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Find more outdoor summer events taking place all around the state, including festivals, movies and music series, and more at connecticutmag.com/summer2018

The Doc Is In

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One of the state’s premier concert events, the Talcott Mountain Music Festival is once again being presented by the Hartford Symphony Orchestra under the leadership of Music Director Carolyn Kuan. Included in this year’s lineup is former Tonight Show bandleader Doc Severinsen (pictured) playing some of his favorites from the Great American Songbook on July 13. Simsbury Meadows Performing Arts Center, 7:30 p.m. Tickets: $25-$40 per performance. 860-987-5900


This article appeared in the July 2018 issue of Connecticut Magazine. Did you like what you read? You can subscribe here.

June 29: Celebrate America

July 6: Brass Transit: The Musical Legacy of Chicago

July 13: Here’s Doc! Celebrating 60 Years in Showbiz

July 20: Magical Movie Music

July 27: Rewind: Celebrating the Music of the ’80s

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Sail On

A long-time favorite event in southeast Connecticut, New London’s Sailfest returns for its 41st year July 13-15. The three-day festival will offer live entertainment on multiple stages, as well as rides, food vendors, sailing ships and a choreographed fireworks display Saturday at 9 p.m. Admission is free.

A Turn For the Verse

Tracy K. Smith is on a mission. In her role as  the current U.S. poet laureate, she has been traveling the country to foster greater appreciation for the value of poetry and to demonstrate how accessible the art form can be. On July 11 Smith will offer a poetry-writing workshop as part of the Sunken Garden Poetry Festival at the Hill-Stead Museum in Farmington. Tickets are $40-$75.

Summer Nights

Go back to the ’50s and and watch “greaser” Danny and good-girl Sandy fall in love all over again when the hit musical Grease comes to the Ivoryton Playhouse. The show runs Wednesday through Sunday evenings from July 5-29, plus afternoon matinees most Wednesdays and Saturdays. 

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Reelin’ in the Years

With combined sales of nearly 90 million albums between them, Steely Dan and The Doobie Brothers are two of the most popular and enduring bands to come out of the ’70s. Rock out to a playlist of countless classic hits on July 8 when they bring their Summer of Living Dangerously tour to the Mohegan Sun Arena. The show starts at 7:30 p.m., and tickets are $59-$89.

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Crafty People

The Old Saybrook Arts & Crafts Festival is one of New England’s longest-running art shows. More than 150 exhibitors, including painters, sculptors, pottery makers, woodworkers, photographers and more, will exhibit their work in the juried show July 28-29 on the Old Saybrook Town Green. Admission is free.

Friday Night Frights

A summertime Friday the 13th can be just as scary as Halloween. (Just ask that guy in the hockey mask. He’s standing right behind you.) To prove it, Fright Haven in Stratford is holding its first Friday the 13th Weekend July 13-15. Activities include the “Indoor Camp Crystal Lake Experience” and outdoor drive-in horror flicks. Tickets are $15-$30 per evening. 203-799-3328

For more events around the state, check out our calendar page.