Community

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.

 

Register Now for the 2018 Hilltown Youth Theatre Summer Workshop

The Pioneer Valley is a hub for the creative arts. It’s a place where many musicians, artists, performers, and creatives come to gain inspiration for their work and to find an artistic community where they can thrive. This is not only true for adults, but for children and teens as well. There are many opportunities in the Valley for kids to follow their artistic intuitions and to gain experience working as a team to create something wonderful. One opportunity in particular is right here in Franklin County, specifically in Charlemont. Since 2010, the Hilltown Youth Performing Arts Programs has been running their Hilltown Youth Theatre Summer Workshop. Their mission is to build a supportive community for youth to develop personally and artistically and to train and collaborate on theatrical productions at a high level, therefore giving them an appreciation for hilltown life and a passion for the arts.

This program, for youth aged 10-18 years old, is an intensive arts experience for aspiring actors, musicians, dancers, and set designers. Guest artists and master teachers, direct participants to create performances which incorporate movement, puppets, mask making, voice work, circus arts, and work on large apparatus such as stilts, aerial fabrics, spools, flying trapeze, and more. At the end of the workshop, the performance takes to the streets, or rather the mountains for audiences to enjoy. This year’s production of Avatar: The Last Airbender will be hosted by Berkshire East Mountain Resort in Charlemont.

The 2018 Summer Workshop runs from July 16 to August 8, Monday through Friday, 9 am to 4 pm. Registration is open now and financial assistance is available. No previous experience is necessary but the ideal candidates will be artists, musicians, athletes, or any other active creative types. For more information, visit their website here.

Northfield Drive-In Celebrates 70 Years

As a lifelong resident of Franklin County, I always appreciate seeing older businesses that are still running strong. One in particular is the Northfield Drive-In, located on the Northfield, MA/Hinsdale, NH line. In August of 1948, the Northfield Drive-In began showing their “movies under the stars.” Now, they will celebrate 70 years of business with their opening for the 2018 season. This Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, May 25th, 26th, and 27th, Northfield Drive-In will be showing Solo at 8:50 pm and Avengers: Infinity War at 10:50 pm.

This drive-in is 1 of only 20 drive-in theaters still in operation in New England, and the only one remaining of the 15 that the original owner, Carl Nilman, owned. Although the original screen was damaged by a hurricane in 1951, the second screen built kept the same dimensions and is still the one that exists today. In 1967, Northfield Drive-In changed ownership to the Shakour family, who still operate it today. They pride themselves in having a family-run business, where even the children would lend a hand at the snack stand and ticket booth on summer nights.

So take a drive out this weekend to the Northfield Drive-In and support this locally-owned gem. They are located in a beautiful scenic area and have a variety of delights at their snack bar. Plus, the rates are much lower than any indoor movie theater. Tickets are only $12 for adults and $7 for children (cash only). Visit their website for more information and to see what other films they will feature throughout the season.

 

Attend the Auction, Support Your Local Businesses!

As a former board member of the Greater Shelburne Falls Area Business Association (GSFABA) and a resident of the hilltowns, I love to support this association. The work they do benefits the hilltowns of West Franklin County, by boosting tourism, exposing businesses, and working together with the towns to make it a great place to live.

That is why I am excited that this Saturday, April 7, GSFABA will host their 22nd Annual Auction. Attend the auction and bid on exciting items donated by local businesses such as getaways, glass by Josh Simpson, and bike passes to Berkshire East’s Thunder Mountain Park. There will also be a variety of local food and beverage gift baskets and restaurant gift certificates.

The evening starts at 6 pm at the Shelburne-Buckland Community Center with a silent auction, followed by an exciting live auction. Plus, enjoy live music and local food, beer and wine while you bid.

Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door. The proceeds from the auction will go towards GSFABA’s non-profit subsidiary, West County Arts & Culture, which supports the region’s creative economy. Contact Angela Varilly at 413-775-8281 for more information or visit shelburnefalls.com.

 

Davenport Maple Farm Restaurant Opens for the Season

It’s March! For New Englanders, this means sugaring season is upon us. One of my personal favorite places to visit in Franklin County for delicious maple syrup is Davenport Maple Farm Restaurant. I highly recommend taking a scenic drive there on the weekends to enjoy their homemade breakfast or lunch.

Fresh Maple Syrup

When you visit the restaurant, you can see the sap evaporation process first hand. Their sap comes from over 3,500 taps on their property. Once the sap is made into maple syrup, they use the syrup to make maple spread, maple covered nuts, maple sugar candies, maple lollipops, maple granulated sugar, and more. Of course you can also buy the pure maple syrup to take home or sit down for breakfast and enjoy it atop pancakes, waffles, or french toast.

Family-Owned and Operated

The farm dates back 200 years and has been in the Davenport family since 1913. Davenport Maple Farm was founded by Russell and Martha Davenport.  Today the farm is run by Norm and Lisa Davenport and their daughter Meagan and her husband Nate own and operate the restaurant business. 

Located down scenic Tower Road in Shelburne, the restaurant is now open every Saturday and Sunday 8 am to 3 pm through the end of April. So head over to Shelburne soon for delicious Davenport Maple Syrup.

Check out their website or follow them on Facebook!

 

 

Greenspace CoWork Brings a Collaborative Work Environment to Downtown Greenfield

Recently, I had the opportunity to tour Greenspace CoWork, Greenfield’s first co-working space. I was very impressed with the style and feel of this space, one which seems to me would allow someone to focus and work all day. Located on the third floor of Hawks and Reed Performing Arts Center in downtown Greenfield, Greenspace offers memberships for use of their open work environment, free WiFi, and free coffee. Its members are people in a variety of careers, who desire a secure place to work independently, while having the ability to interact with other professionals and meet with clients in a presentable space.

Jeremy Goldsher and Jeff Sauser opened the space in February of this year, with open tables, couches, and a kitchenette. They kept the industrial style of the building, preserving the 170-year old wood floors and brick walls, and adding decor that embellishes that style. Goldsher and Sauser received a $100,000 collaborative Workspace Program grant from Mass Development, which they will use to add a conference room, private office pods, and soundproof phone booths.

So if you are looking to get out of your home office or that crowded coffee shop and into a clean, quiet, open space, then take a free tour of Greenspace CoWork. Memberships cost $150 a month, or $125 a month with a 6-month commitment. You can also purchase a one-day membership whenever you want for only $20. Visit their website for more information: greenspacecowork.com

 

39th Annual Pottery Seconds and More Sale

This Friday, March 2nd and Saturday, March 3rd, check out the 39th Annual Pottery Seconds and More Sale! Purchase beautiful, hand-crafted items at low prices. Meet the talented artists behind the pottery. Enjoy performances by Artspace Strings for Kids students. Plus, you could win a door prize donated by one of the artists!

The Pottery Seconds and More Sale, which supports Artspace Community Arts Center’s programs will be held at the Greenfield Community College Dining Commons, 1 College Drive, Greenfield, MA. Entry is $2 on Friday and free on Saturday.

Visit www.artspacegreenfield.com for more information!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

About Artspace

Artspace’s mission is to encourage and nurture the appreciation of and participation in the arts by offering programs and instruction, and by advocating the importance of the arts in education and in the community.

K9 Keg Pull at the Greenfield Winter Carnival | February 2nd - 4th

The 96th Annual Greenfield Winter Carnival is happening this weekend with fun events scheduled for the entire family. Here are just some of the events to look forward to, but check their website or Facebook page for a full listing of events.

Starting on Friday, browse the various live ice carvings on display throughout Downtown Greenfield. Then, vote for your favorite sculpture at the ballot box on Town Common. At 7:00 pm, look towards the sky for a fireworks show, being shot from Poet's Seat Tower. 

On Saturday at 10 am, runners will line up for the Sleigh Bell Run, a 4 mile scenic road race. Then at 2 pm, the bicyclists will come out for the Fatbike Group Ride, led by the local bike shop, Bicycle World.

On Sunday, enjoy Breakfast with Olaf at The 99 Restaurant. Then work off your meal with a Snowshoeing Trek, meeting at Highland Park at 10 am. 

Other events for the Winter Carnival will include youth basketball games, an art exhibit, face painting, photography contest, dancing, parade of lights, and so much more. 

Greenfield Winter Carnival Coldwell Banker Upton Massamont RealtorsYou will especially not want to miss the popular K9 Keg Pull starting Sunday at 1:00. Dogs of all sizes will be racing to pull kegs (empty ones, of course) across the finish line. The agents at Coldwell Banker Upton-Massamont will be handing out this attractive bandana (photo left) being modeled by Millie! Stop by to say hello and pick one up for your furry friend. 

Ongoing events throughout the weekend will include sledding, outdoor ice skating, snowman village, snow sculpture contest, and marshmallow toasting by the warming fire.

Click here for more information about this weekend's events.

Greenfield Winter Carnival February 2-4

 

Why Smaller Homes are Making a Big Impression

A survey done recently by Houzz, a home remodeling and design website, showed that more and more homeowners prefer small houses, 1,000 feet or less. Often the smallest home in the neighborhood, these homes are relaxed and easy to keep clean, according to the owners.  

However, these homeowners use certain tactics to utilize their space and make their home still feel open. One method is having a lot of natural light. Another way to make the space feel less constricted is having an open floor plan, and expanding the living space to the exterior, as well.

In line with this trend, I am proud to be a part of a new project in Greenfield, Green River Commons (pictured right). Construction of these seven sustainable, ground level townhouses began in early November, just steps from downtown Greenfield. These low-cost condominiums are designed to be energy-efficient with LED lighting, roofs to support solar panels, energy star appliances, and more. They also have sensible floor plans that utilize the smaller space to maximize comfort.

Contact me today to learn more about these new affordable, sustainable homes or visit GreenRiverCommons.com.

View the survey here.

 

Franklin County CiderDays Coming This Weekend!

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.