Annual Winter Celebrations in Western MA: Your Cure to Cabin Fever!
Winter Celebrations in Western MA Spotlight Local Culture
During this part of the year, the cold and dark make it difficult to truly enjoy the outdoors. For the past month, temperatures in the single digits (and beyond!) have kept kids and adults alike on the couch instead of in the snow, and we’re all starting to get cabin fever! Luckily, mid-winter ’tis the season to celebrate, as western Massachusetts comes alive with seasonal festivals galore. The coming weeks bring a deluge of indoor and outdoor community celebrations happening across western Massachusetts, offering families opportunities for winter sports, outdoor adventures, friendly competition, community-building, and learning of all kinds!
Winter Carnival: Greenfield. Feb 6-8, 2015
Winter festival season kicks off with Frozen Over, the town of Greenfield’s 93rd annual winter carnival celebration, held February 6th – 8th. A longtime Franklin County tradition, winter carnival will kick off with ice sculptures dotting the streets of downtown Greenfield, and exciting events follow. Highlights of this year’s winter carnival include fireworks, a community bonfire, the annual 4-mile Sleigh Bell Run, indoor and outdoor ice skating and hockey games, snowshoe demonstrations and adventures, cardboard sled races, a chili cook-off, and the first annual parade of lights!
WinterFest: Amherst. Feb 7, 2015
In Amherst, the annual WinterFest will take place on Saturday, February 7th. Held annually at Cherry Hill Golf Course, WinterFest fills the otherwise quiet snow-covered course with all kinds of excitement. Families can spend the afternoon sledding and cross-country skiing, and can test their snow skills in the Cardboard Classic Box Race. Adding education to excitement, families can also participate in bird watching walks, where common winter birds and their calls and food sources will be highlighted. Chilly families can warm up (and chow down) at the Chili Contest, where delicious creations from locals will be featured. Don’t leave too early, though – the event ends with fireworks, a must-see against a crisp, wintry night sky!
WinterFest: Easthampton. Feb 14, 2015
The following weekend brings further fun to the Pioneer Valley, where Easthampton’s WinterFest will fill the city with exciting winter activities and educational opportunities. Families can explore local history by seeing an ice harvesting demonstration on Nashawannuck Pond, and can learn about horse-driven farming with Blue Star Equiculture, who will be offering sleigh rides through town. Further highlights include a bonfire (complete with marshmallows), nature walks to learn about the winter landscape, a snowman-building contest, and hands-on DIY valentines. Held on Saturday, February 14th, Easthampton’s WinterFest blends winter fun with valuable community-based educational opportunities – allowing families to explore local history and natural science, while connecting and celebrating with their community.
Winter Fest: North Adams. Feb 15, 2015
Finally, folks in Berkshire County can kick cabin fever at North Adams’ Winter Fest! Held on Sunday, February 15th from 10am-4pm, Winter Fest brings everything from ice sculptures to bracelet making (and most things in between) to the northern Berkshire community. There will be live music throughout town, special promotions at downtown businesses, information and vendor booths on Main Street, as well as pony rides, face painting, and a bonfire – events galore! Active families can even participate in a fun run/walk on North Adams’ Walking Loops, a new creation thanks to Mass in Motion.
Other winter celebrations to put on your calendars:
- 10×10 Upstreet Arts Festival: February 12-22
- Northampton Ice Art Festival: February 13
- WinklePicker Festival: February 13 & 14
- Valentine’s Day Ice Skating Party in Kendrick Park: February 14