Fall Festival

Celebrate 25 Years of CiderDays This Weekend

For 25 years, CiderDays has been a Franklin County staple event of all things apple. Every first weekend in November, events pop up all over the area to appreciate and learn more about ciders, cidermaking, and orchards. There are cider tastings, workshops, and tours, hosted by various orchards, cideries, and other cider professionals. This year, CiderDays will be held November 1-3. Some of the events are free; others require tickets purchased in advance, such as the Cider Salon. 

The Cider Salons will once again be held in the large tent in Unity Park, Turners Falls. Sponsored by the United States Association of Cider Makers, the Salons will feature over 130 ciders from a range of producers around North America and Europe. Buy your tickets in advance for either Round 1 or Round 2 and enjoy the opportunity to sample ciders from near and far.

Some events will be happening throughout the weekend and you can drop in anytime to check them out. Check out an art exhibit at the Great Falls Discovery Center in Turners Falls, 25 Years of CiderDays, which will display historic cider presses and images honoring cider producers. While you’re in Turners Falls, you can also stop by the official Cider Days Bookstore at Two Birds on Avenue for books about orchards and cider and even some author signings. Several tasting rooms will have their doors open to the public throughout the weekend, including West County Cider in Shelburne, Bear Swamp Orchard and Cidery in Ashfield, Headwater Cider in Hawley, and more. 

See the full list of tastings and other events happening throughout the weekend here and find everything you need to know about CiderDays at CiderDays.org

Happy CiderDays! 

Franklin County Cider Days November 2019 Massachusetts


 

Have a Great Time at the Great Falls Festival aka PumpkinFest

Great falls festival turners falls MassachusettsCelebrate a decade of fall fun at the Great Falls Festival aka PumpkinFest on Saturday, October 19. This fall-themed festival will be held on Avenue A in Turners Falls from 2-9 pm and is great for all ages. 

Bring your own carved pumpkin to display or decorate one there! Hang out at the beer garden and drink some local craft beers and pair it with food from various food vendors. You’ll also want to bring your dancing shoes because there will be musical bands and performances all event long. See the full lineup below:

More information on their Facebook page.

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. 



 

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.

 

Scarecrow in the Park: Happening This Weekend!

Looking for something fun and fall-y to do this weekend? Head to Bernardston for the 6th Annual Scarecrow in the Park, hosted by the Bernardston Kiwanis Club! This two-day event, happening Saturday, October 20th and Sunday, October 21st has become an annual tradition, where Cushman Park becomes filled with artists and craftspeople, live music, food vendors, a Halloween dance party, and of course, handcrafted scarecrows, on top of much more.

The scarecrow contest is a signature part of this event, where participants can pay $10 to enter their scarecrow and could win a cash prize. This year, scarecrows will be judged based on the categories of scariest, funniest, prettiest, most interesting use of materials, and best art. The radio station, Bear Country 95.3, also gives a prize to the best “Bearcrow.” Enter your own specially made scarecrow or simply walk around and enjoy viewing all of the amazing ones made by other people. For more information on the contest, click here.

Be sure to bring the whole family because there will be something for everyone to enjoy. Browse the artists’ booths, featuring fiber arts, preserves, gourd art, seasonal decorations, home adornments, and more. Listen to live music by local favorites Appalachian Still and enjoy a live performance by Celtic Heels, local Irish step dancers, as well as the Tractor and Rag Shag Parade. There will also be hay rides, a visit and demonstration with local canine police officers, and face-painting and balloon-sculpting by Melha Shriners clowns.

For more information on Scarecrow in the Park, visit their Facebook page. Don't miss this awesome event!



 

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:

 

Colrain Artists Open Their Doors This Weekend!

Colrain, 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 11-12.

18 artisans will open their doors to showcase their art and offer live viewings of their processes. Their crafts include woodwork, fiber art, metalwork, painting, pottery, and more. One particular artist whose work I always enjoy is Ruby Rice. She creates visionary healing arts ranging from pillows to wall hangings to notecards and more. Her sanctuary and gallery has the feel of a chapel and is meant to comfort and make guests feel at home.

For more information and to download a free map and schedule, visit www.craftsofcolrain.com.

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.