Finally Mother Nature is giving us a break by delivering what appears to be the kind of balmy summer weekend we dreamed of when we were shoveling out of snowstorms last winter.
It’s a weekend of summer’s best; ice cream, outdoor concerts, leisurely boat rides, wine, food, golf and more.
All that good stuff begins today at the Mark Twain House & Museum. The Hartford landmark will be hosting its annual “Ice Cream Social.” And it’s free!
Staff will be scooping from 5 to 7 p.m . And there’s more than just ice cream and sundaes. There will also be dancers from West Hartford’s Ballet Theatre Company and barbershop quartet music courtesy of the group Bandstand. Information: marktwainhouse.org.
Then you can head down to Goodspeed’s Norma Terris theatre in Chester for opening night of its new musical “LMNOP.” Billed as “chaos, one letter at a time,” the show begins at 8 p.m. The show goes through Aug. 18. Information: goodspeed.org.
Beginning Friday, get your Irish on because the 30th annual Greater Hartford Irish Music Festival kicks off at the Irish American Home Society in Glastonbury.
The three-day festival is a lively mix of Irish music, culture, food, ands beverages. Among the bands featured this year are The Kildares, the Bogside Rogues, Unforgettable Fire and the St. Patrick’s Pipe Band. There is a “Festival Colleen” contest, a “Men in Kilts” contest , Irish bread baking demonstration, “Celtic Cids” activity zone for kids and sheep herding demonstration.
The festival is open Friday from 6 p.m. to midnight, Saturday from 2 p.m. to midnight and Sunday from 1 to 6 p.m. information: irishmusicfest.com Also on Friday, the Hartford Symphony Orchestra will entertain with “The Rolling Stones Tribute: 50 years of Satisfaction” the final show in its Talcott Mountain Music Festival this season. It is held at the Performing Arts Center at Simsbury Meadows. Bring a picnic, blanket and a chair and enjoy. Gates open at 6 p.m. with the show at 7:30. Tickets begin at $5 for children and $25 for adult lawn tickets. Tables seats are also available. Information hartfordsymphony.org.
On Saturday head to Bushnell Park and enjoy a free ride on the historic carousel to celebrate its 99th birthday.
The Bushnell Park Carousel is one of less than 200 antique wooden carousels still operating in the United States. the New England Carousel Museum in the process of a “Countdown to 100″ restoration and entertainment effort to celebrate the 2014 100th anniversary of the ride.
The free rides this weekend will be offered from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Birthday cake and punch will be served from noon to 1 p.m. Information: thecarouselmuseum.org.
Also on Saturday, New London will celebrate its historic waterfront with its “Fish Tales, Tugs & Sails 2013″ party from 11 a.m. to 4 p.. The free nautically themed family festival includes public viewing of tug boats and other boats including the Mystic Whaler, entertainment, contests and food.
The fifth annual Connecticut Wine Festival will be held Saturday and Sunday at the Goshen Fairgrounds. sponsored by the Connecticut Vineyard and Winery Association and presented by the CT Wine Trail, the festival features fine wines from a wide variety of local vintners, as well as artisanal crafts, foods, wine classes and entertainment. Admission is $30. Designated drivers can attend for $10. The festival is open Saturday from noon to 7 p.m and Sunday from noon to 6 p.m.
On Sunday, Mike Love and the Beach Boys will kick off the annual Ahmad Rashad Celebrity Classic with a concert at Mohegan Sun. Proceeds this year benefit the REACH Foundation.
The golf tournament begins Monday and among those playing in the tournament on Sunday and Monday are football Hall of Famer Marcus Allen, NBA Champion Ron Harper, actor Richard Jenkins and UConn legends Donny Marshall and Scott Burrell.
And finally, don’t forget, Taste of Hartford continues through Aug. 6 and there are lots of great Hartford restaurants offering $20.13 fixed price dinners. Information tastehartford.com Enjoy!