Out and about: Things to see and places to be this weekend

Where can you go this weekend to spot such familiar cultural icons as The Lorax, Fred Flintstone, Popeye, Clifford the Big Red Dog and Big Bird?

The answer is Stamford, and you better be prepared to look up.

The UBS Parade Spectacular will once again bring a steady stream of giant balloons through the streets of downtown Stamford, along with bands, dancers, actors, dignitaries and other performers. Tens of thousands are expected to line the parade route, which begins at Summer and Hoyt streets and ends at Federal Street, a block away from the Stamford Metro-North Railroad Station. You can check out all the details at the Stamford Downtown Special Services District website.

The parade is not the only event taking place this pre-Thanksgiving weekend. Country music star Jerrod Niemann will be coming to Stamford, as well, to put on a concert, which will help to raise funds for victims of the recent storm. (You can see his video for “Shinin on Me,” above.) Other music acts include Steve Forbert, who will be in Ridgefield; the Hitmen, who will be in Bridgeport — the same city were violinist Adele Anthony will join the Greater Bridgeport Symphony. Phil Lesh comes to the Capitol Theatre in Port Chester, N.Y. Matthew Morrison visits Hartford, as does Big Bad Voodoo Daddy. Fountains of Wayne will be in Uncasville. And, Heather Hardy will be in Westport.

You can also check out Deep Banana Blackout, PJ Pacifico, The Bernadettes, Jamie’s Junk Show, Eight to the Bar and many other local bands. And, a group of musicians are coming together in Fairfield to help in the fight against pancreatic cancer. There is still more music … an afternoon of musical treasures in Fairfield, the Juilliard String Quartet, the Bill Charlap Trio, Chris Coogan and Friends, the New World Chorus, the Connecticut Master Chorale and others.

An eclectic mix of entertainers and entertainment will be featured at the sixth annual “Forgot to Laugh” show in New Haven. The Mark Morris Dance Group will be in Purchase, N.Y. with new and old pieces. Meanwhile, “So You Think You Can Dance Tour 2012” hustles its way to Foxwoods. Shaolin Warriors bring their intensity to the stage of the Palace Theatre in Stamford. Lighthouses are the featured entertainment in Norwalk, which also is the place you will find a storytelling celebration. Or, you can spin a yarn in Danbury. And LEGO fans have events in Bridgeport and Stamford to keep them busy.

On stage, one will find an a black-light puppet show in Fairfield. “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” opens in Stamford. Comedians gather in Stamford for a cause. And, “Whistleville” continues for a second, and final, week.

When it comes to movies, “The Polar Express” can be seen at the IMAX in Norwalk and “Alice’s Restaurant” will be screened in Tarrytown, N.Y. But this is just the tip of the iceberg. Beyond the multiplexes and movie theaters, area libraries will be screening multiple films throughout the weekend and beyond.

For children, there is a family day at the Bruce Museum in Greenwich, a “Mr. Steve” show in Hartford, a performance by The Pop Ups in Mamaroneck, N.Y. and the “Littlest Pilgrims” in Ridgefield. And, sweet scents await in Stamford.

Art dominates the next couple of days, as well. CraftWestport celebrates its 37th anniversary, while the Center for Contemporary Printmaking celebrates Monothon 2012.

Until next time …

Christina Hennessy