Litchfield, CT -- Contact: Janet L. Serra For Immediate Release 860-567-4506 firstname.lastname@example.org FOR CUSTOMIZED PRESS TRIPS CONTACT: Janet L. Serra, Executive Director, Litchfield Hills Visitors Bureau/ Northwest Connecticut Visitors Bureau, P.O. Box 968, Litchfield, CT 06759. Phone: 860-567-4506 or 800-663-1273; Fax: 860-567-5214; EMAIL: email@example.com. www.northwestct.com NEW & NOTEWORTHY Marion Anderson Studio in Danbury opens to the public in September 2004. Marion Anderson was one of the greatest contraltos of the twentieth century and the woman who broke the color barrier at the Metropolitan Opera. The studio was a rehearsal place as well as a private retreat for the singer. Exhibits tell the extraordinary accomplishments of Anderson born in 1897, who was denied even an audition at a music school because of her color, and who persevered to become a role model for her race and her nation. The Connecticut General Assembly made the farm one of the prime sites on its Freedom Trail commemorating the struggle of African Americans. The Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art in Ridgefield has completed its expansion of 25,000 square feet of new and redesigned space that accommodates twelve new galleries, including a screening room, a sound gallery, a 22 foot high project space gallery, a 100-seat performance space, a state of the art education center and a redesigned two-acre outdoor exhibition space. The Museum of Fire History in Bristol located on the second floor of the New England Carousel Museum has just opened to the public. The Fire Museum displays a fascinating array of fire fighting and firehouse signaling equipment and memorabilia. The Silo owned by Ruth and Skitch Henderson, creator and conductor of the New York Pops formed the Hunt Hill Farm Trust in association with the Smithsonian Institution this year. The mission of the Hunt Hill Farm Trust is to preserve the farm's land, buildings, and archives, promote public awareness of the unique history, celebrate Americana in music, art, and literature, provide educational opportunities for children and adults, and through the creation of a living museum, share the rich life and legacy of Skitch and Ruth Henderson. ANIMAL MAGNETISM Whether you're traveling with your pet or Going on Safari Connecticut style Northwest Connecticut offers many opportunities to enjoy nature's creatures both domestic and exotic while exploring the unspoiled beauty of this 48-town region. Northwest Connecticut has a unique selection of Pet Friendly hotels, inns and resorts that offer special amenities for your pet. Picture perfect village greens and miles of hiking trails in 30 state parks and forests provide the perfect backdrop to get back to nature with your favorite four -legged -friend. For a safari Connecticut style visit Action Wildlife Foundation, http://www.actionwildlife.org. Here you will have a close up view of 32 species of exotic animals from around the world in carefully constructed natural habitats. Tours of this 116-acre parkland are on foot or by hayride. A petting barn, and Museum are also on the premises. At Southwind Farms in Watertown (http://www.southwindfarms.com), you will fall in love with the alpacas raised here. NORTHWEST CONNECTICUT CLOSEST NEW ENGLAND GETAWAY FROM NEW YORK Unwind in classic Country Inns and charming B&B's, stroll village greens lined with shops, dine al fresco overlooking lakes and rivers, hike the longest river walk on the Appalachian Trail or walk in the footsteps of Connecticut's woodland Indians. Shoot the rapids or fly fish on the mighty Housatonic River or on the nationally designated Wild and Scenic Farmington River. Cyclists discover quintessential New England in the pastoral countryside, sweeping vistas, sky reflecting lakes, classic villages and farms that abound in the Northwest Connecticut.