This Weekend: Halloween begins …

Skeleton hands at Historic Hudson Valley's Great Jack O'Lantern Blaze. ©Bryan Haeffele.

Skeleton hands at Historic Hudson Valley’s Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze. ©Bryan Haeffele.

Historic Hudson Valley’s Halloween season events will kick off on Friday, Sept. 30, with the opening of the Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze® at Van Cortlandt Manor in Croton-on-Hudson, N.Y. Artists have carved more than 7,000 pumpkins into elaborate pumpkin sculptures: new this year are a Pumpkin Planetarium, a Pumpkin Promenade and an 80-foot-long Pumpkin Zee Bridge. The Blaze® is open for 32 evenings through Nov. 13 and timed tickets are available online at hudsonvalley.org or by calling 914-366-6900.

There will be a haunted attraction for ages 10 and up, Horseman’s Hollow, at Philipsburg Manor in Sleepy Hollow, N.Y., and Legend, with storyteller Jonathan Kruk at the circa-1685 Old Dutch Church in Sleepy Hollow (also for ages 10 and up).  A Legend Behind the ‘Legend’ daytime experience for all ages is planned at Washington Irving’s homestead Sunnyside in Tarrytown, N.Y. For details on all, and tickets, call or visit the website.

Political memorabilia

Larry Aasen of Westport is showing his collection of political memorabilia through Election Day at the Westport Public Library, 20 Jesup Road. He’s accumulated more than 2,000 buttons from national, state and local elections as well as posters and other items. The exhibit, Remember to Vote on Nov. 8!, will have an opening reception Thursday evening, Sept. 29, from 6 to 7 p.m. in the library’s McManus Room. For more information, visit westportlibrary.org or call 203-291-4800.

Ceramic art

The rebranded Fairfield University Art Museum, formerly the Bellarmine Museum of Art, will present Crafting the Elements: Ceramic Art of Modern Japan from the Collection of Carol and Jeffrey Horvitz opening Thursday, Sept. 29, and running through Friday, Dec. 16. The exhibit includes more than 30 works by modern ceramic artists who are mindful of the centuries of tradition in Japanese ceramics. Several programs are planned in connection with Crafting the Elements; for information, visit fairfield.edu/museum.

The museum is in Bellarmine Hall and is open free Monday through Saturday, 11 to 4, as well as select Saturdays, when classes are in session.

North Sea Gas

The renowned Scottish folk trio, North Sea Gas, will perform at the Leo Lohrman Scottish Rite Theatre, 2422 Main Street, Stratford, on Friday, Sept. 30, at 7 p.m., presented by the Pyramid Shriners Pipes and Drums of Stratford. VIP seating with a meet-and-greet following the show is $30; general admission is $20.

For tickets, visit pyramidpipesanddrums.com or purchase at the door.

Fox on the Fairway

Eastbound Theatre, a division of the Milford Arts Council, will present Ken Ludwig’s farce, The Fox on the Fairway, opening Friday, Sept. 30. The show, directed by Kevin Pelkey, runs weekends through Oct. 16. Performances will be on Fridays and Saturdays at 8 and Sundays at 2.

Tickets are $20, $18 for seniors and students; for reservations, visit milfordarts.org or call 203-878-6647.

Or, a Mousetrap?

The Town Players of Newtown will stage Agatha Christie’s The Mousetrap Sept. 30-Oct. 22 at the Little Theatre, 18 Orchard Hill Road, just off Route 25 in Newtown. Curtain times are at 8 on Fridays and Saturdays and at 2 on Sundays. Tickets are $22, $18 for matinee performances.

For reservations, visit newtownplayers.org or call 203-270-9144.

Fall Minks to Sinks

The largest outdoor tag sale in Connecticut, Minks to Sinks, a benefit for Family & Children’s Agency, will open at 9 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 1, at the intersection of School Road and Route 7 in Wilton. The sale, under big tents, offers more than 14,000 square feet of new and gently used merchandise, including household items, furniture, luggage, garden tools, toys, sports equipment, seasonal clothing and minks to sinks, all at bargain prices.

Saturday’s sale runs till 5 p.m. On Sunday, half-price day, hours are noon to 4; on Monday, Bag Day (fill one for $7),hours are 9 to noon. Admission is free. For more information, visit minkstosinks.info.

Fall Fair in Nichols

A Fall Fair and Attic Treasures sale will take place Saturday, Oct. 1, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., at the Nichols United Methodist Church featuring jewelry, antiques, housewares, toys, books, a holiday shop, fall mums, a bake sale, cookie walk and more. Homemade soup and sandwiches and pies will be available for lunch.

The church is at 35 Shelton Road in Trumbull. For more information, call 203-375-5817.

Pete the Cat!

Ridgefield Academy will sponsor a Theatreworks USA production of Pete the Cat at the Ridgefield Playhouse on Saturday, Oct. 1, with performances at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Tickets are $15 and available at ridgefieldplayhouse.org or 203-438-5795.

Wataba Lake Fest

The 2nd annual Wataba Lake Fest, a fund-raiser for the Ridgefield Lakes Association Lake Improvement Fund, will take place Saturday, Oct. 1, at “Hippie Hill,” 25 Clearview Drive, in the Rainbow Lake neighborhood of Ridgefield. There will be live music, arts and crafts vendors, children’s activities, and food from Tiger’s Den restaurant and Gigi’s ice cream truck.

Admission is $10 per person and all parking will be at Ridgebury Elementary School, 112 Bennetts Farm Road, with a shuttle to the festival. Rain dates are Sunday, Oct. 2, or Saturday, Oct. 8. For more information, visit watabafest.com.

Hands On History

Keeler Tavern Museum in Ridgefield will celebrate #HandsOnHistory with an October exhibit in the museum’s historic Carriage Barn, opening Saturday, Oct. 1. Living Off the Land features the museum’s collection of farm tools and implements.

At a free opening reception on Saturday from 1 to 3 p.m., Sarah Bouissou of Bernard’s and Sarah Bouissou Catering will talk about Farm to Table Cooking and offer samples of finger foods. There will be free family-friendly workshops and talks on Sundays from 1 to 4 p.m.: Oct. 9, Darlene Kascak from the Institute of American Indian Studies, talking about Native American agriculture; Oct. 16, a workshop on beekeeping with Ann Murray; and Oct. 23, a talk about heirloom apples and orchards with Peter Montgomery.

The museum is at 132 Main Street; the exhibit will be open Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays, Oct. 5-23, from 1 to 4 p.m. For more information, visit keelertavernmuseum.org or call 203-438-5485.

Dazzling Dahlias

The Garden Education Center and the Greenwich Dahlia Society at 130 Bible Street, Cos Cob, will host the annual Dazzling Dahlias Show this weekend, on Saturday, Oct. 1, from 2 to 4 p.m. and Sunday, Oct. 2, from 10 to 3. Admission is free. For more information, visit gecgreenwich.org or  call 203-869-9242.

NAMI benefit

Mental Illness — Healing Minds, a program of music, dance, spoken word and art, will take place Saturday, Oct. 1, at the Greenwich Library’s Cole Auditorium, 101 West Putnam Avenue. Organized by Allegra Themmen-Pigott and musical colleagues, the event will begin at 6:30 with a cocktail reception; the performance will start at 7:15 p.m. Tickets are $50 for adults and $15 for students and will benefit NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness). for reservations, visit NAMI.ticketleap.com.

Threads of Light

The Music on the Hill Festival Chorus and the Special Projects Choir of the Unitarian Church in Westport, with soloists Harriett Alfred and Edward Pleasant, will perform Threads of Light: A Tapestry of African-American Spirituals on Saturday, Oct. 1, at 7:30 at Norwalk Concert Hall, 125 East Avenue.

The program weaves together more than 30 spirituals in three movents — Hope, Journey, Glory — accompanied by trumpet, upright bass and bells. The Festival Chorus artistic director Ellen Dickinson will conduct the concert. Admission is free. For more information, visit musiconthehillct.org.

Band Together

Pilot House, which aids children with special educational needs, will be the beneficiary of a Band Together concert at StageOne Fairfield Theatre Company, 70 Sanford Street, on Saturday, Oct. 1, at 7:30. The show will feature Joe Bouchard (founder of Blue Oyster Cult), Tracy James, Fuzz/Cyrus/Kalb from Deep Banana Blackout, Artie Tobia, Jerry Vigorito and Rob Fried.

Tickets are $35; for reservations, visit fairfieldtheatre.org or call 203-259-1036.

Season opener

The Ridgefield Symphony Orchestra’s first concert of the season will take place Saturday, Oct. 1, at 8 at Ridgefield High School, 700 North Salem Road (Route 116).Holding the baton on Saturday will be guest conductor Barbara Yahr, who will lead a concert with the theme A World of Possibilities.

Chris Brubeck’s new work, Sphere of Influence will have its premiere, featuring the SPHERE Performing Arts Group. Violinist Yevgeny Kutik will play Bruch’s Violin Concerto No. 1; also on the program are Brahms’ Hungarian Dance No. 1 and Dvorak’s Symphony N. 9 “From the New World.”

For tickets, visit ridgefieldsymphony.org or call 203-438-3889.

Also opening

The Greenwich Symphony will be joined by Irish pianist John O’Conor in concerts on Saturday, Oct. 1, at 8 and Sunday, Oct. 2, at 4 at the new Performing Arts Center at Greenwich High School, Hillside Road off Route 1. The program will include Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 4, as well as Mozart’s Divertimento and Stravinsky’s Danses Concertantes.

Tickets are $35 for adults and $10 for students; for reservations, visit greenwichsym.org or call 203-869-2664.

Still River Ramblers

The Richter Association for the Arts will present Bluegrass for Your Soul, performed by the Still River Ramblers, on Sunday, Oct. 2, at 3 p.m. at Richter House, 100 Aunt Hack Road, Danbury. The Ramblers began in 2013 at the Congregational Church of Brookfield and is joined frequently by banjo master Roger Sprung.

Admission is by free will donation, with a reception following the program. For more information, visit danbury.org/richter or call 203-798-6319.

 

And coming up …

Lawrence Kudlow, columnist and CNBC Senior Contributor, will talk on Civility in Broadcasting, Politics and Public Life on Tuesday, Oct. 4, at 6 p.m. at the Ferguson Library in downtown Stamford. Also host of The Larry Kudlow Show on WABC, he lives in Redding. His talk is part of the Civility in America series; for information, call 203-351-8231 or register at fergusonlibrary.org.

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Camelot, by Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe, will open Tuesday, Oct. 4, at the Westport Country Playhouse, 25 Powers Court. Mark Lamos, Playhouse artistic director, directs the show, which runs through Oct. 30. For ticket information, visit westportplayhouse.org or call 203-227-4177.

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Monica Lewinsky will speak on Bullying, Cyberbullying, Resilience and Reclaiming Your Narrative on Thursday, Oct. 6, at 7:30 p.m. at the Westport Arts Center, 51 Riverside Avenue, where the current exhibit MORE Than Words addresses those topics. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit westportartscenter.org or call 203-222-7070.

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Thinking of next year’s garden? The UConn Extension Master Gardener program is accepting applications now for the 2017 program, which will begin in early January at five locations around the state, including Bethel and Stamford. For information or an application, visit mastergardener.uconn.edu.

 

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