Hilltown Spring Festival is Fun & Educational

Learn About Our Solar System, Discover Musical Instruments, Identify Wildlife, Recycling Activities and More at the Hilltown Spring Festival

Saturday, May 14th from 10am-7pm at the Cummington Fairgrounds

Arunah Hill astronomers will lead a scale model solar system walk at the Hilltown Spring Festival, demonstrating how large our solar system is, and how very small we are! Come learn, explore and have a great time: Saturday, May 14th from 10am-7pm at the Cummington Fairgrounds

Not only will families have a fabulous time being entertain by great music on 3 stages during the 5th Annual Hilltown Spring Festival, they will also have several educational opportunities throughout the day!  Here are just a few highlights:


Arunah Hill Natural Science Center, an educational facility for astronomy, science, and nature located in Cummington, will be at the 5th Annual Hilltown Spring Festival with telescopes and a meteorite display!  Astronomers will be on-site with solar-filtered telescopes for fair-goers to safely view sunspots and solar prominences under the guidance of experienced solar observers. The Arunah Hill staff will also be displaying a collection of meteorites, including a 120 pound iron-nickel meteorite that fell to earth more than 5,000 years ago. — arunah.org


Josh Watchtel from Radio Free Earth will be visiting the Grasshoppa Arts Initiative booth from 1-4pm with a “Musical Petting Zoo.” Josh will have a display of a variety of instruments, including a mountain dulcimer, Turkish choombush, Moroccan bongoes, guitar, space crickets, melodica, one-stringed plastic bottle plucker, and a few other instruments.  He will be sharing their history and showing kids how to make music on each one.  Families are encouraged to stop in to learn about these instruments and get a hands-on experience. — grasshoppaarts.org


Arunah Hill astronomers will lead a walk to create a scale model of the solar system. Starting with the Sun scaled down to the size of a volleyball, the walk will place appropriately sized planets at the correct “scale” distance from the sun. Earth will be the size of a peppercorn, some 26 paces away from the Sun. How far away will Pluto be? The Scale Model Solar System Walk will demonstrate how large our solar system is! It is appropriate for all ages, for anyone capable of walking across the solar system. The Solar System Walks will take place at 11:45am and 2:15pm.  — arunah.org


Earthwork programs of Williamsburg will be offering several educational opportunities during the festival. Learn the art of fibers and make a hand crafted gift, experience the lost art of firemaking with hands-on demo, and increase your awareness of wild life. Check their schedule when you arrive for several activities, including: Native Crafts and Skills Working with Fibers; The Art of Making Fire; The Art of Fox Walking and Owl Vision; and The New Bird Watching and Storytelling. — earthworkprograms.com


Judy Pasko from Cummington Wildlife invites families to stop by her booth for wildlife games and learning.  She will be offering two games, one involving “match the pawprints to the animal” and a wildlife trivia question game for all age ranges. The primary mission of Cummington Wildlife is to give treatment to orphaned, injured, or ill wildlife with the goal of releasing the animal back into the wild. Families can stop by throughout the day to learn about communities living with wildlife. — cummingtonwildlife.com


Hampshire Regional’s Coordinated Family & Community Engagement Outreach booth will be promoting literacy by offering free books for kids and a springtime art activity for them to “make and take.” Balloon sculptor from Ed Popielarczyk’s Magical Moments will be there to entertain the kids while they pick out a book and make art. — In addition to supporting early and family literacy, families can find out about local resources that assist in accessing a variety of services, including vouchers to help pay for child care, contact information for area child care providers and medical professionals, and referral information for Early Intervention programs, along with a free Parent Resource Manual that highlight many area services for children and families.


The RH Conwell Community Education Center invites families to stop in to make crafts out of recycled materials, a simple opportunity for kids to learn about recycling while celebrating their inner artist. — For 70 years this hilltown school located in Worthington, has thrived on a combination of widespread community support and a strong belief that it takes an entire community to raise and educate children.  The genesis of this view stems from the teachings of Russell H. Conwell, the founder of Temple University, who was born in Worthington in 1843. — www.conwellcec.org

(Photo credit: (ccl) Abby of abbyladybug)


The Hilltown Spring Festival, produced by Hilltown CDC, brings together local food vendors, local musicians, local artists and craftspeople, community non-profit organizations, and vendors of products and services to improve energy-efficiency and build a more sustainable life-style. The Festival will be open from 10 AM to 7 PM on May 14 at the Cummington Fairgrounds. Music on three stages begins at 10:30. Admission is $5 per person; children 12 and under are free.

A Family Music Stage will play family-friendly music from 10:30 until 4:30, featuring The Nields, Ben Rudnick & Friends, Mister G, Sarah Pirtle and Lui Collins. Other musicians will offer rock, jazz, folk, blues, bluegrass and African drumming. Local food vendors will provide Turkish, German, Asian, and vegetarian food, plus wood-fired pizza, ice cream, beer and more. Children from ages 6 to 12 will offer their crafts for sale and Morris dancers will dance at unpredictable times throughout the day.

The Hilltown CDC, a local non-profit which has been helping hilltown residents for 30 years. Proceeds go to support Hilltown CDC’s programs, which include support for local elders to help them remain in their homes, rehabilitation of the residences of low and moderate income hilltowners, construction of affordable housing for seniors and others, training and support for first-time home-buyers, and support for local businesses.

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