Archive for the ‘Local Events’ Category

The Pumpkin Patch - An October Tradition in Granby CT

October 6th, 2011 by nancyross

Each year, directly across the street from the Dutch Iris Inn, South Congregational Church’s lawn is covered with beautiful pumpkins of all shapes, sizes and colors.  It is quite a sight to see, and a visit to The Pumpkin Patch has become a Granby tradition for many families in the area.  Pick a PumpkinPumpkins and gourds are everyone’s favorites for autumn decorating, and the selection at The Pumpkin Patch offers great inspiration for holiday displays and pumpkin carving.  The beautiful setting is a wonderful photo opportunity, too! 

The Pumpkin Patch tradition was started many years ago, with the special efforts of a select few from South Church who wanted to help support the pumpkin growers and offer a way to raise funds for outreach activities that Church youth and members participate in throughout the year.  This festive endeavor has become well known throughout the region.  People come from near and far for the varieties offered here.  As for us, here at the Dutch Iris Inn, we cart wheelbarrows full of colorful pumpkins across the street to decorate our grounds for the fall – and you’ll find them indoors, as well.

Pumpkin Patch

Create an autumn excursion around your visit.  Driving down Salmon Brook Street, where beautiful sugar maple trees line the street, you’ll appreciate New England’s landscape and the colorful harvest that adorns the South Church lawn.  After you have made your pumpkin and gourd selections, stop at nearby farms to pick apples, watch cider pressing, munch on some cookies and other baked goods, and stock up on your local canned fruits and vegetables for the winter.  With the chilly air coming into the area soon (it has been a warm summer!), we look forward to crisp fall days and the slow approach of the quieter months to come.

The Evil FruitThe Pumpkin Patch is open throughout October.  You may come by to select your pumpkins and gourds 7 days a week:  Monday through Friday noon – dusk, and Saturdays and Sundays 10am – dusk.  It’s a lot of fun – bring your family, neighbors and friends!

The Granville Harvest Fair returns Columbus Day Weekend 2011

September 29th, 2011 by nancyross

Neighbor ScarcrowThe small town of Granville Massachusetts hosts a not-to-be-missed annual 3-day Harvest Fair that offers the quintessential New England fall festival experience.  Along a 1-mile stretch on a scenic country road, Route 57, you will encounter 6 main venues that offer food, crafts, art, music and festivities for the entire family.  This year, 2011, the Granville Harvest Fair runs October 8, 9 and 10, and as always, has free admission.  Shuttle buses from parking lots are available all around the area – but be sure to walk everywhere you can and soak in the beautiful autumn colors that surround you!

The main venues include the Town Green, the 1802 Meeting House, the Federated Church, Granville Library, the Village School, and new this year the Noble & Cooley Drum Factory and Museum.  Granville Civil War DrumThe Town Green, at the intersection of Routes 57 and 189, is set up like a bazaar, with over 30 vendors and crafters offering a variety of hard-to-resist creations.  And don’t forget to participate in the Scarecrow Convention!  The other venues offer beautifully hand-crafted items as well, various demonstrations, and you will find tasty treats along the way.  Hot apple pie and fresh cider pressing are just a few of the culinary temptations you will encounter, as you stroll from place to place.  

Love quilts?  Don’t forget to stop in the 1802 Meeting House where the Granville Quilt and Needlework Guild showcases their most amazing creations.  Love tractors?  The antique tractor demonstration area is always a popular stop.  Love antique cars?  The antique car show takes place all day Saturday.  Love history?  The town itself is a gem of historic architecture – small and quaint, surrounded by the most beautiful landscapes, farms and orchards.  Cheese WheelIn the center of town, you must visit The Granville Country Store, famous for its Granville Cellar Aged Cheddar Cheeses as well as other necessities you expect to find in a village general store. 

The Granville Harvest Fair draws people from all over Massachusetts, Connecticut, Vermont, New York and beyond.  How can such a small New England town pull off such a wonderful country fair year after year?  Volunteers make it all happen – people taking the time to provide a fabulous and exciting destination for their neighbors during our beautiful fall season.  Come and enjoy a piece of small-town New England at its peak!

Hayes Maze in North Granby CT is now open - the best Corn Maze around!

September 28th, 2011 by nancyross

Love a good corn maze?  Try your skills at this one!  A tradition that everyone in town looks forward to is the Hayes Maze located at 151 East Street in North Granby CT.  Stanley Hayes and his family choose a unique design each year, planting and hand-pulling the corn to create the most amazing designs for their corn maze.  Last year, the Hayes Maze depicted several well-known monuments.  Look at the photo here…can you identify the monuments in the corn maze from 2010? 


Hayes Corn Maze

The Hayes Maze has many twists and turns, and you’ll have such a festive time working your way through the maze.  To help you along, there are special stations set up within the maze that have questions for you to answer.  Each answer takes you in a different direction.  Answer the question correctly, and you’ll be on your way through the maze.  Answer incorrectly, and you head off in a dead-end direction.  New this year, for added fun, are 5 paper punch stations that are hidden throughout the maze. 

Want an added bonus to your trip?  Visit SweetPea Cheese, adjacent to the Hayes Maze.  SweetPea Cheese is part of House of Hayes Dairy Farm, and the Cheese Shop is open 10:00am – 7:00pm daily.  There you will find fresh goat milk and cow’s milk, yogurts and award-winning cheeses.  They have a variety of cheeses from which to choose, all freshly prepared on premises.  You can view the cheese preparation through the windows inside the shop.    GoatThe Dutch Iris Inn’s favorite goat cheese is the Chevre made at SweetPea Cheese.  …truly the best you’ll ever taste.  Really.  But we digress…we’ll share more about this cheese destination another time.  Let’s go back to the corn maze!

Bring your family out to the farm for a fun fall excursion.  The Hayes Maze is open Fridays 4:00-9:00pm, Saturdays 12noon-9:00pm, and Sundays 12noon-6:00pm.  If you come after dark for your corn maze challenge, be sure to bring a flashlight with you!  Admission to the Hayes Maze is $7.00 for Adults, $5.00 for Children 5-13 yrs., and Free for Tots (4 yrs and under).  Groups are also welcome, but please call to make arrangements ahead of time.


Granby Artists Association 10th Annual Open Studio Weekend, October 8 & 9, 2011

September 6th, 2011 by nancyross

One of our favorite events that happen here in Granby each year is the Granby Artists Association Open Studio Tour on Columbus Day weekend.  It never ceases to amaze us how many talented individuals we have in our community that excel in oil painting, wood working, watercolor, pottery wheel and claypottery, jewelry, calligraphy, cartooning, glassworks, photography, furniture and more.  Open Studio weekend is always at a beautiful time of year, with peak fall foliage providing the backdrop for a spectacular drive from studio to studio.  This year, the dates are Saturday & Sunday October 8th and 9th, 2011, 10am – 4pm each day. 

It is always a pleasure to meet the artists, talk with them about their craft, learn a few new things – how surprised we were to learn the intricacies of cartooning, and what it takes to produce a final draft!  Having the opportunity to see artists working with media that is not so familiar to us is a real treat.  We always come away with a better appreciation for the talent that surrounds us every day. 

Like previous years, you can participate in the “Passport” program while on tour.  Simply pick up your passport at the first studio you visit, have it stamped, and then have it stamped at all the other studios you tour that weekend.  If you get stamped by at least 12 of the 18 open studios, your name is entered into a drawing for a $250 gift certificate that you can spend at any studio(s) on tour. Paint brushes

For those who have stayed or visited us at the Dutch Iris Inn know how much we enjoy showcasing Granby art throughout our home.  Some of these pieces we found during Open Studio, and others we selected at various shows and from art stores in the area.  On the open studio tour, wonderful masterpieces of all kinds are available for show and for sale.  Come take a look and inspire your artist within!

For a map of the Granby Artists Association 10th Annual Open Studio Tour, visit the association’s website at  Why not get the best New England autumn experience around?  Forest fireSoak in beautiful fall foliage colors created by nature and view beautiful artwork created by our talented community artists.  See you on tour!

Granby Connecticut Celebrates 225 Years!

September 5th, 2011 by nancyross

Our beautiful New England town of Granby invites you to celebrate its 225th birthday!  October 1, 2011 will be the biggest day of celebration with a parade winding through our historic center to Salmon Brook Park, followed by a full day of festivities including rides, games, food, music, and spectacular fireworks sponsored by Windsor Federal Savings Bank.

Prior to this event, a fabulous evening at historic Holcomb Farm is planned on September 10thwith live music by “Still Above Ground” (classic rock), dinner and cash bar, 6:30-11:00pm. 

Still Above Ground

Still Above Ground

Contact the Dutch Iris Inn if you would like to purchase tickets in advance at $60 per person, or you may purchase tickets for $70 per person at the door.  Proceeds help benefit the BIG celebration on October 1st.

Pre-celebration events have been happening all year long.  Several that attracted much interest were the Awesome Auction held on Lake Manitook and Antiques Appraisal Days, where everyone attending could have up to three antiques appraised by experts.

These fund-raising events, as well as the sale of Granby 225 mugs, puzzles, magnets, tree ornaments and Granby artist calendars all benefit the BIG celebration on October 1, 2011.  The Granby Chamber of Commerce joined in the efforts by decorating the town with banners. The banners have the Granby 225 logo and can be found all over town, especially downtown where most of our small businesses are located.

Fireworks DisplayIf you have ever visited Granby CT, or simply passed through it, you know it is worth taking a closer look.  We are the northern-most town in the Farmington Valley, where settlers found beautiful land, rivers, hills and meadows in the late 1600s.  Our town offers breathtaking countryside, with so many places to explore.  Granby is quintessential New England, with its winding roads, historic homes and barns, white steeple churches sprinkled across the landscape, and four distinct seasons to enjoy.  We welcome you to visit our town as it celebrates its 225th birthday – Granby Connecticut, 1786-2011!

More details and a complete schedule of events can be found on the Town of Granby’s website.  Contact phone numbers, events, and a complete schedule can be found there. See you at the Granby 225th celebration!  GO GRANBY!

Last Blast of Summer - Celebrate at The Big E in West Springfield, Massachusetts

August 19th, 2011 by nancyross

The Big E, the largest fair in the Northeast, is home to The Big E Cream Puff & Craz-E Burger.  It’s a New England extravaganza with top name entertainment, The Big E Super Circus, The Avenue of States, Storrowton Village Museum, animals, competitive exhibits, adrenaline pumping rides, shopping, crafts, daily parades and Mardi Gras parades, and mouth-watering foods from around the world.  The 2011 Big E is proud to host a diverse line-up of talent this year, including Reba, Blake Shelton and Darius Rucker.  The Big E runs September 16-October 2, 2011, and is only 30 minutes from the Dutch Iris Inn!   

The Big E

NEW ENGLAND NAVY WEEK runs Sept. 24 through Oct. 2 and allows fairgoers to meet Navy personnel and learn about the Navy’s critical mission and broad ranging capabilities, while participating in engaging activities.

BIXBY’S RAINFOREST RESCUE, at the North End of the Avenue of States, is an exotic animal show that brings a message of preservation and conservation to The Big E through a variety of live rainforest animals, including a Burmese python, a singing toucan, and a kinkajou!

THE BIG EASY MEETS THE BIG E.  Fat Tuesday comes to life with music, lights, and beads galore at The Big E’s signature Mardi Gras Parade.  Want to take part in the festivities? Be a costumed reveler and toss beads to fairgoers on the parade route for just $10!

THE BIG E CORN CHALLENGE… The Big E challenges the food vendors to create a delicious concoction using corn. Try them all and find your favorite! You’ll find Red’s Tutti Frutti Popcorn at Red’s Red Apples, Corn Poppers at Osborne Mushroom Farm, Country Fried Shepherd’s Pie at EB’s in the Food Court and Corn Cake Pulled Pork Muffin at Scirrotto’s Cinnamon City behind the Stroh building.

ANIMALS GALORE!  The Big E’s roots are in agriculture and that tradition continues today with competitions for prize-winning animals from across the country in the largest livestock show in the East. In the Mallary Complex, animal lovers will observe cows, sheep and llamas as well as demonstrations on spinning, weaving and milking.  In Farm-A-Rama, look for pigs, the famous chick hatching exhibit, Hallamore Clydesdales, FFA exhibits and more.

SHOPPING OPPORTUNITIES ABOUND!  If you need a break from the hustle and bustle, visit the new Shoppes at Mallary Garden outside the Mallary Complex.  Winning cheeses from The Big E Gold Medal Cheese Competition are displayed, sampled and sold.  Winning wines from The Big E Northeast Gold Wine Competition will also be on display.

CAPTURE THE PAST… Storrowton Village Museum is an authentic reconstructed 19th century, New England village arranged around a classic Village green. Special activities planned on the green include 19th century craft demonstrations, children’s games and tours of its historic buildings.

TAKE A WALK THROUGH NEW ENGLAND.  The Avenue of States is a broad boulevard featuring replicas of each New England state capitol with local products, crafts and vacation information within.  Experience what makes each state so special!


Outdoor Concerts at SS&C Summerwind Performing Arts Center

August 11th, 2011 by nancyross

Summer wouldn’t be summer without enjoying an outdoor concert in the evening, with picnic basket in tow, and fabulous music to be heard.  Summerwind Performing Arts Center, about 15 minutes from the Dutch Iris Inn, has a great lineup of summer entertainment this year.  Whether you sit in reserved seating under the canopy or casually relax on the lawn, this venue is THE place to be for an intimate musical experience.

SS&C Summerwind Performing Arts Center

The 2011 August season includes Siobhan Magnus & Ultrasonic Rock Orchestra; Steve Miller Band; American Legacies:  The Del McCoury Band & Preservation Hall Jazz Band; Bruce Hornsby & The Noisemakers, Bela Fleck and the Flecktones, and Jaimoe’s Jasssz Band; and A Night on Broadway with the Hartford Pops.

Last year, when Summerwind Performing Arts Center re-opened after years of being closed (a wind storm had destroyed the venue), we purchased lawn tickets and enjoyed the music of Mary Chapin Carpenter.  What a night!  Good music, good food (we pamper ourselves with our own picnic specialties), good company…what more could anyone want?  While the seats under the pavilion are closer to the stage, the entire area of the lawn section is still close enough to thoroughly enjoy the entertainment on stage.  We can’t wait to go back this month!

5th Annual Maple Festival at Sweet Wind Farm, East Hartland CT

February 28th, 2011 by nancyross

Join in the fun on Saturday March 12th, 2011, from 10am-4pm.  Festivities at Sweet Wind Farm include maple syrup and sugar making demonstrations, narrated slide show,

video, story time for kids, sugarhouse tours, cooking and recipe class, food, free syrup samples, tree tapping demonstration, sugar-on-snow, and more!  Various maple products will be for sale.  As always, this event will be a fun and educational day for you and your entire family!  Free admission.  Sweet Wind Farm is located in East Hartland CT, just minutes away from the Dutch Iris Inn.

First Night Hartford

December 28th, 2010 by nancyross

Friday Dec 31, 2010 2pm-midnight, Downtown Hartford.  First Night Hartford is the city’s premier New Year’s Eve party with musicians, performances and exhibits at over 30 venues filled with an array of entertainment and activities for the whole family. Fireworks displays at 6pm and midnight in Bushnell Park. Explore the Public Library, City Hall, The Old State House, State House Square, Wadsworth Atheneum, Center Church and Charter Oak Cultural Center, The Bushnell Carousel and more. An alcohol-free event. Free shuttle and trolley service. $10 Adults, $2 Youth ages 3-15. Free admission 2 and under. Get your admission buttons at the Greater Hartford Welcome Center (100 Pearl St, Hartford) this week or at other locations listed online.  860-727-0050

Holcomb Farm Film in the Loft: Creepy Crawley

October 27th, 2010 by nancyross

Independent Film:  Creepy CrawleyFriday Oct 29th at 7:30pm:  Special screening of Creepy Crawley, a suspense/thriller independent film, filmed in part at Holcomb Farm, West Granby CT.  The director and actor, Mike Lombardi, and cast members will be on hand throughout the evening to answer questions and discuss the movie.  The Granby Prevention Council (Youth Services Council) will be selling candy, popcorn and hot beverages.  Doors open at 7:00pm.  Wear warm clothes and bring a blanket or sleeping bag to sit on (chairs will be available as well) as there is no heat in the Loft.  What a great way to kick off the Halloween weekend. Hope to see you down on the Farm!  $8 students/seniors, $10 adults; call Holcomb Farm for tickets:  860-844-8616