Category Archives: Seasonal and Holidays
SOUTHBURY, CT—The Easter Bunny has recently announced that he will be hoppin’ down to Arts Escape in Southbury for a visit with the kids after Arts Escape’s Easter egg painting workshop. Instructor Kothy Hafersat will introduce kids and teens to the art of dot painting which will lead to the creation of beautiful works of art on wooden Easter eggs.
The instructor Kothy (not Kathy) is a national educator for three sewing machine companies—Singer, Viking and Pfaff. She is a certified Zentangle instructor, co-owns and runs a pattern company that produces quilt and sewing patterns, and is a professional digitizer for the 6D embroidery software company which is sold to use with today’s embroidery sewing machines. She has been teaching kids and adults for over 30 years.
The class includes three eggs to paint and take home plus a photo with the Easter Bunny after class. Each child will also receive a goody bag. The workshop takes place on Saturday, April 16, 2022 from 10 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. at Arts Escape, 493 Heritage Road, Southbury. The fee for the 2-hour workshop is $25 and the class is limited to 20 students.
Register on Arts Escape’s website by clicking here.
About Arts Escape
Arts Escape is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. Arts Escape encourages engagement in the arts through an extensive range of programs and classes. Our community of adult learners explore the arts in a welcoming and nonjudgmental environment. At Arts Escape, our values and goals support the research that participating in creative activities improves adults’ problem-solving skills, self-esteem, and well-being.
“Arts Escape, where creativity and learning promote well-being.”
DANBURY, CT—After two years of cancellations due to the global pandemic, Danbury’s Irish-Americans are glad to celebrate their Silver Anniversary at the 25th Annual Danbury St. Patrick’s Day Parade. The month-long celebrations kicked off on Sunday, Feb. 20th with their St. Patrick’s Day Parade fundraiser at Molly Darcy’s, followed by the St. Patrick’s Day Ball on Saturday, March 5th. Not even a “bomb cyclone” could stop Danbury and New Fairfield area Irish-Americans from celebrating St. Patrick’s Day at the annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade in New Fairfield (Danbury’s parade will be held on 3/20/22). New Fairfield resident Peter Hearty was presented with a proclamation from State Senator Julie Kushner for his contributions to the town by organizing the 52nd annual New Fairfield St. Patrick’s Day Parade.
Danbury’s Ancient Order of Hibernians and Ladies Ancient Order of Hibernians hold the St. Patrick’s Day Ball annually the first Saturday in March at the Amber Room where they honor the man and woman of the year. This year, Richard Hawley, of Danbury, and Wendy Mitchell, of Brookfield, were named the Hibernians of the Year. Hawley was recognized for his years of fundraising at the annual golf classic and for starting the setback league. Mitchell was recognized for her efforts to raise funds for the club at last year’s “SHAMROCKAPALOOZA” benefit concert, serving as co-chair of the parade for the last five years, and serving as state recording secretary and webmaster, division Catholic Action and publicity officer.
The Greater Danbury Irish Cultural Foundation and the Greater Danbury Irish Cultural Center kicked off their month-long St. Patrick’s Day celebrations with the annual Irish Ball on March 5, 2016. Danbury’s new Mayor Dean Esposito presented Mitchell and Hawley with a proclamation from the City of Danbury for their dedication the mission and helping to preserve Irish culture in the greater Danbury area. Senator Julie Kushner presented a proclamation to both from the State of Connecticut.
The duo will have the distinct honor of leading the City of Danbury’s parade on Sunday, March 20th at 2:00 p.m., along with their fellow Hibernians, Celtic Cross Pipes and Drums Corps, Newtown Horse Guard, Girl Scout and Boy Scout Troops, local politicians and officials, Danbury and surrounding town’s fire departments, Danbury police, and other marching units. The Danbury St. Patrick’s Day Parade is co-chaired this year by Kevin Hearty and Catherine Bach.
The following events are planned for St. Patrick’s Day on Thursday, March 17, 2022:
- 9 a.m. Bethel flag raising, 1 P.T. Barnum Square, Bethel
- 11 a.m. – Mass at St Peter Church, Main St. Danbury with prayers in English and Gaelic
- 12 p.m. – Irish flag raising at Danbury City Hall, Deer Hill Ave. followed by refreshments
- 12:30 p.m. on – Greater Danbury Irish Cultural Center (GDICC), 6 Lake Ave., Danbury, corned beef, cabbage, Shepherd’s pie, Irish soda bread, and refreshments. The GDICC has Guinness and Harp on tap as well as a wide variety of other libations. Local Irish dance schools will perform and live bands Fiddlesuice and Steve O’Tree & Friends will play traditional Irish favorites.
On Saturday, March 19th, Two Roads Brewery is sponsoring a “Tap Takeover” with Tipperary Knights, $5 Two Roads specials, raffles, and more!
The 25th Annual Danbury St. Patrick’s Day Parade will be held this year on Sunday, March 20, 2022. It is being sponsored by Title Sponsor, Townsquare Media Danbury, Platinum Sponsor Mercedes-Benz of Danbury, Gold Sponsor UK Gourmet and Dream Home Realty of CT. The parade steps off at 2 p.m. at Center and Main Street, Danbury in front of St. Peter Church.
Parade Day is Sunday, March 20, 2022:
- 2 p.m. Greater Danbury St. Patrick’s Day parade begins in front of St. Peter Church, Main and Center Streets
- Shuttle buses will begin at 12 p.m. at the Greater Danbury Irish Cultural Center, 6 Lake Ave., Danbury
- Corned beef & cabbage, Shepherd’s pie, Irish soda bread, and refreshments will be sold at the Danbury Irish Club, 6 Lake Ave., Danbury. Local Irish dance schools and live bands will perform traditional Irish favorites.
Questions? Call the club at (203) 739-0010 or email DanburyIrish@gmail.com.
Photo: Wendy Mitchell, 2022 Danbury Lady Hibernian of the Year, Richard Hawley, 2022 Danbury Mens Hibernian of the Year
Photo Credit: Marion Lynott, Irish Flare Photography
What do you get the child who has everything? How about the gift of creativity? A Ridgefield mom and business owner’s unique writing program helps youth in the community to build skills and polish their craft.
“Creativity is intelligence having fun.” ~Albert Einstein
RIDGEFIELD, CT — For a child who is into gaming, the digital world, and other online activities, giving the gift of writing might not sound too appealing. However, when you present it in such a way as Ridgefield Mompreneur Brittney Richardson does, kids will learn through fun which makes it a win-win.
Richardson, the founder of Muse Squad, is launching her youth writing program this January. She designed the creative online course for aspiring young writers to hone their craft in a way that is fun, engaging, and unique. By the end of completing the program, students will have the start of a novel, a short story, or several standalone pieces to put in their writing portfolio.
With Brittney Richardson’s Muse Squad, kids and teens can enjoy the benefits of writing while working with like-minded individuals. Her writing-club based approach enables students to form lasting relationships and help initiate ideas they might not have come up with had they been working alone.
According to kids writing advocate Andrea Bergstein “Statistics show that reading helps develop your writing skills, but writing helps develop your cognitive growth, organizational abilities, and the power to influence others through persuasion. In short, writing powers the brain.”
She continues, “Studies show that children who practice creative writing more often are generally better in other subjects too like math, science, and languages. Challenging themselves to come up with creative thoughts and problem solve, builds the confidence and discipline students need to succeed in all areas of life.”
In the winter program Richardson said that she intends to “pass on the literary techniques and wisdom of outstanding teachers while demonstrating several of my own unique strategies for generating inspiration. I can say firsthand, that the people I met in workshops during grad school, were some of the most gifted individuals I’ve ever come across, and I found mentors in my instructors.”
Miss Brittney’s interactive teaching method and imaginative writing prompts will foster creativity and help tweens and teens find their literary voice. Each class has an original theme and allows time for students to read their work aloud.
To sign up for the program, visit the Muse Squad website by clicking here.
A Ridgefield mom and business owner tells the story of how her unique writing program helps youth in the community to hone their craft.
RIDGEFIELD, CT — Our Small Business Spotlight shines a light on local businesses that we may not know that well. This feature highlights Ridgefield Mompreneur Brittney Richardson who is the founder of the newly launched Muse Squad, a youth writing program.
To a beginning writer, finding a time and place to channel creativity is key. With that in mind, Brittney Richardson designed the online course for aspiring young writers. By the end of completing her unique program, Richardson said, students should have the start of a novel, a short story, or several standalone pieces to put in their writing portfolio.
- Business: Muse Squad
- Owner: Brittney Richardson
- Website: https://musesquad.godaddysites.com
- Address: Virtual/Ridgefield
How did you come up with the name?
Coming up with a name was a bit of a process. I wanted it to appeal to kids without being childish, and it was very important to draw in all genders. My incredibly talented husband did the logo.
Why start a business in this town?
We moved to Ridgefield five years ago, and obviously, fell in love with the town. I was researching creative writing for kids and couldn’t find much in our area. That’s when I got the idea for the program. I’ve always loved kids, and I’ve always loved writing. I knew that if something like this was offered when I was a teen, I definitely would’ve been a part of it!
What business are you in?
I think of Muse Squad as more of a writing club than a business. That being said, I intend to pass on and make accessible, the literary techniques and wisdom of outstanding teachers. I also plan to demonstrate several of my own unique strategies for generating inspiration. I can say firsthand, that the people I met in workshops during grad school, were some of the most gifted individuals I’ve ever come across, and I found mentors in my instructors. So why not offer this experience sooner than college?
What’s the most difficult moment or challenge you’ve faced as a business owner?
Writing is kind of a niche hobby for middle schoolers, because it doesn’t really become mainstream until they get older. But that doesn’t mean kids this age aren’t just as talented or creative as students in MFA programs. The most difficult challenge is having to do this online, rather than in person like I was intending. There is a certain energy when a group of creative people are in a room together, and I will do my best to achieve this same experience in a virtual world.
Were there any challenges that made you second guess your decision to be an entrepreneur?
I consider myself more of a tireless writer, and an advocate of kids. So no, I never second guessed it. Once I came up with the idea, I had to follow through.
What’s been your proudest achievement since opening?
The overwhelmingly positive feedback I have received, and the anticipation of our winter launch, which begins January 27th, 2022.
How does your business give back or get involved in the community?
I hope Muse Squad can be the start of a local community for young writers. This innovative class is not about graded assignments; it’s about honing your craft. My goal is to run meetings where kids can tune into their creativity and bounce ideas off their peers. This program will give
anyone who joins a chance to showcase their ability and express their point of view, and supply them with the space, tools, and confidence to explore their artistry.
Photo: Brittney Richardson.
Muse Squad business logo by Brian Richardson.
“EGG” Your Friends This Easter with a Custom Lawn Sign Package or a Unique Gift Basket from Salutations Custom Greetings!
FAIRFIELD COUNTY, CT—A local mom has created a new business that’s geared towards helping children and families celebrate the holidays, birthdays, and other special occasions while still remaining socially distant. What started as ‘Veggie-Grams” this past summer, Advent deliveries for local church kids this past Christmas, as well as sympathy, birthday, get well, and general pick-me-up baskets had one entrepreneur thinking that this surprise greeting is a welcome idea during difficult times.
Salutations Custom Greetings was born out of the owner, Wendy Mitchell’s idea to bring her vegetable surplus to family and friends during the early months of the quarantine during the COVID-19 pandemic. It then turned into customized cards and gift baskets for her family who she could not visit due to lockdown, and packages for her friends and neighbors. This past month, Wendy she created a highly successful “You’ve Been SHAMROCKED!” fundraiser at a nonprofit where she volunteers and soon after decided to launch her own business.
The business is a women-owned, mother-daughter venture in which Wendy’s 20-year-old apprentice, Ruby Mitchell, helps with buying, packing, delivering, and shipping packages. Ruby said, “I’ve worked with my mom for the last few years with her kids events and I’m a creative person so this is something that’s fun for me to do. Plus aI can go to school [at WestConn] and help out with this when I have my free time. I think it’s a great idea and people really seem to like the baskets. We have ones for pet owners too!”
All food items are from U.S.A. Mom & Pop businesses whose quality and safety standards are second to none.
Salutations Custom Greetings, states on their social media pages that they are “Super EGG-cited” to bring their very FIRST lawn sign/gift basket offering to the local community….”You’ve Been EGGED!” is an Easter lawn sign package that brings the holiday spirit from your hearts to your loved ones’ homes.
Those who purchase the package(s) can surprise their kids, friends, teachers, a local hero, and/or loved ones with a colorful lawn decoration set that says, “You’ve Been EGGED!” The package includes a festive lawn sign with two egg smaller Easter signs, a dozen candy-filled eggs and a personalized poem. Additional offerings include a gourmet Easter candy basket with gourmet chocolate-peanut butter bunnies, chocolate-dipped Peeps, chocolate covered Oreos and more. Another option is a candy-free toys only basket that includes a mini sketch journal, colored pencils, bubbles, sidewalk chalk and a cute pink, purple, or blue stuffed bunny.
While Salutations Custom Greetings’ website is under construction, they’re asking you to HOP on over to their Eventbrite page to peruse their one-of-a-kind gifts and goodies. Order by clicking here before they’re all sold out!
QUESTIONS? Call, text, or email (203) 501-7424 SalutationsCustomGreetings@gmail.com.
DANBURY, CT—Almost a year since their last St. Patrick’s Day Parade and events were canceled due to COVID-19, the Greater Danbury Irish Cultural Center (GDICC) has opened at limited capacity and is ramping back up with a smaller-scale, safety-conscious St. Patrick’s Day. This year’s normally month-long “most wonderful time of the year” for the Hibernians, will be held online via Facebook live stream and in-person with a limited number in attandance.
In partnership with the Greater Danbury Irish Cultural Foundation (GDICF), the Greater Danbury Irish Cultural Center (GDICC) Board has planned an in-person and a live-stream St. Patrick’s Day with curbside pick-up and live music with limited attendance due to Covid safety regulations.
In addition to the 2020 and 2021 parade cancellations, last year’s Danbury Irish Festival cancellation, and the nixing of this year’s St. Patrick’s Day Ball all due to COVID, the Foundation and Fundraising Committee has come up with two unique fundraising activities to bring the spirit of the Emerald Isle from their hearts to your homes.
The first of these is the Irish Breakfast Basket fundraiser. For just $40, the Irish Breakfast Basket (bag) includes one pound each of fresh, top-quality bacon, sausage, pudding, brown bread, and a selection of yummy products from the fine folks at Kerrygold USA. Order online here. The order deadline is March 8, 2021. Order pickup is curbside at the GDICC, 6 Lake Ave. Danbury on Saturday, March 13 between 12 – 5 p.m.
The second fundraiser is “You’ve Been SHAMROCKED!” which is a fun way to decorate your front lawn or surprise your friends. For only $20, you can deck your lawn or nominate a health care worker, teacher, school employee, a local hero, and shamrock them as your way to say “THANK YOU” for their selfless service during Covid!
Each lawn decorating package includes 1 lawn sign, 7 lucky shamrocks, 3 balloons* (colors of the Irish flag), ribbon, a “pot” of GOLD in the form of gold-foil-wrapped chocolates, and a poem. Order now through 3/17 (or until they sell out). Order online here or complete an order form at the GDICC – ask the bartender for a form. Checks for $20 are payable to “GDICF. Order pickup is curbside at the GDICC, 6 Lake Ave. Danbury, on Saturday, March 5, and Sunday, March 6 between 12 p.m. – 6 p.m.
Both fundraisers benefit the Greater Danbury Irish Cultural Foundation, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. For more information, email DanburyIrish@gmail.com.
On St.Patrick’s Day, Wednesday, March 17th, corned beef will be available for take-out and curbside pick-up. Plans are still being finalized for in-person St. Patrick’s Day celebrations at the club. For the most up-to-date information, check the GDICC’s Facebook page.
Photo credit: Sean MacEntee via Flickr Creative Commons
DANBURY, CT— Young Danbury area actors are invited to join the the GDICF Theatre Troupe‘s Open House on Saturday, Sept. 7th from 10am-12pm at the GDICC, 6 Lake Ave., Danbury. There will be free face painting, coloring, theater games, snacks and FUN!
Children who sign up for the 12-week session at the Open House get 10% off each student. If a child can not attend the Open House on Sept, 7, they can still register with the discount by signing up before Sept. 28, 2019, the day of the first class.
The fall mini production is a Dia de Los Muertos theme with songs from the popular Disney movie “Coco” on Saturday, Oct, 27, 2019 at 12 p.m. The winter play is on Saturday, Dec. 7, 2019 at 2 p.m. and is called “Christmas Around the World.” Classes are on Saturday mornings from 10-11:30 a.m. at the GDICC, 6 Lake Ave. Danbury and is for ages 3-12.
All productions are 100% original, written directed and produced by “Miss Wendy” Mitchell who specializes in teaching beginner’s theater classes. Wendy has her Head Teacher Certification in Early Childhood Education through the State of Connecticut and over 20 years of experience teaching youth theater, preschool and working as a daycare director. Each child is taught at their own pace and kids of all skill levels are welcomed and embraced.
All proceeds from the winter show go to benefit the Greater Danbury Irish Cultural Foundation, a 501(c)3 nonprofit, a charity that helps those in need in the community. In addition, we also hold a toy drive for Family & Children’s Aid the day of the winter show.
The GDICF Children’s Theater Troupe teaches kids that they can use their gifts and talents to help those in need in their community.
Questions? Call, text or email Miss Wendy: Wendyannmitchell@Live.com (203) 501-7424.
Photo by Therese Beck via Flickr Creative Commons
Danbury Area Children’s Theater Open House Includes Free Face Painting, Theater Games & Fun: Saturday, Sept. 7th
DANBURY, CT—A local children’s theater troupe is inviting area children to come out to their fun and free children’s theater open house with the Danbury Youth Theater Troupe this Saturday, from 10 a.m. until 12 p.m. at the Greater Danbury Irish Cultural Center, 6 Lake Ave., Danbury, Conn. The event includes free face painting, theater games, arts and crafts, refreshments, and a meet and greet with the teachers.
Led by theater director Mrs. Wendy Mitchell, the theater classes encourage self-expression for children ages 3 – 12 years old in a safe, nurturing environment while educating kids about Irish folklore and various cultures. All productions are 100% original, written directed and produced by “Miss Wendy,” as the kids call her, who specializes in teaching beginner’s theater classes.
Miss Wendy has her Head Teacher Certification in Early Childhood Education and over 20 years of experience teaching theater, preschool and working as a daycare director. Each child is taught at their own pace and kids of all skill levels are welcomed and embraced!.
Students who sign up for the musical theater fall/winter 10-week session on the day of the open house will save 10%! The 10-week session is $150/student with a 10% sibling discount. Classes begin on Saturday, Sept. 28 and run each Saturday from 10-11:30 a.m. through Sat. Dec. 7, the day of their big show.
A free mini-production of “Wandering in the Willows” will be held at their Halloween blacklight GLOW party on Sun. Oct. 26th at 12 p.m. Songs from the popular movie “Coco” will be the backdrop for this colorful, engaging production.
The winter production of “Christmas Around the World” will be held on Sat Dec. 7th with a dress rehearsal on Fri. Dec. 6th. Tickets are $12 for adults and $6 for kids 3+up. All proceeds from the winter show go to benefit the Greater Danbury Irish Cultural Foundation, a 501(c)3 nonprofit, a charity that helps those in need in our community. In addition, we also hold a toy drive for Family & Children’s Aid the day of the winter show.
The youth theater company is community-minded and teach kids that they can use their gifts and talents to help those in need in their community. The weekly theater classes are for kids ages 3-12 years old. Siblings and friends are welcome and encouraged.
Questions? Call, text or email Miss Wendy: wendyannmitchell@Live.com (203) 501-7424.
DANBURY, CT — Dozens of marching units, thousands of spectators, and even a visit from Lady Liberty made Monday, May 27, 2019, a picture-perfect day to honor the brave men and women who fought for our nation’s freedom. Photographer Al Robinson of My Left Nutmeg captured the colorful spirit and diverse culture of the City of Danbury beautifully in the photos below. Thank you to all the brave men and women, our country’s true heroes, for your selfless service.
Photos: Al Robinson, My Left Nutmeg