Graummon Ave., Norwalk, CT 06851. Phone: 203-854-3200.
Tree Festival returns to Cranbury Park May 1-- Norwalk's annual spring tribute to leafy greenery is set for Cranbury Park May 17 (Saturday) rebranded for 2014 as the Connecticut Tree Festival to take into account a growing sphere of interest.
The festival is a family-oriented day of entertainment and education, dedicated to advancing the place trees occupy in the vitality of the ecology. The format assembles up to 40 exhibitors in booths on a U-shaped midway. On the periphery tree care specialists offer kiddies rides to the treetops either in cherry-pickers or securely strapped in a rope harness, all under supervision.
Everything in the park is free to the public--admission, parking, door prizes, even a picnic-style lunch, juice or bottled water included. Exhibitors also pay nothing. And they are not permitted to sell merchandise or services on the grounds. In other words, no one has to put their hand in their pocket on-site for anything. The Wolf Conservation Center of South Salem, NY is returning to the festival as an exhibitor with a booth on the grassy expanse of the park. So are Wildlife in Crisis of Weston, CT, Earthplace of Westport and Connecticut's Search and Rescue dog team. Appearing for the first time is the Art Academy of Weir Farm in Wilton with a booth on the midway and a display of arboreal art called "A Celebration of Trees" in the neighboring Gallaher Mansion, the castle-like building on the grounds. The artwork goes on display beforehand at the G&B Cultural Center (49 New St.) in the Georgetown section of Wilton, starting April 22. If householders bring with them sample leaves or twigs, certified arborists are on-site to help identify trees, foliage or unusual conditions. Look for signs that read:"Ask the Arborist." Face-painting, scavenger hunts and arts and crafts have been arranged as additional activities for the youn, ger set. The festival runs rain or shine between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. In a mid-day ceremony, an eastern redbud tree is to be planted to honor the late Dick Aime who died last year at age 93 after many years as secretary of the Norwalk Tree Alliance.