Aldrich openings, spring celebrations everywhere

Spring celebration

There’s a Spring Stroll, an art exhibit, the Ridgefield Gone Country BBQ Fest and lots to do in the downtown Ridgefield area this weekend. The stroll events will be going on from 5 to 9 p.m. Friday and 10 to 7 on Saturday, with exhibits and performances, mini race cars, a petting zoo and more, sponsored by town businesses.

At the Keeler Tavern Museum Carriage Barn, 132 Main Street, Tina Phillips will open an exhibit of her new works, Love the Journey, on Friday from 5 to 9 p.m. The show will continue through May 10, with a portion of sales going towards the restoration of the historic carriage barn.

Lounsbury House, the Ridgefield Community Center, at 316 Main Street, will host the BBQ Fest on Saturday from 11 to 9 and Sunday from 11 to 5. There will be a sanctioned barbecue competition as well as food vendors, carnival rides and attractions. For more information, visit ridgefieldbbqct.com.

Spring festival

The First Congregational Church at 108 Sound Beach Avenue, Old Greenwich, will host the Spring Festival of the Arts from May 1 to May 3, opening with the Art Society of Old Greenwich’s Gala Art Show on Friday at 6 p.m.

Later that evening the musical component of the weekend will begin with a concert at 8 by the Serio Divertimenti ensemble; tickets are $25. On Saturday at 8, the First Church Festival Chorus and Orchestra will perform Beethoven’s Mass in C and Choral Fantasy; tickets are $35 and $25. Finally, on Sunday, May 3, at 4 p.m., Rock of Ages: Hymns for the Soul will feature Jolie Rock Browne, vocalist, and Joel Martin, piano. Tickets are $25. For more information, visit fccog.org.

Lightscapes

For the second spring, Historic Hudson Valley will present Lightscapes, a large-scale walk-through experience that features sculpture, light, music and special effects at its Van Cortlandt Manor property in Croton-on-Hudson, N.Y. Timed-entry tickets will be available for 15 May weekend evenings and there will also be a special Lightscapes hospitality tent featuring snacks to complete the experience.

First tickets are for 8:15 (at 8:30 later in the month) on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday and cost $16 for adults and $12 for children 3-17. For reservations, visit hudsonvalley.org or call 914-366-6900. The manor is at 525 South Riverside Avenue, just off Route 9.

Songs from the Movies

The Wilton Singers will present their spring show, Noteflix, Songs from the Movies, on Friday and Saturday, May 1 and 2, at the WEPCO Complex, 48 New Canaan Road, Wilton. Guests are invited to bring a picnic dinner; doors will open at 7 and the concert will begin at 8. Tickets are $30 and may be reserved at wiltonsingers.org.

Season for flowers

The Garden Education Center of Greenwich will host its 54th annual May Gardeners’ Market on Saturday, May 2, from 9 to 2, rain or shine. The center is at 130 Bible Street in Cos Cob; admission is free. Vendors will offer plants, heirloom vegetables, garden accessories and gifts.

Plant sale

The Rowayton Gardeners’ Spring Plant Sale will also take place Saturday, May 2, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. The location will be The Potting Shed, behind the Rowayton Community Center at 33 Highland Avenue. In addition to freshly dug perennials and shrubs there will be patio pots, a Mother’s Day boutique and a tag sale.

A World of Quilts

The Northern Star Quilters’ Guild will present its 36th spring quilt show on Saturday, May 2, from 10 to 5 and Sunday, May 3, from 10 to 4 at Kennedy Catholic High School, Route 138, Somers, N.Y. The show includes lectures by Becky Goldsmith of Piece O’ Cake Designs, a lecture and invitational quilt display by Paula Nadelstern, plus demonstrations, vendors, lunch and a quilt collection.

Admission for adults is $10. For more information, visit northerstarquilters.com.

Frog Frolic

The Mark Twain Library’s fund-raising fair for families will take place Saturday, May 2, from 10 to 4 at the Redding Community Center on Lonetown Road. There will be activities and games, music, performances, food and prizes. Admission is free and the Frolic goes on rain or shine. For more information, visit marktwainlibrary.org.

Photography pioneer

The Bruce Museum will open a six-week exhibition of 26 works from its collection of modernist photographs by Florence Henri (1893-1982) beginning Saturday, May 2. The images were donated to the museum by Rick Wester and Jennifer Garvin and are from a time when photography was blossoming into an art form. Henri “was at the heart of the avant-garde movement in Paris, exhibiting alongside people like Man Ray,” according to curator Tara Contractor.

For more information, visit brucemuseum.org or call 203-869-0376. The Bruce Museum is at One Museum Drive in Greenwich.

Clay fest

The Clay Art Center in Port Chester, N.Y., will have its fifth annual Spring Fest and Super Seconds Sale featuring hand-made original pottery on Saturday, May 2, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., rain or shine. Admission and family activities are free, including face painting, tile painting and hands-on work in clay. There will also be live music and performances and a selection of food, drinks and snacks.

The center is at 40 Beech Street; for more information, visit clayartcenter.org or call 914-937-2047.

Pass It On!

A new program at the Wilton Historical Society, offered through the Fairfield County Chapter of the Embroiderers’ Guild of America, will take place Saturdays May 2, 9 and 30 from 2 to 3:30 p.m. Pass It On! Teaching A New Generation How to Stitch is free and open to those in grade four and older.

All skill levels are welcome; space is limited. To register, email [email protected] or call 203-762-7257.

Derby Day

The Milford Arts Council’s Run for the Roses fund-raiser will begin at 4 p.m. on Saturday, May 2, at the Center for the Arts, 40 Railroad Avenue South, Milford. The live broadcast of the Kentucky Derby will be shown at 6 p.m.

There will be passed hors d’oeuvres, wines, mint juleps and a cash bar, with a live jazz performance and a silent auction. Guests are encouraged to dress for the occasion and there will be a “fabulous hat” contest. Tickets are $35 and paid reservations are a must. For information, call 203-878-6647 or visit milfordarts.org.

Food-raiser

Eagle Scout candidate Jack Shields of Ridgefield has planned a concert, Rockin’ for the Food Pantry, that will restock the Ridgefield Food Pantry, where supplies are currently at a low ebb. The concert will take place Saturday, May 2, at 7 p.m. in Martin Hall at Jesse Lee United Methodist Church, 207 Main Street, Ridgefield.

Shields will perform and other bands are donating their time and talents. Admission is two non-perishable food items and/or personal care items. For more information, email [email protected] or call 203-241-2898.

Children’s choir

The Fairfield County Children’s Choir will celebrate its 20th anniversary season by singing favorite songs of the past 20 years at the Norwalk Concert Hall, 125 East Avenue, on Saturday, May 2, at 7 p.m. More than 300 young singers in grades four through 12 make up the choir, directed by Jon Noyes.

Tickets will be available at the door, $15 and $20, or by calling 203-414-4292. For more information, visit singfccc.org.

Most welcome!

The Westfair Singers, under the direction of Mary Jane Newman, will perform To A Most Welcome Spring, chorale works celebrating women’s voices, on Saturday, May 2, at 7:30 p.m. at South Salem (N.Y.) Presbyterian Church, 111 Spring Street. A portion of concert proceeds will support Hope’s Door, which helps victims of domestic violence.

Tickets are $25 at the door, available online at a discount at westfair.org. For more information, call 703-598-7950.

Carmina Burana

The Mendelssohn Choir of Connecticut will celebrate its 30th anniversary with a performance of Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana on Saturday, May 2, at 8 p.m. at the Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts at Fairfield University. Tickets are $35 and $30 at quickcenter.com or call 1-877-ARTS-396.

Tag sale

The 43rd annual Darien Boys Scouts Tag Sale will take place Sunday, May 3, from 8:30 to 4 at the Scout cabin at 140 West Avenue in Darien. Items from antiques to jewelry, tools to electronics, toys, bikes and more will be for sale. For more information, visit darienscouts.org.

Kidologie

The Kidologie Children’s Fair will fill the Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk on Sunday, May 3, from 10 to 5, with dozens of exhibitors, plus special giveaways and entertainment. Aquarium admission is $19.95 for adults and each paying adult may bring in one free child (age 3-12) during the fair, a saving of $12.95.

The first 300 families will receive free goody bags containing samples and treats. For more information, and to buy tickets online, visit kidologie.com or maritimeaquarium.org.

Jane Jacobs Walk

The Center for the Living City, a non-profit, is promoting the Jane Jacobs Walk, an international program to promote community pride, concern and engagement. In Danbury, Ted Killmer of CityCenter will be joined by photographer Renato Gio and food blogger Alicia Ghio to lead a walk on Sunday, May 3, starting at 1 p.m. at 268 Main Street. The approximately two-mile walk will take about two hours and promises hidden treasures, historic notes, tasty bites and friendly chat.

Stops are wheelchair-accessible and family-friendly; to register (required), email [email protected] or call 203-792-1711.

People and pets

There will be a Health and Wellness for People and Pets Expo on Sunday, May 3, from 10 to 4 at the Fairfield YMCA, 841 Post Road. The fair is free. For more information, visit fairfieldctchamber.com.

Spring market

The Coastal Arts Guild of Connecticut will have its Spring Arts & Craft Market on Sunday, May 3, from 10 to 4 at the Baldwin Center, 1000 West Broad Street, Stratford. For more information, visit stratfordartsguild.net.

Go Green!

The Wilton Go Green Festival will take place at the Town Green gazebo and at the Wilton Library in Wilton Center on Sunday, May 3, from 11 to 4. The celebration of sustainable living will include pet-able wildlife ambassadors, electric car owners, leaders of children’s activities, food, a dog parade, and more than 80 craftsmen and exhibitors.

Cyril the Sorcerer will do special magic performances from noon to 1:30 and Wilton bands, including Arthur Lipner’s Wilton Steel Band, will perform. For all the festival details, visit wiltongogreen.org.

Aldrich openings

The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum in Ridgefield will unveil its new Circumstance Series of exhibition on Sunday, May 3, with a reception from 2 to 5 p.m. at 258 Main Street. Artists have transformed the galleries into “rooms” where they will display their work alongside objects of their choosing to offer insight into their artistic processes.

The artists are Virginia Poundstone, Flower Mutations, whose work includes a new outdoor sculpture and an earthwork on the grounds as well as an interior room of artworks and objects; Nancy Shaver, Reconciliation, recent sculpture made from women’s clothing fabric and objects found in rural thrift stores; Ruby Sky Stiler, Ghost Versions, cast reliefs from compositions of detritus in her studio; Penelope Umbrico, Avoiding the Sun, found images from internet sources; Elif Uras, Nicaea, sculptures that incorporate traditional Turkish art with Western figuration; B. Wurtz, Four Collections, “pan paintings” — wall pieces made from ordinary aluminum food containers.

During the reception there will be opportunities to meet the artists, take exhibition tours, participate in family activities and buy gourmet farm-to-museum lunchboxes prepared by No. 109 Cheese & Wine. A preview brunch for members with trustees, curators and the artists will take place at noon. With the opening, the museum will being a new schedule: open from 10 to 5 on Mondays and Wednesdays through Saturdays, and 12 to 5 on Sundays. Free guided tours will be offered on Mondays from 1 to 2 p.m. From Memorial Day through Labor Day, the museum will remain open till 7 on Fridays.

The museum will also be the site for its annual gala on Saturday, May 2, which will celebrate the artist Tom Sachs, with an award presentation by designer Cynthia Rowley.

For more information on Aldrich events, visit aldrichart.org or call 203-438-4519.

House tour in Weston

The Weston Historical Society will present its Landmark Homes of Weston house tour, featuring residences from the 18th to the 21st centuries, on Sunday, May 3, from 1 to 5 p.m. The point of departure is Cobb’s Mill Inn, just off Route 57, where tickets, brochures and tour maps may be picked up from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. (A pre-tour brunch, optional, is $20; tour tickets are $75 and include a reception from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at the Coley Homestead, headquarters of the historical society, at 104 Weston Road (Route 57).

Advance reservations are encouraged and may be made through April 30 at westonhistoricalsociety.org; tickets may also be purchased on Sunday at Cobb’s Mill.

WSHU conversation

Suspense writer Mary Higgins Clark will be featured in a WSHU Public Radio Join the Conversation talk and book-signing on Sunday, May 3, at 1:30  at Sacred Heart University, 5151 Park Avenue, Fairfield.  She’ll discuss, among other topics, her new collection of short stories that includes the never-before-published novella, Dear Wears A Beauty Mask. Reservations are required; tickets are $10 per person, available at wshu.org.

Mozart Mass

The Westchester Oratorio Society, with the WOS Festival Orchestra and soloists, led by Benjamin Niemczyk, will perform Mozart’s Mass in C minor in a concert on Sunday, May 3, at 3 p.m. at South Salem (N.Y.) Presbyterian Church, 111 Spring Street. Also on the program are Ave Verum Corpus and Laudate Dominum.

Tickets are $15 to $50; for information, visit westchesteroratorio.org or 914-763-9389.

Vivaldi’s Gloria

At St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, the music will be Vivaldi’s Gloria, performed by the St. Stephen’s Festival Choir, with organist Arno Steinig and the Connecticut Chamber Players, on Sunday, May 3, at 5 p.m. Mr. Steinig will also perform solo works for the organ.

The concert is part of the 100th anniversary of the church’s sanctuary, at 351 Main Street in Ridgefield. For more information, call 203-438-3789.

Baroque music

Rebel, the Baroque chamber ensemble, will perform works by Handel, Telemann, Vivaldi, Goldberg and Veracini on Sunday, May 3, at 5 p.m. at the Bedford Presbyterian Church on the Village Green (Route 22/Route 172) in Bedford, N.Y. Reserved seating is available in advance and general seating at the door; adults are $35, seniors, $30, students, $10, and children aged 5-12, $5 with accompanying parent.

For more information and reservations, visit rebelbaroque.com or 914-734-9537.

And coming up…

The Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum in Norwalk will host a talk by curator Patricia Philippon on Wednesday, May 6, at 11 a.m. Her topic will be Welcome to the Jungle: Horticulture and Hi-jinks in the Clemens Conservatory. Cost for the program is $30, which includes the lecture, lunch and a first floor mansion tour; reservations are requested by May 1. Email [email protected] or call 203-838-9799 x4.

* * * *

Former Major League manager Bobby Valentine will interview former ESPN president and executive chairman on Wednesday, May 6, at 7 p.m. at Sacred Heart University, 5151 Park Avenue, Fairfield. The event is part of WSHU Public Radio’s Join the Conversation series. For reservations, visit wshu.org.

* * * *

Food For All 2015 will showcase Fairfield County restaurants, craft cocktail bars and dessert cafes and benefit Community Plates direct-transfer food rescue organization on Thursday, May 7, from 6 to 9 p.m. at The Loading Dock, 375 Fairfield Avenue, Stamford. Tickets are $75; for  reservations, visit communityplates.org/ffa15ffld/

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