Greenfield Hosts Franklin County’s 200 Year Celebration
Connecting the Past, Present, and Future in Franklin County
Downtown Greenfield will be bustling with activity from Friday afternoon, July 22, through Sunday evening, July 24 as the county seat welcomes exhibitors and performers, craftspeople, farmers, history buffs and vendors from throughout the area to celebrate Franklin County’s 200 years.
The weekend will be book-ended by musical events. It will start with a Friday afternoon women’s barbershop quartet performance, followed by an evening concert with Jennie McAvoy and Michael Nix; and will close with a Sunday evening concert in the park with Lucy Kaplansky. There will also be music throughout the day on Saturday – both at the Veterans’ Mall on Main Street and at the Energy Park on Miles Street.
History will be a major theme of the weekend, dating back as far as prehistoric times, with noted paleontologists on hand for the Jurassic Road Show & Geology Display at the top of Main Street, and the Dinosaurs Library Walk along Poet’s Seat ridge. There will also be walking tours featuring historic downtown landmarks; an exhibit of classic cars along Main Street; demonstration of an old-fashioned pumper at the Greenfield Fire Station and of a blacksmith’s coal forge on the Town Common; also on the Town Common, a live-time Franklin County oral history project for those who wish to share their memories of the area; and tours through the Museum of Our Industrial Heritage on Mead Street.
Outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy a 2-hour bike tour of the area on Saturday morning, a special Franklin County geocache designed to mark the celebration, a Sunday morning group hike to Sachem’s Head from Highland Park, and free admission on Sunday afternoon to the Green River Swimming and Recreation area.
FOOD, FARMS & VENDORS
Welcoming hungry visitors to town will be the Loyal Order of the Moose, with their roast pork dinner on Friday evening; the Second Congregational Church with its Saturday pancake breakfast right on Court Square; and the American Legion with a chicken barbeque on Saturday afternoon. For those who wish to take home armloads of local produce, the Farmers’ Market will be extending its hours from 8am to 2pm on Saturday. – Saturday shoppers will have multiple vendors, crafters and sidewalk sales to choose from, including the annual tent sale at Wilson’s department store and a fashion show sponsored by Maurice’s.
An official welcome ceremony and commemoration of Franklin County’s 200 years will be held at 1pm on Saturday, with featured speakers to include Mayor William Martin, Lieutenant Governor Timothy Murray, Senator Stanley Rosenberg, Representative Denise Andrews, Representative Paul Mark, Senator Benjamin Downing and Congressman John Olver. The national anthem will be sung by Uma Jenses, a student from Mohawk Trail Regional High School in Buckland.
The theme of the weekend is “Connecting the Past, Present, and Future” so there will be activities featuring the sustainable energy efforts of citizens and organizations involved in the Greening Greenfield Energy Committee, including 30-minute trolley tours of the area, and one longer in-depth tour for those with an appetite for more project details.
Other activities of the weekend include a beard contest on Saturday morning, an open house for veterans and others at the American Legion on Sunday, evening music at several downtown venues, and the ever-popular contra dances at the Guiding Star Grange on both Friday and Saturday evenings.
For more details and a full schedule of events, go to www.greenfield-ma.gov.
Submitted by Christy Moore, Recreation Director, Town of Greenfield