Blog :: 08-2018

The Heath Fair Returns for a Weekend of Community, Food, Music, and Agriculture

The Heath Fair is one of the few country fairs still around that stays true to its agricultural roots. For over 100 years, it has offered events such as the ox draw, sheep shows, and various trade demonstrations to teach the community about agriculture in an engaging way. Every year the residents of Heath and visitors from surrounding towns look forward to this end of summer event. This year, the 101st Heath Fair will take place this weekend, Friday, August 17th to Sunday, August 19th.

It is truly incredible to see how a large event like this with a variety of activities comes together in such an organized way. It is because of the commitment of volunteers who run each of the events that the Heath Fair is so successful. This year’s lineup of events include the antique tractor pull, rabbit show, goat show, horse draw, truck pull, and sheep show. Bring the kids because there will be so much for them to do too like the zucchini races, wagon rides, demonstrations, and the parade!

Make sure you come hungry because there will be plenty to eat! Join the organized meals such as the Church Ladies Ham and Bean Supper on Friday, the Heath Firefighters Association BBQ on both Saturday and Sunday, or the Blueberry Pancake Breakfast on Sunday. There will also be a great group of vendors selling food, including Lucia’s Latin Kitchen, Kailash Kitchen, and of course Hager’s Farm Market’s fried dough and maple cream.

A country fair needs music and this year’s artist lineup is spectacular. On Friday night, check out Upstate Rubdown and then join in on the square dancing, led by Doug Wilkins. On Saturday, the music starts at 11 am with The Uncles of the Pioneers and continues through the day with The Green Sisters, Li’l BeeDee & The Doo-Rites, and The Whiskey Treaty Road Show. On Sunday, the Ageless Waves of Rhythm will kick off the day with their drumming, followed by the Shelburne Falls Military Band, and Banish Misfortune.

For the full schedule of events, visit heathfair.org. The Heath Fair is presented by the Heath Agricultural Society. Admission is only $8 or $6 for seniors and free for children 9 and under. See you at the Heath Fair!

 

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!