41st Annual Ashfield Fall Festival 2011

Apples and Pumpkins and Maple Products, Oh My!
The 41st annual Ashfield Fall Festival on Columbus Day Weekend

41st Annual Ashfield Fall Festival happens this Columbus Day Weekend! (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

One of the most popular small-town festivals in western Massachusetts, the Ashfield Fall Festival runs from 10am-5pm on Saturday, October 8th & Sunday, October 9th in Ashfield town center. There will be over 55 arts and crafts exhibits, live music, a wide variety of local agricultural products and prepared foods, book and tag sales, fundraising raffles, and many activities for children. Admission is free and parking is available in lots east of town center.

Saturday morning kicks off with the Agricultural Commission’s 4th annual Tallest Sunflower and Heaviest Pumpkin contests. Entries need to be submitted by 9:00 a.m. At noon Saturday, join a team of new or old friends and play in the annual “Pumpkingames.” The young and old alike can compete in pumpkin bowling, the pumpkin relay race, and musical pumpkins.

Enter the 4th annual Tallest Sunflower and Heaviest Pumpkin contests. (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

After a brief absence last year, the “fidget ladder” is returning, so children will again have a chance for one of the “I rang the bell” stickers. There will be a mini-golf game, marble runs, bean bag and coin toss games, the “Storm the Castle” catapult game and more—all low-cost fun for kids attending the festival. Ashfield Community Preschool sponsors face painting and temporary tattoos as well.

Visitors will be able to get a jump-start on their holiday shopping, finding everything from fiber and textile arts, woodwork and blown glass to pottery, jewelry, kid’s clothing and more in several venues along Main Street (route 116). Private homes as well as local organizations host tag and book sales, including the big book sale at Belding Memorial Library and Skalski’s Gigantic Tag Sale.

The iconic Fidget Ladder returns to the festival this year. (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

The town common, with its hill overlooking the festival booths, is a great place to relax, listen to music, and enjoy a sampling from the many food vendors. Whether your taste runs sweet or savory, bring your appetite to fit in all the festival favorites— from Gray’s Sugarhouse’s iconic fried dough with maple cream and the Boy Scouts’ fresh pumpkin-spice donuts to Elmer’s pulled-pork sandwiches and baked potatoes with all the toppings offered by the Mohawk Music Association. There are plenty of kid- and vegetarian-friendly options.

The 2011 musical entertainment line up, with sponsorship support from Greenfield Savings Bank is as follows:


  • 10 a.m. Florence Community Band
  • 11 a.m. Zoe Darrow and the Fiddleheads, performing Irish,Scottish and Cape Breton traditional and contemporary fiddle tunes.
  • 12 Noon: Pumpkingames, featuring our Pumpkinmaster Chris Rawlings
  • 1 p.m. West County Jazz
  • 2:15 p.m. The Over Under, with Abe Loomis, original songwriting with a northern Appalachian flavor
  • 3:30 p.m. Morris Dancers: Hosts are the Juggler Meadow Morris Men, Wake Robin and the Rapscallions. The visiting groups are the Albermarle Morris Men (Tidewater, Va.), Jack in the Green (New Hampshire) as well as dancers from Washington, D.C., and northern Vermont.


  • 10:30 a.m. Banish Misfortune, Celtic favorites
  • 11:45 a.m. Lui Collins an internationally recognized recording artist who is the director of Hilltown Music Together and Kids’ Jam
  • 1:00 p.m. James Delnero & Lost Mountain, bluegrass
  • 2:15 p.m. The Hilltones, countrified rock and roll
  • 3:30 p.m. Abby and Harry Adams, fiddling phenoms

A festival program, with a map and list of vendors and exhibitors, can be found at www.ashfieldfallfestival.org.

The Ashfield Fall Festival 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.

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