<![CDATA[NBC Connecticut - Dining, shopping and nightlife]]> Copyright 2015 http://www.nbcconnecticut.com/entertainment/the-scene http://media.nbcbayarea.com/designimages/NBC_Connecticut.png NBC Connecticut http://www.nbcconnecticut.com en-us Mon, 27 Apr 2015 09:47:52 -0400 Mon, 27 Apr 2015 09:47:52 -0400 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Quassy Amusement Park Opens for 107th Season]]> Sat, 25 Apr 2015 17:18:53 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/frantic+opening+1200.jpg

Thrill seekers and ride and game lovers celebrated the opening of the amusement park portion of Quassy Amusement & Waterpark for the season Saturday.

The Middlebury park kicked off its 107th season, inviting guests to try its newest thrill ride called Frantic, which spins guests 360 degrees and flips them high above the ground. The new bumper cars for kids were also revealed to the public.

The family-friendly amusement park promises fun for all ages. According to the Quassy website, “The park features more than two-dozen rides and attractions, setting the stage for an interactive day of family fun.”

The Splash Away Bay waterpark and Quassy Beach are scheduled to open on May 23. 


 



Photo Credit: Quassy Amusement & Waterpark]]>
<![CDATA[Meriden Daffodil Festival Kicks Off This Weekend]]> Sat, 25 Apr 2015 11:21:53 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/DaffodilFestivalPic00000000.jpg The daffodils are in full bloom at Hubbard Park and there's a weekend of free family fun ahead.]]> <![CDATA[Eat Like The Louisville Locals Do]]> Fri, 24 Apr 2015 11:54:16 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/214*120/Screen+Shot+2015-04-22+at+2.49.06+PM.png Chef Edward Lee gives us a tour of some authentic Kentucky Derby food and drink. We visit Wagner's Pharmacy, Muth's Candy and Milkwood Restaurant.]]> <![CDATA[Pulitzer Target Line Sparks Frenzy]]> Mon, 20 Apr 2015 12:15:08 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/lilly+pulitzer+for+target.jpg

Lilly Pulitzer's highly anticipated Target collection debut led to disappointment for many shoppers.

For many fans, the Sunday release was filled more with long lines, empty racks and website problems than purchases of the colorfully printed products.

The much-hyped collection was slated to go on sale early Sunday morning, but some online users reported problems with Target’s website. On top of the extreme online traffic, stores across the nation saw large crowds and long lines, with some selling out entirely in just a few minutes.

By Sunday afternoon, Target said products online were nearly sold out.

Target said the response to the debut was “nothing short of remarkable” both online and in stores, but heavy traffic caused slowness on the site that resulted in “an inconsistent experience for our guests.”

The Minneapolis-based company apologized for any disappointment the website troubles caused, but noted the site did not crash. Instead, the company said it took the collection offline for 15-20 minutes to “manage traffic to the site.”

“We took several measures throughout the morning to manage the extreme traffic levels and make the collection accessible to our guests,” the company said in a statement.

The company said it does not plan to replenish the limited-edition collection’s products online or in stores, a move that left many customers disappointed.

The fan frenzy gave several stores a Black Friday feel and had many taking to Twitter using the hashtag #LillyPulitzerforTarget.

Target, which said it would not apologize for items selling out quickly, did address fan frustration as items appeared on eBay for increased prices.

"Seeing items on online auctions reinforces that this collaboration is resonating with customers," the company said in a statement. "Items are becoming collector's items. However, it's disheartening to Target as a brand. Target does these collaborations to make designers available to people at a great price. Putting items on EBay takes away from the entire spirit of the program."
 



Photo Credit: Target.com
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<![CDATA[Heidi Voight Ties for First in Ballroom Dancing Competition]]> Sun, 19 Apr 2015 13:59:32 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Heidi+Voight+Ballroom+Dancing+1200.jpg

NBC Connecticut traffic reporter Heidi Voight keeps you updated on traffic while you're on the move to work weekday mornings and on Saturday night she showed off her moves on the dance floor as she and dance partner Todd Russell tied for first at CRIS Radio's Dancing with the Stars competition in Hartford.

"It was a lifelong dream come true. I have always wanted to learn to dance, but growing up in a single parent family of five kids, we couldn't afford lessons or dance shoes -- we were just trying to make ends meet and keep food on the table," Voight said. "It wasn't possible in my reality then. So to have this opportunity all these years later... it's very emotional for me. My childhood dream came true, even if for just one night."

The friendly ballroom dancing competition was part of CRIS Radio's fifth annual Dining & Dancing in the Dark event at The Bond Ballroom on Asylum Street in Hartford. The event raised money for the radio station, which is Connecticut's only radio reading service for the disabled and visually-impaired.

Voight and Russell scored a perfect 10 from all the judges to tie for first place and earn the Mirror Ball trophy.

"Learning to dance was a challenge that took me outside my comfort zone. It was harder than I thought it would be, but for the same reason, even more rewarding. And every time I felt nervous or overwhelmed I would think about what those who are blind have to deal with on a daily basis, navigating a world that assumes everyone can see," Voight said. "I am friends with several veterans who lost their eyesight to IED blasts in Afghanistan and Iraq. They have had to relearn how to do everything without sight - from tiny things we take for granted like putting toothpaste on a toothbrush, to learning how to use a white cane or guide dog to be able to travel independently again. Dancing seems easy in comparison."

Voight competed against WFSB reporters Jill Konopka and Evan White, WFSB news anchor Mark Zinni, Hartford Deputy Treasurer Carmen Sierra and Marilyn Alverio, founding producer of Latinas & Power Symposium and vice president of marketing for Camelo Communication before judges Mary Ellen Fillo, the Java columnist for the Hartford Courant, Floyd Green, vice president and head of community relations and urban marketing at Aetna, Fox CT and CBS Radio Hartford chief meteorologist Joe Furey and Heather Leydon, a professional ballroom dancer and instructor, according to the event flyer. WFSB meteorologist and Better Connecticut co-host Scot Haney emceed the event.

Voight and Russell tied with Alverio.

"My partner Todd Russell (owner of Arthur Murray Vernon) was absolutely brilliant - so patient, kind and easy to learn from," Voight said. "And I discovered for myself why so many people fall in love with ballroom dance. It's a throwback to another time when men were gentle men and women were ladies. And it's an incredible stress release. There were plenty of days I would come into the dance studio carrying stress, and by the end of the lesson I'd be laughing and smiling and feeling refreshed. When you're dancing, you forget all your troubles. It forces you to be truly and completely in the present, and that something that's rare in our busy lives."

Eight to the Bar also played music and New Britain Arthur Murray studio professional ballroom dancers performed, according to the event flyer.

Guests were encouraged to wear "groovy" 1970s outfits and were asked to donate $100 to the radio station, according to the event notice. They were served a three-course dinner as they watched the dancing.



Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story on our mobile site.]]>
<![CDATA[Food Truck Festival]]> Sat, 18 Apr 2015 12:25:48 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Meriden+Food+Truck+Fest+Hush+Puppies+1200.jpg Thousands are expected at Meriden's Food Truck Festival at Hubbard Park April 18-19, 2015.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com]]>
<![CDATA[Food Truck Festival Comes to Meriden This Weekend]]> Sat, 18 Apr 2015 13:26:11 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/food-truck-generic-1.jpg

Thousands of people are expected to spend the day outside at Meriden's Hubbard Park where dozens of vendors took part in a food truck festival.

Bobby B’s was among the 25 food trucks that are participating in the weekend event. They started the morning serving breakfast sandwiches and switched over to hush puppies for the lunch crowd.

"We got bacon, onion, cheddar or black bean, corn, cilantro with pepper jack cheese,” said Renee Brenckman of Bobby B’s.

And at Dee's Flavors, you'll find something cooking up for everyone.

"We have fried dough for the kids. We have fried Oreos for the kids. We have apple fritters. We also have the Spanish rice with beans, the Spanish pork," said Mike McCollough of Dee’s Flavors.

This is the first time the park has hosted a food truck festival on the weekend before its huge Daffodil Festival.

Organizers hope this helps build appetites for the main event next weekend.

"We looked at what's new and different and the food truck thing is taking off around the country and we said let's try it here at the Daffodil Festival so we did it," said Mark Zebora, the chairman of the Daffodil Festival.

You'll also find all sorts of hot dogs, corned beef and Reuben's, grilled cheese and just about anything else you might be craving at the family friendly festival.

The festival runs until 7 p.m. Saturday night and from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Sunday.

More information can be found on the event’s Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/events/1563478880575261/?ref=3&ref_newsfeed_story_type=regular&feed_story_type=17)

Here are the food trucks expected to be at the festival:

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<![CDATA[Ben & Jerry's Unveils Ice Cream Burrito]]> Fri, 17 Apr 2015 15:38:21 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/ben-jerry-ice-cream-burrito.jpg

Cup, cone or burrito?

Ben & Jerry's is unveiling a new ice cream burrito, its new treat that splits the difference between a sundae and a waffle cone.

The Vermont-based ice cream company will now serve you any two flavors of ice cream tucked into a chewy waffle wrap and topped with fudge and cookie crumbs — just in time for April 20.

The company not-so-subtly timed the treats to the unofficial pothead holiday, promising it will cure "the ultimate case of the munchies."

Thursday, Ben & Jerry's unveiled another new concoction: A special release beer called Salted Caramel Brownie Brown Ale brewed in collaboration with New Belgium Brewing. It's described as a brown ale laden with chocolatey, salted caramel, vanilla goodness. 

Some of the proceeds from sales of the beer will go to an environmental group fighting the effect of climate change on mountains. More details will be released later this year.



Photo Credit: Courtesy of Ben & Jerry's
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<![CDATA[ Ben & Jerry's, Craft Brewer Team Up for Ice Cream-Flavored Beer]]> Thu, 16 Apr 2015 14:51:39 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/193*120/benjerrybeer1.jpg

If you have a taste for beer and ice cream, you might like Ben & Jerry's latest offering.

This fall, Vermont's Ben & Jerry's and New Belgium Brewing out of Colorado will begin selling a special release beer called Salted Caramel Brownie Brown Ale. It's described as a brown ale laden with chocolatey, salted caramel, vanilla goodness. 

The brew will come in 22 ounce bottles and contain 6.3 percent alcohol.

"We’re big fans of New Belgium Brewery, their values, and their fun culture, and of course their beer," said Jay Curley, senior global marketing manager of Ben & Jerry’s. "We’re excited for the campaign we’ve developed together."

Some of the proceeds from sales of the beer will go to an environmental group fighting the effect of climate change on mountains. More details will be released later this year.



Photo Credit: New Belgium Brewing]]>
<![CDATA["Lincoln and the Jews": Exhibit Explores President's Push for Equality ]]> Wed, 15 Apr 2015 12:09:47 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/LincolnsLastHoursCROPPED.jpg

Books, museums and movies examining Abraham Lincoln's legacy have long focused on his role in emancipating American slaves in 1863.

But now, one new exhibit is highlighting the 16th president's commitment to fostering equality and acceptance for the nation's Jewish community. 

“Lincoln and the Jews," staged by The New York Historical Society to mark the 150th anniversary of the end of the Civil War and Lincoln’s assassination, documents Lincoln’s relationship with Jews and details the expansion of the Jewish population in America, which coincided with the famed leader's emergence onto the national political stage.

The number of Jews living in the U.S. grew from just 3,000 when Lincoln was born in 1809 to more than 150,000 at the time of his assassination in 1965, according to "Lincoln and the Jews: A History," the 2015 book that inspired the exhibit. While many in America treated the Jewish community as "second-class citizens and religious outsiders" in the face of the demographic shift, the book argues, Lincoln "exhibited precisely the opposite tendency." 

“When we think of Lincoln's embrace of humanity writ large we tend to think of his advocacy of freedom for African Americans, and his friendship with Frederick Douglass,” Dr. Louise Mirrer, president and CEO of the New-York Historical Society, said. “But this exhibition shows that Lincoln's embrace included American Jews in the face of extreme anti-Semitism."

The exhibit, a collaboration with The Shapell Manuscript Foundation, opens with a wall quote by Lincoln, who in a public letter dated May 17, 1855 protests restrictions on immigration.

“I have some little notoriety for commiserating with the oppressed condition of the negro; and I should be strangely inconsistent if I could favor curtailing the existing rights of white men, even though born in different lands, and speaking different languages from myself," he wrote.

Personal and signed letters, portraits, paintings and artifacts bring to life Lincoln's stories.

One such personal letter is from Lincoln to Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton, dated Nov. 4, 1862.

In the letter, Lincoln notes to Stanton, “I believe we have not yet appointed a Hebrew" and informs him that he is appointing C.M. Levy – the son-in-law of Rabbi Morris Raphall of Congregation B’nai Jeshurun, a well-known Orthodox Jew in New York – “Assistant Quarter Master, with the rank of Captain." Lincoln describes the candidate as “a capable and faithful man.”

Lincoln’s Jewish friends, including Julius Hammerslough, Henry Greenbaum and Abraham Jonas, are also profiled as patrons throughout the exhibit. In one letter, the president calls Jonas, a Jewish lawyer whom Lincoln met in 1843, "one of my most valued friends.”

Grace Oh, a junior at Roslyn High School who was exploring the exhibit as an extra credit assignment," said she found the relationships highlighted in the exhibit enlightening.

“It’s not talked about as much,” she said. "I never knew that Lincoln was [as] supportive of Jews."

While Civil-War savvy visitors may be familiar with Lincoln’s Jewish friendships, Mirrer said, she’s not surprised to hear those reactions. In fact, that's part of the exhibit's goal. 

“I would also hope that by recalling, as this exhibition does, Lincoln—whose assassination shattered the nation's spirit at the very moment it began to taste victory and the return of peace—visitors will be reminded of the causes for which Lincoln lived and died, and by which his countrymen should live henceforth,” she said.

The exhibit runs in New York through June 7 before traveling to the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum in Springfield, Illinois.



Photo Credit: Chicago History Museum, ICHI-524]]>
<![CDATA[Tax Day Freebies and Discounts]]> Wed, 15 Apr 2015 16:28:27 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/AP0910251102942.jpg

Wednesday is the deadline for filing income tax returns, a day long associated with the dread of rushing to fill out complicated forms and, perhaps, making a payment to Uncle Sam.

But don't let Tax Day get your down. There are a number of freebies you can cash in on.

The most practical of all tax season freebies is the IRS' Free File program, which allows those who have an adjusted gross income of $58,000 or less to file for free through the agency's website.

Once you have Uncle Sam squared away, you can reward yourself with some Tax Day freebies:

Office Depot is offering two pounds of free document shredding. Staples will do the same for up to five pounds of documents.

Meanwhile, the stressed and the overworked can claim a free massage at participating Hydromassage locations.

Now that you have worked up an appetite, you can enjoy one -- or all -- of the following food freebies:

Boston Market: Buy One Individual Meal and Get One Individual Meal FREE

Bruegger’s Bagels: Big Bagel Bundles are just $10.40 – a $3.50 deduction.

California Tortilla: Free Chips and Quesos.

Great American Cookie: Free Regular Sugar Cookie.

Hard Rock Cafe: Free meal for tax paying singers.

KFC: FREE red velvet cake with the purchase of a 10-piece (or larger) family meal.

McDonald’s: Buy one Big Mac or Quarter Pounder with Cheese and get one for a penny.

Pizza Hut: Visit pizzareturn.com for a chance to win Pizza Hut gift cards.

Schlotzsky’s: One free small The Original sandwich with the purchase of a 32 oz. drink and a bag of chips.

If you want to use your refund to get away from it all (well, maybe just away from your house if you live in D.C.), some area hotels are offering discounts and freebies for Tax Day.

Marriott: Anyone who books a room on marriott.com can get 25 percent off the chain's best weekend rate for hotels in Washington, D.C. and Arlington from May 2 until Sept. 8.

Kimpton: You will get "The Procrastinator" cocktail for free at Kimpton's 12 hotels in D.C., Alexandria and Baltimore if you can show that you've sent in your taxes.



Photo Credit: AP
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<![CDATA[Ben and Jerry's to Hand Out Ice Cream for Free Cone Day]]> Tue, 14 Apr 2015 10:35:49 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/ben-jerry-ice-cream.jpg

What's better on a spring day than free ice cream? 

Ben & Jerry's will be giving away ice cream for Free Cone Day on Tuesday.

You can get your free, tasty treat from noon until 8 p.m. at several locations in Connecticut.

The cones will be handed out on a first-come, first-served basis.

There are Ben & Jerry's locations at:

  • 5 1/2 South Main in West Hartford
  • 110 Albany Turnpike, Shoppes at Farmington Valley, in Canton
  • 978 Main Street in Branford
  • 1 Mohegan Sun Boulevard, Mohegan Sun Casino Complex, Space C130 in Uncasville

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<![CDATA[Tim McGraw to Perform Concert for Sandy Hook Promise]]> Mon, 13 Apr 2015 13:24:43 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/rodeo20158.jpg

Country singer Tim McGraw will be performing a special concert in Connecticut this summer and all of the proceeds will be going to Sandy Hook Promise, an organization founded in the wake of the school shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut in 2012.

Sandy Hook Promise is close to McGraw’s heart.

“Out of this tragedy a group was formed that made a promise to honor the lives lost and turn it into a moment of transformation,” McGraw in a statement. “Sandy Hook Promise teaches that we can do something to protect our children from gun violence. I want to be a part of that promise – as a father and as a friend.”

Dean Brown, the fiddle player in McGraw’s touring band, is a longtime friend to Mark Barden, a musician and father of a Daniel Barden, who was killed in the 2012 tragedy.

“I look forward to being a part of a night of hope and promise and music that will help continue the great work that Sandy Hook Promise is doing,” Dean Brown said.

Mark Barden said his family is “humbled” that McGraw would do this.

“Dean and his wife Cindy helped my wife and I through our darkest hour and helped buoy our spirits. It meant more than words could ever say,” he said.

McGraw’s show, A Concert for Sandy Hook Promise, is slated for July 17 at XFINITY Theatre in Hartford.

Tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. on Friday and 100 percent of the net proceeds event will benefit the local organization.

You can buy the tickets for “Tim McGraw: A Concert for Sandy Hook Promise” through LiveNation.com and Ticketmaster. Charge By Phone 800-745-3000

Featured performers will include McGraw’s current tour mates, Billy Currington and Chase Bryant, along with special surprise guests to be announced later.

You can donate directly to Sandy Hook Promise at the organization’s Web site.
 

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<![CDATA[Selena to Perform as a Hologram?]]> Thu, 09 Apr 2015 11:15:26 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Selena_Cantando.jpg

You may be able to see Selena perform in the 21st century – as a hologram.

That’s part of a new plan by a San Diego-based company to create a digital embodiment of the late singer. She will dance, perform new songs and collaborate with other artists.

The project is being spearheaded by Acrovirt LLC., which is working with Selena’s family and the University of California San Diego to launch the hologram.

"Selena is a Latin American icon who was taken before her time. Acrovirt and the Quintanilla family are excited to announce that Selena will continue to share her creative talents with the world in a new innovative way," Acrovirt co-founder Terry Kennedy said in an online statement.

You could see the hologram in 2018 if a $500,000 crowdfunding campaign is successful. The campaign starts on April 16.

Selena’s dad, Abraham Quintanilla, told BuzzFeed News that he wouldn’t describe it as a hologram.

“It’s a newer technology – more advanced than hologram,” he said in an email to BuzzFeed.

The superstar was killed in 1995 at the hands of her fan club president, Yolanda Saldivar, who is serving a life sentence in Selena's death.

Fans marked the 20th anniversary of her death last week by celebrating her life, holding festivals, concerts, exhibitions and even lookalike contests in her honor across the country.

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<![CDATA[Disney, Dali on Focus in New Museum Exhibit]]> Wed, 08 Apr 2015 11:29:56 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/205*120/disneyfamilymuseum.jpg

The work of famous imagineers Walt Disney and Salvador Dali will be exhibited together in San Francisco's Presidio this summer.

Mounted by The Walt Disney Family Museum, "Disney and Dalí: Architects of the Imagination" reveals that the two were actually mutual admirers who collaborated; Dalí worked on an animated short called "Destino" at Walt Disney Studio in 1946 that was finished after their deaths.

According to a press statement, the exhibit will display original paintings, sketches, film, photos, audio and even a series of written correspondence between Disney and Dalí.

The exhibit will run at the Diane Disney Miller Exhibition Hall from July 10 to January 3, 2016.



Photo Credit: The Walt Disney Family Museum]]>
<![CDATA[11 Weird Beers For National Beer Day]]> Fri, 10 Apr 2015 21:49:42 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/rerwerr4534534.jpg

What better day to defer from your usual drink order than on National Beer Day? Here are 11 crazy craft brew concoctions that are so strange you'll be dying to try them out for yourself:

 

1. Pizza Beer by Mamma Mia! Pizza Beer

 

A photo posted by Chad Irvin (@shwirv11) on

 

 2. Popcorn Pilsner by Sun King Brewing

 

3. Voodoo Doughnut Bacon Maple Ale by Rogue Ales & Spirits

 

A photo posted by Rogue Ales (@rogueales) on

 

 4. Banana Bread Beer by Charles Wells Brewery

 

5. Avocado Ale by Angel City Brewery

 

6. Key Lime Pie Beer by Short's Brewing Company

 

7. Sriracha Hot Stout by Rogue Ales & Spirits

 

A photo posted by Rogue Ales (@rogueales) on

 

8. Peanut Butter Cup Coffee Porter by Willoughby Brewing Company

 

A photo posted by ohiohophead (@ohiohophead) on

 

 9. Wostyntje Mustard Ale by Smisje Brewery

 

10. Rocky Mountain Oyster Stout (Brewed With Bull Testicles) by Wynkoop Brewing Company

 

11. Smore's Stout by Base Camp Brewing Company



Photo Credit: Rogue Ales]]>
<![CDATA[Pop Culture Spectacular: WonderCon Anaheim]]> Mon, 06 Apr 2015 09:35:17 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/w485692291.jpg The comics-and-more convention summons costume-ready fans and the properties they love.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Arts & Ideas Festival to Be Held in June]]> Tue, 31 Mar 2015 15:30:32 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Lucinda+Williams.jpg

The schedule is out for New Haven’s 20th annual International Festival of Arts & Ideas, which takes place in June, and it includes lectures, performances and conversations led by internationally renowned artists and thinkers.

“We are celebrating great art and big ideas that are influencing today’s world, as well as 20 years of great accomplishments that have brought us to this milestone year,” Mary Lou Aleskie, the festival’s executive director, said in a news release.

The festival was first established in 1996 as a way of promoting the state of Connecticut as being enriched in culture, arts, and educational traditions.

The 15-day festival will run from June 12 until June 27 and will offer free programs to the public featuring jazz and classical music, dance, and theatre performances.

Tickets for festival members went on sale March 25 and will open to the general public on April 15, but those without tickets can attend free concerts on the New Haven Green from artists including Lucinda Williams and The New Haven Symphony Orchestra.

The festival will also include an exclusive East Coast engagement of Mark Morris Dance Group’s Acis and Galatea, and several other performing arts presentations.

The ideas program of the festival will come into play with conversations open to the public with New Yorker cartoonist Roz Chast, poet Claudia Rankine, and journalist Jelani Cobb. Feature films, and documentaries of varying topics will also be presented throughout the festival.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Google Maps Introduces Pac-Man Feature ]]> Wed, 01 Apr 2015 04:51:01 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/photoGoogle+Maps+PAC+MAN.jpg

Let the office productivity fall even more.

If March Madness wasn’t enough of a distraction, people can now play Pac-Man from the convenience of their desks.

Google Maps introduced a new online rendition of the classic arcade game on Tuesday in celebration of April Fools' Day. Click on the Pac-Man icon in the lower left corner beside the Earth icon, and use your keyboard arrows to move your little yellow man through the maze.

Not all addresses typed into Google Maps are playable areas. Cities, including New York, N.Y., appear to work best because of the number of roads. Pac-Man can’t play in some rural and suburban areas such as Hoover, Alabama, and Burlington, Massachusetts, because there aren’t enough roads for Pac-Man to get around.

Click here to try your hand at Pac-Man and see how high a score you can earn. Just make sure your boss isn’t looking.

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<![CDATA[McDonald's to Test All-Day Breakfast in San Diego]]> Mon, 30 Mar 2015 16:02:10 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/mcdonalds+sign+new+1.jpg

Could you soon get an Egg McMuffin breakfast sandwich after 10:30 a.m.?

A McDonald's spokesperson told NBC Chicago the company plans to begin testing all-day breakfast next month at select restaurants in the San Diego area. 

"We know our customers love McDonald’s breakfast and they tell us they’d like to enjoy it beyond the morning hours," the company said in a statement. "We look forward to learning from this test, and it’s premature to speculate on any outcomes. We’re excited to serve our customers in this area some of McDonald’s great-tasting breakfast sandwiches, hash browns and other favorites all day long."

The move comes as the fast food giant based in Oak Brook, Illinois, fights to maintain its slot at the top of the fast food breakfast chain.

The president of McDonald's USA, Jeff Stratton, told the Associated Press last year that the chain was in the early stages of looking at whether it can extend its breakfast hours.

According to the company’s website, the reason breakfast isn’t served all day is because of the size of their kitchen grills.

“They simply don’t have the room for all of our menu options at one time — especially considering we use our grill to prepare many items on our breakfast menu,” the website reads.

McDonald's has continuously entertained the idea of serving breakfast throughout the day. The company offers an "After Midnight" menu at select locations. The menu, available from midnight to 4 a.m., consisted of a limited mix of breakfast and lunch items so kitchen operations wouldn't be overwhelmed.

McDonald's has long been the fast-food leader in the mornings, with its popular Sausage Biscuits, Hotcakes and other items pulling in roughly 20 percent of the company's U.S. sales. But the chain has faced stiffer competition in recent years, with competitors such as Starbucks and Subway rolling out breakfast sandwiches as well.

McDonald's, which has more than 14,000 U.S. locations, has also said it plans to step up its marketing of breakfast as it faces intensifying competition.

As for extending its breakfast hours, the world's largest hamburger chain is known for treading extremely carefully when discussing any tests or potential changes. Such matters are considered sensitive in large part because they would require the support of the company's network of franchisees.

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<![CDATA[15K Race to be Held on CTfastrak Busway]]> Fri, 27 Mar 2015 23:08:33 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/CTFastrak_Set_to_Launch_1200x675_417117763681.jpg

CTfastrak is giving runners the chance to race on the brand new busway during an upcoming 15K road race in May.

The race will get underway May 3 at the New Britain bus station. The busway, along with roads in Newington, West Hartford and Hartford, will be closed on race day to accommodate runners.

"The pristine, freshly paved CTfastrak roadway provides an optimal surface for road runners and the unique opportunity to enjoy a point-to-point course with convenient transportation to accommodate all participants," said Beth Shluger, executive director and CEO of the Hartford Marathon Foundation, in a statement.

The race will end in Bushnell Park, where participants will return to Union Station for a post-race party and awards.

Registration is now open and will be capped at 1,200 entries. To register for the race, visit www.hartfordmarathon.com.

The Hartford Marathon Foundation joined the Department of Transportation to celebrate the opening of the CTfastrak busway on Friday. Buses will begin running Saturday morning.

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<![CDATA[New Starbucks Frappucino Flavor]]> Thu, 26 Mar 2015 19:31:52 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Birthday_Cake_Frappuccino_%283%29.jpg

Get it while it’s… cold?

Starbucks’ popular frappuccino has turned 20 and to honor the beverage's big birthday, the company has debuted a new specialty drink—the Birthday Cake Frappuccino.

The limited-time beverage, a vanilla bean and hazelnut mixture topped with raspberry-infused whipped cream, will be available at Starbucks stores in the U.S. and Canada from Thursday to Monday.

The iconic drink was first released in the summer of 1995 with coffee and mocha flavors available. The drinks was initially made without whipped cream.

“The first week of launch we were tracking sales, and it was something like 200,000 drinks the first week – when we were hoping for 100,000,” Dan Moore, director of brand management at Starbucks, said in a statement. “The next week it was 400,000 and the next it was 800,000. We had figured it would do well in Southern California – but it sold just as well in Chicago, Vancouver B.C. and Boston. It was huge.”

The drink changed the company’s customer base, giving them a way to bring in people who weren’t typically coffee drinkers.

In 1999, Starbucks released the Caramel Frappuccino, complete with the now-typical “dome lid” for whipped cream.

“At the time, domed lids were radical thinking, so was the idea of adding whipped cream,” said Dina Campion of Starbucks’ Digital Team. “But for our customers it represented a momentary break – an escape in their day.”

In 2002, came the Blended Crème beverage, followed by the Frappuccino Light. By 2010, customers could customize their frappuccinos to be made with milk or soy, various coffee types and their preferred syrups and toppings.

The blended beverages are now available in 66 countries with more than 36,000 different drink combinations.

Other countries have unique flavors like the Coffee Jelly Frappuccino and Red Bean Green Tea Frappuccino in Asia, the Algarrobina Frappuccino in Peru or the chocolate Brigadeiro Frappuccino in Brazil. 



Photo Credit: Starbucks]]>
<![CDATA[Free Italian Ice on First Day of Spring]]> Fri, 20 Mar 2015 19:25:40 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/ritas+italian+ice+first+day+of+spring.jpg

Winter weather can't shake the celebration of spring, which residents are celebrating with free treats from Rita's Italian Ice.

Hundreds of people have passed through Rita's on New Britain Avenue for a free scoop that seems better suited to six months from now.

But as of 6:45 p.m. Friday, it's officially spring, and Rita's won't let a little snow shake a tradition 23 years strong.

"It's a little cold but the best things in life are free," said customer Sam Bolorin.

Rita's locations around the country, including 11 in Connecticut, are offering free Italian ice until 9 p.m. Find a store near you.



Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com]]>
<![CDATA[Free Dairy Queen Cones, and More Free Treats]]> Mon, 16 Mar 2015 11:15:52 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/ice-cream-stock-79772399.jpg

Spring is right around the corner, and what tastier way to start it than with ice cream — or Italian ice?

Dairy Queen is giving away free ice cream cones Monday to celebrate its 75th anniversary Monday, just a few days before spring officially begins.

Customers can stop at any participating location to get a small vanilla soft-serve cone with the signature curl on the top. The ice cream chain is also asking for donations for kids at children's hospitals during its free cone day.

Then, on Friday, Rita's Italian Ice will kick off the first day of spring with an Italian ice giveaway — a tradition that has been going on for 23 years.

The company says it gave away more than 1.2 million cups of its Italian ice last year. Click here to find the nearest location.

And next month, Ben & Jerry's will be giving away ice cream on its Free Cone Day on April 14. Find the nearest franchise here.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Dairy Queen Free Cone Day]]> Mon, 16 Mar 2015 11:41:28 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/214*120/dairyqueenfreeconedaymarch16.jpg

So many intriguing mysteries surround a certain longtime purveyor of cold treats that we hardly know where to begin our story.

1. Does Dairy Queen have an actual throne, castle, and courtiers who wear velvet breeches and play trumpets?

2. How does one get to be known far and wide by just their initials -- in Dairy Queen's case, the snappy and now-iconic "DQ" -- in a world flooded by attention-catching foodstuffs and restaurant choices?

3. What will the founded-in-Illinois company do for its big 75th, which falls in 2015?

We know the answer to that one, as do the people you'll see queuing up at participating Dairy Queens across the land on Monday, March 16. The frozen treat shop, founded in 1940 near Chicago, will celebrate by handing out soft-serve vanilla cones on Free Cone Day at all participating Dairy Queens.

There are more fun things to come during Dairy Queen's diamond anniversary year, but bet Free Cone Day will be mighty popular, especially around Southern California, where a March heat wave is putting ice cream lovers in an ice cream state of mind.

Oh, we jest; true ice cream lovers maintain a permanent second address in that state.

So is there a hashtag for all of this frosty fun? It wouldn't be #2015 if there wasn't: #conewithme is your go-to, social media enjoyers.

Is there a limit on how many cones you can pick up? Of course there is: You may have one. You'd cock an eyebrow at the person leaving with twenty free cones in front of you, wouldn't you? Fairness is best in all things, including Free Cone Day.

And one more mystery we'd like to solve while we're delving into all things DQ: How does the vanilla soft-serve cone get that perfect little twirl on the top? And how does one recreate that in a hairstyle? Asking, of course, for a friend.



Photo Credit: Dairy Queen]]>
<![CDATA[New Haven Preps for St. Patrick's Day Parade]]> Fri, 13 Mar 2015 18:12:31 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/5PPARADESTILL031315DOUG00000000.jpg

The Saint Patrick's Day parade in New Haven is one of Connecticut's most popular events, one that's changed since police started enforcing the $99 fine for public drinking.

"There are really two events now," explained Win Davis, executive director of the Town Green Special Services District. "On Crown Street, there's a bar event. On Chapel Street, there's the parade."

For years, people looking for restrooms have gone into bars, restaurants and businesses that are open during the parade. One bar owner said it's been a battle between doing business and letting people do their business.

But across the street from his place, there will be portable toilets, two of 83 that the district and business community intend to spread throughout the area.

"I don't think you can ever have enough," Davis said, "but we're really trying to make it much easier for people to do the right thing when they need to relieve themselves."

He said authorities don't let people roll coolers off the trains anymore. He remembers parade-goers once putting a beer keg in a wheelchair and dressing it up as a disabled person, something that couldn't happen today.

But there's still a need for portable toilets.

"I think it's a good idea," said Will Abling, a Cromwell resident who plans to attend the parade Sunday. "That way, people aren't running in these businesses, trying to use the bathroom at the businesses. It makes it a little more convenient for people with kids, families, stuff like that."

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<![CDATA[Raunchy Game Cards Against Humanity Hits the Web With Free App]]> Thu, 12 Mar 2015 12:41:02 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/51RD-Lha01L._SL1023_.jpg

Oh the humanity! Cards Against Humanity has gone digital.

A new website called CardsAgainstOriginality.com offers a free version of the game on all web browsers on computers and mobile devices, though it wasn't made by the card game's original creators.

The Cards Against Originality app was created by Canadian designer Dawson Whitfield, who used the card game’s Creative Commons license to make a digital version.

Previously, users needed to either purchase the game for $25 from the Cards Against Humanity Website, or download and print their own deck for free (plus the cost of ink and paper). Fans can also purchase desired expansion packs on the game's website, and those cards are also featured in the new app.

"I built it because there were too many times that I wished I had brought my CAH deck. During lunch at work, at the bar, in the car," Whitfield said in an email. "Once I had the idea to build it, I had to build it out of frustration that no one had done it,"

According to Cards Against Humanity's website, the game's content can be used "to make whatever," but the game needs to be given credit and the user can't profit from using its content.

“Cards Against Humanity is available under a Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 2.0 license. That means you can use, remix, and share the game for free, but you can’t sell it without our permission. Please do not steal our name or we will smash you,” the game’s website reads.

Cards Against Humanity, described as a “party game for horrible people,” involves a group of players using raunchy and often expletive-filled white cards to answer questions or fill in the blanks of a single black card. The funniest answer is then picked by a fellow player acting as the judge, or “Card Czar.”

Like with the physical deck, you must be in the same room as your friends to play together on the digital version.

Whitfield said the response to his app was better than he expected — the rush to play even created some problems for the new product.

"I didn't expect it to take off like this and my servers couldn't handle the traffic," he told NBCChicago in an email. "I had it on a measly server for my friends and I to play on, which crumbled under the traffic."

Whitefield said he has since moved the game to new servers and the site is back up and running, though it may take time for the change to appear "everywhere around the world." 

Now, with a new name and the same vulgar cards, the (horribly inappropriate) party can begin online. 

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<![CDATA[St. Patrick’s Day Events in Connecticut]]> Tue, 17 Mar 2015 05:57:35 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/214*120/hartford+st+patricks+day+parade.jpg

There are plenty of ways to celebrate the luck of the Irish in Connecticut.

Bridgeport: On Tuesday, March 17 at 12 p.m. Bridgeport will be celebrating its 32nd Annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Join the parade committee and fellow Irishman to celebrate the day of Irish culture and heritage. 

Hartford: The 44th Annual Greater Hartford St. Patrick’s Day Parade was supposed to be held on Saturday, March 14 at 11 a.m., but has been postponed until March 21 because of the threat of inclement weather. 

Hartford: McKinnons Irish Pub in downtown Hartford will open at 5:30 a.m. with a Guinness Irish Breakfast.  Musical act, the Highland Rovers, will be performing their Irish inspired rock to early morning revelers. The bar itself will start serving Guinness at 9am.

St. Patrick’s Day is all about quality time with friends and having fun, so what better way to celebrate than with a pub-crawl! There is no need to be cooped up in one bar all day, so the pub-crawl is the perfect solution. The bar scene in Hartford is one of the best, and will have drink specials until 2 a.m. You can purchase tickets online at PubCrawls.com.

Milford: The St. Patrick's Day parade has been rescheduled to 1 p.m. on Saturday, March 21. The parade will step-off from the Wasson Field Parking Lot on Weest Main Street and follow the traditional downtown parade route.  

Milford: The Literacy Center’s annual Leprechaun Leap has been rescheduled from this Sunday, March 21 to Sunday, March 22 at 1 p.m. with registration from noon to 12:45 p.m. at Walnut Beach.

Mystic: On Sunday, March 22 at 1 p.m., the 12th annual Irish Parade will be held in Mystic. The parade begins at the Mystic Seaport, located on Greenmanville Road/Route 27. Come down early for celebration of Celtic & Gaelic customs and traditions. Food and sanitary facilities will be available.

Statewide: Bruegger's will bake green bagels from Saturday, March 14 through Tuesday, March 17 in honor of St. Patrick's Day. Visit Bruegger's online to find a location near you.

West Hartford: McLadden's will be opening at 9am on St Patrick's Day. Kegs & Eggs breakfast menu will be served followed by  Irish favorites for lunch & dinner.

West Haven: Another Pub Crawl will be hosted in West Haven on March 14 and the 17.

Windsor Locks: The Scoil Rince Luimni Irish Dance Academy will perform at Bradley International Airport from 11:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. on Tuesday, March 17. The state's newest Irish dance school comprises beginner students through champion-level competitive dancers.

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<![CDATA[Love Peeps? New Milk Line Inspired by Marshmallow Treats ]]> Sun, 05 Apr 2015 21:37:28 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Peep+Milk+Flavors.jpg

Now you can eat your Peeps and drink them, too.

Prairie Farms, a dairy company in Illinois, has teamed up with the sugary treat maker to deliver Peeps-flavored milk.

The milk comes in three different flavors: Chocolate Marshmallow Milk, Marshmallow Milk and Easter Egg Nog. Both marshmallow milks can be purchased in reduced-fat varieties, and the calories for each milk range from 190 to 250 calories, according to Prairie Farms' website

According to a press release, Peeps is the No. 1 non-chocolate candy brand at Easter. Prairie Farm said that given that fact, “creating a line of flavors that joins the two strong brands was an obvious choice.”

The "PEEP-tastic" milk hits retail outlet shelves in the Midwest this week. But Peep-lovers will have to act fast to get their fix.

“The milk is seasonal for Easter, so depending on the store it should be available until early April,” Rebecca Leinenbach, vice president of marketing and communications for Prairie Farms, told NBC Owned Television Stations.

The Peeps milk closely follows a wider trend of enchanced offerings in the dairy industry. Coca-Cola’s new milk line called Fairlife includes flavored versions and adds 50 percent more natural protein and calcium than regular milk.



Photo Credit: Prairie Farms ]]>
<![CDATA[Top 10 Towns for Families in Connecticut]]> Wed, 04 Mar 2015 19:36:33 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/d1b87808249e433ab8dd3c142789d912.jpg

Consumer advocacy site NerdWallet has released a list of top towns for young families in Connecticut, and Hartford County dominates the top 10.

The study pulls data from the 2013 U.S. Census Bureau's American Community Survey and factors in home affordability, growth and prosperity pertaining to average family income, family friendliness and quality of education.

The top 10 rank as follows:

  1. Simsbury: Located just outside of Hartford, this 345-year-old town is known for its high-quality schools and relative affordability. Families can enjoy spending time outside on the 84-mile Farmington Canal Heritage Trail.
  2. Trumbull: Situated in Fairfield County, Trumbull's location allows for an easy commute to New York City, as well as employment opportunities at local companies. Trumbull schools are highly rated.
  3. Kensington: This section of Berlin is known for its affordability and easy access to Hartford, which is less than 15 miles away. Kensington is located on the New Haven-Springfield commuter line, which is set to launch in 2016.
  4. Glastonbury: Residents of Glastonbury have seen an 85 percent increase in average family income since 1999. The town is known for its schools and proximity to Fortune 500 companies such as United Technologies and Aetna. Glastonbury maintains a small-town vibe with events such as the annual Apple Harvest Festival, 40 years strong.
  5. Orange: Despite relatively high living expenses, Orange is home to quality schools. More than a third of families living in Orange have children under the age of 18. The town hosts the annual Orange County Fair, a tradition that began in 1898.
  6. Wethersfield: The second-oldest town in the state is home to a large number of families with young children. The average family income has jumped 89 percent since 1999.
  7. Newington: Families in Newington enjoy a lower cost of living. The town is located just seven miles from Hartford but maintains a strong sense of community with its annual Waterfall Festival, which celebrates a 16-foot natural waterfall in Mill Pond Park.
  8. Winsted: Residents of Winsted enjoy close proximity to Bradley International Airport. The town, which contains "the gateway to the Berkshire Mountains," is located in the northwest hills of Connecticut.
  9. Portland: The smallest of the top 10 towns, Portland is home to just over 5,600 residents. Despite its small size, Portland is rife with history. It was one of the country's most important brownstone suppliers in the 1800s, evidences by quarries that line the downtown section.
  10. North Haven: Located 10 miles from Yale University, North Haven is home to Quinnipiac University's graduate programs. Families can enjoy hiking, rock climbing and horseback riding in nearby Sleeping Giant State Park, which is located in Hamden.

Learn more about the study and see the full list of top 47 towns online.



Photo Credit: Mark L.]]>
<![CDATA[Mohegan Sun Reveals Plans for Earth Hotel]]> Thu, 05 Mar 2015 19:24:13 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/mohegan+sun+casino+generic.jpg

Mohegan Sun Casino, already one of the largest entertainment, gaming, dining and resort destinations in the country, will expand further with a second hotel tower in Uncasville.

The casino unveiled plans for the interior and exterior design of a new 400-room Earth Hotel tower were unveiled at a news conference Thursday.

The $120 million project is modeled after the Sky Hotel, which opened in 2002.

The hotel is expected to employ more than 1,000 people with construction and permanent jobs, according to Mohegan Sun.

Gov. Dannel Malloy and Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman attended the announcement alongside Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority CEO Mitchell Etess and Mohegan Tribe Chairman Kevin "Red Eagle" Brown.

The hotel is expected to open in 2016.

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<![CDATA[IHOP Celebrates National Pancake Day]]> Tue, 03 Mar 2015 09:44:18 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/national+pancake+day1.jpg

Grab your fork and knife!

Tuesday is National Pancake Day at IHOP. Diners can enjoy a free short stack of buttermilk pancakes. In exchange, customers will be asked to consider making a donation to the Children's Miracle Network.

Since starting National Pancake Day 10 years ago, IHOP has raised nearly $16 million for community charities. This year's goal is to raise $3.5 million, according to the IHOP website.

Check here to look up the closest IHOP.

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<![CDATA[Free Pancakes for a Good Cause]]> Tue, 03 Mar 2015 09:34:16 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Oat+Pancakes+Edited.jpg

It’s National Pancake Day and you can get free pancakes at IHOP today for a good cause.

The restaurant is offering customers one free short stack of buttermilk pancakes in the hopes that you’ll pay it forward by making a voluntary donation to their local Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, Shriners Hospital for Children, The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society or other local charities.

The tradition of Pancake Day dates back several centuries to when the English prepared for fasting during Lent, according to a news release from IHOP, but the IHOP tradition is celebrating its 10th anniversary.

The National Pancake Day giveaway runs from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Tuesday, March 3 to celebrate the “Decade of Giving.”

“It’s both incredible and incredibly gratifying that we are now marking a full decade of National Pancake Day, which has become not only a favorite of guests, but of our franchisees and team members,” Julia Stewart, interim president of International House of Pancakes, LLC, said in a statement. “Little did we dream, ten years ago, that thanks to the generosity of our guests, we would be able to raise $16 million dollars, one short stack at a time, and make a substantial difference in the lives of the children in our local communities!”

There are at least seven IHOP locations in Connecticut. Find the closest one to you here.



Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut]]>
<![CDATA[Popular Bakery's Recipes Stolen]]> Mon, 02 Mar 2015 12:12:41 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/0227-2015-Cruffin.jpg

Binders containing hundreds of sweet recipes mysteriously disappeared overnight from Mr. Holmes Bakeshop, a three-month-old start-up in San Francisco's Tenderloin that's growing in popularity.

In fact, on a typical weekday 7 a.m. opening, most goods are sold by 11.

Word got out to the shop's loyal following, and customers were worried those famous "cruffins" -- a croissant and muffin hybrid -- were history.

Fortunately, the shop's recipes were all backed up on a computer.

"Some people were calling up through the day, like 'Hey, if they stole the cruffin recipe, are you going to have cruffins tomorrow? Because if not, we might not come!'" said Ry Stephen, a co-owner of the bakery.

Stephen suspects a copycat may be the culprit.

"There's a sense of competitiveness in pastry just like in a sport or in writing," Stephen said.

No equipment or cash were taken from the bakery. While there were no signs of forced entry, the owners insist this was not an inside job.



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[FIRST Robotics Teams Compete in 'Recycle Rush' District Qualifiers]]> Sat, 28 Feb 2015 18:19:23 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/160*120/tlmd_recycle_484x363.jpg

The second district event qualifiers for the NE FIRST Robotics Competition kicked off Saturday morning at Wilby High School in Waterbury.

The 34 teams participating in the competition have designed and programmed their robots in less than two months. The two-day event began Saturday, Feb. 28 at 8 a.m. and will run until Sunday, March 1 at 5 p.m. This weekend marks the second of 10 district qualifying events in the region of New England.

This year’s competition is a recycling-themed game, titled “RECYCLE RUSH," involving "two Alliances of three robots each," according to the news release. 

"Robots score points by stacking totes on scoring platforms, capping those stacks with recycling containers, and properly disposing of pool noodles, representing litter," according to a news release.

The next and final New England district qualifying competition will be at Hartford High School on March 28 and 29.

Winners will advance to the NE FIRST New England Championship at Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Worcester, Massachusetts April 9 to 11. Winners at the regional level will move onto the FIRST World Competition April 22 to 25 in St. Louis, Missouri April 22 to 25.

The public is invited to attend at no cost.

The following teams are competing at this weekend's district qualifier:

• Techno-Nuts – Berlin, CT
• Aces High- Windsor Locks, CT
• The CyberKnights- Southington, CT
• GU S Robotics- Meriden CT
• GaelHawks- Shelton, CT
• TechnoTicks- Old Lyme, CT
• Black Magic Robotics- Watertown, CT
• RoboSquad- New Haven, CT
• MachaRams- Cheshire, CT
• Team MAX- Wolcott, CT
• The DiscoTechs- Brookfield, CT
• The Uberbots- Avon, CT
• The Dragons- Hartford, CT
• The Panther Project- Southbury/Middlebury, CT
• Apple Pj, Robotics- Guilford, CT
• Titanium Tomahawks- Glastonbury, CT
• Team Beta- Woodbury, CT
• Cyber Rams- Stamford, CT
• Mechanical Mustangs- Clifton, NJ
• Operation PEACCE- Bristol, CT
• Sim City- Simsbury, CT
The Nuts and Bolts of Fury- Waterbury, CT
• Hard Botties- Bridgeport, CT
• Tech Tigers- Middletown, CT
• Junkyard Battalion- New Britain, CT
• Robot Unicorn Attack- Providence, RI
• Northwestern Robotics Gearheads (“NRG)- Winchester, CT
• Full Metal Falcons Robotics- Middletown, CT
• Barlow RobAutics0 Redding, CT
• Sintian Robotics- Hamden, CT
• Digital Devils Robo- Hamden, CT
• Wirecats- Simsbury, CT
• Valley Regional Robotics- Deep River, CT
 

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<![CDATA[Craft Beer Shop Opens in West Hartford]]> Fri, 27 Feb 2015 16:44:24 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/craft-beer-brewery-generic.jpg

Craft beer aficionados can head to West Hartford this weekend for the grand opening of a store dedicated to quality brew.

On Saturday, Feb. 28, the first Craft Beer Cellar will open in the state of Connecticut and beer lovers will have a wide variety of beer to select from and a knowledgeable staff to pose questions to.

Craft Beer Cellar is located at 1026 Boulevard in West Hartford. The grand opening begins at 10 a.m.

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<![CDATA[What Color Is This Dress? No One Can Agree]]> Fri, 27 Feb 2015 14:44:08 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/the-dress-B-1l26HXAAEJ48-.jpg

Is this dress blue and black… or gold and white? The debate is raging, and no one seems to agree.

BuzzFeed posted the controversial photo Tuesday evening, and already it's gone viral.

The image was originally uploaded by Tumblr user "swiked," who wrote:

"I see it as white and gold. My friend right here sees it as blue and black. I CANT HANDLE THIS"

Another user fired back:

"if that’s not gold my entire life has been a lie"

Others chimed in, all with different perceptions. Admittedly, no one in the newsroom could agree either.

So what color is it really?

The mystery may never be solved.



Photo Credit: Romanoriginals.com
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story on our mobile site.]]>
<![CDATA[KFC to Serve Edible Coffee Cups in U.K.]]> Fri, 27 Feb 2015 05:29:53 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/178*120/kfc+edible+coffee+cup+scoff-ee.jpg

Chicken lovers in the United Kingdom have a new treat to try — edible coffee cups that will be served at KFC restaurants in Britain.

A one-of-a-kind cookie, lined with heat-resistant white chocolate and covered with sugar paper, make up the consumable drink holder — known  as "scoff-ee cup," according to a news release from the Kentucky-based poultry chain.

"We have been experimenting with edible packaging to see if it could be a feasible product to bring to market...and thought that if our customers occasionally like to have their cake and eat it, why wouldn't they want [to] have their cup and eat it instead," said Jocelyn Bynoe of KFC.

Colonel Sanders' team partnered with food scientists at The Robin Collective to develop the new product, which was created to celebrate the launch of Seattle's Best Coffee in its restaurants.

"We've infused different cups with a variety of ambient aromas including coconut sun cream, freshly cut grass and wild flowers, said Brandy Wright, a designer at Robin Collective.

French vanilla and mocha are yummy and popular coffee flavors, but we'll have to wait and see how Brits react to java that puts a hint of mowed lawn on the palette.

The item has not yet been added to British stores' menus and a KFC U.K. spokeswoman told NBC they have no date set for the scoff-ee cup's launch.

A stateside KFC spokesman said their are no current plans to bring edible cups to the United States.



Photo Credit: Oliver Dixon/KFC]]>
<![CDATA[Lines Already Forming at New Enfield Chick-fil-A ]]> Wed, 25 Feb 2015 09:26:03 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/22515+Chick+Fil+A+Enfield+edited.jpg

It was not all that long ago that you had to head outside the state of Connecticut to get your fill of Chick-fil-A, but a fourth restaurant in the chain is opening in Enfield on Feb. 26.

Eleven people were already lined up at 6 a.m. for a chance to win free meals. The location is participating in the “First 100,” starting on Feb. 25. The "First 100" participants who comply with the official rules will receive a Grand Prize of one Chick-fil-A Meal per week for a year.

Cars and people began lining up at 6 a.m., 24 hours before the grand opening, but must remain onsite until 6 a.m. Thursday morning. If over 100 people show up, a drawing will be conducted to select the winners. Winners will receive a 52 combo meals on a digital card.

Customers are welcome to bring props to make the wait more fun - at past grand opening events the parking lot filled with tents, flat screens, and recliners.              

See the official rules here.

The other Connecticut Chick-fil-A locations are:

  • 156 Federal Rd Brookfield
  • Danbury Fair Mall in Danbury
  • 1098 N Colony Rd Wallingford



Photo Credit: Chick-fil-A]]>
<![CDATA[McDonald's Chicken Selects Returns]]> Fri, 20 Feb 2015 11:58:16 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/mcdonalds+chicken+selects.jpg

Watch out, Chicken McNuggets. Soon there will be a new breaded chicken dish in the house.

Oak Brook-based McDonald's announced Wednesday that Chicken Selects will return to menus nationwide next month.

"The Chicken Selects will make a national return in early March and be sold as an order with three pieces. We look forward to bringing back this customer favorite made with chicken tenderloin," Terri Hickey, a McDonald's spokesperson, said.

McDonald's describes Chicken Selects as "crispy strips of all white chicken breast, premium dipping sauces...this is luxury lunching."

The menu item will only be available nationally for a limited time, but markets will have the option to keep them on the menu if they want, Hickey said.

Chicken Selects were first introduced in 1998 and were pulled from the menu in February 2013.

The menu item previously came with a variety of dipping sauces to choose from, including chipotle barbeque, creamy ranch, hot habanero, honey mustard, hot mustard, spicy buffalo, sweet chili, sweet 'n sour, honey and tangy barbeque.

The fast food company's announcement comes just two months after company officials said they were planning on trimming their menus. This decision was prompted by a decline in U.S. sales that many attribute to McDonald's unhealthy image and an increasingly health conscious society.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>