Tag Archives: Dog Festival

Dog Day Afternoon

The official name is Winslow Park.

But everyone in Westport — and plenty of folks far beyond — call it “the dog park.”

The 32 acres of rolling meadows, woods and paths are a pooch’s paradise all year long. Today, many brought their owners to the Westport Weston Chamber of Commerce’s annual Dog Festival.

From obstacle courses and K-9 demonstrations to vendors selling everything from natural treats to portraits, it was canine heaven.

“06880” photographers fetched us these scenes:

(Photo/Lyah Muktavaram)

(Photo/Lyah Muktavaram)

(Photo/Lyah Muktavaram)

(Photo/Lyah Muktavaram)

One drone view … (Drone photo/Mark Mathias)

… and another, higher and wider one. (Drone photo/Charlie Scott)

Roundup: Ice Cream, Dog Fest, Plant Sale …

I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream!

The Porch @ Christie’s ice cream hut opens today, next to the popular Cross Highway deli/coffee shop. They’ll serve from 2 to 5:30 p.m. weekdays, noon to 5 p.m. weekends, all spring and summer long.

The Porch uses J Foster local small batch ice cream. Dairy-free sorbet is also available.

The Porch ice cream hut.

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We’ve all gotten doggy bags at restaurants. We’ve also moved way past the fib of saying we’re taking the rest of our meal home to out dogs.

On Wednesday, Westport Weston Chamber of Commerce volunteers filled 1,000 actual “doggy bags.”

They’re stuffed with free swag from sponsors of the annual Dog Festival. It’s set for Sunday (May 14, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Winslow Park.

Some of the treats will be for you. Many of them are actually, truly, honestly for Fido.

Stuffing doggy bags.

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Can’t get to today’s Westport Garden Club plant sale on Jesup Green? (There’s still time: It ends at 1:30 p.m.). Forgot or otherwise missed it? Or maybe you just can’t get enough plants.

You’re in luck. Greens Farms Garden Club follows with their own plant sale and garden boutique tomorrow (Saturday, May 14). It’s 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Sherman Green in Fairfield.

I don’t know of any plant sales on Sunday. Maybe you can spend the day planting.

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CLASP — the great organization that runs group homes for adults with disabilities in Westport and other area towns — needs a few items.

To provide any from the list below — or donate funds toward their purchase — call 203-226-7895, ext. 144, or email rhammond@clasphomes.org.

  • ·     Gardening supplies (seeds, plants, soil, gloves, gardening tools)
  • ·     Yard décor (birdbaths or feeders, statues) and yard games
  • ·     Pop-up canopy with screens
  • ·     Gas grill
  • ·     Deck furniture
  • ·     Picnic table
  • ·     Carpeting
  • ·     Painting (interior and exterior).

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Not long ago, Westport Police participated in the state’s distracted driving campaign. They nabbed dozens of drivers.

Now it’s time to buckle up.

They’re joining the state Department of Transportation “Click It or Ticket” campaign. Officers will be vigorously enforcing seat belt laws, for drivers and passengers.

Connecticut law requires that drivers and passengers in the front seat, regardless of the age, as well as all children under 16 anywhere in a vehicle, to wear seat belts. Fines start at $92 for the first offense. For more information, click here.

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Westport resident Aiden Rourke has been selected as one of 8 Lawrenceville School Heely Scholars for the 2022-23 school year.  

The honor goes to rising 5th formers who demonstrate a keen interest and ability in American history.

Heely Scholars will spend 2 weeks this summer exploring World War II material in the school’s archives. In the fall they will take an advanced research seminar.

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While walking his little coton dog down Burr School Road this week, Gregg Tenser saw a feathered friend take a close look back. Gregg wondered if he was sizing up the dog for breakfast.

Here’s a great “Westport … Naturally” shot of an intense look, from a perch in a tree.

(Photo/Gregg Tenser)

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And finally … with all the plant sales going on today and tomorrow (see above), why not honor the greatest Plant of all?

 

 

Roundup: Best Music Community, Dog Fest, Cajal Academy …

How good a community for music is Westport?

One of the best.

That’s not “06880” talking. It’s the NAMM Foundation. They just named us one of their “Best Communities for Music Education.”

For the 10th year in a row.

Th honor comes for our public schools’ efforts to provide music access and education to all students. The application process included detailed questions about funding, graduation requirements, music class participation, instructional time, facilities, music program support, and community programs.

Westport’s Music Department has benefited from partnerships with organizations like the Westport Library, Levitt Pavilion, PTA Cultural Arts, WestPAC and Westport Arts Advisory Committee.

Staples High School’s Candlelight Concert — involving hundreds of singers, and orchestra and band members — is one culmination of music programs at every school, and every level. (Photo/Danielle Dobin)

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The Asian American Pacific Island community — and allies — celebrate AAPI Heritage Month today (Tuesday, May 10), with a cash bar at MoCA Westport (19 Newtown Turnpike, 5 to 7 p.m.).

Mecha-Uma will be there with a food truck too. All are welcome!

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The Dog Festival returns to Winslow Park this Sunday (May 15, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.) for its 6th run.

The event includes fun competitions (best tail wagger, best dressed, best kisser, best trick, best lap dog over 50 pounds, dog that most looks like its owner), demonstrations, Police K-9 presentations, an obstacle course, kids activities, information booths, food trucks and more.

Also on tap: over 60 pet-related vendors, caricaturists and giveaways.

Parking is available at the Westport Country Playhouse, and other nearby lots. The festival entrance fee is $10 per person, $30 for a family of 4. Proceeds benefit nonprofit organizations.

Dog owners can register for the competitions online or at the festival. To register for the competitions and for more information, click here.

The Dog Fest is sponsored by the Westport Weston Chamber of Commerce, in association with TAILS.

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Yesterday’s “06880” lead story noted that Cajal Academy — a new school based on the latest neuroscientific research, for gifted students with special education needs — was going before the Planning & Zoning Commission last night.

In a unanimous vote, the board approved the application for 25 Sylvan Road South.

Stony Brook runs next to the 25 Sylvan Road South building.

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Sunday’s pro-choice rally was sponsored by DefenDemocracy.

This Saturday (May 14, 11 am to 1 p.m.), Planned Parenthood plans an event. It too is set for the Ruth Steinkraus Cohen downtown bridge.

Click here for details.

A sign held during Sunday’s pro-choice rally. (Photo/Dan Woog)

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Among the winners of the Cultural Alliance of Fairfield County’s Daniel E. Offutt III Arts & Culture Empowerment Awards: William Felton, former chair of the Westport Arts Center who led a long effort to find, secure and improve its new home as MoCA Westport, on Newtown Turnpike.

Honored posthumously: Alexandra Korry. The Westporter was a trailblazing lawyer, educator and civil rights advocate, and the guiding spirit behind converting a 1935 Norwalk church into a space to enhance educational opportunities for underserved students, promote underrepresented local artists, and provide a welcoming space to enjoy art and music. The Norwalk Art Space opened last June, just a few months after she died.

An awards breakfast is set for the Shore & Country Club in Norwalk on June 15, (7:30 a.m.). Click here for tickets. 

Norwalk students flock to the Art Space.

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Do “Cocktails & Clams” go together?

Sure! That’s the name of Earthplace and Harbor Watch’s fundraiser, set for Copps Island Oysters in Norwalk on June 11 (5 to 7 p.m.). There’s an unlimited raw bar, hors d’oeuvres from Harbor Harvest, and wine and beer from Black Bear — plus a silent auction, live music, and very cool views.

Click here for tickets.

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Mother Nature surprises us in many ways. This little flower blooms unexpectedly, but beautifully. Spring has sprung, here in “Westport … Naturally.”

(Photo/JD Dworkow)

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And finally … Spinal Tap was a fake band. But Ric Parnell was a real drummer.

He was perfect for the perfectly played satirical 1984 film, “This is Spinal Tap.” He had the looks, the chops, and he was in on the joke.

Including the fact that, somehow, Spinal Tap’s drummers kept dying in bizarre ways. He himself (as Mick Shrimpton) spontaneously combusted on stage. When the fake band went out on tour in the 1990s — life imitating art — Parnell was introduced as Mick’s twin brother Rick.

Ric Parnell died this month in Missouli, Montana, of organ failure. He was 70.

But Spinal Tap lives on. Play the video below loud — all the way to 11! (Click here for a full obituary.)

Roundup: Community Garden, Dog Fest, More Marathon …

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The Westport Community Gardens are one of our town’s true hidden gems.

Located just south of Long Lots Elementary School, they’re more than a place to grow fruit, vegetables and flowers — though the dozens of plots are great for that.

It’s also (as the name says) a true community. Gardeners trade tips, bounty and gossip. They socialize, and throw parties. They nurture the soil, and friendships.

A few openings may come up soon. Some more may be available next spring. Westport residents and Westport town employees are eligible. To get on the waitlist, click here.

Remember: The early bird gets the worm.

Taking a quick break at the Westport Community Gardens.

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Among the winners at yesterday’s Dog Festival: Oliver, with best trick. He did a few sits, downs and shakes. His grand finale was a “big baby”: He jumped into owner Scott Martin’s arms.

Afterward, he posed (below) with Scott Martin, and kids Cody and Emrys Martin.

Missed all the action? What a bitch!

But the next Westport Weston Chamber of Commerce-sponsored Dog Fest is less than a year away. In 2022, it returns to its regular spring slot.

(Photo/Kelsey Martin)

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Yesterday’s Roundup highlighted Todd Suchotliff. A newcomer to town, he’ll be running during next Sunday’s New York Marathon — through Westport. It’s a fundraiser for his mother, who died of leukemia 9 years ago tomorrow.

He created a Google Sheet — with mile markers and approximate times — for people to sign up to run or cheer for each mile along the route. He will start at 9 a.m., and plans to run an 8:42 mile pace.

For more information, email coachtoddwestport@gmail.com. To donate to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, click here.

Todd Suchotliff and his kids.

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Bamboo grows wild — and rapidly — in Westport.

I wrote about it in 2013. It continues today, as this “Westport … Naturally” photo from Narrow Rocks Road, off South Compo, shows.

(Photo/June Rose Whittaker)

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And finally … happy 74th birthday to Laura Nyro. The singer/songwriter made many great recordings. But she’s best known for the many artists that had great success covering her tunes.

JC Martin adds: “Laura lived in Danbury for many years, and recorded some of her last material in a studio she built on her property. It was one of the first studios to have a separate floor for the drummer, detached from the rest of the band. For ‘Mother’s Spiritual’ she brought in Todd Rundgren to help produce some of those songs, along with her friend and Danbury neighbor Felix Cavaliere.

“She died of ovarian cancer in Danbury in 1997, at 49. Her ashes were scattered beneath a maple tree on the grounds of her house.”