Shelburne Falls

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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Staying Fit: Workout Centers in Franklin County

Was your new year’s resolution to get in shape? The middle of winter can be a tough time to get into a workout routine. The good news is Franklin County has many exercise facilities with a variety of offerings to tailor to your style. So you can stick to your New Years resolution this year!

YMCA in Greenfield

Whether you’re looking for a single or family membership, the YMCA can suit you. They offer different levels of membership and even daily passes if you’re not looking for a commitment. The Y is great for people who are looking to exercise in a variety of ways. They have a full workout room with machines and weights, a pool, a gym, plus they offer classes ranging from spin to aqua aerobics. There are plenty of programs for kids, as well, such as sports teams like gymnastics, and school-aged child care. 

Common Ground Fitness Center

Common Ground Fitness Center is perfect for adults who could use some support getting into and maintaining a healthy workout routine. While you can drop in and use the equipment at your own desire, they promote attendance of their group workout classes and use of personal trainers to help you keep coming. Common Ground offers high intensity workout classes such as TRX, PIYO, and boxing, as well as low-intensity ones like elasticize and yoga. Plus, their memberships are very affordable with tiered levels ranging from $30 to $70 a month.

Riverside Fitness Studio

Sometimes, the best way to take control of your workout routine is by having a personal trainer, someone to hold you accountable for showing up. For those who live in West Franklin County, there is a great personal fitness studio right in Shelburne Falls - Riverside Fitness Studio. Personal Trainer Tim, has been in the fitness industry for over 6 years and has been holding his own steady workout routine for over 10. He offers one-on-one or one-on-two training sessions that give results. 

I hope this list is helpful in your start towards physical health and wellness this new year! Happy training!

 

Business Highlight: Spruced Up

Naturally Cleaning, Organizing, and Decluttering Your Spaces!

Where are you located? 
We are based out of Shelburne Falls, MA.

When did you open? 
We started on November 1, 2018.

What inspired you to start this business? 
We both have felt the impact of clearing physical space and becoming intentional in how we are organizing our homes. It has had a positive effect on our well-being and inspired us to start our business with the desire to bring this quality and effect to other’s homes and spaces. We believe that a clean and tidy home has the power to bring physical wellness, clarity of mind and productivity to one’s life.

What is your mission? 
To support health and wellness in others through natural cleaning, decluttering and organizing spaces.

What goods or services do you offer?
We offer: general cleaning; deep cleaning; decluttering and purging of items; organizing spaces; preparing for guests; arranging spaces for optimal flow, function and aesthetic.

What is your favorite service that you offer? Why? 
Our favorite service that we offer is decluttering and purging followed by organizing. We love this because it opens space up and allows for improvement of physical and mental health, free-time, relationships, productivity, and a healthier home. Removing extra “stuff” from one’s space allows for there to be a higher likelihood that the space will stay tidy. General and routine cleaning feels great to come home to, and if one invests in going further with decluttering and organizing, it lays the foundation for maintaining a happier and healthier home.

Do you have any special events or promotions coming up? 
We do not at the moment, but Stay Tuned in the future!

Is there anything else you would like to share with readers about your business? 
We have a wide skill set. If there’s something you need but is not listed, let us know! We can probably help you out!

Hours of operation:
We operate Monday through Friday during day-time hours, and sometimes on the weekends.

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/spruceduphilltowns/

Check out one of their recent jobs- Before and After!

  

 

Attention Air Bnb Hosts: New Short Term Rental Laws in Massachusetts

If you are currently listing part or all of your home on Air Bnb or are considering renting out a space in your home for short term periods, you’ll want to pay close attention to the new short term rental laws in Massachusetts. These new laws will require all short term rentals to be registered in a database with the state. The law also imposes a 5.7% hotel room tax to all short term rentals. Plus, towns and cities can choose to add an additional tax of up to 6% (6.5% in Boston) and a 3% community impact fee. Concerning the matter of insurance, people renting out a room will need to have at least $1 million in liability insurance.

When do these laws go into effect?
The state-level laws are already in effect, but towns and cities will have the option to create their own restrictions around short-term rentals.

How is a short-term rental defined in this law?
These new short term rental laws apply to all rentals for a period of 31 days or less, but does not apply to properties rented less than 14 days out of the year. Ordinary tenancies, such as an annual lease or tenancy-at-will, are not affected by this bill.

How does this law apply to rentals already booked for 2019?
Any 2019 rental booked before December 31, 2018 is exempted from the short term rental law.

Be sure to check with your city or town to see if they will implement any further restrictions on short term rentals.

Click here for more information. 
 

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.

 

Painting for Bid to Benefit Bridge of Flowers in Shelburne Falls

If you stop by Salmon Falls Gallery this month, you will see a special painting on display. “Light Showers” a 42 by 64-inch pastel work has been donated by the artist Peter London for silent auction. The proceeds from the auction will benefit the Bridge of Flowers’ maintenance and upkeep. The bidding started at $500 but London estimates the work to be valued at $2,500.

London has had much success in his career as an artist, becoming internationally known and having his work exhibited in galleries across the country. Him and his wife, Marion, have a home in Shelburne, where she is also a volunteer gardener on the Bridge of Flowers. London has also taught workshops at Rowe Conference Center.

If you are an art lover/collector and want to support the beautiful Bridge of Flowers, Salmon Falls Gallery is accepting bids by telephone, email, or in person at the gallery, 1 Ashfield Street in Shelburne Falls. The bidding will close on Sunday, September 30 at a floral themed gala at the gallery. All are invited to attend and are encouraged to come dressed in “floral finery.” There will be refreshments and live music by Einstein’s Little Homonculus.

Contact Salmon Falls Gallery at 413-625-9833 or salmonfalls@megaplanet.com. Visit them online at www.salmonfallsgallery.com.

 

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.