Today Magazine • December 2019

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Recovering Christmas Wonder




If you’re looking for cool Christmas events and hip holiday happenings, look no further than the tri-town heart of the Farmington Valley. BUSINESS BEAT

6 — Family Ties

Led by Ann Schwenzer, a Simsbury High grad, the dance family at Studio A focuses on inner beauty. HISTORY HIGHLIGHTS

9 — Bells Abound

From church bells to school bells to cow bells to sleigh bells, enjoy this melodious local history. COMMUNITY INTEL

10 — Christmas Memories

A 112-year-old Collinsville native recalls what the Christmas holiday was like a century ago.

CHRISTMAS WONDER comes easily for children … but not so easily for the adults among us. How can we recapture the wonder we sensed so clearly as kids? Perhaps we can start by taking time amid the holiday rush to stop the never-ending treadmill and partake of one of the dozens of local happenings that are designed to restore wonder. See our cover story on page 4 for some event highlights and our Calendar on page 15 for a deeper holiday dive. Another way to recover wonder, the Christmas gurus say, is to express gratitude — to find the upside hidden in the downside. Let’s keep looking! On that note, here’s a hearty holiday thank-you to Today Magazine’s advertising sponsors for seeing the value of this award-winning printand-digital magazine. A further remedy for the holiday blues is to reach out to those who face difficult circumstances. Food pantries across the tri-town heart of the Farmington Valley need donations and volunteers, during the holidays and year-round. Merry Christmas and happy holidays to you and yours! Bruce Deckert — Publisher + Editor-in-Chief 860-988-1910 • Today Magazine — Avon • Canton • Simsbury – Digital Edition on website Facebook — @TodayPublishingCT LinkedIn — search: Today Publishing Advertising — Contact the publisher News Deadline —1st day of month for next month’s issue Editorial Associate — Kayla Tyson


15 — Holiday Event Intel

From concerts to programs to shows, we’ve got the intel you need about inspiring local events.


Your magazine gets more spectacular every month. I’ve enjoyed reading your beautiful magazines since the debut of Avon Today. I wish you all the best. Mary K. Savarese • Avon Author • Tigers Love Bubble Baths & Obsession Perfume We absolutely LOVE the article. You did such a nice job with the formatting, intro and photo selection. We can’t thank you enough! Brendan and Diana Perkins Connecticut Dance Academy • Canton Facebook Kudos — World War II Cover Story • Wonderful article in the Avon magazine about these wonderful gentlemen. • John Benjamin … a fine man and an incredible WWll warrior! • John Benjamin is a living LEGEND! I met him at the Maple Tree in Simsbury on a “bowtie” Tuesday. ... All the BEST to this AMAZING MAN! • Wonderful article and magazine!

Today Magazine Online — Contributors—Janet Conner, Bev Mazzarella, Alyssa Ruderman, Kathy Taylor Photographer — Seshu, Connecticut Headshots • 860-593-0850 • Contributing Photographer — Wendy Rosenberg • 860-305-1655 Cover Photo — Connecticut Headshots • caption info on page 5

QUOTE OF THE MONTH “As a child … dance was how I was able to express myself through movement in ways I couldn’t always verbally express or communicate.” Ann Schwenzer — Studio A artistic director

BY THE NUMBERS — 12 The 12th annual Gallery of Trees — thru 12/8 at Canton Historical Museum


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Time-Honored Traditions Spread Holiday Cheer By Bruce Deckert Today Magazine Editor-in-Chief

HOLIDAY WONDER Photos by Connecticut Headshots • 860-593-0850 •



’TWAS THE MONTH before Christmas, And all through our towns Holiday wonder was stirring To delight and astound. If you’re looking for cool Christmas events and hip holiday happenings, look no further than the tri-town heart of the Farmington Valley. Following is a rundown of some of the holiday season’s best and brightest traditions in Avon, Canton and Simsbury— for more events, see our Calendar on page 15. AVON The Joys of Christmas returns to Avon Congregational Church on Friday and Saturday, Dec. 13-14, at 6:30 p.m. Come feast on four courses of hearty holiday fare while enjoying joyous Christmas songs. “While the dinner is only two years old now, it is a tradition for me,” says Avon town historian Nora Howard. “It’s a fabulous event. Along with the sumptuous meal, highlights are the live music and singing.” Reservations: online at — $40 per person. Amid the merrymaking of the holiday season, some face a more difficult reality. In this light, the church will offer the Darkest Night Service on Thursday, Dec. 19 at 7 p.m. This service is intended to extend encouragement to those facing the challenges of grief and loss. CANTON The Gallery of Trees and Christmas in Collinsville are the town’s signature holiday events. Christmas in Collinsville, which debuted in December 2007, is slated for Friday and Saturday, Dec. 6-7, with the Champagne Walk on Friday. The 12th annual Gallery of Trees runs through Dec. 8 at Canton Historical Museum ( This cherished holiday event features an array of wonderfully decorated trees that can be viewed by residents and visitors. “Regardless of one’s heritage, Canton’s seasonal celebrations are an opportunity to share traditions and forge community spirit,” says David Leff, Canton poet laureate and deputy town historian.

Meanwhile, the Farmington Valley Stage Company will host Holiday Frivolity on Friday and Saturday, Dec. 20-21 at 8 p.m., and Sunday, Dec. 22 at 2 p.m. Come ring in the season with favorite holiday songs, sing-alongs, humor and audience participation. SIMSBURY “Simsbury is an amazing town to live in, and this is especially true around the holidays,” says Sarah Nielsen, executive director of Simsbury Main Street Partnership Inc. The town’s signature holiday event is Simsbury Celebrates, a free community holiday celebration. The event’s 18th renewal is slated for Saturday, Nov. 30, from 5-7 p.m. — culminating with a fireworks show on Iron Horse Boulevard.

“Simsbury Celebrates showcases the very best we have to offer.” — Sarah Nielsen “Simsbury Celebrates showcases the very best we have to offer,” Nielsen says. “Held in our historic downtown for close to two decades, neighbors and friends gather and kick off the holiday season.” Plus, the Storytellers Cottage will host an abundance of events — from a dessert gala to a holiday murder mystery, “as owner Lisa Natcharian’s creativity knows no bounds,” Nielsen affirms. “And ... it’s a great time to visit our unique and charming independent shops, sprinkled in between casual and upscale restaurants all throughout town.” +

FAMILY TREE Ellery Reitzas and her grandmother, Fran Van Linda, decorate a Christmas tree for the Gallery of Trees in Canton.


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Studio A seeks to be home away from home Today Magazine Staff

PERHAPS DANCES were held at Avon’s Riverdale Farms amid the hay bales when the site was home to a working farm a century ago … do-si-do, promenade and face your partner! Today, dance is most definitely taking place at Riverdale Farms — more specifically, at Studio A Dance & Performing Arts. ot responsible for grammatical errors) Studio A moved to a new location this year — from one space at the Riverdale Farms complex to a larger one — and tripled its size from 870 square feet to 2,660. 374and Hopmeadow • Simsbury, CT 06089 Owner artistic Street director Ann Schwenzer was raised in 860-651-8236 Simsbury (from the time she was 3 years old) and went through the Simsbury public schools, Find out how you can get improved and peace graduating from Simsbury High Schoolvalue in 1994. Her Ann Schwenzer, owner and artistic director of Studio A, was raised in Simsbury. of mind. Call or visit our office today! mother and aunt currently live in Simsbury. Studio A celebrated its fifth anniversary in 2018. Photo by Connecticut Headshots • Schwenzer, 43, was the owner and artistic director of A PreviewDancer’s Only Palette in Canton from 2006 to 2012. “I love my dancers and our wonderful dance family at Studio A.” resident, Schwenzer has previously (Layout includes a margin clearAofWethersfield text and graphics — Ann Schwenzer worked as aclips project designer and landscape architect. as this information may be covered by frame and/or during installation)

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BUSINESS BEAT Before moving to Simsbury, she and her family lived in Catskill, N.Y. Here is Schwenzer’s wide-ranging Q-and-A with Today Magazine: Company slogan and/or mission: Our mission is to Embrace Inner Beauty by creating a welcoming space for students to connect with each other through a shared passion of the arts. Why did you choose this profession? Dance chose me! I’ve always been better at expressing myself through dance. As a child, I was really shy, and dance was how I was able to express myself through movement in ways I couldn’t always verbally express or communicate. Dance is freeing, and I want to continue to offer this outlet to children and adults and share my passion with them. Most enjoyable aspect of your work? Seeing the happy smiling faces of students as they enter and leave the studio, receiving drawings and artwork ... as well as heartfelt notes from students for whom we as teachers have made an impact. All of these little things are the reasons why I know I must be doing something right. I love my dancers and our wonderful dance family at Studio A! What is your most satisfying accomplishment in recent years? Growing our studio to expand and build

Studio A Dance & Performing Arts Artistic Director — Ann Schwenzer Year Established — 2013 860-674-9089 Riverdale Farms • Avon

out a new facility within Riverdale Farms. Your goals for the next five years? To continue to grow our boys program, develop a theater and/or musical theater program, and continue to develop a strong ballet program through which we will be able to offer a Nutcracker performance around the holidays. What sets your business apart? I believe what sets us apart is our mission and studio values. Our mission is to Embrace Inner Beauty by creating a welcoming space for students to connect with each other through a shared passion of the arts. Our studio values are: Family, Support, Respect, Growth and Love. Family — We provide a warm and welcoming space that will feel like a FAMILY and become your home away from home. Support — Our caring and educated

teachers and staff encourage dancers to believe in themselves and to reach past their comfort zone in a warm and SUPPORTIVE manner, building confidence one step at a time. Respect — We have RESPECT for our dance families, and in turn we have respectful students who are respectful of their peers and teachers. Growth — Through our educated, experienced and supportive teachers within our family atmosphere, students GROW and blossom into strong dancers and individuals. Love — Our dancers gain a deep LOVE of dance and the arts through our shared passion for the arts, and throughout their time with us they discover themselves individually and learn to embrace their unique inner beauty! What do you appreciate most about the local business climate? I feel that small business owners are open to supporting one another within the local community. They are willing to cross-promote and join together to gain awareness for each other’s business. Dance Instructors — Rachel Armstrong, Calvin Bittner, Matthew Guerrera, Dana Mundle, Allesandra Rinaldo, Emma Randolph, Rachel Russell +

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Class of ’67 holds 70th birthday party reunion By Bev Dow Mazzarella Avon High School — Class of 1967

OUR CLASS OF 1967 at Avon High School has celebrated a special reunion in 2019 — our 70th birthday party reunion, since most of us turned 70 this year! We had our 50th reunion just two years ago and decided on the birthday theme instead of just a 52nd reunion. We on the reunion committee have been told that our class is the highestranking in the number of reunions we’ve held. I honestly don’t know the number, but our class was always a close-knit “family” of friends, and that continues to this day. When most of us started school, we were either at Huckleberry Hill Elementary School or Towpath Elementary School. At that time we had only grades 1-6 at each school. After 6th grade, the town was split into two parts — the western section of Avon attended Canton High School, and the eastern section attended Farmington High School. However, our class was the first to begin 7th grade at the new Avon High

School, which at that time was for grades 7-12 — this is the current site of Avon High. Avon Middle School was built later. I believe we were the first class (or maybe the second) to complete all six years at what was then the new Avon High, so we were the first or second class to go completely through the Avon school system. We were in 7th grade during the 1961-62 school year.

Some seniors pulled a prank with a septic tank during Senior Week. As part of our reunion in October, we took a tour of the “renewed” Avon High School. Our classmates were excited to see the improvements and expansions, and to reminisce about our days there. The reunion itself was held at the Miller Turkey Farm on Arch Road in Avon. We’re thankful for Cal Miller-Stevens and her husband Sam and their generosity and hospitality. They have hosted a number of years’ worth of celebrations. That reminds me of Senior Week

during the spring of 1967, when we had loose turkeys in the school ... well, they weren’t exactly loose. A couple of seniors took turkeys from the turkey pen at Miller Farm and brought them to school and talked to the janitors — and they put them in the atrium across from the office! Some seniors also pulled a prank with a septic tank during Senior Week. They backed a pickup truck up the stairs outside the school and blocked the main doors with the septic tank. A local newspaper reported on the prank the next day, complete with photos. I also want to thank Terry and Dan Violante for hosting our Friday night cocktail party; John Alysworth for organizing the golf outing; and Sally (Granger) Huggins and Libby Bihlmeyer for hosting the Sunday champagne brunch. It made for a wonderful weekend of seeing classmates and reconnecting. Plans are already in the works for our next reunion, which a number of classmates agree should be a wine and/or beer tour — as Connecticut has so many good winery farms and pop-up breweries. And then to visit a corn maze! + HYDRAFACIAL



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’Tis the season for bells

Courtesy Photo

By Janet M. Conner Avon Historical Society

The bell in the West Avon Congregational Church steeple dates to 1837.

Teachers used handbells in the days of the one-room schoolhouse to call their students to class.

MOST OF US probably don’t give a second thought to the sound of a bell tolling in a church steeple today in our town of Avon. And actually, the sounds one hears today are not really bells, but a carillon, which produces a synthetic bell sound. While historic bells still dot our town landscape, some in steeples and others in courtyards, little attention is paid. However, the history of the bell foundries is fascinating. Their manufacture is an art form of casting, polishing and tuning. The bell in the steeple of West Avon Congregational Church has the inscription of J. Ward Doolittle, 1837. The bell in Avon Congregational Church’s steeple dates to 1820; it was cast in Albany, New York and recast by the Troy Bell Foundry in Troy, New York in 1869. Another church bell moved to the steeple of St. Matthew Lutheran Church in Avon was cast in 1896 at the Stuckstede Bell Foundry in St. Louis, Missouri. The bell is no longer in the steeple, but rests in

the courtyard of the church. There are also historic school bells still on display in Avon. One is from the former Towpath School. It was cast in 1879 by the Meneely Bell Foundry in Troy, New York. Before the school was demolished in 2006, the bell was removed and now rests in the courtyard of Pine Grove School in Avon. Another small school bell is on the campus of Avon Old Farms School. It is known as the Victory Bell. Large bells in the old days served many functions. They could warn the townsfolk of danger, toll for funerals, or be rung for joyous occasions like weddings. Small bells were historically used in Avon’s farming days on dairy cows and on horse-drawn sleighs in winter. This was not only for the festive sound, but also for safety riding at night to warn other sleighs of approach. Teachers used handbells in the days of the one-room schoolhouse to call their students to class. Large, medium or small in size, bells have always been a part of Avon’s sonic heritage. ’Tis the season for bells! +

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Collinsville native recalls Christmas memories By Kathy Taylor Canton Town Historian


candy and cookies and hang the cookies on their Christmas tree. Agnes confesses that she and her sisters would eat some of them. Agnes would put the candles on the tree, because they didn’t have electricity yet, but they were allowed to light the candles only when their mother was home. It was wonderful if you found an orange in your Christmas stocking. + For a photo of Agnes in Collinsville (with a larger group) when she was a young girl, see the facing page. Courtesy Photo

AGNES MATAVA LOWE was born on Oct. 23, 1907, the second-oldest daughter of Joseph and Catherine Matava. The family lived in an apartment in Collinsville at the top of Bridge Street, now known as Dunne Avenue, and attended St. Patrick’s Church, just down the road. Her father Joseph worked as a grinder of axes and machetes at the Collins Company for many years. He died in 1914 at the age of 39 of lung disease, or “consumption,” which was not uncommon for this type of work. Sadly, her mother died in 1917, leaving five daughters, who were sent off to different homes in Torrington and the surrounding area. Agnes just celebrated her 112th birthday in October, but she enjoys visiting Collinsville with her daughter and grandchildren and has shared many of her childhood memories with them. Agnes remembers Christmastime fondly. Her mother Catherine would make


Agnes would put the candles on the tree, because they didn’t have electricity yet, but they were allowed to light the candles only when their

Agnes Matava Lowe celebrated her 112th birthday in October.


mother was home.


An unidentified young girl stands next to her family Christmas tree in Canton — photo by Collinsville photographer Charles Harrington, circa 1890-1920.

SOCIETY OF OLD FRIENDS Agnes Matava is in the front row, fifth from the left. This youth group, St. Ann’s Society, is in front of St. Patrick Church in Collinsville — the former wooden church building, which was destroyed by fire in 1925 and replaced by the present-day Gothic-style structure. Agnes’ family attended St. Patrick. Photos Courtesy of Canton Historical Museum

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Local forest is 1st in CT tabbed by Old-Growth Network Source — Town of Simsbury


A FOREST IN SIMSBURY is the inaugural Connecticut woodland to be designated as an old-growth forest. Belden Forest has been inducted into the national OldGrowth Forest Network — the first forest in the state to be included in this distinctive network. Forests inducted into the network have exceptional ecological integrity and are among the oldest known native forests in the country. The age of an old-growth forest can vary, depending on the definition used, but trees that are at least 150 years old are one marker. During the Belden Forest induction ceremony, which took place at Boy Scout Hall in Simsbury, the Old-Growth Forest

100-foot-tall white pines. It is protected from commercial logging and is open to the public. Belden Forest is accessed from the east side of Beldenwood Road, approximately 500 feet east of the intersection with Firetown Road. The forest can also be accessed off Hopmeadow Street, through the parking lot between Simsbury Public Library and Boy Scout Hall. To commemorate the induction, a reception and film screening of “The Lost Forests of New England” was held in a packed program room at the library. The film features footage of rare old-growth forests in New

Belden Forest is a 42-acre, town-owned property dominated by 100-foot-tall white pines.

Network presented Dr. Susan Masino with a Forest Advocate award. A neuroscientist, Masino is member of the Simsbury Open Space Committee. She serves as a professor of applied science at Trinity College. A walk through Belden Forest followed the late October induction. Belden Forest is a 42-acre, town-owned property that consists of a loop of flat, secluded and easy-to-walk trails dominated by

England and tells the story of what our forests once were before European settlement, what changes have taken place, and what our remnant old-growth stands look like today. Filmmaker Ray Asselin introduced the film. A panel discussion followed with Dr. Joan Maloof, founder of the OldGrowth Forest Network, and Robert T. Leverett, co-founder of the Native Tree Society and co-author of “The Sierra Club Guide to Eastern Old-Growth Forests.” +


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Lantern startup shines light on death By Alyssa Ruderman Special to Today Magazine

Alyssa attended Simsbury schools from grades 3-12 and graduated from Simsbury High in 2006. In 2018 she co-founded a startup called Lantern. IT’S BEEN ROUGHLY A YEAR since my friend and now co-founder Liz Eddy sat on my couch and said, “I think we need to do something about death.” Some background: She lost her dad as a young kid, and when her grandmother (her dad’s mom) died in early 2018, she was tasked with handling the planning that ensued. The experience was overwhelming and complicated. She started asking questions about why a better solution didn’t exist, and we started answering those questions with, “It should and we should build it.” Since then, Liz quit her job, we raised a round of venture capital, I quit my job, we brought on an amazing technical lead, got a small office in Brooklyn, and built a tool called Lantern that’s now helping people every day. Throughout this first year, we’ve learned a ton. Principle among those learnings:

You need to really care about what you’re doing We started Lantern because we truly believe it is something the world needs. Knowing its potential Alyssa to help people through their toughest moments is what got us through all of the early rejections (there were a lot) and this will continue to get us through the tough decisions and late nights. The highs are high and the lows are low, but Liz our vision is our constant. Your founding team is everything Can you argue? — Liz and I have one key rule when we disagree, and it’s to always assume best intentions. As a result, we can argue with respect and without defensiveness and ultimately land on the same page. Do you have complementary and overlapping skills? — In our partnership, Liz primarily handles the

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external and I handle the internal, but we could role-swap if we needed to. We’re genuinely better together. Do you like each other? — You’re about to spend a ton of time with this person … make sure you’re OK with that. Understand where you’re lacking and how to fill those gaps It isn’t about knowing everything, it’s about a willingness to acknowledge what you don’t know and work really hard to fill the gaps. You need to be humble enough to admit what you don’t know and scrappy enough to say, “But I’ll figure out how.” When people offer to help, take them up on it Whether they mean it or not, if someone offers, follow up. We had investors who rejected us say, “But let us know if we can help.” Some of those investors provided valuable feedback on our marketing plan and user experience, and introduced us to people who did ultimately invest. We’ve just scratched the surface of what there is to learn … this is just the beginning for Lantern. + Alyssa Ruderman lives in Brooklyn.


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MAGIC IN THE AIRE Magic in #14 as Aire Salon Today Magazine Staff


AS AIRE SALON gets ready to celebrate a business milestone, there’s magic in #14 … let us count the ways. 1 — Aire Salon will celebrate its first anniversary on Dec. 14. 2 — Michael and Sarah Russo, owners of the trendy Avon salon, were married on Sept. 14. 3 — On the 14th day of each month for the next six months, Aire Salon will offer a special promotion to benefit first responders. Beginning on Dec. 14, Aire Salon will launch a community program. Michael says it’s the right time to do the right thing. On the 14th of each month, through May 2020, he will donate 14 percent of the profit from his services to first responders — firefighters, police and EMTs — in Avon, Canton, Farmington and Simsbury. “I see what they do day-to-day,” Michael says, “and I think it’s good to show our appreciation for what they do.” Clients will be able to choose which town’s first responders they would like to support, and donations will be taxdeductible. Michael and Sarah opened Aire

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Salon as business partners a year ago, and in September they became life partners as well. Aire Salon gives them the opportunity to embrace their passion of helping clients feel good and achieve a great look. “It has been an amazing year,” Michael says. “The ongoing support of the community, along with our new and old clients, have made our first year successful and rewarding.” Located in Avon Village, Aire Salon serves both men and women. Sarah specializes in weddings, special-events updos, hair extensions and makeup. Michael focuses on precision men’s cuts and styling, both classic and fashionforward, and also styles and colors women’s hair. As Aire Salon enters its second year, Michael and Sarah are focused on the future of their cutting-edge business and look forward to 2020. Appointments: call 860-470-7158. +

Spa offers comfort of Luscious Breeze

LUSCIOUS BREEZE DAY SPA, located in downtown Simsbury, opened its doors in May 2019. Founder and owner Natalia Balashova moved to the United States in 2009 from Moscow, Russia. She graduated from cosmetology school in Connecticut with an Esthetician Certificate and later obtained an Esthetician License in Massachusetts. She has worked at a few local spas and continues to advance her skills by reading, practicing different techniques, and looking for more opportunities to expand services for her clients. Natalia has a bachelor’s degree in physical education and she played college basketball in Russia. She has experience in property management and in the sales and service fields. “I feel very happy and joyful meeting different people and having a chance to share my knowledge and positive spirit,” Natalia says. Natalia says her husband Alex has been a “huge support” along with her son Evgeny and twin daughters Ksenia and Nonna. Luscious Breeze Day Spa is open by appointment and offers HydraFacials, organic facials, facial lymphatic drainage and regular massage, lash lift & tint, and facial and body waxing • 617-777-2987 +



CALENDAR Simsbury Celebrates Saturday 11/30 – 5-7:30 pm Variety of events + fireworks 12th annual Gallery of Trees Canton Historical Museum Thru 12/8 GIFTS for Canton Holiday Gift-Toy Drive – thru 12/9 • Stock the Cruiser – Sat 12/7 Ben & Jerry’s, Shops at FV – 9:30-3 • CERT Collection – Sat 12/7 Ocean State Job Lot – 10-4 pm • Gift Distribution – Tue 12/10 Trinity Episcopal Church Canton Chamber • 693-0405 Clothing Drive for Veterans in Need Simsbury drop-off boxes: Library, Simsbury Fire Dept on Hopmeadow, Eno Memorial Hall, Police Dispatch • Thru 12/11 New clothing, coats, gloves+ Donations used as holiday gifts Simsbury Holiday Events 12/1 • 5-9 pm – Luminary Night Simsbury Junior Women’s Club 12/5 – SHS Jazz Concert 12/7-12/8 – Breakfast with Santa Flamig Farm, W. Simsbury 12/7 – Sled Painting Simsbury Historical Society 12/7 • 2 pm – FV Chorus Concert 12/9 – SHS Band Holiday Concert 12/12 – SHS Orchestra Concert 12/14 – Wreaths Across America Simsbury Cemetery 12/14 • 7 pm – Carols & Anthems 12/17 – SHS Choral Concert Christmas in Collinsville Friday-Saturday 12/6-12/7 Tree Lighting – Friday 12/6 • 7 pm Champagne Walk – Friday 12/6 Selfies with Santa! Trinity Church Tariffville Saturday 12/7 – 9-11 am Christmas Tree Sale Smith Christmas Tree Farm, Canton Saturday 12/7 – 9 am-1 pm Support Canton Land Trust Breakfast with Santa Canton Parks & Recreation Saturday 12/7 – 9:30-11 am $10-$15 • Arts and crafts, music+ Gingerbread Fair St. Patrick, Collinsville Saturday 12/7 – 10 am-7 pm Sunday 12/8 – 8 am-12 noon Crafts, gift baskets, baked goods Sled Painting Simsbury Historical Society Saturday 12/7 – 1-4 pm

Our digital edition is posted well before the month begins Get an early peek at the Calendar –

Live Nativity Salmon Brook Park, Granby Saturday 12/7 – 5-8 pm Free • Art At The Simsbury 1820 House Feat. Stephanie Rogers – 12/1-1/5 Opening 12/7 – 5:30-7:30 pm Free • Info: 658-7658 Holiday Window Painting Contest Bertucci’s Italian Restaurant, Avon Sunday 12/8 –10 am-1 pm Avon Police for Special Olympics Barnes & Noble Night Fundraiser Barnes & Noble, Canton Monday 12/9 – 6-9 pm Free • CMS jazz band, chorus+ Joys of Christmas Avon Congregational Church Friday-Saturday 12/13-12/14 – 6:30 $40 • Reserve: Simsbury Garden Club Apple Barn, West Simsbury Monday 12/16 – 11:30 am Journey Through Amazing Gardens Canton Senior Center trips Thursday 12/19 – Holiday Show Info: 693-5811 Darkest Night Service Avon Congregational Church Thursday 12/19 – 7 pm For those facing loss, grief JOYful Happenings Journey of Yoga, Simsbury • Morning Flow Yoga Mon-Wed-Fri – 6:30-7:30 am • Yoga for Health Bones Wednesdays – 5-6 pm • Seva Saturday $7 Yoga Alternate Saturdays – 10:30-11:30 • Winter Solstice Workshop – $25 Friday 12/20 – 6:30-8 pm 860-680-1482 • Holiday Frivolity Farm. Valley Stage, Collinsville Fri-Sat 12/20-12/21 – 8 pm Sun 12/22 – 2 pm Holiday song faves, sing-alongs+ Christmas Pageant Avon Congregational Church Sunday 12/22 – 10 am Service of Lessons and Carols Avon Congregational Church Tuesday 12/24 – 7:30 pm +++ Avon Public Library lineup These events free • 673-9712 Luscious Liqueurs with Hartford Flavor Company Sun 12/1 – 2 pm (snow date 12/8) Sample locally made liqueurs • 21+

De-stress the Holiday Season Tuesday 12/3 – 6:30 pm Fun interactive meditation event Introduction to 3D Printing Tuesdays 12/3-12/17 – Sat 12/7 1-on-1 training, by appointment Blood Sugar,Blood Pressure Test Thu 12/5-12/12-12/19 – 12:15-1:45 Courtesy: FV Visiting Nurse Assoc. 100 Years of the Vote for Women Monday 12/9 – 6:30 pm Lecture by suffrage professor Wednesday Morning Book Club 12/18 – 10:30 am +++ Simsbury Public Library lineup Most events free • 658-7663 x2 Friday Flicks Fridays – 1-3 pm Best Gift Is You Tuesday 12/3 – 1 pm Author Visit: Michael Klare Tuesday 12/3 – 6:30 pm Fermentation + Demo Saturday 12/7 – 1 pm WWII Author Visit: Serene Hackel Tuesday 12/10 – 1:30 pm Are You REALLY Covered? Tuesday 12/10 – 6 pm Armchair Traveler: River Cruises Wednesday 12/11 – 6:30 pm Bell Choir Concert Thursday 12/12 – 1 pm FSPL Coffeehouse: Red & Yellow Friday 12/13 – 7:30 pm Local Author Visit: D. H. Robbins Thursday 12/19 – 6:30 pm +++ Storyteller’s Cottage events Simsbury • 860-877-6099 Holiday Literary Gift Crafting Thursday 12/5 – 6:30 pm $15 • Create literary gifts Polar Express: Pajama Storytime Saturday 12/7-12/21 – 6:30 pm Saturday 12/14 – 5:30 pm Sunday 12/22 – 6:30 pm $15 • Santa, decorate cookies+ Creative Writing: Homeschoolers Thursdays – 2:30 pm $15 • Ages 7-9, fun games, prompts A Christmas Carol: Dessert Gala Thursday 12/12 – 7 pm $30 • Festive reading, carols+ Fantasy Drawing II Friday 12/13 – 5:30 pm $45 • Learn to draw fairies, dragons Murder at Ivory Tower: Live Murder Mystery Saturday 12/14 – 8 pm $50 • Hors d’oeuvres, dessert+

Send Events: Story: Shmelf the Hanukkah Elf Saturday 12/21 – 1 pm Free • Greg Wolfe reads his classic Harry Potter Writing Workshop Sunday 12/22– 1 pm $20 • Fan fiction, spells, more Grand Adventure: Mystery Game & Tea Party for Grandparents & Grandchildren Sunday 12/29– 2 pm $20 • Solve mystery together +++ Concerts + Comedy Bridge Street Live 41 Bridge Street, Collinsville 693-9762 Concert: The ’70s Project Friday 12/6 – 8 pm • $15-$25 Ticket to Ride: Beatles Tribute Friday 12/13 – 8 pm • $20-$30 Ca$h Only: Johnny Cash Tribute Saturday 12/14 – 8 pm • $20-$30 Comedy Night: Jay Black Friday 12/20 – 8 pm • $15-$25 Concert: Matt Nakoa Saturday 12/21 – 8 pm • $15-$25 +++ Friday Family Movie Matinee Canton Public Library Fridays – 3 pm • Free G or PG film Veterans Coffee Houses • Simsbury Senior Center 1st Monday each month – 10 am • Canton Community Center 2nd Monday each month – 9 am Free • Talk about issues, resources Open Mic Night LaSalle Market, Collinsville Fridays – 6-10:30 pm • Free Singers: call 693-8010 or come at 5 Learn To Skate Classes International Skating Center, Sims. Saturdays 11:50 – Sundays 2:20 Wednesdays 9:30 • +++ Red Stone Pub happenings Red Stone Pub, Simsbury Trivia Tuesdays – 7-8:30 pm Eat. Drink. Think. Prizes! Acoustic Wed.: John Mayock Live music • 7-9 pm Thirsty Thursdays Dollar dogs • Darts 7-9 pm Saturday Night Out Dinner entrees • Yappy Hour on the patio: 3-6 pm • DJ + music: 6-9 pm Happy Hour – every day until 6 pm All drinks $2 off + app specials!


After finding a seed, a blue jay considers its next move. Photo by Wendy Rosenberg TODAY MAGAZINE – – DECEMBER 2019



A chipmunk munches on a dogwood berry. Earlier, Canton photographer Wendy Rosenberg saved “this little cutie” from drowning in her backyard stream.

Photo by Wendy Rosenberg


Yoga is perfect for all ages and fitness/flexibility levels. Carol Cole•Broker/Owner

Inpatient and Outpatient Rehabilitation

Harvard Medical School credits yoga with boosting weight loss, promoting cardiovascular health and providing a better body image.

Licensed in CT and MA

Physical Therapy • Speech Therapy Occupational Therapy

860-693-7777 • 102 Dyer Avenue, Canton, CT 06019

Canton, CT

If that sounds good to you, join us! Amanda Cole • Renee Sturgeon • Amy McCallum • Aimee McNally


BRING THIS AD and a nonperishable item for the Simsbury Food Closet AND TAKE YOUR FIRST CLASS FOR $9


Journey of Yoga 730 Hopmeadow Street — Simsbury, CT