New Canaan ‘Taste Tours’ Set for Thursday

The creators of a popular food-centered event that’s run for seven years in downtown New Canaan say they’ve reimagined it in a way that focuses the experience for attendees as well as merchants. 

To be held 5 to 8 p.m. Thursday, the New Canaan ‘Taste Tours’ offer four options for food-lovers, featuring signature bites from local restaurants, wine tasting, dessert and craft and draft beer sampling. Designed in partnership with locally owned Rock Paper Scissors Events, the Taste Tours carry on the tradition of welcoming residents back to New Canaan at summer’s end, according to Laura Budd of the Chamber of Commerce. 

“Adults or couples might choose the beer or wine tour, while larger families or anyone not interested in beer endwise could do the tasting and then families with really young kids could do the dessert tour, which is a much smaller footprint,” Budd said. 

Referring to the predecessor ‘Taste of the Town’ event, Budd said the Taste Tours were “customized to different groups as opposed to just one tour for everyone. 

“I think that we are going for a higher quality experience for both the strollers and the merchants who are so generous with their donations,” she said. A portion of all proceeds will go toward the New Canaan Food Pantry. The four Taste Tours options encompass between four and 12 stops, as follows (purchase tickets here):

“Taste Crawl”—up to 12 stops ($15 now or $20 on the day)
“Dessert Dash”—up to four stops ($10/$15)
“Wine Tasting Trail”—up to six stops ($20/$25)
“Beer Tasting Trail”—up to six stops ($20/$25)

Taste Tour-goers will be identified by a wristband that can be picked up in front of The Playhouse on Elm Street. Those buying same-day tickets may do so in front of The Playhouse starting at 5 p.m. The event is on, rain or shine.

PHOTOS: New Canaan Sidewalk Sale Draws Crowds Downtown

Hundreds of bargain-hunters gathered in the heart of downtown New Canaan Saturday for the 54th Annual Village Fair & Sidewalk Sale. Organized by the New Canaan Chamber of Commerce, the Sidewalk Sale sees parts of Elm, Main and Forest Street closed to vehicular traffic as shoppers and families enjoy the deals, food and live entertainment. This year the entertainment included local band Sideways, as well as School of Rock, and a climbing wall sponsored by Karl Chevrolet and the New Canaan YMCA. “Today is excellent, we are really happy,” the Chamber’s Laura Budd said as the morning got into full Sidewalk Sale swing. The hugely popular event typically draws several thousand people.

‘How Special and Unique Our Downtown Is’: 14th Annual Holiday Stroll Coming Friday and Saturday

Locals are gearing up for a hugely popular event that sees downtown New Canaan transformed into a walkable winter wonderland featuring Santa and Mrs. Claus, live music and dance, S’mores, ice sculpture, waffles, gingerbread houses and a spotlight on local businesses. The 14th annual Holiday Stroll is to be held 6 to 9 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. Presented by the New Canaan Chamber of Commerce, the free Stroll “brings everybody downtown together,” said the organization’s Laura Budd. “It has been cold, people are not gathering outside as much as they have in the past, and this allows them to come into town and kick off the holiday season,” Budd said. “There’s all local talent performing and the stores really go all out and put their best foot forward.

‘Braziliant Body Waxing’ Opens on Main Street 

Luciana Araujo had been working as a lawyer in her native Brazil when she arrived in Danbury with zero English and two young children in 2004. 

At 32, she’d followed her husband to the United States on the promise that after one year here on his own, he had secured a small apartment for the family. 

Instead, Araujo learned, he wanted the family to move in with a cousin who had no room for all four of them. The cousin handed them the keys to a car and urged them to “go look for an apartment,” she recalled. “We ended up sleeping for two days in the car in front of Target at Exit 8 in Danbury when I got here,” Araujo recalled on a recent afternoon. “Me, my kids and him. My kids still remember the situation.

FIRST LOOK: ‘Organika Kitchen’ on Main Street To Open in Two Weeks [PHOTOS]

Vegan and vegetarian foods provider Organika Kitchen offered locals a sneak peek of its offerings Thursday night during the annual Taste of the Town Stroll. Known for its pancakes, mezza plates, smoothies, organic salads and juices, protein and açaí bowls, burgers and pizza, Organika served up pesto pasta salad cups and small cups of its “Super Green Smoothie” (spinach, kale, mango, banana) during the 8th Annual Stroll. It will open in two weeks on a full-time basis, according to Dimitri Pantzos, a partner in the business. “We’re very excited,” Pantzos said outside the new location as visitors gladly took the samples on a clear, cool evening. 

Asked what made Organika want to participate in the Stroll, Pantzos said: “We just want to be part of the town and commerce, and Tucker’s really nice, so why not participate?”

He referred to Tucker Murphy, executive director of the New Canaan Chamber of Commerce. Items on Organika’s chalkboard menu include Margarita Pizza (tomato sauce, parmesan, mozzarella, topped with extra virgin olive oil and basil—$11), Protein Boost Smoothie (banana, almond butter, cacao powder, cinnamon, rice protein, raw honey and almond milk—$8.50), Beets By OGK Fresh Juice (beet, lemon, ginger, apple, celery—$8.50), Almond Crunch Bowl (banana, blueberries, açai, almond milk, mango, topped with strawberry, banana, granola, almond slices, almond butter and raw honey—$10.50) and Dragon Bomb Smoothie (mango, pineapple, dragon fruit, topped with pineapple, coconut and raw honey—$10). 

The Stroll is a “food-raiser” organized by the Chamber and sponsored by Berkshire Hathaway and Walter Stewart’s Market that brings in donated items for the local Food Pantry as well as eyeglasses and hearings aids for the LIONs Club of New Canaan.