Archive for the ‘Chester CT Events’ Category

March Madness Shopping Spree!

In Chester CT Events on February 13, 2017 at 12:37 pm

Visitors who come to Chester’s downtown between Friday, March 3 and Friday, April 7 have a chance at winning a March Madness shopping spree worth more than $500. 

Rachel Carlson, Gallery Director at Maple & Main Gallery

Rachel Carlson, Gallery Director at Maple & Main Gallery

Kicking off on First Friday in March and ending First Friday in April, shoppers, diners and gallery-goers can pick up a special “Chester” card at any business and each time they buy something their card will be validated. 

 Once they’ve made purchases at seven different locations, their card is eligible for the drawing April 7 when the winner will receive $25 gift certificates from each of the eight restaurants and 13 merchants participating. 

Every store, gallery and restaurant in town is on board, and the cards will be available at each of them beginning on First Friday, March 3.  

Suzie Woodward, owner of Lark

Suzie Woodward, owner of Lark

Completed cards should be turned in to The Perfect Pear at 51 Main Street no later than 5 p.m. on April 7 for the grand prize drawing at 6 p.m. Players can complete more than one card for entry. The winner need not be present to win. 

The participating restaurants are: The Good Elephant, Otto, Pattaconk 1850 Bar and Grille, River Tavern, Simon’s Marketplace, Thai Riverside, The Villager and The Wheatmarket.  

The eligible retail shops and galleries are Black Kat Leather, Dina Varano, Elle Design Studio, The French Hen, Lark, Lori Warner Gallery and Swoon and Maple & Main Gallery, Also: The Perfect Pear, R.J Vickers Herbery, the Chester Bottle Shop, Strut Your Mutt, Matt Austin Studio and Leif Nilsson Spring Street Studio and Gallery.

Watch for updates.


Carnivale Map

In Chester CT Events on February 13, 2017 at 11:53 am

parking-map-2017On Carnivale Day, the roads will be closed beginning at 8 a.m. Shuttle buses begin at 10 a.m. The last bus trip is made at 3:15 from Chester Center back to your cars.

Celebrate Winter at 26th Annual Carnivale

In Chester CT Events on February 13, 2017 at 11:01 am

 The townspeople of Chester are eagerly looking forward to their 26th annual winter celebration, Chester Winter Carnivale, on Sunday, February 19.

Chester CT winter carnivale tractor parade John Stack 95

That’s when the picturesque small town of Chester is filled with people cheering on ice carvers as they create beautiful sculptures from blocks of ice, while laughing at the antics of street performers and applauding a long parade of new and antique tractors being driven down Main Street by their proud owners. All that, and food, music, art, and shopping too!

The day begins at 10:30 a.m. when the carvers get started on their ice sculptures. Both professional and student ice carvers will be hard at work, demonstrating their techniques to onlookers while they try to be finished by 1 p.m. for judging.

Meanwhile, the Chester Hose Company, Inc. is holding its 16th annual “Chilly Chili Cook Off” fundraiser. From 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., go to the Chester Hose Company Fire House at 6 High Street and pay your $5 admission so you can taste all the different chilis cooked and dished out by restaurants, caterers and fire departments. You can vote for your favorite fire department chili, favorite restaurant chili, most original chili, and best dressed chili serving table. Beverages will be sold. All proceeds go to the Chester Hose Company.

Still hungry? There’s pizza, hamburgers, hot dogs, sandwiches, soups, and lots more available inside and outside the restaurants in town. Also, popcorn and kettle corn!

Just be sure to be back out on Main Street by 2 p.m. for the 15th Annual Chester Tractor Parade. Colorful and rusty, big and small, antique and new, decorated and plain – tractors are driven through the town center in an incredibly long parade. You never knew there were so many tractors in the Connecticut River Valley!

There is no shortage of free activities to keep the whole family entertained for the day. Colorful beads and balloons will be handed out throughout town all day and face painting is available. The Chester Museum at The Mill will be open at no charge, offering a place to explore Chester history.

Galleries and shops will be open, many with special events. The Spring Street String Band, Arrowhead, will be playing from noon to 2 p.m. at the Leif Nilsson Spring Street Studio & Gallery. Winter sales will be going on at a number of stores.

Chester Winter Carnivale is held rain or snow or shine. Main Street will be closed to traffic. Free parking is available in the commuter lot on Rte. 148 at the foot of Route 9 and in the Roto-Frank parking lot on Inspiration Lane (exit 6) and at Greenwald Industries on Rte. 154 (212 Middlesex Avenue). (Follow the signs.) All lots will be served by courtesy shuttle buses to the town center.

For more information, go to

Hearts and More at First Friday – February 3

In Chester CT Events on January 27, 2017 at 2:53 pm
Visit C&G on First Friday, Feb. 3, and take home this heart poster designed by Peter Good.

Visit C&G on First Friday, Feb. 3, and take home this heart poster designed by Peter Good.

Be still my heart!

First Friday, February 3, in Chester Center will be filled with hearts, chocolates, jewelry, and snuggles. Everything to start off February – Valentine’s month  – on just the right note! Come on downtown to join in the fun and festivities at our shops and galleries from 5 p.m. on.

Black Kat Leather will be doing a chocolate-and-jewelry-themed night! The Chocolate Shell from Old Lyme and jeweler Michael Vincent Michaud will be at the store. Come visit them! 

“C&G has heart, and lots of hearts! From stamp size to poster size.” Says Jan Cummings, “During February, we are offering the fabric ones as limited-edition prints in two sizes: 12”x18” and 8”x10”  (the 8” x 10” come framed). Also featured will be Peter Good’s Love stamp print. It’s 8”x10” and is available framed or unframed. All these Heart prints are signed and numbered will be 20% off during the month. And on First Friday, we’ll be giving away our signed posters originally designed for The Hospital for Special Care.”

Look for Dina’s new Amore’ collection at the Dina Varano Gallery, and sample Laura Grimmer’s delectable handmade chocolate truffles (and get the recipe!) at The Perfect Pear.

Suzie Woodward, of Lark, says, “Comfy cozy are we!  On First Friday we are looking forward to seeing beautiful handmade baby sweaters.  Meet the maker, Beth Hartke, at Lark from 5 to 8 p.m. The sweaters are washable and just $40 each. The snuggle is real, folks!”



At Maple and Main Gallery, you can enjoy the new exhibit, have a glass of wine, and take a chance on winning an original framed painting, “Figs,” by gallery artist Gigi Genovese, who lives and works in Naugatuck and has been painting for 40 years. The drawing for “Figs” begins this Friday, with the winner’s name chosen on March 3.

And you can bet there will be lots more on First Friday, February 3, beginning at 5 p.m. Watch for more details.

Celebrate Community & Hospitality at Dec. 2 Holiday Festival

In Chester CT Events on November 17, 2016 at 7:32 pm

The annual Starry Night Holiday Festival in Chester Center on Friday, Dec. 2, is a time for celebration, caroling, shopping, eating, and meeting up with friends and neighbors.

The picturesque historic village will be beautifully decorated for the holidays and the streets will be lined with luminaries made by the Boy Scouts. Saint Lucia Girls will walk around offering cookie treats. Carolers will stroll through the village on their way to the town’s Christmas tree, which will be lighted at 6 p.m. while the community gathers for a sing-along. This year’s tree is being cut down on Camp Hazen property and decorated with “gratitude” hearts created by Chester’s schoolchildren.


Two of the ornaments created by Chester’s children for the town tree, expressing something they’re grateful for.

All evening, the shops and galleries will offer light refreshments and beverages while you shop and browse. The annual Postcard Show, where all art is 4×6 inches or smaller, will open at the Chester Gallery. Stop in for champagne while perusing the postcard-sized creations by local artists. The Maple and Main Gallery will be serving wine and cookies during the evening while visitors view the new Holiday Exhibit of over 200 paintings and sculptures by 53 Connecticut artists as well as a solo show in the Stone Gallery of Janine Robertson’s oil paintings.

The Arrowhead String Band will be playing at the Leif Nilsson Spring Street Gallery, providing holiday entertainment as you enjoy Leif’s recent paintings.

The Matt Austin Studio welcomes Hilary Robertson, author of many internationally acclaimed style books such as “The Stuff of Life.” Bring her one interior design question to solve during her visit at the studio, between 6:30 and 9 p.m.

The chefs at the Guest House Retreat and Conference Center will be making their signature cranberry oatmeal cookies for Holiday Festival visitors.

The chefs at the Guest House Retreat and Conference Center will be making their signature cranberry oatmeal cookies for Holiday Festival visitors.

With all the shops open for the evening, this is an ideal time to shop for gifts for everyone on your list, from your pets at Strut Your Mutt to your aspiring chefs at The Perfect Pear. Dina Varano is showcasing her sterling silver necklaces that evening and Mandy Carroll-Leiva will introduce Leiva Jewelry’s Holiday Collection at the Lori Warner Studio & Gallery.

Jan Cummings and Peter Good introduce their 2017 Calendar at C&G while giving away their holiday wrapping paper and “Change Chance” notecards. At The French Hen, enjoy the holiday-themed refreshments and 10% off gift certificates, and as usual complimentary gift wrapping on all gifts.

This one evening of the year, Nourish Organics Skincare at 6 Main Street (in the beautifully redecorated Chester Bank building) is open with a prize drawing and give-away samples of its products, plus sales of gift sets of skincare products.

And then, of course, there’s apparel, and accessories, and more jewelry, and stocking stuffers of all types, and so much more available throughout the enticing shops and galleries of Chester.  And on top of all this, the Holiday Shopping Extravaganza is happening at the Chester Meeting House during the evening!

Free parking is available in the Water Street and the Maple Street parking lots, both a short walk to the center. Continually updated information about all the Starry Night happenings can be found at

Holiday Market Begins Nov. 27

In Chester CT Events on November 8, 2016 at 5:42 pm

holiday-market-card-genericGet ready for four Sundays of Chester Holiday Market!

The Sunday Market we all love returns at this time of year with the Holiday Market, bringing sidewalk shopping for fresh seafood, pork, beef, vegetables, jams, jellies, cheese, bread, and much more.  Shopping hours are 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. All the details are here:


Some of what you’ll find during Holiday Market:

Nov. 27 is Ringing in the Season, and here's one of the bellringers!

Nov. 27 is Ringing in the Season, and here’s one of the bellringers!


Cookie ornament decorating at Simon's!

Cookie ornament decorating at Simon’s!

The Hay House brings winter produce, jams, jellies, and more.

The Hay House brings winter produce, jams, jellies, and more.

Local Catch comes with just-caught seafood.

Local Catch comes with just-caught seafood.

Glen Dona makes pizza!

Glen Dona makes pizza!


Chester’s Own “Antiques Roadshow” on Nov.12

In Chester CT Events on November 7, 2016 at 5:41 pm

You’ve been saving those treasures for a long time, thinking you’ll leave them to your kids (or maybe you’re waiting for the right time to sell them). Aren’t you curious to know what they are worth?

Tom Perry has decades of experience as an antiques dealer, collector and appraiser

Tom Perry has decades of experience as an antiques dealer, collector and appraiser

It’s easy to find out! The Chester Historical Society presents its 13th Antiques & Jewelry Appraisal on Saturday, Nov. 12, from 8:30 a.m. to noon. Ten professionals will be on hand to give verbal appraisals  – whether it’s your grandfather’s violin, the painting you picked up for a song at an estate sale, a cherry side table, the quilt made by your great-great-grandmother, the family Bible, silver spoons, a gold bracelet or your uncle’s pocket watch…

Four of the appraisers are generalists, meaning they deal with the full range of antiques. With decades of experience as professional appraisers, they’ve seen it all. They are: Norman and Linda Legassie of Stepping Stones Antiques and Collectibles in Old Saybrook; Peggy Maraschiello of Riverwind Antiques in Deep River; and Tom Perry of One of a Kind Antiques (

Norman Legassie, generalist

Norman Legassie, generalist

Three are jewelry experts. They are: Garry Craig of The Timekeeper in Wallingford (watches as well as clocks); Paul Indorf of Connecticut Jewelry Appraisers (fine jewelry, gemstones); and Gay Sherman Weintz (vintage and antique costume jewelry).

Paul Indorf, CT Jewelry Appraisers

Paul Indorf, CT Jewelry Appraisers

Kevin Timme, of Madison, will appraise silver; Orville Haberman of CT River Books in Deep River will appraise books and ephemera; and John Newman of Deep River (American-made glass and oil and electric lamps).

John Newman specializes in American glass.

John Newman specializes in American glass

Each attendee may bring up to three separate items to be appraised. (A collection, such as a set of silver flatware, is considered one item.) If the item is too large to carry, bring photographs (if it’s a table or dresser, bring in a drawer too). Verbal appraisals will cost $10 for the first item; $20 for 2 items; or $25 for 3 items. All proceeds will benefit the nonprofit Chester Historical Society and its work on the Chester Museum at The Mill.

Orville Haberman, CT River Books

Orville Haberman, CT River Books

St. Joseph’s Parish Center is at 48 Middlesex Avenue (Rte. 154) in Chester. There is ample parking and handicapped access. Lots of seating and free coffee and tea are available while you wait. More information, including directions to the event, is on the website,, or email your questions to You may also call 860-558-4701 with specific questions.

Kick off November with First Friday in Chester, Nov. 4

In Chester CT Events on November 1, 2016 at 8:39 pm
first friday logo 3Chester celebrates First Friday on Friday, Nov. 4, beginning at 5  p.m.

Here’s a sampling of some of the evening’s events.

Homage Fine Art & Coffee is hosting a pop-up fashion show debuting Cait Shea Designs’ ready-to-wear collection of women’s sweaters. The show will be held outside in front of Homage, at 6 p.m., and will include a designer meet-and greet reception inside afterwards.

Keeping on the subject of warm clothes for women, Lark, at 4 Water St., will feature a demonstration of the many ways to wear its “magic” capes, beginning at 5 p.m.

Cummings & Good's new desk calendar/planner is now at C&G. Stop in on Friday night to see this year's edition.

Cummings & Good’s new desk calendar/planner is now at C&G. Stop in on Friday night to see this year’s edition.

Blackkat Leather, at 1 Main St., will be featuring Debbie Burt and her hand-blown glass art during the evening. Stop by and check out her amazing ornaments, vases, paperweights, cups, and more! In the same building, in the ELLE Design Studio, Theresa Zwart-Ludeman will exhibit her artwork: Watercolor to Digital, beginning at 5 p.m.

One of the photographs by members of Coastal Camera Club on exhibit at Maple & Main beginning Nov. 4.

One of the photographs by members of Connecticut Valley Camera Club on exhibit at Maple & Main in November.

A diverse selection of exceptional photographs will be shown during November in the Stone Gallery at Maple & Main Gallery. The work of members of the Connecticut Valley Camera Club will be on display from Nov. 2 through the 30 with a reception Friday, Nov. 4 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

At 1 Spring Street, the Leif Nilsson Gallery will exhibit Leif’s latest crop of paintings of the garden and the river. His band will be playing beginning at 5 p.m.

The Dina Varano shop will be highlighting its favorite finds from artisans around the world: from vintage woven rugs from South America to beautifully carved Nupe stools from Africa. Art has the ability to unite people from all continents!

The Dina Varano shop will be highlighting its favorite finds from artisans around the world: from vintage woven rugs from South America to beautifully carved Nupe stools from Africa. Art has the ability to unite people from all continents!

And there will be more! Come and enjoy all that Chester Center offers this First Friday of November. Watch for updates.




Romance in Maine Portrayed at Meeting House

In Chester CT Events on October 17, 2016 at 5:06 pm
meeting-house-players-tinyThe Meeting House Players will  present John Cariani’s witty, romantic comedy “Almost Maine” this fall.

The production opens on Friday, Oct. 28 and continues on Oct. 29 and on Nov. 4 & 5,  at the Chester Meeting House.  The curtain rises each evening at 8 pm and at 2 pm for a matinee performance on Saturday, Nov. 5.

“Almost Maine” is a succession of nine romantic vignettes, set on a cold, clear midwinter night in the mythical town of Almost, Maine.  As the northern lights drape across the night sky, the residents of Almost find themselves falling in and out of love in unanticipated and often hilarious ways. The ensemble cast features five talented performers: Sue Kessler, Betsy McHaley, Jacob Nadeau, Hunter Parker and Adam Pipkin.  The production is directed by Debbie Alldredge.

Tickets for “Almost Maine” are on sale now.  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 calling 860-526-3684 or by e-mail at  Unreserved tickets will be available at the door.

For additional information please contact Debbie Alldredge at  The Meeting House Players is a not-for-profit community theatre organization.

Chocolate Chip Cookies & Wine & Art & Music – “Come Home” Oct. 7

In Chester CT Events on September 22, 2016 at 10:29 am

Keith Stewart, chef at Camp Hazen YMCA, is making chocolate chip cookies – 100s of them – for Come Home to Chester night!

The town of Chester presents its annual “Come Home to Chester” celebration on Friday evening, Oct. 7. Come stroll through the shops and galleries of quaint Chester village while munching on chocolate chip cookies made by the chef of Camp Hazen YMCA and sampling wines or sipping apple cider. (All the comforts of home on a New England fall evening!)

The French Hen’s theme for the evening is fragrance. “Fragrance has the power to evoke a memory, change a mood or unlock a new experience,” says Laurie McGinley, the shop’s owner, who says the shop will be debuting a new line, Peacock Parfumerie, and will have a drawing for one of their beautiful scented candles. Chester Package Store will do a wine tasting on the front porch of The French Hen (14 Main St.).

LARK is featuring coziness – as in cozy, colorful home accessories, such as quilts, rugs, towels and pillows. Sign up to win a gift while exploring all the comforts of home featured in the newly expanded shop at 4 Water St.

“An Exploration of Texture,” a new jewelry collection by Dina Varano, opens at the Dina Varano Gallery on Main Street on October 7. Since day one, texture has been a defining feature of Dina’s unique jewelry. Like an alchemist she transforms metal into meaningful works of wearable art: one of a kind, one at a time.

Artists Beverly Floyd of East Haddam and Maggie Bice, now of Virginia but originally Old Lyme, are old friends who share a sensibility that is lyrical, lighthearted and often quirky. This will be evident in their two-women show, “Go Figure” in Maple and Main’s Stone Gallery, opening with a reception on Oct. 7.

ELLE Design, at 1 Main St., invites you to sample the raw chocolates made by Aruna Chocolate and learn how to pair them with wine. Look for Deborah Vilcheck, a Chester-based mortgage loan originator with Nations Reliable Lending, who will have 50 apple pies to hand out to visitors. “I love Chester and this is a great way to celebrate our town,” Deb says.

Even your dogs are welcome at Yappy Hour at Strut Your Mutt on Main Street, with treats for them and you.

Live music will be at the Pattaconk 1850 Bar & Grill on Main Street, and the Homage Fine Art & Coffee Lounge (16 Main St.) features Teen Open Mic Night from 7 to 9 p.m.

Everything is within walking distance from the Maple Street and Water Street free public parking lots.