BRIDGEPORT AND NEW HAVEN, CONNECTICUT
Amistad Weighs Anchor
From keel to mast, the 129-foot schooner Amistad is one big, floating American history lesson. Sailing from port to port, this replica of a 19th century slave ship tells its tangible tale of an 1839 slave revolt that prompted the first civil rights case in the US Supreme Court (celebrated in Steven Spielberg’s 1997 film). Since March, the “freedom schooner” has been sailing to ports along the East Coast to teach all who come aboard about its history with exhibits and specially designed curriculum. The Amistad will dock at Bridgeport, Conn., from Aug. 26-Sept l and at Long Wharf Pier in New Haven, Conn., from Sept 2-Oct. 8. The ship continues its voyage along the East Coast in 2001 and heads inland to the Great Lakes in 2002. Learn more about the Amistad at <www.amistadamerica.org> or call (860) 536-6003.
Fill in the holes of your Swiss family history with Cheese Days in Monroe, Wise, the state’s top cheese producer and center of “cheesehead” culture. Local lore has it that a late-1800s ordinance prevented the open-wagon transport or storage of smelly Limburger in the town, but Swiss settlers-turned-cheese-makers protested with a parade of the odorous product and reinstated the industry. The official festival started in 1914, after Monroe businessmen took a cue from “Sauerkraut Day” in Forreston, Ill. Today, Cheese Days is a fully aged ethnic celebration. Events include a factory tour, cheese-making demonstration, music and parade. The festival is held every other year on the third weekend in September, this year on Sept. 15-17. For information, call (608) 325-7771.
GREEN LIGHT FOR GATSBY
Stick ’em Up!
Celebrate Halloween at ground zero of the infamous 1692 witch trials with Salem Haunted Happenings. Since Salem, Mass., couldn’t exorcise its spooky reputation from the 17th century, the town developed a 26-day celebration. This year is the 20th anniversary of the haunting festivities. The official kickoff is Oct. 6, when the Fright Train travels from Boston to Salem with Halloween props and costumed actors. Family fun continues throughout October, including weekend costume balls, psychic fairs, free outdoor concerts and storytelling. Other attractions include Nathaniel Hawthorne’s birth house and the House of Seven Gables. For details call (978) 744-0013 or check out <www.salemhauntedhappenings.com>.
– Dena Eben