2002 Winter Season

Litchfield, CT -- Contact: Janet L. Serra For Immediate Release 860-567-4506 lhcvbnwct@aol.com Perhaps its' the beauty of the surroundings or the clear, fresh country air that inspires. Whatever the reason, the bucolic hills of Connecticut's Litchfield Hills abound in artists and artisans, and each December they offer original ideas for holiday ornaments and gifts in numerous galleries and shows. These unique, collectible and affordable works by fine craftsmen will delight the receivers for years to come. The scenic surroundings and lack of crowds are a bonus for shoppers. Visitors from throughout New England make their way each year to the largest event of the season at the Brookfield Crafts Center (203-775-4526). For the 27th year, the non-profit Center's historic gristmill overlooking the Still River will be converted into a three-floor extravaganza of handmade gifts. It will be open from November 9 through December 31st It is a gala 30th birthday for the Gallery of Gifts at the Silo Gallery in New Milford (860-355-0300). This creative shop and cooking school, created by Ruth and Skitch Henderson in two barns and a silo, is famous for the annual 25-foot tree a-glitter with ornaments and decorations made by over 100 crafters. This year's sure-to-please theme is Sugar and Spice. The ornaments can be bought, along with a selection of handcrafts and a wealth of original gift ideas for cooks. The holiday displays last from early November through December 31. One of the longest established shows in the region is held by the Washington Art Association in Washington Depot (860- 868-2878) November 29 to December 24. Their 50th annual Christmas show and sale will feature hand-made crafts and small works of art that make ideal gifts. The Artwell Gallery in Torrington (860-482-5122) presents its annual Holiday Arts and Crafts Store from November 23 to December 22, with all kinds of creations by gifted artists, while the 11th Annual Covered Bridge Christmas at the Cornwall Bridge Pottery Store in West Cornwall (860-672-6545) offers free mulled cider and holiday music along with wonderful handmade pottery for every budget, from prize exhibition pieces to everyday dishes. In Marbledale, Potter and Slack Fine Art (860-868-3245) has a host of unusual gift ideas in its show called "Small Indulgences." The gallery is open weekends or by appointments. Early shoppers can take advantage of the Annual Holiday Show November 16 to December 5th presented by the Kent Art Association at their gallery in Kent (860-927-3989), a town known for its many artists and galleries. The 12th Annual Guilded Weekend of the Norfolk Artisans Guild November 29 to December 1 (860-542-5487) is another festive occasion to find works both whimsical and serious created by the talented members of the guild. For more information about holiday shopping and other Christmas events and to receive a free copy of UNWIND, a 40-page color guide to lodging and dining and other historic sites and regional attractions, write to the Litchfield Hills Visitors Bureau, P.O. Box 968, Litchfield, CT 06759, call (860) 567-4506 or visit their web site at www.litchfieldhills.com.