Locals Gear up For ‘Taste of the Town Stroll’ on Thursday

Residents are gearing up for a popular event downtown that’s designed to showcase local businesses while raising food for the New Canaan Food Pantry as well as gently used eyeglasses and hearing aids for the Lion’s Club of New Canaan. The eighth annual “Taste of the Town Stroll” runs 6 to 8 p.m Thursday and will feature more than 15 stores, businesses and restaurants offering food and prizes. To earn a map of those locations and participate in the Stroll, people should bring (unopened and unexpired) goods—such as coffee, juice boxes, crackers, pasta sauce, canned stew, canned chicken, mayonnaise, tea bags and family-sized snacks—to the area out front of the Playhouse on Elm Street. 

For those seeking a one-stop shop for an appropriate donation for the pantry, Walter Stewart’s Market has generously put together bags of goods with a retail value of $30 that the cornerstone New Canaan business is selling for $20. “It is our pleasure to team up with the Chamber and support this fun event again this year,” said Doug Stewart of Walter Stewart’s. “We hope to help stock the New Canaan Food Pantry with much-needed groceries.”

‘It’s Bittersweet’: Mackenzie’s Is Sold

Phyllis Weinstein and Jim Berry, owners of Mackenzie’s on South Avenue for 13 years, said Wednesday that they’ve sold the business to a young couple in the area. 

Though Berry will continue to work part-time at the iconic downtown New Canaan candy, party goods and specialty gift shop, golden retriever Tahoe and Weinstein herself will be out after this week, she said. “It’s bittersweet, but it’s time,” Weinstein told NewCanaanite.com. 

To the loyal and regular customers of Mackenzie’s, Weinstein said “thank you for making this 13 of the happiest years that I have had.”

“It was a real happy time to come here every day. I was a nurse and director of the Red Cross, so I worked in sad and serious situations my whole life, and to come here and be with happy, upbeat people, it was a thrill.”

A Stamford resident, Weinstein added that what she’s enjoyed most during her stewardship of Mackenzie’s has been “watching the kids grow up and blossom and see the parents.” Through 13 years, the owners have seen New Canaan kids rise from kindergarteners to high school seniors and beyond. “It’s been a relationship,” she said. “It’s like watching your own kids grow up and it’s really special.”

Known during the school year as the primary Friday afternoon destination of Saxe Middle School kids who pile their backpacks outside the door, Mackenzie’s came to Weinstein and Berry when their son purchased more than a decade ago, and they kept operating it even after he took a different job some years ago.

Officials Approve Road Closure Downtown for ‘Fall Into New Canaan’ in September

Town officials voted this month to allow a prominent nonprofit organization to repeat a successful charity event downtown in September. The Young Women League of New Canaan’s “Fall Into New Canaan” will be held on Sept. 8 in the area occupied in past summers by the Pop Up Park, following the Police Commission’s 3-0 vote approving a street closure for part of that Saturday. During its inaugural event last year, Fall Into New Canaan saw 50 stores participate by donating 10 to 15 percent of profits for the day to a chosen beneficiary organization (Meals-On-Wheels), according to Marley Thackray, president of the Young Women’s League. “We had a wonderful day in town,” she told members of the Commission at their regular meeting, held July 18 at the New Canaan Police Department.

Letter: Chamber Thanks Sidewalk Sale Supporters

On Friday July 13th and Saturday July 14th the New Canaan Chamber of Commerce hosted the 53rd Annual Village Fair and Sidewalk Sales. Thousands of bargain hunters and their families came downtown for the fun. With over 100 participating merchants and vendors there was plenty of entertainment, food and of course, bargains galore for everyone! We’ve added a day for the “Early Bird Shopping” on Friday and from what we hear that it was a huge success. The fair, like any other big event, takes months and months of planning. The Chamber would like to thank our lead sponsor, William Raveis Real Estate.