Ridgefield happenings: Gardening tips, lady golfers and Greenville College Choir

Declutter, organize

Declutter or Organize? is the name of a new workshop in Ridgefield Continuing Education. Instructor Juls’ Arthur will give hands-on demonstrations.

Design coach Linda Keefer will present designer principles for small-space rooms and teach how to create a room layout on graph paper.

Arthur is the Connecticut ambassador for the National Association of Professional Organizers. 

The class meets on Friday, March 24, from 1 to 2:30 at the Venus Building (old high school). Cost is $29. Registration deadline is March 22 and is required for a pre-class organizing style quiz. Information at ridgefieldschools.org or Peggy Bruno at 203-431-2812.

An afternoon with  two mystery writers

Two local mystery writers, Jean E. Cullander and Dorothy Hayes, will speak about their recently released mystery novels at the Ridgefield Library on Saturday, March 11, at 2 p.m.

Cullander’s debut mystery novel, The Train to Skeleton Coast, was a finalist in the international Eludia 2015 book award competition.

Hayes, a staff writer for local Connecticut newspapers for five years, received an honorary award for her in-depth series on Vietnam veterans from the Society of Professional Journalists.

Books will be available for sale and signing at the event. Information and registration at ridgefieldlibrary.org or 203-438-2282.

Ridgefield battle talk

An event that is part of the 240th anniversary re-enactment of the Battle of Ridgefield is the subject of a talk in Redding. The Drum Hill DAR members will join the Redding Historical Society for a program at the Mark Twain Library in Redding on the topic of the Danbury Raid of 1777 and its impact on Redding.

The talk is on March 12 at 3 p.m. Two historians, Sal Lilienthal, author of Revolutionary Battles, and Brent Colley, an expert on the history of Redding, Branchville and Georgetown, will be the speakers.

Learning Through Film looks at drug addiction

The Anonymous People, a documentary on how long-term recovery from addiction is possible and how those who have obtained it can assist in dispelling negative perceptions, is part of the next Learning Through Film program at the Ridgefield Library, Sunday, March 16, at 7 p.m.

The film’s director, Greg Williams, will be present for the screening. The screening is underwritten by Family ReEntry of Norwalk.

Spring gardening

Spring planting time is about here, and Ridgefield Continuing Education has gardening classes. Bulbs, Perennials and Ornamental Grasses covers how to create a layered garden by underplanting beds with bulbs and what plants thrive in our area and resist deer (Wednesday, March 22, $31).  

Landscape Garden Design (Mondays, March 27 and April 3, $49) focuses on the garden room and covers steps to successful design, including selection and siting of plants, elements of design, color theory, and how to create a design on paper to work from.

The Cut Flower Gardening workshop (Wednesday, March 29, $31) explores the world of cut flowers and how to grow and use different types of plant material to keep your vases filled all year round.

Instructor Laura Stabell is a master gardener, arborist, horticulturist, and naturalist. Workshops meet from 7 to 9 p.m. at East Ridge Middle School. More classes are available in April. Advance registration required. Ridgefield senior discount available. More information at ridgefieldschools.org or phone Peggy Bruno at 203-431-2812.

Lady golfers plan a meet-and-greet

The Ridgefield Ladies Golf Association plans a new member meet-and-greet on Tuesday, April 4, from 10 to noon at the Ridgefield Golf Course, 545 Ridgebury Road.

The association offers Tuesday morning league play for both nine- and 18-hole players. The season runs from April through October and welcomes all skill levels.

Activities include Tuesday morning game arranging, weekly group clinics, monthly nine and dine social, and the opportunity to meet and play with new and old friends.

Spring Stroll includes Gone Country BBQ

The Downtown Ridgefield Spring Stroll is Friday, May 5, and the fourth annual Ridgefield Gone Country BBQ Festival in Ridgefield runs Saturday and Sunday, May 6 and 7.

Gone Country is a collaboration between the Ridgefield Rotary Club and the Lounsbury House. More than 5,000 attended last year.

In addition to being the state BBQ championship, it features kids rides and musical performances — headline artists will be Erik Kreig, Jesse Lynch and Michelle DeAngelis.  

More information is available at RidgefieldBBQCT.com

Jewelry classes

Ridgefield Continuing Education jewelry classes are for beginner and advanced students.

Beading for All Jewelry is a one-session workshop. Cost is $29, plus materials cost of $10 and up per project, depending on materials selected. It meets Wednesdays, March 29, April 26 or May 17, from 7 to 8:30 p.m.

In the Leather Wrapped Bracelet Workshop, creating double- and triple-wrap leather bracelets with crystals will be taught. It meets Wednesday, March 22, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Cost is $29, plus materials cost of $20.

Instructor is Viola Galetta. Ridgefield senior discount available. Advance registration required. Information at ridgefieldschools.org or Peggy Bruno at 203-431-2812.

McNally’s photos topic of ARTalk

Photographer Joe McNally will give an ARTalk at 2 p.m. on Sunday, March 12, at the Ridgefield Library. McNally’s more than 35-year career has included being a contributor to National Geographic and a contract photographer for Sports Illustrated, as well as shooting cover stories for Time, Newsweek, Fortune, and The New York Times Sunday Magazine.

His prints are in numerous collections, including the National Portrait Gallery of the United States and the Sept. 11 Memorial and Museum.  

McNally’s Faces of Ground Zero — Portraits of the Heroes of Sept. 11th is a collection of 246 giant Polaroid portraits shot near Ground Zero. He has authored several books on photography and has done commercial and advertising work ranging from FedEx to the American Ballet Theater.

Information and registration at ridgefieldlibrary.org or 203-438-2282.

Domestic thriller by Parks is topic

The Ridgefield Library and Books on the Common are welcoming back author Brad Parks to discuss Say Nothing, his latest domestic thriller, on Friday, March 17, at 7 p.m. at the library.

In Say Nothing, federal Judge Scott Sampson seems to have it all: a prestigious job, a beautiful wife and adorable twins, Sam and Emma. It’s the kind of life most of us dream about, but in an instant, Sampson’s life takes a nightmarish turn.

Parks is a former reporter for The Washington Post and The Star-Ledger. Books will be available for sale and for signing at the event.

Information and registration at ridgefieldlibrary.org or 203-438-2282.

Plant-based diet is topic of talk

The Ridgefield Visiting Nurse Association is planning a nutrition program, Road Map to a Plant-Based Diet, on Thursday, April 6.

Meg Whitbeck, RVNA registered dietitian and nutrition educator, and Cathy Katin-Grazzini, plant-based chef and owner of Cathy’s Kitchen Prescription, will have a presentation that includes a cooking demonstration and tasting in the RVNA teaching kitchen.

The presentation will take place from 11:30 to 1 and the fee is $23; RSVP to 203-438-5555.

Shredding day

The Ridgefield Lions Club, in conjunction with Winters Brothers, will be holding a document shredding day on Saturday, April 22, from 9 to noon at the parking lot behind Starbucks, 94 Danbury Road. The cost is $10 per copy paper-size box (larger boxes extra) and no appointment is necessary. For more information, call Chuck Hancock at 203-438-1332.

All money collected will be used by the Lions Club for senior citizens, student scholarships and other local projects.


Voiceovers is available through Ridgefield Continuing Education. Instructor Wendy Shapero is a voice artist, actor, choreographer, dancer, and comedian.

Shapero does voice for TV and radio commercials and will illustrate how to use voice for commercials, films and videos.  

Advance registration is required and space is limited. The class meets on Saturday, April 1, from 1 to 3 at East Ridge Middle School. Tuition and registration fees total $31. Ridgefield seniors, age 62 and over, pay $24. Registration at ridgefieldschools.org or Peggy Bruno at 203-431-2812.

West Point Band in concert March 18

The West Point Band will give a performance at East Ridge School on Saturday, March 18, at 7:30 p.m.

The music ranges from patriotic fare to marches, and includes original commissions and orchestral transcriptions.

Staff Sgts. Philip Broome and Chris Leslie will be featured on Mendelssohn’s violin concerto, transcribed for euphonium duet, and Staff Sgt. Kristen Mather de Andrade will perform the third movement of Philip Sparke’s clarinet concerto. The show is free.

For concert information, call 845-938-2617 or visit westpointband.com

April 2 Chili Fest for amateurs, pros

This year’s Chili Fest is on Sunday, April 2, from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Ridgefield Recreation Center.

Visitors sample chilis by both amateur cooks and professional chefs.

Amateur cooks win prizes and bragging rights as they vie for the People’s Choice Award, based on votes from festival attendees, or the Celebrity Choice Award, decided by a panel of celebrity judges.

Entry is free for amateur cooks, requiring only two gallons of the entrant’s homemade chili. Cooks of all ages may enter. To enter, contact ksulzinsky@ridgefielddems.org.

Sponsored by Ridgefield Democrats, the fest is a nonpartisan, family-friendly event.

General admission tickets are $25/person (age 16+). A family pack ticket that will admit up to four children ages 7-15 may be purchased for $10, and children 6 and under are admitted free.

Tickets may be purchased at ridgefielddems.net or at the door.

Congregational Church plans Lent programs

Spiritual programs of the First Congregational Church on Wednesday evenings during Lent will be held at the Keeler Tavern Garden House, beginning each week at 6:30 p.m. with a meal, followed at 7 p.m. by prayers, worship songs and meditation.

March through Mark is the church’s theme for the season of Lent.

The Wednesday evening events are held at the Garden House of Keeler Tavern as construction is underway to renovate and expand the church’s program and education building. Sunday worship continues in the sanctuary, with a service of word and sacrament at 8:15 a.m. and family worship at 10 a.m. Sunday school is during the 10 a.m. hour in the classroom wing, which is unaffected by construction, with middle and high schoolers meeting in Shields House next door at 99 Main Street.

Greenville College choir to perform at St. Stephen’s

The Greenville College Choir (Greenville, Ill.) of 42 singers will perform in concert on Thursday, March 16, at 7 p.m. at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, 351 Main Street. Founded in 1927, the choir performs sacred choral music. Ridgefield is one of several stops through the eastern United States as part of the ensemble’s 90th anniversary year concert tour. The rector of St. Stephen’s, the Rev.Whitney Altopp, and her husband, Michael, are graduates of Greenville.

More information is available at 203-438-3789 or ststephens-ridgefield.org