Downtown Westport will soon be the site of mouth-watering barbecue and live blues as the 5th annual Blues, View & BBQ Festival is set to take place Saturday, Sept. 1, and Sunday, Sept. 2.
Hours are 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday.
The event, to be held by the Downtown Westport Merchant Association on the grounds of the Levitt Pavilion for the Performing Arts and Westport Public Library, will feature two Kansas City BBQ Society-sanctioned barbecue contests — A “Cookin’ for a Cause” competition on Saturday and a “Kid’s Q” competition on Sunday.
Saturday’s contest will field teams of two to four backyard chefs competing in four categories — chicken, ribs, chef’s choice and dessert. Proceeds will benefit the Westport Woman’s Club Food Closet, which provides more than 500 bags of non-perishable food and over $15,000 in grocery gift cards annually to local families in need.
Sunday’s competition, open to teams of two to four kid chefs with adult supervisors, will give prizes in three categories — burger, hot dog and chef’s choice.
The festival will also feature over a dozen blues performers on the stage of the Levitt Pavilion on both days, according to a news release.
Saturday’s musicians will include Bobby Paltauf Jr. at 11:30 a.m.; Johnny Boots at 12:15 p.m.; Roxy Perry at 1:25 p.m.; Rockin Jake at 2:35 p.m., and Jeff Pitchell & Texas Flood at 3:45 p.m. The day’s music will continue with Lucky Peterson at 5:10 p.m.; Big Sam’s Funky Mountain; and Anders Osborne at 8:15 p.m.
Sunday’s performers will feature Walter Lewis Blues Trio at 11:30 a.m.; Barbeque Bob and the Spareribs at 12:20 p.m.; Eli Cook at 1:30 p.m.; Popa Chubby at 2:40 p.m.; and Peter Karp & Sue Foley at 3:50 p.m. The weekend’s roster of acts will conclude with Brother Joesphus and the Love Revival Revolution Orchestra at 5:10 p.m. and James Montgomery & Billy Squier at 6:30 p.m.
In addition to contests and blues performers, the festival will include cooking demonstrations, a Connecticut Blues Society expo and a Melissa & Doug Kids’ Corral with games and other activities.
Sunday-only events will include rib and pie-eating contests and a performance by School of Rock, the release states.
The festival will also have a food court selling fare from local vendors and beverages such as craft beers, lemonade and water as well as a barbecue and music education showcase and marketplace.
Tickets may be bought at the event for $20 per day for adults and $10 per day for students and seniors. Tickets for adults entering with a child or a student between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. cost $10 for adults, $5 for students.
Two-day festival passes may be bought in advance at www.bluesviewsbbq.com for $35 for adults, $15 for seniors and students and $95 for a Family Four Pack.
There’s been a change on the marquee for tonight’s movie to be shown at the Levitt Pavilion for the weekly Teenflix series.
Instead of Mike Judge’s “Office Space,” a comedy filmed by the creator of “Beavis and Butt-head” that was the originally announced selection, the free screening will be the, er, gentler “Sandlot” about a plucky “group of neighborhood kids who share a love of baseball.”
The online movie-rating site, Rotten Tomatoes, gives “Office Space” a 79 percent rating versus only 61 percent for “The Sandlot.”
No explanation was offered for the switcheroo. One reason could be, however, is that “Office Space” is rated “R” and “The Sandlot” is “PG.”
In any case, the movie still screens at the same 8:30 p.m. time.
Welcome to the Westport Roundtable, a new podcast series from the Westport News.
Hosted by Westport News staff writer Paul Schott, the Roundtable will feature group discussions of some of the most important and interesting community issues in Westport.
To open the series, Paul sat down last week with a panel of downtown business owners and planners to discuss the future of Westport’s town center. Here’s a brief introduction to each of the guests in the first episode of the Westport Roundtable, which was held at Rockwell Art and Framing’s gallery at 236 Post Road East in downtown Westport.
Steve Desloge is the president of the Westport Downtown Merchants Association and owner and president of Rockwell Art and Framing, a fine art gallery and custom framing company.
Victoria Schallert is the co-owner of The Brownstone at 36 Main Street in downtown Westport, an independently owned boutique and importer, specializing in fashion accessories, home accessories and gifts.
Lou Gagliano is the chairman of the town’s Downtown 2020 Committee, a panel appointed earlier this year by First Selectman Gordon Joseloff to help plan and implement downtown Westport revitalization initiatives.
Howard Lathrop is an architect and a member of Westport’s Planning and Zoning Commission.
Sandy Lefkowitz is the director of the Westport Cinema Initiative, a Westport-based nonprofit group, which is raising money to build a new movie theater in a lot at 42 Main St., adjacent to the Tavern on Main restaurant.
The first episode of the Westport Roundtable is divided into three parts, which are included below.
And you can join the Roundtable, too. Let us know what you think about the future of downtown Westport in the comments section or on the Westport News’ Facebook page.
Part I: What would be the impact of a new movie theater in downtown Westport?
The participants in the first episode of the Westport Roundtable series discuss the future of downtown Westport at the Rockwell Art and Framing gallery at 236 Post Road East. From left, are: Victoria Schallert, co-owner of The Brownstone at 36 Main Street; Howard Lathrop, a Planning and Zoning Commission member; Lou Gagliano, chairman of Westport's Downtown 2020 Committee, Steve Desloge, owner and president of Rockwell Art and Framing and president of the Westport Downtown Merchants Association; and Sandy Lefkowitz, director of the Westport Cinema Initiative.
Part II: The state of Main Street and the role of town government in downtown revitalization initiatives
Victoria Schallert, left; Howard Lathrop, center; and Lou Gagliano, right, discuss the future of downtown Westport.
Part III: Parking, traffic and riverfront access in downtown Westport
Sandy Lefkowitz makes a point while Steve Desloge listens.
Registration is taking place for Westport’s Community Service Corps, an after-school program in which middle-school students perform community service by helping local non-profit organizations.
The program is open to sixth-, seventh- and eighth-graders and is overseen by the town Department of Human Services. The fall session is planned from Sept. 24 through Dec. 14.
Student volunteers work one afternoon each week, Monday through Thursday from 3 to 5 p.m., human services said in a news release. At the end of the 10-week program, volunteers can reflect on their experiences and discuss them at a wrap-up gathering.
The deadline for registration is Sept. 7.
“The club is an opportunity for students to provide community service at local non-profit agencies while learning valuable job skills,” Human Services Director Barbara Butler said in the release.
Among local agencies participating in this program are the Center for Senior Activities, Children’s Community Development Center, A Child’s Place, Town Clerk’s Office, Westport Children’s Library, Toquet Hall, Westport/Weston Family Y Aquatics, Westport/Weston Family Y Child Care, and Westport Continuing Education Sports and Homework Club.
Agency placement is made based upon students’ interests and on a first-come, first-served basis.
Registration forms are available online at http://www.westportct.gov/index.aspx?page=90 and on both the Coleytown Middle School and Bedford Middle School websites. They will also be available at the Department of Human Services office, Room 200, at Town Hall.
A copy of the student’s school medical form must be submitted with the application.
For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org .
Balloting will take place in Westport and across the state Tuesday for voters registered with the Democratic and Republican parties to choose their respective standard-bearers for an open U.S. Senate seat in November.
Seeking the Democratic nomination is U.S. Rep. Chris Murphy, the endorsed candidate, who is challenged by former Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz.
The endorsed Republican candidate is Linda McMahon, former executive with World Wrestling Entertainment, who is being challenged by former U.S. Rep. Christopher Shays.
The number of registered Democrats in Westport eligible to vote in the primary, as of Tuesday, was 6,117, while the number of voters registered with the GOP eligible to cast ballots in that primary was 4,792.
The town’s 6,240 unaffiliated voters and the 29 voters registered with other political parties cannot vote in either primary.
The primary voting will take place from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the following Westport polls:
Saugatuck Elementary School gymnasium: Voters who live in the 136-1 and 143 Assembly districts.
Coleytown Middle School gymnasium, 136-2 district.
Long Lots Elementary School gymnasium, 136-3 district.
Greens Farms Elementary School gymnasium, 136-4 district.
Greens Farms Elementary School gymnasium, 136-5 district.
People with questions about their polling station can check “look up” link on the town’s website:
That’s what you can do on the third annual kayak tour to Cockenoe Island on Saturday, Aug. 18, sponsored by the Westport Historical Society.
The event will take place from 1 to 3:30 p.m., starting from Longshore Sailing School at Longshore Park, 260 Compo Road South. Rain date is Sunday, Aug. 19.
The tour to the 28-acre island one mile off Westport will be led by David Park, board member of the Norwalk River Watershed Association and author of the guidebook “Kayaking in and around the Norwalk Islands.” This year, the tour is being offered in conjunction with the society’s current exhibit “The Sound and the Saugatuck” through Sept. 1, according to a news release.
The tour group will land on the island for a stroll and hear about how the Saugatuck River watershed effects Long Island Sound’s water quality and Norwalk Islands’ wildlife. Cockenoe Island is of particular interest because of conservation efforts and nesting colonies of egrets, herons and terns.
Westport residents and town officials opposed United Illuminating Co.’s plan to build a nuclear power plant there in 1967. After the proposal was defeated, the town bought the island as open space.
Intermediate level kayak ability is required for the tour, which costs $20 per person, $18 for historical society members. Call the society at 203-222-1424 to reserve a spot. Kayak rentals are available at an additional cost from the school, 203-226-4646.
While there will likely be very limited — if any — public access in the stretch of Beachside Avenue in Westport tonight
A detail of men, believed to be the security team, arrives Monday afternoon at the Beachside Avenue estate of movie producer Harvey Weinstein, who is hosting a fundraising reception tonight for President Obama. Photo: Paul Schott, Westport News
during the hours that President Obama attends a fundraising reception hosted by movie producer Harvey Weinstein at his waterfront estate, the street through the exclusive neighborhood was open most of the day beforehand.
Police are being coy about what time traffic will be detoured around the site, other than to warn of intermittent delays in the Greens Farms neighborhood prior to the president’s arrival from a Stamford fundraiser and during the event. It is expected to be a fleeting foray for Obama — an hour to 90 minutes — before he copters off from nearby Sherwood Island State Park to Air Force One waiting at JFK airport in New York.
There have been only a few passersby checking for signs of daytime preparations for the Weinstein reception, which is expected to be attended by several celebrities and business heavyweights, including actresses Anne Hathaway and Joanne Woodward. The price of admission is unsurprisingly steep: $35,800 per ticket.
Burying Hill Beach, abutting the seaside estate of movie producer Harvey Weinstein, was closed to the public Monday for security reasons because Weinstein plans to host a campaign fundraiser for President Obama on Monday night. Photo: Nicoletta Richardson, Westport News
Westport News reporter Paul Schott, who spent several hours staking out the outskirts of this privileged precinct this afternoon, reports the arrival of a suited retinue of men, apparently part of the security team, followed later by a catering team, but little else out of the ordinary by 4 p.m.
Perhaps the passerby who made the biggest impression, according to Schott, was a middle-aged jogger who grumbled, “F*** Obama,” as he ran past the Weinstein estate.