All the Best New England Traditions Celebrated at the Ashfield Fall Festival
The 39th Annual Ashfield Fall Festival Takes Place Columbus Day Weekend
Exhibitors of fiber and textile arts, woodwork, blown glass, pottery, jewelry, kid’s clothing and more will display and sell their wares in several venues along Main Street. Food vendors will serve locally-grown or prepared foods— from the iconic fried dough with maple cream and apple pie with a slice cheddar, to kielbasa grinders and chowder.
Saturday morning kicks off with the Agricultural Commission’s second annual Tallest Sunflower and Heaviest Pumpkin “challenge cup” competition. At noon Saturday, teams formed on-the-spot for the annual “Pumpkingames” will compete in a variety of games such as pumpkin bowling and the pumpkin relay race.
If you’re more of a spectator than a competitor, bring your stuffed baked potato and hot pumpkin donut over to the festival stage and listen to great music from local performers such as Radio Free Earth, Zoe Darrow and the Fiddleheads, and Lui Collins. Several teams of Morris Dancers will also be on hand to keep you in the fall festival spirit.
Families will enjoy the low-cost activities for children, including face-painting, a bounce house, the “fidget ladder”, sand art, pumpkin painting, and an arcade of games created and run on the Town Common by local youth. Tag sales will be held both days, and bargain hunters and booklovers alike will enjoy several book sales.
The 2009 musical entertainment line up:
On Saturday, Oct. 10
- 10 a.m., Banish Misfortune, this “session” band plays traditional Irish and Scottish tunes.
- 11 a.m., Radio Free Earth, an eclectic, rootsy band plays “crossover” music mining the world’s songbook.
- 1:15 p.m., Zoe Darrow and the Fiddleheads. A jigging phenomenon who performs traditional Irish, Scottish and Cape Breton fiddle tunes.
- 2:30 p.m., Bluegrass showcase with James Delnero and Lost Mountain.
- 3:30 p.m., Morris dancers. Valley groups Juggler Meadow Morris men, the
Rapscallions and Wake Robin are joined by dancers from around New England.
Sunday, Oct. 11
- 10:45 a.m., Bluegrass and roots music showcase with The Academy Freightshakers.
- Noon, Lui Collins, an internationally recognized recording artist who is the director of Hilltown Music Together and Kids’ Jam.
- 1:15 p.m., The Hilltones present classic and country rock, blues and oldies.
- 2:30 p.m., West County Jazz, an ensemble that plays classics from the modern jazz repertoire, with a little bossa nova.
- 3:45 p.m., A Celtic showcase with Manfred Gabriel and special guests.
The Ashfield Fall Festival (www.ashfieldfallfestival.org) is a volunteer-run event that raises funds for local community organizations and for the Ashfield Citizens’ Scholarship Fund. The event takes place on both public and private property, indoors and outdoors, and generally attracts a large crowd. For the safety and comfort of all, we ask that you please leave your dogs at home.
Photos from 2008 Ashfield Fall Festival.