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Second Annual Weekend in Norfolk Festival Gears Up

Dozens of events to occur simultaneously


By Wiley Wood

If Norfolk is generally a quiet town, there is one weekend in the year when it bangs its own drum, and that is during the town-wide celebration of arts, culture and outdoor activities known as Weekend in Norfolk, or WIN, when every organized group in town—just about every group, for that matter—opens its arms to the public and puts on a show.

This year, its second, the arts festival is slated for August 4, 5 and 6. Some of last year’s favorites are returning, according to organizers Sue Frisch and Dawn Whalen, including the canoe-building demonstration by Frank Christinat and Schuyler Thompson, which will move this year to the Haystack Pizza building, and the Haystack Quilters’ exhibition, which will hang once again in the Congregational Church.

The village green will see an array of activities, from tie-dyeing and kids’ games at the church, to a puppet show at the library, a Norfolk history walking tour, a garden tour and a tour of the Tiffany windows in Battell Chapel. Meadow Cottage, the summer house of Louis Tiffany’s twin daughters, will be open to the public on Sunday afternoon.

The downtown commercial area will host a food court, orchestrated by the Norfolk Lions Club. The artists of the Artisans Guild will be demonstrating pottery, painting, knitting and wood turning techniques. Infinity Hall will sponsor musical groups to play at Robertson Plaza. Grant Mudge and his bluegrass band will be touring town. And Leslie Watkins will hold a workshop on watercolor techniques at the bank building, with activities for children.

On Saturday, if the children are not already exhausted by the flurry of activities, the fire department invites them to join in water polo “with fire hoses” at the ballfield on Mountain Road. After further games on the Botelle fields, there will be an outdoor movie screening at 9 p.m., weather permitting, sponsored by the Botelle PTO—bring your deck chairs and blankets!

On Sunday, two Norfolk farms are opening their operations to tours: Broadfield Farms, whose giant greenhouses produce a profusion of tomatoes throughout the summer; and Lost Ruby Farm, whose herd of photogenic and mostly docile goats provides the raw material for a varied line of cheeses.

On the cultural front, the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival will open its afternoon rehearsal of the Dvorak Serenades to the general public. Norfolk Artists and Friends will hold its annual exhibition at the Art Barn. The Historical Society will serve refreshments at its exhibition, “The Great War in Norfolk,” and the Norfolk Library will host talks and presentations.

If the outdoors appeal to you, the Norfolk Land Trust is issuing a “Hike the Peaks Challenge,” which will reward those who climb all six of Norfolk’s peaks, or hillocks, with a prize. Requiring less exertion, a native plant walk will be held at Aton Forest in Norfolk’s northeast corner.

Along with the coordination of events, the organizers are mounting a large publicity campaign to spread the word about the weekend’s activities. There will be radio spots, brochures in card racks, posters, newspaper ads, as well as street banners and signs. Last year’s event drew a combined audience of more than a 1,000 people, to the considerable benefit of the town’s businesses and service providers.

This year, the organizers are encouraging residents to invite friends for the weekend to share in the activities around town. A gathering will be held at the Norfolk Hub to introduce newcomers to representatives of the Norfolk community.

The money for the WIN festival has been privately raised, partly through grants from two local foundations. More funds are needed, says Sue Frisch, and donations to WIN, a tax-exempt nonprofit, will be gratefully accepted.

Details about the scheduled events, contact information for the WIN organization and useful links about Norfolk and its amenities, can be found on the WIN website, WeekendInNorfolk.org.

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