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Hidden Mysteries of Norfolk


Norfolk, Conn., is a small town (population 1,628) in a fairly remote part of Litchfield County, but it’s full of interesting history and activities if you know where to look.

It’s kind of like hunting for wild mushrooms: It helps to have a guide. And so the town is helpfully offering a weekend of winter outings, on Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 26 and 27. A summer edition will be offered in August.

Hiking, skating, curling (of course)

There are several Deep New England Winter Activities, including hikes, bonfires, outdoor skating and a demonstration of the increasingly popular sport of curling  at the beloved and regionally important Norfolk Curling Club.

If you were paying attention to the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics, you might have noticed that there were more curling matches than almost any other events; this subtle and ancient Scottish sport has grown exponentially in popularity in recent years.

Intrigued? Come by the curling club, which is indoors, warm and cozy. Any and all of the club members and curlers on hand will be delighted to explain what’s happening on the ice (possibly while standing at the pub-style bar and enjoying a beverage).

There will be a curling basics class offered at no cost on Saturday from 3 to 5 p.m.

Ski jumping

Fans of the Winter Olympics might also enjoy learning more about the Northwest Corner’s deep ties to the sport of ski jumping. Tune in for a Zoom talk on Sunday from 4 to 5 p.m. by jumper and coach Ariel Picton Kobayashi. She will talk about her new book, “Ski Jumping in the Northeast: Small Towns and Big Dreams” in a talk hosted by the Norfolk Library.

Art & architecture

There will be plenty of cultural opportunities as well, with tours of some of the historic public and sanctuary spaces in town that you might have driven by dozens of time but never noticed.

Who knew, for example, that there are stained glass windows designed by Louis Comfort Tiffany in the Battell Chapel? Get a tour of them, from 1 to 4 p.m. on both days. You can also get an inside look at the stained glass windows at the Immaculate Conception Church on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 1 p.m.

The most famous examples of secular architecture in Norfolk are by Alfredo Taylor. His rugged stone and wood structures to a large degree define the look of this town, which is on the National Register of Historic Places. Find out more in a Zoom talk on Saturday from 4 to 5 p.m.

Norfolk’s renowned Chamber Music Festival will offer a concert online that can be viewed at your leisure. A more swinging type of culture will be offered Saturday night at Infinity Hall in the center of town, from 8 to 9:30 p.m. with the British Invasion Years, a 1960s tribute show. This will be a ticketed event with COVID restrictions; find out more at www.infinityhall.com.

And if all that excitement piques your appetite, there will also be a cooking demonstration on how to make paella, available throughout the weekend.

To learn more, go to https://weekendinnorfolk.org/.

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