NORWALK, Conn. - Rebranded for 2014 as the Connecticut Tree Festival, the Norwalk annual spring tribute to leafy greenery is set for Cranbury Park on Saturday, May 17.
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.
The Wolf Conservation Center of South Salem, N.Y., is returning to the festival as an exhibitor. So are Wildlife in Crisis of Weston, 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 Gallagher Mansion. 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 younger 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 Dick Aime, who died last year at age 93 after many years as secretary of the Norwalk Tree Alliance.
Those who would like to contribute funding in support of the festival—individuals, corporations or associations—can do so online at ioby.org/project/2014-connecticut-tree-festival .
Additional information is available by calling the Norwalk Customer Service Center at 203-854-3200.