Community news for the Farmington Valley edition

Simsbury River Run to benefit Simsbury-Granby Rotary

SIMSBURY – The Simsbury-Granby Rotary Club invites the public to join the Simsbury River Run on Saturday, Sept. 23. The River Run is the oldest road race in Simsbury and offers a variety of distances for runners of all ages and abilities. Choose from a 10k, a 5k, or a children’s one mile run along the scenic Farmington River.

All proceeds from the race will assist the Rotary Club in its charitable endeavors, such as the Rotary Park playground renovation, healing meals, food share, the volunteer ambulance association, Visiting Nurses association, and educational scholarships for students from Simsbury and Granby. Register online at The 5k fee is $35 and the 10k is $40. The children’s one-mile is free. You can also register on race day for an additional $5. The first 450 registrants will receive a dryblend moisture wicking T-shirt.

The race will start and finish at Simsbury Meadows Performing Arts Center, 22 Iron Horse Blvd. The 10k race will begin at 8:30 a.m., followed by the 5k race at 8:45 a.m., and the children’s one mile run at 10 a.m.

The top three finishers in each age group and gender category will be awarded custom pint glasses. Post race food & drinks will be provided by Harvest Cafe & Bakery, Jersey Mikes, & Redstone Pub.

For further information, contact race director Charlie Kaylor at or 860-392-9280 or visit

Oddfellows Playhouse Youth Theater hosting fall programs

MIDDLETOWN – Registration is now open for fall classes at Oddfellows Playhouse Youth Theater located at 128 Washington St. Beginning Sept. 16, classes in theater, dance, circus and music will be offered for toddlers to 20 year olds. Teenagers are invited to audition for the fall mainstage production.

Teen Repertory Company (ages 14 – 20) will hold auditions for Coming Into Being: A Journey of Individuation on Sept. 14, 6 – 9 p.m. This new work will be crafted for and with the ensemble. It will be a physical, psycho-emotional exploration into what it is to come into your Self as an individual, as a young adult. Teens are asked to pre-register for one of the two audition evenings, to arrive on time, and plan to stay for the entire time. Everyone who auditions and commits to the rehearsal and production schedule will be cast in the show. Regular rehearsals will be Mondays and Thursdays, 6 – 9 p.m. Performances will be Nov. 30 – Dec. 2 and Dec. 8 – 9.

Circophony Teen Circus (ages 12 – 20) offers fall circus training in preparation for a winter mainstage production. Juggling, Object Manipulation, Unicycle, Stilting and More! will be held on Tuesdays evenings, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m., and Acro Focus on Wednesday evenings 6:30 – 8:30 p.m., culminating in a Fall Circus Showcase on Nov. 15. Students may register for one or both classes. No previous experience is required. Classes run Sept. 19 – Nov. 15.

For the youngest Oddfellows, Saturday Classes feature Acrobabies (ages 15 months – 3 years with caregiver; 9:15 – 9:55 a.m.); Faerie Tale Theater (10 – 10:45 a.m.) and Circrobatics (10:55 -11:40 a.m.) are offered for ages 3 – 6; and kids ages 7 – 11 can register for Comedy and Slaprobatics (11:45 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.) and Equilibristics (12:35 – 1:20 p.m.). Classes start Sept. 16 and continue through a Share Day on Dec. 16 (12 weeks total – no classes Oct. 14 or Nov. 25).

After-School classes for ages 6 – 14 begin Sept. 16 and will run for nine weeks this fall, culminating in a “Share Week” Nov. 13 – 16. Most classes run 4:50 -5:50 p.m.

Stage One classes for ages 6 – 8 include Playing With Puppetry, Musical Mentoring I, Circus I, Complete Actor I, and The Silent Clown. Stage Two classes for ages 9 – 11 include Sign-a-Long, Circus II, Musical Mentoring II (ages 9 – 12), Complete Actor II, Street Jazz Dance and Hip Hop Dance (both open to ages 9 – 14). Stage Three classes for ages 12 – 14 include High Stakes Acting, Complete Actor III (both of these classes meet 4:30 – 5:50 p.m.), as well as Street Jazz Dance and Hip Hop Dance (again, both dance classes are for ages 9 – 14).

Middletown Public School students may complement their class experience with Oddbridge, an extended day program which provides transport from Middletown schools to the Playhouse, a snack, and supervised arts activities, games and homework help before classes start. This year Oddbridge will extend throughout the school year, providing special programs and field trips on early dismissal days or days when regular Oddfellows’ classes are not in session.

For more details on times, tuition and class descriptions, visit If you have specific questions, email or call 860-347-6143. Financial Aid is available for all programs. It is Playhouse policy that the arts should be available to every young person regardless of ability to pay – no one is turned away for lack of funds.

Stuffed cabbage dinner taking place at Meriden Turner Halle

MERIDEN – Stanley’s Kitchen Series will be serving stuffed cabbage dinners on Thursday, Sept. 21, at the Meriden Turner Halle, 800 Old Colony Road. The price per dinner is $12, and reservations are required.

Contact Peter at or 260-341-2542. For more information about this event, visit

Crafts fair taking place at Trinity Church

PORTLAND – Trinity Church, 345 Main St., will host a crafts fair on Sunday, Sept. 17, from noon to 4:30 p.m., featuring crafts by women of Trinity and other local craftspeople. Items for Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas will be sold. Email for more info.

Annie, Jr. auditions taking place in New Britain

NEW BRITAIN – New Britain Youth Theater’s Annie, Jr. auditions for ages six to 18 will take place Sept. 19 and 21, from 6 to 7:30 p.m., at South Church, bottom level, 90 Main St.

Show dates are Dec. 8, 9 and 10. Prepare a short song and be prepared to dance/move. No monologue is required. Auditions are a low-stress, welcoming process inclusive to everyone. Visit for more info and to sign up.

WAVES Women’s Networking at Adnet coming Sept. 19

ROCKY HILL – Join the “WAVES” women’s networking event – Women Advocating, Venting, Engaging & Supporting one another – at Adnet for casual networking on Tuesday, Sept. 19, from 5 to 7 p.m. at 400 Capital Blvd., Suite 101.

Visit for more info or to register.

Connecticut Fly Fisherman’s Association hosting monthly meeting

WETHERSFIELD – The Connecticut Fly Fisherman’s Association’s monthly meeting will take place at 6:30 p.m. Monday, Sept. 18, at Wethersfield Community Center, 30 Greenfield St.

The meeting is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served. Peter Jenkins will present “Albies on The Fly.” Jenkins, owner of “The Saltwater Edge” in Middletown, R.I., will speak on methods and techniques for taking Albies. Albies are tremendous game fish and characterized as muscular torpedoes. Visit for more info.

Congregation Beth Israel offers variety of services for High Holy Days

WEST HARTFORD – Congregation Beth Israel provides a variety of services to help the community find meaning in its holiest season. High Holy Day offerings that are open to all include morning services for young children and evening family services.

Rosh Hashanah in the Park service is the first of the High Holy Days celebrations. It will be held the night before Rosh Hashanah on Friday, Sept.15, at 5:30 p.m/ This is a welcoming, family-style service held outdoors in West Hartford’s historic Elizabeth Park. The service is free and open to the public. It includes interactive liturgy and features lively musical accompaniment. ASL interpretation will be provided. In case of inclement weather, this service will move to the synagogue.

On Saturday, Sept. 16, all are welcome to the Young Children’s Service at the synagogue at 9 a.m., which is suggested for children ages 8 and under and their families. All are invited to then join clergy at Elizabeth Park, following the completion of all morning services at the synagogue, for a Community Tashlich Service where they can symbolically cast away their sins.

On Sunday, Sept. 24, there will be a family Kol Nidre Service at the synagogue at 5:30 p.m., which includes interactive liturgy and participatory music with guitar.

On Yom Kippur, Monday, Sept. 25, there will be a Young Children’s Service at 9 a.m. Families with young children are welcome to attend; this service is suggested for children eight and under. The service contains songs, relevant prayers, and a story. Afternoon services that are open to all on Yom Kippur at the synagogue begin at 1 p.m. These include the Yizkor Service at 4 p.m. to remember and honor those who are no longer with us and the Neilah Service at 5 p.m., marking the end of the holiest day.

The rest of Congregation Beth Israel’s High Holy Days services are being held at our synagogue at 701 Farmington Ave. and are mostly for congregants and their families; however, all of the services are being broadcast live on Zoom and the YouTube channel. Check for updates and details. For questions, email or call 860-233-8215. Elizabeth Park is located at 1555 Asylum Ave.

Simsbury Library coffeehouse series continues with Marc Berger

SIMSBURY – On Friday, Sept. 15, at 7:15 p.m., the ‘23-’24 Coffeehouse Series begins with singer/songwriter Marc Berger at the Simsbury Public Library, 725 Hopmeadow St.

Berger has performed at Austin’s South X Southwest and the Kerrville Folk Festival, and has opened shows for Bob Dylan and other national acts. Hiscurrent release, RIDE, is a collection of songs all having to do with the romance of the American West. Refreshments will be provided.

On Thursday, Sept. 21, at 6:30 p.m., Simsbury-based estate planning and elder law attorney Brendan Daly will explain how the probate process works and the important steps you need to take in order to administer an estate.

Scarecrow Building Party taking place at Simsbury Historical Society

SIMSBURY – The Simsbury Historical Society adds to the Farmington Valley scarecrow population by inviting Valley residents to join them at their annual Scarecrow Building Party, taking place Sept. 23 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The rain date is Sept. 24. The party will be at the Simsbury Historical Society, 800 Hopmeadow St.

On Scarecrow Day, grandparents and their grandchildren, teens, couples, families and Seniors join in the fun of creating their own personalized scarecrows. There are no rules or restrictions.

Life size scarecrow frames are provided for $20 each and can be purchased at the entrance to the SHS campus next to Phelps Tavern. Upon entering the SHS grounds with your frame, you will find mountains of free clothing along with lots of free accessories and straw to make your scarecrow. Select your clothing and accessories, then all it takes is your imagination to create a scary, beautiful, cute, funny, thin or round scarecrow which you can take home to put in your garden, on your deck or patio or at your front door.

Proceeds earned on Scarecrow Day go towards supporting and maintaining the SHS buildings, grounds, educational programs, and the preservation of historical documents and artifacts relating to Simsbury history.

Farmington Valley Chorale begins fall season

SIMSBURY – Farmington Valley Chorale began its fall rehearsal season on Sept. 10. Rehearsals will take place at Simsbury United Methodist Church, 799 Hopmeadow St., at 7 p.m.

In November, the Chorale will perform as guests of the New Britain Symphony Orchestra at CCSU Welte Auditorium. The “Community Sings” event returns during the weekend of Dec. 15 to 17. FVC welcomes new singers. For more information, visit

Wilcox-Bushley Homestead presents grand opening

UNIONVILLE – Party in the Pasture, the grand opening of the Wilcox-Bushley Homestead and Environmental Learning Center, 119 Coppermine Road, will take place Friday, Sept. 15, from 5 to 9 p.m. The evening under the stars features a farm-to-table feast and live music.

On Saturday, Sept. 16, Family Day on the Farm will take place from 1 to 4 p.m. Admission is free of charge, but please register. Come for a fun day of hayrides, face painting and more. Purchase snacks or lunch at the food trucks on the grounds.

On Sunday, Sept. 17, a garden party will take place from 2 to 5 p.m. Enjoy a traditional English high tea and create a lovely flower arrangement with the help of expert Trish Manfredi. Visit to register and to purchase tickets for Friday and Sunday’s events.

Silent book club taking place at Avon Library

AVON – A meeting of the Silent Book Club will take place Monday, Sept. 18, from 5:45 to 6:45 p.m. at the Avon Free Public Library, 281 Country Club Road. The club is for adults and teens in grades 11 and up.

With this book club there’s no pressure to finish an assigned book or have a conversation. Bring your own book or find one while you’re here. There will be silent reading time accompanied by coloring and light refreshments.
Registration is required at

Clothing sale taking place at Church of St. Ann

AVON – A sale of gently used clothing will be held at the Church of St. Ann, 289 Arch Road, on Friday, Sept. 29, from 5 to 7 p.m. ($5 admission) and Saturday, Sept. 30, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. (no admission fee).

Merchandise will be available inside the church hall on Friday evening and both inside and outside (weather permitting) under tents on Saturday. Quality clothing and accessories will be available for men, women, teens, children, and infants at blow-out prices.

Local charity creates new campaign alongside September Hunger Action Month

AVON – September is a time of new beginnings across Connecticut and one non-profit is encouraging the community to embark in a new program to combat food insecurity for local neighbors in need. Gifts of Love, a non-profit organization that provides food, clothing and household items to Connecticut individuals and families facing a financial crisis, announced an innovative campaign that coincides with the beginning of the charity’s 35th year, as well as the start of National Hunger Action Month in September.

The “$35 for 35” appeal aims to engage supporters, both longstanding and new, in commemorating the impressive milestone by making a one time donation of $35.

The “$35 for 35” campaign will run for 35 days, concluding on Oct. 3. Supporters can contribute directly on the organization’s website at Donors will have the option to leave a message of support on a digital tribute wall, receive public acknowledgement on the organization’s social media channels, and read stories of individuals and families who have benefited from Gifts of Love’s programs.

Gifts of Love services 41 towns across Connecticut by offering two fully-stocked food pantries consisting of non-perishable food items, meats, dairy products, frozen items, and fresh produce paper goods, and personal hygiene items; a housewares and small appliances pantry; and a clothing boutique, where clients can come and shop once a month. The organization has locations in Avon and Hartford to make it easy for those in need to access necessary goods and services. It is also on the front lines of fighting childhood hunger with its Weekend Food Backpack Program, during which it distributes backpacks stuffed with easy-to-prepare meals and drinks to more than 300 students each week who are receiving free or reduced-cost lunches throughout the school year.

Later this fall, Gifts of Love hosts its first big fundraising event since 2019: the “Fall in Love” fundraiser, on Friday, Nov. 3, from 6:30 to 10:30 p.m. at Farmington Gardens, featuring music, dancing, photo booth, trivia, live auction, wine pull, mixology demos and specialty cocktails.

Individual tickets are $125 and tables of 10 cost $1,250. Both can be purchased in advance at Customized marketing partnership packages are also available for businesses and organizations, and the charity is currently seeking live auction items.

Contact or call 860-676-2323 for more information or to donate to the “$35 for 35” campaign.

Hartford Book Festival taking place in September

HARTFORD – Hartford Public Library (HPL) is partnering with Hartford’s Literary Integrated Trailblazers (Hartford’s L.I.T / H.L.I.T) to co-host the fifth annual Hartford Book Festival as a three-day event from Sept. 22 to Sept. 25, virtually and in person at Classical Magnet School, 88 Woodland St., and Free Center at 460 New Britain Ave.

Hartford’s L.I.T. is a group of local authors, artists, and entrepreneurs. Their mission is to establish presence and awareness of Greater Hartford’s local authors, diverse artists and entrepreneurs.

The Hartford Book Festival mission is to build community using literary art, serving all people of the Greater Hartford Area. The theme for the 5th Annual Hartford Book Festival 2023 is Literary Badassery! Bold Voices. Strong Words. Families and book lovers can expect the festival to be packed with local and special authors, artists, book stores, workshops, panels, live stage performances, youth activities, open mic, literary highlights, publishers, a multicultural celebration of literature and more. Attendees will also have exclusive access to purchase limited copies of the Hartford’s L.I.T.’s second writing prompt and journal titled “Writing Literary Badassery; Writing Prompts & Journal.”

The three-day event will take place virtually on Friday and in two separate locations Saturday and Sunday. Visit for more information.

Unearthing History webinar series continues

AVON – “Unearthing History: The Discovery of a 12,500 year old Paleo-Indian Site
along the Farmington River in Avon, CT,” the third annual webinar series, continues with
Paleoindian Sites, Site Patterning and Travel Corridors along the Southern Arm of the Champlain Sea on Thursday, Sept. 21, at 7 p.m.

The series was created by the Avon Historical Society, Avon Free Public Library & Avon Senior Center and is sponsored by a grant from the Lower Farmington River and Salmon Brook Wild and Scenic Committee with funding from the National Park Service

This is the fourth presentation of their third annual five-part webinar series “Unearthing History: The Discovery of a 12,500 year old Paleo-Indian Site along the Farmington River in Avon, CT.” The third lecture entitled “Paleoindian Sites, Site Patterning and Travel Corridors along the Southern Arm of the Champlain Sea” will be presented by Jess Robinson, Ph.D., Vermont State Archaeologist, Division for Historic Preservation, Vermont Department of Housing and Community Development.

The free webinar will be held on Thursday, Sept. 21, beginning at 7 p.m. via Zoom through a link from the library. Visit to sign up. To watch the webinars from the 2021-23 series on YouTube, visit To register to attend this event, visit