At this year’s Old Lyme Midsummer Festival, visitors can visit the Studio 80+ Sculpture Garden on Lyme Street in Old Lyme.
After a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic, the Old Lyme Midsummer Festival returns this year on Saturday 30th July. The traditional kickoff lawn concert at the Florence Griswold Museum welcomes the Mighty Soul Drivers on Friday evening July 29th.
A shopper views artwork during the 2019 incarnation of the Old Lyme Midsummer Festival which has not been held for the past two years due to COVID.
With art sales, children’s activities, live music, a vintage car show and an author talk by Luanne Rice, the festival will cater to all interests.
Friday 29th July
A free lawn concert at the Florence Griswold Museum (96 Lyme St.) will be held from 7pm to 9pm. The Mighty Soul Drivers bring classic soul from Memphis, Muscle Shoals and south to Old Lyme. Concert-goers are strongly encouraged to bring beach chairs or blankets to enjoy the evening overlooking the Lieutenant River.
The museum will be hosting an open house and Museum Shop Super Sale from 5pm to 7pm
Saturday July 30th
The Saturday Festival kicks off with the LYSB 5K Run/Walk and Kids K. Pre-registration is available on LYSB.org or on-site on the morning of the race from 6:45am for the 8am run. The 5K meanders through historic Old Lyme Village, while at 9:00am there is a Kids K on the Lyme-Old Lyme High School track.
The Lyme-Old Lyme Lions’ Club hosts its Classic Car Show, beginning at 9:00 am at 100 Lyme St. (home of the Connecticut Audubon Society’s Roger Tory Peterson Estuary Center). The show features antique, exotic, and hot rod vehicles from across the region. Participants can register their classic cars at lymeoldlymelionsclub.org for $20.
Participants can rate cars during this Lions Club fundraiser from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm for a fee of $5. The club will also operate its popular grill, which will serve burgers, hot dogs and fries.
The Midsummer Fence Artists hold their traditional art sale from 9am to 4pm on the lawn of the Old Lyme Inn (85 Lyme Street). Oil painters, pastelists, photographers and other artists display their “Parisian style” works on fences for sale. Art demonstrations take place during the Fence Artists Show. The Old Lyme Inn is open for lunch and dinner during the festival.
Art is also for sale by members of the Lyme Art Association (90 Lyme St.). Additionally, the Art Association will host several food vendors and local non-profit groups on their front yard, as well as their popular face cuts. The Kunstverein sells from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and its gallery is open until 5 p.m
The Lyme Academy of Fine Arts (84 Lyme St.) will be hosting their Alumni Art Show and Sale under the turf tent. During the sale, several alumni will offer cast drawing, plein air painting and portrait drawing demonstrations. The “barn for artistic youth” on the academy lawn offers arts and crafts for children. Several catering options are available on the lawn.
Live music returns on Saturday with Ramblin’ Dan Stevens and the Fiery Band at the Academy (84 Lyme St.) from 10:30am to 1pm. The band will play a mix of Americana, blues and originals at the free lawn concert. John Brown and the Back Porch Pickers entertain at the Academy from 1:30pm to 4:00pm. Brown and the band are known for their blend of traditional country, classic rock and heartfelt originals.
The Florence Griswold Museum will focus its activities on family fun with an expanded Hands-On/M!nds On event. Cultural organizations that promote appreciation of art, history, and nature offer family activities along the museum’s outdoor artist trail from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. The museum also offers free entry to its historic inn and stream exhibit, Dana Sherwood: Animal Appetites and Other Encounters in Wildness, on Saturdays from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. Several food trucks are also set up on the museum grounds, and the museum shop hosts the annual Super Sale.
Dogs with the best smiles, best costumes and best trick are always a crowd puller and accept the award at the Parade Paws Dog Show on the museum grounds (96 Lyme St.), hosted by Vista Life Innovation. Dog owners can register from 10:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. to take part in the entertaining show from 10:45 a.m. on the shady meadow.
Art lovers can also discover the hidden treasure of the Studio 80+ Sculpture Garden at 80-1 Lyme Street. As attendees walk down Driveway 80-1 and past the buildings, they enter the large sculptural installation by resident artist Gil Boro. From 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, attendees can visit the Boro Sculpture Garden as well as the Summer Sculpture Showcase, which features large-scale outdoor sculptures by artists from across the country.
New this year is an Author’s Talk with NYT bestselling author Luanne Rice on Saturday, July 30 at 3pm at the Old Lyme-Phoebe Griffin Noyes Library at 2 Library Lane. Luanne will talk about books, writing and the inspiration she finds in Old Lyme for her novels. Copies of her latest book The Shadow Box and other select titles will be available for purchase and autographing.
Attendees are encouraged to bring their own lawn chair or blanket for free general admission, or purchase a table seat and sausage box from OldLymeLibrary.org.
In addition, the library hosts a children’s activity, Wire Walking with Circus Moves, from 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Parents should pre-register for this event at OldLymeLibrary.org. The Friends of the Library antiquarian book store, Phoebe’s BookCellar, is open during regular Saturday hours from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm
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. The sale offers up to 80 percent discounts on table linen, cushions and other household goods.
Events are subject to change; Visit ExploreOldLyme.com/midsummer-festival for details and the Old Lyme Arts District Facebook page for updates. Parking is available at 5 Halls Road, 46 Halls Road (the Bowerbird), opposite Lyme Academy at 84 Lyme St. and in the High School/Middle School car parks at 69 Lyme St. A shuttle bus is available from 9:15am to 3:45pm to assist people moving to various locations along Lyme Street.