Arts

Take a Tour of the Crafts of Colrain

Crafts of Colrain open studio tourColrain, Massachusetts is a beautiful town in northern Franklin County, just below the Vermont line. The town draws many artists who seek inspiration from its natural beauty. There are so many artists, in fact that each year they all come together to host Crafts of Colrain Open Studio Tour. Grab a map and a friend and take a tour around Colrain this Saturday and Sunday, November 9-10 from 10 am to 5 pm.

This year 19 artisans will open their doors to the public and show off their amazing hand-crafted items, ranging from furniture to jewelry to fiber art and more. At stop #1, check out Marilyn Beal’s one-of-a-kind silk scarves using carved stamps, hand-painting, Japanese shibori, and simple silk screening techniques. Also at Stop #1 is Al Ladd with custom hand-crafted jewelry boxes and other beautiful works of wood. Another wonderful participating artist is Lynn Fisher. Lynn has been working with fiber for over 30 years. Explore her variety of creations which she dyes, spins, knits, weaves, and felts.

To view the full list of artists, click here or go to craftsofcolrain.com for more information. 

Woodworking Colrain Massachusetts Basket weaving Colrain Massachusetts crafts

Crafts, Food, Pumpkingames and More at the Ashfield Fall Festival

It’s time for the wonderful annual Ashfield Fall Festival. This Saturday, October 12th and Sunday, October 13th, Ashfield’s Main Street will be filled with crafts, food, and music from 10 am to 5 pm on both days. 

Check out more than 50 local exhibitors including, Tom Kuklinski woodworking, Ed Branson hand-blown glass, and Walter Cudnohufsky watercolors. View the full list of arts and crafts vendors here. They will be stationed on the town common or the Upper Town Hall.

You’ll find lots of tasty autumn treats at the festival, such as home-made pumpkin donuts, apple pie, and applesauce sundae. Get your savory fix as well with warm chili, burgers, crawfish pasta, or vegetarian and kids options, too.

Bring the kids because there will be tons of entertainment and games, including the pumpkingames! Check out the full lineup of performances, as well, here. Don’t miss out on this amazing community event, with the backdrop of the beautiful fall foliage. 

For more information go to www.ashfieldfallfestival.org.

Ashfield Fall Festival Main Street Massachusetts

Crafts, Food, and Music at the Old Deerfield Fall Craft Fair

Old Deerfield Fall Craft Fair Massachusetts 2019This Saturday and Sunday, September 21 and 22, check out the Old Deerfield Fall Craft Fair. Held on the lush and beautiful grounds surrounding Memorial Hall Museum in Deerfield, MA, the Fall Craft Fair features 150 artisan craft booths from all over the area. You will find every kind of craft from fiber to pottery to jewelry and more! Plus, specialty food offerings, live music, and free craft activities for all ages, provided by Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association. You can also stop by the Yankee Candle booth, one of the festival’s long-time sponsors, to find beeswax candles, enter to win a raffle prize, and get a $20 off coupon. 

The craft fair hours are Saturday from 10 am to 5 pm and Sunday 10 am to 4 pm. Admission is $7 for adults and children 12 and under are free. Visit www.deerfield-craft.org for more information and to view the list of crafters. 



 

Good Music and Good Vibes at the Charlemont Reggae Festival

charlemont reggae festival massachusettsFor the past 35 years, the Charlemont Reggae Festival has been bringing good music and good vibes to our beloved Charlemont in the hills of Western Franklin County. This Saturday, August 17th, spend the day at the Charlemont Fairgrounds and join the loving community of people who come out for the reggae festival. There will be food vendors selling delicious eats to choose from and Berkshire Brewing Company will be pouring their craft beer for those over 2. Browse the crafts under the local vendor tents and of course jam out to some awesome music! 

This year’s lineup includes Mykal Rose, Mighty Mystic, The Alchemystics, Big Takeover, Rhythm Incorporated, and more! Tickets are $35 in advance and $45 at the gate. Kids 12 and under enter for free. Doors open at 11 am and the festival starts at noon. The Charlemont Reggae Festival is dedicated to Ras Jahn Bullock, whose dedication and love for reggae and community has made this event possible for so many years. 

Click here for more information.

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charlemont reggae festival vendor boothsreggae festival western massachusetts live music

 

16th Annual Lavendar Festival at Johnson Hill Farm Buckland

Lavendar Festival Buckland MassachusettsJohnson Hill Farm is up on a hill, nestled in a Hollow surrounded by the rolling hills of Buckland, Massachusetts. This Saturday and Sunday, the farm will host a few more visitors than normal for its annual Lavendar Festival, which has occurred every year for the past 16 years on the last weekend in June. 

Local artisans and crafters will be there, displaying fine handmade work. Come and browse their stands and view their live demonstrations. Watch the doves be released, and then go for a peaceful walk through the Lavendar Labrynth, the antique cemetery, and the apple orchard. 

This is a great time to see such a magical place. Although guests are welcome to call ahead any time during the year to schedule a visit. 

More information at lavendarland.net.

Johnson Hill Farm Buckland Lavendar Land

 

Be Transported to Medieval Times at the Mutton and Mead Medieval Festival

Joust Mutton Mead Medieval FestivalDo you want to be transported to medieval times? This weekend you can at the Mutton and Mead Medieval Festival in Montague, Massachusetts. Started in 2011, the Mutton and Mead Festival is a highly anticipated annual event, where medieval England comes alive in Western Massachusetts. Once a year, the fictitious Mutton and Mead Tavern hosts their town’s summer festival and festival goers are brought back to the 13th century.

Children and adults alike are bound to find something that intrigues them at the Mutton and Mead Festival. The schedule is filled with events for Saturday and Sunday, June 15 and 16 from 10 am to 6:30 pm. See the joust where brave knights on horseback compete on the field of honor. Play games of skill and shoot a round of archery. Meet medieval characters such as Robin Hood and Maiden Marion. Explore the enchanted forest. Plus, enjoy many more comedy, stunt, and Shakespeare acts. View the full lineup here.

Local vendors from around the valley will be there as well, selling artisanal crafts, costumes, art, body products, tarot card readings, and more. Come hungry because there will also be lots of food for sale, and of course ales and mead too. See the full list of vendors here.  

The Mutton and Mead Festival is a project by the Knighten Guild. For directions to the festival, to purchase tickets, and for more details, visit their website.

Mutton and Mead Medieval Festival Montague Mass

Syrup: One Sweet Performing Arts Festival in Shelburne Falls

For the 10th year in a row, Shelburne Falls local theatre company, Piti, will hold their sweet performing arts festival, Syrup! This year, the festival will take place at the Shelburne Buckland Community Center in Shelburne Falls, with the benefit of having two stages for their performances. The�two-part event is scheduled for Saturday, March 9th and 23rd. This years Syrup festival will feature world class performances for all ages, a syrup tasting, free Real Pickles, and more.

Help Piti kick off the festival at 11 am on Saturday, March 9th, with a pancake brunch. Admission is free, just pay for your organic buckwheat pancakes and sample different local syrups. At noon, enjoy selections of Greatest Bits Volume 1 played by Carrie Ferguson. Then at 2:30 pm, Piti Theatres Olde Coleraine will return after a 3-year hiatus, a musical about Colrain at the dawn of the Industrial Revolution. At 3:30 pm, experience the clown performance of award-winning Alex the Jester. After his performance, Alex will lead a workshop called Primal Talk: Non-Verbal Stuff Made Fun for teens and adults about communication tools. Tickets are $12 for adults, $10 for students/seniors, and $5 for kids for the performances and $15 for the workshop.

Two weeks later come back for Day 2 of Syrup on March 23rd, an afternoon of works in progress showings and syrup tasting at The Barn at 31 Water Street in Shelburne Falls. This event is only for those aged 15+ and admission is free. The works to be shown include Narieka Maslas clown/dance piece and Jonathan Mirins Canary in the Goldmine a staged reading of the story of how him and his wife and production partner developed microwave sickness/electrical sensitivity.

Buy your tickets in advance and get more information at http://ptco.org/festivals/syrup/. Email info@ptco.org to register for the workshop. Have a sweet time at Syrup!

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These Upcoming Events in Franklin County Are Sure to Get You Into the Holiday Spirit

With Hanukkah already upon us and Christmas only a few weeks away, the holiday season is in full swing! Franklin County has lots of great holiday events coming up in the next few weeks, which are sure to bring our community lots of joy and cheer.

Coming up this Friday, December 7th, downtown Greenfield will be the place to be. Jingle Fest, coordinated by the Greenfield Business Association will feature all sorts of holiday merriment. From 4:00 pm to 8:00 pm, shop around the Pop-Up Holiday Market in The Pushkin. Of course, Santa will make an appearance at Jingle Fest and will be welcoming visitors at Wilson’s Department Store from 5:30 to 7:00 pm. Other exciting happenings include a tree-lighting at Veterans Mall, carolers, pop-up performances and more! Visit their facebook page for more information.

If you still have a lot of holiday shopping left to do, you’ll definitely want to check out the Shutesbury Holiday Shop. For 7 years, the Shutesbury Holiday Shop has brought together an array of local artisans all from Shutesbury or the surrounding towns, to offer affordable, handmade gifts. There will be an assortment of jewelry, quilts, ornaments, woodcrafts, fiber art, artisanal food and much more. Plus, the Shutesbury Holiday Shop lasts for 3 days, starting Friday, December 7th, so there really is no excuse to not stop by and shop local for your holiday shopping. Click here for more information.

Turners Falls will host their annual holiday event on Friday, December 14th. It’s a Wonderful Night in Turners Falls will bring together downtown businesses for a night of holiday cheer. Art exhibits, live music, restaurant specials, and holiday shopping are all part of this wonderful event. Plus, Santa will arrive at Spinner Park at 6:30 pm to collect notes of hope from event goers. Visit the Turners Falls River Culture website for more information.

I hope you enjoy some or all of these wonderful holiday events coming up in our local community. Happy holidays!

Support United Way of Franklin County at the 19th Annual Art & Leisure Auction

Join me for the 19th Annual Art & Leisure Auction to benefit United Way of Franklin County. The auction, to take place on Saturday, December 1 at Greenfield Community College, will feature a silent and live auction. Quality items have been donated by businesses and individuals around Franklin County. Bid on especially fine items in the live auction such as a $1000 gift card to Southwest Airlines, 4 pavilion Red Sox tickets, and a day trip to Martha’s Vineyard by private plane.

Arrive at 5:30 pm for the silent auction at and then stay for the live auction at 7:30 pm. Guest auctioneers Liz Fisk from WHAI 98.3/Bear Country 95.3 and Representative Paul Mark will lead the live auction. All activities will be held in the Cohn Family Dining Commons at GCC. Enjoy live music and food while you bid!

Tickets to the Annual Art & Leisure Auction are $35 per person or sponsor a table of 8 for $275. Click here to register now!

The mission of United Way is to improve the quality of life in our area through special focus on education, financial stability, and health. As a member of the board, I am proud to support the many ways that United Way benefits Franklin County and hope you will be too!


 

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.