Area Updates

Wanda Mooney Selected as Franklin County's Favorite Real Estate Agent

Recently the Greenfield Recorder held their reader’s choice award, Franklin Favorites. I am so honored to have been voted the winner for the category of Best Local Real Estate Agent. Out of all the awards I have received in my career, this one means the most to me. Franklin County is a place I will always call home and it is such a joy to be selected by my neighbors for this award. Thank you so much to everyone who voted for me and congrats to all of the other winners. I look forward to continuing to serve Franklin County.

October Real Estate Market Report for Pioneer Valley

Franklin County sales were up 18.9% and the median price up 21.7% in October, 2018 compared to September, 2017.  The sales were down in Hampden County but up in Hampshire County.   

Inventory of single family homes fell in Pioneer Valley 17.1 percent from 2,045 single family listings at the end of October, 2017 to 1,696 single family listings at the end of October, 2018.  

The average days on market are down slightly by 0.7% from 65 days in October, 2017 to 64 days in October, 2018. Listings which are pending (under agreement to sell) are up 18.3 from 507 in October, 2017 to 600 in October, 2018.

The sale reports are provided from the Realtor Association of Pioneer Valley.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Moonlight Magic Kicks of the Holiday Season in Style in Shelburne Falls

This Friday, many shoppers will head to corporate stores across the country for Black Friday shopping. However, here in Franklin County, we like to do things differently by supporting our local businesses and kicking off the holiday season in style with Moonlight Magic.

This annual event known across the region will take place in the beautiful village of Shelburne Falls. The Greater Shelburne Falls Area Business Association has worked together with local businesses to put on this magnificent event. The village has already been beautifully decorated with holiday lights and garlands spiraling up the lamp posts along with pole tags with sponsors’ names showing their support. On the eve of Moonlight Magic, luminaria will line the streets directing event goers to various points of interest throughout the village.

Moonlight Magic is also one of the few times of the year where Bridge Street and Deerfield Ave will be shut down to traffic, allowing pedestrians to wander the streets, browsing vendor tents and businesses, which will stay open later for the event. Soon after sunset, the Parade of Lights will make its way down Conway Street, over the Iron Bridge and down Bridge Street. Santa and Mrs. Claus will be part of the parade, greeting shoppers and then ending at the Mason’s Lodge, for visits and photos. Throughout the event, there will also be various performances, including one of my favorites, the Ageless Waves of Rhythm, Shelburne Senior Center’s drumming group.

Moonlight Magic starts at 4 pm, giving you plenty of time to sleep in the day after Thanksgiving! Visit shelburnefalls.com for more information or pick up an event brochure the day of to find out what’s happening around the village.

24th Annual Franklin County CiderDays

For a long time, cider has been the traditional drink of New England. Right here in Franklin County, we are lucky to be surrounded by wonderful orchards and cideries, who make this delicious fall drink. For 24 years, Franklin County has celebrated cider with their Annual CiderDays. This 3-day event, always occurring on the first full weekend in November, brings together cider lovers across the county. This year, CiderDays is happening November 2-4 and includes 19 participating venues.

From Friday evening to Sunday evening, there will be a wide variety of events all based around cider, but not necessarily just based around drinking it. There will be talks around cider and apples, demonstrations and cider-making workshops, orchard rides, cider and cheese pairings, and more. You can view the full schedule of events at CiderDays.org, but here are some highlights:

The Shelburne Buckland Community Center will hold talks, tastings, and workshops Saturday and Sunday for beginner through advanced cider lovers. The events at the Community Center will be FREE!

Check out the world’s longest-running hard cider tasting at the Cider Salon in Unity Park, Turners Falls. There will be two sessions on Saturday (3:30-5 and 5:45-7:15) where you can try 120 different ciders from across North America and Europe. Make sure you purchase your tickets for the salon soon because this event sells out.

Bring the whole family to the Cider and Apple Festival, hosted by New Salem Preserves and Orchards on Saturday and Sunday. Attend free workshops, child-friendly apple pressing, and browse local artisan exhibits and farm products.

For the full schedule of events and to purchase tickets for specific events, visit ciderdays.org.

 

Fall Festivals in Franklin County!

It’s October! That means pumpkins, cider, foliage, and Fall Festivals! Next weekend, October 6 and 7, Ashfield’s main street will be filled with people for the Ashfield Fall Festival. Admission is free to this annual event, which started in 1970. Celebrate Ashfield and browse over 50 arts and crafts exhibitors, book sales, and tag sales. Enjoy locally-grown and prepared foods, live music, and dancing. There will also be plenty of kids’ events, including the annual Pumpkingames! For more information, visit www.ashfieldfallfestival.org.

Another great fall festival that you won’t want to miss is the Great Falls Festival aka Pumpkinfest in Turners Falls on October 20th. From 2 to 9 pm, Avenue A in Turners Falls will be filled with over 150 food and craft vendors, 3 live music stages, 2 performance stages, a beer garden and of course, a pumpkin display! Bring your own pumpkin to add to the beautiful pumpkin display or carve one there for free. There will also be free kids activities. For more information check out their Facebook page.

Here are some other exciting fall festivals in Franklin County coming soon:

8th Annual Riverside Blues, Brews, and BBQs - October 6 - Greenfield

Old 78 Festival - October 6 - Orange

Scarecrow in the Park - October 20 - Bernardston

24th Annual Franklin County Cider Days - November 2-4 - Various locations throughout Franklin County

 

It's That Time of Year for Festivals and Fairs!

As summer winds down, fairs and festivals are popping up all over Western Mass. Last weekend, hundreds came out for the 101st Heath Fair. This coming weekend marks the 150th Cummington Fair in Cummington, MA. The Fair was started in 1868 but was initiated in 1883 as the Hillside Agricultural Society. Today, the Cummington Fair remains true to its agricultural roots with events based around livestock and tractors, such as the livestock shows, horse draws, and antique engine and tractor shows.

But that’s not the only reason to go to the Cummington Fair. This year’s 4-day event will include a bike stunt show, fireworks, a craft barn, demolition derby and more. The stages will fill with live entertainers such as Zoe Darrow, Presley and Taylor, Jose Duddy, and others. Plus, there will be all sorts of vendors selling food, crafts, and other items. The Cummington Fair starts Thursday, August 23 and runs through Sunday, August 26. Purchase tickets online and get more information at cummingtonfair.com.

Here are some other great festivals and fairs coming up soon:

 

The Heath Fair Returns for a Weekend of Community, Food, Music, and Agriculture

The Heath Fair is one of the few country fairs still around that stays true to its agricultural roots. For over 100 years, it has offered events such as the ox draw, sheep shows, and various trade demonstrations to teach the community about agriculture in an engaging way. Every year the residents of Heath and visitors from surrounding towns look forward to this end of summer event. This year, the 101st Heath Fair will take place this weekend, Friday, August 17th to Sunday, August 19th.

It is truly incredible to see how a large event like this with a variety of activities comes together in such an organized way. It is because of the commitment of volunteers who run each of the events that the Heath Fair is so successful. This year’s lineup of events include the antique tractor pull, rabbit show, goat show, horse draw, truck pull, and sheep show. Bring the kids because there will be so much for them to do too like the zucchini races, wagon rides, demonstrations, and the parade!

Make sure you come hungry because there will be plenty to eat! Join the organized meals such as the Church Ladies Ham and Bean Supper on Friday, the Heath Firefighters Association BBQ on both Saturday and Sunday, or the Blueberry Pancake Breakfast on Sunday. There will also be a great group of vendors selling food, including Lucia’s Latin Kitchen, Kailash Kitchen, and of course Hager’s Farm Market’s fried dough and maple cream.

A country fair needs music and this year’s artist lineup is spectacular. On Friday night, check out Upstate Rubdown and then join in on the square dancing, led by Doug Wilkins. On Saturday, the music starts at 11 am with The Uncles of the Pioneers and continues through the day with The Green Sisters, Li’l BeeDee & The Doo-Rites, and The Whiskey Treaty Road Show. On Sunday, the Ageless Waves of Rhythm will kick off the day with their drumming, followed by the Shelburne Falls Military Band, and Banish Misfortune.

For the full schedule of events, visit heathfair.org. The Heath Fair is presented by the Heath Agricultural Society. Admission is only $8 or $6 for seniors and free for children 9 and under. See you at the Heath Fair!

 

Run, Walk, Volunteer, or Cheer at the 40th Annual Bridge of Flowers Races!

This Saturday, August 11, marks the 40th Bridge of Flowers Classic Races in Shelburne Falls. Mike McCusker started the races in 1978 and the 3K Walk/Run and 10K Run have been staple events in the village ever since.  Each year thousands of runners come out to compete on one of the toughest courses in New England. The infamous Crittenden Hill makes this course both a challenging and rewarding experience. For the first time ever, the 10K Run has been changed to an 8K, but the 3K Walk/Run remains the same. Online registration for the race has closed but you can register in person at the Friday night Spaghettifest at Buckland Shelburne Elementary School or Saturday morning before the race.

The race supports five local charities and is made possible by many local sponsors and the Greater Shelburne Falls Area Business Association. Hundreds of volunteers contribute their time and effort to make the race safe and fun, by directing traffic, serving food, handing out water to the runners, and more. The race can always use more volunteers so if you want to help, go to shelburnefalls.com to find open volunteer positions.

If you’re not running or volunteering, you can still be a part of the action by cheering on the runners. The course is a figure 8 loop, starting and ending on the Iron Bridge, making it a very spectator-friendly race. The 3K starts at 8:15 am and the 8K starts at 9 am. After the race, head down Deerfield Avenue to the Glacial Potholes for the Post-Race Party and awards ceremony. Runners will also get free pizza courtesy of Pondside Pizza and a free beer from the Blue Rock if they are over 21. Plus, don’t forget to purchase a race shirt to remember this special event.

The weather is forecasted to be perfect for race morning so come out to the village of Shelburne Falls and participate in the 40th Annual Bridge of Flowers Classic Races. For more information, visit the race page here.

Shop Local For Massachusetts Sales Tax Free Weekend

This Saturday and Sunday, visit your local shops and take advantage of Massachusetts Tax Free Weekend. On August 11 and 12, the state’s 6.25% sales tax will be eliminated for all retail goods. Exceptions to this include meals, motor vehicles, motorboats, tobacco products, and any single item over $2,500. After two years without this holiday, Gov. Charlie Baker has decided to sign a bill that brings back this tax exemption.

With schools starting up again in less than a month and autumn just around the corner, this weekend is the perfect time to get your shopping done. Check out Wilson’s Department Store in Greenfield for name brand clothing, shoes, accessories, makeup, houseware, toys, and more. Also in Greenfield is The Outlet Store, which carries heavy-duty work clothes and boots from brands like Carhartt and Dickies.

If you are looking for more unique, handcrafted items, there are several small boutiques and shops in Franklin County, such as Bridge Street Bazaar, Enjoy, Marjorie Moser Print & Dye Workshop, and A Heart for Art in Shelburne Falls. Turners Falls also boasts several small shops, such as Honey & Wine, a women’s clothing store, and Stenhouse Furnishings, a vintage consignment shop.

If you’re looking for something new for your home, the Greenfield area has several furniture and antique stores. Andy’s and The Oak Shoppe in Greenfield offers quality-made finished and unfinished wood, pine, and oak furniture. You can also score some incredible antiques at Whitney Hill Antiques in Greenfield, Freight House Antiques in Erving, and Arts & Antiques on 5 & 10.

Enjoy saving that extra money you would’ve spent on sales tax and buy yourself that extra little thing you wanted. Happy local shopping!

 

Celebrate Shelburne's 250th Anniversary this Weekend!

Celebrate with Shelburne as it turns 250 years old! There is a full weekend of events planned including dinner, dancing, farm tours, a parade, food and craft vendors, live bands, square dancing, children’s games, militia re-enactment, fireworks, book sale, and more. It is sure to be a great time for family, community members, and anyone else who wants to join in the celebration of this wonderful town.

Shelburne is located in Franklin County, west of Greenfield along the Mohawk Trail (State Route 2). It was first settled in 1756 as part of Deerfield, MA and was later incorporated as a town in 1775. Much of the history of Shelburne is based in the vicinity of Shelburne Falls, a small village composed of part of Buckland and part of Shelburne. Shelburne has been largely an agricultural town. However, the manufacturing industry thrived in Shelburne Falls due to the railroad through town and the existence of Lamson and Goodnow, a cutlery manufacturing company. Today, Shelburne Falls is geared more towards the tourism industry with a variety of shops, galleries, and eateries. The rest of Shelburne remains beautifully natural, with dairy farms, sugarhouses, orchards, and majestic rolling hills.

Don’t miss the chance to celebrate this milestone for Shelburne this Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Here is the full schedule for the weekend:

Friday, June 22

5:15 p.m. Opening Ceremony, Baptist Corner Lot, Main Street

6-10:30 p.m. Reception dinner and dancing at the Shelburne-Buckland Community Center, tickets $25

Saturday, June 23

All day - self-guided tours of 100-year old farms

10 a.m. to 2 p.m. - crafts & skill from yesteryear on display, plus quilt show at First Congregational Church

1 p.m. - militia camp set-up at Shelburne Historical Society

3 p.m. Parade starting at Cricket Field and ending at Buckland Elementary School

4 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Food & craft vendors, children's games, square dancing, live bands at Buckland Shelburne Elementary School

9:30 p.m. Fireworks

Sunday, June 24 (rain date for Saturday events)

10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Militia re-enactment - 10th MA Volunteer Infantry Militia Company C

11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Open House at Historical Society

Click here for the event flyer.