Old Lyme Midsummer Festival Set for July 30th – CT Examiner | Candle Made Easy

OLD LYME – After a two-year hiatus, the Midsummer Festival returns to Lyme Street on July 30 with live concerts, art sales, children’s activities, a vintage car show, food, an author talk with Luanne Rice and more.

“The festival has many different activities – there is something for everyone. A family could take their children to the Hands-On/M!nds On trail at the Florence Griswold Museum. People could go to the Classic Car Show or go to Lyme Academy for live music. You could start the day running if you’re a runner or a walker,” said Cheryl Poirier, a marketing volunteer at Old Lyme Arts District.

The traditional pre-festival concert, this year featuring the Mighty Soul Drivers, will take place on Friday 29 July from 7pm to 9pm on the lawn of the Florence Griswold Museum.

“The concert on the eve of the festival has always been a time when people reconnect with neighbors and friends they haven’t seen all summer,” said Poirier. “People bring beach chairs, blankets and a picnic lunch for a fun evening of live music.”

On Saturday the festival kicks off with the 5K Run/Walk at 8am and the Kids K at 9am sponsored by the Lyme Youth Service Bureau. Pre-registration for the 5K is available on LYSB.org or on Saturday from 6:45am

The Classic Car Show, hosted by the Lyme-Old Lyme Lions Club – featuring antique, exotic and hot rod vehicles from across the region – starts at 9am at 100 Lyme St, home of the Roger Tory Peterson Estuary Centre . For $20, attendees can register their classic cars either in advance at lymeoldlymelions.org or on Saturday. Visitors can rate cars for $5 from 9am to 1pm. The club will also operate its grill and serve burgers, hot dogs and fries.

“The festival is interspersed with art sales. So many people love to collect artist work and the city’s identity is tied to the Old Lyme Art Colony. It’s a great way to support today’s artists or to commemorate your holiday in Old Lyme,” said Poirier.

The Midsummer Fence Artists, a group of oil painters, pastelists, photographers and others, will be exhibiting their ‘Parisian style’ works for sale on fences from 9am to 4pm on the lawn of the Old Lyme Inn at 85 Lyme St. The Tue Show includes art demonstrations and the inn is open for lunch and dinner.

The more than a century old Lyme Art Association at 90 Lyme St. has a sale of its members’ art from 9am to 4pm and the gallery is open until 5pm. The association will also host several food vendors and local non-profit groups on its front yard along with its painted facial features.

The Lyme Academy of Fine Arts, 84 Lyme St., will host its Alumni Art Show and Sale under a turf tent where alumni will exhibit cast drawing, plein air painting and portrait drawing. The “barn for artistic youth” will provide children with crafts and food.

From 10:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., Ramblin’ Dan Stevens and the Fiery Band will perform a free lawn concert at the Academy, playing a mix of Americana, blues and originals – followed by John Brown and the Back Porch Pickers – performing a mix of traditional country, classic rock and originals – from 1:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m

The Florence Griswold Museum at 96 Lyme St focuses on art, history and nature at Hands-On/M!nds On and offers family activities along the museum’s outdoor artist trail from 10am to 3pm. Free admission will be available from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the museum’s historic boarding house and exhibit, Dana Sherwood: Animal Appetites and Other Encounters in Wildness. The museum shop also hosts its annual Super Sale and several food trucks are set up on the museum grounds.

The Parade Paws Dog Show takes place on the museum grounds at 10:45 am and is hosted by Vista Life Innovation. Dogs can register to participate from 10am to 10:30am with prizes for best smile, best costume and best trick.

Studio 80 Sculpture Grounds in Old Lyme (Sean Flynn)

The Studio 80+ Sculpture Garden at 80-1 Lyme St features a sculpture installation by resident artist Gil Boro. Open from 9am to 5pm, attendees can also visit the Summer Sculpture Showcase, which features large-scale outdoor sculptures by artists from across the country.

New this year is an author talk with New York Times bestselling author Luanne Rice at 3pm at the Old Lyme-Phoebe Griffin Library, 2 Library Lane.

“We are very lucky to have Luanne Rice – she is such a popular local author. This is her first time speaking and we look forward to her participation,” said Poirier.

Rice will talk about books, writing and the inspiration she finds in Old Lyme for her novels. Her latest book, The Shadow Box, and other titles will be available for purchase and autographs. Table seats that include a sausage box can be purchased for $50 at oldlymelibrary.org. For general free entry, attendees are asked to bring a deck chair or blanket.

The Old Lyme Library also hosts an activity for children, Wire Walking with Circus Moves, from 11am to 12pm. Parents should pre-register at oldlymelibrary.org. The Friends of the Library’s secondhand book store, Phoebe’s BookCellar, is also open from 9am to 1pm

The annual Patricia Spratt for the Home Midsummer Warehouse Sale is held at 60 Lyme Street on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 10am to 4pm, with up to 80 per cent off table linens, cushions and other homewares. The sale also includes clothes by Love Lilly and accessories by Ellen Raines Martin.

It’s the 35th year for the festival, which has been held annually since 1986 but not in 2020 and 2021 due to pandemic precautions, Poirier said.

“We’re just excited to bring the festival back after the two-year hiatus. It will be great to see everyone again,” she said.


Midsummer Festival is a production of the Old Lyme Arts District, a partnership of a dozen arts and culture organizations and businesses along Lyme Street. Festival sponsors include Pasta Vita, Essex Financial Services/Essex Savings Bank, Lymeline, Paul Burdick Oil Company, Old Lyme Marketplace, Caliber Computing and Zelek Electric.

Parking is available at 5 Halls Road, 46 Halls Road, 84 Lyme Street and in the High School/Middle School car park at 69 Lyme Street. A shuttle bus is available from 9:15 AM to 3:45 PM

We reserve the right to make changes to events.

Click here for festival information and visit the Old Lyme Arts District Facebook page for updates.

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