Ticket Giveaway: 2014 Green River Festival!

Take the Family to the
GREEN RIVER FESTIVAL
Happening July 12th & 13th, 2014
Greenfield, MA

Enter for a chance to win a pair of tickets to the Green River Festival happening July 12th or 13th in Greenfield, MA. Kids 10 and under get in free. Win tickets and take the family! Deadline to enter for a chance to win: 7/2/14.

The 28th annual Green River Festival happens again this year on July 12th & 13th, 2014… and Hilltown Families has two pairs of tickets to giveaway, one pair for each day! With a pair of tickets, and free admittance for children ten and under, two adults can take a gaggle of kids and plan on spending the day at this great western Massachusetts music festival! Tickets do not including parking or food.

Click here to find out how you can enter for a chance to win!

Greenfield: A Town with an Innovative Past, Present and Future

Take an educational trip right into Greenfield’s innovative past, present and future

Taken from the upper story front porch of the Grand Trunk Hotel in Turners Falls, this image shows the trolley near Second Street and Avenue A (c.1890), an example of trolly use in the Pioneer Valley. – Courtesy Image.

The Pioneer Valley Institute is offering a day tour of the highlights of Greenfield on Saturday, June 7: “Spring into Greenfield: A Trolley Ride Through our Town’s History and Architecture.” The town’s trolley bus will be the mode of transportation for the day, and is a reminder of the active trolley system available 100 years ago throughout the Connecticut River Valley.

Greenfield, its buildings, its industries, and farmland, offers a complex story. This hub town for Franklin County is the site of fine examples of architectural design, of industrial innovation, and of current efforts to retrofit Greenfield’s fine older buildings to conserve energy for the coming decades. Greenfield was a crossroads for train freight service and will soon see restored passenger service. Waterpower and fine farmland attracted early settlers and investors, and innovators and businesses continue to recognize opportunities in the town.

Read the rest of this entry »

Ticket Giveaway: 2013 Green River Festival!

Win a Pair Tickets to
GREEN RIVER FESTIVAL
Happening July 20th & 21st, 2013
Greenfield, MA

Enter for a chance to win a pair of tickets to the Green River Festival happening July 20th or 21st in Greenfield, MA. Deadline to enter to win: 6/7/13.

The 27th annual Green River Festival happens again this year on July 20th & 21st, 2013… and Hilltown Families has a pair of tickets to giveaway for either day! With a pair of tickets, and free admittance for children under twelve, two adults can take a gaggle of kids and plan on spending the day at this great Western MA music festival! Tickets do not including parking or food.

Details on how to enter to win are below. Deadline to enter to win is Sunday, July 7th by 11:59pm (EST).

ABOUT THE GREEN RIVER FESTIVAL

Western New England’s favorite summer festival (voted best festival in the Valley Advocate for the past 11 years) will be held Saturday and Sunday, July 20 & 21, 2013 on the grounds of Greenfield Community College (I-91, Exit 26, Greenfield, MA). Presented by the Franklin County Chamber of Commerce, this celebration combines a spectacular line up of music on three stages, food, crafts, a dance tent, a wide array of kid’s activities and entertainment, and hot air balloon rides for the Pioneer Valley’s biggest outdoor event of the summer. This is the only music festival in Massachusetts that features hot air balloons!

This years line up includes: Gogol Bordello, The Devil Makes Three, The Skatalites, JD MCPherson, Sallie Ford & The Sound Outside, Jeffrey Foucault & Cold Satellite, Slaid Cleaves, Yonder Stage (Dance Tent), The Bernie Worrell Orchestra, Ryan Montbleau Band, The Duhks, Miss Tess & The Talkbacks, Poor Old Shine, Caravan Of Thieves, Brandi Carlile, Buddy Miller & Jim Lauderdale, Lake Street Dive, Todd Snider, Heather Malone, Bombino, Spirit Family Reunion, Cedric Watson & Bijou Creole, and The Sun Parade.

Local highlights include: Lux Deluxe, Salvation Alley String Band, Gaslight Tinkers, The Boxcar Lilies, Who’da Funk It, And The Kids, Spanish for Hitchhiking, Rusty Belle, Jeffrey Foucault, Heather Maloney and Philip Price in the round, The Dire Honeys, Bright Lines and Bunk.

Find out more about this award-winning Western Mass music festival at www.GreenRiverFestival.com.

HOW TO WIN

Your chance to win a pair of tickets to be used either day, July 20th or 21st, at the  Green River Festival in Greenfield, MA is as easy as 1-2-3 (4)!  Winner can choose to use their tickets for either day, but not valid for both. To win simply:

  • CONSIDER SHARING ON FACEBOOK & TWITTER by selecting from the icons below.
  • TELL US WHAT YOU LIKE BEST ABOUT HILLTOWN FAMILIES AND HOW IT KEEPS YOUR FAMILY CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY THROUGHOUT THE REGION below (one entry per household) and be sure to tell us your
  • FULL NAME (first/last) and where you
  • LIVE (TOWN/STATE) must include your town to be eligible.
  • ACCURATE EMAIL (we never share your email address).
  • We’ll randomly draw a winner and will share the results below.

IT’S THAT SIMPLE! — Deadline is Sunday, 07/07/13 @ 11:59pm (EST).

If you don’t win, tickets are available online at www.greenriverfestival.com.

Win Weekend Passes to the 26th Annual Green River Festival!

Win a Pair of Weekend Passes to the
GREEN RIVER FESTIVAL
July 14th & 15th, 2012
Greenfield, MA

Enter to win a pair of tickets to the Green River Festival in Greenfield, MA! Deadline to enter to win is Friday, July 6th. Details on how to enter to win are outlined below.

Hilltown Families and the Green River Festival have partnered up to offer two very lucky families a pair of weekend passes to the 26th Annual Green River Festival (their 2nd Annual 25th Anniversary!), the weekend of July 14th & 15th, 2012!

With a pair of tickets, and free admittance for children under twelve, two adults can take a gaggle of kids and plan on spending the day at this great festival, all weekend long! Tickets do not including parking or food.

Details on how to enter to win are below. Deadline to enter to win is Friday, July 6th by 7pm (EST).

ABOUT THE GREEN RIVER FESTIVAL

Located in Greenfield, Massachusetts, the festival is presented by the Franklin County Chamber of Commerce on the campus of Greenfield Community College.  This 2-day festival combines music on multiple stages, delicious local food, crafts from a range of artisans, a dance tent, family music on the River Meltdown tent, balloon illuminations and hot air balloon launches (weather permitting) for Western Massachusetts’ biggest outdoor event of the summer!

The Green River Festival began in 1986 as a balloon festival and has gained increasing popularity each year as more and more music and dance entertainment have been added. Today it has become a fantastic summer musical event in Western Massachusetts with three stages of music. This year the festival will feature Arlo Guthrie and the Guthrie Family, Los Lobos, Ozomatl, Richard Thompson, Rubblebucket, Rebirth Brass Band, David Wax Museum, Chris Smither, Winterpills, CJ Chenier, Lost Bayou Ramblers, Elizabeth Cook, Pokey LaFarge & The South City Three, The Sweetback Sister, Lake Street Dive, Peter Mulvey & The Crumbling Beauties, Martin Simpson, Session Americana, Lee Fields & The Expressions, Sarah Lee Guthrie & Johnny Irion, and many many other great acts!

Family favorites on the Meltdown Stage this year include:  Uncle Rock, Flannery Brothers, Deedle Deedle Dees, Alastair Moock & friends, Mister G, Dog on Fleas, and several others. See the complete schedule here.

Find out more about this award-winning Western Mass music festival at www.GreenRiverFestival.com.

HOW TO WIN

We’re putting together a bucket list of things to do and places to see in Western MA with the family in the summer time. Recommend your favorite attraction, must see or must do family activity, and be entered to win a pair of weekend tickets to the Green River Festival for July 14th & 15th, 2012.  To be eligible to win simply:

  • POST YOUR RECOMMENDATION AS OUTLINED ABOVE  (one entry per household) and be sure to tell us your
  • FULL NAME (first/last) and where you
  • LIVE (TOWN/STATE) must include your town to be eligible.
  • ACCURATE EMAIL (we never share your email address).
  • CONSIDER SHARING ON FACEBOOK by selecting the Facebook icon below.
  • We’ll randomly draw two winners and will share the results below.

IT’S THAT SIMPLE! — Deadline is Friday, 07/06/12 @ 7pm (EST).

If you don’t win, tickets are available online at www.greenriverfestival.com.

Greenfield Winter Fare Celebrates Local Food in Franklin County!

5th Annual Winter Fare in Greenfield
Kicks off on Saturday, Feb 4th for a Weeklong Celebration

There will be four local food community potlucks scheduled throughout the week, including the towns of Greenfield, Gill, Ashfield and Conway. (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

Greenfield’s annual Winter Fare will take place on Saturday, February 4th! Along with the farmers’ market, workshops, and barter market that Winter Fare offers, there will be several events happening across Franklin County to celebrate local food, too!

Greenfield’s first Winter Fare took place five years ago, spearheaded by Juanita Nelson, and was designed as a celebration of local food during the season when local farms are least visible.  However, despite the cold, ice, and snow, there’s still an abundance of local food available during the winter!

At the Greenfield’s Winter Fare, community members can come together to enjoy local foods, share their own home-preserved foods, and learn more about growing, preserving, composting, etc. at the many workshops offered.  The main Winter Fare event will take the place of the Greenfield Winter Farmers’ Market at the Second Congregational Church (Main Street) from 10am-1pm.  Other events include a local foods brunch spotlighting local honey and a new show from Piti Theater Company on Feb 5th., a screening of the documentary, “King Corn” on Feb. 8th, a seed swap and composting workshop on Feb. 12th, and four different local food potlucks throughout the week.

Greenfield’s Winter Fare celebrates delicious locally grown and produced foods, and provides numerous learning opportunities to the community.  Visit the farmers’ market and explain to your kids how it’s possible to buy local greens, squash, carrots, and apples during the winter when nothing grows outside, or teach them some kitchen skills and create a local dish to contribute to a potluck.  You could even do some canning with your kids to trade at the barter market!  The possibilities are endless.  To learn more about the many events taking place all over Franklin Count, visit www.winterfare.org.

Local Apple Bake-Off at Greenfield Farmers’ Market

Local Apples Highlighted at Greenfield Farmers’ Market this Weekend

Apple Bake-Off at Greenfield Farmers' Market on Saturday, Sept. 24th, 2011. (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

In celebration of apple season, the Greenfield Farmers’ Market is hosting an Apple Bake-Off on Saturday the 24th! Any recipe that uses local apples is eligible, and entries will be judged based on presentation, taste, and texture. Prizes range from a Farmers’ Market gift certificate to t-shirts to tote bags! In order to be eligible, entries must be brought to the market by 10:30am. Please provide a recipe for your apple creation, as they will be compiled to create a collection for sharing. Also include contact information in case you win a prize but are no longer at the market once judging has finished! www.greenfieldfarmersmarket.com

Greenfield Hosts Franklin County’s 200 Year Celebration

Connecting the Past, Present, and Future in Franklin County

Franklin County celebrate 200 years in Greenfield, July 22nd-24th, 2011. A family friendly celebration, kids will have many opportunities to play and explore – from the dinosaur and fossil exhibits on Main Street and the Library Walk in the woods, to Saturday afternoon music and dance activities at Energy Park. And there’s an Energy Park family picnic on Sunday afternoon and evening for all ages.(Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

Downtown Greenfield will be bustling with activity from Friday afternoon, July 22, through Sunday evening, July 24 as the county seat welcomes exhibitors and performers, craftspeople, farmers, history buffs and vendors from throughout the area to celebrate Franklin County’s 200 years.

LIVE MUSIC

The weekend will be book-ended by musical events. It will start with a Friday afternoon women’s barbershop quartet performance, followed by an evening concert with Jennie McAvoy and Michael Nix; and will close with a Sunday evening concert in the park with Lucy Kaplansky. There will also be music throughout the day on Saturday – both at the Veterans’ Mall on Main Street and at the Energy Park on Miles Street.

HISTORY

History will be a major theme of the weekend, dating back as far as prehistoric times, with noted paleontologists on hand for the Jurassic Road Show & Geology Display at the top of Main Street, and the Dinosaurs Library Walk along Poet’s Seat ridge. There will also be walking tours featuring historic downtown landmarks; an exhibit of classic cars along Main Street; demonstration of an old-fashioned pumper at the Greenfield Fire Station and of a blacksmith’s coal forge on the Town Common; also on the Town Common, a live-time Franklin County oral history project for those who wish to share their memories of the area; and tours through the Museum of Our Industrial Heritage on Mead Street.

OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES

Outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy a 2-hour bike tour of the area on Saturday morning, a special Franklin County geocache designed to mark the celebration, a Sunday morning group hike to Sachem’s Head from Highland Park, and free admission on Sunday afternoon to the Green River Swimming and Recreation area.

FOOD, FARMS & VENDORS

Welcoming hungry visitors to town will be the Loyal Order of the Moose, with their roast pork dinner on Friday evening; the Second Congregational Church with its Saturday pancake breakfast right on Court Square; and the American Legion with a chicken barbeque on Saturday afternoon. For those who wish to take home armloads of local produce, the Farmers’ Market will be extending its hours from 8am to 2pm on Saturday. – Saturday shoppers will have multiple vendors, crafters and sidewalk sales to choose from, including the annual tent sale at Wilson’s department store and a fashion show sponsored by Maurice’s.

Read the rest of this entry »

TICKET GIVEAWAY: Green River Festival

Win a Pair of Tickets to the
GREEN RIVER FESTIVAL
July 16th & 17th, 2011
Greenfield, MA

Enter to win a pair of tickets to the Green River Festival in Greenfield, MA! Deadline to enter to win is Thursday, July 7th. Details on how to enter to win are outlined below.

Hilltown Families and the Green River Festival have partnered up to offer two very lucky families a pair of tickets to the 25th Annual Green River Festival, the weekend of July 16th & 17th, 2011!

With a pair of tickets, and free admittance for children under twelve, two adults can take a gaggle of kids and plan on spending the at this great festival on either Saturday or Sunday (their choice)! Tickets do not including parking or food.

Details on how to enter to win are below. Deadline is Thursday, July 7th by 7pm (EST).

ABOUT THE GREEN RIVER FESTIVAL

Located in Greenfield, Massachusetts, the festival is presented by the Franklin County Chamber of Commerce on the campus of Greenfield Community College.  This 2-day festival combines music on multiple stages, delicious local food, crafts from a range of artisans, a dance tent, the River Meltdown tent, balloon illuminations and hot air balloon launches (weather permitting) for Western Massachusetts’ biggest outdoor event of the summer!

The Green River Festival began in 1986 as a balloon festival and has gained increasing popularity each year as more and more music and dance entertainment have been added. Today it has become a fantastic summer musical event in Western Massachusetts with three stages of music. This year the festival will feature Toots and the Maytals, Emmylou Harris, Eilen Jewell, Rani Arbo & daisy mayhem, Mister G, Wanda Jackson, Grupo Fantasma,  Patty larkin, Terry Adams and the New NRBQ, Black Joe Lewis & the Honey Bears, Baze & His Silly Friends, Rosie Ledet & the Zydeco Playboys, and many many other great acts!  See the complete schedule here.

Find out more about this fabulous Western Mass festival at www.GreenRiverFestival.com.

HOW TO WIN

The Greenfield River Festival is a winning event and a great way to spend two days in Western MA!  But what about non-events? Share with us a great way to spend one day with your family in the region. 

In the spring, maybe you have a favorite sugar shack you enjoy breakfast at every year, followed by cross-country skiing at one of our local park or reservations, then your favorite place to pick up dinner at the days end.

In the summer, maybe you have your favorite morning farmers’ market you like to visit before lunch at a family friendly cafe or favorite picnic spot, followed by an afternoon bike ride or spray park, then an evening concert on the green, stopping for ice cream on the drive home.

In the fall, maybe you have a favorite farm to pick pumpkins in the morning, followed by an afternoon  hike to view the foliage, stopping for a hot cup of cider at your favorite apple orchard as the day ends?

In the winter, maybe you know of a great place to get a steaming cup of hot cocoa after sledding, snowshoe hike or ice skating at an outdoor pond with the family?

You get the idea!  We’re looking for recommended ways a family can spend a full day here in Western MA during any season. Selected recommendations will be featured on Hilltown Families throughout the year.  From those, we will randomly select two winners to receive a pair of tickets to the Green River Festival for either Saturday, July 16th or Sunday, July 17th (their choice)! 

To be eligible to win simply:

  • POST YOUR RECOMMENDATION AS OUTLINED ABOVE  (one entry per household) and be sure to tell us your
  • FULL NAME (first/last) and where you
  • LIVE (TOWN/STATE) must include your town to be eligible.
  • ACCURATE EMAIL (we never share your email address).
  • CONSIDER SHARING ON FACEBOOK and “Like” this post.
  • We’ll randomly draw two winners and will share the results below.

IT’S THAT SIMPLE! — Deadline is Thursday, 07/07/11 @ 7pm (EST).

If you don’t win, tickets are available online at www.greenriverfestival.com.

Play Ball! A Home Run for the Greenfield Minor League Baseball

Play Ball! To Raise Funds for Artspace & the Greenfield Minor League Baseball

Win or lose, we love our teams and cheer till our throats are dry for the kids who pour out their hearts to little league baseball. (Photo credit: Reynolds & Burden)

Artspace in Greenfield, MA will host a opening reception for Play Ball!, an exhibit of photography by Beth Reynolds and Thom Burden of Northfield on Saturday, November 20th from 4-5:30pm. This photography exhibit will bring to life the Greenfield Minor League Baseball 2010 season around Lunt Fields in Greenfield, MA.

Local photographers Beth Reynolds and Thom Burden photographed on and off the fields to create memorable images of this timeless game. This exhibit is sponsored by the photographers and net proceeds will be split 50/50 between Greenfield Minor League Baseball and Artspace.

The exhibit will be on display in Artspace’s gallery from November 15th to December 17th, 2010, from 1-6pm (M-F). The Reception is open to the public free of charge. Artspace is located at 15 Mill Street, Greenfield MA.  For more info call 772-6811 or info@franklyarts.com.

Sixth Annual Free Harvest Supper of Local Food

6th Annual Free Harvest Supper of Local Food
Sunday, August 22nd, 2010
On the Greenfield Town Common

The 6th Annual Free Harvest Supper of Local Food in Greenfield will be on Sunday, August 22nd, 4:30 – 6:30pm on the Greenfield Town Common (photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

Mark your calendars now and plan to attend the Sixth Annual Free Harvest Supper of Local Food on Sunday, August 22nd from 4:30 to 6:30 pm on the Greenfield Town Common/Court Square. All are welcome to join in sharing this truly community celebration event, which features a bountiful meal of locally grown food prepared by local chefs, live music, children’s activities, educational displays and a Really, Really Free Market.

The Free Harvest Supper works to highlight the incredible edible bounty and diversity of locally grown and produced food and to support local agriculture. While the Free Harvest Supper is free to all who attend, all donations go to support the Greenfield Farmers’ Market Coupon Program, which distributes Market Coupons to low-income Franklin County families so that they can enjoy fresh, locally grown produce, fruits and vegetables at the Greenfield Farmers’ Market. Last year over 450 families benefited from this, putting an additional $3,200 back into the local agricultural economy.

Appetizers will again be served to those standing in line. (photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

Appetizers will again be served to those standing in line and those attending this year can shop at the Really Really Free Market to get fresh produce, vegetables and flowers that others have brought to share, or you can bring your own to give to the Market . Organizers are working to make this year’s Supper a truly trash-free event, so everyone is encouraged to bring their own reusable plates, place setting, cup and napkin.  Entertainment this year includes JMPT Quartet: local music from around the world, Green River String Band: bluegrass, folk and roots music and Sue Kranz & Ben Tousley: coffeehouse folk.

All are welcome to join in sharing this truly community celebration event. (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

This is an all-volunteer community event, and many hands make light work. A core group of volunteer organizers is already at work planning the Free Harvest Supper and they need lots of volunteers to make it all happen. There are many ways to be involved, either with planning or on the day of the supper. To offer your help, contact Linda at linslatt@comcast.net.

For more information about the Center for Self Reliance and the Greenfield Farmers’ Market Coupon project, please call Dino Schnelle at (413) 773-5029, or email info@freeharvestsupper.org.

Movie Ticket Giveaway: Ramona and Beezus

Ramona and Beezus at Greenfield Garden Cinemas
A Red Carpet Fundraiser
Greenfield, MA
Saturday, July 24th @ 6pm

Hilltown Families and the Community Coalition for Teens (CCT) have partnered up to offer one lucky family 4 tickets to see a special red carpet fundraising screening of the new movie Ramona and Beezus at Greenfield Garden Cinemas on Saturday, July 24th at 6pm. Through a generous donation from the movie’s director, 100% of ticket sales will go directly to the CCT. Deadline to enter to win is 07/22/10. Find out how to enter to win below.

ABOUT THE SCREENING

The movie, a lovely G-rated film about growing up, based on the popular books by Beverly Cleary. Moviegoers are encouraged to dress for the red carpet or as their favorite character from the Ramona books. The evening will also feature a silent auction with signed books, movie posters, etc, and a special pre-screening video specific to Franklin County.

Ramona and Beezus is directed by Elizabeth Allen, the sister of CCT Co-Coordinator Kat Allen, and the niece of Montague Select Board member Pat Allen and retired Valley Medical Group’s Dr. Mark Allen.  Through a generous donation from the movie’s director, 100% of ticket sales will go directly to the Community Coalition for Teens (CCT).

ABOUT COMMUNITY COALITION FOR TEENS

The mission of the Community Coalition for Teens is to promote the health and well-being of teens in the Franklin County and North Quabbin region. CCT collaborates with school and community partners to:

  • establish and support effective youth development and health-promotion programs;
  • provide training and technical assistance with emphasis on evidence-based practices; and
  • involve and empower youth.

Find out more about the Community Coalition for Teens at www.frcog.org.

HOW TO WIN

Your chance to win 4 tickets to see a special fundraising screening of the new movie Ramona and Beezus at Greenfield Garden Cinemas on Saturday, July 24th at 6pm, is as easy as 1-2-3 (4)!  To win simply:

  1. SHARE THE TITLE OF YOUR FAVORITE BEVERLY CLEARY BOOK BELOW (one entry per family) and be sure to tell us your
  2. FULL NAME (first/last) and where you
  3. LIVE (TOWN/STATE) must include your town to be eligible.
  4. ACCURATE EMAIL (we never share your email address).
  5. We’ll randomly draw a winner and will share the results below.

IT’S THAT SIMPLE! — Deadline is Wednesday, 07/22/10 @ 7pm (EST).

If you don’t win you should still go! It’s a great fundraising event. Tickets ($12 adult, $8 child/senior, $30 max per family) are available in advance by calling 774-3167 x 101, (978) 544-6912, or 774-1194 x 115, 116, 118 or by visiting the CCT office at 278 Main Street, Suite 411, in Greenfield, MA. If not sold out in advance, tickets will also be available at the door.  100% of ticket sales will go directly to the Community Coalition for Teens (CCT).

TICKET GIVEAWAY: Green River Festival

Win a 4-Pack of Day Pass Tickets to the
GREEN RIVER FESTIVAL
The Weekend of July 17th & 18th, 2010
At GCC in Greenfield, MA

Hilltown Families and the Green River Festival have partnered up to offer two very lucky families a 4-pack of free day pass tickets to the 24th Annual Green River Festival, the weekend of July 17 & 18, 2010!

Presented by the Franklin County Chamber of Commerce, this celebration combines music on two stages, food, crafts, dancing, a wide array of kids activities and hot air balloon launches (weather permitting) for the Pioneer Valley’s biggest outdoor event of the summer. This is the only music festival in Massachusetts that features hot air balloons and rides.

We have two 4-packs of day pass tickets to giveaway:

 

  • 4-pack of day pass tickets for Saturday, July 17th
  • 4-pack of day pass tickets for Sunday, July 18th

 

 

Kids under 12 are free, so each winning family can invite along another family for a day of music, dancing and balloons in Greenfield, MA! Tickets do not including parking or food. Details on how to enter to win are below. Deadline to enter is Sunday, July 11th by 7pm (EST).

ABOUT THE GREEN RIVER FESTIVAL

The Green River Festival began in 1986 as a balloon festival and has gained increasing popularity each year as more and more music and dance entertainment have been added. Today it has become a fantastic summer musical event in Western Massachusetts with two stages of music.  This year the festival will feature Old Crow Medicine Show, Red Stick Ramblers, The Sweetback Sisters, CAKE, Brooks Williams, Anais Mitchell, Academy Freightshakers and many other top talented bands.

New this year is The River’s Meltdown Kids’ Stage, featuring family music with The Primate Fiasco, Deedle Deedle Dees, The Nields, Elizabeth Mitchell, Sarah Lee Guthrie, Flannery Brothers, Mister G, School for the Dead and several other bands we’ve featured on the Hilltown Family Variety Show!

The Festival is a two-day event and will be held on Saturday and Sunday, July 17th & 18th on the grounds of Greenfield Community College in Greenfield, MA. Hot Air Balloons fly, weather permitting, on Friday and Saturday at 6pm and Saturday morning at 6am. Onsite parking is available for a fee, or there is free parking and shuttle bus service available. The Festival is working towards zero-waste and no pets or alcohol are allowed.

HOW TO WIN

Your chance to win a 4-pack of day passes to the Green River Festival on either Saturday, July 17th or Sunday, July 18th is as easy as 1-2-3 (4)!  Read the rest of this entry »

Western Mass Families & Neighbors Gather for World Wide Grassroots Demonstration

350.org International Climate Action Day in Western Mass

- This past Saturday, families and neighbors from all over Western Massachusetts gathered to take action in a world wide grassroots demonstration on climate change. Several of these events in Western Mass were posted here.

On this day, people in 181 countries came together for the most widespread day of environmental action in the planet’s history. At over 5200 events around the world, people gathered to call for strong action and bold leadership on the climate crisis. Over 15,000 photos have been submitted so far!  See them all on Flickr.  Discover more about 350.org here.

Many images of actions taking place right here in our home state of Massachusetts where submitted. As I looked through the photos I was so happy to see many familiar faces in several of the images.  The commitment of our local families, especially on such a terribly rainy day we had this past Saturday, is fantastic! I put together this collage of wonderful images of local Western Massachusetts families and neighbors taking action and being part of a global message to address climate change:

350.org International Climate Action Day in Western Massachusetts

Images pictured from left to right, top to bottom are labeled below.  Click on the label and it will take you to the image on the 350.org Flickr site and will include any descriptions of their events submitted with the photo.

  1. Montague, MA – Montague Neighbors
  2. Lenox, MA – Evergreen Environmental Club
  3. Monterey, MA
  4. Greenfield, MA – Climate Carnival at Greenfield HS. (photo credit: Daniel A. Brown)
  5. Old Deerfield, MA – Sarah Pirtle Concert
  6. Deerfield, MA – Eaglebrook School
  7. Northfield, MA – (photo credit: Maribeth Dawkins)
  8. Ashfield, MA
  9. South Hadley, MA – Mosier Science Buddies Program
  10. Northampton, MA – Laural Park
  11. Amherst, MA – Amherst College (photo credit: Jessica Mestre)
  12. Northampton, MA – N’hampton Climate Action (photo credit: David Solfiell)
  13. Sunderland, MA – Sunderland Kindergarten (photo credit: Susan Breines)
  14. Amherst, MA – Amherst 350 Committee
  15. Williamstown, MA – Williamstown Elementary School (photo credit: Cheryl Sacks)
  16. Cummington, MA – 350 Neighbors (photo credit: Richard Shephard)
  17. Great Barrington, MA – (photo credit: Jamie Goldenberg)
  18. Cummington, MA – 350 Neighbors (photo credit: Richard Shephard)

HFVS Giveaway: (Tickets) Bill Harley with the Pioneer Valley Symphony

FREE TICKETS


Special Family Performance
with the Pioneer Valley Symphony featuring
2009 Grammy Storyteller BILL HARLEY
and Peter and the Wolf

Greenfield High School Auditorium in Greenfield, MA
On Saturday, March 28th, 2009 @ 7pm

We are pleased to offer four free tickets to see the Pioneer Valley Symphony (PVS) featuring Grammy winning storyteller, Bill Harley and Peter and the Wolf in Greenfield, MA at the Greenfield High School Auditorium on Saturday, March 28th, at 7 pm, courtesy of PVS. Deadline to enter is Wednesday, 03/25/09 @ 7pm (EST).  More details below.

This PVS Special Family Performance line-up will includes:

  • JOHN WILLIAMS – Harry Potter Symphonic Suite
  • BILL HARLEY – There’s a Pea on My Plate
  • BILL HARLEY & PAUL PHILLIPS - Come On Out and Play
  • SERGEI PROKOFIEV – Peter and the Wolf (narrated by Bill Harley)
  • BILL HARLEY – You’re In Trouble

BILL HARLEY

Two copies of the DVD, Yes to Running! Bill Harley Live, which won the 2009 GRAMMY AWARD for Best Spoken Word Album for Children, will be offered too.

Bill Harley uses song and story to paint a vibrant picture of growing up, parenting and family life. Poignant and hilarious, his work spans the generation gap, reminds us of our common humanity and challenges us to be our very best selves. A prolific author and recording artist, Bill is also a regular commentator for NPR’s All Things Considered and featured on PBS. Harley’s newest recording, a live performance CD set and DVD, Yes to Running! Bill Harley Live won the 2009 GRAMMY AWARD for Best Spoken Word Album for Children, and has been the featured storyteller on Hilltown Family Variety Show numerous times!  Click HERE to see videos of Bill’s live performances.

At his website, BillHarley.com, educators can find resources and curriculum to many of his songs and stories, including Come Out and Play (pdf) and You’re in Trouble (pdf), both being presented at this PVS Special Family Performance.

PIONEER VALLEY SYMPHONY

Bill Harley will be narrating Sergei Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf at the PVS Special Family Performance.  Sergei Prokofiev was a great twentieth century Russian composer.   He composed a number of pieces for young listeners and performers.  The director of the Moscow Children’s Musical Theater asked him to compose something for them to perform and they decided to have a story about a child and a group of animals, in which each animal would be given a theme using a different instrument of the orchestra so that the audience would learn how the instruments look and sound.

HOW TO WIN

Your chance to win tickets to see the Bill Harley with the Pioneer Valley Symphony is as easy as 2-4-6!  To win simply

  1. POST A COMMENT BELOW and be sure to tell us your
  2. FULL NAME and where you
  3. LIVE (TOWN/STATE) PLEASE include your town and state to be eligible. We’ll randomly draw a winner(s) from those who leave a comment (along with their full name and town/state) and post the results below.
  4. We have up to four free tickets to offer, so be sure to include how many tickets you would like to win.
  5. ACCURATE EMAIL (we never share your email address).
  6. The winner will be contacted with details on how to retrieve tickets via email upon the close of the contest.

IT’S THAT SIMPLE! — Deadline is Wednesday, 03/25/09 @ 7pm (EST).

Two runner ups will receive a copy of Bill Harley’s DVD, Yes to Running! Bill Harley Live which won the 2009 GRAMMY AWARD for Best Spoken Word Album for Children.

If you don’t win you should still go!  Tickets are available here.


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Building Stronger Families, Communities and Ecosystems

Naturalist and Author Jon Young to Speak on Nature, Culture & Community

Naturalist and Author Jon Young to Speak in Greenfield on February 25 on Nature, Culture & Community

Jon Young, an animal tracker, educator, and author, will speak about "The Galvanizing Moment: Nature, Culture, and Community" on Wednesday, February 25 at 7:00 p.m. in Greenfield, MA.

Jon Young, an animal tracker, educator, and author, will speak about The Galvanizing Moment: Nature, Culture, and Community on Wednesday, February 25 at 7:00 p.m. at the All Soul’s Church, 399 Main St, Greenfield, Mass.

Jon Young collaborates globally with organizations and individuals seeking to foster deeper community and nature connections through the power of cultural and mentoring principles. His work is designed to bring the collective wisdom of nature back into the modern experience.

At a time when many people are waking up to the need and possibility for radical change in the way we live our lives, Jon will speak of the opportunity for us to reconnect with each other, our natural world, and our highest selves.

“We know,” says Jon, “That nature connection alone won’t generate the changes we envision. We also need to learn to tend our relationships. This means we need to think about nature and culture, permaculture and peacemaking.”

This is a rare New England opportunity to hear Jon talk about the core ideas that form the basis of his work to build stronger families, communities, and ecosystems with the resilience to thrive in the years to come.

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(Community) Winter Fare and Ag Education Year-Round

(Community) Winter Fare and Ag Education Year-Round
By CISA

Sooner or later, everyone who is working to get more local food into school cafeterias or incorporate agricultural education into school curricula must learn to work with the fact that the school year was designed so that it wouldn’t interfere with peak harvest season. It’s true that the mad rush of fresh, local veggies and fruit into the markets has slowed by the time the school busses begin their rounds, and this does pose special challenges for food service directors and teachers. The winter months are a great time to turn to the larger community for help in continuing to educate children about agriculture and food.

As more and more people become aware of the benefits and importance of supporting local agriculture, there have been more efforts to make local food accessible year-round.   This Saturday, February 2nd, there will be a Groundhog Day Farmers’ Market from 10am-2pm in the 2nd Congregational Church in Greenfield. Locally-produced foods, ranging from apples and carrots to bok choy and popcorn will be available. There will also be a series of workshops about topics like seed saving, bee keeping, and fruit drying. The Farmers’ Market kicks off a week of Winter Fare community events, including potluck suppers and film showings. And six Franklin County restaurants are highlighting local foods on their menus and accepting coupons that can be picked up at the Farmers’ Market. The farmers’ market and all the events following it should be great fun (and you should go, if you live nearby!), but Winter Fare also provides inspiration for teachers or parents wondering about ways to teach kids about agriculture in the dead of winter, and ways to connect that education to the larger community.

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Eat Locally Year-Round!

Winter Fare Week 2008: Local Food in the Winter!

Eating locally grown food is easy in August when area farmstands are overflowing and a Free Harvest Supper is served on the Greenfield Town Common (click here to see photos). But what’s possible in the middle of winter? “Lots!” according to Juanita Nelson of Deerfield, MA (pictured right). She and some friends want everyone to eat locally year-round, so they are planning a week of Winter Fare, starting with an indoor farmers’ market in Greenfield, MA, on Groundhog Day, February 2, 2008. The farmers’ market will feature locally grown food including vegetables, milk, eggs, cheese, meat, honey, and maple syrup as well as workshops and informational displays about how to eat locally year- round. There will also be a ‘barter mart’ section of the market for individuals to bring their own surplus of homemade products- jams, jellies, pesto, etc.-to swap with one another.

(c) Hilltown FamiliesScheduled halfway between the first day of winter and the start of spring, Winter Fare will also include a week of meals featuring local foods, whether they are gatherings of friends or church-sponsored local food potlucks or special menus served at area restaurants. The Winter Fare organizers hope that their efforts will encourage everyone to include more local foods in their everyday life, whatever the season. Eating locally has many benefits, including saving energy, slowing global climate change, providing living incomes for area farmers, attracting new farmers to the area, and freeing far-away farms to grow food for their local residents instead of consumers in other countries.

Even though February 2, 2008 seems far off, the Winter Fare committee asks farmers, gardeners and everyone who likes to eat to plan now for what will be in local cupboards next Groundhog Day. The committee seeks farmers willing to grow extra storage crops to sell at the indoor farmers market and is looking into food storage facilities for those crops.

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Community Harvest Supper of Local Food on 08/19/07

Be a Local Hero

(c) Hilltown Families - Chard growning at the Community Garden

The 3rd Annual Free Harvest Supper of Local Food will be happening on the Greenfield Town Common/Court Square on Sunday, August 19th from 5-7pm.

This open community event will feature:

  • Free bountiful meal of locally grown food prepared by local chefs
  • Live music
  • Children’s activities
  • Educational displays
  • A Really, Really Free Market
  • Conservation of resources by encouraging guests to bring your own place settings
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    Local Celebrations for the Week of the Young Child [April 21-28, 2007]

    Ways to Celebrate the Week of the Young Child (2007)

    (c) Hilltown FamiliesHilltown families are invited to join hundreds of local organizations around the country that will celebrate the Week of the Young Child.

    • WYC honors children from birth through age eight in America.
    • WYC honors the adults who help children make the most of the opportunities of their early years.
    • WYC offers a chance to celebrate the learning opportunities of young children.
    • WYC recognizes the responsibilities we share for young children make the most of the early years.

    There are several local celebrations during the Week of the Young Child designed to build broader support for early childhood programs that nurture young children’s early learning and growth:

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    Step it Up 2007 in Western Mass

    Step it Up 2007 in Western Mass

    Step it Up is the largest day of citizen action focusing on global warming in our nation’s history. A truly infectious grassroots movement, organized through word of mouth, email outreach and the online community. It was a nationwide campaign comprised of over 1300 actions held on April 14, 2007 as part of a National Day of Climate Action. Many local Western Mass communities participated in the campaign, including Amherst, Cummington, Easthampton, Greenfield, Heath, Northampton, Pittsfield, and Williamstown .

    We gathered a lot of information on resources at the Northampton rally …

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    Pioneer Valley Jewish Film Festival ’07

    Pioneer Valley Jewish Film Festival
    March 10th – March 31st, 2007

    Through collaborative community effort, the Pioneer Valley Jewish Film Festival will be offering a spectacular array of award-winning, entertaining films from around the world this month. Hilltown families and filmgoers of all ages can enjoy compelling drama, comedy, documentary, and shorts from the best film festivals.

    The PVJFF runs for three weeks and includes discussions with filmmakers and other speakers, social receptions, art exhibits, and concerts. Film venues range from the Basketball Hall of Fame and the Showcase Cinema, to the Smith College Museum of Art and the Pleasant Street Theatre. Click here for a complete list of venues and film schedules.

    Amy Dryansky from the festivals steering committee, has suggested two film programs that may be of interest to hilltown parents:

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    Whoopin’ it Up with Wild Asparagus!

    Greenfield Center School
    Family Contra Dance 2007

    Wild Asparagus whoops it up at the Greenfield Center School Family Contra Dance. (Photo Credit: Sienna Wildfield)

    On Sunday afternoon, Wild Asparagus whooped it up at the Guiding Star Grange in Greenfield, MA. The Greenfield Center School held their annual Family Contra Benefit Dance and the dance hall was filled with families from all over Western Mass. This festive social dance was for families with kids of all ages.

    Families learned easy contras, square dancing, and movements to Jump-Jim Joe, Ride Sally Ride and Sasha. Ann Percival of Wild Asparagus lead the crowd along with her five-person band. The band uses a unique blend of talents to pack a punch of a performance, presenting traditional dances and music of New England folk heritage.

    The proceeds went to benefit the Greenfield Center School, an independent day school for students K-8th grade. GSC is known for integrating social and academic learning in every aspect of the school day, while emphasizing the building of community and celebration of the individual. This benefit dance let that spirit of the GSC really shine through by warmly welcoming the larger community to celebrate with them, and empowering the older students who ran the bake sale and silent auction during the dance.

    Old students from the GCS ran a bake sale and silent auction downstairs while families jumps and swung around upstairs. (Photo Credit: Sienna Wildfield)

    If you’ve been to a contra dance you know how much fun they can be for the whole family. If you’ve been missing out, not to worry, there are a plethora of contra dances to fill your calendar, including:

    A good way to keep up with contra dances happening in our area is the Pioneer Valley Contra Dance e-mail group.

    Other interesting links to visit on Contra Dances:

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