Community events return to New Milford
Two familiar events will return to town in the coming days.
The Merryall Center for the Arts will host an expanded version of its annual road rally on Sept. 2, with a rain date of Sept. 3.
A Taste of New Milford, which has become one of the town’s most popular events, will be held Sept. 6. Last year’s event drew more than 900 people.
Mike Nahom, the organizer of Taste of New Milford, said about 25 restaurants and about 5 wineries or breweries have already signed up for the event, with more expected to participate.
“There’s so many great restaurants in town that you don’t get to try,” Nahom said. “This gives you a flavor for them.”
He said a variety of foods will be available, including Mexican, Italian, American, Spanish, organic, sandwiches and desserts.
“It’s every kind of food,” Nahom said.
The event will run from 5 to 7:30 p.m. Tickets cost $15 in advance and $20 at the door. They can be purchased at Nicholas/Tobin Insurance, 111 Danbury Road; Nutmeg Olive Oil Company on the Green; The New Milford Fitness & Aquatics Club, 130 Grove St.; and the New Milford Hospital cafeteria, 21 Elm St.
This is the first year Nahom is organizing the event. He is taking over for Jeffrey Kilberg, who has hosted the event with Nicholas/Tobin & Associates Insurance for 10 years.
Nahom said he wanted to get involved because he is president of the Community Culinary School of Northwest Connecticut, the recipient of the money raised at the event. The culinary school is a nonprofit that trains the unemployed and underemployed in food services and helps place them with local employers.
He is also one of the owners of the New Milford Fitness & Aquatics Club, which is sponsoring A Taste of New Milford this year. He said he thought this event would be a great way for the new business to connect with the community.
“I’m excited,” Nahom said.
The Merryall Center’s event will begin at 11 a.m. on the 2nd. It will include a 28-mile road rally, a 15-mile bike tour and two run/walk options. There will also be music by the Celtic Cross Pipes and Drums and a lunch of hamburgers, hot dogs and a salad bar at the center after the rally.
Jerry Monaghan, co-president of the Merryall Center, said the event started two years ago as part of their efforts to host more community events. He said he hopes for 50 participants.
“For several years, we have been working to expand Merryall’s offerings and, in some ways, move it back towards its original function as a community center,” he said. “It had become, almost exclusively, a performing arts center.”
The Merryall Center is a theater and community center in town that seats 75. It was started in 1951 and offers a space for the performing arts and education.
The road rally is open to all makes and models. Registration, online at www.merryallcenter.org or on site the day of the ride. The cost is $15 per entry, which includes one lunch. Each additional lunch is $5.
Monaghan stressed the ride isn’t just for antique cars.
“Our line is that you can drive anything from your 1928 Bentley to your 2017 Subaru,” he said.
None of the activities are races, but are more like “beautiful tours through the Litchfield Hills.” Participants will be asked to take pictures of landmarks along the way to prove they traveled the course and there will be trivia questions on the landmarks and town history.
Prizes will be awarded for the road rally based on the participants’ time to complete the course and their answers. Points will be deducted if they drive too fast or slow.
“This is a family event, designed to provide a capstone for the summer and a chance for families to enjoy New Milford’s beauty and bond one last time before the often-overcrowded school schedule begins,” Monaghan said.