Suggested Events for May 26th – June 1st, 2018
If you have a community event, educational program, or service-learning opportunity happening in Western Massachusetts that you’d like to let us know about, self-post your event at any time on our Suggest An Event bulletin board. The events below are “suggested.” Please take the time to confirm that these events are happening, along with time, place, age appropriateness, and costs before attending.
Serving Western Massachusetts since 2005, Hilltown Families supports development and enhancement of our local economy and community. Local businesses, individuals, schools, and non-profits are encouraged to partner with Hilltown Families through sponsorship and advertising. Let us help get the word out about your after school/homeschool class, event, camp, workshop, fundraiser, business/school, service, open house, volunteer opportunity or general announcement. Deliver your message to thousands of families living throughout the four counties of Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! Click HERE to find out more.
Go where no circus performer has gone before…to the stars and beyond! Blast off with Show Circus Studio‘s intrepid acrobats as they journey throughout the galaxy to discover brave new worlds, fantastic creatures, and feats beyond your imagination! The voyage will take you upside down, inside out, and to the edge of the known universe and back! Come join them for the debut of their family-friendly, out of this world circus experience. You will never forget it! Featuring the “SHOW OFFS” Circus Youth Troupe, SHOW Adult Troupe, and professional SHOW circus performers. Sunday, June 3. Doors at 3:30pm, show at 4pm. Tickets available online at aomtheatre.ticketfly.com Adult: $18, Youth: $13.
Summer is just around the corner! Western Mass Summer Soccer Academy is for girls and boys ages 6-14. Held at Look Park, the academy features pecial trainings with New England Revolution Academy Coaches to improve skills, promote team play and have fun! Campers will also experience plyometrics training to improve speed, agility and quickness. For more information, call 413-250-7460, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.westernmassathletics.com.
The 2018 Hilltown Youth Theatre Summer Workshop presents their 8th outdoor, traveling spectacle Avatar: The Last Airbender. Aspiring actors, artists, musicians, singers and set-designers will enjoy 3 weeks of movement, voice work, intensive actor training and work on large apparatus (aerial trapeze, circus silks, stilts, spools) with guest artists from Knighthorse Theatre, Double Edge Theatre and other luminaries of the Valley’s performing arts community. Located at the Hawlemont School in the foothills of the Berkshires, July 16 – Aug 8, Mon-Fri (9am to 4pm) with select evening and WE rehearsals. Performances at Berkshire East Mtn Resort: Aug 4-7. No prior acting experience required, generous financial assistance and scholarships available. For info, visit hilltownyouth.org, email email@example.com, or call 413-387-8783.
USA Waste and Recycling is a family owned and operated business that provides the best Waste and Recycling removal services in the area! They are offering one month of free residential collection services to NEW customers! For EXISTING customers: refer a new customer and receive a free month as well! USA Waste & Recycling is offering this free service to residents of Northampton, Easthampton, Southampton, and Belchertown. They are also currently offering $25 off dumpsters for spring cleaning! Dumpsters must be delivered by August 1, 2018. For more information, visit www.usarecycle.com, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call their outstanding customer service center at 1-800-998-2984 to subscribe!
Our summer camp guide is up! Check out our featured post, 2018 Summer Camps and Programs in Western MA for a list that will wow and dazzle you! Summer opportunities featured range from music, art, farming, theater, dance, science, nature, sports, speaking, yoga, rock ‘n roll… to traditional summer day or overnight camps/programs! There’s something for all ages, toddlers to teens! Check it out and start making your summer plans! — Do you have a summer camp or program you’d like to have included in our comprehensive list? Find out how you can submit your listing HERE.
Hilltown Families Preschool Directory: Are you looking for a preschool that fits your child’s personality and reflects your family’s values? Check out our growing Preschool Directory, covering all four counties in Western Massachusetts, and find the perfect place for your young one! — Have a school you’d like to include in this list? Click here to find out how to have it added.
ADVERTISE HERE: Reach thousands of families in Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! See your summer camp, class, community event, school, open house, audition, homeschool program, workshop, volunteer opportunity, wellness program, local business, after-school class, or non-profit featured here in the Bulletin Board section of our list of Weekly Suggested Events and in our weekly eNewsletter, reaching thousands of families living throughout the four counties of Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! Find out more about our advertising options and how you can partner with Hilltown Families in your online marketing by emailing us at at email@example.com.
JOIN OUR TEAM OF CONTRIBUTING WRITERS: Interested in becoming a Contributing or Guest Writer for Hilltown Families? We welcome writings that reflect the community-building and educational efforts parents, teens, teachers, artists, activists and community leaders work towards and accomplish, and how that affects, supports and empowers our families. All writing styles welcomed, including local reviews, DIY posts, seasonal cooking/local food, and community-based educational & community service learning opportunities/resources. Send your query to firstname.lastname@example.org.
LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
May 26th – June 1st, 2018
Saturday, May 26, 2018
9-10am – HILLTOWN FAMILY VARIETY SHOW: Tune in on your FM dial, or listen live via streaming audio at www.valleyfreeradio.org. The Jolly Pops, a band of Happy Dads, guest DJs the HFVS bringing the noise and the family funk. Listen to lead singer/songwriter Mr. Billy and his two daughters spin their favorite family music from all over the map. Let’s get this Family Dance Party Started! Encore of Saturday’s broadcast airs Sunday morning from 7-8am and podcast is posted here on Hilltown Families immediately following Sunday’s broadcast. Listen to the Hilltown Family Variety Show podcasts anytime. Click here select from over 10 years of archived shows!
Saturday, May 26, 7-10am
As English novelist and poet Thomas Hardy wrote in his 1900 poem “The Darkling Thrush”: “At once a voice arose among / The bleak twigs overhead / In a full-hearted evensong / Of joy illimited; / An aged thrush, frail, gaunt, and small, / In blast-beruffled plume, / Had chosen thus to fling his soul / Upon the growing gloom.” The bleak, wintery setting of Hardy’s poem stands in stark contrast to the rich, verdant world which surrounds us now. Come enjoy a leisurely bird walk and see if you can spot thrushes, red-winged blackbirds, and swallows at the Graves Farm Wildlife Sanctuary. For more information visit Bird Walk. Graves Farm Wildlife Sanctuary. Williamsburg, MA ($)
Saturday, May 26, 9am-5pm
Sheep have been an important part of New England life since the English settlers arrived more than 300 years ago. At the time, sheep were imported for meat and wool and over time became a vital part of the local economy. The renowned Massachusetts Sheep and Woolcraft Festival started in 1974 as an idea that came up at a potluck dinner. The original idea was to host a statewide sheep show, celebrating the importance of the local sheep industry. Since then the festival has grown and expanded to include sheep dog trials, local vendors, and workshops focusing on various woolen crafts. If you’ve got a crafter in your family, this is an opportunity to pick up lots of new skills, from natural dyeing to knitting Latvian fingerless mitts to felting. This is an amazing local tradition you won’t want to miss! For a complete list of all the events during this two day festival, please visit the Festival schedule. Cummington Fairgrounds. 97 Fairgrounds Road, Cummington, MA (FREE; $> Parking)
Saturday, May 26, 10am-6pm
The Paradise City Arts Festival is one of the areas most beloved annual events. For the past 23 years, Paradise City has been bringing more than two hundred of the very best artists and craftspeople from all over the country to the Three County Fairgrounds for a celebration of art, featuring live music and delicious food. If you are an aspiring artist, this three day event is a great opportunity to see the kinds of work that others are doing. Meet with artists, discuss their process, and maybe you’ll get inspired! Three County Fairgrounds. 54 Old Ferry Road, Northampton, MA ($)
Saturday, May 26, 10am-3pm
Sally Ride, the first American woman in space, became an astronaut after answering an advertisement in the student newspaper at Stanford University. In 1978, after finishing her PhD in astrophysics, she was selected to work for NASA. At the press conference before her first space flight, Ride was subjected to such sexist questions as: “Do you weep when things go wrong on the job?” and “Will the flight affect your reproductive organs?” Ultimately, Ride would go on to spend more than fourteen days in space. On her birthday, Berkshire Athenaeum is celebrating the life and legacy of Sally Ride with a full day of activities inspired by Ride’s lifelong commitment to encouraging children to get involved with science. This event is appropriate for children of all ages. Berkshire Athenaeum. 1 Wendell Ave, Pittsfield, MA (FREE)
Saturday, May 26, 11am-7pm
While the modern food truck finds its historical antecedent in the rustic ‘chuckwagon,’ which provided simple food to Texas ranchers while herding cattle for months at a time, food trucks have now become a cultural phenomenon. Effective utilizing social media by informing customers precisely where the trucks are going to be at any given moment, the food truck movement is enormously popular. The prestigious “Zagat Survey” has even started rating food trucks. Part of the popularity of food trucks is due to the innovative menus they tend to feature, the Los Angeles Korean-Taco fusion trend being perhaps the most famous example. Now for the second year, Pittsfield is hosting its own Food Truck Festival! Try some new and delicious foods and enjoy the festive atmosphere, with fun activities for the whole family. Wahconah Park. 105 Wahconah Street, Pittsfield, MA (FREE)
Saturday, May 26, 3-5pm
LITERARY STUDIES/MEMORIAL DAY
As Elie Wiesel once wrote: “For the dead and the living, we must bear witness.” This memorial day weekend, Warrior Writers will be hosting a reading and open mic featuring local veteran poets and writers. Warrior Writers is a national nonprofit that gives veterans the opportunity to express their experience through art in a collaborative community setting. For more information, including a complete list of readers, please visit Memorial Day Reading. Poet’s Seat Tower. Mountain Road, Greenfield, MA (FREE)
Saturday, May 26, 3:30pm
Melancholy, from the Greek “black bile,” is one of the four ‘humours’ or bodily fluids that were thought to govern the body and personality. The concept of the four humours is traced back at least as far as the fourth century BCE Greek physician Hippocrates and continued to be extremely influential well into the 20th century. While contemporary medical scientists reject the theory of the humours, the basic model continues to inform much of our thinking on personality and temperament. A preponderance of melancholy, or black bile, in a person was thought to express itself in ruminative and wistful sort of disposition. Melancholy is associated with the element of earth and governed by the planet Saturn, accounting for its depressive and dark qualities. Come celebrate this oft-maligned temper with the Melancholy Play, featuring the talented actors from North Star: Self-Directed Learning for Teens! Shea Theater Arts Center. 71 Avenue A, Turners Falls, MA ($)
Saturday, May 26, 4-6pm
CONCERT/CREATIVE FREE PLAY
Under the Tree Music Company is putting on a show this saturday! The Big Saturday Jam-boree is a celebration of music, art, and silliness. Bring your own instrument and play along, some instruments will also be provided by the band, or just feel free to dance and play. Under the Tree Music Company focuses on bringing the opportunity to create art and music to the whole community. Hawks and Reed Performing Arts Center. 289 Main Street, Greenfield, MA ($)
Sunday, May 27, 2018
7-8am – FAMILY RADIO: Valley Free Radio (WXOJ-LP 103.3FM Northampton, MA) airs encores of the Hilltown Family Variety Show every Sunday morning. commercial-free family radio. Tune in on your FM dial, or listen live via streaming audio at www.valleyfreeradio.org. Listen to the Hilltown Family Variety Show podcast anytime – click here to select from over 10 years of archived shows!
Sunday, May 27, 1-4:30pm
Repair Public is bringing the community together to learn how to fix household items in need of repair. It’s amazing how many things can be fixed with just a little bit of know-how. The folks at Repair Public will share their expertise with you so that you can fix your own things, instead of having to replace it. This Sunday, Repair Public will be helping people fix bicycles, lawn mowers, chainsaws and other larger, more unwieldy items. Seymour, the Pub. 5 Bank Row, Greenfield, MA (FREE)
Sunday, May 27, 2-3:30pm
LOCAL HISTORY/SOJOURNER TRUTH
In 1844, escaped slave, abolitionist, and women’s rights activist Sojourner Truth was serving as an itinerant preacher at a camp meeting in Northampton, when a group of angry men approached and threatened to burn the tents. Despite being in serious mortal danger, Sojourner Truth stood up and began to sing a hymn. The rioters were captivated by Truth and ended up staying to listen to her preach for more than an hour. After which they peacefully departed. Sojourner Truth was a tireless advocate for human rights and for the 16th year the community will gather to remember and celebrate her legacy, featuring a keynote talk by Dr. Trevor Baptiste and music by the Amherst Area Gospel Choir. Sojourner Truth Memorial Park. Park Street, Northampton, MA (FREE)
Monday, May 28, 2018
Monday, May 28, 1-4pm
Did you know that the longest continuously running Memorial Day parade in the country takes place right here in Northampton? The first parade was held in 1868, after the end of the Civil War. As the Gazette newspaper reported at the time: “The weather was bad, rain falling during the forenoon and at the hour of assembly but not-withstanding, a large number of people were on hand to participate in the exercises.” And 150 years later, this tradition is still going strong. With hundreds of participants and crowds of thousands, this parade is a true local institution. For more information visit Memorial Day Parade. Northampton, MA (FREE)
Monday, May 28, 1:30-4:30pm
Mycoremediation, from the Greek words “fungus” and “restoring balance,” is the process by which fungi are used to decontaminate ecosystems that have been damaged by wastewater, toxic heavy metals, pharmaceutical chemicals, and other forms of pollution. It’s not always clear how mushrooms are able to degrade such substances but the process is highly effective and often produces edible mushrooms, as well. This Monday, Alex Dorr from Mushroom Revival will be offering a workshop following Clearpath Herbals’ workday. Alex will be discussing many uses for mushrooms and fungi and guide an inoculation. Clearpath Herbals. 119 Old Sunderland Road, Montague, MA (FREE)
Tuesday, May 29, 2018
Storyhour & Playgroups: Agawam, Amherst, Belchertown, Cheshire, Easthampton, Florence, Gill, Great Barrington, Greenfield, Hatfiled, Huntington, Lanesborough, Lee, Ludlow, New Salem, North Adams, Sheffield, Sunderland, Turners Falls, Ware & West Springfield.
Tuesday, May 29, 6-8pm
The mountain lion is one of the most widespread wild mammals in the western hemisphere. Its range stretches all the way from the southern Andes in South America to the Yukon Territory in northern Canada. The Eastern cougar, native to New England, was officially deemed extinct in 2011 but local residents continue to report sightings. In fact, since the 1960s there have been over 10,000 cougar sightings in the Northeast. While some of these sightings have been confirmed by biologists, it is assumed that they traveled to this area from the West. In any case, the existence of the Eastern cougar continues to be one of New England’s greatest zoological mysteries. Robert Tougias will be discussing the possibility of the cougar’s continued existence in our region as well as answering questions. Greenfield Public Library. 402 Main Street, Greenfield, MA (FREE)
Tuesday, May 29, 7:30-10:30pm
PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT/POETRY
Many of us may be familiar with William Wordsworth’s famous definition of poetry as “the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings.” American modernist poet T.S. Eliot, however, had a very different view, writing: “Poetry is not a turning loose of emotion, but an escape from emotion; it is not the expression of personality, but an escape from personality. But, of course, only those who have personality and emotions know what it means to want to escape from these things.” Eliot’s irony notwithstanding, there is an important point to be made here about the nature of poetry as a way of distancing oneself while simultaneously being intimate and vulnerable. RebeccaLynn is a young poet from Boston, whose work has been influenced by Maya Angelou and Langston Hughes, among others. She will be performing her work at Northampton Poetry this Tuesday. 50 Conz Street, Northampton, MA ($)
Wednesday, May 30, 2018
Storyhour & Playgroups: Amherst, Athol, Becket, Belchertown, Bernardston, Cummington, Deerfield, East Longmeadow, Erving, Granby, Greenfield, Huntington, Leverett, Monson, New Marlborough, North Adams, Northampton, Sheffield, Shelburne Falls, South Deerfield, Springfield, Turners Falls, Wendell, West Springfield, and Williamsburg.
Wednesday, May 30, 9am-12pm
As Japanese haiku master Basho once wrote: “Ah, it is spring, / Great spring it is now, / Great, great spring – / Ah, Great -.” Indeed, as Basho’s verses perfectly express, the joy that spring brings is beyond words. Nothing speaks the wordless language of spring better than blooming wildflowers. The High Ledges Wildlife Sanctuary is home to some of the region’s most spectacular wildflowers, as well as amazing views of the Deerfield River Valley and Mount Greylock. Azaleas, Columbines, and other gorgeous wildflowers will be in bloom during this bracing hike. High Ledges Wildlife Sanctuary. Shelburne Falls, MA ($)
Wednesday, May 30, 12-3pm
The Peregrine falcon, or ‘wandering’ falcon, is the fastest animal on earth, with recorded speeds of up to 242 miles per hour. This amazing bird is one of the most widespread and can be found nearly everywhere on earth. It is also one of the most common birds used in the ancient art of falconry. It’s “equitable disposition” makes it particularly easy to train. If you would like to learn more about falcons and birds of prey, you won’t want to miss this incredible opportunity to try your hand (pun intended) at falconry. This Wednesday, New England Falconry will be discussing the history and ecological role of hawks and raptors. Participants will also have the once in a lifetime opportunity to actually have a falcon return to their gloved hand. New England Falconry. 115 River Drive, Hadley, MA ($$)
Wednesday, May 30, 4-9pm
The Food Justice Bike Ride was founded to support local organizations that provide nutritious food that is accessible and affordable for all. This year, the Food Justice Bike Ride is supporting Stone Soup Cafe in Greenfield, which offers a pay-what-you-can community meal. In addition to providing affordable food, community meals offers people the opportunity to connect with others and feel a sense of belonging. Before the ride on June 24, come raise help raise funds for the ride with a fun benefit raffle at the People’s Pint! To learn more about the Food Justice Bike Ride, please visit Food Justice Bike Ride. The People’s Pint. 24 Federal Street, Greenfield, MA (FUNDRAISER)
Thursday, May 31, 2018
Storyhour & Playgroups: Agawam, Amherst, Athol, Belchertown, East Longmeadow, Florence, Gill, Greenfield, Hatfield, Huntington, Lee, Lenox, Millers Falls, Montague, Northampton, Sheffield, South Hadley, and Turners Falls.
Thursday, May 31, 10am-2pm
Due to an increasing interest in healthy, local food and an awareness about the hidden costs of the industrial food system, farmers’ markets are growing all over the country. In fact, in 1994 there were only 1,755 farmers’ markets in the United States. As of 2013, that number has increased to 8,144! Founded in 1979, the Holyoke Farmers’ Market, which begins its 2018 season this Thursday, is dedicated to bringing fresh local produce to communities in the city. Urban farmers’ markets like this one are especially important because urban populations have significantly less access to farms. Holyoke Farmers’ Market. High Street, Holyoke, MA (FREE)
Thursday, May 31, 10:30am
MUSEUM ADVENTURES/ANIMAL HUSBANDRY
The earliest fossil records that indicate the domestication of chickens dates to 5040 BCE in northern China, while the oldest ancestors of the chicken actually originated in the tropical equatorial jungles of southeast Asia. This suggests that the chicken was actually domesticated quite late, compared to pigs, sheep, and cattle, which were all domesticated around or even 10,000 BCE. Currently, more than 50 billion chickens are raised per year for meat and eggs. Come learn all about chicken and chicks at the Hancock Shaker Village Farm Friends program, where children ages 2-5 can meet farm animals, learn about the process of raising them, and do a fun animal themed crafting activity. Hancock Shaker Village. 1843 West Housatonic Street, Pittsfield, MA (FREE W/MUSEUM ADMISSION)
Thursday, May 31, 6-8pm
From mysterious giant birds, to Viking relics, witches, and ghosts, New England is full of fascinating legends and myths. For years, Michael Girard has been traveling the region exploring strange sites and combing through archives searching for information about mysterious creatures. While these may seem to be nothing more than fanciful stories, it is important to remember that folklore is a vital way to learn about history and, who knows, there might be some truth in some of these stories after all! Westhampton Public Library. 1 North Road, Westhampton, MA (FREE)
Friday, June 1, 2018
Storyhour & Playgroups: Amherst, Belchertown, Cummington, East Longmeadow, Easthampton, Florence, Granby, Great Barrington, Greenfield, Hadley, Housatonic, Longmeadow, Monson, Northampton, Pelham, Shutesbury, South Hadley, Stockbridge, and Sunderland.
Friday, June 1, 5pm
LIVING HISTORY/MEDIEVAL STUDIES
Do you dream of living in the days of swords and sorcery? Now you can bring your dreams to life! The Society for Creative Anachronism or SCA, was founded in Berkeley, California in 1966. Foundational fantasy writers Marion ZImmer Bradley and Poul Anderson were early members. Since then, it has become an international organization dedicated to recreating and studying aspects of medieval culture. In the culture of the SCA, the entire country is divided up into kingdoms, each ruled by its own king and queen. So come journey to the land of Bergental for a weekend of medieval reenactment and activities. For more information and to register for this event, please visit K&Q Armored Championship/Sommer Draw. 77 Oak Hill Road, Greenfield, MA ($)
Friday, June 1, 6-8pm
Located in the West Bank city of Nablus, the Palestinian House of Friendship is dedicated to promoting and cultivating compassion, democracy, creativity, and kindness by providing recreational and educational opportunities for children and young people. The Palestinian House of Friendship also works to keep traditional Palestinian culture alive by celebrating folk crafts, music, and dance. Come enjoy an evening of music and food to benefit the amazing work being done by the Palestinian House of Friendship and listen to stories from its founder, Mohammed Sawalha. Florence Civic and Business Association. 90 Park Street, Florence, MA (FUNDRAISER)
Friday, June 1, 7-9pm
LOCAL HISTORY/TEXTILE MANUFACTURING
In the mid-19th century, the hill towns of Western Massachusetts played an important role in the local textile manufacturing industry. While the early textile industry was dominated by cotton, locally it was wool that these small mills were producing. As Peggy Hart and Joanne Semanie will discuss in their talk at the Buckland Historical Society this Friday, many local mills were producing a particular sort of textile known as satinet, a cloth with a cotton warp and a woolen weft, which was more efficient to produce than pure wool. Anyone interested in local history and the textile industry won’t want to miss this fascinating talk. And after the event, be sure to stick around for a pie social! Buckland Public Hall. Upper Street, Buckland, MA ($)
Hilltown Families’ list of Suggested Events is supported in part by a grant from the Belchertown, Buckland, Chicopee, Plainfield, Shelburne, Westhampton, and Worthington Cultural Councils, local agencies which are supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.