From walks to talks: The region's highlights in 2013
By Denise Coffey - Staff Writer
Regional - posted Fri., Dec. 27, 2013
The Last Green Valley’s Walktober events drew thousands to its month-long celebration. From hikes in forest management areas, paddles on area rivers, explorations of historical buildings and landmarks, and horse rides through pristine country, Walktober is one of the premier celebrations of the nationally-recognized Quinebaug-Shetucket National Heritage Corridor that runs through 35 towns in Massachusetts and Connecticut.
The Brooklyn Fair Grounds turned nightmarish in October – graves grew along the stretch of land fronting Route 169. Ghouls, witches and some walking dead entertained a large crowd that turned out for the second Spooky Night. The Brooklyn Recreation Commission sponsored the Halloween extravaganza., It promises to be an annual event for the town if the blood-curdling shrieks coming from the haunted house were any indication.
The Killingly Agriculture Commission and the Northeastern Connecticut Farmers' Market, with support from the Connecticut Department of Agriculture, began a new program called LUUV. “Let’s Use Underused Vegetables” is a program that champions all vegetables, especially ones consumers tend to forget.
November elections ushered in changes across the region. In Canterbury, Republican Roy Piper was voted in as first selectman. In Brooklyn, Democrat Rick Ives garnered enough votes to oust First Selectman Austin Tanner. In towns throughout northeast Connecticut, a paltry number (10 to 20 percent) of citizens came out to vote.
The whole world is a stage for Oneco resident Jim Lucason. His play, “The Rapparees,” premiered in Ireland at the Group Theater in Tralee on Nov. 28. His play, “The Last Rightboy,” will be staged in Provincetown in the near future, and the Actors’ Studio in New York is considering his play, “Dancing with the Devil.”
Another play making its world premiere was “Dear Prudence,” about the state’s official heroine, Prudence Crandall. Written by Cindy Wolf Boynton and performed by actress Brenda Jackson, the play opened at the United Solo Theater Festival in New York City before opening in Canterbury at the First Congregational Church. The story about courage and independence resonates still.
The Plainfield High School marching band won the state title and the All-New England title in Division IIA at the USBands New England State Championships in the fall. The trophy they collected sits with the other trophies and certificates of recognition they’ve received over the years.
The Windham County Extension Center in Brooklyn hosted the first 4-H Science Saturday in November. The program is part of a larger effort on the part of national 4-H to boost the scientific, technological, engineering and mathematical skills and interests of youngsters.
Veterans representing the Amvet Posts 45 in Killingly and 47 in Brooklyn, the American Legion Post 21 in Danielson, the Paul C. Houghton Detachment 681 Marine Corps League in Dayville, and VFW Posts 2650 in Danielson and 4908 in East Killingly marked Veterans’ Day with a ceremony in Davis Park on Nov. 10. They reminded us of veterans through the ages, and our debt of gratitude for their service.
Westfield Congregational Church in Danielson ushered in its second Victorian Christmas season this year. The Rev. Jonathan Chapman wanted to encourage people to slow down and savor the wonder of the season.
The Northeast Early Childhood Council awarded Children’s Champion Awards to the Killingly/Putnam Mom’s Club and the Plainfield Youth Activities Board in December. The NECC is one of 63 community councils charged with implementing school readiness programs.