Greenwich fans don’t need convincing that this town is a great place to shop, dine and indulge in some culture. Insiders know that this sprawling town is more than just a sleepy, leafy suburb. It’s diverse, and eclectic community; chock full of intriguing places to eat, explore and be thoroughly entertained.
So when the town’s first Experience Greenwich week was conceived earlier this year the goal wasn’t just to sell town residents on the idea that Greenwich was a great place to work, live and play. (That box has been checked.) It was to encourage locals to venture beyond their usual haunts to discover new favorites during a week of special events which runs from October 22 to 28.
More than 150 town merchants, restaurants, art galleries, civic associations and the Bruce Museum have joined forces to help create the first Experience Greenwich week, a spirited town-wide economic development initiative.
“What we’ve pulled together is such a great offering of the many places that make Greenwich so diverse, complex and interesting,” says Tammi Ketler, of TMK Sports & Entertainment, the producer and creator of Experience Greenwich week. “So, we are really encouraging people to get away from the tried and true things they already love here and try something new. Go and explore some other great part of town you might not normally go to.”
Greenwich First Selectmen Peter Tesei adds, “Our goal with Experience Greenwich week is to support the local businesses that make our town a true destination. With this initiative, we can help support the many cultural institutions, art galleries, incredible restaurants and shops that make Greenwich what it is today.”
Organizers say they’ll consider Experience Greenwich week a success if it entices town residents to venture out of their neighborhood comfort zones. So, if Greenwich Avenue is your normal destination for cocktails, dinner and shopping, try Old Greenwich or Byram or Cos Cob this week. “We love the idea of getting people to appreciate all of Greenwich,” Ketler says. “We all have our favorite places, but we want you to discover new ones too.”
Participants in Experience Greenwich events will also help boost efforts to spread the word the entire town is a premiere destination to live, work and play. A portion of proceeds from Experience Greenwich events will help support Think Greenwich, a town-wide public relations initiative designed to promote the community’s overall quality of life.
Some of the events are pure luxury such as the champagne and trunk show event at Richard’s on Greenwich Avenue, but others were incorporated for their family-friendly, Greenwich of yesteryear vibe. The Experience Greenwich team is excited about calling out events like a pasta buffet being served by the Cos Cob-based Italian-American civic organization, the St. Lawrence Society or the showing of the Rocky Horror Picture Show hosted by the Byram Civic Association.
“One of the things about Greenwich that makes it so interesting is we have this great cross section of people and families that have roots here for generations,” says Ketler. “It’s what makes Greenwich exceptional and you see that in the cross-section of business and organizations we worked with to create this event, which we really hope will become an annual tradition.”
While the list of things to see, sample and try during Experience Greenwichweek is chock full, here are some highlights to pencil into the date book.
Color Your World
Greenwich has a vibrant and evolving art scene with twenty noteworthy galleries and institutions which add color and culture to town life. So it’s apropos that the producers of Experience Greenwich have developed an art trail as part of the week’s well-curated events. To kick things off First Selectmen Peter Tesei will unveil a collection of murals on the Greenwich Common on Greenwich Avenue at noon on Monday, October 22. A packed schedule of intimate gallery tours, art-themed cocktail parties, Bruce Museum lectures, ballroom dance demos and a screening of the campy classic, the Rocky Horror Picture Show (courtesy of the Byram Civic Association)continues daily throughout the week.
For Kids of All Ages
Families flock to Greenwich for the quality of life; proximity to city and country and exceptional public and private schools. So the Experience Greenwich planners thoughtfully included several kid-friendly events in the week’s schedule. Several include sweetly seasonal Halloween-themed tie-ins.
- The Oct. 24 math themed bash at Mathnasium in Cos Cob.
- The pasta buffet sponsored by the Lawrence Society in Cos Cob on Friday, Oct. 26.
- The open house at the Boys and Girls Club of Greenwich on Saturday, Oct. 27.
- The Ghouls in the Gardenbash at the Greenwich Botanical Society in Cos Cob on Saturday, Oct. 27.
- The Party Place and Things Halloween Bash in Cos Cob from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 27.
- The 11thannual Greenwich Adopt-A-Dog Howl & Prowl from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 28 at the town’s Board of Education parking.
- A Create Your Own Family Scarecrow event will deliver a family friendly DIY experience at the River Day Adult House in Cos Cob on Sunday, Oct. 28 from 1 to 4 p.m.
Turn Up the Volume
More than 25 restaurants will participate in the week’s festivities offering specialty cocktails, menu items and special entertainment bonuses. On Friday, October 26 several local dining establishments will also add live music to their menus, notes Tammi Ketler. “These are places that might not normally have live performances, but they are doing something extra special,” she explains. Check out the performances at establishments including Pasta Vera, MacDuff’s Public House and Versailles.
That’s a Wrap….
Applaud the end of Experience Greenwich week at the official grand finale wrap party at Sam’s Bar & Grillon Mill Street on October 27. Festivities begin at 6:30 p.m.
(For complete details on times, locations, admission charges on many weeks’ events visit ExperienceGreenwich.org.)