sunday, April 9, from 2 to 3:30 p.m. at Levinson Auditorium, Yale Law School, 127 Wall St., New Haven. The event is named after a stalwart of the ensemble as well as a pioneering legal thinker and scholar. It begins at 2 p.m. in the law school’s Levinson Auditorium at 127 Wall St. Doors open at 1:30 p.m. (See top video).
Featured will be the Yale Jazz Ensemble under the direction of Music Director Thomas Duffy, and the Reunion Jazz Ensemble under the direction of Jeff Fuller.
Doors open at 1:30 p.m. Admission is free.

Tuesday, April 10

No Man’s Land Film Festival

{media}No Man’s Land Film Festival is an all-female adventure film festival based out of Colorado’s Rocky Mountains, meeting a need and desire to highlight and connect women in pursuit of the radical. Hosted by Denali, a viewing takes place from 6 to 9 p.m. Tuesday, April 10, at Stony Creek Brewery, 5 Indian Neck Ave.

The goal of the festival is to connect like-minded individuals who are adventure-oriented, wish to support a shared vision of gender equality, have a desire to experience their passions and environments through a uniquely female lens, and, above all, love adventure. Along with cultivating a deep interest in exploring the vastness of the planet from a female point of view, No Man’s Land strives to create a history of motivating audiences to implement and inspire change.

Admission is $10.

Saturday, April 21

Rise Up Singing!

Rise Up Singing – An Evening Of Folk, Jazz, Pop & Rock takes place at 7 p.m. Saturday, April 21 at the Guilford Community Center, 32 Church St. The concert benefits Unidad Latina en Accion (ULA), grassroots New Haven-based organization of immigrants defending labor, civil and human rights.

This benefit is sponsored by Connecticut Shoreline Indivisible. Performers will be Fernandito Ferrer – Nueva Trova, Cyd Slotoroff – singer/songwriter, Isabella Mendes and Jeff Fuller - Brazilian jazz duo, Alison Farrell – singer/songwriter, Julie & Lars Selberg – pop, rock duo, Cahoots – Patty Chamberlain, Nancy Wilson, George Bassett and David Chamberlain – jazz, folk, pop a cappella quartet.

Tickets on Eventbrite ( or at the door. $20. Children 12 and under free.


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