For 24 years, the third Friday of September has been the town of Chester’s “Come Home to Chester” evening – a time when the shops, galleries and restaurants in the historic town center open their doors and celebrate there’s no place like being HOME in Chester! From one end of Chester Center to the other, beginning at 5 p.m., the businesses throw open their doors and welcome you with special events, refreshments, and even opportunities to win a prize.
This year, Friday, Sept. 19, three new shops that have made Chester their new HOME will be celebrating their grand openings.
At The Joy of Lighting (5 West Main Street), where owner Susan Schneider creates lamps, shades, finials, and more, browse through all her new lighting creations at her opening reception.
From Britain to Chester – Annie Glover’s British Foods and Gifts, 29 Main Street, will have a grand opening sale on Bronnley, Scottish Fine Soaps and Woods of Windsor products. And carrying fine olive oils and vinegars from all around the world, along with olive oil skincare and home goods, Bell’Oliva will celebrate its grand opening at 14 Main Street with a “dip and sip” and a drawing for a basket.
The Chester Gallery, at 76 Main Street, welcomes the return of Deborah Quinn-Munson to Chester with a show of her beautiful oils and pastels focusing on the Connecticut River. Deb will be on hand to meet and greet old and new friends at a reception from 6 to 8 p.m.
The Leif Nilsson Spring Street Studio and Gallery at 1 Spring Street will also have a reception for Leif’s recent oil paintings of the Connecticut River Valley and his garden. The Al Malpa Photography Gallery at 4 Spring Street will be open for refreshments on the deck while visitors enjoy his photography.
A free drawing for a painting by popular artist Pam Carlson will be part of Maple and Main Gallery’s evening celebration. Chester-based Aaron Manor Nursing and Rehabilitation Center will host a wine tasting at the gallery from 6 to 8 p.m, featuring a variety of special wines. The gallery will also be serving wine, chocolate delicacies, cheese and crackers and more. Pam Carlson is a well-known Essex-based artist who shows her work at Maple and Main. The painting she has donated to the drawing is part of her series depicting baby chicks, and the winner will be announced at 9 p.m.
Enter the prize drawing at Red Pepper (14 Main Street) for a fall scarf, try out the new cupcake flavors at Cupcakery (how about some Turtle Lava Fudge or Pumpkin Salted Caramel), and ELLE Design will showcase its new collection of furnishings while offering you some light snacks and spirits. At the Dina Varano Gallery (27 Main Street), where Dina collects inspirations from nature and presses them into sterling and gold, see her new collection of jewelry called “Impressions in Nature.” Refreshments will be served.
The doors will be open to the shops at 4 Water Street, where Lark promotes “home is where the heart is” (yes, with ruby red slippers and hearts of all sizes); the Brown Eyed Girl and Vintage Glory serves up some wine while you browse the shop; and the Connecticut River Artisans offer you a fishbowl discount (take a slip providing you with a random discount on your purchase that evening).
Free parking in walking distance of town is available in the Water Street and Maple Street public parking lots. More information about happenings on Friday, Sept. 19, is available at Facebook.com/visitchesterct or VisitChesterCT.com