This Week in New Haven (November 27 – December 3)

P olicy discussions give way to fests, fairs and parties as dozens of decorous Christmas trees, including the big one in the center of town, are unveiled. 

Monday, November 27
From noon to 1 at the Yale School of Public Health (60 College St, New Haven), former Yale epidemiology professor Susan T. Mayne, now the director of the US Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN)—where she “leads the… development and implementation of programs and policies related to the composition, quality, safety and labeling of foods, food and color additives and cosmetics”—discusses a very important topic: food. Her talk, “Understanding the ‘F’ in FDA: Recent Activities in the Foods Program Promoting Safer Foods and Better Nutrition,” is free to attend.

Tuesday, November 28
At 7 p.m., what is purportedly the 2018 election cycle’s first “statewide candidate debate for governor” is happening at Yale’s Sheffield-Sterling-Strathcona Hall (1 Prospect St, New Haven). Co-organized by Yale Students for Sensible Drug Policy and cannabis advocacy group Connecticut NORML, “the goal of the debate is to have an open and honest conversation about drug policy in Connecticut and to encourage candidates to weigh in on legalization, the economy, criminal justice reform, job growth, hemp production, the current medical marijuana program and more.” Confirmed participants include Democrats Dan Drew and Jonathan A. Harris; Republican Prasad Srinivasan; and independent Micah Welintukonis. Free.

sponsored by

Hopkins School

Wednesday, November 29
Tonight’s “You Can’t Stop the Signal” edition of Pecha Kucha New Haven happens at The Range at Lotta Studio (911 Whalley Ave, New Haven) at 7 p.m. As is customary, a slate of local speakers is giving presentations in a “20×20” format—20 slides that last for 20 seconds apiece. As is also customary, what those speakers plan to talk about is anybody’s guess. The event is BYOB, possibly with “a food truck of some sort,” and free, with a tip jar.

Thursday, November 30
The big Christmas tree that’s been standing in the middle of the lower green is officially getting its colorful twinkles. From 4 to 8 p.m., the city’s annual tree lighting festival includes “visits with Santa, hay rides, live musical performances [and] costumed characters,” plus a ferris wheel, carousel and petting zoo. Free.

Friday, December 1
The Arts Council of Greater New Haven’s 37th annual Arts Awards luncheon happens at the New Haven Lawn Club (193 Whitney Ave, New Haven) from 11 a.m. to 1:45. This year’s honorees are people and organizations “who are radically expanding the word ‘art’ to influence entrepreneurship, social justice, food or health, those in thriving collaborations and daring experiments that sustain our creative community, and those who challenged us to reconsider preconceived assumptions about ‘art’ this year.” Starting with a “social hour” and transitioning to lunch and speeches at 11:45, tickets cost $110, or $95 for Arts Council members.

Home to Connecticut’s oldest home, the Henry Whitfield State Museum (248 Old Whitfield St, Guilford; 203-453-2457) hosts its annual Firelight Festival—“an evening of festive luminaria, lanterns, outdoor fires, roasted marshmallows and chestnuts, popcorn, hot chocolate, hot cider, readings of ‘The Night Before Christmas’” and more. Lasting from 4 to 8 p.m., tickets cost $8, with discounts for seniors, students and children.

sponsored by

The Chosen at Long Wharf Theatre

Saturday, December 2
At 10 a.m., United Community Nursery School (323 Temple St, New Haven; 203-782-0141) hosts its 27th annual Holiday Family Fun Fair. The itinerary includes live folk music, a puppet show, interactive dances, face painting, craft making, a book fair, a bake sale, a craft sale and a “giant” silent auction. $5.

The Ronald McDonald House of Connecticut’s 28th annual Trees of Hope fundraiser opens today at the Long Wharf Maritime Center (555 Long Wharf Dr, New Haven). Visitable from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. through Sunday, December 10, the event “transforms the lobby and hallways of the building into a wonderland of over 130 beautifully adorned trees, festive baskets, dream presents and table settings all donated by the community to help benefit the families and children of the Ronald McDonald House of Connecticut.” Funds are raised through $1 raffle tickets, which can win you the displays themselves, and a “holiday boutique.”

The opening celebration for the Knights of Columbus Museum’s 17th annual Christmas Tree Festival—“[showcasing] the creativity and imagination of students from elementary schools across Connecticut, whose handmade ornaments and trim colorfully decorate the museum’s two dozen Christmas trees”—begins at 11 a.m. and finishes at 3. Activities include “children’s crafts, refreshments, a visit from St. Nicholas and live music from the Yuletide Carolers.” Free. 1 State St, New Haven. (203) 865-0400.

Red Skye (110 Hatfield Rd, Bethany; 203-891-6787), a farm whose donkeys, horses and people specialize in animal-assisted therapy, is hosting a Donkey Hoe-Down from 6 to 10 p.m. Featuring dinner from the Farm Belly, dancing led by contra caller Bill Fischer and drinks from the New England Brewing Company and Amity Wine & Spirit, tickets cost $75.

Sunday, December 3
Pluckily holding its first indoor community event since a fire last December destroyed some of its major facilities, the Jewish Community Center of Greater New Haven (360 Amity Rd, Woodbridge; 203-387-2424) is putting on its big annual Craft and Gift Fair, “even as construction is still in progress,” from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. According to a press release, more than 50 “artisans, crafters and vendors from our local area and from all over New England” are selling “pottery, artwork, accessories, home decor, jewelry, glass works, skin care [products], clothing and much more,” with free kids’ activities including crafts, face painting and a new option for parents with children ages 5 and up: a babysitting service starring a movie screening from 1 to 4 p.m., giving parents the ability to browse at greater leisure. Free to attend.

Written and photographed by Dan Mims. Image depicts detail of New Haven’s 2015 tree just prior to the official lighting. Readers are encouraged to verify times, locations and prices before attending events.

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Dan has worked for a couple of major media companies, but he likes Daily Nutmeg best. As DN’s editor, he writes, photographs, edits and otherwise shepherds ideas into fully realized feature stories, helped very much by a small team of dedicated contributors.

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