Fire up the celebration!
Westport’s Independence Day fireworks come early this year.
The best party in town is set for Thursday, June 29. The site — as always — is Compo Beach.
The Westport Police Athletic League and Parks & Recreation do the heavy lifting. The event is sponsored — once again — by longtime Westport residents (and veteran fireworks goers) Melissa and Doug Bernstein.
“This is our favorite time of year in Westport, seeing this amazing community gather together for such a joy-filled event,” they say.
Ticket sales begin on June 1 at the Westport Police station (50 Jesup Road) and Parks & Recreation office (in Longshore Park).
Tickets ($50 per car) are on a first-come, first-serve basis. Proceeds benefit Westport PAL, and their programs serving thousands of youngsters.
Middle row: Craig Bergamo, Westport PAL president hands Doug Bernstein the first fireworks ticket. Enjoying the Compo Beach scene are (front, left to right): Parks & Rec director Jen Fava, PAL fireworks chair Emma Rojas, 1st Selectwoman Jen Tooker, Melissa Bernstein. Top: Deputy Police Chief Ryan Paulsson, Police Chief Foti Koskinas. (Photo/Dan Woog)
Whoopi Goldberg was in town last night.
So were Rosie Perez and Natasha Bedingfield. And many other names, boldface and Roman text.
The event was a benefit fashion show for Pink Aid. The site was Christian Siriano‘s The Collective West.
And yes, he’s another boldface name.
Rosie Perez, Whoopi Goldberg and Natasha Bedingfield — but you knew that. (Photo and hat tip: Dave Briggs)
Perfect weather drew a large crowd to yesterday’s Westport Farmers’ Market.
Several new vendors, plenty of old favorites, and fresh food, herbs and more make this the most exciting year yet, for the 18-year-old institution.
It runs every Thursday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Imperial Avenue parking lot, through mid-November.
Among the attractions yesterday in the photo below: samples from Alma Mexican food, dished out by their Staples High School interns (from left): Whitman Teplica, Cole Lieberman, Ben Douglas and (preparing a tostada) Steve Divino.
Chad Knight is a Westport legend.
The baseball star — who led his 2013 team to the Little League World Series championship game, then was a 4-year Staples High School starter who paced his 2019 team to the FCIAC championship, and was named Gatorade State Player of the Year — just graduated from Duke University.
Before he did, he capped off his Blue Devil baseball career (during Asian American Heritage Month) with a story for the Duke athletic department. He wrote eloquently about how his heritage shaped his life — both athletically and musically.
Click here for Chad’s insightful, introspective story. (Hat tip: Steve McCoy)
This Sunday (May 21), the Bloomin’ Metric Bicycle Tour roars through town.
From 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., riders will head out from Sherwood Island State Park. There are 4 distances — 25, 40, 75 and 100 kilometers — and 4 different routes.
So be aware: There will be even more bike riders than usual, all over town.
The Westport Library unveils 3 new exhibitions for spring. They highlight the work of Connecticut artists Nancy Moore and Charles Douthat, and “the art of the album” with a display related to the Chicago blues.
All three exhibits run through August 8: Moore’s “Women Telling Stories” in the Sheffer Gallery, Douthat’s “Three Seasons” in the South Gallery, and “Chicago Blues” in the Jesup Gallery.
An event and reception June 4 (2 to 4 p.m.) celebrates the exhibit with a talk between Moore and noted Westport artist Miggs Burroughs at 3.
Douthat comes to the Library June 14 (6 p.m.) for a reception and talk with Burroughs.
Chicago Blues features albums from the collection of Westporters Ellen and Mark Naftalin, the American blues keyboardist inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame with the Paul Butterfield Blues Band in 2015. It includes album covers of important original blues musicians.
Click here for more information on the artists and exhibits.
Exhibits at the Westport Library.
The Black Duck women-in-the-men’s-bathroom-photo story continues to have, um, legs.
In the wake of yesterday’s story — in which Duck founder and former owner Pete Aitkin gave the back story — Brad French sent “06880” a photo of himself with Mary Scully, one of the 2 lovely bartenders.
It was taken at Compo Beach.
And what happened to the great-looking couple?
They got married.
The story continues …
Coming up at Earthplace:
Wildflower ID: Stroll through the gardens and meadow with a naturalist. (Sunday, May 21, 1:30 to 2:30 p.m., $10 per person; register here).
Family Campfire: Earthplace provides the marshmallows and s’mores; bring your own sticks. Meet an animal ambassador; participate in a guided activity. (Friday, June 9, 6 to 7:30 p.m., member families $30, non-member families $40; register here).
Foraging 101: An Earthplace naturalist leads an introductory class on sustainable foraging for wild salad greens and pungent ingredients, including a walk. (Sunday, June 11, 1:30 to 2:30 p.m., $10 person; register here).
Group Canoe Paddle: Search the Saugatuck River for egrets, ospreys, ducks, shorebirds and more. Canoes, paddles and personal flotation devices are included. One canoe each trip is reserved for participants and families with special needs. (Sunday, June 18, 2 time slots: 10 a.m. to noon, and 2-4 p.m.; click here for fees and more details, including scholarships for income-eligible residents).
Adult Crafting Night: Bring your adult beverages; use natural crafting materials guided by staff. Unwind while creating beautiful decorations or useful health and beauty products to take home. (Thursday, June 29, 6 to 8 p.m.; $45 per adult member; $50 per adult non-member; register here).
The Westport Weston Family YMCA is ready for their first Holi Color Festival.
People of all backgrounds are invited to the traditional Indian celebration of colors and unity, It’s Saturday, June 3 (10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., Mahackeno Outdooro Center).
Holi symbolizes the triumph of good over bad, the arrival of spring, the joy of friendship, and equality for all.
The event features activities for all ages, including color play (throwing non-toxic organic colors), BollyX (a Bollywood-style dance class), traditional Indian food, henna, face painting and bounce house.
Westport Y CEO Anjali McCormick grew up in India, and has fond memories of playing Holi as a child.
She says, “This celebration unites people with different beliefs, cultural traditions and experiences in the vibrant colors of friendship, renewal and acceptance. At the Y we believe in creating spaces where people of all backgrounds can come together, learn from one another, and build meaningful connections. We invite everyone to join us as we strengthen the bonds that make our community truly exceptional.”
Pre-registration is required. Click here to register, and for more information. Questions? Email email@example.com.
Moxie Salon & Beauty Bar invites the public to their grand opening May 25 (772 Post Road East, 3 p.m.).
From May 22-26, they offer:
● $19.99 blowouts for first time clients
● $20 off any color service
● $10 off haircuts
● $89 blowout and makeup
● 20% off hair extensions.
Owner Carrie Steele — a Greenwich teacher — offers 20% of all services to teachers, every day.
Moxie is a full-service hair salon. They have 17 locations in the tri-state area.
Lynroy Henry — former assistant track coach at Staples High School — is still working with kids.
He sends word that the Open Doors Foundation is collecting donations for its summer camp.
Items needed are bikes, used sneakers, Mead notebooks, pens, pencils, highlighters, rulers, backpacks, laptops and electronics.
Donations can be dropped off at 10 Bay Street, by June 4.
Items can also be picked up weekdays, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Questions? Email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 203-919-0921.
Jill Grayson made the most of being stuck yesterday while stopped on Easton Road by the firehouse.
She saw something she’d never seen in Westport: a pileated woodpecker.
Jill had enough time to take several photos — and then send this one to “06880,” for our daily “Westport … Naturally” feature.
And finally … on this day in 1895, José Marti — the Cuban poet, philosopher, essayist, journalist, translator, professor and publisher, who helped liberate his country from Spain — was killed by Spanish troops. He was 42 years old.
(“06880” is a non-profit, dedicated to bringing our community together. Donations are tax-deductible. Please click here to support our work. Thank you!)
One of the most delightful spaces the Y has created to bring people of all backgrounds and heritages together is the steam room and sauna, especially in the evening. We enjoy each other’s company talking about travel and food, which leads immediately to countries of origin, cultures, languages, and why each of us came here. It is thoroughly enriching as our conversation accompanies our participants from the countries of France, Russia, Ukraine, Romania, Bulgaria, Mexico and various countries in Central America, Hong Kong, several places in China, Korea, Texas and, of course, the County of Kings, Brooklyn—an Empire State (of mind) that threatened to secede from the union but didn’t when no one objected. It is also a remarkable cafe for intergenerational storytelling as some of the younger members are enthralled by tales only found on Youtube because the cafes and places of personal interaction and face to face communication have been relegated to history. Long live the sauna and steam, Cafe Borgia, The 8th Street Bookstore, the Westport Bookshop and the thriving cafe society in Westport! Thank you, Y!
In March 2002, I flew into Jose Marti International Airport, in Havana, from Montreal, on Cubana Airlines. However, in December 1976, I turned down an invitation to visit Cuba as one of Castro’s 17 guests. I was actually invited by Michael Manley’s second wife. Her son was a freshman at University of Havana. I was good friends with her. She went, but I went back to Westport for my one month vacation. I was teaching high school in Montego Bay at the time.
I should mention I still have my license from the Treasury Department to legally travel to Cuba in 2002. The license came from Treasury and not State because it wasn’t illegal to travel to Cuba in 2002, it was illegal to spend money in Cuba in 2002. Thus my license from Treasury and not the State Department!