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Java Talk: Fun Fall Events Around The State

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Momentum picks up as mid-September arrives and that means weekends and beyond that are full of good choices.

In the Hartford area that includes the mother of all fairs in these parts, the Big E in West Springfield. It opens Friday and runs through Sept. 29 and beyond the states’ exhibits entertainment, animals, rides and a lot of look at, there is the food that this year promises to be as full of calories and as decadent as years past. Gates open at 10 a.m. Tickets range from $10 to $20 depending on the day you attend and whether an adult or child and parking is $10. For information on the schedule, online discounts and directions go to www.thebige.com.

Calling all politicos or anyone who loves to hear politicians talk. It’s  Crocodile Club luncheon time again on Friday at the landmark Lake Compounce ballroom.

Started in 1875 by then Lake Compounce owner Gad Norton as a ‘thank you’ to legislators who delivered a little favor he needed, the annual luncheon has morphed in recent years into a fundraiser for the New England Carousel Museum. But what has stayed the same is the lunch menu, that includes lamb, corn on the cob and warm beer, and the list of guests which includes a who’s who of the state’s most well-known politicians and political wanna-bes. Tickets are $50 a person with a social hour beginning at noon (and free carousel rides if you so choose)  followed by lunch and speeches. Information: 860-585-5411.

What nicer way to enjoy one of the last weekends of summer than to take a cruise and listen to some really good jazz. It is possible on Sunday when the Hartford Jazz Society hosts its 52nd annual Jazz Cruise from 11:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. A host of musicians including bassist Nat Reeves ‘All Star Quintet’ and ’The Don Palma Sextet’ and vocalist Linda Ransom will provide the entertainment on the cruise that sales from the state pier on the Connecticut River in Haddam to Long Island Sound and back.  Bring your own picnic basket, drinks and cooler. Cost is $65 a person. Adults only, no pets. Information: hartfordjazzsociety.com

Also on Sunday, you could head to the hill as in Hill-stead Museum in Farmington which will host its annual Dinner On The Hill Farm-To-Table benefit beginning at 4:30 p.m.

Russell Pryzbek of Russell’s Creative Global Cuisine will be overseeing a one-of-a-kind menu that features Connecticut grown products, artisan breads and wine and cocktails. Tickets are $150  per person with proceeds benefiting the museum’s Farmers Market and its companion education and community programs. Information: hillstead.org.

Let’s make the weekend a couple of days longer this week, shall we?

On Monday at 6 p.m. Comcast Business and the CT Restaurant Association welcomes celebrity chef Robert Irvine at The Society Room for a dinner and program.

And on Tuesday, the New Britain Museum of American Art holds its annual “The Art of Wine & Food. ”

Honorary Chair is Gesine Bullock-Prado, sister is actress Sandra Bullock, is the author of the memoir “My Life from Scratch” and the cookbooks ‘Sugar Baby,’ ‘Pie It Forward’ and ‘Bake It Like You Mean It.’   She will be joined by many of the region’s most well-regarded chefs from various restaurants serving small plates paired with an array of impressive wines.  The evening will also feature live and silent auctions.

All  funds raised will benefit the Museum’s Family and Educational Programming. Tickets begin at $175. Information: nbmaa.org

For more Java Talk, visit: courantblogs.com/java

By MaryEllen Fillo, Hartford Courant

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