Western Mass

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.

You're Invited to an Open House This Saturday in Northfield!

This Saturday, June 9th, join me for a special open house for a spacious contemporary style home located on a dead end street in a desirable area of Northfield. The interior has a great floor plan with light filled rooms, beautiful maple floors, vaulted ceiling with skylight, and an attached 2 car garage. The first floor features a kitchen with attractive maple cabinets and breakfast bar; dining room; sitting/dining area that has sliding glass doors to the back deck; large living room; and a half bath. The second floor has a fabulous master suite with lots of closets and full bath and there is a bonus room with washer and dryer hookup that could be used as a large bedroom, exercise or family room. In addition there is a bedroom, full bath and another room that is perfect for office or playroom. This home has a full usable basement, 4 zone Buderus heating system, and the 1.15 acres has a great yard with plenty of room for gardens. This is a great location near the golf course and not far from the charming downtown.

The Open House is from 12 to 2 pm, Saturday, June 9th, at 25 Hidden Pond Lane, Northfield, MA 01360.

Get directions.

View the full listing. 

Contact Wanda today at 413-768-9848 or Wanda@WandaMooney.com

 

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.

 

Bridge of Flowers Annual Plant Sale This Saturday

Franklin County is home to Shelburne Falls, a tiny village on the banks of the Deerfield River, composed of parts of the towns of Buckland and Shelburne. There, you can walk across the world famous Bridge of Flowers, an old trolley bridge turned garden. A wide variety of plants and flowers bloom there, planted and cared for by volunteers. Walking across the bridge is a magical experience, seeing all of the brilliant flowers and the views of the Deerfield River.

The Bridge of Flowers Committee, initiated by the Shelburne Falls Area Women’s Club, manages and fundraises for the bridge. This Saturday, May 19, the Bridge of Flowers Committee will host their annual plant sale. From 9 am to noon, stop by the Village Green at the corner of Water and Main Streets in Shelburne Falls and browse the annuals and perennials for sale. There will also be other local vendors. All of the proceeds benefit the Bridge of Flowers. So come out and support this beautiful landmark of Shelburne Falls.

Visit the Bridge of Flowers website and like them on Facebook!

Wood-Smoked BBQ on the Scenic Mohawk Trail Now Open for the Season

Now that the weather is finally feeling like spring (and even summer!), I think all of us New Englanders are excited about warm summer days sitting outside enjoying some delicious food, especially BBQ. One of my personal favorite spots to eat homemade BBQ is at locally-owned Smoky Bro’s BBQ. Smoky Bro’s is now open for the season so you can head over there and enjoy their mouth-watering BBQ.

Try one of their wood-smoked meats such as pork spare ribs or chopped chicken accompanied with classic sides like mac-n-cheese or coleslaw. Order it as a sandwich or try a rack of ribs. All of their meat is slow-smoked with 100% apple wood, hickory, and oak - they never use gas or electric. Plus, whenever possible, they use local produce for their sides and sauces.

The owner, Brolin “Smoky Bro,” started the business in 2010. With the help of a friend, he designed and built his own massive, commercial-grade smoker. After getting married, him and his wife decided to open their own BBQ business and have been a hit ever since!

Smoky Bro’s BBQ is conveniently located on the Mohawk Trail in Shelburne. You can order from the counter and take it to go or sit at one of their picnic tables and enjoy the beautiful scenery while you eat. Smoky Bro’s BBQ is open Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays and holiday Mondays from May through October.

Check out their website for the full menu and like them on Facebook to see updates throughout the summer.

 

Local Western Massachusetts Potters Open Their Doors to the Public This Saturday and Sunday

Living in the Upper Connecticut River Valley, we are so fortunate to be able to take a short drive and visit a bunch of different talented artists right in their studios. This Saturday and Sunday, you can take advantage of this when 9 local potters will open their doors to the public for the Asparagus Valley Pottery Trail. The artists will also be hosting 13 guest potters from as far away as North Carolina.

From 10 am to 5 pm on Saturday, April 28 and Sunday, April 29, this free event will feature sales and demonstrations right at the artists’ studios. In the beautiful village of Shelburne Falls, two local potters are participating in the trail. Molly Cantor of Molly Cantor Pottery will have her doors open to the public and is featuring guest potter Liz Rodriguez from Rockland, MA. You can also stop by Stephen Earp’s studio and see the work of his guest, Evelyn Snyder of Florence, MA. Down the road in Greenfield, Lucy Fagella will be showing off her work along with her guest potter, Martha Grover of Bethel, MA. View the full list of participating potters here.

Before you take the drive along the Pottery Trail, be sure to pick up a Trail Passport. Bring it with you to any of the participating studios and have it stamped. If you receive at least 7 stamps, you will have the chance to win a piece from one of the potters on the trail.

Plan your route ahead of time using the trail map. Don’t forget to make your last stop the 2nd Annual Pottery Trail After Hours Party, Saturday 5:30-8:30 pm at Snow Farm in Williamsburg. Check out some more potter demos, a kiln opening, and enjoy food catered by Local Burgy and the Pottery Trail Ale made special for this event by Lefty’s Brewing Company. Tickets are $30 in advance and $35 at the door.

For more information about all the happenings this weekend, visit the Asparagus Valley Pottery Trail website.

See you on the trail!

Charming Two Family Home With Views of Deerfield River For Sale in Shelburne Falls

Come take a look at this well maintained and charming 2 family home with views of the Deerfield River and Village of Shelburne Falls. It is an easy walk to downtown where you have access to the many benefits this wonderful village has to offer. There are fabulous restaurants and cafes, pharmacy, library, banks, two markets, artisan galleries and the famous Bridge of Flowers and glacial potholes. This home is perfect for a owner occupy, potential vacation rental or home based business. The first floor has a large kitchen with breakfast bar, living room, full bathroom, 2 bedrooms, and mudroom. The second floor has a kitchen, living room, 2 bedrooms, and full bath. In addition it has gas heat, wood floors, and separate utilities. There is a fabulous front porch and patio in the backyard that is ideal for BBQ's. The sellers have renovated the apartments and made several updates since they took ownership in 2004. 

View the full listing!

Contact Wanda today for details or to set up a showing appointment: (413) 768-9848 or Wanda@WandaMooney.com.

 

Solid Built Cape Style Home For Sale in Heath

Solid built Cape style home situated on 15 acres with a large front deck that overlooks seasonal hillside views! Whether you are looking for a starter home or getaway place this is ready for you to move in and enjoy just in time for the summer season. It has a great floor plan with room for expansion. There is a good size kitchen that is open to the dining and living area, 3 bedrooms and 1 full bath. There is a spacious walk up attic that could easily be finished for additional living space. In addition there is a a full walk out basement that is perfect for storage or workshop, hardwood floors, propane heat, and cedar siding. Located near plenty of popular recreational activities including Berkshire East Ski Resort, white water rafting, fly fishing, mountain bike trails, and so much more. It is near Shelburne Falls, 1/2 hour to Mount Snow, and not far from the Berkshires.

View the full listing!

Call Wanda today for details and to set up a showing appointment at 413-768-9848

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