7/16-7/18: Summer Eats, Drinks and Sounds

FEELING A LITTLE FANCY: Flights of Fancy is back in Downtown New Haven. On Friday night, you can enjoy the delightfully delicious wine tasting and shopping event. Kick things off at the Shubert Theater and explore from there. You'll be given a special Flights of Fancy wine glass and a map to participating stores, and then you're off, tasting some quality vino throughout the Chapel and Broadway shopping districts. A trolley will be there to bring you back and forth. At the end of the night, you can even enjoy some complimentary coffee. Tickets are $10 and that enters you into a raffle for dozens of fabulous prizes. The corks will be popped from 5 p,m, to 8 p.m.

PARTY IN THE PARK: Hartford will be filled with the sounds of jazz this weekend. The annual Greater Hartford Festival of Jazz kicks off its 19th year Friday night at Bushnell Park. The festival features three days of live jazz from world-renowned performers as well as local acts. The weekend also features plenty of food and arts and crafts vendors. And the best part, it's free! Click here for a rundown of the festival.

LEAVING THE SKETCH BEHIND: SNL alum Julia Sweeney and "I Kissed a Girl" singer Jill Sobule have teamed up to star in a unique mash-up of music, comedy, improv and monologues. The Jill & Julia Show will be at Infinity Hall in Norfolk on Friday night. The performance revolves around putting Julia's stories (which range from the personal to political, controversial to comical) with Jill's music to create a common theme. Tickets are $35 to $45.  The show starts at 8 p.m.

WATCH THE HORIZON: Back in 1999, you couldn't get away from Vertical Horizon's hit song, "Everything You Want." The band seemed poised to become a major player in the music world. Unfortunately for them, and their fans, their follow-up efforts have been less successful. But the band keeps aiming for the horizon. Tonight, they band is playing at the Wolf Den at Mohegan Sun.  The free show starts at 8 p.m.

THE END OF THE REDS: Time for another personal aside. Back when I was a college radio DJ, I began a search for the perfect song. Quickly realizing that's a wild goose chase, I refined my search for the ultimate songs (the ultimate summer song, the ultimate driving song, the ultimate depressing song to name a few). And Rooney's "Blueside" made my list of ultimate summer pop-rock songs (songs that make you just want to drop what you're doing, put the top down and hit the beach). On Sunday night, Rooney is making a stop at Toad's Place in New Haven. Tickets are $18. The show starts at 8 p.m.

FIRE UP THE GRILL: Head down to Waterbury on Saturday for a night of grilled food and beer. The best culinary minds from the firehouses of Waterbury will be on display at the Waterbury Firefighters Union Summertime Brews Beer Festival (now that's a name!) The festival, which will be held at the old Waterville Firehouse from 4 to 7:30 p.m, will feature 20 breweries and brew pubs (John Harvard's, Cottrell, Blue Point, Harpoon, Kona and more) offering 40 different kinds of beers. The food ranges from the classic burgers and dogs, to pulled pork and a special firefighters' chili. Tickets are $25, with proceeds benefiting Waterbury Youth Service System, Inc. and the Waterville Firehouse Restoration Fund.

TO THE POOL!: The only downside to a day at the pool? All those kids! Well, it's adults-only at a special poolside party at the MGM Grand at FoxwoodsLiquid Sundays is a weekly party offered every Sunday during the summer. From noon to sunset, you can enjoy the fun in the sun, and cool music from different DJs. You can even reserve your own cabana. The cover charge is $20.

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