Archive for April, 2016|Monthly archive page

May Daze Stroll & Swing Dance, May 6

In Uncategorized on April 28, 2016 at 1:06 pm

May Daze Night. That’s been the name for the first Friday evening of May in Chester Center for several decades, thanks to the Chester Merchants. No one seems to know the reason for the name, but they know one thing – it’s always a great evening for people to convene in Chester Center for a “stroll” to meet friends, see new art exhibits, find sales and gift drawings at the shops, hear good music, and enjoy savory treats and wines as they browse.

This year, as the Main Street Bridge reconstruction nears its completion, the Merchants have added another element – a Main Street Swing Dance on May Daze Night. May is “Swinging Chester” month, so what could be better than a Swing Dance?

Gary Torello

Gary Torello

Chester Rotarian and DJ Gary Torello will be playing music in the street from 8 to 10 p.m., and Suzie Woodward of Lark has lined up swing dancers to show off some of their steps and moves. Come on down and dance on Main Street with us! It’s a perfect opportunity for Chester community fun and celebration and showing your support for Chester artists and Chester businesses.  

May Daze Night begins at 5 p.m. Parking is available in several public parking lots, on Water Street and on Maple Street. Questions? Check in with Suzie Woodward at Lark, 860-322-4047.

Here are just a few of the evening’s happenings between 5 and 8 p.m., before the Swing Dance:

Dina Varano Gallery will introduce Dina’s new collection of necklaces, “Delicate Elements.” They are distinctive creations to be worn on their own, yet they also are perfect for layering together at different lengths. These delicate elements in 14kt gold on sterling silver chains capture the essence of shapes found in nature. Festive refreshments will be served from 5 to 9 p.m.

Maple and Main Gallery of Fine Art will serve wine and cookies as you enjoy the Spring Exhibit of over 200 new paintings by 46 established artists. In addition, there is a special show in the Stone Gallery of the paintings by the late Don Bement of Haddam Neck.

Leif Nilsson, at the Leif Nilsson Spring Street Gallery, will have a 5 – 8 p.m. reception for his exhibit of his new gouache paintings done in the United Kingdom this spring.

Chester’s Hans Lohse puts the finishing touches on his bird house creations, which will be on exhibit at Chester Gallery, beginning with a reception on Friday, May 6, at 5 p.m. Also exhibiting that evening will be Richard Ziemann and Elizabeth Gourlay.

Chester’s Hans Lohse puts the finishing touches on his bird house creations, which will be on exhibit at Chester Gallery, beginning with a reception on Friday, May 6, at 5 p.m. Also exhibiting that evening will be Richard Ziemann and Elizabeth Gourlay.

Watch for more photos and more happenings on

Meeting House Players’ Production Opens April 29

In Uncategorized on April 18, 2016 at 5:48 pm

augustThe Meeting House Players will present Tracy Letts’ 2008 Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award winning play August: Osage County at the Chester Meeting House.  The production opens on Friday, April 29, and continues on April 30 and May 6 and 7.

A vanished father. A pill-popping mother. Three sisters harboring shady little secrets. When the large Weston family unexpectedly reunites after Dad disappears, their Oklahoman family homestead explodes in a whirlwind of repressed truths and unsettling secrets. This dark comedy unflinchingly and uproariously exposes the dark side of a Midwestern American family.  August: Osage County is being directed by Lenore Grunko and features a 13-member ensemble of talented area actors who bring these unique characters to life.

Evening performances start at 8 p.m. A matinee performance is scheduled for Saturday, May 7, at 2 p.m.  Tickets prices are $20 for preferred seating tickets and $15 for open seating tickets.  Reservation requests for both preferred and open seating are available by e-mail at or at 860-526-3684.  Unreserved tickets will be available at the door.

Please note that this play contains mature themes and may not be appropriate for all audiences.

The Chester Meeting House is located at 4 Liberty Street in Chester. The Meeting House Players is a not-for-profit, all volunteer community theater organization pursuing the theater arts with the talents and interests of individuals throughout Connecticut.

MHP Osage Cast Photo

The cast of “August: Osage County”

Two New Computers & Computer Bar at Chester Library

In Library on April 17, 2016 at 12:13 pm

The Chester Public Library is always praised for its friendly and personable staff and its historic building.

But it never won any accolades for its computers. Make that “computer,” singular. Yes, for years there has been only one public computer for years at the Chester Library because the building is so small and on such a limited budget, that squeezing in a second computer was out of the question. Library patrons were frustrated. They’d come in to use the computer and find someone else working on it. Or, if working on it, feel they needed to rush to finish for a person who was waiting. The librarians were frustrated too, because their everyday goal is to see that all visitors to the library are able to accomplish their missions.

But last year, Library Director Linda Fox received a $5000 donation from a library patron who said she wanted Linda to go “a little crazy” in spending it – something out of the sign

Linda conceived of the idea of a “computer bar,” a counter-height workspace for two computers, with two stools, and with pullout drawers for audiobooks. Steve and Karen Bradley, owners of the Chester-based Pondside Kitchens and Hearth, said yes indeed, they could custom design it to fit in the present library building and be movable to a future building.

The Friends of Chester Public Library, a 501c3 nonprofit group, applied for a grant from the Middlesex County Community Foundation for the funds needed to make the computer bar a reality. The grant requested – and won – was for $4687.

Fast forward to this week. The computer bar was installed, the wiring done and the all-in-one computers, purchased through the town’s technology supplier CT/Comp, are operating. Two people have been able to work side by side. And no one has had to wait! And there are even USB charging stations for mobile devices.

“I am absolutely thrilled!” said Linda Fox. “The computer bar will make such an incredible difference for everyone who uses the library. It’s the result of tremendous community collaborative effort – from the anonymous donor to the Community Foundation of Middlesex County/Sherry and Herb Clark Family Fund and River View Cemetery Fund, Pondside Kitchens and Hearth, and the Friends of the Library – everyone was so generous to make this happen.”

Editor’s note: The Community Foundation of Middlesex County is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to improve the quality of life for the people of the County, now and in the future, by developing endowments, making grants that have impact and assisting donors in meeting their philanthropic objectives. Since its founding in 1997, the Community Foundation has awarded 1,564 grants totaling more than $4.7 million for the arts, cultural and heritage programs, educational activities, environmental improvements and for health and human services. More at