Suggested Events 10/27/07 – 11/02/07
IS WESTERN MASS HOME TO THE RAG SHAG PARADE?
Here’s a challenge for our readers, what are the origins of the “rag shag parade?” I had never heard of a rag shag parade until I moved to Western Mass. And as far I can tell, this style of parade is a local phenomenon. You don’t hear about rag shag parades happening in Minnesota or Louisiana. Not even Boston! Correct me if I’ve overlooked something, but they seem to take place largely in Western Mass, with at least eight ELEVEN happening this week. So what gives? How did they originate, and why Western Mass? I’ll throw in a free HFVS T-Shirt Review T-Shirt for the person that can come up with an answer, or at the very least a clever response.
AND JUST WHAT IS A RAG SHAG PARADE?
Judging from my limited experience, rag shag parades are free-for-all community events where families dress-up in costume and loosely parade down their local town’s main drag. Sometimes fire engines lead the way, sometimes fire engines close up behind. At at the end of the parade there are typically refreshments, activities and/or a bonfire. The kids run around, the adults hide behind masks, and often times trick-or-treating begins. I’m certain there are variations to this format. We’ve been to four rag shag parades since our daughter was born. All in Western Mass and all followed a similar pattern. Share with us your favorite rag shag parade stories below in the comment box.
If you have a family-friendly event or educational program happening in Western Massachusetts that you’d like to let us know about, or would like to submit your event to the Hilltown Families calendar of Suggested Events, email Sienna at email@example.com. Comments are warmly welcomed!
Events Happening in the Hilltowns
SATURDAY – 10/27
11am-3pm – FALL FESTIVAL – The Community SOL 4-H is holding a fall festival craft fair with bake sale and free activities for kids. Join families, including members from the Hilltown Families Listserv, to make straw dolls, wands and witch hats, or play dress up in the costume corner. Being held at the North Hall (40 Searle Road) in Huntington, MA. [Families] (Free/$)
Noon-4pm – HISTORY WORKSHOP – Learn about the kinds of things that people made by hand every day in early New England at Historic Deerfield in Deerfield, MA. Practice sewing or have fun making a hand-made toy out of clay to take home. Included with general admission. At History Workshop. 413.775.7214 [Families] ($/Borrow a museum pass from your local library)
2pm & 3pm – FAMILY THEATER – Picture Book Theater performs Tico and the Golden Wings at the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Arts in Amherst, MA. [Families](>$, Borrow a museum pass from your local library)
2pm-4pm- FAMILY CONCERT & HALLOWEEN EVENT – Join the Pop Rocket’s for some extra Halloween fun at Bart’s Ice Cream in Greenfield, MA. Live music and dancing, along with ice cream. Come in costume. [Families] (Free)
5pm-8pm – HALLOWEEN EVENT – Rag shag parade (6:30pm at the Fire Station), talent/variety show, candy swap, and trick-or-treating in Worthington, MA. 413.238.0047 [Families] (Free)
5pm-8pm – HALLOWEEN EVENT – Rag shag parade and trick-or-treating down Main Street in Cummington, MA. Activities at the Community House. [Families] (Free)
SUNDAY – 10/28
10am-4pm – FAMILY FUNFEST – Enjoy a day full of family fun events at Historic Deerfield in Deerfield, MA. There will be Halloween events, along with storybook characters. 413.774.5581 [Ages 6 and up] ($)
6:30pm – HALLOWEEN EVENT – Halloween Storytime at the Eric Carle Museum in Amherst, MA, with author/illustrator David Costello. 413.658.1100 [Families] (Free with admission, Borrow a museum pass from your local library)
11:30am – SIGNING STORYTIMES – Discover ALS (sign language) with your child at the Toy Box in Amherst, MA. Students from Hampshire College will read a story out-loud and in sign language (ASL) for the audience. 413.256.8697 [All ages] (Free)
3:30pm – GIRLS SOCCER – Take your kids to see the big girls play soccer at Hampshire Regional High School in Westhampton, MA. [Families] (Free)
5:30pm- HALLOWEEN EVENT – Easthampton Family Center’s 3rd Annual Rag Shag Tail-Gating Party at St. Phillips Church Parking Lot in Easthampton, MA. Join them at the “Halfway Point” of the Rag Shag Parade. Little feet don’t always make the whole parade route! Come party and join the parade as it passes by. Halloween Fun to be had. Not So Spooky Halloween Music. (Town Parade Starts at 6pm @ the Maple St School and Parades to Williston school where goodies bags are given out.) 413.563.7672 [Families] (Free)
TUESDAY – 10/30
1pm & 2pm – PARENT EXERCISE – Community Walking Program in the Hilltowns, organized by the Hilltown Community Health Centers. Every Tuesday (weather permitting) meet at Russell Conway School Parking lot in Worthington, MA. Beginner start at 1pm & experienced walkers start at 2pm. Call to register. 413.667.2204 [Parents] (Free)
4pm – KIDS’ JAM – Join Hilltown Music Together director Lui Collins in a new music and movement for “big kids” at the Belding Memorial Library in Ashfield, MA. Two different time slots are available. Classes run through 12/11. Scholarship aid is available. Open to home schoolers and other family groups. 413.628.0197 [Ages 5-6+] ($$)
7pm – FAMILY RADIO – Tune-in between bath and bedtime to the Hilltown Families very own radio show, the Hilltown Family Variety Show, on WXOJ LP 103.3 FM, Valley Free Radio out of Northampton, MA. www.valleyfreeradio.org. This week’s episode is a special HALLOWEEN EPISODE. [Families] (Free)
WEDNESDAY – 10/31
9pm – PARENT COFFEE BREAK – After dropping the kids off at school or their homeschool program, drop into Elmer’s in Ashfield, MA. Not only do they have great coffee, they have a fantastic breakfast menu too. Connect with other parents. If you’d rather do some work, bring your laptop (they have wireless!) and let them bring you coffee! To find out what’s happen over at Elmer’s, read Notes from Nan, a weekly update posted here on Hilltown Families. [Parents] ($/Free)
4:30pm-7pm – HALLOWEEN EVENT – Mrs. Claus will host a Witches Ball at Chandler’s Restaurant in South Deerfield, MA. Food and activities. Call to RSVP. 413.665.1277 [Families] ($)
4pm-5:30pm – HALLOWEEN EVENT – Trick-or-treating and a rag shag parade happen down Main Street in Greenfield, MA, followed by a free screening of It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown at the Garden Cinemas. [Families] (Free)
5:30pm – HALLOWEEN EVENT- Rag Shag parade, costume contest, treats in Florence, MA. Line up at Trinity Row Park and parade to the Florence Civic Center. [Families] (Free)
6pm – HALLOWEEN EVENT – Trick-or-treating, spook house, costume parade in Ashfield, MA. [Families] (Free)
6:15pm – HALLOWEEN EVENT – Rag shag parade from Hampshire Regional HS to center of town in Westhampton, MA. [Families] (Free)
6:30pm – HALLOWEEN EVENT – Rag shag parade in Plainfield, MA, from the Mr. Tire parking lot, flowed by a bonfire and costume contest. Refreshments served. [Families] (Free)
7pm – HALLOWEEN EVENT – Halloween pizza and movie night at Cafe Evolution in Florence, MA. Screening The Nightmare Before Christmas. Bring kids in costumes. Tour the haunted vegan bus and enjoy sweets. [Families]
THURSDAY – 11/01
9am – PARENT SOCIAL – Hilltown Families invites parents to gather at Bread Euphoria in Haydenville after dropping off the kids. Get yourself a scone and tea and chat with other area parents before heading off to work or to accomplish your never-ending “to do list.” [Parents] ($, Free)
11am-1pm – HOMESCHOOL HAPPENINGS – Join other homeschoolers at the Greenfield Library in Greenfield, MA, to learn about Ancient Greece. Runs through 11/15/07. For more information call 413.772.1544 x5. [Ages 7 & up] (Free)
5:30pm – READ TO DOGS – The Meekins Library in Williamsburg, MA, will be resuming their special program Reading to Dogs. Animals are ideal nonjudgemental reading companions that are less intimidating than peers. Children sign up for 20minute slots. All dogs are registered therapy pets. 413.268.7472 [Ages 6 & up] (Free)