Orange Holiday Festival…Gingerbread, Ice Sculpture and Olivia, Oh My!

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Dec 052021

Even with the new Omicron variant emerging in the US, nothing it seems, could stop Orange residents from coming out to enjoy a bit of traditional fun on Sunday afternoon.

The annual Holiday Festival and Tree Lighting, highlighted by the Lighted Tractor Parade drew a huge record crowd to the town center from 3 to 6 p.m.

Everyone honored the mask mandates for any indoor activities — Library, OVNA, Stone-Otis House, Academy Building and Model Railroad display and everyone gathered around the green for the spectacular Lighted Tractor Parade.

Santa arrived on a fire truck and the jolly old elf joined a young lady named Olivia in lighting the Christmas Tree!

We will let you know who won the Gingerbread House Contest and Candy guessing contest when we get the results.

In the meantime, stay safe, and have a wonderful holiday season!

(Check out Brian Smith’s guest column and our video of the parade)

Lighted Tractor Parade Steals The Show On Festival Night

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Dec 052021

The very creative “hay” Rudolph really wowed the crowd.

The lighted tractor parade stole the show at the Orange CT Holiday Festival on Dec. 5, 2021.

Once again, this year’s parade was a real crowd pleaser, with all of the participants giving everything they’ve got into creating amazing eye candy for the enthusiastic spectators.

Here is an unedited video of the first 7 minutes of the parade.

See if you can spot surprise guest “celebrity” Brian Smith** on one of the floats.

Bravo, Everyone! Thanks for the show!


**Hint: Brian is nearly as tall as his Frozen companion

Police Blotter: Orange Woman Charged With Assault

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Dec 022021

On Wednesday Dec. 1, officers responded to Chestnut Ridge Road on a dispute complaint at 8:15 p.m.

According to the report, investigation revealed that Ariana P. Holmes, 36, of Orange was involved in that dispute which turned physical. 

Subsequently, she was taken into custody and charged with disorderly conduct and third-degree assault. 

Holmes was released on a promise to appear in court Dec. 2.



Orange Police: Don’t Confront Criminals, Call The Police

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Nov 292021

On Saturday, November 24, 2021, just before 2 p.m., the owner of a home under construction on Skyview Road in Orange witnessed an unknown suspect in an orange ski mask enter her vehicle.
The vehicle had been left parked on the roadway, unlocked with the engine running, although the key fob was not present.
When the owner ran out of the home and yelled out to the suspect, he exited her vehicle with some items and entered a white Infinity Q50 bearing CT Reg AU92183 occupied by another unknown masked individual.
The Infinity was reported stolen out of Wethersfield. The complainant followed the vehicle onto Derby Avenue and while stopped at a traffic light, the driver of the Infinity opened the door, leaned out and pointed a handgun at her.
The complainant had called the police and was instructed to stop following the vehicle for her own safety as it entered Route 15.

Police Offer Advice

~ PLEASE, PLEASE, turn off the ignition and always lock your vehicles when not occupied.
~ Do not leave purses or other valuables visible in vehicles, especially as we enter the holiday season.
~ Report all suspicious activity and vehicles in your neighborhood to the police.
~ Do not confront these thieves as we are finding that they tend to be armed and unpredictable.

Police Blotter: Pre-Holiday Shoplifting Arrest

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Nov 242021

Orange Police were dispatched to the Target store at 25 Boston Post Road on a shoplifting complaint on Sunday, Nov. 21 at 3:35 p.m.

Investigation revealed that Anthony D. King, 47, of West Haven took $543 worth of merchandise without paying for it.  Subsequently, he was taken into custody and charged with fifth-degree larceny and first-degree criminal trespass. 

King was held on a $2,500 bond and received a court date of Nov. 22.




Marijuana Is Legal In CT Now, But Not Like This

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Nov 182021

Shortly after 5:00 am this morning, Thursday, Nov. 18, employees of a local school bus company arrived for work to find a suspicious vehicle parked in the bus yard.

According to the Orange Police Department, the employees alerted police who responded and found the car unlocked with the keys, cash, and a wallet inside.  Officers checked the wallet for identification and noticed a large bag of marijuana inside the car.
When the officers checked the area for the driver they found the vehicle’s owner, Brendan O’Connor, 55, of Milford asleep inside one of the school busses.
O’Connor was taken into custody and his car was seized for this investigation.  A search warrant was obtained and a total of about  11½ pounds of marijuana, packaging materials, scales, and cash were seized from O’Connor’s Toyota Avalon.
O’Connor was held on a $25,000 bond and was arraigned in Superior Court in Derby this morning on the charges of: operating a drug factory, sale of more than 1kg of cannabis, and third-degree criminal trespass.

Veterans Day 2021, We Salute You!

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Nov 132021

On Thursday, Nov. 11 at 11:11 a.m. the American Legion hosted the town’s Veterans Day Ceremony at the Veteran’s Walkway.

The sun shone down on the special guests, embracing them in warmth throughout the event.

Dozens of residents came to High Plains Community Center to honor the veterans. Most lingered after the conclusion of the event to read the names on the memorial bricks or chat with old friends.

Feeling appreciated

Several of the vets had gone to the special drive-thru Veterans Day event at Race Brook School earlier in the morning.

Army Veteran Kevin Gilbert’s eyes welled up as he expressed his appreciation to the Race Brook students and the School’s Veterans Day Committee for giving them such a memorable day.

“Everyone was lined up along the driveway, and it was so nice to see the kids waving flags and hearing everyone cheering,” he said. “They gave each of us a nice goodie bag and a Dunkin Donuts gift card, but the love they showed meant so much.”




Not Even Thanksgiving Yet, But Never Too Early For Santa’s Helper

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Oct 272021

For the first 25 years of Santa’s Helper Elf Mama Annie Davis worked hand-in-hand with me on publicizing the annual fundraising event that benefits the Orange Volunteer Fire Department.
Annie passed away in September 2019 and things have changed. Covid even forced the cancelation of the event last year. But I found this information on Facebook and decided to share it with all of you in Annie’s honor so you wouldn’t miss out.
From the OVFD Auxiliary:
The Santa Teams at the Orange Volunteer Fire Department and Auxiliary are busy getting ready to deliver gifts, smiles, and cheer to many families in Orange. Saturday, December 18th 2021, Santa will arrive between 2:00 PM and 8:00 PM.
You can pre-register for Santa’s Helper online until November 14th.
Gift drop-off day is Saturday November 20th and is open to all homes in Orange. We are more than halfway to our capacity of 160 houses for delivery, so if you want to make sure to be part of this festive tradition, pre-register today!
Santa’s Helper is a wonderful, exciting and memorable fund-raising event with all of the proceeds going to the Orange Volunteer Fire Department towards life-saving equipment and training. Santa’s Helper has become a tradition both within the Fire Department and community alike over the past 27 years, and we are excited to be bringing Santa back this year!
Each year, our 6 Santa’s Helper Teams are excited to visit and deliver gifts, take photos and help make lasting memories and traditions for every family. Children and adults look forward to seeing the fire trucks with lights and sirens coming down their street to their front door, with Santa leading the way!


GIFT DROP-OFF DAY: Saturday, November 20th, 2021, 12:00 PM – 3:00 PM at Fire Station #2, 355 Boston Post Road. We ask that you DO NOT arrive earlier.
This year we will be doing a drive-thru drop-off in the bays; you will get in line at the back of the fire house entering from Lambert Road, you will drive into the bay and stay in your car. Have your gifts ready to go in your back seat or trunk. We will take your information and payment, and grab the gifts out of your car.
ALSO NEW THIS YEAR: We are asking participants that HAVE NOT pre-registered (more information below) to please bring a 3×5 card (or similar) with the following information:
1 – your name (adult at residence night of delivery)
2 – address for delivery day (must be in Orange, CT)
3 – phone number
4 – email address
5 – number of kids participating/total number of gifts
6 – if you are a previous participant or new
This will help minimize direct contact so we can social distance as much as possible, to keep everyone safe and healthy.
GIFT RULES AND INFORMATION: There is a cost of $20 per gift/recipient. Each gift must be INDIVIDUALLY wrapped in your favorite holiday paper with an overwrap of plain brown paper. The name and delivery address of the recipient must be clearly printed on the outside of each gift on the brown paper.
Santa has a lot of gifts to deliver, so we are unable to accommodate gifts too large or too heavy, Santa especially appreciates that. You should have all the gifts for your visit with you on Gift Drop-Off Day.
Please contact us ahead of time at OVFDSantasHelper@gmail.com for special directions if you have a large party, a large amount of gifts, or have multiple families dropping off for the same address.
PRE-REGISTRATION (optional): If you would like to pre-register, please fill out the form at https://forms.gle/g6EATYLz1JfFtjHfA. This will make gift drop-off easier and quicker for all involved. You can even pre-pay so all you need to do is drop off your gifts that day, all the paperwork will be filled out before you get there!
Pre-Registration will be open through November 14th (or until our limit of 160 homes has been reached), you will still be able to sign-up on Gift Drop-Off Day
if you miss this deadline as long as we have not reached our limit. *Please note, you still need to attend Gift Drop-Off Day with your gifts to finalize the process.
Due to COVID, we may need to include extra safety measures to keep everyone safe, we will know specifics as it gets closer and as we watch the progression.
These measures will be communicated ahead of time and must be followed for us to be able to deliver gifts to your house. We only want to spread holiday cheer and joy, not germs and viruses.
Please note we have a limit of 160 homes Santa can visit this year, so pre-registration is highly encouraged.
Any questions, please reach out to OVFDSantasHelper@gmail.com
More information also available on our Facebook page at facebook.com/OVFDAuxiliary or our website at orangevfd.org/santas-helper
*E-mailing Santa’s Helper does not guarantee you a spot on the delivery route. Sign-up is on Gift Drop-Off day and it is on a first come-first serve basis.

Come Enjoy The Sights At The Second Annual Pumpkin Blaze

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Oct 272021

(file photo)

The Orange Volunteer Fire Department and Auxiliary are sponsoring the second Annual Orange Pumpkin Blaze, a Pumpkin Carving/ Decorating contest at Fire Station #1, 625 Orange Center Road, next to Town Hall this week.

We received the information too late to allow you time to prepare a submission this year, but we suggest that you come by and walk through the display at the firehouse tonight, Oct. 27 and tomorrow, Oct. 28 from 6 to 8 p.m. and enjoy everyone else’s hard work.


Crime In Amity, One Town Over

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Oct 262021

The Woodbridge Police Department recently arrested a 15-year-old juvenile from New Haven in connection with a December 2020 robbery.

After a lengthy multi-jurisdictional investigation, Woodbridge Police Detectives secured an arrest warrant for one of the parties responsible for the strong-arm robbery of an elderly woman, which occurred in the parking lot of a local medical complex.

During that incident, a pocketbook and personal belongings were forcibly stolen from the 82-year-old victim.

Area detectives’ investigations revealed that the parties responsible for this incident were also responsible for numerous robberies in the greater New Haven area during the beginning of December 2020.

The juvenile, who is currently in Department of Corrections custody, was charged with conspiracy to commit third-degree robbery, conspiracy to commit sixth-degree larceny, driving a motor vehicle without a lLicense.

After processing, the juvenile was arraigned at New Haven Juvenile Court and turned back over to the Department of Corrections.