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Lasers for New Haven's 375th Birthday


New Haven turned 375 today and the city is celebrating.

Beginning at dusk on Wednesday, lasers will light the sky over New Haven, forming a “night rainbow.”

Today is the actual 375th Anniversary of New Haven, but a free, family-friendly birthday celebration will take place on Saturday, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on the Green.

“New Haven prides itself on being a welcoming city and I’d like to welcome everyone to the New Haven Green for this celebration to enjoy the day with your family and friends,” Mayor John DeStefano Jr. said in a news release.

“Night Rainbow/Global Rainbow New Haven,” a laser light sculpture is the 2013 public art commission of the group Site Projects and is the work of American artist Yvette Mattern. The rainbow will light up New Haven’s night sky for four consecutive nights, Wednesday through Saturday, from dusk until 1 a.m. 

The lasers will originate from the top of East Rock Park and beam west, across New Haven, into West Haven and fade over Long Island Sound for approximately 30 miles.

The festivities on the Green are all free and include performances and activities, including spoken word and poetry, classical music, folk music, gospel music, Ukrainian music and dance, ballet, salsa lessons, a yoga class, a puppet show and interactive art activities for children and adults.

In addition to the birthday festivities, Restaurant Week, which began on Sunday, runs through Friday, April 26 and participating restaurants will offer a three-course, prix fixe menu consisting of an appetizer, entrée and dessert. Prix fixe menus are priced at $18 for lunch and $32 for dinner.

Diners will be able to park at two downtown garages (the Temple Street Garage and the Crown Street Garage) for $3.75 from 4 p.m. until midnight for the duration of Restaurant Week.

Saturday’s celebration on the Green will kick off with opening remarks and then the re-planting of the Lincoln Oak, which was originally planted on the New Haven Green in 1909 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s birthday, but fell over during Hurricane Sandy last October. 

“This is a great way to celebrate the City’s birthday and a nice way for people to come together. With the wide range of activities, there will be something fun for everyone,” Vivian Nabeta, the director of arts, culture and tourism, said.

Here is a calendar of events:

Saturday, April 27, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on the New Haven Green

Performances on the Stages

Stage 1

  • 1-1:10 p.m. Future Project’s Duck Bloated Quackers
  • 1;10 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. Opening remark with Mayor DeStefano, Congresswoman DeLauro and Drew Days
  • 2:05 p.m.to 2:10 p.m. Ukrainian Society Vocals (world music)
  • 2:20 p.m. to 2:40 p.m. Contemporary Classical Ballet Theater (dance)
  • 3 to 3:10 p.m. Elm City Dance Collective (dance)
  • 3:30 p.m. to 3:40 p.m. Music Haven - All Honors Orchestra (classical music)
  • 3:40 p.m. to 3:50 p.m.  Music Haven - Harmony in Action (classical music)
  • 4 p.m. Closing Musical Performance by Lancraft Fife and Drum Corps

Stage 2

  • 1:15 p.m. to 2 p.m. New Haven Public Schools (variety)
  • 2:15 p.m. to 2:25 p.m. Kenneth Reveitz (poetry/spoken word)
  • 2:30 p.m. to 2:40 p.m. Kristen Graves (folk music)
  • 2:45 p.m. to 2:55 p.m. Esther Golton (folk music)
  • 3:10 p.m. to 3:20 p.m. Intake Organization (classical music & Ecuadorian dance)

1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Activities on the Green

  • Alisa's House of Salsa
  • Central Church, open to visitors
  • Future Project, Imagine without Limits: Imagine without Limits: Spark Your Passion, Build Your Dream, Spread Your Vision, & Act in Extraordinary Ways. Future Fellows ask participants what they are passionate about and what the change they would like to see the world. Then the fellows will show participants how to turn their passion into reality and how to become an agent for positive change. This activity is open to people of all ages.
  • Horse Drawn Carriage Rides
  • Lancraft Fife and Drum Corps
  • Long Wharf Theatre: 1:00-1:50    Origin of Fishes
  • Story in the Box telling of Origin of Fishes
  • Make Fish Puppets

2:00-2:50: How Spider Obtained the Sky
                    Felt board Story telling of the folktale
                    Physical Exploration into how these animals move

3:00-3:50: Bear and the Fox
                    Telling of the folktale through story drama
                    Paper bag puppets of one of the characters in the Story

  • New Haven Museum, Tricorn Hatmaking
  • Project Storefronts, Metamorphosis: starts off with small colorful paper butterfly shapes. A message of hope, a dream, or a wish is written on each butterfly and then glued to a backing that will be hung or mounted in various spaces and places at the current Project Storefronts location on 756 Chapel Street.
  • Schooner Touch Tank
  • Trinity Church, 2 films: The New Haven Green: Heart of a City and Grove Street Cemetery: City of the Dead, City of the Living - Two half-hour video tours of historic New Haven areas
  • United Church, film:  Amistad Revolt: All We Want Is Make Us Free
  • Zumba

1:30 p.m: Replanting of the Lincoln Tree

1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. Instrument Petting Zoo, Neighborhood Music School

2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Yoga on the Green, Breathing Room


Photo Credit: Getty Images

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