St Luke’s Episcopal Clergy to Mark Commuters with Ashes at Noroton Heights Station on Ash Wednesday

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Wednesday Feb. 26 is Ash Wednesday and clergy from St. Luke’s Parish will be at the Noroton Heights Ttrain Station from 6:30 to 7:30 a.m. to offer commuters “Ashes to Go.”

This is an opportunity for commuters to observe this solemn holy day and still keep to their busy schedules. St. Luke’s will also offer Ash Wednesday services at the church and chapel at 1864 Post Road at 9:30 a.m., 12 noon, 5 and 7 p.m. All are welcome.

https://pixabay.com/photos/valentine-s-day-red-mailbox-1182248/

Heartbreaker: Thief Steals Mail — Get’s Holiday Greetings

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A Hickory Lane woman saw a gray four-door vehicle stop in front of her driveway, then saw a man get out and remove something from her mailbox and drive away in one of two mailbox thefts reported to police on Friday. The flag had been in the upright position because the woman had just mailed three envelopes with the mailbox and put the mailbox flag upright. The cold-hearted thief didn’t get anything he can sell: The contents of the envelopes were three Valentine’s cards and nothing else. The woman reported the theft to police just after 2 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 7 — still enough time to get three more cards out.

Something Sweet 2019 Dessert War competition winners Diane Browne & Co

Affection Meets Confections on Saturday at Darien’s Third ‘Something Sweet’ Dessert Contest and Boutique

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“Something Sweet,” a Valentine’s Day-themed event, comes back this Saturday for a third year, with a “Dessert War” competition between Darien eateries for the best confections, boutique gifts for sale and free activities for kids. — This article is based on an announcement from Darien Parks & Recreation Department. “Find your new favorite dessert in town!!” says the Darien Parks and Recreation Department, which runs the event. “The Something Sweet Dessert War features some of your local favorites to fulfill your weakness for some sweet indulgence.”

Darien Youth Hockey Association Wreaths Across America 2019 2020

Darien Youth Hockey Association Supports Wreaths Across America This Winter

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The Darien Youth Hockey Association directly supported Wreaths Across America this winter, with over 60 players volunteering to help place wreaths at graves in the Veterans Cemetery at Spring Grove Cemetery. — an announcement from the Darien Chapter of Wreaths Across America

The group also donated more than 250 wreaths to be placed at the cemetery as a local fundraising group. The experience taught the players that their success as a team can translate beyond the ice. “It was an amazing event, and the players directly saw the impact of their efforts in raising wreath donations at the wreath laying ceremony which promotes remembering our veterans, honoring our active duty, and teaching our youth about the value of freedom,” said Michelle Woodward, the DYHA sponsorship and fundraising director. Wreaths Across America began in the early 1990s, when Worcester Wreath in Maine had extra wreaths at the end of the holiday season.

Cownose ray Maritime Aquarium

Nothing Says ‘I Love You’ Like Feeding a Cownose Ray at the Maritime Aquarium

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Nothing says “I love you” like giving your sweetheart the chance to hand-feed a cownose ray, and the Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk is making that romantic gesture possible for 10 lucky couples on Sunday, Feb. 9. — an announcement from the Maritime Aquarium

On the Sunday before Valentine’s Day, the Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk is putting a special twist on its behind-the-scenes “Feeding Time” program by offering it only to couples age 18 and older. Participating couples will make the morning feeding rounds with staff — and sometimes help serve the food — prior to the Aquarium’s opening. All couples also will go home with a box of specialty chocolates.

Wrapped Christmas Tree Pickup rule

Darien Christmas Tree Pickups Start Thursday, Jan 2

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The Darien Department of Public Works will conduct its annual Christmas tree pickup in various parts of town in two two-day sweeps, with the first starting Jan. 2 and the final one concluding Jan. 30. If you miss the first sweep past your home (assuming you live on a public road) then the second one should come by about two weeks later. — an announcement from the Darien Department of Public Works

Mark your calendar: Here’s the schedule (and here’s a map of town if you need it):

Some Important Reminders
—Christmas trees must be at the curb by the first morning of the scheduled pickup.

Kids and New Year’s: ‘NOON Year’s Eve’ Event Tuesday at Library and Check Out These Old Postcards

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Families are welcome to join Darien librarians in the Children’s Library for a fun countdown to “noon” as we get ready for the new year! Kids and New Year’s celebrations have been celebrated for a long time. We’ve added a small, online exhibition here of early 20th century postcards

Decorate a craft and have a snack as we celebrate together. Say farewell to 2019 and hello to 2020! No registration required.

holiday dance for Abilis. Dec. 18, 2019 photo by Leslie Yager

PHOTOS: Oh What Sheer Joy — Abilis Holiday Dance Heats Up the Dance Floor

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The Boys & Girls Club of Greenwich recently hosted a holiday dance for Abilis. The DJ kept the dance floor packed. That is, until the cake was cut. Abilis, based in Greenwich, helps people with disabilities in lower Fairfield County, including Darien. These pictures, taken by Leslie Yager for GreenwichFreePress.com, show joy and give an idea of how good a time was had by all:

Candle mountainside gift suggestion 2019

Last Minute Gift Suggestions to Lift the Spirit — for Those in Recovery or, Really, Anyone

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In an effort to make shopping a little bit easier, Mountainside treatment center polled more than 100 people in all stages of recovery and asked them about the most meaningful gift they received. — an announcement from Mountainside treatment center, slightly edited

The holidays are a perfect time to show support for a loved one on their journey to sobriety.  But scrambling for the perfect last-minute gift doesn’t have to be a chore. Below are some of the gifts that our respondents enjoyed getting, but whether or not your intended recipient is in recovery, you might find a good gift idea here:

Gifts of Positive Affirmation:

Often, the most memorable gifts contain a powerful message of encouragement. The people in recovery we surveyed were especially fond of intention bracelets, which are not only fashionable but can also help them stay focused on their personal goals.

Stamford EMS Xmas donation 2019

Stamford EMS Contributes to Salvation Army Christmas Aid Program

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Stamford EMS recently bought new clothing and toys to the Salvation Army’s Be An Angel Tree program and delivered them on Monday, Dec. 9. The donation will  support 10 families in need. — an announcement from Stamford Emergency Medical Services
“We are happy to participate in this worthy holiday giving effort,” said Patricia Squires, chief and CEO of Stamford EMS. “As a nonprofit ourselves, it’s one way we can give back to the community that has supported us for over 25 years.”
Stamford EMS has paramedics based in Darien who go to the scenes of more serious medical emergencies, along with Darien EMS-Post 53 ambulances. Participation in the program eliminates the cost of these gifts that would normally be part of the Salvation Army’s holiday expenses.

Depot Holiday Wrap-Up poster 2019

Let the Depot Elves Help You Wrap Christmas Presents This Friday Through Monday

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Have time to shop but no time to wrap? The Darien Depot Youth Center’s elves are back to wrap presents for residents just before the holidays. Drop off unwrapped and labeled presents at the Depot and we will handle the wrapping. A minimum $20 charge is required, but keep in mind that it helps the Depot run programs.

The “Holiday Wrap-Up” runs from:

3 to 8 p.m., Friday, Dec. 20, and 10 to 6 p.m. on Saturday, Sunday and Monday, Dec.

Greg Dubin magician Maritime Aquarium

Count Down to Noon at New Year’s Eve Celebration for Families at Maritime Aquarium

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On Dec. 31, count down to 12 o’clock — 12 o’clock noon — in a special “Noon Year’s Eve” celebration geared for families at The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk. — an announcement from the Maritime Aquarium

The aquarium’s “Noon Year’s Eve” party offers fun midday activities for families with younger children who want to celebrate the end of 2019 together, but not at the stroke of midnight. Guests also can “string” in the new year on New Year’s Day during a performance by a string quartet from the Norwalk Symphony Orchestra. “‘Noon Year’s Eve’ is a fun way for parents and children to count down to 2020 together, but without the kids needing to stay up way past their bedtimes,” said aquarium spokesman Dave Sigworth.

Shark Aquarium Drop n Shop

The Maritime Aquarium Will Babysit Your Kids for 3 Hours Saturday Afternoon, Dec 21

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Give yourself the gift of some solo holiday shopping on Saturday, Dec. 21 while your kids spend a fun afternoon hanging out with sharks, seals and sea turtles during the “Drop ’n’ Shop” program at the Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk. From 1 to 4 p.m., the Maritime Aquarium has an ocean of age-appropriate hands-on activities and explorations planned for ages 4 to 10, giving parents three solo hours for shopping, wrapping or other holiday prep.

— an announcement from the Maritime Aquarium

“With the new SoNo Collection mall just a five-minute walk from the Maritime Aquarium, the ‘Drop ’n’ Shop’ program offers a convenient way for everyone in the family to have a winning afternoon,” said Aquarium spokesman Dave Sigworth. Kids will learn from Aquarium staff about the expert care given to the sea turtles, sharks, seals and other animals. They’ll meet and touch live creatures, and also make a holiday ornament to take home.

‘An Old Fashioned Holiday’ Event Postponed a Day to Sunday, Dec 15

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Due to inclement weather Saturday, the “An Old Fashioned Holiday” event at Tilley Pond Park, originally scheduled for Saturday, instead will take place Sunday, Dec. 15, the town Parks and Recreation Department announced. — an announcement from the Darien Parks and Recreation Department

The free event will still take place from 3 to 5 p.m. and still include decorative lights covering the warming hut (already up!), candles surrounding the sidewalk pathways lighting your exit, two roaring fires to warm your chill and holiday music playing. Also: festive treats for purchase (hot cider, hot cocoa, chocolate covered marshmallow Santas, apple cider doughnuts, gingerbread men, ribbon candy, peppermint lollipops), FREE activity stations for the kids (ornament creating, cookie decorating, writing letters to Santa and visits from a couple special guests) and even some holiday caroling! Caroling will be led and begin at 3:30 p.m. We hope to see you Sunday and get you in the holiday spirit!

Holiday Stroll in Downtown Stores from 5 to 9 PM, Wednesday — With Refreshments, Special Promotions

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Darien will have a holiday stroll on Wednesday with the theme of “Darien Does Holidays!” Enjoy the many unique boutiques and shops in Darien on Wednesday, Dec. 11 from 5 to 9 p.m.

— an announcement from the Darien Chamber of Commerce

Stroll from shop to shop with your list of gifts you need to find for your family, friends, co-workers and neighbors. Each participating store will have refreshments to enjoy, lite bites and special promotions offered that night! Share the event with you all you know! The participating stores are:

A Little Something White Bridal Couture, Aquarius, Barrett Bookstore, Brown & Co., Chocolate Works, Coco and Lala, Darien Toy Box, David Harvey Jewelers, The Dock Shop, EGG New York, Everything is Rosey, Flowers and Flowers, Good Goods, Helen Ainson, J.McLaughlin, Kirby and Company, Kirby Girl, Mandarine Home, Morley, Runner’s Roost, Shoes ‘N’ More, Sipstirs, and Sokayri.