In Connecticut’s northwest hills, summer blooms alongside the white-and-pink blossoms of its state flower, the mountain laurel. Cyclists in The Village Ride may just catch its faint fragrance as they churn along the country roads that slice through Litchfield County.
The three custom course routes vary by length to accommodate riders of any age and ability. No matter their route, cyclists wind past scenic towns and natural wonders such as lakes, rivers, and state forests. Elevation changes, which lie in wait at most every hill, offer an added heart-friendly challenge. The 25K route nears 700 feet, and the 100K route peaks at about 1,700 feet. After crossing the finish line at Ski Sundown, participants grab a catered lunch (available 11:30 a.m.–2 p.m.) or some brews from event sponsor Thomas Hooker Brewing Company while soaking in live entertainment.
Ride proceeds benefit The Village for Families & Children, a child-safety and family-resource organization. In 1809, The Village began its mission “to build a community of strong, healthy families who protect and nurture children.” Now, more than 200 years later and helping some 7,000 children each year, the organization maintains that goal through foster services, academic and socialization care, parental-skills programs, and family-crisis prevention and management services.
Since 1980, the America East Men's and Women's Championship has pitted conference foes against each other to savagely battle for bracket positioning over the course of several days. This year’s tournament will see defending men’s champions Boston University staving off as of yet-to-be-decided opponents, with senior guard Darryl Partin strapping tiny pogo sticks to his sneakers in hopes of adding to his average of 19.8 points per game. The Hartford Hawks women’s squad protects its title behind the charge of freshman guard Amber Bepko, who garnered a career-high 18 points in the victorious game against UMBC on February 19. During the championship’s first round on March 1, teams attempt to out-dunk their competition for placement in the quarterfinals on March 2–3. Victors of the quarterfinals compete during a semifinal tilt on March 4, which determines which team will host its respective championship game and Indiana Jones marathon the following weekend.
The Hershey Theatre, conceived in 1933 by noted philanthropist and chocolatier Milton S. Hershey, stands as an opulent tribute to the performing arts. Taking architectural cues from Saint Mark’s Basilica in Venice, the foyer’s towering arches gleam with golden paint and crystal chandeliers. The blue-and-gold mosaic that leads to the main seating area is the masterwork of two German artists who spent two years on its construction. Once inside the theater, audiences might think they’ve stepped onto the streets of Venice thanks to the atmospheric ceiling, stonework facades, and gondoliers paddling them to their seats. ####Bethel Woods Center for the Arts Music has permeated the 800 manicured acres where the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts has stood since 1969, when farmer Max Yasgur agreed to let love, peace, and harmony grow wild at the very first Woodstock festival. These days, the renowned outdoor venue and cultural center continues to attract the biggest acts in music to its pavilion stage. The open-air design ensures ample ventilation on the natural sloping lawn, and a roof protects up to 15,000 fans from inclement weather and the prying eyes of Cessna pilots.
For over a decade Zen Bar has been known for being Connecticut's home for the Best in Karaoke and Local/Regional bands. Zen Bar's atmosphere is one that allows you to unwind with your friends and enjoy and evening of fantastic music, food and fun.
International Institute of Cosmetology founder Carmelo Gugliotti began his career as a professional hairdresser when he was 16. He gradually built his passion into a successful business, entering international competitions and earning leadership positions within multiple cosmetology groups. Now supported by his beauty-minded family—including his wife and three sons—Gugliotti trains stylists and aestheticians in rigorous, accredited courses.
As part of their training, students offer a full menu of hair, nail, and spa services that incorporates Wella coloring and Dermalogica skincare products. Instructors supervise each treatment to ensure pupils don’t disregard protocol or use their untutored genius to make clients too beautiful for this world.
The owners of Big Z Cleaners, Twin City Dry Cleaners, & Squeeky's Cleaners & Laundromat wash and dry-clean garments with environmentally friendly practices and a keen eye for detail honed over a span of 40 years. After dry-cleaning silk blouses, suits, or dress shirts stained with business-related marinara sauce, specialists press collars and cuffs and preserve their shapes with a customizable dose of starch. The team also carefully executes wash, dry, and fold services that conclude with exemplary folding and placement on hangers.
Visitors never have to wait in line to workout at Cardio Express—each of the six clubs boasts a ton of Cybex strength-training machinery, an arsenal of free weights, and more than 80 pieces of cardio equipment affixed with personal 15-inch television screens. Compassionate instructors imbue gym visits with a human element as well, leading classes such as Core Fusion, Total Tone circuit training, and spinning sessions at the Southington, Vernon, and Manchester locations. Each year, the staff members carry the same motivational energy they use in their studios to recruit members and friends for the Multiple Sclerosis Bike Tour. Cardio Express has raised a grand total of nearly $400,000, and it also acts as title sponsor for the 2012 benefit.