Editorial: Venture into downtown this weekend

In the midst of October’s magnificence, Ridgefield celebrates itself, celebrates life in the lovely woods of suburban Connecticut, with the annual Fall in Love with Ridgefield event.

It’s this weekend, Friday and Saturday. It’s a time for Ridgefielders to take to the streets of their beloved downtown village, enjoy the beauty and the great — everyone hopes — fall weather this weekend. Put on your walking shoes and check out the scarecrows and the window paintings, visit the shops and the restaurants that play such a major part in making Ridgefield a town people love to call home.

Ridgefield’s village isn’t some postcard from a picturesque past — it’s a business community. It’s proprietors and sales clerks, cooks and waitresses. It’s jobs and taxes. That means money — from people eating out, people shopping, folks buying gifts for family and friends or indulging themselves in some well-deserved treat.

The erosion of “brick and mortar” business communities is one of the more distressing trends of these times. Fewer people go out to look in windows, shop in stores. More people sit on their couches, staring at screens and pushing buttons, sending credit card dollars to far off web merchants.


Break that habit.

Remember when shopping was a journey out of the house and into the world? Remember when shopping meant going out with a gang, trying things on and seeing what trusted friends thought? Remember folks going downtown and bumping into each on the sidewalks and saying hello? Maybe even having a coffee together? Remember eating lunch with friends and watching what seemed like everyone in town pass by on the sidewalk?

It’s not a lost world, you know. It’s there on Main Street, Catoonah Street, Prospect Street and Danbury Road. It’ll all be there this weekend, with the village decked out in the scarecrows and lined with kids painting windows and pumpkins. There’ll be balloon artists, musicians performing in front of town hall, a book sale at the library inviting intellectual browsing.

Ridgefield has so very much to offer: the sidewalks and storefronts, the dress shops and gift shops, the bookstore and toy store, the restaurants and coffee places with tables outside and inside, the trees turning in the golden autumn light.

Fall in love.

With Ridgefield.