Hilltown Families


Family-Friendly Afternoon Mardi Gras Ball At WinklePicker Festival in Ashfield, MA Saturday, February 16th at 2pm Parents aren’t the only ones who can have a ball at the WinklePicker Mardi Gras Festival!  Kids have their own Mardi Gras Ball planned too!  Families can two-step during an afternoon family-friendly Mardi Gras Ball on Saturday, February 16th at 2pm with The Primate Fiasco, and Hilltown Families has three family 4-pack of tickets to giveaway! Win… Read More

Mardi Gras Ball at Ashfield Town Hall with Steve Riley & the Mamou Playboys Saturday, February 16th at 8pm Continuing our Parents’ Night Out promotions, Hilltown Families and Winklepicker Festival have partnered up to offer two pairs of tickets to the 2nd annual WinklePicker Festival Mardi Gras Ball at Ashfield Town Hall on Saturday, February 16th at 8pm with multi-Grammy nominee Steve Riley and the Mamou Playboys! Win a pair of tickets… Read More

Weekly Hike Series This Winter with the Trustees of Reservations Even though it’s cold outside, and the snow and ice will be here soon, walking in the woods is a great way to get some exercise and fresh air, and stay fit and healthy this winter.  Join the Trustees of Reservations for a new weekly walk series on Thursdays at the Bullitt Reservation, Chapel Brook, and other destinations in and around Ashfield,… Read More

Winklepicker Festival Mardi Gras Ball w/ Buckwheat Zydeco & After-Party w/ The Primate Fiasco Saturday, Feb 18th @ 7pm in Ashfield, MA Continuing our Parents’ Night Out promotions, Hilltown Families has a pair of tickets to giveaway to one very lucky couple to the Winklepicker Festival Mardi Gras Ball with Buckwheat Zydeco at the Ashfield Town Hall (412 Main Street), followed by an after-party with The Primate Fiasco next door at Elmer’s,… Read More

Big Dance Party Tonight for All Ages! Last night I dreamed that we were all set up at Elmer’s for a huge and gorgeous birthday party for one of our customers. (I think it was for Nancy Dunne, but I can’t remember for sure.) Gretchen had made a bee-youtiful birthday cake—large and white with pink roses that said, “Happy Birthday!” and it sat among the festoons as we got ready. Suddenly I… Read More

Night of Love and Chocolate! GRANDPARENTS AS FACEBOOK FRIENDS I just got friended by my dad on Facebook. Me, I got nothing to hide that I would show on Facebook anyway, but then I thought about the nieces who may. I know that one of my nieces told me not to judge her when I friended her, and so I don’t; the stuff she’s doing is way less dangerous than what I… Read More

Chris Smither in Concert Ashfield Town Hall in Ashfield, MA Saturday, January 15th @ 8pm Continuing our Parents’ Night Out promotions, Hilltown Families has two pairs of tickets to giveaway to two lucky couples to see Chris Smither in concert, at Ashfield Town Hall in Ashfield on Saturday, January 15th at 8pm – right in the heart of the Hilltowns! Win a pair of tickets and take your spouse, partner or good… Read More

Happy New Year & Happy Birthday Now we are in the hammock week of the year. You start out the year in January and, well, the year is like an egg. You start out January first on the top of the egg, just off center, and you slide down it. June is at the bottom of the egg, and then you kind of climb back up it until you get to Christmas,… Read More

Back to Our Story… And now it’s time to tell the further adventures of Mr. Justin Jones! As you may recall, last year at this time, Justin was fourteen years old and living in a homeless shelter with his mother, Regina Jones, in New Orleans. I wrote of his plight and a very good many of you responded with deep-hearted wishes of a good life for him, and brought me money with… Read More

Strange Coincidences I have a friend named Dave Taylor who I worked with in New Orleans. Dave now lives in New York.  His best friend is named Seth Bernard. Seth lives in Michigan and his girlfriend is named May Erlewine. Dave Taylor’s mom was in the hospital having surgery in Florida. While she was recovering from surgery, a young woman came in to sing to her as part of the hospital’s new… Read More

Just in Case You Were Wondering … One day a few weeks ago, while walking down the sidewalk towards Elmer’s, I thought, “It’s almost Halloween! I should make bark-like faces to put on the trees on the Common!” I could use the same technique many of the float-builders use at Mardi Gras in their Papier Mache—same words, completely different process from what others think of as Papier Mache. I proposed it to the… Read More

The Trustees Encourage Visitors to Dream Big about Making Small Impacts on Local Land When globe-trotting Ambassador William Bullitt needed a place to ponder the world and relax with family, he retreated to the woods and fields of his farm in Western Massachusetts on the Ashfield-Conway border. Now, visitors can enjoy those same pursuits on a property that once hosted diplomats and dignitaries, as The Trustees of Reservations welcomes the public to… Read More

Ashfield Fall Festival! Wait—Last Sunday in the middle of the 183 people coming in for breakfast, someone said to me, “Do you have those little individually wrapped butters?” And I said, “yes, we do.” And that’s all I remember about the conversation. I don’t remember who it was who asked, but if you are reading this now, did you get what you wanted? Did I just walk away? Did I complete the… Read More

Herbal Medicine for Children and Babies Four Fall Classes at Blazing Star Herbal School Hilltown Families and Blazing Star Herbal School (BSHS) in Ashfield, MA have partnered up to offer one lucky participant free registration for Herbal Medicine for Children and Babies, a series of four classes being offered this fall.  Participants will learn how to raise healthy children, how to prevent compromised immune systems, and discuss both common and and some… Read More

Welcoming Autumn I was a city girl.  We lived in Manhattan when I was child, but my parents were not from there. They were city mice in their own way. They had picked cities to live in most of their adult lives, but had childhoods that included fields, farms, woods as well as the start of sprawling sidewalks. It was the change of seasons that my mother missed the most. Annually in… Read More

Discover fun and educational events happening this weekend in Western Mass, along with announcements, upcoming events, links, resources and the HFVS podcast. SUGGEST AN EVENT If you have a family friendly event or educational program happening in Western Massachusetts that you’d like to let us know about, post your event on our “Suggest An Event” page. The events below are “suggested.” Please take the time to confirm that these events are happening,… Read More

Sex in the City Village I was in New York City on Wednesday! They have lots of well-dressed people there and lots of windows for you to look into while you’re walking so you can see if what you put on that morning looks like what you thought it was going to. It doesn’t look as cool as you thought it was going to in the first window you pass, but they… Read More

Tony(a) Lemos of Ashfield, MA writes: I would like to remind everyone about the Wednesday Kids’ Market that happens in Ashfield Center every Wednesday in the Summer from 4-6pm in the parking lot of the Ashfield Hardware Store. Kids can have a venue to sell their creations. Can be as simple as lemonade and popcorn, picked flowers, their favorite craft, a budding talent or even a service – Face Painting? Fortune Telling… Read More

The Quirks of Northern Gentlemen Last week I told you about Jim’s leaving and Donna then announced her retirement from the grocery and produce departments, as well. Happily, I am the sort of entrepreneur who believes that everyone should do what they wanna in life and they move to the next place that makes them happiest. I really, really appreciate both Jim and Donna for bringing Elmer’s to where it is today—much… Read More

Notes from Nan: Jim, Oh Jim done gone. By HF Contributing Writer, Nan Parati One of the problems of having a tiny restaurant with an outstanding certified chef is that he is constantly being recruited by larger restaurants that can pay him infinitely better than I can. Happily (and surprisingly!) for me, Jim turned the marauders down for 3 years, but while I was in New Orleans recently, one of them finally… Read More

Randy Kehle of Colrain, MA writes: If you live in one of the towns within 20 miles of the “Vermont Yankee” (VY) nuclear reactor in Vernon, Vermont–a.k.a. the “evacuation zone” (see list of towns below)–and, If you would like to see this aged, accident-prone reactor retired on schedule when its original 40-year license expires in March of 2012, rather than allowed to operate for another 20 years, until 2032(!), as VY’s Louisiana-based,… Read More

Notes from Nan: Ashfield FilmFest 2009 By Nan Parati, HF Contributing Writer What a great time was had by over 400 people last Saturday night at the Third Annual Ashfield FilmFest at Town Hall! Fifteen films were entered, the rules being that the films had to be no longer than five minutes, and have some connection to the town of Ashfield (um Massachusetts, not the one in England, I don’t think.) Red… Read More

The 39th Annual Ashfield Fall Festival Takes Place Columbus Day Weekend Exhibitors of fiber and textile arts, woodwork, blown glass, pottery, jewelry, kid’s clothing and more will display and sell their wares in several venues along Main Street. Food vendors will serve locally-grown or prepared foods— from the iconic fried dough with maple cream and apple pie with a slice cheddar, to kielbasa grinders and chowder. Saturday morning kicks off with the… Read More

Hilltown Business Directory to List 350 Local Businesses The annual Hilltown Business Directory, published both in print and online by the Hilltown Community Development Corporation (HCDC), a community non-profit in Chesterfield, MA, is preparing its expanded 2010 edition. The Hilltown Business Directory will list 350 local businesses in 20 towns, by category, by name, and by town. This 160 page reference book will be used all year by local residents. The Directory… Read More

Notes from Nan: Attention Three-Year Olds: BY HF Contributing Writer, Nan Parati Attention three-year olds:  I’m sorry to have to bring this to your attention, as I know that you are very busy learning to say your “Rs” and don’t have much time for stuff like this, but I’m afraid I’m going to have to ask you to temporarily stop drinking the little Half and Half creamers. I know they are addictive—such… Read More

Notes from Nan: And to think it happened at Elmer’s! BY HF Contributing Writer, Nan Parati Man! You just never know who you’re gonna see at Elmer’s. Last week at this time we had Sonya Kitchell, Erin McKeown and Erica Wheeler all sitting around at breakfast with their guitars and gorgeous voices, jamming together on a theme of pancakes. And just now I walked in to talk to Jim and there was… Read More

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