It’s the weekend before Thanksgiving and in between shopping for food and arranging the furniture, step out and enjoy the weekend. There are crafts fairs and artisans’ exhibits, a tree festival and the great pre-Thanksgiving event: Stamford’s giant balloon parade.
The UBS Parade Spectacular takes place Sunday, Nov. 22, starting at noon along Summer Street to Broad and then Atlantic Street. There’s an inflation party on Saturday, Nov. 21, from 3 to 6 p.m. at Summer and Hoyt Streets. For more information, visit stamford-downtown.com.
ARTique 2015 will open Thursday, Nov. 19, with a reception, complete with music and refreshments, from 6:30 to 8:30 at St. Stephen’s Church North Hall, 351 Main Street, Ridgefield. Exhibits will show works in clay and porcelain in a range of styles by 13 members of Connecticut Clay Artists and objects by 11 guest artists in other media (hand-painted silk, jewelry, woven wool, wood, forged iron, equestrian photography, synthetic fur and fabric art). ARTique continues Nov. 20-21 from 10 to 5. Admission is free.
The Westport Library will host a talk by Erica Jong about her new book, Fear of Dying, on Thursday, Nov. 19, at 7 p.m. at the Westport Library’s McManus Room, 20 Jesup Road. Books will be available for purchase and signing at the program, which is free.
For more information, visit westportlibrary.org or call 203-291-4800.
From Season 10 of America’s Got Talent! on NBC, the very popular Piff, the Greatest Magic Dragon of All Time, and his companion, the chihuahua Mr. Piffles, will appear at the Ridgefield Playhouse on Friday, Nov. 20, at 5:30 p.m. They have performed at some of the biggest venues in the world, including Radio City Music Hall, the London and Sydney opera houses and had two sold-out seasons at the SoHo Theatre in London’s West End.
Tickets are $30 and available at ridgefieldplayhouse.org or 203-438-5795.
The Ridgefield Guild of Artists 11th annual Festive Home opens Saturday, Nov. 21, with holiday gifts and art on sale and seasonal vignettes created by interior designers, through Wednesday, Dec. 23. There will be a special preview party on Friday, Nov. 20, from 6 to 8 p.m.; admission is $20.
The Guild is at 34 Halpin Lane and expanded holiday hours are Tuesday – Sunday, 11 to 5. Galleries will be closed Nov. 25 and 26 for Thanksgiving. Call 203-438-8863 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information about Festive Home.
The new exhibit at the Westport Arts Center, 51 Riverside Avenue, will open Friday, Nov. 20, 6-8 p.m. and remain on view through Jan. 9. DREAMscapes, the annual group member exhibition, was juried by Alexandra Munroe of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. From more than 260 entries, she selected 45 diverse interpretations of the theme, including photography, printmaking, sculpture, video, collage/mixed media, digital and drawings. All of the works will be available for sale.
The Westport Arts Center gallery is open Monday through Saturday, 10 to 5. For more information, visit westportartscenter.org or call 203-222-7070.
The Small Town Theatre Company will produce a staged reading of the Pulitzer Prize-winning play, How I Learned to Drive by Paula Vogel, on Friday and Saturday, Nov. 20-21, at 8 at the Hergenhan Center, 40 Maple Avenue, Armonk N.Y. General admission is $15 and reservations may be made at smalltowntheatre.com.
The 45th annual Craft Fair sponsored by the Ridgefield Woman’s Club, featuring 100 crafts of various types, including decorative home items, holiday, decor, handmade clothing and knitted goods, pottery, woodenware, photography and gourmet treats will take place at East Ridge Middle School, 10 East Ridge Road, Ridgefield on Saturday, Nov. 21, from 10 to 4.
Admission is $8; children under 12 admitted free. Lunch and snacks will be for sale at the school.
The 2015 Heida Hermanns International Piano Competition semi-finals are open to the public and free on Saturday, Nov. 21, from 10 to 6 at the First Church Fairfield, 148 Beach Road. Forty-eight contestants ages, 19-30, from around the country and from more than a dozen other nations, applied for the competition and the 18 semi-finalists were selected by a panel of judges to perform on Saturday (information at camusic.org/contestants/). Six will be selected by a jury of judges to perform in the finals.
First, second, third and honorable mention prizes will be awarded following the Sunday performances from 2 to 6 p.m. at First Church Fairfield. Tickets for these performances are $35 for adults (children and students admitted free) and include a reception while the judges deliberate. For tickets, visit camusic.org.
The Trumbull Historical Society’s Harvest House Tour, featuring six homes decorated for the coming holidays by local florists, will take place Saturday, Nov. 21, from 11 to 4. The day will culminate with refreshments at the historical society at 1856 Huntington Turnpike. Tickets are $30 in advance, $35 on the day of the tour. For more information, visit trumbullhistory.org or call 203-377-6620.
The Downtown Cabaret Theatre at 263 Golden Hill Street in Bridgeport will continue its 40th anniversary season with the classic story A Christmas Carol. The show opens this weekend, Nov. 21-22, with shows Saturday and Sunday at noon and runs through Dec. 27, with shows at noon and 2:30.
Tickets are $23 for adults and $19 for children. For reservations and more information, visit mycabaret.org or call 203-576-1636, option 0.
Twenty-eight authors of mystery novels, memoir, poetry, cookbooks, dog training, adult fiction, young adult and children’s books will attend the third annual Local Author Book Fair on Saturday, Nov. 21, from noon to 3 at the Katonah Village Library, 26 Bedford Road, Katonah, N.Y.
Among the authors will be cookbook author Peter G. Rose and children’s fiction author Kim Kovach of South Salem, N.Y. Admission is free; a portion of sales will be donated to the library; for more information, visit 914-232-1233 or 914-232-3508.
The Wilton Historical Society’s Midnight Special Tribute Concert to Lead Belly on Saturday, Nov. 21, from 7 to midnight will feature the Frank Enea Band with Meredith DiMenna and David Anastasia and other artists. The evening also features Southern-style food by Chef Jeff, included in the $50 ticket price. For information, visit wiltonhistorical.org or call 203-762-7257.
The Westchester Oratorio Society will open its 19th season on Saturday, Nov. 21, at 7:30 at the Presbyterian Church of Mount Kisco, 605 Millwood Road, Mount Kisco, N.Y. The program will include J.S. Bach’s Magnificat and Poulenc’s Gloria.
The performance will feature the organist James Kennerley on the church’s Von Beckerath organ and vocal soloists Catherine Steinbrink, soprano, Nicole Weigelt, soprano, Mun-Tzung Wong, alto, Joshua Ryan Sanders, tenor, and Robert Mellon, bass. Artistic director Benjamin Niemczyk will conduct.
Tickets are $15 for students, $25 general, and $40 preferred, in advance, or $30 and $50 at the door. For reservations, visit westchesteroratorio.org or call 914-763-8462.
Soprano Halley Gilbert will sing Joseph Canteloube’s Chants d’Auvergne in a program that will include Haydn’s Symphony No. 86 and Brahms’ Symphony No. 4 on Saturday, Nov. 21, at 8 and Sunday, Nov. 22, at 4.The concerts will take place in the new performance space at Greenwich High School, HIllside Road off Route 1.
A free pre-concert lecture will take place one hour before each performance. Tickets are $35 for adults, $10 for students; for reservations and more information, visit greenwichsymphony.org or call 203-869-2664.
For a January concert performance of The Who’s Tommy at the Ridgefield Playhouse, the producers are seeking children for a 10-voice children’s ensemble. Age range is 8 to 12 and auditions will take place on Sunday, Nov. 22, from 9 to noon. Auditioners should prepare a brief song and bring sheet music or sing a cappella. To be considered, send an appointment request to email@example.com and include information on the child with a photo.
The Monroe Historical Society will offer an Audio Radio program presented by John Babina of WMNR at the annual meeting on Sunday, Nov. 22, at 1 in the Ehlers Room at the Edith Wheeler Memorial Library, 733 Monroe Turnpike. He’ll share broadcasts of dramas, soaps, comedies, variety shows and news bulletins of the 20s through the 40s. Babina will take questions suring the reception. All donations will go to the restoration of the society’s historic Beardsley Homestead.
For more information, visit monroecthistory.org.
The Euclid Quartet will play works by Marsalis, Mendelssohn and Beethoven on Sunday, Nov. 22, at 3 at Edmond Town Hall, 45 Main Street, Newtown. Single tickets are $25, with students in grades K-12 admitted free when accompanied by a ticket-holding adult.
For more information, visit newtownfriendsofmusic.org or 203-426-6470.
The Connecticut Master Chorale, directed by Tina Johns Heidrich, will perform its Holiday Prelude Concert on Sunday, Nov. 22, at 3 p.m. at the First Congregational Church, 164 Deer Hill Avenue, Danbury. Choral music will be accompanied by a brass ensemble and steel drums on a variety of carols and songs. The program also features a segment titled Big Band Christmas.
Admission is $20 in advance and $25 at the door; for more information, visit cmchorale.org. For tickets, call 203-743-0473.
Mischief is coming to the Quick Center at Fairfield University on Sunday, Nov. 22, at 3, when The Cat in the Hat appears. The production is by Childsplay and tickets are $15 for adults and children. For reservations, visit quickcenter.com or call 1-877-ARTS-396.