Your Weekend in Litchfield Agenda: Music, Walks & More

Lots of great stuff is happening this weekend in Litchfield, including a jazz quintet at Litchfield Community Center, Topsmead cottage tours, Litchfield Historical Society walking tours, Celtic music performances at Wisdom House, the town’s farmers markets – and the Podunk Bluegrass Festival up Route 63 at the Goshen Fairgrounds.

See our 4 Marquee Litchfield Events for 4 Weekends in August blog post to make plans for the rest of the month.

Ivan Polyanskiy Jazz Quintet at Litchfield Community Center

New York City based saxophonist, composer, and band leader Ivan Polyanskiy brings his quintet to the Litchfield Community Center this Friday, Aug. 11, as part of the Summer Sunset Concert series.

The free concert runs from 6 to 9 p.m. Online pre-registration is encouraged.

Guests are invited to BYOB and bring their own picnics, and ice cream will be available for purchase from the Litchfield Scouts. The concert will be held indoors.

Polyanskiy was born in Siberia, Russia, studied at Novosibirsk Music College, and went on to the Jazz Department in the Music University in Cologne, Germany, which was followed by a master’s degree from Folkwang University of Arts in Essen, Germany, in the Performing Arts. In 2009 he landed at the Dave Brubeck Institute in Stockton, Cal., and studied with Benny Green and Nicholas Payton. After a gig playing in a jazz orchestra on a cruise ship, he’s living and playing in New York City.

The Summer Sunset Concert wraps up its 2023 season on Friday, Sept. 8, with a performance by the CT Grateful Dead All Stars Band.

Cottage Tours at Topsmead State Forest

Free tours of the English Tudor-style cottage at the 510-acre Topsmead State Forest are offered seasonally on the second and fourth weekends of each month from June through Columbus Day, which means tours this Saturday and Sunday.

The charming cottage is decorated with Miss Edith Morton Chase’s collection of art and antiques, and the 45-minute docent-led tours are provided by @friendsoftopsmead beginning at noon and running on the hour and half hour.

The last tour is offered at 4:30 p.m. Guests should meet a docent at the front door of the house. Each group is limited to eight people, first-come first-served.

In addition to this weekend’s tours, the remaining tour dates for 2023 are Aug. 26 and 27, Sept. 9, 10, 23, and 24, and Oct. 14 and 15.

Pipers’ Gathering Concerts at Wisdom House

The Pipers’ Gathering is a community of musicians dedicated to alternate bagpipes that holds assemblies of musicians playing Celtic music on many types of smallpipes and associated traditional instruments.

The 2023 gathering is taking place this weekend at Wisdom House. As part of it, there are concerts open to the public that feature instructors playing instruments such as Scottish smallpipes, Northumbrian smallpipes, Irish flutes and whistles, Bodhrans (an Irish drum), fiddles, uilleann pipes, and border pipes.

Concerts are at 7 pm Friday and Saturday (8/11 and 8/12) at the Wisdom House Chapel. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased online.



Litchfield Historical Society Walking Tours

This Saturday features two Litchfield Historical Society walking tours, the regular weekly tour at 1 p.m. and a special tour focusing on the famous Beecher family at 10 a.m.

“Take a stroll to sites related to the famous Beecher family, who lived in town from 1810 to 1826, and discover what growing up in Litchfield was like for the Beecher children,” reads the invite for the 10 a.m. tour. That Beecher family includes Harriet Beecher Stowe, author of “Uncle Tom’s Cabin.

The tour begins at the Litchfield History Museum (7 South Street) and lasts approximately one hour. Guests are advised to wear comfortable shoes and bring a bottle of water.

The tour is free for historical society members and $10 for non-members. Those planning to attend are asked to register online.

The regular weekly walking tour begins at 1 p.m., also at the Litchfield History Museum, and lasts about an hour.

It’s  a perfect way to explore the town’s celebrated Historic District and discover Litchfield’s vibrant history, including the stories behind famous landmarks, anecdotes about past residents, and an appreciation of prominent buildings.  

The tour is free for historical society members and $10 for non-members . Those planning to attend are asked to register online.

Litchfield’s Farmers Markets

Lakeside Farm sweet corn

National Farmers Market Week is Aug. 6 to 12, so this is a great weekend to discover/visit Litchfield’s farmers markets.

The Litchfield Hills Farm-Fresh Market, launched in 2007, takes place from June through October each Saturday in a Center School parking lot on Woodruff Lane, just below Litchfield center and the Green, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

After that, it moves to its off-season indoor location at Litchfield Community Center, also on Saturday from 10-1.

The new Bantam Community Farmers Market made its debut in early June at the Alain White Field on Route 209 (the lake road) and continues every Friday through October from 4 to 7 p.m.

Also on Fridays, Chabad Litchfield holds a Shabbat Market from 5:30-6:30 p.m. at  69 West St. in Litchfield center.




Up Route 63 at the Goshen Fairgrounds, the Podunk Bluegrass Festival is taking place Aug. 10 to 13. Check it out.