Tag Archives: elizabeth park

Wine & Roses Kicks Off Rose Season At Elizabeth Park

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roses1If you need a shot of the best of June, head over to Elizabeth Park on the Hartford/West Hartford line and enjoy the free sights and smells of its historic rose gardens.

The gardens received the official annual toast Friday as the Elizabeth Park Conservancy held its “Wine & Roses” fundraiser at The Pond House Café, a night designed to celebrate the blooming of the park’s landmark array of thousands of tea, bush, climbing, heritage, old garden and shrub blooms.

“It happens every June and will go on all summer,” said conservancy president Laura Berman. “We have a burst of blooms for summer this time of year and then there will be a burst in the fall so you can come any time to enjoy,” she said. “It’s not just this week.”

roses2And while summer is still officially a few days away, the quintessential summer wear was ahead of the calendar, with blue and white print Lily Pulitzer pants for committee member John Morgan, J. Petermen sundresses for nearly all the women who attended, and a kind of Palm Beach pastel vibe for another always stylin’ board member, Krystian von Speidel.

“There is something so romantic to all this,” said Casey Greenberg, who was attending the fundraiser for the first time. “The roses, everyone dressed up, a beautiful night,” said the Massachusetts resident who was visiting friends. “How lucky for Hartford to have this beautiful park.”


A Weekend Full Of Everything Hartford!

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The city and the state got off to a good start this week what with Erin Brady, CT’s first Miss USAcalendar_clip_art-1_opt finishing her history making reign, Hartford Stage basking in that “Gentleman’s Guide” Tony Award glow, UConn teams visit to the White House and Quinnipiac University celebrating Barbara Walters in New York City.

The rest of the week is just as good people!

It all begins tonight with a sizzle when the Hartford Public Library hosts its annual “One Big Sizzling Summer Night” gala at the library featuring guest foodie, author and former Gourmet managing editor Ruth Reichl.

onebig4“This year’s event will be unlike any you’ve seen,” promises library CEO Matt Poland.

The evening includes food, meet-and-greet, an auction and a celebration of the library and its programs.

For more information go here.

Or you could head over to Charter Oak Landing on Thursday where Our Piece of the Pie, a non-profit supporting youths, will host its annual “Sip and Sail” cruise. The fundraiser includes a reception and sail along the Connecticut River on the Lady Katharine’s Mystique. For more information go here.

wineroses3It’s rose time at Elizabeth Park and that means “Wine & Roses” on June 13. Savor the smells and the sights at the park and its historic rose gardens  by attending the annual event sponsored by the park conservancy. It begins at 6:30 p.m. at the Pond House Café. For more information go here.

The University of Saint Joseph (USJ) will present its fourth black-tie gala on June 13 at 6p.m. at the Connecticut Convention Center June 13.

The “Imagine …the Sky’s the Limit” soiree will honor Dr. Edison Liu, the president and CEO of stjoeJackson Laboratory, as well as three USJ professors who will be recognized for their commitment and service to the humanities. They are: Dorothy Keller, professor of Fine Arts; Judith Perkins, professor emerita of Foreign Languages/Humanities and Shyamala Raman, professor of Economics and International Studies. For more information go here.

There will also be a party going on over at The Society Room on June 13 where  the Amistad Centerjunteenth2_opt for Art & Culture will kick off its Juneteenth Celebration “Jubilation”  .

This year author and speaker June Archer, singer and producer Jolie Rocke Broan and community leader John Motley will be honored at the event.

The gala is part of the two-day celebration that will also include a Junteenth Family Day on June 14 at the Wadsworth Atheneum from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Titled “Fresh Faces of Freedom”  the day includes a variety of family activities. For information go here.

cedarAlso on June 13, Cedar Hill Cemetery Foundation will host its annual “Sunset Among the Cedars,” a fundraising dinner celebrating its 150th anniversary. The evening includes dinner, entertainment and a sunset lantern release.

Proceeds benefit the Cedar Hill Cemetery Foundation’s mission of preserving, protecting and promoting the art, culture, history and natural beauty of the nationally recognized cemetery.

For more information go here.

On Saturday, celebrate Mark Twain by heading over to his house for “Tom Sawyer Day,” from 10MTH Exerior.28.25.04 a.m. to 4 p.m. The “Wild West” theme will feature activities including  pony rides, a rope-trick artist, magicians, music a mobile book shop and visits from Tom and Becky Thatcher as well. For more information  go here.

You can also head down to the Madison Beach Club June 14 for the Goodspeed’s “Razzle Dazzle” gala honoring Tony, Grammy and Pulitzer Prize winner Sheldon Harnick.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHarnick, known for his work on “She Loves Me” “Fiorello!” and ” Fiddler on the Roof,” being presented as part of Goodspeed’s 50th anniversary celebration, will receive the Goodspeed Award for Outstanding Contribution to Musical Theater.

For more information go here.

Finally, don’t forget Sunday is Father’s Day. Celebratedad with dad or remember him well.  Have a good weekend.

Grab Your Hat Hartford! It’s The Weekend!!

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The rain is scheduled to go away (oh please)  and that means time to partake of the weekend Hartford!  Andcalendar_clip_art-1.29213820_std[1] the choices range from very, very pretty to very, very  hot!

It’s Kentucky Derby Day Saturday. Besides a host of restaurant and club specials, there is also Ron’s Run for the Roses, the annual fundraiser at Folly Farm in Simsbury, benefiting The Ron Foley Foundation and its fight against pancreatic cancer.

The fun, including fabulous hats and mint juleps,  begins at 2:30 p.m.  There are hat and outfit contests, auctions, equestrian displays, Kentucky Derby viewing and more at the event that has raised  over $500,000 for research and help to those patients and their families in need.

run12For more information go here.

Also on Saturday, the CT Forum will host another in its lecture series, this one titled “Nerd Fest.” It features panelists Adam Savage, co-host of “MythBusters,” actress Aisha Tyler and New York Times “ethicist” and author Chuck Klosterman.

The forum convenes at The Bushnell at 8 p.m. For more information go here.

nbm8Also on Saturday, the New Britain Museum of American Art will hold its annual “The Art pARTy of the Year” spring gala. About 500 people are expected at the fundraiser that includes a cocktail reception, dinner , dancing , auctions and more. For more information go here.



On Sunday, Matthew Phillips Salon on LaSalle Road in West Hartford will host its 14th annual “Cut-A-Thon” benefiting the Helen and Harry Gray Cancer Center at Hartford Hospital. Haircuts are being offered from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. for a cost of $25. Walk-ins are welcome. Information: 860-523-5261.

tandooriBut let’s back up a bit. Start the weekend on May 1 at the Wadsworth’s “First Thursday After Hours” and its May theme,  “Indian Tandoori.” The popular, monthly  Happy Hour from 5 to 8 p.m. will include Bollywood dance lessons, Indian-inspired food, henna body art, dance demonstrations and more. For Information go here.

Need some peace and solace?


Head over to Elizabeth Park on May 3 for the second annual “Re-Create Ct,” a holistic festival featuring yoga, Zumba classes, vendors, artisans, a fitness workshop. meditation and more to soothe mind and body. The event begins at 11 a.m. and continues to 5 p.m. For more information go here.

SAMBA-2014-poster-11-x-17[1]Want anything but peace and quiet?

Then dance over to Hartford’s eighth annual “Samba Fest” at Mortensen Riverfront  May 3 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Composer/guitarist Ivan Vilela will be featured along with Nation Beat and a host of other musical acts. For information go here.

Want a little more weekend? Monday is Cinco de Mayo and that means dozens of restaurant and party specials all over the state and on Tuesday Malta House will celebrate its “Wonder Women” at The Bushnell.

Also on Tuesday, “Beauty and the Beast”  opens at The Bushnell. For more information go here.

Tables Set the Stage For New Elizabeth Park Garden

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cel00If you need a kick-start when it comes to holiday entertaining, you might find your inspiration at the Town & County Club on Woodland Street in Hartford Saturday. Because the ideas go from the whimsical like the unexpected tangerine and apricot “Bohemia Rhapsody” décor featuring the governor’s residence state china to the elegant  University of Hartford’s “A Shakespeare Fantasy Tea” to the theatrical like the death-masked decorated “Ghost Who’s Coming to Dinner” table by Hartford Stage.

It was a feast for the eyes at the opening reception for this celebrate1year’s “Set to Celebrate” tablescape event sponsored by the Connecticut Valley Garden Club. The club invites designers, artists, florists and organizations to put their best table, mantle or staircase forward, and then uses proceeds for a special project, this year, a handicapped accessible Heritage Rose Garden at Elizabeth Park.

“I just loved a time when you went out a danced and parties were parties,” said famed cel3restaurateur Ann Howard whose “deconstructed” New Year’s Eve party theme was translated into an elegant party table reminiscent of the 30s and 40s. Howard, whose family now runs the Bond Ballroom in Hartford, showcased the original china from the hotel, adding buckets full of champagne, glasses of bourbon, elegant cigarette cases, masks, sheet music, and instruments, all as an ode to some of the most famous musicians who performed in Hartford including Frank Sinatra, Benny Goodman and Count Basie.

One of the biggest surprise table settings was the one featuring the china from the governor’scel22 residence. And there to enjoy was Greater Hartford Arts Council CEO and Connecticut’s First Lady Cathy Malloy, with well-known Hartford attorney, Jim Wade and his wife, Lainie Wade.

“It’s gorgeous,” said Malloy about the conservative china set that was featured on the brightly colored contemporary table featuring orbs, roses and polka dots.  

Those attending the opening night reception had the chance to channel their Scarlett O’Hara, Daisy Buchanan or Dolly Levi and strut down a staircase with style thanks to designers and master florists Ruth Loiseau and Bruce Valicenti. The two decorated the mansion’s main staircase with ropes of fresh greens and dozens of white orchids.  

cel55We were a little panicked on Tuesday,” grinned Loiseau, noting that at the last minutes a New York supplier said he could not provide all of the orchids the two needed for the display. “So we went to Boston to get the rest,” she said. “I don’t think there is an orchid plant left between the two cities. They are all here.”

Barbara Kiefer, who along with Beth Montgelas, co-chaired the third annual event, received morecel23 than a lot of praise from guests who were both impressed and inspired by the display that continues Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

She was the winner in the opening night raffle for a gold Judith Lieber minaudiere.

Wine & Roses At Elizabeth Park

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The 32nd Annual Rose Weekend at Elizabeth Park kicked off Friday, June 21, with the annual Wine & Roses fundraiser at the Pond House Cafe. The garden casual evening was attended by almost 200, and included a cocktail party with a live and silent auction.

RoseWeekend 057“It’s such a fun event, it’s a garden party,” said Kathy Kraczkowsky, Elizabeth Park Conservancy president. “It’s not black-tie, it’s not a sit-down dinner. People really get to talk.”

Guests included John Morgan, board member and event chair; executive director Karen Tomasko; Ellen and Tim Hollister of Bloomfield; Mark Pazniokas, CT Mirror Capitol bureau chief and wife Laura Post; Michael Antisdale, Mark Melanson (both of West Hartford Center) and Mark McIntyre of the West End of Hartford; and Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and first lady Cathy Malloy. Auctioneer was NBC Connecticut anchor Brad Drazen.

“Our mission is to care for the park, connect to the neighborhoods, Connecticut to Hartford, West Hartford and make it be a place where people love to visit,” said Laura Berman, in-coming president. “It already is a destination place, but we need to make it better and more beautiful.”

RoseWeekend 044Wine & Roses is the main fundraising event for the Elizabeth Park Conservancy. The Rose Garden is the oldest public rose garden in the United States.

Music, Food, Sunset Cocktails This Weekend

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Yes it’s summer and yes it’s hot but take advantage of the best of the combination. Before you know it, the lazy, hazy days of summer will be gone and well, you know what December brings.

Grab a blanket and a picnic and head over to Bushnell Park this weekend for the Hartford Festival of Jazz opening Friday and continuing through Sunday.

Among the featured musicians are Layla Angulo, Jeff Golub, the Sax Pack and the HSO jazz  trio and ensemble. As an added perk, there will also be children’s activities, a craft show and food court. Go to   http://cour.at/MJWTUb    for more information.

On Friday, the Wadsworth Atheneum in Hartford is beginning a new “Sizzle Under the Stars” film series.

The outdoor evening features 1930s romantic comedies and opens with “It Happened One Night” starring Claudette Colbert and (sigh) Clark Gable. Doors open at 6 p.m. with an a la carte dinner and live jazz. The movie begins at  8:15 p.m. In case of rain, the movie night moves indoors. Admission is $9 , $8 for seniors and students and free for members.

Also on Friday, area author Dodie Milardo, president of “To Give Is Divine” will be at Mohegan Sun’s “Diva Friday” event and signing copies of her book. Milardo wrote “Penelope’s Cruise” and proceeds from the sale of her book have been donated to the Women’s Center of Southeastern CT.

On Saturday, take a trek to the “other” park, Elizabeth Park,  where the West End Civic Association, and its new Elizabeth Park Task Force, along with the City of Hartford and the Elizabeth Park Conservancy,  invite you to “Cocktails at Sunrise” from 6  to 9 p.m. at Sunrise Overlook on the East Lawn of Elizabeth Park.

The fundraiser is part of a new cooperative to restore the East Lawn of  the park.  Donation is  $20.


And while it’s not quite the weekend, make it feel like it is by eating out next week.  It’s “Taste of Hartford Week”   beginning July 23 and that means eating at dozens of Hartford restaurants for just $20.12. Go to  http://bit.ly/NBIji4 for information.