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Thursday, April 19 News

Sweet treats, music highlights of Ice Cream Social

The 25th annual Ice Cream Social, featuring a menu of sweet treats, music by the Town Band and the Saxationals, plus a parade of unique vintage cars, will be staged on the New Canaan Historical Society grounds Sunday, June 8.

Rain or shine, the event runs from 1 to 4 p.m.

The Town Band, under the direction of Brad Williams, celebrated its 175th anniversary in 2006. Membership in the band varied from eight musicians in the 1830s to as many as 50 in 1935. Highlights of the band's performance history include a "German Summer Festival and Pic-Nic" in 1859 and evening concerts in the Old Opera House on Main Street in the horse and buggy days.

A parade of classic and vintage vehicles will include the Northern, produced in 1904 and owned by the Fairty family. Dave Fairty, whose great-great grandfather bought one of the first to be made for the sum of $750, has devoted nine years to the restoration of his treasure; only four are in existence today. He completely dismantled the car, hired a mechanic, and then proceeded to find, or make, the missing piece -- without a "blueprint." The parts needed to be man-made. Fairty said his Northern had led the town's Memorial Day parade beginning in the 1940s and made an appearance at the first Ice Cream Social 25 years ago.

Other activities include Colonial games and crafts for children, spinning and weaving demonstrations in the Hanford-Silliman House and visits to the Cody Drug Store. Also available, the John Rogers Studio with its display of Civil War-era statuary, the Tool Museum housing the old printing press and the Rock School, which served children in the Canoe Hill District.

Off-campus, the Little Red Schoolhouse on Carter Street will be open from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m., with docent-led tours. Graduates will share memories of the one-room, five-grade school that closed in 1957. It was restored in 2003.

On Monday, June 9, the society's annual meeting will be followed by American folk performer Rick Spencer, historian, researcher, singer and songwriter.

For information, visit www.nchistory.org.