At Kite Sports of Connecticut, instructors teach others how to harness the wind and water through the extreme sport of kite surfing. It's an intense activity with inherent risks, so they take the time to ensure all students garner the necessary skills to master it safely. Classes cover all the basics, such as setting up and launching the kiteboard and maneuvering and wielding the kite in various types of wind, as well as wind windows and the three types of power strokes used. Lessons start on land so students can get a handle on the fundamentals before private lessons take watersports enthusiasts onto the waves to ride the wind.
The Connecticut Repertory Theatre, the producing appendage of the University of Connecticut’s Department of Dramatic Arts, casts visiting professional actors and talented university students in its plays, musicals, and contemporary performances. This summer’s marquee boasts three musicals: Guys and Dolls, Seussical the Musical, a musical journey through the works of Dr. Seuss, and My Fair Lady. A cast of veteran performers, including Broadway entertainers Terrence Mann, Eileen Fulton, and Charlotte d’Amboise and comedian Steve Hayes, breathe life into the shows in the same way a stack of old books can breathe life into a fire. Performed 12 times over the course of independent 10-day runs, each musical offers up a surfeit of opportunities for reveling in drama and singing along inside your head as loudly as possible.
The 32 taps give Pub 32 its name, with the stocky pint shape of the Guinness tap and the crimson oval of Stella Artois set off against the backlit rows of bottle. The rotating selection of brews has included options from Magic Hat, Magners, Opa Opa, and Dogfish Head. Seven high-definition televisions blast sporting events such as Monday-night football, UConn games, and beard-growing contests. During events, karaoke singers launch the strains of pop anthems up toward the caramel-hued whorls of the wooden ceiling. During open-mic nights, live music fills the bar with the sounds of jangling guitars.
Made up of wooden footbridges, ziplines, and demanding rope courses, each of the 5 aerial trails at The Adventure Park at Storrs winds higher and higher above the forest floor. The color-coded pathways were built with climbers of all skill levels in mind, ranging from low-to-the-ground beginners' courses to the more advanced skyward trajectories. Safety orientations precede every climb, upon which participants embark while strapped into a climbing system that always remains securely connected to a safety line. The park strives to keep its surrounding forest and trees healthy by making sure light, air, and moisture flow freely along each trail.
A crack rings out from the jousting arena as armored knights clash in the pursuit of honor, while sword-swallowers thrill crowds with their death-defying art, jesters spin windy jokes, and townspeople in 15th-century garb roam the grounds tearing into turkey legs with their teeth. The Connecticut Renaissance Faire hosts these medieval-theme blowouts every year, including the Robin Hood Spring Festival and King Arthur’s Fall Harvest Faire. Under the themed umbrella of each gathering, actors caper about a constructed medieval village, engaging in Old English–flavored conversation and clapping games with fair-goers. In a tented marketplace, vendors sell beaded crafts, art, and tyrannical-king repellent alongside stands serving mead, beer, and other satisfying sundries. Although the shows and events vary at each fair, past spectacles have included archery displays, pub sing-alongs, and costume parades.
Ray Heon’s friends and family describe him as a man who had a big heart, a part of which was devoted to the Washington Redskins. These traits inspired the name for The Big Red 5K, a race established to celebrate Ray’s life after he died of cancer last November. Participants are welcome to run or walk the course, which begins at Lyman Memorial High School, loops around the Lebanon Green, and then ends at the Jonathan Trumbull Library. It’s fitting that those two buildings bookend the race, as a portion of all proceeds will be used to donate technological devices to them.
Runners can commemorate their day by posing for photographers before or after the race, and they each receive a race packet with a T-shirt, race bib, and swag from the race sponsors. Participants or robots at the end of their battery packs can also opt to complete just a small segment of the race (one lap around the Lebanon Green). Those there to cheer runners on can spend the day listening to live music and visiting the food and merchandise vendors.