Thanksgiving is this Thursday! While I am looking forward to spending time with family and reflecting on what I am grateful for, in the back of my mind I am thinking about Moonlight Magic. Moonlight Magic is the annual holiday kick-off event in Shelburne Falls. Every year on Black Friday, which this year is November 24th, from 4-9 pm, the Greater Shelburne Falls Area Business Association closes off Bridge Street and the Iron Bridge to host this magical event.
Vendors will line the streets, selling crafts, candles, maple and other farm products, wreaths, and other delightful things perfect for gifting for the holidays. Barberic Farm will be selling their delicious frozen meat pies, jams, jellies, pickles, plus their handmade wool and leather products. Shelburne Farm & Garden will also have a booth, selling birding supplies, pet toys, hats, and gloves. You could get all your holiday shopping done without having to even look at a mall!
School groups and other non-profits will also set up to fundraise for their special projects. Colrain Central School will be raffling off gift baskets, and Hawlemont Elementary School will sell baked goods and offer cookie decoration as a fundraiser for their Nature’s Classroom trip. Of course, don’t forget to look for the Salvation Army kettle to make a donation.
While you’re shopping around, there will be a bunch of performances, both indoors and out. Keep your ears open for roaming performers, Welcome Yule, a group of carolers, and Tom Crean, banjoist. At 5:15 pm, be sure to be outside to watch the Parade of Lights come down Conway Street to Bridge Street. Wave to Santa Claus and his crew, plus a special horse drawn wagon courtesy of Greenfield Savings Bank. Then, pay Santa and Mrs. Claus a visit at the Mason’s Lodge on Main Street. Some other acts you won’t want to miss include Ageless Waves of Rhythm, the Senior Center’s drumming group, who will perform in Greenfield Savings Bank, and Celtic Heels, Irish step-dancing group.
My favorite part of Moonlight Magic are the beautiful lights and decorations throughout the village of Shelburne Falls. Luminaria line the streets and christmas lights and garlands drape overhead, making this cozy village even more serene.
For more information and specific event details, go to shelburnefalls.com.
Fall in New England is such a favored time of year; the bright colors of the foliage, a chill in the air, and of course, all things apple. Every fall on the first full weekend in November, I look forward to CiderDays, a Franklin County celebration of apples. Many of the events are free and range from workshops to talks to tastings to festivals with music and more. This weekend, November 3-5 marks the 23rd Annual CiderDays.
Here are a few events happening this weekend that caught my attention:
On Friday from 6:30-8:00 pm, the Hawks and Reed Performing Arts Center will host “How to Taste Hard Cider.” Learn from cider educators Eric West and Nicole Leibon of Farnum Hill Ciders the thought process behind tasting and evaluating cider. Then, be guided through a tasting of various cider styles. The cost is $30/ticket and includes light hors d'oeuvre.
On Saturday, the Shelburne-Buckland Community Center will host free workshops, talks and tastings from beginner through advanced for cider makers, home orchardists and cider aficionados.
Then, on Sunday from 2:30-3:30 pm at the Deerfield Community Center in Historic Deerfield, learn how to make Spanish style cider (Sidra) from cidermakers Scott Heath (Tilted Shed, CA), Ryan Burk (Angry Orchard, NY), John Reynolds (Black Duck Cidery, NY), cidermaker/restauranteur Sam Fix (ANXO, Washington DC), and beverage director Brian Rutzen (The Northman, Chicago, IL). Join moderator Darlene Hayes for discussion and samples. Tickets are $30.
Plus, I am very excited about this year’s Cider Salon — the world's longest-running hard cider tasting. This year, the Salons will be held in a large tent in Unity Park, on the Connecticut River in Turners Falls, with more than 90 individual cider brands from across North America and Europe. There will be two sessions — 3:30 - 5:00 and 5:45 - 7:15. Tickets are $30 per session.
For more information, to purchase tickets, and to download the full schedule, visit ciderdays.org.
The 39th Annual Bridge of Flowers Road Race is this Saturday, August 12 – less than a week away! For almost 40 years, this event has been a staple of Shelburne Falls. Over a thousand runners come from near and far to compete in either the 3K Walk/Run or on one of the toughest 10K courses in New England. The course starts on the Iron Bridge, overlooking the Bridge of Flowers, and then winds through the village of Shelburne Falls, back over the Deerfield River, up the infamous Crittenden Hill (also known as Heartbreak Hill!), up Route 112, and then back down to the village. The course’s figure 8 loop makes it viewer-friendly. So even if you can’t brave Heartbreak Hill, you can come out and cheer on the runners.
Over 130 volunteers make this event possible. They can be spotted in their brightly colored race shirts directing traffic, setting up the finish line, serving food, timing the runners, and more. Some of the volunteers come from one of the five charities supported by the race. This year’s supported charities are DIAL/SELF, Cancer Connection, The Art Garden, Friends of Children, and Academy at Charlemont. The race is also a fundraiser for the Greater Shelburne Falls Area Business Association, who coordinates this event.
If you haven’t already registered for the race, online registration is open until Wednesday, August 9 at ShelburneFalls.com. Runners get a free race shirt, spaghetti dinner on Friday night, and access to the post-race party/awards ceremony; plus other free goodies donated by sponsors. Speaking of sponsors, Coldwell Banker Upton-Massamont Realtors is proud to be a sponsor of this wonderful race, which brings so many new people to our beautiful village. Look for our logo on the mile markers along the racecourse. Good luck to all the runners!
An article recently published by Mass Live announced that the Pioneer Valley is moving into a “seller’s market”. This means that the real estate market is currently favoring sellers, rather than buyers. The lack of homes for sale puts pressure on buyers to move quickly in their purchasing actions, or else risk losing out on getting the house they wanted.
According to the article, sales of single-family homes in June 2017 are fewer than in June 2016, while the median sales price rose. Also, the average number of days a home is on the market for June 2017 has decreased compared to June 2016. Specifically in Franklin County, sales are down 1.3 percent with 75 sales in June 2016 and 74 sales in June 2017 and the median price rose 16.3 percent from $224,000 to $260,500.
So what does all this mean for you? In a seller’s market, desirable houses sell quickly. If you are pursuing a new home, act in a timely manner. On the other hand, if you have been thinking of putting your home on the market, now is a good time to do so. However, sellers sometimes get overexcited in a seller’s market and might ask too high of a price. This leads to their house sitting on the market for too long. Make sure to maintain reason when listing your home.
For more advice on how to act in a seller’s market of if you are thinking of buying or selling, get in touch with Wanda Mooney at (413) 768-9848 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
To read the full article on masslive.com click here.
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To start browsing homes for sale in the Upper Pioneer Valley, try exploring Wanda's recommended search categories.
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