Stratfords of the World, Stratford Sister Cities Chorus and the Shakespeare Market present:
Shakespeare Park Fall Fête!
Sunday, September 17, 2023 ~ 10:00am-4:00pm
1850 Elm Street, Stratford, CT
Be sure to join us for this unique event of music, market and merriment! The Shakespeare Market is teaming up with Stratfords of the World and Stratford Sister Cities to welcome in the autumn season at Shakespeare Park. If you haven’t spent time at this lovely park overlooking the Housatonic River and the Long Island Sound, this will be the perfect introduction ~~ and it’s all free!
- 10am – 2pm ~ Browse the Market with its delightful blend of vendors—bakers, growers, hand-crafters, artisans and artists, and much more. It’s a fine way to shop local!
- 10am – 2pm ~ On the lawn, enjoy the Shamrock Traditional Irish Music Society. The group is dedicated to the preservation and promotion of traditional Irish music and culture, so you know that means a good time!
- 1:30pm – 2pm ~ A special dedication of a sundial, in memory of J. Gardner, a Stratford native, friend of actor Will Geer and supporter of his garden, that will take place in the magnificent Will’s Garden at the Elm Street entrance to the Park.
- 2pm – 4pm ~ Parker’s Tangent performs at the White House. The 6-piece group with deep ties to Stratford plays blues with roots in original art rock. The music can be poetic, quiet and touching ~ from blues to out-and-out rock!
Meet the Sponsors:
Stratfords of the World (S.O.W.)
In the Spring of 1985, the Stratford High School band went to the UK and performed in Stratford-upon-Avon during its ‘Shakespeare Birthday’ celebrations. It was here that the plan to create a link between Stratfords across the world was created. In 1986, Stratford, Connecticut was host to visitors from Stratford, Ontario. This was followed by meetings in Stratford-upon-Avon, UK (1987), Stratford, Ontario (1988), and Stratford, Connecticut (1989), and at least biennially ever since, known as “Sister Cities” in the U.S., Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the UK.
When S.O.W. delegates get together, the host Stratford chooses activities for the delegates, which customarily include drama, dance and other cultural pursuits. A highlight of past meetings is the 1993 meeting in Stratford, Connecticut, when we hosted a series of programs celebrating and re-creating the life, times and works of Shakespeare, using dance, music and naturally, the bard’s own words.
A Shakespeare connection is the common link between S.O.W.s. In 2016, in Stratford UK, everyone was thrilled to be a part of the Shakespeare celebrations, commemorating the bard’s passing 400 years prior.
This year’s get-together was held in Stratford, Ontario, in early August, and it was a huge success, even gaining coverage on Canadian TV! Keep your stick on the ice, Canada!
We’d be delighted if you’d consider joining us as we share goodwill among our namesake cities. Representatives of S.O.W. will be available to answer your questions, and tell you about our next adventure in two years—New Zealand!
The Shakespeare Market
The market brings an incredible mix of food growers, bakers, manufacturers, hand crafters, artists, along with producers of great products and do-gooders of every stripe and color to Shakespeare Park year-round, every other Sunday.
The Shakespeare Market is a community driven concept to build on the tragedy of the loss of the American Shakespeare Festival Theater. After the fire, nearly 1,000 Stratford citizens gathered to discuss the future of the property. Some residents suggested creating an open air market so all could continue to enjoy its open beauty, located directly adjacent to the Housatonic River, the stunning Charles E. Wheeler Wildlife Management Area, and with a glorious view of the Long Island Sound.
Take the wooded path to Shore Road and find Mac’s Harbor, the original landing location of Stratford’s first European settlers in 1639. At the other end of Shore Road you’ll find Bond’s Dock and Fishing Pier – the historical site of Stratford’s Oyster houses and famed boxing camp during the first half of the 20th century. Stratford’s Historic District, located on and around Academy Hill, is a short stroll and contains 17th, 18th, 19th, and early 20th century homes.
Shop, grow, and create LOCAL!
Stratford Sister Cities Chorus
Stratford Sister Cities Chorus has a wonderful mission to be “a volunteer, multi-generational, mixed voice, community ensemble, open to anyone of any background who loves to sing. A spirit of inclusiveness and support makes the Stratford Sister Cities Chorus unique and a truly community-oriented organization. . . with a broad repertoire that encompasses many genres of music. As choral and cultural ambassadors for the Town of Stratford, our group brings friendship and classical, popular, historic, and contemporary music to the ‘Stratfords of the World’, and our own community.”
In 1991, the Sister Cities Chorus was born. Founded by Hugh Catalano and conducted by Wooster Middle School music teacher, Lynn McGilvary, the chorus debuted locally in the spring of 1992. The group traveled to Stratford-upon-Avon that summer and to Stratford, Ontario in the summer of 1993. From 1996 until 2012, Dr. Joe Utterback, Minister of Music at the First Congregational Church, was the chorus’ director. The baton was then passed to Jeffrey Leinen, Choral and Drama Director at Stratford High School. Currently the director of the chorus is Christopher Andrade, Director of Vocal Music at Darien High School. Chris has ties to the Sister Cities back to when he participated in the exchange program in high school. We currently have approximately 40-50 active members and try to schedule at least four public performances in and around Stratford every year.
We always have a warm welcome for new members! Please join us! Representatives from Sister Cities Chorus will be available to answer any questions you have.