Community: Group hosts Giant Pumpkin Weigh-Off in Ridgefield, more news

Ridgefield Owls opens new season of monthly meetings

The Ridgefield Owls will open a new season of monthly meetings for seniors at Founders’ Hall (located 193 Danbury Road) from 1 to 3 p.m. on Sept. 2. Attendees that have not yet registered at Founders’ Hall should try to sign-up earlier there to avoid lines at check-in.

Ridgefield Performing Art Center & Academy presents Open Studio & Sale

Ridgefield Performing Art Center & Academy (RPAC) recently hosted a studio sale above 850 Degree Wood Fired Pizza Restaurant in Ridgefield. Over 18 local artists work in this space to create artwork that is displayed in the RPAC Gallery on Main Street in Ridgefield. Once a year, the artists put their work on display for purchase at an affordable price, starting at $200. Visitors had the opportunity to meet the local artists and see more of what they;re working on and a much broader selection of their collection than is possible with the RPAC Gallery exhibitions.

Group hosts Giant Pumpkin Weigh-Off, Sept. 25

This year’s annual Giant Pumpkin Weigh-Off is at Ballard Park (485 Main St.) on Sept. 25.

Celebrating its 10th anniversary, the Giant Pumpkin Weigh-Off will be bigger and better than ever with a lot of giant pumpkins, entertainment and vendor stands, a release said. Presented by the Connecticut Giant Pumpkin Growers Club, the Giant Pumpkin Weigh-Off welcomes growers from all over the region to compete for cash prizes.

Running from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., the event is free and open to the public.

Those interested in participating are encouraged to complete the Ridgefield Giant Pumpkin Weigh-Off Vendor, Exhibitor & Sponsor Interest Form. For more information, email ctpumpkins@gmail.com.

Keeler Museum and History Center holds Tavern Tastings

Residents are invited to mark their calendars for Keeler Tavern Museum & History Center’s special event “Tavern Tastings LIVE!” on Oct. 6 from 6 to 9 p.m.

This fall fundraiser will be a fun evening of food, drink, music and fantastic live programming - a night out at the museum, where history is on tap, a release said.

Guests will learn about and sample drinks from a variety of local breweries; cans of beer and cider will also be available for purchase. A local food truck will provide delicious food for all - details on breweries and food truck will be coming soon.

Throughout the night, guests will enjoy live music from indie soul-pop singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Christine Chanel.

Guests will also get to experience “Tavern Tastings” in a whole new format, as Keeler Tavern Museum & History Center Chief Curator Catherine Prescott and Fraunces Tavern Museum Special Programs & Engagement Manager Mary Tsaltas-Ottomanelli host a live discussion about beer and cider in colonial taverns. Finally, guests will have special access to the museum’s new exhibits, "Cheers to 250 Years: A History of T. Keeler's Inn and Tavern" and "#HandsOnHistory: It Takes A Village."

Tickets are $75 each and go on sale in early September. For updates, visit www.keelertavernmuseum.org/events.

Fairfield County Bank launches “Together, #WoofWithStyle” social media campaign

Fairfield County Bank has launched a Facebook and Instagram campaign “Together, #WeWoofWithStyle” to benefit three local animal shelters.

The three featured charities include Lucky Dog Refuge in Stamford; Pet Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) in Norwalk; and Ridgefield Operation for Animal Rescue (ROAR) in Ridgefield. “#Woof With Style” creates a space for the community to come together, share a photo of their furry friend and support local animal shelters.

The charity that’s tagged the most on Facebook and Instagram will receive a grand prize donation of $3,000; the runners-up will each receive a $1,000 donation.

Participants may submit a vote by posting a photo of their dog on Facebook or Instagram wearing a Fairfield County Bank bandana, including “Together, #WeWoofWithStyle” in the caption, and tagging the Bank’s social media page. Participants are encouraged to follow the Bank’s Facebook and Instagram pages for leaderboard updates throughout the month.

Each post also enters participants to win three different prizes throughout the month. The first ten qualified posts will be entered into a raffle to receive a $100 gift card to a Fairfield County dog grooming salon. At the midway point, one randomly selected voter will receive a gift basket including dog treats from Woof Gang & Co. and gifts from Fairfield County Bank.

At the end of the month, all eligible participants will be entered into a drawing for a $100 gift card to a local Fairfield County pet store.

For more information on how to participate in Woof With Style and complete drawing terms and conditions, visit www.fairfieldcountybank.com/woofwithstyle.

Ridgefield Theater Barn opens 58th season with ‘The Exonerated’

Ridgefield Theater Barn, in conjunction with the Innocence Project and underwritten by the Taylor-Zemo Foundation, will open its 58th season with “The Exonerated” on Sept. 9. For more information and tickets, visit www.ridgefieldtheaterbarn.org.

Ally Bally Bee celebrates 10th anniversary in Ridgefield

Ally Bally Bee and all its artists are excited to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the opening of the store in Ridgefield and would like to invite residents to join in the celebration from Sept. 8 through Sept. 11.

As a thank you to all their customers, every purchase of $30 or more will receive a free gift made by one of the artists. The anniversary celebration will kick off on Sept. 8 with champagne from 6 to 9 p.m.

This Artisan boutique is stocked with handmade creations including jewelry, clothing, pottery, photography, children’s wear, accessories and so much more. With more than 120 artists represented at the store from the surrounding towns and 350 made in the USA products, customers can find a handmade gift for any occasion and know they’re supporting many small local businesses and artists.

Ally Bally Bee was started by Redding resident Morag Grassie when she was looking for a way to showcase her own work of making purses and create a community of local artists.

Ally Bally Bee is an artisan co-op/artisan marketplace located at 45 Ethan Allen Highway/RT 7 in the Branchville section of Ridgefield. For further information, visit www.ally-bally-bee.com or call 203-493-5037.

Fairfield County Bank partners with Banzai to provide remote learning curriculum

Fairfield County Bank has partnered with Banzai to provide online financial literacy curriculum to 37 local schools in the area free of charge. The curriculum can be used by students who are currently engaged in remote learning.

Fairfield County Bank is working with Banzai to build financial literacy in the Fairfield County community by investing time, money, industry experience, and a variety of bank resources.

Through their help, students have access to Banzai learning tools, virtual or in-classroom presentations from a Fairfield County Bank expert and class visits to a branch to see it all in person.

Teachers who are interested in using Banzai can visit www.fairfieldcountybank.banzai.org or call 888-8-BANZAI.

Mothers of Preschoolers holds first meeting

The Ridgefield Mothers of Preschoolers (MOPS) will be holding their first meeting of the year on Sept. 14 from 9 to 11:45 a.m. MOPS is a group for mothers of young children to find friendship, support, and encouragement. Moms of infants through kindergartners are welcome to attend.

Childcare is provided during each meeting. Mothers are encouraged to register as soon as possible to ensure adequate childcare. Those planning to attend should contact Tina at MOPSRidgefield@gmail.com.

The Ridgefield MOPS will meet at Ridgefield Baptist Church (325 Danbury Road) on the second Wednesday of every month from September through May, with an additional meeting on the 4th Wednesday of September. In addition to monthly meetings, MOPS also hosts playdates and events just for moms.

MOPS is part of an international non-profit organization known as MOPS International. For more information about MOPS International visit mops.org. More information about the Ridgefield MOPS can be found at www.facebook.com/MOPSRidgefield or at www.ridgefieldbaptist.org.

RPAC Gallery opens ‘Time to Remember’ exhibition

RPAC Gallery (410 Main Street) presents a new gallery exhibition, “Time to Remember,” on Sept. 15 through Nov. 12.

This exhibition will focus on all of their resident artists.

Visit www.rpacgallery.com for more information.

Library hosts National Recovery Month observance event

Come and enjoy an evening of story, poetry, remembrance, music and hope as the Ridgefield Library (472 Main St.) celebrates Ridgefield’s strong and proud recovery community on Sept. 7 at 7 p.m.

National Recovery Month is a nationwide observance held every September to promote and support new evidence-based treatment and recovery practices, the emergence of a strong and proud recovery community, and the dedication of service providers and community members across the nation who make recovery in all its forms possible. This event is co-sponsored by Ridgefield Library, the Ridgefield Prevention Council, and the Ridgefield Poet Laureate.

Please register at www.ridgefieldlibrary.org or call 203-438-2282.

Ridgefield Independent Film Festival screening at town library

Starting Sept. 6 at 7 p.m., the Ridgefield Library will begin hosting a monthly in-person series of feature-length films through this December.

These films are at the near-finalist stage of Ridgefield Independent Film Festival's competition for the full film festival to take place next spring. The audience is encouraged to offer feedback and vote on each film.

The featured film for Sept. 6 is “Northern Shade” by United States director/editor Christopher Rucinski, known for his work on The Adam Project (2022) and Ford v. Ferrari (2019). Rucinski is an award-winning filmmaker and member of the Motion Picture Editors Guild. “Northern Shade,” which stars Jesse Gavin, is about a disenchanted Army vet who emerges from isolation when his younger brother is recruited by an extremist militia. 

Rucinski’ s feature debut is currently on the 2022 festival circuit where it won Best Screenplay at the Phoenix Film Festival and Best Feature at Poppy Jasper. Please register at www.ridgefieldlibrary.org or call 203-438-2282.

Overview of Ridgefield Continuing Education programs

For over 45 years, Ridgefield Continuing Education has provided invigorating and enjoyable courses taught by experienced instructors to enable the community to learn something new, enhance skills and reach personal and self-improvement goals.

Ridgefield Continuing Education’s fall course schedule is available both online and in print and offers both in-person and Zoom classes.

Some of the new classes include “Journalism 101”; “Cartooning, Clay and Mosaics for Beginners”; “Maximize Your Health Insurance”; “Archaeology: the Original Settlers of Ridgefield”; “Contact and the Deeds”; “The Crusades”; “World Wars I and II”; “Stretch”; “Yoga”; “Cardio”; “Zumba”; “Danza-Barre”; “Tai Chi”; “Yoga”; “The Mushroom Walk”; “Ballroom Dance”; “Acoustic Guitar”; “Genealogy”; “Writing a Novel or Short Story”; and many more.

Technology classes include Windows, PowerPoint, Excel, eBay, Social Media, LinkedIn, iPad, iPhone, Photoshop Elements, Windows, Cyber Security and Google Docs are also available.

For more information, visit www.ridgefieldschools.org/index.html or call Peggy Bruno at 203-431-2812.

Clay and Mosaics for Beginners

Participants are invited to take “Clay and Mosaics for Beginners,” a new class in Ridgefield Continuing Education that will teach them how to make simple bowls, plates and wall pieces with airdry clay.

Before the clay hardens, participants will design and form specific areas for their mosaic patterns on the pieces. They will also paint and embellish their clay work with mosaic glass and beads once it dries.

This class will meet Sept. 21, Sept. 28, Oct. 12, Oct. 19, Oct. 26 and Nov. 2 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at East Ridge Middle School. Tuition is $159 per person; an additional $25 materials/supply fee is payable to the instructor at the first class. Advance registration is required.  Visit www.ridgefieldschools.org or phone Peggy Bruno at 203-431-2812 for more information.

‘Contact and the Deeds’ class

Ridgefield Continuing Educaiton will be holding a local archaeology course on “Contact and the Deeds” on Sept. 21 and Sept. 28 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the Annex. While the class will meet in-person, there will be a Zoom option available.

In 1525, Verrazano mapped the New England coastline - this was contact. This meeting between the Native Americans and the Europeans brought many changes to the lives of the indigenous people. The upcoming lectures will address these changes as well as the initial land deals that took place among the Native Americans, the Dutch, and the English between the Norwalk River and the North (Hudson) River.

The cost is $52 per person; Ridgefield seniors age 62 and older and disabled residents will pay $44.  Advanced registration is required. For more information, visit www.ridgefieldschools.org or phone Peggy Bruno at 203-431-2812.

Tai Chi exercise classes

Tai Chi classes are available both in-person and on Zoom through Ridgefield Continuing Education. Tai Chi helps relieve stress, increase strength and flexibility and improve balance, coordination and circulation, and can be practiced by anyone.

“Tai Chi Form for Beginners” classes will be held in-person for eight sessions. The class will be taught by Gwen Roman on Sept. 21 at 6 p.m. and by Therese Rayfield on Sept. 21 at 10 a.m. The cost is $100 per person.

Instructor Rod Barfield will led a seven-session Zoom “Tai Chi Exercises” class using light weights, starting Oct. 4 at 10 a.m. In-person classs will start Oct. 13 at 6:45 p.m. and March 4 at 10 a.m. The cost is $88 per person.

Advanced registration is required; a discount is available for Ridgefield seniors ages 62 and older. For more information, visit www.ridgefieldschools.org or phone Peggy Bruno at 203-431-2812.