2023 Calendar of Events


Saturday, April 1, 7:00 pm
The XV Annual Taste of Wethersfield 2023 Edition


At long last, after consulting with the Central Connecticut Health District, the Town of Wethersfield, members of our Governing Board, and participating restaurants, Wethersfield Historical Society is proud to announce the triumphal return of The XVth Annual Taste of Wethersfield on Saturday, April 1st from 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm at the Keeney Memorial Cultural Center, 200 Main Street, Wethersfield, CT 06109. The Keeney Center comes alive with the flavors and aromas of the area’s finest food and drink. Wendell Edwards, morning anchor for WFSB, will serve as the honorary event chair and master of ceremonies. As a resident of Wethersfield, he knows firsthand the importance of celebrating the local food culture, chefs, and restaurant owners and the boon that Wethersfield Historical Society is to the community.

Wendell will lend his expertise and enthusiasm to make this year’s Taste of Wethersfield the best yet. He will guide us through and evening of culinary delights, and help us celebrate everything that makes Wethersfield such a special place.

Long-time “Taste” favorites, the Hot Cat Jazz Band, will be on hand to provide the soundtrack for the evening’s festivities. The process of “Taste” remains the same: Attendees pay one admission and can try offerings from several local restaurants, caterers, breweries, and wine vendors, all under one roof. Samples of signature dishes and beverages are available at every station. All your local favorites will be there with many more additions arriving daily. Throughout the evening, a silent auction is conducted, offering guests the opportunity to bid on unique goods and services from local vendors.

“Taste” is a party for those 21 and over only. Tickets are on sale now. Purchased in advance, tickets are $35. At the door on the night of the event, the price jumps to $40. A $60 “Patron” ticket entitles the bearer to early admission (6:00 pm) with full access to all food and drink, as well as entry in the exclusive Patron drawing. ($25 of each “Patron” ticket purchased is tax deductible). Tickets can be purchased HERE or in person at the Wethersfield Historical Society’s office in the Old Academy at 150 Main Street, 10:00 am to 4:00 pm Tuesday through Friday.

Taste of Wethersfield helps fund Wethersfield Historical Society’s free or low cost educational and cultural programming for children and adults. Generous corporate sponsors include City Fish Market, D’Esopo Funeral Chapel, Restaurant Supply, LLC, Sammy’s Buy Rite Liquors, Shop Rite of Manchester, East Hartford, and Vernon, Shop-Rite Hardware II, INC and Wethersfield Travel.


Saturday, April 1 to Sunday, April 16
Birds & Their Just Desserts/Let Them Eat Cake

A very special pop-up exhibition just in time for Taste of Wethersfield XV! 

In 1830, with watercolors, pastels, pen & ink, and gouache, John James Audubon set out to paint every bird in America. Eighteen years later, his monumental effort resulted in the massive tome, Birds of America consisting of 435 life-size, hand-colored prints. In 2012, illustrator, Edgar Allan Slothman (Don Carter) set out with an Apple computer to reinterpret Audubon’s Birds of America in his own simplified, graphic style. When he met baker turned watercolorist Dora Dylanne Reyes in 2021, a friendship and mutual interest in each other’s art led to a very unique collaboration and pairing — birds and desserts. Birds and Their Just Desserts / Let Them Eat Cake was born from this artistic partnership, and will be on view in our Watson Gallery at the Keeney Memorial Cultural Center. The Keeney Memorial Cultural Center (200 Main Street, Wethersfield, CT) is open Tuesday through Saturday, 10:00 am to 4:00 pm and from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm on Sundays. Admission is free, but donations are gratefully accepted.

About the Artists:

Don Carter 

Edgar Allan Slothman is the pop art persona of designer, illustrator, author and award-winning creative director, Don Carter. The illustrator of seven picture books for children, Don has also created two Disney animated short-form series, Happy Monster Band and Dance-A-Lot-Robot.  

A graduate of Paier College of Art, Don is a creative director with Adams & Knight, an integrated marketing and communications firm based in Avon, Connecticut. In 2017, he was inducted into the Connecticut Art Directors Hall of Fame.   

Dora Dylanne Reyes  

Dora is a baker turned watercolorist and graphic artist. Self-taught, she started painting just before the pandemic. Birds were her first subject matter and from there she painted everything from cake to cats and flowers to fish. Realistic simple objects became the Dora Dylanne Reyes trademark. 

Very quickly, Dora discovered that her compact, yet expressive studies could translate well for the stationery and cards market. In 2021, she created Luvfish Greeting Cards and Art to bring that dream to reality. Concepting, painting, writing and even printing her own cards, Dora has created a line of over 40 cards available online on wholesale portal, Faire as well as at local retailers. 

Dora continues to bake, paint and create 3D fish. She is also writing two  books. One is a crossover middle-grade/young adult cookbook. The other is a semi-fiction book about a young girl’s dreams of being a drummer. 


Tuesday, April 18, 7:00 pm
In collaboration with Cedar Hill Cemetery Foundation and
Great Meadows Conservation Trust

Birdwatching for Beginners


Join us for Birdwatching for Beginners in the ballroom of the Keeney Memorial Cultural Center (200 Main Street, Wethersfield). Birdwatching for Beginners is an illustrated presentation by artist and naturalist Robert Braunfield. While actually drawing birds in front of the audience, Braunfield will discuss ways to identify birds with sketches of size, shape, behavior, coloration, migration, and more. It is a uniquely educational, and entertaining, way to learn the basics of birdwatching.

Braunfield’s artwork and writings have appeared in numerous national publications and in exhibitions as diverse as the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum, Mystic Aquarium, and Bloomingdale’s in New York City.

He illustrated the popular books, Good Birders Don’t Wear White: 50 Tips From North America’s Top Birders and Good Birders Still Don’t Wear White. His wood bird sculptures have won numerous awards and have been exhibited nationally.

He teaches bird watching classes, leads birding trips, and has overseen a number of conservation projects and research studies. His 25-year Bluebird Nestbox Project has fledged over 5,000 Eastern Bluebirds in the Lyme/East Haddam area.

Admission is $10.00 and free to members of Cedar Hill Cemetery Foundation, Wethersfield Historical Society, and Great Meadows Conservation Trust. Tickets are available at the door on the evening of the event or online HERE .


Wednesday, April 19, 7:00 pm
Notable Trees in Plain Sight

Celebrate Earth Day early with Wethersfield Historical Society and a talk on local champion trees in the Keeney Ballroom by Frank Kaputo of CT Notable Trees. He’ll present an introduction to the project, which measures champion (old) trees to be included in the statewide database. Photos and information about Wethersfield’s notable trees, how they are measured, and the history of how the Notable Trees project began.  Tree species identification is an important part of what this group does. Identifying these trees will assist us in understanding the importance of sustaining the diversity of old growth. Open to the public. Suggested donation $10 to CT Botanical Society.

On Earth Day itself (April 22) we will have a Walking Tree Tour of Old Wethersfield at 1:30pm to begin near the Pin Oak in front of the Keeney Memorial Cultural Center. People can leave the tour whenever they need, there will be handouts of these trees.  Bring a water bottle.

Tuesday, April 25, 7:00 pm
19th Century Wethersfield Cultural Series

Founding Food

Wethersfield Historical Society welcomes culinary experts Keith Stavely and Kathleen Fitzgerald to the Keeney Memorial Cultural Center’s ballroom (200 Main Street, Wethersfield) to present Founding Food, the last installment of the 19th Century Wethersfield Cultural Series. In the first half of the nineteenth century, New England made a concerted effort to assert cultural leadership in the new American nation. Cookery wasn’t neglected in this campaign. Seeking to encourage refinement of manners and taste, cookbooks published by New Englanders often recycled methods, ingredients, and dishes from English cookbooks. In large part, Britain still held sway at the American dining table. But in the second half of the century, in response to industrialization and the arrival of the immigrant work force, regional leaders flipped the cultural coin. They sentimentalized the rustic foods that had been the daily fare of colonial times, and in the process radically transformed them. Stavely and Fitzgerald offer a guided tour through this transition from a zeal for refinement to a fad for colonial fare. Their talk will conclude with a sample of Colonial Revival Cuisine.

Admission is $10 per person for adults. Current members of Wethersfield Historical Society are admitted free of charge. (Students of Wethersfield Public Schools will be admitted free of charge when accompanied by an adult. The accompanying adult will also receive free admission).


Saturday, April 29, 10:00 am
Wethersfield Houses of Worship Walking Tour

In 1818, Connecticut adopted a new state constitution which granted all people freedom to practice their religion. As a result of this new freedom, new houses of worship began to spring up in Wethersfield. Join architecture expert Dorene Ciarcia and retired teacher Carol Bruce as they explore some of the beautiful houses of worship in Wethersfield, including one you may not expect. This walking tour begins at 10am at Trinity Episcopal Church, 300 Main Street, Wethersfield$10 for the general public. Members of Wethersfield Historical Society can attend for free.


Tuesday, May 2, 7:00 pm
In collaboration with Cedar Hill Cemetery Foundation

The Grotesque 10: Amazing Architectural Sculpture from
Ten American Colleges & Universities

Armed with only a camera, a sense of humor and a host of frequent flyer miles, Mathew Duman embarked on a “grotesque safari,” traveling to 10 universities around the country to photograph the unique grotesques and gargoyles roosting on academic buildings. He collected his findings in the book The Grotesque 10.

Duman will present a selection of grotesques and gargoyles during an illustrated lecture in the ballroom of the Keeney Memorial Cultural Center (200 Main Street, Wethersfield), giving you a taste of the variety of ornament, history, and humor these campuses have to offer. Connecticut schools featured in the lecture include Yale University and Trinity College.

Duman is a photographer, author, and graphic designer. He attended the gargoyle-free campus of Central Connecticut State University. While studying abroad, he developed a fascination with the grotesque sculptures of the cathedrals of Britain. In addition to the U. S. and England, he has made photographic trips to Italy, Africa, Australia, and New Zealand. He lectures on architectural sculpture and leads walking tours of Yale University in New Haven.

Admission is $10.00 and free to members of Cedar Hill Cemetery Foundation, Wethersfield Historical Society, and Great Meadows Conservation Trust. Tickets are available at the door on the evening of the event or online HERE .


Tuesday, May 9, 7:00 pm
The Jolly Beggars

Due to an abundance of caution and an ominous weather forecast, Wethersfield Historical Society and The Jolly Beggars decided to postpone their scheduled March appearance  to a later date.  While Saint Patrick’s Day 2023 is receding into fond memory, you can still enjoy its echoes on Tuesday, May 9 at 7:00 pm when The Jolly Beggars return to the Keeney Ballroom (200 Main Street, Wethersfield) part of the society’s 19th Century Wethersfield Cultural Series. 

Founding member Jeff DesRosier (Vocals/Mandolin/Guitar) is a Wethersfield native, and fellow Beggar Greg Wilfrid (Vocals/Guitar/Banjo/Mandolin) currently resides in Wethersfield. The ensemble is rounded out by Christopher Vece (Vocals/Whistles) and double-bassist David Uhl, who also adds his voice to the proceedings. To quote their website “The Jolly Beggars bring the rich tradition of Celtic folk music and storytelling to modern day audiences… They tell traditional stories from Irish folklore and intersperse their musical arrangements with traditional reels and jigs. Characterized by their tight harmonies and use of guitars, mandolin, tin whistles, octave mandolin, mandola, tenor banjo, double bass, bodhran, spoons, and more, The Jolly Beggars have quickly built a solid following and continue to spread their music around the east coast.”


Admission is $10 per person for adults. Current members of Wethersfield Historical Society are admitted free of charge. (Students of Wethersfield Public Schools will be admitted free of charge when accompanied by an adult. The accompanying adult will also receive free admission).


Tuesday, May 16, 5:30 pm

Wethersfield Historical Society Annual Meeting & Dinner

All members are invited to save the date. Information on cost and reservations will be presented here as it becomes available.