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Sailing Ships, Shakespeare, and the Circus is Coming to Town!

This Week in New London, July 27-Aug. 2

A flotilla of sailboats from the New York Yacht Club will be riding the wind into New London Harbor this weekend for a regatta off the coast and dinner at New London’s Coast Guard Academy. The 155th NYYC Annual Cruise in southern New England starts in New London, with a fleet of 100 sail and power boats, which will moor at the USCGA or berth downtown behind the Custom House Pier from July 29-31. If you miss them coming, catch them going; the weekend ends with a Sunday morning Parade of Sail down the Thames River, starting at about 9 a.m.

That’s one of the big events highlighted by New London Main Street this week, but there’s plenty of action on land too, because on July 30, the circus is coming to town! The Nimble Circus Troupe from Vermont was such a hit last year that they’re returning again, with two (FREE!) shows at 4 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. at the Parade Plaza. There’ll be trapeze and acrobatics, (the company was founded by award-winning aerialists Elsie & Serenity Smith, formerly of Cirque du Soleil), and, of course, they’ll be clowns and juggling. If you want to get in on the act, there’ll be a juggling workshop from 2 to 3 p.m., although space will be limited for the $15 workshop, so call (860) 447-2501 to reserve a space.

The Parade Plaza is positively hopping this week, with musical performances and a farmer’s market. The Field of Greens New London Farmers Market opens for the first time on the Plaza on Friday, July 29, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Stop by for lunch and let Silver Hammer, a rock and roll band made up of six young, talented musicians, entertain you with covers and original music starting at 12:30 p.m. Come back to the Plaza this evening at 7 p.m. for a free performance by the Grammy-winning Roomful of Blues. If you haven’t seen this tight, joyful, and positively grooving band before, don’t miss this chance!

In honor of the New York Yacht Club’s arrival, July 29 is also Art Night in New London. The city’s many art galleries will open their doors late to welcome art lovers strolling downtown. Participating galleries include the Gallery at Firehouse Square, which has a nautical theme that’s bound to appeal to Yacht Club members, , , , and Art Park, , , Gallery, and more.

If you’re more into architecture than art and are curious about New London’s rich history, there’s another stroll you might want to check out. City Historian Sally Ryan is leading a walking tour of New London on July 30, starting at 10 a.m. at the on Bank Street. The $15 tour includes a copy of the book, “Pride of Place: State Street, New London.”

Longing to feel a cool ocean breeze? There’s a lot happening down at Ocean Beach Park this week, starting with a Sock Hop and DJ Bill Rinoski on Thursday, July 28, from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. The really big event on Friday, July 29, is the Annual Costume or Silly Hat Parade led by Grand Marshall Tony Pero, starting at 7:30 p.m. There will be treat bags for all participating children, plus magical entertainment from illusionist David Garrity and fireworks to make sure the evening ends with a bang!

Prefer a little culture with your picnic? Flock Theatre is presenting King Lear at Connecticut College Arboretum at 7 p.m. July 28-31, so bring a picnic, a blanket, bug spray and $10 for admission, and relax and enjoy a little Shakespeare under the stars!

Calling all dance crews! New London High School will be the site of the SUNTN 2 DO dance competition and after party, from 6 p.m. ‘til midnight, on Saturday, July 28. They’re looking to have about 20 to 25 dance crews sign up (for $10 per team) to compete for cash prizes, so if you’ve got skill, this is the place to show it. If you just want to show up for the after party, the price of admission is $10 ($5 if you go to the show).

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