Conway Festival of the Hills

48th Annual Conway Festival Of The Hills
October 4th, 2009 in Conway, MA

Remember this great V-log HF Contributing Writer Tom Adams shared last year about his family trip to the Conway Festival of the Hills in Conway, MA?

Jeff Rutherford of Conway, MA posted this years festivities:

The 48th Annual Conway, Massachusetts’ Festival of the Hills, an annual fall festival that has been recognized as a Library of Congress “Local Legacy” in Western Massachusetts, will take place Sunday, October 4th from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.. The Festival of Hill’s numerous events will include:

  • Covered Bridge Classic 10K Road Race
  • live bands
  • craft fair
  • food vendors
  • skillet toss
  • logsplitting contest
  • art show
  • children’s activities
  • parade

All proceeds from the Festival go to a scholarship fund that is made available to all Conway graduating high school seniors.

Last year, the festival continued its efforts to reduce trash generated at the event by increasing recycling and adding composting of Festival waste. Again this year, the Festival will provide bins for recycling bottles and cans as well as bins to collect compostable food and paper. New this year will be water stations where attendees can get a cups of water, reducing the use of single-use water bottles. Last year’s Festival sent 26 bags of compostable food waste, paper products, and other biodegradables to Bear Path Farm in Whately, MA to be turned into garden compost instead of sending it to the transfer station and a landfill. Twelve bags of recyclable/redeemable material were collected. Again this year, the Festival invites everyone who attends to help the Festival reduce its environmental impact by using the composting and recycling stations. 

Festival of the Hills Book Signing Returns, Featuring Many Local Authors

One of the most popular events at the Festival year after year is the book signing with local authors.

  • This year Conway, MA resident Holly Hobbie, creator of the much-loved Holly Hobbie character and the Toot and Puddle children’s book series, will be on hand to sign copies of her books.
  • Another Conway resident signing books will be Peter Jeswald, a builder who has written a practical and engaging how-to guide for creating paths, steps, and footbridges in the garden.

Location & History

Conway, Massachusetts, is located on Route 116 in Massachusetts, 5 miles north of I-91. Conway, Massachusetts. The Conway Festival of the Hills fall festival was originally a July 1915 pageant to celebrate 100 years of peace between the United States and England. In 1962, the festival was revived to raise funds for the town’s 1967 bicentennial celebration. Since then, the annual Festival of the Hills is an all-volunteer event that raises scholarship money for the town’s high school graduates.

Conway, located in the foothills of the Berkshires just west of the Connecticut River Valley, was originally settled in 1762, and the town was incorporated in 1775. Conway was named for General Henry Seymour Conway, a leader in the English House of Commons. Conway’s landmarks include the Field Memorial Library, a library funded by Marshall Field, the legendary retailer who grew up on a farm in Conway in the 1800s before eventually moving to Chicago, and the Burkeville Covered Bridge. Originally built in 1870, the historic covered bridge over the South River was added to the Historic Register in 1988. The Burkeville Covered Bridge was completely restored and renovated and reopened to pedestrian access in 2007.

Schedule of the Festival of the Hill’s Activities

Saturday, October 3rd, 2009

  • 7:30-10 am Pancake Breakfast Congregational Church (For tickets phone 369-4040)
  • 9 am-2 pm Festival Bake Sale Town Center. Incredible donations of fabulous baked goods and cider or hot beverages to go with them.
  • 1 pm Walking Tour of Conway’s Historic District Conway Historical Society
  • 2 pm Boyden Schoolhouse Open House. Old-fashioned games and school activities, located near the Conway Grammar School.
  • 6:30 pm Turkey Dinner Congregational Church. Sponsored by Firemen’s Auxiliary. For tickets, phone 369-4080
  • 8 pm Conway Show of Stars, Congregational Church. A showcase of Conway’s talented residents. Tickets available at the door, call 369-0255

Sunday, October 4th, 2009

  • 10 am Covered Bridge Classic. 10K Road Race for Adults; Kids 1.2 Mile Race. Registration 9-9:40 AM at Library Common, Conway Town Center.
  • 11-4 Open House at the Conway Historical Society. Exhibits of local history with Kate Wynans
  • 10-2 Café Conway – Town Center (Warm & Cold Beverages & Baked Goods)
  • 10-4 Art Exhibit – Field Memorial Library
  • 10-4 Used Book Sale – Field Memorial Library
  • 10-12, 2-4; Booksigning – Town Memorial Park (across from Town Hall). Meet local authors including Holly Hobbie, Bill MacLeish, John Crowley, Amy Dryansky, Sophie Page, Peter Jeswald, and more!
  • 1:00 Parade kicks off at OESCO (Orchard) Route 116
  • 1:45 Cindy’s School of Dance Field Library steps
  • 2-4 Open house, Boyden Schoolhouse
  • 10-4 Town Center Exhibits & Attractions (Inside/Outside Town Hall & at Town Memorial Park)

Festival Raffle Table

  • Fried Dough w/ Maple Cream
  • Homemade Candy
  • Ice Cream
  • Cider Pressing
  • Fresh Cider & Donuts
  • Conway Quilters
  • Hand Weaving – Ute Bargmann
  • Natural Roots – Community Supported Agriculture
  • The Trustees of Reservations’ Highland Communities Initiative
  • Conway School of Landscape Design
  • Conway Assessors
  • New England Wildflower Society’s Nasami Farm
  • SHP Group Learning Tours
  • Wilder Hill Gardens
  • Dakin Pioneer Valley Humane Society (behind Town Hall)
  • Massachusetts 2010 Census Liaison
  • Franklin Land Trust

Events & Entertainment at the Ballfield

  • 10-4 CRAFT FAIR
  • 11-4 LIVE MUSIC
    • 10-11:45 am Tony Vacca (World Rhythms with Interactive Drumming for All Ages)
    • 12-1 pm Festival of the Hills Open Mic Jr. (A Showcase for Local Music!)
    • 1:30-2:15 pm Unit7 (Big Swing Band with Horns)
    • 2:30-3:15 pm The Nields (Fantastic Music for All Ages)
    • 3:30-4 pm Janet Ryan & Straight Up (Rockin’ Rhythm & Blues)
    • New this year – Jonas Cain, meta-illusionist, will entertain you between musical sets with feats of magic! (Appearances at approximately 1:20 and 2:15).
  • 10-4pm Exhibitors
    • Blacksmithing Demonstration – Bob Compton
    • Mammal Rehabilitation/Paw Prints
    • Tom Ricardi’s Birds of Prey
    • Museum of Our Industrial Heritage
    • Shang Shung Institute
  • 11:30 Logsplitting Contest (Men’s & Women’s Divisions, 18 & over)
  • 2 pm Skillet Toss Contest (Men’s & Women’s Divisions, 18 & over)
  • 4:00 FESTIVAL Raffle Drawing to benefit the Festival Scholarship Fund
  • 10-4 More Ballfield attractions
    • Fabulous Food Booths
    • Pies, Pies, Pies, and More Pies
    • Climbing Wall
  • 10-4 Children’s Activities
    • Face Painting
    • Games
    • Bounce House
    • Hay Maze
    • Pumpkin Painting
    • Petting Zoo & Pony Rides
    • Radar Timed Baseball Pitching
  • 10-4 Information Booths at Town Center and on Ballfield


A community effort to make the Festival as trash free as we can. All proceeds fund scholarships for graduating Conway seniors.
Thank you for your support and enthusiasm!

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