<![CDATA[NBC Connecticut - Dining, shopping and nightlife]]> Copyright 2014 http://www.nbcconnecticut.com/entertainment/the-scene http://media.nbcbayarea.com/designimages/NBC_Connecticut.png NBC Connecticut http://www.nbcconnecticut.com en-us Wed, 22 Oct 2014 05:52:29 -0400 Wed, 22 Oct 2014 05:52:29 -0400 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Quiz: How Pumpkin Savvy Are You?]]> Tue, 21 Oct 2014 15:59:25 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/451601919.jpg

With fall upon us and Halloween fast approaching, it's high season for all things pumpkin. You may sip pumpkin spice lattes with the best of them or carve a mean jack-o'-lantern, but how well do you really know the seasonal staple? Test your knowledge in this interactive quiz.



Photo Credit: Getty Images/Flickr RF
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<![CDATA[New Haven to Host Wine Tasting, Shopping Event]]> Mon, 20 Oct 2014 22:20:17 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/wine-glass-generic.jpg

The city of New Haven will host “Flights of Fancy” on Thursday, a special wine tasting and shopping event at The Shops at Yale.

For $20, attendees will receive an exclusive event wine glass and will help support local businesses offering free in-store wine tastings courtesy of The Wine Thief, live music and special discounts and giveaways.

Free validated parking will be available at The York Street Garage at 150 York Street.

At the end of the event, guests will head to The Study at Yale Hotel for complimentary dessert provided by Insomnia Cookies and Willoughby’s coffee.

Multiple retailers, including Barnes & Noble – The Yale Bookstore, Shen, Campus Customs, Wave Gallery, Raggs and Oaxaca Kitchen will participate.

Those interested can register online until 11 p.m. Oct 22, or in person from 4-7 p.m. the day of the event at The Study at Yale Hotel on Chapel Street. The event is limited to the first 700 participants.

More information is available online.

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<![CDATA[Johnny Damon Coming to Hartford]]> Mon, 20 Oct 2014 15:04:27 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Phillies-Should-Consider-Johnny-Damon.jpg

Johnny Damon is part of a small group to win World Series with both the Red Sox and Yankees, and he is coming to Hartford this week for a YMCA fundraising event.

Damon, who established a charitable foundation and serves as a spokesman for the Wounded Warrior Project, will be the honored guest and speaker at the YMCA celebrates champions event on Thursday night at the Connecticut Convention Center.

This is the signature fundraising event for the YMCA of Greater Hartford, which supports the annual campaign and “Read to Success.”

Tickets are $200 a piece or $2,000 for a table of 10.

The VIP reception is at 6:30 p.m., while the general reception gets underway at 6:45 p.m. and the program starts at 7 p.m.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Halloween Events Across Connecticut ]]> Wed, 15 Oct 2014 15:19:14 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/halloween_generic.jpg

There are several Halloween events across the state. 

Fairfield County

Bridgeport: Beardsley Zoo is holding its “Howl-O-Ween” event on Oct. 17, 18, 24 and 25, from 6:30 p.m. until 10 p.m. Activities will include hayrides, a haunted farmyard, magic show, face painting, and more. Harvest hay rides will be held at the Zoo every weekend in October and November as well. Tickets to Howl-O-Ween are $10 in advance and for members, and $12 for the public.

The Harvest Howl-O-Ween Spooktacular is being held at Black Cat Antiques in Bridgeport on October 25. This event will include psychic readings, authors, gaming and food trucks and an evening wine trail for adults. Admission for the wine trail is $40.

Fairfield: The Fairfield Museum and History Center is holding several lectures and exhibitions this month on topics including the Fairfield Witchcraft Trials of the 17th-century, the Hartford Witch hunt of the 1660s and an evening walking tour that explores haunting legends and folklore. Tickets are $5 for students and $10 for the public. Pre-registration is required. For more information, visit them online.

Norwalk: Lantern lit ghost tours will be held at Mill Hill Historic Park in Norwalk on Friday, Oct. 24 and Saturday, Oct. 25 at 6 p.m., 7:30 p.m., and 9 p.m. Order tickets online. 

Stepping Stones Museum
is hosting Monster Mash, a costume party and parade for families on Saturday, Oct. 25, from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Register online

Shelton: Fairview Tree Farm in Shelton opened a one-mile haunted trail, brand new for 2014, for Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights in October. Their annual haunted hay rides have begun as well, for Friday and Saturday nights in October. Admission is $16 or $26 for a haunted hayride and haunted trail combo ticket. No reservations are necessary.

Stamford: Haunted Illusions by David Caserta is coming to The Palace in downtown Stamford. The show is full of magic and comedy and is fun for the whole family. Order tickets online at

Kids can trick-or-treat at Heckscher Farm
in Stamford on Oct. 26, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Clues will be given out to lead families around to the different trick-or-treat stations. Live reptiles and bugs, a slime table and Halloween crafts will be at the Farm as well. Tickets are $10, $8 for seniors, $6 for students, and $5 for children.

Stratford: A zombie Halloween party is being held at the Stratford Public Library on Oct. 23, from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. for children ages 7 through 12. Activities will include zombie games and trick-or-treating around the library.

Trumbull: Trumbull’s second annual Halloween Blaze
is taking place on Saturday, Oct. 25, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. The event will have a town-wide Jack O’ Lantern contest, haunted history storytellers, face painting, and refreshments. Costumes are encouraged. Admission is $5 or free to anyone who donates a carved pumpkin for display.

Ridgefield: Families can trick-or-treat and pose in their costumes for pictures at The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum in Ridgefield on Oct. 31, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. The event is free to the public.

Hartford County

Bristol: Lake Compounce is holding its annual Haunted Graveyard on Fridays and Saturdays in October from dusk to midnight, and on Sundays from dusk to 10 p.m. Attractions include haunted houses, trails, a haunted graveyard and 17 operating adult rides. Admission is $30.99 for the park and graveyard, or $23.99 for the graveyard or park only.

East Windsor: The Connecticut Trolley Museum is running its Rails to the Darkside, where families can board a trolley cartand take a ride into the night. The event will run Fridays and Saturdays in October from 7 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Tickets are $16.

Hartford:

Old Wethersfield: Lantern light tours will be held October 17 and 18 from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m., starting at the Keeney Memorial Cultural Center on Main Street. Each tour will last about an hour and will take guests through the Main Street neighborhood, stopping at houses and gravesites to encounter spirits from the past. Tickets are $15 for adults and $7 for children.

West Simsbury: Visit Flamig Farm for their Halloween Hayrides on the weekend of October 17-18 and 24-25. To order tickets, visit them online.

West Hartford: The tenth annual West Hartford Hauntings will be held at North Cemetery on North Main Street in West Hartford. These lantern-lit tours will include encounters with deceased tour guides. The tours will be held from 6 p.m. to 8:45 p.m. on the weekends of October 17 & 18 and 24 & 25. Admission is $13 for adults and $9 for those under 17.

Westmoor Park’s Country Pumpkin Festival will be on Saturday, October 18 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The event will have tractor and horse-drawn hayrides, face painting, farm animals, hot apple cider, and more. The Festival is free to the public.

Canton: The annual Hobgoblin Fair will be held at the Roaring Brook Nature Center on Saturday, October 25 from 10 a.m. to noon, and 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. The event is suitable for children, ages 3 to 8, and will include their “track-or-treat” walk, crafts, cupcake decorating, face painting, food, and more. Pre-registration with payment is required. Registration forms can be found online at

Collinsville: The 21st annual Collinsville Halloween Parade will be held on Saturday, October 25 on Main Street. All those who wish to join should gather at the Canton Historical Museum at 6:30 p.m. for pre-parade events. The parade will follow at 7 p.m., with judges searching for the scariest, most original and funniest costumes of the night. The parade is free to the public.

Windsor: Nightmare on Broad Street will take place on Friday, October 31, from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. near the Town Green. Visitors can go on a hayride, trick-or-treat at local businesses, and watch performances including “It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown”. The event is free to the public.

New Britain: The New Britain Museum of American Art is holding its 8th annual Museum After Dark costume party on October 31 from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. This 21+ event will be a night of art, music, dancing, and drinks. Tickets are $20 for Museum members and $25 for non-members. Admission includes beer, wine, and entrance into the galleries.

Litchfield County

Danbury: The 22nd annual Halloween on the Green will be held on Saturday, November 1. Visit them online for more details

Kent: The 38th annual Kent Pumpkin Run will be held on October 26. The 5-mile run/walk starts at noon, starting and finishing at Kent Green in front of the Town Hall. A post-race party will include music, refreshments, face painting and more. Register online.

Litchfield: A retelling of Washington Irving’s “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” will take place at the Tapping Reeve House on Sunday, October 5 at 1 p.m. Admission is $5 for members, $10 for individual non-members, and $15 for families.

Thomaston: Families can take a ride on the Naugatuck Railroad from the Thomaston station out to the Pumpkin Patch where children can pick a pumpkin to bring back. Rides will take place on October 11 and 12, 18 & 19 and 25 & 26. Train rides last 80 minutes and depart the station at noon and 2 p.m. Tickets are $17 and $15 for seniors and children.

Torrington: Torrington Library is hosting several Halloween events during the month of October. These events include Spooky BINGO, Ghost Story Night, a Halloween party and more. Visit their website for more details.

Woodbury: The Woodbury Lions Club is hosting its 24th annual haunted hayride and haunted barn. The event is taking place on the weekends of October 17 & 18 and 24 & 25 at 7 p.m. at Mitchell School in Woodbury. Tickets are $12 for adults and $6 for children under 10. A children’s hayride will take place on October 18 at 1 p.m. Tickets for the children’s hayride are $3 for kids and $4 for adults and all children will receive a free pumpkin.

Washington: The 7th annual Washington Green Cemetery Tour will take place on Friday, October 24, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Tours will take visitors on a quarter mile trip through the cemetery to visit its deceased members and hear their stories. Tours leave from the Museum in groups of 15 people every 10 minutes and each tour lasts about 45 minutes. Guests are asked to dress warmly and bring a flashlight. The event is free to the public.

Middlesex County

East Haddam: The Trick or ‘Tini event will be held at Goodspeed Opera House on Oct. 31 at 7:30 p.m. For $47, guests can enjoy a ticket to the evening show and a specialty martini.

Middletown: Halloween-Themed Zip Line Tours will take place on Oct. 17 and Nov. 2 at 6:30 p.m., with Friday and Saturday tours also at 7:30 p.m. at the Empower Leadership Sports & Adventure Center. Soar through the trees under the stars on zip rides, then roast marshmallows over a campfire and drink complimentary hot chocolate with your guides. For $72, participants will enjoy gliding on five zip lines ranging from 200 to over 650 feet. Space is limited so make sure to reserve your spot!

The Wadsworth Mansion will be holding a Halloween Costume Bash on Oct. 31 from 7 p.m. to midnight. Attendees will enjoy signature drinks, dancing, a photo booth, fortune telling and more. Tickets are available only in advance for $40 and open to ages 21 and up.

Old Saybrook: Bring the whole family to the Saybrook Point Inn & Spa’s first annual “Pumpkins on the Point” event. This pumpkin festival features more than 350 locally grown, hand-carved pumpkins lighting up the terrace and marina along the shores of the Connecticut River. Enjoy trick or treat trails, hayrides, haunted cemetery tours, farmer’s market, music, food, and more. Festivities start Oct. 31 at 4 p.m. and admission is free.
 

New Haven County:

Ansonia: Molto Bene will be hosting an adult costumer party to benefit The Boys & Girls Club of Lower Naugatuck Valley on Nov. 1. A $40 cash bar will be open from 7 p.m. to midnight.

Beacon Falls: Matthies Park will be hosting a Haunted Hayride on Saturday, Oct. 25, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., and Sunday, October 26, from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Refreshments will be provided and a costume contest will take place on Saturday at 5 p.m. before the Hayride. Adults $5, Kids $3.

Cheshire: A Spirits Alive Cemetery Lantern Tour will be held at Hillside Cemetery October 17 and 18. For $10, guests will be guided through the grounds illuminated by 500 tea lights to hear firsthand accounts of the lives of the departed buried in the cemetery, conveyed by actors. At the midpoint of the tour, Cheshire’s legendary Witch Kye is given a voice to tell her tale. This event is made possible by the Cheshire Historical Society.

Milford: Pumpkins on the Pier is a family festival held at Walnut Beach on October 4. Starting at 11 a.m., families can enjoy kid’s activities, contests, antique and classic car show, crafts, and hayrides. The festival features thousands of pumpkins and a decorated and lighted pier too! The festival is sponsored by the Boys & Girls Club of Milford.

The Milford Center for the Arts is putting on “The Wicked Witch of the West: Kansas or Bust!,” a musical that follows the story of Dorothy and all of the beloved characters from “The Wizard of Oz” from the Yellow Brick Road back to Kansas, with a funny twist. The show will play weekends from Oct. 24 to Nov. 7. On Fridays, shows are at 7 p.m., on Saturday at 2 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. and on Sunday at 2 p.m. Tickets are $20.

New Haven: A one-hour walking tour to view historical persons will be held at Grove Street Cemetery. Tours take place on Oct.  18 and 25 and Nov. 1 at 11 a.m. They are sponsored by the Friends of Grove Street Cemetery.

Woolsey Hall will be putting on a Halloween Concert at midnight on Oct. 31. The YSO orchestra will play a soundtrack consisting of pop music, movie soundtracks, and classical pieces to a silent film written, produced, directed, and starring YSO members. Tickets are $10 and only sold in advance in the Woolsey rotunda the week of the show.

North Haven: The Only Scream in Town is an event filled with five incredible Halloween-themed attractions, full concessions, and Gore Karts and Thriller Mini Golf during the day. The event is held October 17-19, Oct. 23-26, and Oct. 30 from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Valley Service Rd. Admission is $10 per person.

Oxford: Make some mischief at Colonial Tavern on Oct. 24 from 7 p.m. to midnight. Enjoy food, snacks and dessert while indulging in a cash bar stocked with an Autumn beer selection and Halloween drink specials. A show featuring Cabaret, Burlesque, and magic will start at 8pm. Come for the DJ and dancing, stay for the tarot card reader, costume contest, and horror movie trivia. Admission is $25, or $200 for a table of ten.

Seymour:  Children are welcome to trick or treat at local business in downtown Seymour on October 25 from 1 p.m. 3 p.m.

 

New London County

Baltic: The Dark Manor features two haunted attractions: The Manor, featuring two floors of special effects and terror around every corner; and the Graveyard and Haunted Village, an outdoor attraction. Attractions will run Oct. 16 to 19 and Oct. 23 to Nov. 1. Admission is $22.

Bozrah: The Odetah Camping Resort is hosting Halloween Weekend, Oct. 24 through 26, where kids can enjoy the movie “The Haunted Mansion” and make crafts, paint pumpkins, play games, and participate in other activities including site-to-site Trick or Treating, a mummy wrap, and piñata. Admission is determined by length of stay.

Griswold: Spooktopia takes place on October 25, from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. in downtown Jewett City. It is the 2nd Annual Edgar Fontaine Memorial Trick or Trunk event that includes Halloween themed food, rides, entertainment, and more. Trick or treating is provided for children under 10, and admission is free.

New London: The Hempsted Houses historian Sally Ryan and conservator Lance Meyers will guide the “Ye Antientist Burial Ground Walking Tour,” where people will be taken to one of the oldest burial grounds in New England. Tour will be held October 19, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is $5, but free for CT Landmarks members. http://www.ctvisit.com/historic-site/hempsted-houses/summary/1525

A Hempsted Halloween begins October 25 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Hempsted Houses. The public is invited meet the ghosts of six New Londoners, see New London’s oldest house, and make s’mores over an open fire. Tickets are $5, and free for CT Landmarks members.

Old Lyme: “A Wee Faerie Village” is an event in which visitors will travel the Florence Griswold Museum’s 11 acres to experience a faerie version of Lewis Carroll’s “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” in a steampunk setting. It is open through Nov. 2. Admission is $15; $14 for seniors; $13 for students; $5 for members; and free for children under 12

Niantic: The Halloween Parade in downtown Niantic will take place Oct. 26 at 1 p.m. The public is invited to participate in a family-friendly event that begins with Trick or Treating at the downtown shops, followed by a parade at 2pm at the Hole-in-the-Wall beach. Candy and costume prizes to be awarded for the kids. Free admission.

Norwich: Christ Church School of the Arts is putting on a Halloween Silent Movie Night Spooktacular! on Oct. 24 at 7:30 p.m. The silent movie classic “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” will be played on a large screen while accompanied by an organist. Guests are encouraged to wear their costumes and enjoy concessions made available by the church. Admission is $5 as a suggested donation.
 

Tolland County:

Coventry: A candlelight room-by-room tour will take place at the Nathan Hale Homestead on Oct. 24 and Oct. 25 at 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. The tour will feature ghost stories and the unpublished and unexplained stories of the Homestead guide staff. Refreshments include beer, wine, cider, and donuts made on the hearth. Admission is $25 or $20 for CT Landmarks members. 

Hebron: All Hallows weekend will take place Oct. 25 and Oct. 26 at the CT Renaissance Faire, Lions Fairgrounds. A children’s costume contest will take place on Saturday. When the faire closes at 6 p.m., Halloween Knights begins. Sunday’s events include an adult costume contest and more. Admission is $17.

Windham County

Killingly: Fright Night on Broad Street will take place in the Killingly Community Center on October 31 and November 1, from 6:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. For $5, the public can take a guided tour to see what could be haunting the Community Center building. Proceeds benefit KHS Music Boosters and KPRD.

Putnam: Great Pumpkin Festival on October 25 starting at 10 a.m., downtown Putnam will feature live entertainment, food, arts and crafts and games. http://www.putnambusiness.org/

Trick or Treat Street takes place on October 31 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.  in downtown Putnam, from Jade Garden and River Front Commons all the way to Union Square. Children can dress up and get treats from participating merchants.

Willimantic: Head to Jillson Square in downtown Willimantic on Oct. 31 from 4:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. for Trunk or Treat, a Halloween egg flashlight hunt, Halloween music and more with free admission.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Trail of Terror]]> Mon, 13 Oct 2014 15:19:32 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Trail+of+Terror+Photo+Edited.jpg The Trail of Terror, an outdoor haunted attraction, in Wallingford is open Fridays and Saturdays from 7 p.m. until 11 p.m. and Sundays from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. through Nov. 1.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com]]>
<![CDATA[Goldy's Serves Last Breakfasts ]]> Sun, 12 Oct 2014 08:25:01 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/goldyslastdays101014.jpg

A New London favorite is serving its last breakfasts Sunday morning.

The doors at Goldy's Restaurant opened for the last time at 7 a.m. and the crowds are coming in for a last meal and to say their goodbyes.

The restaurant was established in the 1980s and a mother and daughter took over the business a few years ago. They are closing their restaurant after receiving an offer to buy the property that they could not refuse.

Sunday is about the food and celebrating the restaurant that so many have come to love over the years.

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<![CDATA[Chick-fil-a Opens First Connecticut Site]]> Sat, 11 Oct 2014 18:09:54 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/175*120/10814+Chick+fil+A+5.JPG ]]> <![CDATA[Thousands Expected at Hartford Marathon]]> Fri, 10 Oct 2014 18:17:38 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/hartford+marathon+start.jpg

Thousands of runners will be heading to Hartford this weekend for the Hartford Marathon.

The NU Hartford Marathon and Half Marathon begin at 8 a.m. in Bushnell Park on Saturday. Wheelchair participants start at 7:55 a.m.

The course begins on Capitol Avenue in front of the State Capitol grounds and several roads will be closed in Hartford, West Hartford, East Hartford and in South Windsor. 

Some exits off Interstate 84, I-91 and Route 2 will also be affected

A 5K race will also be held. It kick off at 8:01 a.m. at Washington Street and Buckingham Street at the red balloon arch. A children’s race will begin at 9:30 a.m. on Elm Street by Pulaski Circle.

Event organizers expect 20,000 runners to participate in the road race, with an additional 40,000 to 50,000 spectators and volunteers also on hand.

Between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m., exhibitors will participate in an outdoor expo at Bushnell Park.

Road closures will include: 

  • Capitol Avenue, between Oak Street And Hudson Street from 12:01 a.m. on Saturday.
  • Lafayette Street will be closed between Capitol Avenue and Russ Street as of 12:01 a.m. on Saturday.
  • Trinity Street will be closed between Ford and Elm streets, west Of Pulaski Circle as pm noon today.
  • Trinity Street will be closed between Elm Street And Capitol Avenue as of 11 p.m. on Friday.
  • Elm Street will be closed from Trinity Street To Pulaski Circle as of 9 a.m. on Thursday.

See the full list of road closures here.

A variety of local businesses in Hartford are offering special deals for Marathon runners and spectators.

Find a full list on the Hartford Marathon Web site.



Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com]]>
<![CDATA[Storms Don't Stop Lines at New Chick-fil-A]]> Thu, 09 Oct 2014 07:19:21 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/10814+Chick+Fil+A+Edited.jpg

Storms on Wednesday morning didn't stop people from lining up outside the first Connecticut Chick-fil-A in Brookfield 24 hours in advance.

Nearly 30 people were already lined up as of 7:30 a.m. yesterday and pitched tents in the parking lot for a chance to win free Chick-fil-A for a year. By midnight, 100 people were in line.

Those first 100 people in line who can verify they are 18 or older will win free Chick-fil-A for a year.

The restaurant opened this morning at 6 a.m.

The restaurant chain is also providing bathroom access, Chick-fil-A food throughout the day and security, as well as holding a DJ dance party in the evening.

The restaurant brings 80 jobs to the state.

Chick-fil-A is located at 156 Federal Road in Brookfield. Three other Chick-fil-A restaurants are slated to open in Connecticut.

A new restaurant inside the Danbury Fair Mall and a stand-alone restaurant in Wallingford will open Nov. 6, both offering the chance to win Chick-fil-A for a year. The restaurant plans to open a site in Enfield as well.

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<![CDATA[Get Your Apple Fritters! Southington Festival Reopens.]]> Sun, 05 Oct 2014 13:16:06 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/160*120/appleyapple.jpg

Rain may have canceled Southington's Apple Harvest Festival on Saturday, but the Zion Lutheran Church still opened its famous apple fritter booth and many people braved the lines and the rain to get their hands on the popular fall treats.

But the sun is shining Sunday as the annual event reopens for its two-weekend run. The event, located near the Southington Town Green, draws as many as 100,000 people every year.

There are plenty of family-friendly activities including live music, entertainment, several food booths, contests, an arts and crafts show, carnival rides, children's activities and much more. The festival parade will step off at 2 p.m.

The apple festival will open at noon and close at 7 p.m. The festival will also be open 5 to 9 p.m. Friday, Oct. 10, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 11 and noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 12. The fireworks were canceled Saturday but are rescheduled for Saturday, Oct. 11 at 9 p.m. Admission and parking is free.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Chick-fil-A Opens in Brookfield Next Week]]> Wed, 01 Oct 2014 16:13:16 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/185*120/chick-149652889.jpg

Chick-fil-A will be opening its first stand-alone restaurant in Connecticut in Brookfield on Thursday, Oct. 9 at 6:30 a.m.

However, dedicated customers can arrive at 6 a.m. on Wednesday Oct. 8 for a chance to will win a free meal every week for a year.

The giveaway is Chick-fil-A’s “First 100” promotion and a spokesperson for the restaurant said the first 100 customers camp out overnight to get their hands on the chicken sandwich Consumer Reports readers dubbed “tastiest chicken sandwich” in 2014.

Those living in specific zip codes, roughly within a 25-mile radius of the 156 Federal Road location, are eligible for the “First 100” promotion.

The new restaurant will create 80 jobs and is the first of four to open in Connecticut within the next six months.

The Wallingford location will open on Nov. 6 at 1098 N. Colony Road. and will also offer the “First 100” promotion.

Locations are also planned for Danbury and Enfield.

The Brookfield Chick-fil-A will offer take-out, drive-thru, free Wi-Fi, an indoor play area and enough room inside to seat 109 people.

Devon Scalon, the owner of Brookfield location, said she thinks opening the restaurant will have a positive impact on her hometown.

“I couldn’t be more excited to bring Chick-fil-A’s freshly prepared food and signature customer service to Connecticut,” she said.

On Wednesday, Oct. 8, the new restaurant will also host a new book drive to benefit the Brookfield Public Schools District between 11 a.m. and 6 p.m.

You can stay up to date on construction progress and grand opening festivities on the Brookfield Chick-fil-A's Facebook page.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Dress Like a Zombie and Head to Putnam]]> Wed, 01 Oct 2014 16:09:16 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Flash-Mob-Walking-Dead-Escape-1.jpg

First Fridays, a weekly celebration series in Putnam, Connecticut, offers arts, cuisine and shopping to residents and visitors. But this week, people are being asked to “Stroll your decaying body across our putrid runway for prizes!”

It’s a Zombie Fashion Show on Main Street. The event is free and open to all ages. Registration will take place on Friday at the Putnam Business Association table.

Also featured this week is a community arts project: “Tell a Story with a Mask,” for which people can build, paint and decorate paper masks and share folklore stories.

A puppet show, shadow show and carnival games will be available in addition to The Extraordinary Rendition Band, a street band comprised of brass reeds and percussion.

First Fridays take place starting the first Friday of May through October from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
For more information, visit Discover Putnam on Facebook or The First Fridays Putnam Web site.

 



Photo Credit: Facebook]]>
<![CDATA[Pumpkin Spice Madness: Craziest Treats]]> Fri, 10 Oct 2014 09:41:49 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/pumpkin-spice-fatte-Ramsey-Mathew.jpg It seems like everyone is going crazy over pumpkin spice-flavored this and that. Take a look at the wackiest pumpkin-inspired culinary items that might be worth a try this season. ]]> <![CDATA[National Coffee Day Deals and Freebies]]> Mon, 29 Sep 2014 08:45:38 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/514727145.jpg

The start of the work week can be rough, but many coffee chains are offering free or inexpensive cups of coffee to celebrate National Coffee Day.

See where you can get a discount on a your daily dose of caffeine. 

Dunkin' Donuts

Dunkin' Donuts is offering a free medium cup of its new Dark Roast blend. 

Krispy Kreme

Krispy Kreme is celebrating the day by offering free small coffees at participating shops.

McDonald's

You can visit McDonald's for a free small coffee during the chain’s breakfast hours.

Tim Hortons

Tim Hortons will be selling $1 cup coffees, and some stores will also have hidden golden envelopes with “more than $9,000 in cash and gift cards.” CNN Money reported that the scavenger hunt will take place in Columbus, Ohio; Buffalo and Rochester, New York; and in Detroit and Grand Rapids, Michigan. 

Wawa

Wawa is giving away a free 16-ounce coffee to customers who sign up for a coupon by email. The East Coast chain has convenience stores in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia and Central Florida.



Photo Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto
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<![CDATA[Iggy Azalea Comes to Foxwoods ]]> Fri, 26 Sep 2014 15:43:21 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/455835408.jpg

Female rap star Iggy Azalea is set to perform on Sunday evening at the Foxwoods Resort Casino in Mashantucket.

The Australian rapper took the Internet by storm in 2013 with her single “Work” garnering 95 million hits on YouTube. 

Her latest album “The New Classic” was released in April and included the wildly popular track “Fancy,” which landed at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for several weeks. 

Azalea is only the fourth solo female rap artist to ever top the Billboard Hot 100.
The event will be held at Foxwoods’ Grand Theater at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are available for the event starting at $55.

For more information on the event, head to Foxwoods' Web site.



Photo Credit: WireImage]]>
<![CDATA[Record Turnout Expected at 5K Race in Madison]]> Thu, 25 Sep 2014 22:42:45 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/running+generic.jpg

Madison's annual Denali Run the Gantlet race is expecting a record turnout Sunday, and an extra heat is being added to accommodate more runners.

The 5K obstacle course will take place along the Hammonasset Beach shore and features tasks including wall climbs, cargo nets, tire crossings, planks and an aqua run.

With registered participants reaching close to 600, an 11 a.m. heat has been added to compensate for the already filled 9 a.m. and 10 a.m. heats.

Participants are welcome to enjoy a post-race beach party equip with live music, free pizza from Old World Pizza Truck, free beer from Thimble Island Brewing Company and an awards ceremony.

Registration is still open to those who want to join the Denali Run the Gauntlet Team Competition.

Teams will be accepted in categories including: Family Team, Corporate Team, Open Team, and Crossfit Team. The top 3 teams in each category will receive an award, and the first 600 participants to register will receive a technical running shirt.

Proceeds from the Denali Run the Gauntlet race benefits the Shoreline Greenway Trail, a non-profit, volunteer-based organization that works to create a non-motorized continuous trail on the Connecticut shoreline from Lighthouse Point on New Haven Harbor to Hammonasset Beach in Madison.

For more information, visit jbsports.com or call JB Sports at 203-481-5933.

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<![CDATA[Learn How to Survive Zombies]]> Tue, 23 Sep 2014 13:08:29 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/zombie-generic.jpg

You can learn just about anything at your local library, including how to survive a zombie apocalypse.

The Henry Carter Hull Library in Clinton is hosting a how to survive the zombie apocalypse event for children next month.

The event is for children in grades three through six, and parents are advised to use discretion.

Lessons taught will include how to make a basic survival kit; weapons training, including marshmallow poppers and foam swords; target practice; zombie camouflage lessons; makeup tecniques; and instructions on how to do the Michael Jackson "Thriller" dance.

It will be held on Wednesday, Oct. 15, from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

The library is located at 10 Killingworth Turnpike in Clinton.

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<![CDATA[Hundreds of Bikers Compete in Connecticut Cycling Festival]]> Mon, 22 Sep 2014 05:41:49 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/92114+Connecticut+Cycling+Festival+Edited.jpg

Cyclists are weaving through the city streets of Hartford Sunday morning, competing in the Connecticut Cycling Festival races.

The first race started a little before 9 a.m. and there will be different races throughout the day.

The the amateur race is underway and professional races start early afternoon. Cyclists are riding a figure 8 course. It starts on Asylum Avenue by the XL Center and covers a one-mile circuit through four downtown city blocks on Ann Uccello, Pearl and Allyn Streets. The racers will also travel on part of Trumbull Street between Pearl and Asylum.

There are hundreds of cyclists from all across the state participating in the races.

"It's pretty intense 45 minutes of your heart rate getting way up there. It's hurts, but it's fun," cyclist Grant Gorczyca, of Higganum, said.

Many of them are on teams and have spent a considerable amount of time training.

"You know when it's raining it's always a challenge," cyclist Jonathan Quiza, of Fairfield said. "It's like a mental game. So I'm just trying to win."

Hartford police have the area blocked off, so seek alternate routes if you're traveling through the capital city on Sunday. 

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<![CDATA[Celebrate National Cheeseburger Day]]> Thu, 18 Sep 2014 11:28:13 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/87992859.jpg

It's National Cheeseburger Day! If you are a burger connoisseur, you know there are many places to grab a mouthwatering, juicy cheeseburger in Connecticut.

Here are some of them:

Louis’ Lunch
261-263 Crown Street in New Haven
(203) 562-5507

Ted's Restaurant
1046 Broad Street, Meriden 203-237-6660 and 43 Berlin Road, Cromwell 860-635-8337

Harry's Place in Colchester, a viewer favorite, has been featured in Roadfood for the incredibly juicy burgers. They also call a Harry’s cheeseburger “fast food perfection.”
Harry’s holds the distinct honor of being on the National Register of Historic places.

Max Burger in West Hartford serves up everything from a classic burger, to a gourmet chicken burger or a veggie burger. Trust us, your taste buds will be very, very happy with this food outing. The Inside Out burger is delicious, but check out the full menu, including the specials.
Max Burger
124 LaSalle Road, West Hartford
860-232-3300

Plan B Burger Bar is one of those places that you’ll keep going back to, time and time again. They pride themselves on the fresh beef burgers, but you can get just about any kind of burger you can imagine. The New Englander is made with lobster, smoked gouda, caramelized onion, lettuce, tomato and corn spread.

There are several locations in the state:

Plan B Burger Bar: 

120 Hebron Ave., Glastonbury, 860-430-9737
1638 Boston Post Road, Milford, 203-713-8700
4 Railroad St., Simsbury, 860-658-4474
230 Tresser Boulevard, Stamford, 203-964-8353
138 Park Road, West Hartford, 860-231-1199

Prime 16 in New Haven and Orange. In the past, viewers have lauded these burgers. Build your own or pick one of the specialties. You won't find a honey truffle burger on too many menus.

Shady Glen, in Manchester, is another viewer favorite. It's not uncommon for people who've had a Shady Glen cheeseburger to say it's the best -- ever.

Corner Pug, West Hartford. If you’re heading out on national burger day with someone who, for some reason, does not share your burger love, head to the Corner Pug in West Hartford. You can indulge on a blackened Cajun burger or knife and fork Irish nacho burger while your dining partner has salad, steak, mac and cheese or chicken.
These are just some of the best places to go for burgers. There is no way to name them all. Let us know your picks by commenting below.

Lake Zoar Drive-In, 14 Roosevelt Drive (Route 34), Monroe, CT (203) 268-8137



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Fondue “Dipping Grill” to Open at Mohegan Sun ]]> Wed, 17 Sep 2014 16:10:20 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/cheesefondue14.jpg

The Mohegan Sun Resort & Casino will soon have another dining option available for guests.
“Sticks and Stones” a fondue “dipping grille” is set to open later this year at the resorts’ “Casino of the Sky.”

According to a news release from Mohegan Sun, the new restaurant “encourages playing with your food while sharing conversation, experimenting with new tastes and enjoying plenty of laughs.”

The motto is “sip, sizzle and dip,” and molecular drinks will be on the menu, like a mojito in a bubble that pops in your mouth, and a drink served in a bowl that’s attached to a lava lamp and surrounded by dry ice. 

The eatery will feature a postmodern industrial theme and hopes to provide guests with a unique, interactive dining experience as they enjoy a modern take on a classic dish.

For more information on “Sticks and Stones” visit their website at http://www.sticksnstonesgrille.com/
 



Photo Credit: Getty Images/Dorling Kindersley]]>
<![CDATA[Middletown Dance Team Wins National Championship]]> Tue, 16 Sep 2014 14:11:48 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Cafferys+Dance+and+Gymnastics+School+Edit.jpg

A Connecticut hip hop dance team won That's Entertainment's national dance competition in early August at Trump Plaza in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

Middletown's Caffery's Dance and Gymnastics School earned the high score in the "all-senior group, line and production routines" and had the highest overall score with 299.5 out of a possible 300, according to a letter confirming the title from That's Entertainment Director RoseMary Pontuck.

The team competed as Caffery's Dance Crew and is made up of 16-to19-year-old students from Portland, East Hampton, Middletown and Higganum.

The dance crew did their routine to the song, "Bring Em Out."

"We rocked this dance competition," Kaitlyn Charton, Caffery's dance student, said. "Receiving the highest score of the entire competition was an indescribable feeling!"

The national championship-winning team includes Charton, Vanessa Lastrina, Adrianna Aresco, Lauren Billings, Megan Barnett, Kaitlyn Charton, Calvin Dempsy, Krysten Nye,Desiree Owens, Gina Palmieri, Kaitlyn Tomer, Gabby Varela and Chelsea Winborne. Lindsay Almquist choreographed the routine.

Caffery's dance director Maureen Aresco said that she's never before seen "a whole panel of judges jumped to their feet clapping and cheering" in her career as a dance teacher.

Nationals ran from Aug. 4 to 6. Before that Caffery's won the regional level competition in April in Windsor against about 1,000 competitors.



Photo Credit: Courtesy of Caffery's Dance and Gymnastics School ]]>
<![CDATA[2 Chick-fil-A Sites Open in October]]> Thu, 18 Sep 2014 19:45:59 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/ChikFilABrookfieldEDIT.jpg

Chick-fil-A's first two Connecticut locations are set to open in October.

The chicken fast food chain, most popular in southern states, will open first in Brookfield, and expects to open at 1098 North Colony Road in Wallingford on Oct. 30.

The Wallingford location will host a pre-opening "countdown" event at 11:30 a.m. Sept. 23.

The restaurant will create 110 jobs and will include indoor seating for 160, along with additional patio seating.

Chick-fil-A will open at 140 Federal Road in Brookfield on Oct. 9. The Brookfield restaurant, which is expected to create at least 60 jobs, will seat 109 people inside and will also offer outdoor seating.

Both restaurants will feature drive-thru lanes, free Wi-Fi and indoor play areas that are toddler-friendly.

The first 100 adults to line up for Chick-fil-A on the day of the grand openings will be awarded with one free meal a week for a year in the restaurant's "First 100" celebration.

A meal includes a Chick-fil-A sandwich, waffle fries and a medium beverage. More information is available online.

At past "First 100" celebrations, patrons have been known to camp out a day in advance with tents and electronics to pass the time.

Consumer Reports readers voted Chick-fil-A's signature chicken sandwich "tastiest chicken sandwich" in 2014.

You can stay up to date on construction progress and grand opening festivities on the Brookfield Chick-fil-A's Facebook page.

Chick-fil-A expects to open additional locations at the Danbury Fair Mall, which is set to be up and running by November, and one in Enfield that will be completed in early 2015.


This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story on our mobile site.]]>
<![CDATA[New Restaurant Opening at Mohegan Sun]]> Mon, 15 Sep 2014 20:13:56 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/cheesefondue14.jpg

A new restaurant will open its doors at Mohegan Sun by the end of 2014.

Sticks & Stones, a fondue dipping grille, will be located in the Casino of the Sky in Uncasville and will offer steaks, seafood and locally grown vegetables for dipping in broths, sauces and cheeses.

Dishes will be available for non-fondue style dining as well, according to a release from the restaurant.

The restaurant will seat just under 300 people and will include a cocktail bar, kitchen studio and accommodations for private parties or dinners.

Visit Sticks & Stones online for more information.



Photo Credit: Getty Images/Dorling Kindersley]]>
<![CDATA[North Pole Express Tickets Go on Sale]]> Wed, 10 Sep 2014 11:11:36 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/214*120/Essex+steam+train.jpg

Summer will hang on for another week and a half, but it’s time for parents across Connecticut to start thinking about the holidays. 

Coach tickets for the Essex Steam Train's North Pole Express went on sale at 9 a.m. on Wednesday and more than 2,500 orders were placed in less than 45 minutes. Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays in December are already sold out, according to a post on the Essex Steam Train Facebook page. 

A trip on the North Pole Express is a magical journey for children across Connecticut and beyond. 

If you have not yet had the experience, every coach becomes the stage for a live musical performance of “The Night Before Christmas.”

Children can wear pajamas and spend time with Santa and Mrs. Claus, take part in sing-a-longs and enjoy hot chocolate and sugar cookies.

You can buy tickets online here.

If you are having trouble getting tickets, Essex Steam Train offers some hints for getting coach tickets:

  • Use this link for a list of all available tickets.
  • Change the pulldown menu, preset from 20 per page to 200 per page to see all available tickets on a single page.
  • First Class tickets have a gold colored background, coach tickets have a transparent / white background
  • If you sort by MANUFACTURER (default setting) tickets are sorted by departure date. If you sort by AVAILABILITY you will see the departures with the most tickets first.
  • If you want to quickly see tickets available for a particular date, click on that date in the list along the left side, but you will need to click back out to see other dates.
  • If a particular departure (time/date) does not display, the tickets are sold out. All dates and departures have some tickets available going into this morning's ticket sales.

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<![CDATA[Norwalk Boat Show to Take to the Waters]]> Mon, 08 Sep 2014 14:21:05 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Norwalk+boat+show_fixed.jpg

Norwalk Cove Marina will soon be even more of a boater's paradise as the Progressive Insurance Norwalk Boat Show takes to the waters Sept. 18 to 21.

The event will include a free boat ride on Long Island Sound, an animal adventure show, workshops on boat and motor maintenance and repairs and boating skills and an area to test out "stand up" paddleboards and kayaks with seminars, demos and tours. The new Miss Geico racing boat will also be on display.

Eric Stone will be playing some island-themed songs between 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. that Thursday to Sunday.

There are also plenty events for the kids, including face painting, a small lake with paddleboats, a toy boat building and Nickelodeon's Dora the Explorer on Saturday and Sunday (Sept. 20-21).

Admission is free for kids 15 and under.

The boat show runs Sept. 18 to 21 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Paking will be available in the Calf Pasture Parking Lot. People who want to arrive by boat can dock at Norwalk Harbor and take a water taxi to the show docks for $5 per person.

More information on the boat show and purchasing tickets, you can visit boatshownorwalk.com or follow the boat show on Twitter (@NorwalkBoatShow).



Photo Credit: Norwalk Boat Show]]>
<![CDATA[BrewFest Comes to Mohegan Sun in October]]> Mon, 08 Sep 2014 11:41:42 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Mohegan+Sun+Brewfest.jpg

If your mouth starts watering over the thought of a good beer, keep your schedule open for the weekend of Oct. 4, reach out to some friends and plan to head to Mohegan Sun.

The 3rd annual Sun BrewFest promises up to 200 of the best beers around and there will be tastings at Mohegan Sun on Saturday, followed by a BrewBrunch on Sunday.

The beer event features craft beers, microbrews, imports, domestic beers and ciders and breweries will be pouring 2-ounce samples in souvenir mini pilsners.

As you sip, live music will be playing inside Mohegan Sun’s Uncas Ballroom.

Tickets to the tasting sessions are $25 each. The first session runs from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday and the second is from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturday.

The BrewBrunch runs from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sunday, and beer-infused cocktails will be served. Goose Island beer is the sponsor and is featured in all the recipes.

The other sponsor, Absolut, will help guests create their own signature Bloody Mary.

Tickets to the BrewBrunch are $60.

For more details or to buy tickets, visit the Sun Brewfest Web site.



Photo Credit: Mohegan Sun ]]>
<![CDATA[ Coast Guard Band to Play Tchaikovsky's '1812 Overture' at Concert]]> Sun, 31 Aug 2014 12:21:00 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/fort+trumbull+beach.jpg

The United States Coast Guard is tuning their trumpets and warming up the woodwinds for a concert in New London later Sunday afternoon.

The band will perform Tchaikovsky's "1812 Overture," highlighted by a live canon firing.

The concert is free and starts at 3 p.m. at Fort Trumbull State Park in New London.

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<![CDATA[Wicked High, Wicked Fast, Wicked Cyclone]]> Fri, 29 Aug 2014 14:37:56 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/wicked+cyclone1_0.jpg

If you like things that go wicked high and wicked fast, you’ll be excited about the “Wicked Cyclone.”

The roller coaster coming to Six Flags New England will be massive, at 10 stories high, and will have a spine-tingling 109-foot hill.

The 200-degree stall, 55-mile per hour speed and two Zero G rolls will have even thrill-seekers’ adrenaline pumping.

When the Wicked Cyclone opens in 2015, the steel track/wooden structure hybrid roller coaster it will be the first of its kind on the entire East Coast.

 
 



Photo Credit: Six Flags New England
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story on our mobile site.]]>
<![CDATA[Happy Dog Day!]]> Tue, 26 Aug 2014 20:49:46 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/9ade6151ed3a49cb83eccdd7e4c90c89.jpg We asked for your dog photos and, doggone, did you deliver!]]> <![CDATA[CT Fair Schedule]]> Fri, 12 Sep 2014 08:06:45 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Fair-rides-generic.jpg

Summer may be coming to an end, but there is still a lot of family fun to look forward to this fall with autumn fairs and festivals.

Here are some fairs to put on your calendar this fall:

Sept. 11-14

Sept. 19-21

Sept. 25-28

Oct. 3-5

Oct. 4 and 5

Oct. 10-12

Fairs the have already happened.

Aug. 29-Sept. 1, 2014

Sept. 4-8

Comment below if you have information on a fall fair or festival you don't see listed. Send your fair photos to shareit@nbcconnecticut.com.



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA['America's Got Talent' Winner Terry Fator to Appear in Waterbury]]> Tue, 26 Aug 2014 07:12:42 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/FADOFINTV082514.jpg America's Got Talent winner and Vegas entertainer Terry Fator joined Kerri-Lee Mayland on NBC Connecticut News Today at 11a.m. on Monday to talk about his upcoming show at the Palace Theater in Waterbury.]]> <![CDATA[Hot Air Balloon Festival Takes Off in Plainville Sunday]]> Sun, 24 Aug 2014 07:49:43 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Plainville+Hot+Air+Balloons.jpg

Look up at the skies this weekend in Plainville, and you just might spot a giraffe or a wicked witch.

No, your eyes aren’t deceiving you. Those are just two of nearly thirty hot air balloon designs featured at the Plainville Fire Company Hot Air Balloon Festival underway at Norton Park.

This annual tradition, now in its thirtieth year, draws thousands of spectators from all over New England and New York. It’s all to raise funds for the town’s all-volunteer fire department and the local organizations they support.

“It’s the biggest fundraiser the fire company has right now,” said festival co-chairman and firefighter Phil Brousseau. “And the money goes back to the community in the forms of scholarships.”

The hot air balloons take top billing at the three day event running Friday through Sunday morning, but the festival has also expanded over the years to include live music, fair food and more than 75 craft vendors.

The festival opens at 5:30 a.m. on Sunday, with one last balloon flight scheduled for 6 a.m. Admission and parking are free.

For parking information and an event schedule visit http://www.plainvillefireco.com/Balloon_Festival.html
 



Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com]]>
<![CDATA[Infinity Music Hall and Bistro Opens in Hartford]]> Fri, 22 Aug 2014 08:09:16 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/214*120/infinity+music+hall.JPG

The curtains opened on Hartford's new Infinity Music Hall and Bistro on Gov. Dannel Malloy, along with other local leaders, joined hall founder and owner Dan Hicks for the red-carpeted ribbon cutting ceremony.

“To some extent I’m pinching myself,” said Malloy.

The 500-seat music hall is set to host 250 music and comedy shows a year and comes combined with a four-star restaurant and bar. The Hartford location is an extension of the Infinity Music Hall and Bistro in Norfolk, which has been in business since 2007. The governor says it's the latest business boost in the thriving Capitol City.

“Fifteen hundred [apartment] units being constructed in downtown Hartford. You look right here at Front Street, that operation was vacant three-and-a-half years ago now it’s largely filled,” Malloy said.

Hartford’s Mayor Pedro Segarra was also in attendance fresh from the opening of Naturally Dogs & Cats on Trumbull Street.

“With each opening comes more and more jobs. It creates a better mix for visitors to our community,” said Segarra.

Originally part of the iConnect pop-up program, Naturally Dogs & Cats is the second business that has signed a long-term lease to stay in Hartford. Lauren Varjabedian, who works for the city’s marketing events and cultural affairs division, says that’s the real sign of stability.

“We’ve seen large growth in people who want to grow their business in Hartford so I think we’re definitely on the up-swing,” said Varjabedian.

It is a welcomes change from the longtime lull in business development that plagued both the city and the state.

“With this relationship between state government, local government and the people of Hartford, we really have it booming again,” said Malloy.

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<![CDATA[4 Connecticut Colleges Make Best Food List]]> Thu, 21 Aug 2014 16:40:59 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/dining-generic-plate-fork.jpg

College students are heading back to school and that’s good news for empty stomachs at four Connecticut colleges and universities.

Daily Meal ranked the 75 best colleges for food in the United States and Yale, Connecticut College, UConn and Wesleyan all made the list.

Wesleyan was number 39 of 75. The Daily Meal highlighted the vegan menu, as well as meal options that include the tandoori chicken with basmati rice and stewed chickpeas. There is also a biweekly Chef’s Table, where the school community takes part in continuing to improve dining options.

UConn comes in at 36th. Its Farm Fresh Market uses produce from two student-run gardens. How much fresher can you get? You can also take part in the Scooby Doo Halloween dinner, a New England clambake and eat at a s’mores bar. If you want to do your own cooking, dining services has a YouTube channel.

Coming in at 34 is Connecticut College, where you can get New England clam chowder and dinners with themes such as the Happy Halloween Celebration, international dinners, and the Festivus (love the Seinfeld reference) in December.

"“We strive to provide the best experience possible,” Ingrid Bushwack, director of Dining Services, said in a statement on the Connecticut College Web site. “It begins the moment diners step through the door and see smiling faces of all our staff, from our cashiers to the cooks creating great food and continues with the people behind the scenes, washing dishes and cleaning up.”

Connecticut College also has Sprout, a 100-percent organic dining program.

Number 20 is Yale, with its impressive menu selection and the dining series, “Reality Bites,” as well as the Sustainable Food Project, which manages two on-campus farms.

How does/did your college’s food rank? Comment on the article and let us know.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Apple Store Opening at Evergreen Walk in South Windsor]]> Tue, 19 Aug 2014 20:14:23 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/apple-mac-generic.jpg

Attention, iPhone users and Mac lovers: A new Apple Store will open its doors for the first time at Evergreen Walk in South Windsor this weekend.

The grand opening will take place Saturday at 10 a.m. at 501 Evergreen Walk.

Free T-shirts will be available to the first 1,000 customers, according to an email from the company. Workshops and training sessions will also be open to the public Saturday on a first-come-first-served basis.

The new store will offer Apple products and provide technical support at the Genius Bar.

Apple Stores are also located in West Hartford, New Haven, Danbury, Greenwich and Stamford.



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Riverfront Dragon Boat and Asian Festival]]> Mon, 18 Aug 2014 19:30:46 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Dragon+Boat+1+Edited.jpg Scenes from the 14th annual Riverfront Dragon Boat and Asian Festival in Hartford this weekend in photos.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com]]>
<![CDATA[Local Pizza Place is Top Family Friendly Restaurant]]> Fri, 15 Aug 2014 18:46:24 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Food+Phillies+2012+Preview+Seasons+Pizza+Generic.jpg

A Manchester pizza place has snagged a spot on the list of top-10 family friendly restaurants in the country.

Randy’s Wooster Street Pizza on Tolland Turnpike in Manchester was among 10 restaurants to make the cut nationwide. It’s part of a competition hosted by U.S. Foods, and the five winners will take home $2,000 each in kitchen equipment and supplies.

The restaurant is the only New England establishment on the list. It’s up against others in Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, California, Colorado, Virginia, Missouri and North Carolina.

Chefs will visit each of the restaurants before Aug. 23 and help pick the final five alongside a panel of judges.

The winners will be announced Sept. 2 and will earn a spread in the winter issue of Food Fanatics Magazine.

Randy’s operates two other locations in Storrs and Berlin.



Photo Credit: NBC10 - Dan Stamm]]>
<![CDATA['Ice Bucket Challenge' Raising Money, Awareness]]> Tue, 12 Aug 2014 22:33:16 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/gerry+shirley+ice+bucket+crop.jpg

You may find yourself with goose bumps after watching video after video of friends and family members dumping buckets of ice cold water on themselves.

It’s known as the “Ice Bucket Challenge,” and it’s not exploding on social media just because it’s summer.

The challenge is designed to raise awareness of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, better known as ALS, or Lou Gehrig's disease, which affects nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord. The nerve cells progressively degenerate, which eventually leads to death.

Anyone can participate in the challenge, which started with 29-year-old Pete Frates, of Massachusetts, who has been living with ALS for two years now and has lost his ability to speak, according to NBC News. 

All you have to do is record yourself dumping a bucket of ice water over your head, then post it to social media and challenge the next competitor. If that doesn't sound appealing, you can forgo the icy shower and donate to the ALS Association.

It's become a national phenomenon and NBC Connecticut has even joined in the fun, with anchors Gerry Brooks and Shirley Chan, sports anchor Kevin Nathan, meteorologist Bob Maxon and reporters Amy Parmenter and Abbey Niezgoda taking the icy plunge.

The campaign is working. ALS Association spokesperson Carrie Munk told NBC News that the organization has collected $1.35 million in just the past couple weeks, compared with $22,000 during the same period last year.

In Connecticut, donations have increased by $20,000 since this time last year, according to Jacky Denicola, events coordinator for the local chapter of the ALS Association.

The campaign has not only led to a spike in donations but also a better-informed public and increased participation in walks to raise awareness, according to the Connecticut chapter, which says about 200 people in the state have been diagnosed with ALS.

Other prominent people have taken the challenge, including well-known TV personalities such as "Today" show anchors, Martha Stewart, Justin Timberlake and Tiger Woods.



Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com]]>
<![CDATA[Back to School Tech Gear: 10 Hot Gadgets for Students]]> Tue, 26 Aug 2014 08:27:20 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/thumb-tech.jpg From tablet convertibles to smart watches and battery charging phone cases, here's a list of top back to school electronics for the season. ]]> <![CDATA[Back to School Tech: Hot Electronic Gear for Students]]> Tue, 26 Aug 2014 08:27:19 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/thumb-tech.jpg

From smart watches to tablet convertibles and a Kindle to download your textbooks, here's what you should know about back to school gear now on the market.

For students going off to college, a laptop computer is a necessity, according to Jordan Crook, a reporter at TechCrunch.

"The best possible computer for a student would be a MacBook Air," Crook said. "It's just the most portable, light-weight thing you can carry around and it's powerful."

However, the latest gear hitting stores this season is an alternative to the everyday laptop — a tablet convertible.

"They call them convertible because they can either be a laptop or a tablet," said Sy Paulson, the general manager of a Manhattan Best Buy.

Tablet convertibles flip to let you "type as comfortably as you would on a traditional laptop."

Paulson recommends the Microsoft Surface, "because it is one of the most powerful and lightweight, and the battery lasts for a very long time."

When it comes to reading for either long-term or nightly assignments, Crook says you can't go wrong with a Kindle Paperwhite.

"It's a great thing for a student to get if you're going be doing a lot of reading. A lot of textbooks can download onto that,"she said. "It'll keep [them] all in one place."

The Kindle Paperwhite is the newest of the Kindle devices and is designed just for reading. The Kindle Fire also allows for using apps and watching TV shows.

For the tech-savvy student who might want to receive social media notifications without pulling out a smartphone in class, Crook recommends the Pebble Steel Smart Watch. The originator of the smart watch trend, Pebble's newest model, the Pebble Steel, beats out competitors with its iOs and Android compatibility, according to Crook.

Another tech-accessory-turned-fashion-statement is a good pair of noise-canceling headphones.

"If you want a home run back to school purchase idea for any student, you're going to go a long way if you pick up a pair of Beats or Bose noise canceling headphones," Paulson said.

But if a student wants their music to fill the room, Paulson recommends portable audio speakers that are battery powered and play through any device with a bluetooth interface.

Good speakers for a student on a study break could include GV Pulse speakers. "As you play it, it lights up, and if you turn the lights off in your dorm room you can make it look like a night club," Paulson explained.

Bluetooth has also allowed printers to go wireless. "You can stick the printer under the bed or in the closet on top of the mini fridge and print from your tablet or your phone or your computer," he said.


 

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<![CDATA[Head to the Mystic Art Festival This Weekend]]> Thu, 07 Aug 2014 11:22:10 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Mystic+Art+Festival.jpg

Artists will be filling the streets of Mystic this weekend for the 57th annual Mystic Outdoor Arts Festival.

The festival stretches for two miles and attracts thousands of people. http://mysticchamber.org/?sec=event&id=5706

If you are heading to Mystic to buy or just to browse, expect traffic and road closures. You will also have to pay attention to the no parking signs.

Groton Town Police are issuing a temporary no parking order from 4 a.m. on Saturday until 8 p.m. on Sunday and it will affect parts of these streets:

  • West Main Street, from the drawbridge to Bank Street
  • Water Street from West Main Street to New London Road
  • High Street, between New London Road and West Main Street
  • New London Road, between West Main and Latham streets
  • Bank Street
  • Cliff Street, west of Pearl Street
  • Edgecomb Street, extending a portion of the road west from Burrows Street

Traffic restrictions will also be in effect during the show. 
 

  • Water Street will be closed to vehicles from West Main Street to the Steamboat Wharf parking lot.  
  • Pearl Street will open to northbound traffic only.
  • Gravel Street will be open to southbound traffic only.



Photo Credit: Kristy Chu]]>
<![CDATA[Zoo Gets Fruit From Flipped Truck]]> Fri, 01 Aug 2014 05:16:22 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/180*120/elephant8.jpg

Talk about not letting roadkill go to waste.

The elephants, giraffes and bears at the Oakland Zoo got to nosh on African jackfruit and bananas Wednesday thanks to a overturned big rig that dumped 60,000 pounds of fruit in Livermore near the Altamont Pass earlier in the week.

"The elephants loved it," Brian Deering, president of the nonprofit F.A.I.R. Foundation, told NBC Bay Area. He masterminded the transfer – taking the lightly squished fruit from the side of Interstate Highway 580 and getting about 15,000 pounds of it to the animals at the zoo.

About 35,000 pounds fed humans at the Alameda County Food Bank, and the rest was too badly bruised to be eaten.

The truck is owned by All Seasons Produce in Oakland, which grows fruit in Mexico. Deering knows the owners, who contacted him after the truck tipped early Monday morning to say they didn't want the food to go to waste. He also knows the owners of Save Tow, who schlepped the tropical fruit to the zoo.

Deering's agency, which has roots in Sunnyvale but now is headquarted in Elk Grove, is a nonprofit that connects families in custody battles with material goods, such as cars, dishwashers, computers and food.

Zoo spokeswoman Nicky Mora said there is enough donated fruit for the elephants and bears to dine on all week.



Photo Credit: Erin Harrison/Oakland Zoo
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<![CDATA[Shoreline Wine Festival Returns to Connecticut]]> Thu, 31 Jul 2014 15:43:37 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/wine_bottles_generic.jpg

The annual Shoreline Wine Festival will be making its return to Connecticut. The 8th annual event takes place on Aug. 16 and 17.

The festival features vineyards and wineries from across the state, with each offering wine tastings.

Live music and entertainment, tours of the Bishop’s Orchards Winery and several wine seminars given by local experts are some highlights of the festival. Fine food from around the Connecticut area will also be offered at an additional cost.

Wineries participating in this year’s festival include Hopkins Vineyard, Chamard Vineyard, Sunset Meadow Vineyards, Jones Winery, and many others. Entertainment at the event includes The Shiny Lapel trio and Nick Fradiani.

Tickets for the festival are $30 for adults and $10 for designated drivers before August 9. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit www.shorelinewinefestival.com.



Photo Credit: clipart.com]]>
<![CDATA[Free Admission at Science Center for Hartford Residents]]> Wed, 30 Jul 2014 19:15:26 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/connecticut+science+center.jpg

The Connecticut Science Center will once again be partnering with the Hartford Public Library this summer to make science learning available to Hartford residents for free through the month of August.

Sponsored by The Travelers Companies, Inc., residents of Hartford will receive free general admission to Hartford's Science Center throughout the month, according to a release from the Connecticut Science Center. Passes will be available for pickup at any Hartford Public Library branch with proof of residency, such as a driver’s license, library card or recent piece of mail.

Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra said he hoped the program would “connect all of our residents, especially our youth, with the best assets and opportunities that our community has to offer,” according to the release.

The free passes include all-day access to the Science Center's 165 exhibits and displays. Last year's passes attracted more than 3,300 Hartford residents, the release says.

More information is available online.



Photo Credit: Flickr/Vilseskogen]]>
<![CDATA[It’s National Chicken Wing Day]]> Tue, 29 Jul 2014 16:43:14 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Buffalo-Wings-Generic.jpg

National Chicken Wing Day has apparently been a thing since 1977, and it’s a great excuse to dine in or take out from your favorite wing place.

We have several to choose from in Connecticut.

J. Timothy’s Tavern in Plainvillle is offering a free beer glass with any order of wings today in celebration.

Hooters locations are offering all-you-can-eat wings for $12.99 all day long.

Slider’s has "2 Fer Tuesday’s," so you can get two orders of six bone-in wings for the price of one from 8 p.m.to 10 p.m.

If you are in Danbury, head to TK’s and choose from 52 flavors.

Tavern House Grill in Tolland offers a large variety of wings, including bee sting, bourbon, sweet and sour, chipotle, garlic and more.

If you are in New Haven, Fairfield, Milford, Wallingford and Derby, head to Archie Moore’s.

East Side Café in Norwalk serves up buffalo, barbeque, mild, and Asian fusion wings.

Connecticut is also home to several Buffalo Wild Wings locations.

Where is your favorite place for wings in Connecticut?

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<![CDATA[Dispatch, Allen Stone and Family Fun at Gathering of the Vibes' Last Day]]> Sat, 02 Aug 2014 16:04:23 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Gathering+of+the+Vibes1200.jpg

If you grew up in the era of Woodstock or simply love music camping, and the Grateful Dead, Gathering of the Vibes in Bridgeport may be your jam.

The 19th annual weekend-long music festival kicked off at Seaside Park Thursday, July 31 and runs through Sunday. It's the 10th year Gathering of the Vibes has been at that location, according to the event website.

Former Grateful Dead members Bill Kreutzmann and Mickey Hart will perform with The Disco Biscuits as a headlining act.

On Friday, the lineup includes Slightly Stoopid, John Fogerty, Deep Banana Blackout and EOTO.

Saturday’s lineup includes Vibes veterans Assembly of Wine in the morning; Mystic-based Barefoot Truth in the afternoon and Dumpstaphunk.

You’ll be singing along with Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros when they perform “Home,” “40 Day Dream” or “Janglin” on Saturday.

Dispatch and Allen Stone are the headlining closing acts at the festival on Sunday evening, with Dispatch on the Main Stage at 6 p.m. and Allen Stone on the Green Vibes stage at 4:45 p.m.

Sunday also features kid-friendly events on Connecticut Family Day. A School of Rock 2014 AllStars performance featuring American teen musicians is scheduled and kids will have the opportunity to jam with major artists performing on the Main and Green Vibes stages, according to a news release. At 11 a.m., kids can learn about sound mixing with L-ACOUSTICS or listen to Andy "The Music Man, followed by a parade (parents welcome) and World Peace Flag Ceremony at 11:45 a.m.

At noon Sunday, Chris Hubbard, the production manager for the Gathering of the Vibes, will teach teens what it takes to produce a concert. Families can also bring their kids to the Grateful Games Kids Olympics, ride on an 85-foot high Ferris wheel, do family yoga, drum or sing in workshops, have a caricature painted of them, and enjoy face painting and dancing with "life-sized puppets," the news release stated.

Other performers at this year's event include Widespread Panic, John Fogerty, Dispatch, Lotus: Talking Heads Deconstructed, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, Umphrey's McGee, moe., Slightly Stoopid, Ziggy Marley, Maceo Parker, Rodrigo y Gabriela, Dumpstaphunk, Allen Stone, Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue, Dark Star Orchestra, Joe Russo's Almost Dead, Leftover Salmon featuring Bill Payne of Little Feat, Karl Denson's Tiny Universe, Keller Williams' Grateful Grass featuring Jeff Austin and Reed Mathis, Rusted Root, Ryan Montbleau and friends, Stanley Jordan, Strangefolk, Langhorne Slim & The Law, Deep Banana Blackout Dopapod, White Denim, Kung Fu, Assembly of Wine, Bronze Radio Return, Crash, American Babies, Twiddle, Donna The Buffalo, EOTO, Orgone, Nahko and Medicine for the People, Barefoot Truth, Love Canon, The Main Squeeze, Digital Tape Machine, David Gans, the McLovins, The Primate Fiasco, Band Together CT, Funky Dawgz Brass Band, Comic Dust Bunnies, Banooba, Andy The Music Man, The Brummy Brothers and Our Beloved MC Wavy Gravy.

Inspired by the Grateful Dead music culture, the Gathering of the Vibes originates from a tribute music festival to honor Jerry Garcia after he died in 1995, according to the festival website. Bob Kennedy, a fan and local business owner and promoter, organized "Deadhead Heaven - A Gathering of the Tribe" in Garcia's memory at the SUNY Purchase Campus, relocating it to Croton Poin Park in New York two years later and calling it Gathering of the Vibes, the website states.

The Vibes moved to Seaside Park in Bridgeport in 1999, with Bob Weir performing in 2000 as "the first Grateful Dead alumni," according to the website. While Seaside Park went through renovations in 2001, the music festival took place in Red Hook and then Mariaville, both in New York, before returning to Seaside Park in 2007, the website states.

Past Vibes festivals have drawn in globally renowned performers like the Grateful Dead, Gov't Mule, Elvis Costello, Crosby, Stills and Nash, Allman Brothers Band, James Brown, Jane's Addiction, The Black Crowes, John Butler Trio, Buddy Guy, Jimmy Cliff, Primus, George Clinton and P-Funk, Bruce Hornsby, Branford Marsalis, and Damian Marley and Nas, according to the Gathering of the Vibes website.

Single day tickets cost $75, with VIP tickets priced at $50 for kids under 12 and $225 for anyone older.

More information on tickets and scheduled artists is available on the Gathering of the Vibes website.



Photo Credit: Gathering of the Vibes]]>
<![CDATA[Stony Creek Brewery to Open New Site]]> Thu, 17 Jul 2014 10:46:01 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Stony+Creek+Brewery+entrance+low+res1200.jpg

Stony Creek Brewery plans to open a new state-of-the-art facility on the Branford River this winter that will include a huge tasting room, outdoor spaces and Bocce Ball courts. 

The company, which distributes its beer in Connecticut and Rhode Island, has broken ground on the new waterfront site at 5 Indian Neck Avenue.

When construction is done, the 30,000-square foot Stony Creek Brewery will have a 2,500 square-foot tasting room, a “celebration room” that can be rented out and two outdoor decks.

“One of our goals has been to have the brewery built by as many Branford businesses as possible. From the architectural work, to engineering, structural, legal and contracting, we have supported our hometown,” Edward M. Crowley, one of the owners of Stony Creek Brewery, said in a statement.

The company has hired Branford architect Joe Sepot.

Stony Creek brews include (203), (860) and (401) India Pale Ales, along with its (203) Stony Creek
Lager and the brewery plans to expand the beer lineup to include seasonal brews and limited releases.

Food will not be served by the brewery, but Stony Creek will be working with area restaurants for food delivery.

Guests will also be able to bring food for a picnic.

Tours will be available once the new location opens.



Photo Credit: Stony Creek Brewery/Joseph Sepot Architects]]>