Ridgefield Happenings: Astronomy program, free throw contest, and Little Women discussion

TOPSHOT - Students and teachers use solar filter glasses to look at the solar eclipse at Gujarat Science City on the outskirts of Ahmedabad on December 26, 2019. (Photo by SAM PANTHAKY / AFP) (Photo by SAM PANTHAKY/AFP via Getty Images)
TOPSHOT - Students and teachers use solar filter glasses to look at the solar eclipse at Gujarat Science City on the outskirts of Ahmedabad on December 26, 2019. (Photo by SAM PANTHAKY / AFP) (Photo by SAM PANTHAKY/AFP via Getty Images)SAM PANTHAKY / AFP via Getty Images

Public astronomy program

New Pond Farm Education Center, 101 Marchant Rd., West Redding, is offering a public astronomy program on Saturday, Jan. 18, at 6 p.m. There will be a free pre-class particularly suitable for families at 5:30 in the Education Building to discuss what will be observed.

In the telescopes attendees will view the planet Venus ascending nightly in the west and the star birth known as the Orion nebulae, as well as star clusters and double stars. The winter constellations of Orion and his two hunting dogs, Taurus the bull and the Gemini twins will be pointed out and discussed.

Participants should park near the Education Center, dress warmly and bring a flashlight for the walk to the observatory. There is a heated building next to the telescopes.

The program is $4 per Farm member, with a maximum of $16 per family. For nonmembers, the charge is $6, with a maximum of $24 per family. Registration is required and can be done at newpondfarm.org or by calling 203-938-2117. If the skies appear cloudy, check the website after 4 p.m. for program status.

One woman art show

Art in the Meetinghouse features Abstraction: The Fusion of Art and Spirituality, a one woman show by Polly Castor, Jan. 19-March 22, at Ridgebury Congregational Church, 605 Ridgebury Rd., Ridgefield.

A reception will be held Jan. 19, from 2-4 p.m.

For more information, call 203-313-9655.

Free Throw Championship

Ridgefield Knights of Columbus (KofC) Marquette Council #245 is sponsoring a Free Throw Championship for Boys & Girls ages 9-14 on Wednesday, Jan. 22, at 7 p.m., in The Nancy Bossidy Gym & Recreation Center, St. Mary School, Ridgefield.

Winners progress through local, district, and state competitions. All boys and girls will compete in their respective age divisions. All contestants on the local level will receive participation certificates, and winners advance to the next round. This event is free.

Registration is from 6-7:30 p.m., and forms are available at stmarysridgefield.org/knights-of-columbus; St. Mary School’s Religious Education Office and Parish Office; and at the Free Throw Competition. When registering, participants are required to furnish proof of age and signed parental consent.

Snow date is Monday, Jan. 27.

For more information, call Tim O’Connell, 203-545-3027.

Dance classes

Dance classes start Jan. 22 in Ridgefield Continuing Education. Line Dance, taught by Steve Parker and Ellen Russow (long term teachers and dancers), is a fun, no partner needed, workout for all levels that meets Wednesdays, Jan., 22, 29; Feb. 5, 12 and 19, from 7-8 p.m. Cost is $62.

Ballroom Dance, West Coast Swing and Night Club Two Step Beginner — Brush Up classes with long term instructor Natalie Mazzola provide a fun, no stress way to learn social dancing (basic Ballroom and Rhythm patterns in Waltz, Foxtrot, Tango, Rumba, Cha-Cha, East Coast Swing and Night Club Two Step). Great for beginners and for those who have taken lessons in the past. This class meets six Wednesdays, Jan. 22, 29; Feb. 5, 12, 19 and 26, 7:45 to 8:45 p.m. Cost is $74. Ridgefield seniors, age 62 discount available.

Zumba® and Barre-lates also start soon. Advance registration required. Visit ridgefieldschools.org or call Peggy Bruno at 203-431-2812 for information or to register.

Little Women movie/book discussion

Joanne Dobson, novelist, scholar, and English professor, retired from Fordham University will lead a conversation on Little Women: The Movie on Jan. 26, at 4 p.m., at The Meeting House at Ridgebury Congregational Church, 605 Ridgebury Rd., Ridgefield.

Meg, Jo, Amy, Beth — the March sisters of Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women, the 19th-century novel — are back again, in Greta Gerwig’s re-envisioned Little Women: The Movie, called “reverent and fresh, wistful and progressive.”

Dobson has spoken and taught locally at Ridgefield Library, on Emily Dickinson, on memoir writing, on women’s mystery fiction. She is a founding editor of Legacy: A Journal of American Women Writers, and has written on Emily Dickinson and on the fiction and poetry of 19th-century American women writers.

She also is the author of the Professor Karen Pelletier mystery series from Doubleday and Poisoned Pen Press. Her novels have been widely reviewed in national media. In 2001 the New York Library Association named her a Noted Author of the Year.

Art, jewelry, crochet and knitting

Art, jewelry, crochet and knitting classes start soon in Ridgefield Continuing Education. All classes provide individualized instruction for both beginning and experienced students in a relaxing, stress free environment.

Explore the Mediums (charcoal, pastels, watercolor) starts Monday, Jan. 27 (8 sessions, 12:30-2:30 p.m.; $176).

Textile Yarn Necklace meets Thursday, Feb. 6 or March 5 (1 session, 6-9 p.m.; $39).

Yummy Mindful Knitting Two Hour Workshop, Thursday, Feb. 6, 12:30-2:30 p.m. or Wednesday, March 4, 7-9 p.m.

Beginning Crochet starts Tuesday, Feb. 25, 10 a.m.-noon and Monday, March 9, 6:30-8:30 p.m. and meets for three sessions. Cost is $74.

Botanical Art and Illustration (draw or paint plants, flowers, natural objects) starts Wednesday, Feb. 26, from 6:308:30 p.m. for six sessions. Cost is $132.

Drawing, Studio Knitting, Photography and Photoshop Elements also start soon. More sessions, plus Furniture Chalk Painting Workshop start in March and April. Tuition listed above; materials are extra. Ridgefield senior (age 62 and over) discount available. Advance registration required. Visit ridgefieldschools.org or call Peggy Bruno at 203-431-2812.

Bridge classes

Tuesday bridge classes run for eight sessions, Jan. 28-March 24 (no class Feb. 18), at the Annex, 70 Prospect St. Beginner Bridge, part 2, 1-3 p.m.; McNally is for beginners who have a little playing experience and those who are returning to the game after being away from it for decades. Intermediate Bridge, 3:15-5:15 p.m.; Watson-Stribula focuses on play of the hand techniques, new conventions and more.

Instructor Glenna McNally has played bridge for decades and is on the Board of Directors of the Newtown Duplicate Bridge Club. Instructor Mary Watson-Stribula has taught students of all ages and plays both socially and competitively.

Cost is $174. Ridgefield senior discount is available. Advance registration required. To register, visit ridgefieldschools.org or call Peggy Bruno at 203-431-2812.

Language classes

Ridgefield Continuing Education offers French, Spanish, Italian, and German language classes beginning in January and early February. These classes allow you to take the opportunity to step away from a rote computer program and into live, active learning of a foreign language.

Beginning and Intermediate to Advanced classes are available both day and evening. Tuition is $94 to $169 with an additional reasonable text fee. Instructors are native speakers or have lived in the country.

Advance registration required. Course and teacher descriptions and dates are at ridgefieldschools.org or by calling Peggy Bruno at 203-431-2812.

Ridgefield ABC Winter Gala

The Ridgefield A Better Chance program will honor Allison and Jon Stockel for their extraordinary commitment to Ridgefield ABC at its annual Winter Gala to be held on Feb. 7, from 6-11 p.m., at Le Chateau, South Salem, N.Y. All are invited.

Cocktails and appetizers will be followed by dinner and dancing with a Mardi Gras theme. Black tie optional; Mardi Gras masks encouraged.

To purchase tickets or learn more about RABC, goto ridgefieldabc.org.

PowerPoint presentation

A PowerPoint presention on The Spiritual Roots of Abstraction will be held on Tuesday, Feb. 18, at 7 p.m., in Shields Hall, at Ridgebury Congregational Church, 605 Ridgebury Rd., Ridgefield.

The exhibit will be open Sundays, from 11 a.m.-noon; Mondays, 1-3 p.m.; or by appointment.

To schedule an appointment or get more information, call 203-313-9655.