Yankee Magazine Names Local Connecticut Establishments to 2014 “Editors’ Choice” List
Call ahead to confirm dates, times, and admission prices. The “Top 20 Events” in Connecticut according to Yankee Magazine, include:MAY 3: SOMERS, New England Regional Chili Cookoff. The International Chili Society (yes, there is such an organization) sanctions the cookoff at this benefit for the local fire department, held at Pleasant View Golf Center. A hot-pepper and hot-wings eating contest, good music, fine foods, and a few surprises await. chilict.com
MAY 9–10: FARMINGTON, May Market. The annual plant and craft emporium brings 65-plus exhibitors to the beautifully landscaped grounds of Hill-Stead Museum. Discover hard-to-find perennials, hints from master gardeners, gardening and cooking demonstrations, fine artisanal wares, kids’ activities, and more. 860-677-4787; hillstead.org
MAY 24–JUNE 8: GUILFORD, Robin Hood Spring-time Festival. All the Faire’s a stage at the local fairgrounds, with jousting knights, belly dancers, fire-eaters, acrobats, musicians, and more. Shop the Olde World marketplace for unique artisanal wares ranging from clothing and housewares to toys and collectibles. A fine array of food choices, too. Show up in costume if the mood strikes. 860-478-5954; robinhoodsfaire.com
MAY 30–JUNE 15: OLD LYME, Florence Griswold Museum GardenFest. Known as the “Home of American Impressionism,” the museum delights families even more than usual on this particular weekend, with activities for all ages, featuring special events, tours of the historic garden, demonstrations, and more. 860-434-5542; flogris.org
JUNE 6–8: DANBURY, The Greek Experience. Enjoy traditional dancing, games, raffles, and kids’ activities, plus the ever-so-popular fine Greek foods and pastries—souvalaki, gyros, lamb, baklava, and more. Held at Assumption Greek Orthodox Church, with parking at the local high school and a free shuttle bus to the festivities. 203-748-2992; agoc.us
JUNE 7: LITCHFIELD, Gallery on the Green. Visit the town green and support both the Junior Women’s Club of Litchfield Hills in their fundraising efforts and the more than 70 juried artists presenting exceptional works. Tempting food offerings, a silent auction, and kids’ activities, too. jwclitchfieldhills.org
JUNE 7–8: HARWINTON, Antiques & Design Weekend. The fairgounds will be abuzz with some 200 vendors offering 18th- and 19th-century wares and 20th-century design items, all at a variety of price points. Enjoy mingling with design professionals and knowledgeable collectors. 317-601-5285; farmingtonantiquesweekend.com
JUNE 7–8: WEST HARTFORD, Celebrate! West Hartford. Engage with business and civic leaders, and enjoy local foods, arts, and entertainment. This outdoor event features 170-plus fine artisans exhibiting wares at a juried show on the town hall green, plus carnival rides, gourmet cuisine, festival food favorites, nonprofit and business exhibits, and more. 860-561-7512; celebratewesthartford.com
JUNE 12–15: MYSTIC, 35th Sea Music Festival. Mystic Seaport presents performers from around the globe, all carrying on the classic musical traditions of the Golden Age of Sail. Enjoy concerts, special kids’ shows, and instructional workshops, plus experience sea music aboard the museum’s historic vessels. Check the Web site for concert times and ticket information. 860-572-0711; mysticseaport.org
JUNE 14–15: Monroe, Strawberry Festival. Monroe Congregational Church presents a fun-filled weekend featuring more than 75 juried exhibitors, including local artists, plus kids’ games, love entertainment, and delicious strawberry pie, shortcake, and more. mcc-uss.org
JUNE 21–29: HARTFORD, Hartford Blooms Garden Tour. For eight days the city’s spectacular gardens and historic architecture are on display. Tours visit both public and private gardens, and conclude at the iconic Butler–McCook House & Garden, where visitors may peruse the plantings and homestead and enjoy refreshments, live music, and “en plein air” artists’ works. hartfordblooms.org
JUNE 27–SEPT. 7: EAST HADDAM, “Fiddler on the Roof.” This international smash hit makes its début at the venerable Goodspeed Opera House, featuring the beloved songs “If I Were a Rich Man,” “Matchmaker,” and more. Enjoy a summer’s evening in the historic theatre. 860-873-8668; goodspeed.org
JULY 5–6: NIANTIC, Arts & Craft Show & 36th Annual Lobsterfest. Delicious food and select artworks combine for a wonderful weekend on the grounds of Niantic Town Hall. Enjoy fresh lobster, BBQ chicken, corn on the cob, hot dogs, burgers, curly fries, ice cream, and more, in tandem with the Lions Club’s 54th juried arts and craft show. 860-739-2805; nianticlions.org
JULY 11–13: NEW LONDON, Sailfest. Visit scenic Waterfront Park for a supersized celebration that spills into the downtown streets with more than 200 vendors, fantastic fireworks, Tall Ships viewing, amusement rides, and free live entertainment featuring a variety of musical genres. sailfestnl.org
JULY 12–27: NEW BRITAIN, Nutmeg State Games. The state’s largest amateur multisport event is hosted at various venues, depending on the activity, within the city or nearby. Cheer on the athletes, ages 6 to 18, as they compete in some 25 different sporting events. 860-788-7041; nutmegstategames.org
JULY 19–20: WESTPORT, 41st Fine Arts Festival. 140-plus juried artisans present oils, ceramics, photography, sculpture, jewelry, and more along the picturesque Saugatuck River. Enjoy live music and street performances, while the kids delve into hands-on craft activities. 203-505-8716; westportfineartsfestival.com
JULY 31–AUGUST 3: NORTH BRANFORD, Potato & Corn Festival. In honor of starchy veggies, the hayfield at the Augur Property turns into a midway, with rides and dozens of food and craft vendors. Bring the kids and enjoy potato-sack races, corn-shucking contests, tractor pulls, live music, a classic-car show, and some mighty fine baked potatoes and roasted corn. nbpotatofest.com
AUGUST 9–10: MYSTIC, Outdoor Art Festival. Some 250 fine artists are selected to participate, exhibiting oils, watercolors, photography, pastels, sculptures, and acrylics, while an additional 60 craftsmen present artisanal works for sale. Enjoy delectable food offerings, kids’ activities, and more in the historic downtown. 860-572-9578; mysticchamber.org
AUGUST 16–17: HARTFORD, Riverfront Dragon Boat & Asian Festival. The downtown riverfront makes for premier dragon-boat racing. Enjoy viewing the heat of competition from Mortenson Riverfront Plaza as some 70 teams participate. dragonboathartford.com
AUGUST 21–24: AUGUST 21–24: BROOKLYN, Brooklyn Fair. It’s all here at the fairgrounds of the area’s oldest agricultural show: tempting foods, livestock, midway, entertainment, arts and crafts, and contests. Bring the family—there’s something for all ages. 860-779-0012; brooklynfair.org.
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Please Note: This article was accurate at the time of publication. When planning a trip, please confirm details by directly contacting any company or establishment you intend to visit.