50th Annual Conway Festival of the Hills

50th Annual Conway Festival of the Hills
October 2nd, 2011

50th Annual Conway Festival of the Hills happens Sunday, Oct 2nd from 10am-4pm, rain or shine! (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

The 50th 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 2nd from 10am-4pm. The Festival of the Hill’s numerous events will begin with the Covered Bridge Classic 10K Road Race, a 1.2 mile kids’ race at 10am. Other highlights include children’s activities from 10am-4pm, live music with The Nields at 10:30am, parade at 1pm, skillet toss at 2pm, and a book signing at the Town Memorial Park. Author/illustrators include Heidi Stemple, David Costello, Marie Betts Bartlett, Pat Leuchtman, Holly Hobbie, John Crowley, Susan Todd, Peter Jeswald, and many other!  Click here for a full schedule


The following video was submitted by the Conway Festival of the Hills organizers.  In this video, Sir Reginald Buttwinker tracks down and interviews the elusive former champion of the Conway, MA Festival of the Hills’ Skillet Toss. The annual skillet toss competition is a battle of brawn and wits, and Sir Reginald is on a quest to find out the secret skills needed to win the Festival of the Hills skillet toss:


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.

Notable Conway residents, past and present, include John Crowley, critically acclaimed American fantasist and author of the World Fantasy Award winning novel Little, Big; Jill Ker Conway, renowned memoirist and Smith College’s first female president; and Archibald MacLeish, a three-time Pulitzer winner.

One of the most popular events at the Festival year after year is the book signing with local authors. This year Conway 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. Other notable authors signing at this year’s book signing, include John Crowley, Heidi Stemple, Jane Yolen, Eve Brown-Waite, Ellen Watson, and Amy Dryanksy.

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