Festivals in Torrington

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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.

347 Gilead St
Hebron,
CT
US

The storied performers of Journey delight fans with powerful guitar, catchy hooks, and virtuosic singing. Lead singer Arnel Pineda's octave-smashing range combines with guitarist Neal Schon's monumental chords and the musical teamwork of Ross Valory's bass, Jonathan Cain's keyboard, and Deen Castronovo's drums, creating tuneful tapestries that inspire ears like a stirring soliloquy from a bald eagle. Touring in support of its new album, Eclipse, the band is able to draw upon an aural arsenal that includes hits such as "Don’t Stop Believin'," "Any Way You Want It," and "Faithfully." The power balladeers of Foreigner and Night Ranger supplement the sonic revelry with their own swelling melodies and heart-inflating emotion. The concert takes place at the open-air Comcast Theatre, with Groupon holders welcome to sit, stand, or mime anywhere on the expansive lawn. Chair and blanket policies vary from concert to concert, so guests should call ahead to determine what items can be toted along.

61 Savitt Way
Hartford,
CT
US

A fountain's mists drift over a cool, quiet water outside the windows of Vito's By the Water, where chefs have been cooking up traditional Italian food for many years. Following recipes that have been in the owner's family for years, they craft traditional entrees such as New York strip steak with demi-glace or lobster ravioli with vodka-cream sauce. They also adorn thin and Chicago-style deep-dish stuffed crusts with quality toppings such as baby clams, breaded eggplant, and seasoned ricotta.

Vito’s has also sponsored a “So You Think You Can Cook” competition, handing the kitchen over to nine aspiring chefs for a three-day cook-off. Like many timed cooking competitions, this one required the chefs to create a dish using a mystery ingredient, such as bacon or love. The winner received a farm-to-table dinner for 10.

1936 Blue Hills Avenue Ext
Windsor,
CT
US

The fun-loving gal behind Fun Girls Night Out has been coaxing ladies to cut loose at her glamor-centric events since 2008. She and her team host extravaganzas up and down the East Coast that invite women ages 21 and older to drink, eat, shop, and dance—but mostly to have fun. Each event is unique, introducing guests to a different lineup of vendors and entertainment, but a Fun Girls Night Out always lavishes ladies with a martini bar, wine tastings, makeovers, fashion shows, and dancing. As women peruse jewelry, handbags, and cosmetics, they might sip a cocktail or nibble on gourmet appetizers while listening to live musicians. Often, ladies can even stop at a psychic booth for advice on whether they should take a job in a new city or just learn telekinesis to move the job's office to this city. And those lucky enough to be one of the first 1,000 women to arrive will receive Fun Girls Night Out's signature pink bag, which is loaded with beauty product samples, coupons, and special offers.

60 Connolly Parkway
Hamden,
CT
US

Massachusetts and New York metalheads get a sprawling double dose of tough and untamed hard rock as the Eat Your Heart Out Festival 2012 takes two states by storm in one marathon weekend. Touted as one of the “spring festivals worth attending” by Alternative Press, Eat Your Heart Out touts a buoyant lineup of international thrashers, with headlining performances from metallurgists Attack Attack! each night. The first day of the festival takes place at the three-stage live venue of Tuxedo Junction in Danbury, Massachusetts, where 14 hardcore metal and screamo acts such as Chunk! No, Captain Chunk!, Our Last Night, and That’s Outrageous blaze through merciless sets that shake eardrums for milk money.

2 Ives Street
Danbury,
CT
US

Seasoned boat captains and crustacean prospectors Sig Hansen, Johnathan Hillstrand, and Andy Hillstrand gather to share with audience members their tales of struggle and survival during crab season on the high seas, as partly documented by the Discovery Channel’s Deadliest Catch. Fishing the Bering Sea in the middle of winter demands strong wills—which can come together in times of treacherous weather and 100-foot waves or come to blows about who performs better in the three-legged crabwalk race. Selected audience members will also have the chance to don the survival suits from the Time Bandit. Following the story-swapping and previously unreleased video footage, greenhorns and avid fans will have the opportunity to launch questions at the captains, wave giant foam claws, and learn how to communicate in claw-snap Morse code.

1 Columbus Center
Springfield,
MA
US