Fairfield County, Connecticut
Infobox U.S. County
county = Fairfield County
state = Connecticut
map size = 250
founded = 1666
seat = none; since 1960 Connecticut counties no longer have a county government Fairfield (1666-1853) Bridgeport (1853-1960)
area_total_sq_mi = 837
area_land_sq_mi = 626
area_water_sq_mi = 211
area percentage = 25.23%
census yr = 2000
pop = 882567
density_km2 = 545
largest city wl = Bridgeport
Named after the extremely large area of salt-marshes and swamps both on the coast and inland, Fairfield County is located in the southwestern corner of the
U.S. stateof Connecticut. Its population according to the 2000 census was 882,567, but a 2006 survey put the population at 905,000. It is the most populous county in the State of Connecticut.
It is one of the
highest-income counties in the United States,Fairfield was ranked 6th by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. See cite web|url=http://www.bea.gov/regional/reis/drill.cfm?table=CA1-3&catable=CA1-3&lc=30&years=2005&rformat=display&areatype=LOCAL&sort=1|title=BEA : CA1-3 - Per capita personal income|accessdate=2008-09-23] and home to wealthy New York City metropolitan suburbs such as Greenwich, Darien, Westport, Fairfield, Weston, Ridgefield, Wilton and New Canaan.See the listings for municipalities at the Highest-income places in the United Statesas well as the U.S. Census Bureau statistics at cite web|url=http://censtats.census.gov/pub/Profiles.shtml|title=Census 2000 Demographic Profiles|accessdate=2008-09-23] In addition to its wealthy communities, Fairfield County is home to many lower-middle and working class-cities. Bridgeport, Danbury, and Norwalk, as well as other larger communities are more densely populated and economically diverse than the affluent areas for which the county is better known.
The towns in Fairfield County bordering
Long Island Soundare sometimes referred to as The Gold Coast.cite journal |title=Connecticut's Gold CoastIs Shining |journal=The Connecticut Economic Digest |volume=3 |issue=3 |date=1998-03 |publisher=Connecticut Department of Labor & the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development |url=http://www.ct.gov/ecd/lib/ecd/ct_digest/1998/cedmar98.pdf]
The county's largest cities are Bridgeport, Stamford, Norwalk, and Danbury. Together these cities contain about 420,000 people; almost half the population of the county.
As is the case with all eight of Connecticut's counties, there is no county government, and no county seat. In Connecticut, towns are responsible for all local government activities, including fire and rescue, schools, and snow removal; in a few cases, neighboring towns will share certain resources. Fairfield County is merely a group of towns on a map. The county also had a Sheriff's Department until November 2000 when the office of County Sheriff in
Connecticutcounties was eliminated. Following that, in December 2000, all Deputy Sheriffs were transferred to Connecticut State Judicial Marshals.
Government and municipal services
As of 1960, counties in Connecticut do not have any associated
county governmentstructure. All municipal services are provided by the towns. In order to address issues concerning more than one town, several regional agencies that help coordinate the towns for infrastructure, land use, and economic development concerns have been established. Within the geographical area of Fairfield County, the regional agencies are:
* [http://www.gbrpa.org/ Greater Bridgeport]
* [http://www.swrpa.org/ South Western]
* [http://www.valleycog.org/ The Valley] (partly in New Haven County)
* [http://www.hvceo.org/ Housatonic Valley] (partly in Litchfield County)
Law enforcement within the geographic area of the county is provided by the respective town police departments. In the less dense areas, such as Sherman, law enforcement is primarily provided by the
Connecticut State Police. Prior to 2000, a County Sheriff's Department existed for the purpose of executing judicial warrants, prisoner transport, court security, Bailiff, and county and state executions. These responsibilities have now been taken over by the Connecticut State Marshal System.
The geographic area of the county is served by the three separate judicial districts: Danbury, Stamford-Norwalk, and Fairfield. Each judicial district has a superior court located, respectively, in Danbury, Stamford, and Bridgeport.
Fire protection in the county is provided by the towns. Several towns also have fire districts that provide services to a section of the town.
Education in the county is usually provided by the town governments. The exceptions are the towns of Redding and Easton, which joined together to form a regional school district (Region 9).
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 837 square miles (2,168 km²), of which, 626 square miles (1,621 km²) of it is land and 211 square miles (547 km²) of it (25.23%) is water.
The terrain of the county trends from flat near the coast to hilly and higher near its northern extremity. The highest elevation is 1,290 feet (393 m) above sea level along the
New Yorkstate line south of Branch Hill in the Town of Sherman; the lowest point is sea level itself.
Except for the Town of Sherman (860), all of Fairfield County is in
area code 203. (In the near future, area code 475is planned to overlay203.)
Centre = Fairfield County, Connecticut
Litchfield County, Connecticut
New Haven County, Connecticut
Long Island Sound
Westchester County, New York
Putnam County, New York
Dutchess County, New York
Stewart B. McKinney National Wildlife Refuge(part)
Weir Farm National Historic Site
Fairfield County was the home of many small, unconnected Native American tribes prior to the coming of the Europeans. From east to west the
Wappani sachemships included the Paugussetts, Tankiteke, and the Siwanoy. There were also Paquioque and Potatuckinhabitants of Fairfield County. The Dutch explorer Adriaen Blockexplored coastal Connecticut in the Spring and early Summer of 1614 in the North American built vessel " Onrust". The first European settlers of the county, however, were Puritans and Congregationalistsfrom England. Roger Ludlow(1590-1664), one of the founders of the Colony of Connecticut, helped to purchase and charter the towns of Fairfield (1639) and Norwalk (purchased 1640, charted as a town in 1651). Ludlow is credited as having chosen the name Fairfield. The town of Stratford was settled in 1639 as well by Adam Blakeman(1596-1665). William Beardsley(1605-1661) was also one of the first settlers of Stratford in 1639.
Fairfield County was established by an act of the Connecticut General Court in Hartford along with Hartford County, New Haven County, and New London County; which were the first four Connecticut counties, on May 10, 1666. From transcriptions of the Connecticut Colonial Records for that day::This Court orders that from the east bounds of Stratford:to ye bounds of Rye shalbe for future one County wch:shalbe called the County of Fairfield. And it is ordered:that the County Court shalbe held at Fairfield on the second:Tuesday in March and the first Teusday of November:yearely. ("sic")cite web |url=http://www.colonialct.uconn.edu/ViewPageBySequentialID.cfm?v=02&p=39&c=4&StartVolume=1&StartPage=1 |title=CCR: Volume 02, Page 39 |accessdate=2008-06-17]
Some other early county inhabitants included:
*Joseph Hawley (born 1603 in England; died 1690), who had emigrated to America in 1629 and then settled in Stratford in 1650, later becoming Stratford's first town clerk. Joseph Hawley's son Ephraim built the
Ephraim Hawley Housein 1683 in Trumbull that is still standing and serves as a private residence.
*Thomas Fitch (c. 1700-1774), from Norwalk, was a governor of the Colony of Connecticut.
Gold Selleck Silliman(1732-1790) of the town of Fairfield fought for the Americans during the American Revolutionary Warand rose to the rank of Brigadier Generalby 1776. He fought in the New York campaign that year.
During the Revolutionary War, Connecticut's prodigious agricultural output led to it being known informally as "the Provisions State".cite web |url=http://www.sots.ct.gov/sots/cwp/view.asp?A=3188&QUESTION_ID=392608 |title=SOTS: Sites, Seals & Symbols |publisher=State of Connecticut Secretary of the State |accessdate=2008-06-12] In the spring of 1777, the British
Commander-in-Chief, North America General William Howe, in New York City, ordered William Tryonto interrupt the flow of supplies from Connecticut that were reaching the Continental Army. Tryon and Henry Duncan led a fleet of 26 ships carrying 2,000 men to Westport's Compo Beach to raid Continental Army supply depots in Danbury on April 22, 1777. American Major General David Wooster(1710–1777), who was born in Stratford,was in charge of the stores at Danbury and defended them with a force of only 700 troops. Sybil Ludingtonhelped rally New York militia to aid in the defense of Danbury. The New York militia included Sybil's father Colonel Henry Ludington. Though they arrived too late to save Danbury from burning, the elder Ludington and the New York militia helped support the Danbury troops and ensuing engagement of the British known as the Battle of Ridgefieldon April 27 1777. Wooster was wounded at Ridgefield and died five days later in Danbury.
Two years later during a British raid on Greenwich on February 26, 1779
General Israel Putnam, who had stayed at Knapp's Tavern the previous night, rode away on his horse to warn the people of Stamford. Putnam was shot at by the British raiders but was able to escape. The hat he was wearing with a musket ballhole in it is on display at Knapp's Tavern in Greenwich (which is commonly, albeit somewhaterroneously, called Putnam's cottage).cite web |url=http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~ctfairfi/pages/greenwich/greenwich_hstry.htm |title=Greenwich Connecticut History |accessdate=2008-06-15] In the summer of 1779, General William Tryon sought to punish Americans by attacking civilian targets in coastal Connecticut with a force of about 2,600 British troops. New Haven was raided on July 5th, Fairfield was raided on the 7th and burned. Norwalk was raided on July 10th and burned on the 11th. Norwalk militia leader Captian Stephen Betts put up resistance to the invaders, but was overwhelmed by the powerful British raiders and was forced to retreat. David Sherman Boardman(1786-1864) was a prominent early lawyer and judge in this and neighboring Litchfield County.
On October 7, 1801 Neremiah Dodge and other members of the Danbury Baptist Association wrote a letter to then president
Thomas Jeffersonexpressing their concern that as Baptists they may not be able to express full religious liberty in the state of Connecticut whose "ancient charter" was adopted before the establishment of a Baptistchurch in the state. Jefferson replied in a letter to Dodge and the other members of the Danbury church on January 1, 1802 in which he thought that there was "a wall of separation between church and State"that protected them. [, January 1, 1802] This well-known phrase occurs in Jefferson's letter to the Danbury church members and not in the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, nor in later amendments.
Although it is often viewed as an extension of metro-New York City, Fairfield County has had much industry in its own right.
Bridgeport Machines, Inc., a milling machine manufacturer, was founded in Bridgeport in 1938. Stamford, Connecticut is an example of edge city urbanization, with many large and important companies having offices there and benefitting from proximity to New York.
At the height of its influence in the 1920s, the
Ku Klux Klanhad a distinct presence in the county and county politics. The group was most active in Darien.DiGiovanni, the Rev. (now Monsignor) Stephen M., "The Catholic Church in Fairfield County: 1666-1961," 1987, William Mulvey Inc., New Canaan, Chapter II: The New Catholic Immigrants, 1880-1930; subchapter: "The True American: White, Protestant, Non-Alcoholic," pp. 81-82; DiGiovanni, in turn, cites (Footnote 209, page 258) Jackson, Kenneth T., "The Ku Klux Klan in the City, 1915-1930 (New York, 1981), p. 239] The Klan has since disappeared from the county.
Fairfield County, along with all other Connecticut counties, was abolished as a county in accord with state legislation that took effect October 1, 1960.cite web |url=http://www.ct.gov/sots/cwp/view.asp?a=3188&q=392376 |title=SOTS: Section VI - Counties - Table of Contents |publisher=State of Connecticut, Secretary of the State |accessdate=2008-06-16]
Fairfield County has leaned slightly Democratic since 1992 when
George H.W. Bushwon a majority in the county. During the 2004 Presidential Election voters favored John Kerryover George W. Bushby a 51.4% to 47.3% margin. Liberals hold firm majorities in Danbury, Bridgeport, Stratford, Norwalk, Stamford and the affluent town of Westport. Greenwich, Darien, New Canaan, Shelton, and Wilton have long been Republican strongholds in the county.
Several minor league teams make up Fairfield County including the Bridgeport Bluefish in baseball's Independent Atlantic League and the
Bridgeport Sound Tigerswho are the New York Islanders American Hockey Leagueaffiliate.
Professionally almost everyone in Fairfield County root for New York teams (
New York Yankees, New York Mets, New York Giants, New York Islanders, New York Rangers, New York Knicks, New York Jets) with the county's proximity to New York City.Fact|date=September 2008
Cities, towns, sections of towns and villages
"Note: Villages are named localities within towns, but have no separate corporate existence from the towns they are in."columns |colwidth=18em
*Bridgeport (city, former county seat)
**"South End/Seaside Park"
*New Canaan (town)
*New Fairfield (town)
**"Newtown (incorporated borough)
**"Turn of River"
With the county's major thoroughfares, Interstate 95 and the Merritt Parkway, increasingly clogged with traffic, state officials are looking toward mass transit to ease the traffic burden. In the 2005 and 2006 sessions of the Legislature, massive appropriations were made to buy more rail cars for the Metro-North New Haven Line and branch lines. The [http://www.bpjferry.com/ Bridgeport–Port Jefferson Ferry] carries passengers and cars from Bridgeport to
Port Jefferson, New Yorkacross Long Island Sound. Ferry lines for some commuters in and out of Stamford are also in development.
New office buildings are being concentrated near railroad stations in Stamford, Bridgeport and other municipalities in the county to allow for more rail commuting. Proximity to Stamford's Metro-North train station was cited by the
Royal Bank of Scotlandas a key reason for locating its new U.S. headquarters building in downtown Stamford; construction on the office tower started in late 2006.
Commuter Rail is perhaps Fairfield County's most important transportation artery, as it allows many of its affluent residents an efficient ride to
Grand Central Terminalin New York City. Service is provided on Metro-North's New Haven Line, and every town on the shoreline has at least one station. Connecting lines bring service to New Canaan from Stamford on the New Canaan Branch, and to Danbury from South Norwalk on the Danbury Branch. Many trains run express from New York to Stamford, making it an easy 35 minute ride. Stamford and Bridgeport are also served by Amtrak, and both cities see a significant number of boardings on the "Regional Northeast Route" (Boston to Newport News, VA). This route also serves other Amtrak stations in Connecticut, including New Haven, New London, and Mystic.
Connecticut Transit's Stamford division runs local and inter-city buses to many parts of the county.cite web |url=http://www.cttransit.com/ |title=CTTransit - Connecting the Community |accessdate=2008-06-10] The Norwalk Transit Districtserves the Norwalk area in the southern central portion of the county; the Greater Bridgeport Transit Authorityserves Bridgeport and eastern Fairfield County; and the Housatonic Area Regional Transitagency serves Danbury and the northern portions of the county.
Within Fairfield County there is the
Igor I. Sikorsky Memorial Airportin Stratford as well as the Danbury Municipal Airportin Danbury.
Traffic is widely seen as one of the most significant problems in Fairfield County.
Boston Post Road
U.S. 1, is known by various names along its length, most commonly "
Boston Post Road" or simply "Post Road", is the oldest east-west route in the county, running through all of its shoreline cities and towns. Since the route runs along the East Coast, for uniformity's sake, in Connecticut, U.S. 1 east is officially designated "North" and west is officially "South".
The street names that Route 1 takes as it goes from town to town may be potentially confusing. In Greenwich, for instance, it is called Putnam Avenue. In Stamford it becomes Main Street or Tresser Boulevard. In Darien and Fairfield it is called Boston Post Road or "the Post Road". In Norwalk it is known as Connecticut Avenue in the western part of the city and Westport Avenue in the east. In Bridgeport it follows Fairfield Avenue in the west (Black Rock neighborhood) and as Boston Avenue in the east of the city.
The western portions of
Interstate 95 in Connecticutare known as the Connecticut Turnpikeor the Governor John Davis Lodge Turnpike in Fairfield County and it crosses the state approximately parallel to U.S. Route 1. The road is most commonly referred to as "I-95". The highway is six lanes (sometimes eight lanes) throughout the county. It was completed in 1958 and is often clogged with traffic particularly during morning and evening rush hours.
With the cost of land so high along the Gold Coast, state lawmakers say they don't consider widening the highway to be fiscally feasible, although occasional stretches between entrances and nearby exits are now sometimes connected with a fourth [http://www.fairfieldcountybusinessjournal.com/archive/011705/011705frop01.html "operational improvement"] lane (for instance, westbound between the Exit 10 interchange in Darien and Exit 8 in Stamford). Expect similar added lanes in Darien and elsewhere in the Fairfield County portion of the highway in the future, lawmakers and state Department of Transportation officials say.Fact|date=June 2008
Merritt Parkway, also known as "The Merritt" or Connecticut Route 15, is a truck-free scenic parkway that runs through the county parallel and generally several miles north of Interstate 95. Like I-95, the route typically slows down during rush hours, but rarely stops.
The interchange between the Merritt Parkway and Route 7 in Norwalk was completed around the year 2000. The project was held up in a lawsuit won by preservationists concerned about the historic Merritt Parkway bridges. It is now exit 39 off the Merritt, and exit 15 off I-95. The parkway is a
National Scenic Bywayand is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.cite web |url=http://www.nationalregisterofhistoricplaces.com/CT/Fairfield/districts.html |title=National Register of Historical Places - CONNECTICUT (CT), Fairfield County |publisher= National Park Serviceand United States Department of the Interior|accessdate=2008-06-24]
Interstate 84, which runs through Danbury, is scheduled to be widened to a six-lane highway at all points between Danbury and Waterbury. State officials say they hope the widening will not only benefit drivers regularly on the route but also entice some cars from the more crowded Interstate 95, which is roughly parallel to it. Heavier trucks are unlikely to use Interstate 84 more often, however, because the route is much hillier than I-95 according to a state Department of Transportation official.
U.S. Route 7
With its southern terminus at Interstate 95 in central Norwalk,
U.S. Route 7heads north through Wilton, Ridgefield, and Danbury to points north. In Danbury and almost all of Norwalk, the route is a highway (known as "Super 7" in the Danbury area or "The Connector" in Norwalk) but it becomes a four-lane road just south of the Wilton-Norwalk border and up to Danbury. There is significant opposition to making the route a limited access highway for the entire length by residents of Wilton and Ridgefield. As a compromise between freeway supporters and opponents, the Connecticut Department of Transportation is upgrading the existing 2-lane section to 4 lanes, with a median in some locations. The state is also bypassing the existing 2-lane Route 7 around Brookfield with a freeway, where town officials have long supported an expressway to divert traffic away from the town center.
Connecticut Route 8
Route 8 terminates in downtown Bridgeport from I-95 with Connecticut Route 25 and goes north. It splits from Connecticut Route 25 at the Bridgeport—Trumbull town line and continues north into southeastern Trumbull and Shelton, then beyond the county through some of "The Valley" towns of the Naugatuck River Valley to Waterbury and beyond. Construction of the route provided some impetus for the creation of office parks in Shelton and home construction there and in other parts of The Valley.
Connecticut Route 25
Route 25 Starts in downtown Bridgeport from I 95 with Route 8 and goes north. It splits from Connecticut Route 8 at the Bridgeport—Trumbull town line and continues into Trumbull. The limited access divided expressway ends in northern Trumbull, but Route 25 continues into Monroe, Newtown, and Brookfield.
As of the
censusGR|2 of 2000, there were 882,567 people, 324,232 households, and 228,259 families residing in the county. The population densitywas 1,410 people per square mile (545/km²). There were 339,466 housing units at an average density of 542 per square mile (209/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 79.31% White, 10.01% Black or African American, 0.20% Native American, 3.25% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 4.70% from other races, and 2.49% from two or more races. 11.88% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 17.6% were of Italian, 12.4% Irish, 6.5% German and 6.4% English ancestry according to Census 2000.
In 2005 70.9% of Fairfield County's population was Non-Hispanic whites. 10.7% of the population was African-Americans. Asians were 4.1% of the population. Latinos now constituted 14.0% of the population. [ [http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/09/09001.html Fairfield County QuickFacts from the US Census Bureau ] ]
As of 2000, 76.2% spoke English, 11.0% Spanish, 2.0% Portuguese, 1.7% Italian and 1.1% French as their first language. Some of the last group were Haitians, although other Haitians would identify Haitian creole as their first language.
There were 324,232 households out of which 34.20% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 55.50% were married couples living together, 11.50% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.60% were non-families. 24.00% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.40% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.67 and the average family size was 3.18.
In the county the population was spread out with 25.60% under the age of 18, 7.00% from 18 to 24, 30.90% from 25 to 44, 23.30% from 45 to 64, and 13.30% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females there were 93.40 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.60 males.
The median income for a household in the county was $65,249, and the median income for a family was $77,690. Males had a median income of $51,996 versus $37,108 for females. The
per capita incomefor the county was $38,350. About 5.00% of families and 6.90% of the population were below the poverty line, including 8.30% of those under age 18 and 6.60% of those age 65 or over.
A plot of recent population trends shows some slight increase:cite web |url=http://www.naco.org/Template.cfm?Section=Find_a_County&Template=/cffiles/counties/county.cfm&id=9001 |title=NACo Find a County |accessdate=2008-06-23]
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TextData= pos:(60,230) text:Fairfield County Population
Hospitals in the county
Historical U.S. Census Totals for Fairfield County, Connecticut
List of Mountains and Summits in Fairfield County, Connecticut
List of Registered Historic Places in Fairfield County, Connecticut
Major media in the county
*" [http://www.fairfieldcbj.com/ Fairfield County Business Journal] "
*"Fairfield County Weekly"'s [http://www.fairfieldweekly.com/ official website]
Daily newspapers covering the county
Published within the county
* [http://www.stamfordadvocate.com "The Advocate of Stamford" - STAMFORD edition] , published by Southern Connecticut Newspapers Inc., a subsidiary of the Tribune Company.
* [http://www.norwalkadvocate.com "The Advocate of Stamford" - NORWALK edition]
*" [http://www.connpost.com Connecticut Post] ", owned by Media General Group, published in Bridgeport.
*" [http://www.greenwichtime.com Greenwich Time] ", published by Southern Connecticut Newspapers Inc., a subsidiary of the Tribune Company.
*" [http://www.thehour.com The Hour of Norwalk] " (registration required), controlled by a trust under the ultimate authority of Norwalk Probate Court.
*" [http://www.newstimes.com The News-Times of Danbury] ", owned by Ottaway Newspapers, a subsidiary of Dow Jones.
Published outside the county
*" [http://www.courant.com/ The Hartford Courant] " (occasionally covers Fairfield County; owned by the Tribune Company).
*" [http://www.nydailynews.com New York Daily News] " (occasionally covers Fairfield County).
*" [http://www.nypost.com New York Post] " (occasionally covers Fairfield County)
*" [http://www.nytimes.com New York Times] " (occasionally covers Fairfield County).
panish language newspapers
*" [http://www.elsolnews.com/ El Sol News] ", countywide, based in Stamford.
*" [http://www.elcanillita.com/ El Canillita] ", distributed across southwestern Connecticut.
*" [http://www.plumalibrenews.com/ Pluma Libre] ", distributed across southwestern Connecticut.
Broadcast media and cable television
News 12 Connecticut has studios in Norwalk and covers Fairfield County as well as state wide news from Hartford [http://www.news12.com/CT http://www.news12.com/CT] .
Housatonic Community Collegein Bridgeport [http://www.hctc.commnet.edu/index.asp http://www.hctc.commnet.edu/index.asp]
University of Bridgeportin Bridgeport [http://www.bridgeport.edu/pages/1.asp http://www.bridgeport.edu/pages/1.asp]
University of ConnecticutStamford campus [http://www.stamford.uconn.edu/ http://www.stamford.uconn.edu/]
Fairfield Universityin Fairfield [http://www.fairfield.edu/ http://www.fairfield.edu/]
Norwalk Community College[http://www.ncc.commnet.edu/default.asp http://www.ncc.commnet.edu/default.asp]
* St. Vincent's College in Bridgeport [http://www.stvincentscollege.edu/ http://www.stvincentscollege.edu/]
Sacred Heart Universityin Fairfield [http://www.sacredheart.edu/ http://www.sacredheart.edu/]
Western Connecticut State Universityin Danbury [http://www.wcsu.edu/ http://www.wcsu.edu/]
Culture and the arts
Music: Orchestras in the county
* [http://www.bridgeportsymphony.org/ Greater Bridgeport Symphony] . Founded in 1945, its concerts are held at Klein Memorial Auditorium in Bridgeport. The orchestra offers a free outdoors pops concert in the summer at Fairfield University. [http://www.bridgeportsymphony.org/about_the_conductor.htm Gustav Meier] has been with the GBSO for 35 years.
* [http://www.ctgrandopera.org/ Connecticut Grand Opera] , a not-for-profit, professional opera company founded in 1993 and based in Stamford, where it performs at the Palace Theatre. On its web site, the CGO claims to offer "the most ambitious opera season of any company between New York and Boston."
* [http://www.danbury.org/musicctr/musgrps.htm Danbury Symphony Orchestra] . This orchestra does not have its own Web site and only part of a web page at the Danbury Music Center web site is devoted to it.
* [http://www.greenwichsym.org/ Greenwich Symphony Orchestra] . Begun in 1958 as the Greenwich Philharmonia, the orchestra has grown to 90 members who perform at the Dickerman Hollister Auditorium at Greenwich High School. It also performs a pops concert in the summer. David Gilbert has been music director and conductor since 1975.
* [http://www.norwalksymphony.org/ Norwalk Symphony Orchestra] . Its concerts take place in a graceful, large "Norwalk Concert Hall" auditorium of Norwalk City Hall. Founded in 1939, the NSO remained primarily a community orchestra of volunteers. In 1956, the
Norwalk Youth Symphonywas created, and younger musicians often were invited to be part of the orchestra. Diane Wittry has been music director and conductor since 2002. For the past eight years she has held the same title at the Allentown Symphony Orchestrain Pennsylvania.
* [http://www.ridgefieldsymphony.org/ Ridgefield Symphony Orchestra] Annually, the RSO presents four subscription concerts at the Anne S. Richardson Auditorium at Ridgefield High School, and two chamber music concerts at the Ridgefield Playhouse for the Performing Arts (only one is scheduled in the 2006-07 season), along with an annual "family concert" and performances in Ridgefield schools.
* [http://www.stamfordsymphony.org/ Stamford Symphony Orchestra] The SSO typically gives five pairs of classical concerts and three pops concerts a season at the 1,586-seat Palace Theatre. It also performs a concet for elementary school students and a family concert series.
Other music and arts events
*The [http://www.barnumfestival.com/ Barnum Festival] has been held in the Spring in Bridgeport since 1949 to raise money for charity.
*The [http://www.ctfilmfest.com/ Connecticut Film Festival] is held in the Spring in Danbury.
Fairfield County Freestyle Championshipsare generally held once a semester on the campus of Sacred Heart University. This event showcases the best freestyle dancers and rappers that live, work, or go to school in Fairfield County. The event is sponsored by the SHU Freestyle Club.
Gathering of the Vibesmusical event has been held in Bridgeport's Seaside Park in 1999, 2000, 2007, and again in 2008.
Norwalk Oyster Festivalis an annual fair in the city of Norwalk that features craft vendors and live music performances. The festival takes place on the first weekend after Labor Dayin Veterans Park, near Long Island Sound.
History and culture links
* [http://www.nationalregisterofhistoricplaces.com/CT/Fairfield/districts.html National Register of Historic Places listing for Fairfield Co., Connecticut]
* [http://www.coastalct.com/index.cfm Coastal Fairfield County Convention and Visitors Bureau] serves Stamford, Norwalk, Bridgeport, and Shelton and the towns of Greenwich, Darien, New Canaan, Wilton, Westport, Weston, Fairfield, Easton, Monroe, Stratford, and Trumbull.
* [http://www.litchfieldhills.com/app/about/index.jsp Northwest Connecticut Convention and Visitors Bureau] , serves Litchfield County and communities in northern Fairfield County. In Fairfield County it serves Ridgefield, Redding, Newtown, Bethel, Brookfield, Danbury, Sherman, and New Fairfield.
County business associations and institutions
* [http://www.sacia.org/ Business Council of Fairfield County]
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