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Lantern Tours Shine Light On Mysteries At Ridgefield's Keeler Tavern Museum

Cast members for the Lantern Light Tours at the Keeler Tavern Museum include, from left, Mark Blandford, Paula Curry, Hilary Micalizzi, Lucy Basile, Sarah Blandford and Dillon Purdy with lantern.
Cast members for the Lantern Light Tours at the Keeler Tavern Museum include, from left, Mark Blandford, Paula Curry, Hilary Micalizzi, Lucy Basile, Sarah Blandford and Dillon Purdy with lantern. Photo Credit: Contributed
Hildegard Grob is the executive director of the Keeler Tavern Museum in Ridgefield, whose history in town dates back to the early 1700s.
Hildegard Grob is the executive director of the Keeler Tavern Museum in Ridgefield, whose history in town dates back to the early 1700s. Photo Credit: Tom Renner

RIDGEFIELD, Conn. — Visitors can expect the unexpected at the Keeler Tavern Museum in RIdgefield as a troupe of actors prepares for two

nights of Lantern Light Tours on Halloween weekend.

On Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 29 and 30, from 6 to 8 p.m., visitors will be able to look in on those who passed through the Tavern's doors on Ridgefield's very own Main Street for hundreds of years.

Though Lantern Light Tours have been favorites for years, this event promises to be very different.

According to Suzanne Scoville, the creative force behind this year’s production, the goal is to give visitors a fresh experience by bringing immersive, improvisational theater inside the walls of the Keeler Tavern Museum.

“Lantern Light Tours are perfect for the weekend of All Hallows' Eve, when — as legend has it — the veil lifts between the worlds of the living and the dead," Scoville said. "What happened that we did not know about? Were there secret meetings about the Whiskey Rebellion? Who was that Civil War fugitive with a price on his head? Just how did Julia Gilbert entertain?

"Who knows, but over 300 years, many significant things surely took place within these walls."

For 50 years, the Keeler Tavern Museum has kept history alive and the buildings on the campus have stood witness to American history for three centuries.

"This production of Lantern Light Tours is an opportunity to imagine the lives of those who dined, laughed, argued and lived on this treasured property," Scoville said. "You might even see ghosts returning to complete unfinished business!”

“We are looking forward with great anticipation to this new rendition of Lantern Light Tours,” says KTM Executive Director Hildi Grob. “It promises to be a fabulous experience - unlike anything seen here before - and we’re hoping for a sell-out event. You can feel the vibe as we strive to make history exciting.”

To present historically evocative vignettes, Scoville has enlisted friends from professional theater and mixed them with local talent for a large, varied cast. She has also created numerous candlelit sets evoking the décor, dress and atmosphere of different time periods.

Guided by gypsies, visitors will meander through these vignettes exploring the campus on a 45-minute tour that moves from the Tavern to the Garden House to the Sunken Garden and ends in the Carriage Barn, the setting of this year’s family-friendly Speakeasy. At each location, visitors will experience the spirits of Ridgefield’s past.

The Speakeasy will offer light refreshments for adults and fun Halloween treats for kids.

This is a timed event with tours departing every 10 minutes. Time slots will be assigned on a first-come basis. Parking is at 152 Main St. or across the street at the First Congregational Church at West Lane and Main Street.

Online registration for this limited-capacity event is available at keelertavernmuseum.org . Tickets are $20 for adults. Children under age 18 are free with an accompanying adult.

Keeler Tavern Museum is located at 132 Main Street in Ridgefield. For details, visit keelertavernmuseum.org or call 203-438- 5485.

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