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Norwalk is a mid-size commuter suburb, sitting on the northern shore of Long Island Sound in southwestern Connecticut. Although the city is fairly close to New York City (about 50 miles to the northwest), Norwalk is considered by many to be too far for a daily commute to the Big Apple. Instead, many locals tend to work in other industries in nearby towns and cities, returning to Norwalk's suburbs as a comfortable home base.
The History of Norwalk
In the 1640s, settlers from Massachusetts initially established homes and communities here. Norwalk received incorporation as a town in 1651 and reincorporated as a city in 1893. The city was almost completely destroyed during the Revolutionary War, but a few historic buildings remain at the corner of Wall Street and East Avenue. It also served as a place of note during the French and Indian War, with a local regiment of soldiers inspiring the classic American song "Yankee Doodle" with their improvised uniforms that included caps topped with chicken feathers.
After the Civil War, the area experienced a sharp increase in shipping traffic, which helped fuel the growth of the town's economy. Further growth came about with the arrival of the New York and New Haven Railroad. By 1913, several small communities, including the town of Norwalk, banded together to become the official city of Norwalk.
Norwalk Community Events
Norwalk is home to a number of special events that celebrate the city's heritage and rich cultural diversity. One of the city's biggest annual cultural events is the Round Hill Highland Games, a Scottish tradition that features a number of athletic competitions, such as the hammer throw and caber toss. The event started in 1923 and is one of the oldest Highland Games celebrations in the nation, attracting a few thousand people every year.
The Norwalk Oyster Festival is a tribute to the city's oyster industry and serves to raise money for local science education and the maintenance of the landmark Sheffield Island Lighthouse. It has been in operation for several decades, averaging close to 100,000 visitors. The festival features live performances and plenty of food. Past festival guests and performers have included Willie Nelson, Little Richard and The Monkees.
Other events in Norwalk include the St. George Greek Orthodox Festival and the mid-summer SoNo Arts Celebration.
Norwalk Public Schools is responsible for the operation of the city's public schools. In addition to traditional elementary, middle and high schools, the district also features the Norwalk Pathways Academy, Norwalk Early College Academy and the Center for Global Studies.
Resources for Moving to Norwalk
As you're getting ready for your move to Norwalk, here's some helpful information to make it a bit easier:
- Utilities: South Norwalk Electric and Water is the area's primary utilities provider, with some areas of the city receiving water services from the First District Water Department.
Garbage and Recycling: Trash, recyclables and yard waste are collected on a regular basis, with the exception of major holidays.
- Transportation: Coastal Link is the main public transportation provider in Norwalk, operating routes in Norwalk as well as neighboring cities.
- Pets: All dogs in Norwalk are required to be licensed; otherwise, you will be fined.
The cost of living in Norwalk is fairly expensive, especially when compared to the national average. Home prices are rising steadily and have already passed the median prices for the Stamford metro area. However, there are plenty of housing options to choose from, so you can find something that works for you.