Satisfy your sweet tooth and more Saturday on the fifth annual Chocolate Tour through downtown Newburyport. The fundraiser for the American Red Cross of Northeast Massachusetts steps off from 1 to 5 p.m., featuring more than 20 vendors serving delectable treats.

Chocolate will come in all forms, from the chocolate fountain at Valentine's courtesy of Nanny's Candy in Salisbury to the chocolate martinis at Ruby Slipper to the chocolate tea at Licorice and Sloe Company to the Clara Barton chocolate transfusion ice cream, which was created especially for the annual tour by Gram's Ice Cream.

Other participating vendors are Ballotin Chocolates, Body Sense, Brass Lyon, Chameleon's, Coldwell Banker and Residential Brokerage, Flukes & Finds and Friends, Greta's Great Grains, Life is Good, Off the Wall, Pralines Bakeshop, Rocas, Richdale, Simply Sweet, Soufflés, Stella's of Middle Street, Talbots and the Wishbasket.

The addition of two shops in the Tannery — Ruby Slipper and Wishbasket — expands the reach of the tour in the downtown, said Christine Lambert, community support manager for the Red Cross.

"Retailers love this event," she said. "It brings the people inside. It brings people back."

The First Religious Society, Unitarian Universalist, 26 Pleasant St., will once again serve as home base for the tour. Ticket-holders will receive a pink chocolate tour package filled with treats and promotions from area businesses, coffee and water donated by the Red Cross' Blood Services division.

"Chocolate is like coffee and wine tasting," Lambert said. "You need to clear your palate."

Tickets at $15 are available in advance locally at Greenery Designs and Carriage Wheel Pub in Amesbury, Nanny's Candies and Skyy Salon & Spa (formerly Della) in Salisbury, Licorice and Sloe Company Teahouse in Newburyport. and American Red Cross office in Newburyport at 31 Green St., and will be sold at the Unitarian church the day of the tour, which takes place rain or shine.

Proceeds support Red Cross services. Call 978-462-8423.

International evening of improvised music

Bulgarian violinist Biliana Voutchkova and Armenian pianist Vardan Ovsepian pair their talents for a night of improvised music tomorrow at 8 at The Musical Suite in The Tannery, 50 Water St., Newburyport.

The program will showcase improvisations based on motifs from original creations by Voutchkova and Ovsepian as well as Armenian and Bulgarian folk songs....

Voutchkova has performed across the world, including in Tokyo, Granada as well as Weill Recital Hall at New York's Carnegie Hall. An active chamber musician, she is a member of Notariotous and Fluxsongs ensembles, concertmaster of the BOMP/Boston Modern Orchestra Project and cofounder of DUOKAYA. She is a strong believer and interpreter of modern music.

An Armenia-born pianist/composer, Ovsepian, who has studied in both Armenia and at Berklee College of Music in Boston, performs both solo as well as with other artists. In addition to teaching at The Musical Suite, he has performed and taught master classes throughout New England and beyond. A "Fresh Sound New Talent" recording artist, he has released four CDs with the Barcelona-based label.

Tickets for tomorrow's performance are $10, $5 for Musical Suite students.

'The Myth of Persephone' unfolds at Firehouse

Grumbling Gryphons Traveling Children's Theater presents "The Myth of Persephone: How the Seasons Came to Be" — an adaptation of the ancient Greek myth of Persephone and Demeter — on Saturday at the Firehouse Center for the Arts in Newburyport's Market Square. The visiting troupe will perform at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. as part of The Provident Firehouse Family Series.

The adaptation by company cofounders Leslie Elias and Vanessa Roe is designed for all ages, with audience participation an integral part. The story is told both through theater and music, and the characters are portrayed through the use of traditional Greek masks made by Robert Flannagan, one of the originators of "The Muppets."

The Grumbling Gryphons Theater will offer a free theater workshop Saturday morning at 9. It is open to the first 35 youngsters, ages 6 and up, who purchase tickets.. Those taking part in the workshop will be incorporated into both performances.

Tickets for the shows are $10 for adults and $8 for students. Call the Firehouse box office at 978-462-7336 or visit

Whale watch for Endangered Species Day

Celebrate Endangered Species Day with a whale watch aboard the M/V Prince of Whales out of Newburyport on Sunday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

In recognition of the importance of the Gulf of Maine to a number of endangered species, the Portsmouth, N.H.-based nonprofit organization Blue Ocean Society for Marine Conservation is hosting the event.

The trip, offered in conjunction with Newburyport Whale Watch, will head out into the Gulf of Maine in search of endangered species and others, including the fin whale, the second-largest animal on the planet; humpback whales, minke whales, and a variety of pelagic birds and fish.

It will feature commentary from the group's naturalists/research scientists and an opportunity to interact with its staff and volunteers. Bring cameras and binoculars.

The outing goes off rain or shine. The cost is $75, $60 for Blue Ocean Society members, and reservations are requested. Proceeds benefit the society's local research, education and conservation programs. Call 603-431-0260 or visit

Spring Kaleidoscope Quilt Show on tap

Angel Gabriel Quilters presents its Spring Kaleidoscope Quilt Show on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at People's United Methodist Church, 64 Purchase St., Newburyport.

In addition to the quilt exhibit, there will be hourly door prizes, vendors, a silent auction and a luncheon.

Admission is $5 for adults. and $4 for seniors and students. E-mail or

Value your collectibles at Appraisal Day

Two appraisers from Skinner in Boston, including Stuart Whitehurst of PBS' "Antiques Roadshow," will value antiques and collectibles at an Appraisal Day on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the library at St. Paul's Church, 166 High St., Newburyport.

Verbal appraisals of all collectibles except coins, stamps, jewelry and musical instruments will be available. Participants can register on arrival and will be given a number to keep their place in line. Large pieces can be evaluated using high-quality photographs.

The fee for appraisals is $10 for one item or $25 for three items. A bake sale, plant sale, grilled lunches, a string ensemble open rehearsal and other surprises are planned. Free coffee and doughnuts will be provided. Proceeds support St. Paul's Church. Call 978-465-5351.

'Guest Who's Coming to Dinner?' with the YWCA

Tables are being set for the YWCA Greater Newburyport's "Guest Who's Coming to Dinner?" fundraiser, a series of 11 intimate dinner parties in Newburyport homes with special guests on Saturday at 7 p.m.

Each dinner features a special guest who is a performing artist or a leader in the business, medical, civic, academic, science, sports or arts community. They include NECN news anchor Chet Curtis, author and TV host Keith Ablow, softball commissioner Beverly Wiley, independent filmmaker Lorre Fritchy, Rounder Records cofounders Marian Leighton Levy and Ken Irwin, Union of Concerned Scientists member Erica Spanger-Siegfried, Chinese art curator Bruce MacLaren, world travelers Caroline Bagenal and Scott Geron, Grammy Award-winning blues musician Scott Billington, baseball salary arbitrator Elizabeth Neumeier, and prize-winning photographer Ulrike Welsch.

Tickets are $150. Proceeds support the YWCA. Visit or call 978-465-9922.

Be a Tourist in Your Hometown Day

Historic New England is opening is properties Sunday for Be a Tourist in Your Hometown Day.

The Dole-Little House on High Road in Newbury and the Rocky Hill Meeting House on Elm Street in Amesbury will both be open from noon to 4 p.m. for preseason house tours. Admission is free. Call 978-462-2634.

Tombstone tours through Old Hill and Oak Hill

Ghlee Woodworth is offering two tombstone tours as part of Sunday's Be a Tourist in Your Hometown Day.

From 10 to 11:30 a.m., she'll lead a walk through Old Hill Burying Ground behind the Bartlet Mall on High and Pond streets.

Then from 4 to 5:30 p.m., she travels over to Oak Hill Cemetery off State Street for a tour of not only the gravestones, but the Ellen T. Brown Chapel, which is undergoing restoration.

The tours are free. But donations will be accepted for cemetery projects.

Get on your groove for Newburyport schools

The funk band Das Pintos headlines a fundraiser for the Newburyport Education Foundation tomorrow at 9 p.m. at The Grog, 13 Middle St., Newburyport.

The band features Doug Hemlepp, Tom Maginnis, Ken Okaya, Tim Sturgeon, David Vye.and Chris Webb.

Admission is $7. Additional donations to support Newburyport schools will be accepted. Visit or

'A Walk with Me' exhibit at Seabrook bank

Annick Bouvron-Gromek of Nottingham, N.H., is showing her watercolors and monotypes in an exhibit titled "A Walk With Me" at the Seabrook branch of The Provident Bank at the junction of Routes 1 and 107.

A native of France and member of the New Hampshire, Seacoast and Sharon art associations, Bouvron-Gromek says the inspiration for her works is primarily found while walking, which connects her with her surroundings.

The exhibit, which is part of the bank's Lobby for the Arts program, runs through July 1. A wine and cheese reception takes place Thursday, May 22, from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Call 603-760-1501.

Park Serve Day and Flower Walk at Maudslay

Maudslay State Park in Newburyport is participating in a statewide Park Serve Day and leading a Flower Walk this weekend.

On Saturday, volunteers are being sought from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. to help get the park ready for the season. Participants should meet in the parking lot on Curzon Mill Road.

On Sunday, join the park interpreter on a walk to view and identify species of rhododendrons, azaleas and other flowering trees in bloom from 2 to 3 p.m. The walk starts from the park headquarters across from the parking lot. All ages are invited. Children 12 and under must be accompanied by an adult. Admission is free.

For more on either event, call 978-465-7223.

Guided bird walk traipses through refuge

Spend Sunday morning with the birds on a guided walk through Parker River National Wildlife Refuge on Plum Island. Refuge volunteer Sue McGrath of Newburyport Birders leads the free outing for ages 8 and up from 8 to 10 a.m.

Varied habitats will be observed in a search for many species of birds. Interpretive materials will be provided. All skill levels are welcome.

Meet at parking lot one on the refuge. While admission is free, registration is required by calling the refuge headquarters at 978-465-5753. Visit for more.

Paddle Safety Day at Camp Denison

The Coast Guard Auxiliary, Merrimack River Division, will present a Paddle Safety Day on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Camp Denison, 84 Nelson St., Georgetown.

The event will include discussions on safety topics, such as life jackets, float plans, hypothermia and rescues. There will be demonstrations by EMS, Kayak Waveology and others.

Outfitters and dealers such as New England Small Craft and PI Kayak will be on hand. Pack a lunch and your carry-in canoe or kayak. Parking is in Lots 1 and 2 only. The free event goes off rain or shine. E-mail for more.

Port Mothers throwing Baby & Kids Sale

The Newburyport Mothers Club will host its first Baby & Kids Consignment Sale Saturday to help raise money to put toward a community gift. The sale takes place from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Old South Church, 29 Federal St., Newburyport.

Quality, gently used clothes, books, toys, furniture and other miscellaneous essentials for babies, children and expectant moms will be available at bargain prices. Shoppers are encouraged to bring a laundry basket or stroller to use as a shopping cart. Cash and checks will be accepted.

The Newburyport Mothers Club is a member-led social organization composed of.more than 400 families throughout greater Newburyport that offers activities, play groups and information to families of young children.

Spring Bridal Party at Amesbury salon

Essencia Spa & Salon, 61 Main St., Amesbury, is hosting a Spring Bridal Party on Sunday from 1 to 4 p.m.

Staff of the salon, which opened in February, will present the latest in bridal hairstyling, make-up and nail polish fashions. Other businesses will showcase their wedding-related products and services., including Amesbury businesses Jenny's Wedding Cakes, Ambassador Limo Services, Ovedia Artisan Chocolates and Envelop the Moment, a new card, gift and stationery shop in the Millyard; as well as Tangorra Wedding Planning and William Tangorra Photography. Christina's Bridal Inc. of Andover, Kane Berger Photography of Maine, Action Wedding Video of West Newbury, Dana Markos Floral Design of Ipswich and Boston, and Everlastings Pressed Flowers of Merrimac.

Admission is free, but reservations are requested. Call Marie Santos of Essencia at 978-388-4772.

Plant sale at West Newbury's Laurel Grange

The Laurel Grange is holding a plant sale Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Sunday from 9 a.m. to noon at the grange hall, 21 Garden St., West Newbury.

Geraniums in a variety of colors, tomato and pepper plants, and a range of flowers will be available. Homemade foods, including cookies and breads, will be available.

Friends of Georgetown Library book sale

The Friends of the Georgetown Library will hold its spring book sale on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the library on Lincoln Park, with a bag sale beginning at noon.

Members of the friends may purchase books at a special preview tomorrow from 2 to 4 p.m., with memberships available at the door.

Leftover cartons of books will be given away Monday, starting at 2 p.m., in exchange for a donation.

Book donations will be accepted at the library during regular hours. Outdated textbooks and encyclopedias are not being collected.

Proceeds from the sale will support children's programming at the library and the purchase of museum passes to loan to patrons. Call Jane Field at 978-352-6641.

Local beat infuses animated film classic

The Newburyport-based musical collective Tiger Saw will perform the original score to the world's oldest surviving feature-length animated film, "The Adventure of Prince Achmed," this weekend at the Ioka Theatre in Exeter, N.H.

The local band will lend its "re-imagined" music to the 1926 cartoon. The story by German animator Lotte Reiniger is based on the elements taken from the collection "1001 Arabian Nights," specifically "The Story of Prince Ahmed and the Fairy Paribanou."

Founded in Newburyport in 1999 by Dylan Metrano, Tiger Saw is an ever-changing group of friends. In 2000 and 2002, the group wrote and performed its original score to F.W. Murnau's 1922 classic silent film "Nosferatu."

Metrano will be joined at Ioka Theatre by Chris Barrett, Dylan Clark and Erik Tans on a variety of instruments, including trumpet, piano, guitar, bass, percussion and melodica.

The all-ages screenings take place tomorrow at 9 p.m. and Saturday at 1 p.m. at the theater, 55 Water St. Admission is $8. Visit, or for more.

Musical nostalgia for Voices of Distinction

Voices of Distinction, which features several members from Amesbury, will open its eighth season this weekend with a concert titled "Voices of Yesterday" at the Church on the Plains, Main Street, Kingston, N.H.

The community chorus under the direction of Danny Smith will perform a retrospective of music from past decades, including selections from the Beatles, Queen and Abba as well as Broadway show tunes, pop songs and familiar standards.

The performances are tomorrow and Saturday at 8 p.m. Tickets are $13 in advance or $15 at the door. Call 603-642-5262 or e-mail

Baltimore oriole project needs citizen scientists

Bill Gette, sanctuary director at Mass Audubon's Joppa Flats Education Center in Newburyport, presents a slide program and lecture titled "Celebrating Baltimore Orioles" on Wednesday, May 21, at 7:30 the center, 1 Plum Island Turnpike.

The presentation will include a discussion on Mass Audubon's Baltimore Oriole Project, which has been calling attention to the status of Baltimore orioles in the area for four years.

While Baltimore orioles are still relatively common here, some scientists think their population may be declining. Mass Audubon is trying to find out if that's true..Gette will present an overview of the Baltimore oriole and explain how the public can help study local populations by contributing oriole observations. The information collected will help to track the health of the birds and form the foundation for future conservation efforts.

Next week's program is open to all ages. Admission is $4. Mass Audubon members are welcome for free. Registration is not required. Call 978-462-9998 or visit For more on the Oriole Project, check out

'Cape Ann Tales' at Port library

Essex County filmmaker Dan Tremblay presents "Cape Ann Tales," Thursday, May 22, at 7 p.m. at Newburyport Public Library, 94 State St., Newburyport.

The one-hour film reflects life and activity on Cape Ann, including fishermen interviews, whale watches, places of interest and boat-building. Admission is free.

Call Tremblay at 978-777-2711 or the library at 978-465-4428.

Comedy Night for Pentucket High baseball

The Pentucket Baseball Boosters are holding a Comedy Night Wednesday, May 21, from 7 to 11 p.m. at Kowloon Restaurant, Saugus.

The event will feature two comedians and a Chinese buffet. There will be a silent auction of sports memorabilia and a 50/50 raffle.

Tickets at $30 are available at Sloban Auto Body in Merrimac, Curves in Groveland, and the main office for the Pentucket Regional schools. Proceeds support the Pentucket High baseball program. Call Ron Mottola at 978-521-5670.

Cantemus Chamber Chorus holding auditions

Cantemus Chamber Chorus is auditioning next week for experienced singers in all voice parts for next season. The auditions take place by appointment on Wednesday, May 21, from 6 to 9 p.m. at First Church of Wenham, 1 Arbor St. at Route 1A, Wenham.

The regional chamber chorus performs two concert series a year in December and May. Rehearsals take place in Hamilton. To schedule an audition, call 888-CHORUS-1 (246-7871) or visit

Theater company tryouts for two plays

P.O.V. Stage Company is preparing for its third season with auditions for two plays — "Picasso at the Lapin Agile" by Steve Martin and "Dog Sees God" by Bert V. Royal.

Tryouts, which will consist of cold readings from the script, take place Monday, May 19, at the Universalist Unitarian Church in Haverhill and Tuesday at Mission Oak Grill in Newburyport, both from 6:30 to 9 p.m. Seven males and four females ages late-teens to 60s are needed for "Picasso at the Lapin Agile," and four males and four females ages late-teens to mid-20s are needed for "Dog Sees God."

In addition to performances at the Universalist Unitarian Church in Haverhill, "Picasso at the Lapin Agile" will be staged at Mission Oak in Newburyport and Georgetown Theater Workshop in Georgetown.

P.O.V. was founded in 2006 by Newburyport High School teachers Stephanie Williams or Lisa Zaleski. Its mission is to provoke thought and inspire a sense of community through its social issues programming. The group is seeking technicians.

Call 978-518-5187.


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