4 Family Music Workshops Happening at the Hilltown Spring Festival, June 1st!

Musical Workshops for Children and Families at the
Hilltown Spring Festival on June 1st
Cummington Fairgrounds in Cummington, MA

Aimee Gelinas of Gaia Roots returns this year with another terrific intergenerational, interactive Afro-Caribbean song and drum workshop featuring music from Cuba, Haiti and Puerto Rico! All workshops are free with festival entrance and open to everyone! (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

At the Hilltown Spring Festival on June 1st at the Cummington Fairgrounds, in addition to ten musical groups on two stages between 11:15am-5pm, there will be four musical workshops for children and families!

  • At 1pm, Aimee Gelinas of Gaia Roots will lead an intergenerational, interactive West African and Caribbean percussion and song workshop.
  • At 2pm, Mariam Massaro of the Gaea Star Band will lead musical play with creative crowns, wands and whimsical costumes, for ages 1 to 12.
  • At 3pm, Jim Armenti of the Lonesome Brothers will tell the stories behind some of the songs he has written for kids, teach the audience the lyrics, and then lead the audience in singing the songs (ages 4 to 10).
  • And at 4:15pm, percussionist Tony Vacca will lead an intergenerational world music percussion workshop.  All ages and skill levels are welcome.  The instruments, which will be provided, usually include djembe drum, balafon, tuned bells, shekere, talking drum, gongs and drum set.

Also at 1pm, at the Hilltown Spring Festival there will be an OPEN MIC for anyone who has family-friendly music to share with their neighbors.  The sign-up for the open mike begins at 12noon.  Young people are especially welcome to perform.

The Hilltown Spring Festival also includes food, arts and crafts, horse training demonstrations, and children’s activities all day long. The gates will open at 10am; the music begins at 11am. Admission is $8; children 12 and under are free.  Free parking is available on the fairgrounds.


Hilltown Spring FestivalThe Hilltown CDC’s 7th Annual Hilltown Spring Festival will be on Saturday, June 1st, 2013 at the Cummington Fairgrounds! 2,000 people are expected at the Hilltown Spring Festival this year and entertainment will include musical performances and workshops, exhibits by artists and craftspeople, displays by local businesses, food from local vendors, kids-made craft bazaar, children’s activities and much more. More information is available at www.hilltowncdc.org. – Proceeds go to support Hilltown CDC programs that support low and moderate income hilltown residents.  These programs include small business support, housing rehabilitation, child care subsidies, and social services for families and the elderly.

7th Annual Hilltown Spring Festival: June 1st!

7th Annual Hilltown Spring Festival
Celebrating life in the Hilltowns
June 1st, 2013 in Cummington, MA

“The Hilltown Spring Festival is a chance to connect with 2,000 of your neighbors who care about the quality of life in the Hilltowns,” said Seth Isman, Hilltown CDC’s Economic Development Director and Festival coordinator. “The Festival celebrates what we love about the Hilltown community.”

Hilltown Families is a proud premiere sponsor of  the Hilltown Spring Festival, the Hilltown Community Development Corporation’s signature community celebration to be held this year on  Saturday, June 1, from 10am-5pm at the Cummington Fairgrounds in Cummington, MA.

Last year’s Festival drew 2,000 people for an all-day celebration of regional arts, culture and sustainability. This year’s Festival will feature performances all day by area musicians on two stages, specialty food and drink from local vendors, children’s activities all day long, kids-made crafts bazaar, and a new open mike stage.

Right now is a great time for community members and local businesses to get involved with the Festival as the Hilltown CDC is signing up local artisans, businesses, non-profit organizations and volunteers.

The Festival is looking for:

  • Artists and craftspeople who want to display and sell their work;
  • Businesses who want to reach 2,000 prospective customers in one day;
  • Vendors of products and services that make our lives more energy-efficient and our communities more sustainable;
  • Local food vendors;
  • Volunteer captains to help the Festival succeed;
  • Kids 12 and under who want to show and sell their art or craft work in the kids-made craft bazaar;
  • Musicians to perform on a new open mike stage;
  • And businesses to sponsor the Festival.

Registration forms are available from Hilltown CDC; email sethi@hilltowncdc.org, call 413-296-4536 ext. 112, or stop by during office hours (387 Main Road/Route 143 in Chesterfield, MA).  Priority deadline for reserving a space is May 13, 2013.

ABOUT THE HILLTOWN CDC: Hilltown CDC seeks to improve the quality of life for Hilltown residents by addressing economic, housing, educational, social and community needs while preserving the rural character of the area.  Find out more about the Hilltown CDC and their community development work at www.hilltowncdc.org.


The Hilltown Spring Festival is supported in part by grants from the Local Cultural Councils of the towns of Ashfield, Chester. Chesterfield, Conway, Cummington, Goshen, Middlefield, Plainfield, Washington, Westhampton, Williamsburg, Windsor and Worthington—local agencies which are supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.

A Year in Review: A Photo Journey with Hilltown Families

Western MA in 2012: A Year in Photos

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Suggested Events 06/04/11-06/10/11

Discover fun and educational events happening this week in Western Mass, along with announcements, upcoming events, links, resources and the HFVS podcast.

SUGGEST AN EVENT

Eastern Tiger Swallowtails puddling along the Westfield River this past weekend. This upcoming weekend, there are a couple of opportunities for families to discover the behavior of other regional insects, including fireflies. (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

Suggest an EventIf 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, along with time, place, age appropriateness and costs before attending.

SPONSORSHIP: Reach thousands of families in Western MA while supporting the work of Hilltown Families. Hilltown Families has been serving & supporting our local community for over 5 years! Help us continue to serve our community by supporting the work we do! Local businesses, individuals, schools and non-profits are encouraged to support Hilltown Families through sponsorship and enhanced publicity. Let us help get the word out about your event, camp, workshop, fundraiser, business or announcement. — Help us help you!

BEST BETS

On Saturday, June 4th, 10am- COMMUNITY CELEBRATION: Take a trip just over the board to Brattleboro for the 10th annual Strolling of the Heifers!  The parade is made up of over 100 heifer calves, along with floats, music, costumes, and more!  Main Street.  Brattleboro, VT.  (FREE)

In the Valley on Saturday rub elbows with local illustrators from 10am-5pm – BOOK FESTIVAL: Meet Tomie dePaola and other artists from the Western Massachusetts Illustrators’ Guild, includig Greg Ruth and Jarrett Krozoczka at the Eric Carle Museum’s Children Book Festival. Art activities, local food and live music!  125 West Bay Road.  413-658-1100.  Amherst, MA.  (FREE W/MUSEUM ADMISSION)

The Nields

Deadline to enter to win: Saturday, June 4th @ 7pm (EST)

Later in the day on Saturday in the Berkshires from 1-7pm – MUSEUM ADVENTURE: Join the Berkshire Museum for the opening day celebration of the exhibit, “Geckos: Tails to Toepads.”  Meet some gecko friends, explore the exhibit, and do hands-on art projects!  There will be a reception from 5-7 with light refreshments and guided tours.  39 South Street.  413-443-7171.  Pittsfield, MA.  (FREE with museum admission)

In the evening on Saturday, down in the Pioneer Valley from 7-8:30pm – ENTOMOLOGY: Fireflies for Families at Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary. Learn how to translate the flash of a firefly, participate in games, craft project and take a walk into the fields with environmental Environmental Educator, Rebecca Moretti. Registration required. 127 Coombs Rd. 413-584-3009 Easthampton, MA ($)

Dan Zanes and Elizabeth Mitchell

Deadline to enter to win: Saturday, June 8th @ 7pm (EST)

Then on Sunday, June 5th from 9am-12noon in the Hilltowns - OUTDOOR ADVENTURE: Go on a community nature hike at the Bullitt Reservation.  Now that the rain has stopped, the woods and fields are busting with new life- check it out!  332 Bullitt Road.  413-531-1631.  Ashfield, MA.  (FREE)

And on Sunday in the Berkshires starting at 10am – INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL: As part of the Berkshire International Film Festival, a screening of 12 children short films will take place at the Mahaiwe Theater, including “Boy and the Dragon Kite,” “Gopher Broke,” and “Ride of the Mergansers.” Castle St. Great Barrington, MA (FREE)

MARK YOUR CALENDARS

Saturday, June 11th from 10am-12Noon: CELEBRATION: Join the Easthampton Family Center in celebrating the end of their programming year!  The event will be held at Nonotuck Park in Easthampton on Saturday, June 11th from 10am to 12noon.  Local author David Hyde Costello will be on hand for storytime and to help facilitate discussion.  All attendees will receive a free copy of his book, I Can Help! (while supplies last).  BYO picnic lunch, but leave out the dessert- there will be plenty of treats for sale!  There will also be a prize drawing.  For more information or to help with the bake sale, contact Lynne Guyette at 413-527-5496.

Thursday, June 16th: THIRD THURSDAYS: Pittsfield’s Third Thursdays season has already begun!  Every Thursday evenings, downtown Pittsfield comes alive with live music, street performances, art, outdoor dining, and more!  The event takes place from 5-8 and is in its fifth season!  New this year is a stage featuring youth performers of all types, and youth art will be featured at the Lichenstein Center for the Arts.  Also, the YMCA is celebrating its 125th birthday this year and there will be celebratory (and free!) zumba and and hip hop classes for families during Third Thursdays.  Every Third Thursday has something new to offer- there are tons of things to see and do!  For more information, visit www.culturalpittsfield.com.

BULLETIN BOARD

MUSIC CAMP: Miles of Music Camp, June 12-17. Youth & Family Scholarships available! A week of music for all ages & abilities, Miles of Music Camp was founded to inspire creativity and an exchange of ideas within a diverse musical community. With backgrounds ranging from fiddle & dance to indie rock, our instructors are songwriters & instrumentalists who are excited to share their skills and experiences. In addition to classes, jams & dances, we’ll leave you free time for swimming, boating & relaxing in our 42 acre island paradise on New Hampshire’s Lake Winnipesaukee. Bring your guitar, fiddle, voice, mandolin, banjo, horn, bass, percussion, swimsuit, dancing shoes & an open mind. call: 617-230-7041 or email: milesofmusiccamp@gmail.com. www.milesofmusiccamp.com

GET AT THE ROOTS: Craig Fear writes, “I will be teaching a new 12 week weight group loss program rooted in local and traditional foods. It works by reducing sugar and processed foods in the diet and by addressing the underlying issues of poor health. Weekly modules include Digestive Disorders, Food Sensitivities, Yeast Overgrowth, Blood Sugar Imbalance and more. For more info please visit www.pvnutritionaltherapy.com. The class will be held on Thurs. nights from 6:30-7:30pm starting on June 16th. Class location: Motion Chiropractic Center. 54R Northampton St. Easthampton Cost: $299. Please contact me at craig@pvnutritionaltherapy.com or 413-559-7770 with any questions.”

TORNADO: State of Emergency and Western MA Tornado Updates HERE.

TAG SALE: The Northampton Parents Center will be holding their annual tag sale and bake sale on Saturday, June 4th from 9am-1pm in front of the Unitarian Society (220 Main St.).  There will be tons of great items, and proceeds from all purchases benefit the center and its programming for families.  The Parents Center will be collecting items for the tag sale until the morning of Friday the 3rd. To donate, or to get more information, contact 582-2636 or visit www.northamptonparentscenter.org.

ARTS & HERITAGE FESTIVAL: June 19 – July 23, Lift Ev’ry Voice: Celebrating African-American Culture and Heritage. Lift Ev’ry Voice will celebrate the diverse traditions of African-American community, arts and culture, history and heritage in Berkshire County and across the nation. The festival will include a wide variety of programming by groups including Barrington Stage Company, Tanglewood, the Sterling & Francine Clark Art Institute, the Du Bois Center, Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, Multicultural BRIDGE, the Colonial Theatre, the Upper Housatonic Valley African-American Heritage Trail, Mass MoCA, and many others. The honorary co-chairs of Lift Ev’ry Voice are Governor Deval Patrick and First Lady Diane Patrick. For more information: www.liftevryvoice.com.

COMMUNITY GRANT: Cooley Dickinson Hospital is offering Healthy Communities Grants!  There are two different grants available, both for different amounts.  The Capacity Building Grant is intended to aid the creation of a system where local leadership can affect change in policy related to healthy eating and/or physical activity- up to $15,000 is available!  The Community Projects Grant is intended to implement programs that affect change in the same two areas, and awards of up to $5,000 will be given.  Click HERE for a copy of the grant application.

HILLTOWN FAMILY VARIETY SHOW: Guest DJ, Billy Kelly

Hilltown Family Variety ShowBilly Kelly with Guest DJ the HFVS this weekend.  Billy will be playing tunes by the Ramones, Lunch Money, Johnny Cash, Yellow Sarang, Frank Black, and several cuts off of his newest CD, “The Family Garden.”

Tune in every Saturday from 9-10am. Encore episodes are aired every Sunday from 7-8am.  Families have several ways to tune in to the Hilltown Family Variety Show:

  • Streaming Audio: Surf on over to ValleyFreeRadio.org on Saturday & Sunday mornings and listen to us live via streaming audio.
  • On Your FM Dial: Tune in to WXOJ 103.3FM if you live near Northampton, MA.
  • Podcast: Listen to the most recent episodes of the Hilltown Family Variety Show anytime you wish! Click here to see our current select of episodes, and be sure to subscribe to our podcast too!

WEEKLY LIST OF SUGGESTED EVENTS

Saturday Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday

Read the rest of this entry »

Suggested Events 05/28/11-06/03/11

Discover fun and educational events happening this week in Western Mass, along with announcements, upcoming events, links, resources and the HFVS podcast.

SUGGEST AN EVENT

We ran into Bubble Ben again in downtown Northampton last weekend. Kids LOVE him! Click on the photo to see a video snapshot from '09. (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

Suggest an EventIf 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, along with time, place, age appropriateness and costs before attending.

SPONSORSHIP: Reach thousands of families in Western MA while supporting the work of Hilltown Families. Hilltown Families has been serving & supporting our local community for over 5 years! Help us continue to serve our community by supporting the work we do! Local businesses, individuals, schools and non-profits are encouraged to support Hilltown Families through sponsorship and enhanced publicity. Let us help get the word out about your event, camp, workshop, fundraiser, business or announcement. — Help us help you!

BEST BETS

Saturday, May 28th from 1-5pm – RIVERFEST: Head to Williamstown for the 20th Annual Riverfest!  Celebrate the Hoosic River and life in its watershed.  There will be river raft rides, an art walk, crafts for kids, live music, pony rides, local food vendors, a rubber duck derby, raffles, and much more!  The festvities will take place at Cole Field.  Stetson Road.  413-458-2742.  Williamstown, MA.  (>$, FREE)

All Weekend & Memorial Day from 9am-5pm – SHEEP & WOOLCRAFT FAIR: Head to Cummington for the Massachusetts Sheep and Woolcraft Fair! There will be shearing demonstrations, wool spinning, sheep herding demonstrations, workshops on dying and spinning for kids, weaving, and much more! 97 Fairgrounds Road. Cummington, MA.

… and from 10am-6pm – CULTURAL BAZAAR: The Cultural Survival Bazaar, an international festival of native arts and culture, happens on the Amherst Common. Artisans, music, demos, educational displays, Native American storytelling, ethnic cuisine and much more. Amherst, M (FREE ENTRANCE)

MARK YOUR CALENDARS

Saturday, June 4th from in the Valley from 10am-2pm – OUTDOOR ADVENTURE: Celebrate the Fort River with a community canoe trip and a ducky race!  There will be discovery stations along the way where you can learn about the aquatic life that calls the river home.  The adventure starts at Kiwanis Field.  Stanley Street.  Amherst, MA.  (FREE)

Also on Saturday, June 4th from 10am-4pm in the Berkshires – FAMILY FUN DAY: Visit the Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary for Family Fun Day!  There will be live music, puppet shows, animals, crafts, nature walks, food vendors, a plant sale, and more!  472 West Mountain Road.  413-637-0320.  Lenox, MA.  (FREE)

Then on Sunday, June 5th from 9am-12noon in the Hilltowns - OUTDOOR ADVENTURE: Go on a community nature hike at the Bullitt Reservation.  Now that the rain has stopped, the woods and fields are busting with new life- check it out!  332 Bullitt Road.  413-531-1631.  Ashfield, MA.  (FREE)

BULLETIN BOARD

ADVENTURES IN CHINESE: June 20- July 1, 2011. New at The Bement School in Deerfield, campers ages 5-12 years can participate in activities designed to build vocabulary and confidence in speaking Mandarin Chinese. Campers will gain a better understanding of Chinese art, culture and tradition. Highlights include: Chinese food, Chinese stories and songs, brush painting and calligraphy, ancient Chinese culture and history, Chinese hand-drawing animations. For more information call 413-475-3044 www.bement.org/summer. Services include: round-trip van transportation (Hadley, Northampton, Amherst), extended day and bag lunches.

ADVENTURE CAMP: Four two-week sessions, June 20-August 12, 2011. The Bement School Summer Programs in Deerfield offer a preschool program and adventure day camp for boys and girls ages 15 months to 15 years. Adventure Camp provides a traditional day camp experience. Your child will participate in many activities to make his or her summer a memorable one. At the same time, parents can enjoy peace of mind knowing their child is in a safe and caring place. A sibling discount is available for siblings who enroll in multiple sessions. For information call 413-475-3044  www.bement.org/summer. Services include: round-trip van transportation (Hadley, Northampton, Amherst), extended day and bag lunches.
Celtic Heels School of Irish DanceIRISH DANCE: Irish Dance Camp / Evening Lessons / Fiddle Lessons: Join in the fun of the jigs and reels this summer with The Celtic Heels School of Irish Dance in Greenfield, MA! Camp 1: 6/27-6/30 for ages 4-6 from 9-10:30am ($55); ages 7-8 from 9am-12noon ($110); and ages 9+ from 9am-2pm ($180). Camp 2: For experienced dancers. Camp 3: 7/8-7/10 for ages 7-8 from 9am-12noon ($85); and ages 9+ from 9am-2pm ($135).  There is also a 6 week evening lesson workshop beginning the end of July. Class openings still available for ages 4-Adult in both soft shoe and hard shoe. Fiddle lessons will be held on Mondays on a first come first serve basis. For more information visit http://www.CelticHeelsDance.com

Candy Bird Laflam writes, “Softball season is upon us! Goshen women’s softball team still has a few spaces left on their roster if you would like to play. Women league, plays Tuesday and Thursday nights. June 19 to August 8 is the season. If you can’t play, then come support your local team!! Ashfield, Williamsburg, Goshen, Conway & Shelburn!! Opening tournament is Sunday, June 19th at the Cummington Field (main street). Come on by!!!!”

Cedric Watson & Bijou Creole at the Iron Horse

Rochelle Wildfong writes, “The Meekins Library (2 Williams St.) in Williamsburg is hosting an exhibition from May 26 – June 18 of Peace Posters made by the present 6th  class at the Anne T. Dunphy Elementary School for the Lions Clubs International Peace Poster Competition. The local finalist chosen to represent the school was Marlena Schlerman.  Each year, Lions clubs around the world sponsor the Lions International Peace Poster Contest in local schools and youth groups. This Contest encourages young people worldwide to artistically express their visions of peace. During the last 20 years, more than four million children from nearly 100 countries have participated in the contest. The theme of the 2011-12 Peace Poster Contest is  “Vision of Peace.””

OPEN-AIR MARKET: Every weekend through October, there is an open-air market in Easthampton. It takes place at the former Fedor Pontiac dealership- there are amazing views of Mt. Tom!  The market has everything from tag sale tables to food from local farms, and there will also always be antiques, collectibles, arts and crafts, and more.  The wide variety of offerings provides fun for the whole family. The market is an opportunity for community interaction and is a chance for local people to share their goods and services with neighbors- visit the market to find out what the community has to offer!  The market takes place from 7am-2pm.  More information is available at www.easthamptonflea.com.

TEEN VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES: Become a volunteer at the Zoo in Forest Park!  There are opportunities to do everything from caring for animals to giving tours of the zoo.  Right now, there is especially need for volunteers to help with landscaping and gardening.  There are also internships available for high school and college students that allow students to learn about animals while also conducting an independent project.  Also, teens aged 14-17 are invited to be Zoo Ambassadors!  Ambassadors will conduct hands-on animal presentations, run interactive stations, and create interpretive elements for learning about animals- in general, an ambassador’s goal is to create fun educational experiences for visitors.  For more information and an application, visit.  A volunteer application is available at www.forestparkzoo.org/volunteer.

EASTHAMPTON FAMILY CENTER: The Easthampton Family Center will be holding its June playgroups at the lower playground at Nonotuck Park in Easthampton on Tuesday and Friday mornings.  In case of rain, playgroups will take place at the center’s usual Main Street location (at Flywheel).  During July and August, parents can meet for playgroup at 10am every Tuesday at Nonotuck Park!  In case of rain, there will be no indoor location- playgroups will be rescheduled for Friday at the same time and place.  For more information about the center, visit www.easthamptonfamilycenter.org.

HILLTOWN FAMILY VARIETY SHOW

Hilltown Family Variety ShowTune in every Saturday from 9-10am. Encore episodes are aired every Sunday from 7-8am.  Families have several ways to tune in to the Hilltown Family Variety Show:

  • Streaming Audio: Surf on over to ValleyFreeRadio.org on Saturday & Sunday mornings and listen to us live via streaming audio.
  • On Your FM Dial: Tune in to WXOJ 103.3FM if you live near Northampton, MA.
  • Podcast: Listen to the most recent episodes of the Hilltown Family Variety Show anytime you wish! Click here to see our current select of episodes, and be sure to subscribe to our podcast too!

WEEKLY LIST OF SUGGESTED EVENTS

Saturday Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday

Read the rest of this entry »

Suggested Events 05/21/11-05/27/11

Discover fun and educational events happening this week in Western Mass, along with announcements, upcoming events, links, resources and the HFVS podcast.

SUGGEST AN EVENT

One misty morning this week I came upon a string of ponies grazing in the wet pastures along a windy back road of Goshen, home to the Hampshire County Riding Club. This weekend the club will be hosting a tag sale on Ball Road. Many treasure are sure to be found! - And if you love all things equine, the Pioneer Valley Therapeutic Riding Association’s Spring Benefit Horse Show is this weekend too! (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

Suggest an EventIf 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, along with time, place, age appropriateness and costs before attending.

SPONSORSHIP: Reach thousands of families in Western MA while supporting the work of Hilltown Families. Hilltown Families has been serving & supporting our local community for over 5 years! Help us continue to serve our community by supporting the work we do! Local businesses, individuals, schools and non-profits are encouraged to support Hilltown Families through sponsorship and enhanced publicity. Let us help get the word out about your event, camp, workshop, fundraiser, business or announcement. — Help us help you!

BEST BETS

In the Hilltowns on Saturday, May 21st from 9am-4pm – COMMUNITY CELEBRATION: Head to Chester for Chester on Track, a community celebration of the town and its history.  There will he live music, helicopter rides, quarry tours, horse-drawn wagon rides, train museum tours, blacksmith demonstrations, a parade, and more!  Route 20.  413-354-7878.  Chester, MA.  (FREE)

And in the Berkshires on  Saturday, May 21st from 12noon-4pm – WORLD MUSIC : Join the Norman Rockwell Museum in celebrating World Rhythms Day!  There will be music, dance, international cuisine, gallery tours, art making, outdoor activities, and more!  9 Route 183.  413-298-4100.  Stockbridge, MA.  (FREE with museum admission)

In the Pioneer Valley on Saturday, May 21st from 3pm – FAMILY CONCERT: Visit the Eric Carle Museum for a performance from Elizabeth Mitchell & You Are My Flower, with special guests Mates of State!  Manhan Rail Trail PosterProceeds from the concert benefit the Northampton Community Music Center’s scholarship program.  125 West Bay Road.  413-658-1100.  Amherst, MA.  ($)

Then on Sunday, May 22nd at 10am – BIKES: Celebrate the grand opening of the completion of the Manhan Rail Trail extension to Northampton!  The event will begin at 10am with light refreshments and live music at Millside Park in Easthampton, and there will be performers along the trail as well.  The event will move steadily down the trail all morning until noon when there will be a ribbon cutting on the bridge over Route 10.  The entrance to the trail is off of Ferry and Pleasant streets.  This is an exciting occasion for trail-users- only a few years ago, there was a plan for the new trail bridge but no money to build and today there is a beautiful new section of bike path! Ferry Street and Pleasant Street.  Easthampton, MA.  (FREE)

Later in Easthampton on Sunday at 1:30pm – FAMILY CONCERT: Mister G and he kid-friendly punk rock band R.O.C.K. (the Royal Order of Chords and Keys) will perform a family concert to benefit Sunnyside Child Care at Flywheel Arts Collective. 43 East Main St. (Old Town Hall) Easthampton, MA ($)

MARK YOUR CALENDARS:
MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND

Memorial Day Weekend from 9am-5pm – SHEEP & WOOLCRAFT FAIR: Head to Cummington for the Massachusetts Sheep and Woolcraft Fair!  There will be shearing demonstrations, wool spinning, sheep herding demonstrations, workshops on dying and spinning for kids, weaving, and much more!  97 Fairgrounds Road.  Cummington, MA.

… and from 10am-6pm – CULTURAL BAZAAR: The Cultural Survival Bazaar, an international festival of native arts and culture, happens on the Amherst Common.  Artisans, music, demos, educational displays, Native American storytelling, ethnic cuisine and much more. Amherst, M (FREE ENTRANCE)

BULLETIN BOARD

Celtic Heels School of Irish DanceIRISH DANCE: Irish Dance Camp / Evening Lessons / Fiddle Lessons: Join in the fun of the jigs and reels this summer with The Celtic Heels School of Irish Dance in Greenfield, MA! Camp 1: 6/27-6/30 for ages 4-6 from 9-10:30am ($55); ages 7-8 from 9am-12noon ($110); and ages 9+ from 9am-2pm ($180). Camp 2: For experienced dancers. Camp 3: 7/8-7/10 for ages 7-8 from 9am-12noon ($85); and ages 9+ from 9am-2pm ($135).  There is also a 6 week evening lesson workshop beginning the end of July. Class openings still available for ages 4-Adult in both soft shoe and hard shoe. Fiddle lessons will be held on Mondays on a first come first serve basis. For more information visit www.CelticHeelsDance.com

ADVENTURES IN CHINESE: June 20- July 1, 2011. New at The Bement School in Deerfield, campers ages 5-12 years can participate in activities designed to build vocabulary and confidence in speaking Mandarin Chinese. Campers will gain a better understanding of Chinese art, culture and tradition. Highlights include: Chinese food, Chinese stories and songs, brush painting and calligraphy, ancient Chinese culture and history, Chinese hand-drawing animations. For more information call 413-475-3044 www.bement.org/summer. Services include: round-trip van transportation (Hadley, Northampton, Amherst), extended day and bag lunches.

ADVENTURE CAMP: Four two-week sessions, June 20-August 12, 2011. The Bement School Summer Programs in Deerfield offer a preschool program and adventure day camp for boys and girls ages 15 months to 15 years. Adventure Camp provides a traditional day camp experience. Your child will participate in many activities to make his or her summer a memorable one. At the same time, parents can enjoy peace of mind knowing their child is in a safe and caring place. A sibling discount is available for siblings who enroll in multiple sessions. For information call 413-475-3044  www.bement.org/summer. Services include: round-trip van transportation (Hadley, Northampton, Amherst), extended day and bag lunches.

SHIPROCK & ANCHORDOG: This original musical is a collaboration between local children and artists from around the Pioneer Valley. Shiprock and Anchordog tells the tale of two lovable pups who leave their home in the desert to embark upon an epic quest in search of food security. In the production, the audience will journey across a beautiful piece of farmland, moving through a labyrinth of cargo trains, blueberry fields, oceans, and forests. The adventure incorporates live music, dance, and puppetry. Performances will be held at 81 Rocky Hill Rd. in Hadley on May 27th at 5pm and May 28th & 29th at 4pm. Tickets sold on a sliding scale: $10-25. Picnic dinner included in the price! Children 4 & under free.

Emily Jawadekar writes: I am a certified Children’s Yoga teacher. I teach yoga for ages 3-15 in the Northampton area. I can teach at my house or yours, or outdoors if it is a nice day! $25.00/hour for a private lesson. Groups classes are cheaper. Lessons start asap. Be prepared to have a lot of fun! If interested, please e-mail Emily asap at emilyj416@yahoo.com

Cedric Watson & Bijou Creole at the Iron HorseCynthia Grippaldi writes: The Junior Solar Spring will be held at Reid Middle School on North St. in Pittsfield on Sat., June 4th.  This fun event gathers @ 100 middle school students from the greater Berkshire region who have designed & built model vehicles that operate by the power of solar panels.  On June 4, they will be judged on craftsmanship, technical merit, innovation & performance. This is a totally volunteer event, & we could really use some volunteers.  We need to check-in teams, staff tables, oversee start & finish lines, help w/repairs, judges, scorekeeping, etc. Registration starts @ 8:30, & the event is usually over @ 1pm. Many tasks do not require you be there the whole time. For more info email me at cynthiag@cetonline.org or call 413-445-4556 x25.

CITIZEN SCIENTISTS: Help out with Firefly Watch, a program from the Museum of Science in Boston that tracks the geographic distribution of fireflies as well as their activity during summer months.  Participation is simple — all you have to do is count fireflies!  After signing up, you can create a description of where you live (geographic and physical) and then report your findings all summer long!  The study is also looking at how lawn chemicals affect fireflies, so be sure to include information about your lawn care (or lack thereof) in your description!  To sign up, visit the program’s website at www.mos.org/fireflywatch.

HILLTOWN FAMILY VARIETY SHOW:
THE LUV CLOWNS GUEST DJ

Hilltown Family Variety ShowTune in every Saturday from 9-10am. Encore episodes are aired every Sunday from 7-8am.

This week The Luv Clowns Guest DJ the HFVS, spinning tunes by The Dixie Cups, The Olympics, Lee Dorsey, Capt. Groovy and his Bubblegum Army, Johnny Cash, Woody Herman, and many other… including The Luv Clowns!

Families have several ways to tune in to the Hilltown Family Variety Show:

  • Streaming Audio: Surf on over to ValleyFreeRadio.org on Saturday & Sunday mornings and listen to us live via streaming audio.
  • On Your FM Dial: Tune in to WXOJ 103.3FM if you live near Northampton, MA.
  • Podcast: Listen to the most recent episodes of the Hilltown Family Variety Show anytime you wish! Click here to see our current select of episodes, and be sure to subscribe to our podcast too!

WEEKLY LIST OF SUGGESTED EVENTS

Saturday Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday

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Suggested Events 05/14/11-05/20/11

Discover fun and educational events happening this week in Western Mass, along with announcements, upcoming events, links, resources and the HFVS podcast.

SUGGEST AN EVENT

Best Bet this Weekend: 5th Annual Hilltown Spring Festival on Saturday, May 14th from 10am-7pm at the Cummington Fairgrounds.

Suggest an EventIf 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, along with time, place, age appropriateness and costs before attending.

SPONSORSHIP: Reach thousands of families in Western MA while supporting the work of Hilltown Families. Hilltown Families has been serving & supporting our local community for over 5 years! Help us continue to serve our community by supporting the work we do! Local businesses, individuals, schools and non-profits are encouraged to support Hilltown Families through sponsorship and enhanced publicity. Let us help get the word out about your event, camp, workshop, fundraiser, business or announcement. — Help us help you!

HILLTOWN SPRING FESTIVAL

Click to see posterThe Hilltown CDC’s 5th Annual Hilltown Spring Festival is this Saturday, May 14th from 10am-7pm at the Cummington Fairgrounds! And there are 101 reasons to join us this year! Here are a few highlights:

Hilltown Families Family Stage
This year the will be three music stages, including a new Family Music Stage which will present family-friendly music from 10:30am until 4:30pm, including local stars The Nields, Ben Rudnick and Friends, Mister G, Sarah Pirtle and Lui Collins.

17 Musical Performances on 3 Stages
This is the second year Hilltown Families has been a major sponsor of the festival, and this year we are delighted to sponsor a third stage at the festival, The Hilltown Families Family Stage! On the other two stages, impressive, locally based musicians with dazzle your day, including Appalachian Still, Boxcar Lilies, Gaia Roots, Misty Blues, Swing Caravan, Radio Free Earth, Institute for the Musical Arts (IMA) and many others!

An Eclectic Mix of Dancing, Creating and Workshops
Maypole and maypole dance lead by EarthSpirit of Worthington, followed by drumming workshops with Tony Vacca and Aimee Gelinas of Gaia Roots, intergenerational yoga with Prakasa Yoga Studio of Goshen, River Poetry Workshop with Piti Theatre Company of Shelburne, and a Kids Songwriting Workshop with Mister G!

Local Food with International Flare
The eclectic nature of the Hilltown Spring Festival speaks true to the diversity of our community. This year even the food matches the diversity of our community serving up local food, often times with an international flare! On the menu: Polynesian Wedding Cake; Lokoum and Cornmeal Halva; Wood-Fired Pesto Pizza; German Bratwurst; Vegetable Lo Mein; hot dogs & veggie hamburgers; locally brewed beer; and Local Maple Cream Ice Cream… just to name a few!

Hilltown Spring Festival is Solar Powered!
Sustainable energy will be broadcasting all of the music from 18 performances — powered by the solar electric and battery system of The Solar Store of Greenfield.

Learn About Our Solar System, Discover Musical Instruments, Identify Wildlife, Recycling Activities and More
With music filling the air, families will have many opportunities to discover new things. Featured educational opportunities include a Scale Model Solar System Walk, solar-filtered telescopes for solar observances, a “Musical Petting Zoo,” hands-on wildlife & survival skill demos, games, and much more!

Morris Dancers & Maypole Dancing:
Joining the festival this year will be the Juggler Meadow Morris Men and the lovely ladies from the Wake Robin Morris Dancers! Maypole and maypole dance lead by EarthSpirit of Worthington.

Kids-Made Crafts Bazaar
The Kids-Made Craft Bazaar allows children to participate directly in the Festival, rewards them for their creativity, and gives them some real-world experience showing and selling their work.

MARK YOUR CALENDARS

On Saturday, May 21st from 12noon-6pm - STREET PERFORMANCE: The Royal Frog Ballet and C3 Northampton present the Busker’s Ball!  All afternoon, performers will be singing, playing music, hosting games, dancing, doing interactive projects, and much more!  There will be musicians, puppeteers, artists, and jugglers!  Main Street.  413-585-0373.  Northampton, MA.  (DONATION)

On Sunday, May 22nd from 2-5pm – GROUNDBREAKING CELEBRATION: Join GrowFood Northampton in celebrating the official groundbreaking at the new Northampton Community Farm, which is part of 180 acres of land in Florence that has been preserved.  The celebration will include live music from Rani Arbo & Daisy Mayhem, along with horse-drawn rides, a riverwalk, refreshments, and games.  233 Spring Street.  413-584-0081.  Florence, MA.  (FREE)

BULLETIN BOARD

MEET THE DOULAS DAY: Meet the Doulas Day! Sunday, May 15th, 2-4 PM at Cradle, Third Floor, Thornes Marketplace, Northampton. Drop in any time to meet birth and postpartum doulas and other professionals in a relaxed atmosphere. Free refreshments, free raffle, and free 15-minute massages for pregnant mamas! Learn more at www.greenriverdoulas.org.

SHIPROCK & ANCHORDOG: This original musical is a collaboration between local children and artists from around the Pioneer Valley. Shiprock and Anchordog tells the tale of two lovable pups who leave their home in the desert to embark upon an epic quest in search of food security. In the production, the audience will journey across a beautiful piece of farmland, moving through a labyrinth of cargo trains, blueberry fields, oceans, and forests. The adventure incorporates live music, dance, and puppetry. Performances will be held at 81 Rocky Hill Rd. in Hadley on May 27th at 5pm and May 28th & 29th at 4pm. Tickets sold on a sliding scale: $10-25. Picnic dinner included in the price! Children 4 & under free.

Emily Jawadekar writes: I am a certified Children’s Yoga teacher. I teach yoga for ages 3-15 in the Northampton area. I can teach at my house or yours, or outdoors if it is a nice day! $25.00/hour for a private lesson. Groups classes are cheaper. Lessons start asap. Be prepared to have a lot of fun! If interested, please e-mail Emily asap at emilyj416@yahoo.com

JOB ANNOUNCEMENT: The South Hadley Family Center is searching for a Part-Time Coordinator. The position entails facilitating a parent-child playgroup three morning a week, networking within the community, developing parent leadership, training and overseeing volunteer playgroup facilitators, and helping parent volunteers with fundraising events. There will also be a few afternoon and evening meetings each month. The South Hadley Family Center is a parent cooperative which receives limited funding through grants and fundraising. Experience with families and children 5 and under is preferred for applicants, as well as a background in early childhood. Pay is $14.50 per hour. Send a resume and cover letter to cklimczak@collaborative.org by May 20th to apply for the position.

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Suggested Events 05/07/11-05/13/11

Discover fun and educational events happening this week in Western Mass, along with announcements, upcoming events, links, resources and the HFVS podcast.

SUGGEST AN EVENT

Happy Mother's Day Weekend! (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

Suggest an EventIf 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, along with time, place, age appropriateness and costs before attending.

SPONSORSHIP: Reach thousands of families in Western MA while supporting the work of Hilltown Families. Hilltown Families has been serving & supporting our local community for over 5 years! Help us continue to serve our community by supporting the work we do! Local businesses, individuals, schools and non-profits are encouraged to support Hilltown Families through sponsorship and enhanced publicity. Let us help get the word out about your event, camp, workshop, fundraiser, business or announcement. — Help us help you!

WEEKEND BEST BETS

On Saturday, May 7th in the Pioneer Valley from 10am-2pm – ARCHITECTURE: Kids age 8-18 are invited to the Wistariahurst Museum to create a box city “Street of Dreams.” Kids will learn about architecture, urban planning, and social studies while creating their city. Bring a lunch! 238 Cabot Street. 413-322-5660. Holyoke, MA. (>$)

Later on Saturday, May 7th in the Hilltowns at 2pm – COMMUNITY BBQ: Attend the second annual Kentucky Derby Bluegrass Barbecue.  There will be tons of food, live music (including a fiddling contest with a cash prize!), a prize for the best big hat, live coverage of the derby, and tasty drinks for parents.  The fiddle contest is open to anyone who can play!  The event is a benefit for the Cancer Connection.  Route 9.  413-268-8222.  Haydenville, MA.  ($$)

On Sunday, May 8th for Mother’s Day – FREE ENTRANCE: Three great local treasures welcome moms and their families, with free entrance for moms: Historic Deerfield in Deerfield, MA; Old Sturbridge Village in Sturbridge, MA; and Forest Park Zoo in Springfield, MA. (FREE)

MARK YOUR CALENDAR

Saturday, May 14th from 10am-7pm – HILLTOWN SPRING FESTIVAL: Mark your calendars for the 5th Annual Hilltown Spring Festival! Three music stages with 16 terrific musical performances, including family concerts with The Nields, Mister G, Ben Rudnick and Friends, Sarah Pirtle and Lui Collins! — Great local food,  Kids-Made Craft Bazaar, solar powered stage, sustainable vendors, hot air balloon, May pole & Morris Dancers, solar walk, drum workshop with Gaia Roots & Tony Vacca… on and on!  Kids under 12 free. All others only $5 per person!  —  An event not to be missed.  Click here to see photos from last year’s festival.  Cummington Fairgrounds Cummington, MA (>$)

BULLETIN BOARD

MEET THE DOULAS DAY: Meet the Doulas Day! Sunday, May 15th, 2-4 PM at Cradle, Third Floor, Thornes Marketplace, Northampton. Drop in any time to meet birth and postpartum doulas and other professionals in a relaxed atmosphere. Free refreshments, free raffle, and free 15-minute massages for pregnant mamas! Learn more at www.greenriverdoulas.org.

Deadline to enter to win: May 6th

TEEN OPPORTUNITY: Interested in learning to be a trolley operator? The Shelburne Falls Trolley Museum is holding a training for trolley and pump-car operators, open to teens!  The training will cover safety issues, operation and care of the trolley and pump car, passenger care, and methods of telling passengers about the history of the trolley and the Bridge of Flowers.  Those wishing to become operators need to read the museum’s rule book and policy manual, and should RSVP for the training day by contacting the museum.  Motor ”persons” and conductors must be 16+, and pump car operators must be 12+.

CALL FOR DANCERS AND ACTORS: Piti Theater Company is looking for dancers and actors ages 7 and up (including adults!) who wish to be part of an original movement-based piece set to live music.  Also, poets of all ages are invited to submit river-inspired poetry which will become text and rhythm for the performance.  The piece will be performed during Riverfest in Shelburne Falls on June 11th.  For more information, visit www.ptco.org or call 413-625-6569.  Submissions can be sent to info@ptco.org.

Deadline to enter to win: May 6th

HILLTOWN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL: The RH Conwell Community Education Center in Worthington is now accepting applications for students entering grades K-6!  There are also spots open in the school’s pre-school program for full or part time, but spaces are limited.  For more information, visit www.conwellcec.org.  For applications, contact Joanne Dupont at 413-238-5856.

SEXUALIZATION OF CHILDHOOD: The Lenox Library will screen Jean Kilbourne’s documentary, Killing Us Softly 4, which is about gender representation in advertising on May 12th @ 7pm. Kilbourne’s work addresses the sexualization of children and the effects of advertising on how people think and feel, and there will be a question and answer session with her at the end of the film.  This event is a great opportunity for parents and older children to enter the conversation on sexualizing children, and is also a great way to support the library!  The event is a fundraiser for the library, and tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the door.  For more info, or to reserve tickets, call 413-637-2630.

SCHOLARSHIP CONTEST: Encharter Insurance is offering a scholarship contest for college-bound high school seniors!  The winner will be awarded a $2,500 scholarship for creating the winning video about the dangers of distracted driving.  The winning video will be selected by Facebook votes on the company’s fan page.  For more information, contact Heidi at 800-675-6695 or visit encharter.com.

HILLTOWN FAMILY VARIETY SHOW

Hilltown Family Variety ShowTune in every Saturday from 9-10am. Encore episodes are aired every Sunday from 7-8am.

This week on the HFVS we will be celebrating Cinco de Mayo with Sandra from Moona Luna. Sandra will be introducing us to music by Los Lobos, Celina Gonzalez, Manu Chao, Isaac Villanueva, Hermanos Flores, and cuts off of the award-winning CD, Piñata Party!, her new bilingual kindie music album.

Families have several ways to tune in to the Hilltown Family Variety Show:

  • Streaming Audio: Surf on over to ValleyFreeRadio.org on Saturday & Sunday mornings and listen to us live via streaming audio.
  • On Your FM Dial: Tune in to WXOJ 103.3FM if you live near Northampton, MA.
  • Podcast: Listen to the most recent episodes of the Hilltown Family Variety Show anytime you wish! Click here to see our current select of episodes, and be sure to subscribe to our podcast too!

WEEKLY LIST OF SUGGESTED EVENTS

Saturday Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday

Suggest an Event | Forecast | Free Museum Passes | Playgroups & Family Centers | Farmers’ Markets | Listen Here | Pick Your Own Movies in the Valley | Movies in the Berkshires | Donate to HF | Weekly eNewsletter

Read the rest of this entry »

Suggested Events 04/30/11-05/06/11

Discover fun and educational events happening this week in Western Mass, along with announcements, upcoming events, links, resources and the HFVS podcast.

SUGGEST AN EVENT

May Day is Sunday and there are many celebrations happening throughout Western MA. This photo is during the goat naming ceremony at the Beltane Celebration last May Day at EarthSpirit in Worthington, MA. (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

Suggest an EventIf 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, along with time, place, age appropriateness and costs before attending.

SPONSORSHIP: Reach thousands of families in Western MA while supporting the work of Hilltown Families. Hilltown Families has been serving & supporting our local community for over 5 years! Help us continue to serve our community by supporting the work we do! Local businesses, individuals, schools and non-profits are encouraged to support Hilltown Families through sponsorship and enhanced publicity. Let us help get the word out about your event, camp, workshop, fundraiser, business or announcement. — Help us help you

BEST BETS

On Saturday, April 3oth at 10:30am - FAMILY CONCERT: See Mister G along with Rani Arbo in concert at Flywheel! Great fun kids music for a good cause- proceeds benefit Sunnyside Child Care Center. 43 Main Street. 413-585-2293. Easthampton, MA. ($)

Following the concert, on Saturday, April 30th from 11am-4pm – EARTH DAY FESTIVAL: Easthampton Earth Day Festival at Eastworks (just a stones throw from Flywheel). Easthampton Energy & Sustainability Committee is hosting the City’s first Earth Day Festival. Music, food, workshops on energy efficiency, composting, and much more! 116 Pleasant Street. 413-949-3509. Easthampton, MA. (FREE)

In the Pioneer Valley on Sunday, May 1st from 11am-4pm – RENAISSANCE FESTIVAL: Attend the Renaissance Fair hosted by the UMass Renaissance Center. There will be music, swordsmanship, falconry, and much more! 650 East Pleasant Street. Amherst, MA. (FREE)

In the Hilltowns on Sunday, May 1st at 12noon – MAY DAY: Visit Running Fox Farm for a May Day celebration. There will be a May pole, planting of medicinal plants, potluck, games, and a fire. Festivities go all day long. 74 Thrasher Hill Road. 413-238-5340. Worthington, MA. (FREE)

In the Berkshires on Sunday, May 1st at 10:30am - MAY DAY FESTIVAL: Join the Great Barrington Rudolph Steiner School in celebrating May Day with celebratory activities including a puppet performance, dancing, games, and a picnic (BYO)! 35 West Plain Road. 413-528-4015. Great Barrington, MA. (FREE)

MARK YOUR CALENDAR

Mark your calendars for the 5th Annual Hilltown Spring Festival! Three music stages 16 fabulous musical performances, including family concerts with The Nields, Mister G, Ben Rudnick and Friends, Sarah Pirtle and Lui Collins! - Great local food! - Kids-Made Craft Bazaar! - Solar powered stage! - Sustainable vendors! - May pole & Morris Dancers! - Kids under 12 free. All others only $5 per person!

On Saturday, May 7th in the Pioneer Valley from 10am-5pm – ASTRONOMY ADVENTURES: It’s Astronomy Day at the Springfield Museums!  There will be special planetarium shows, tours of the rooftop observatory, sunspot viewing through telescopes, and special demonstrations on asteroids.  21 Edwards Street.  413-263-6800.  Springfield, MA.  (FREE with museum admission)

Also on Saturday, May 7th in the Berkshires from 11am-3pm – SHEEP TO SHAWL: The Williamstown Rural Lands Foundation (WRLF) will host its annual Sheep to Shawl Festival with time-honored crafts, local artisans, farm animals, and a focus on the region’s historic fleece and fiber industry. 671 Cold Spring Rd. 413-458-2494 Williamstown, MA (>$)

On Sunday, May 8th from 9:30am-5pm – LIVING HISTORY: Free admission for all mothers at Old Sturbridge Village!  Learn about important mothers from 1830, and learn about what mothering was like during the 19th century.  1 Old Sturbridge Village Road.  1-800-SEE-1830.  Sturbridge, MA.  (>$)

BULLETIN BOARD

OPEN HOUSE: The Ashfield Community Preschool invites you to their Open House on Saturday, April 30th from 10am-12noon. Come and meet their dedicated teachers who create a warm, loving environment for your children. Located in the heart of the hilltowns of Western MA, near the center of Ashfield, the preschool is a child centered, creative and loving environment surrounded by a large playground and enchanted woodland trails. The preschool is accepting applications for their summer and fall programs at this time. Full and half days available. For more information call 628-3248 or stop by on Saturday, April 30th from 10am-12Noon at 103 Baptist Corner Road, Ashfield, MA. acpres@verizon.net

Deadline to enter to win: May 6th

MEDICATION DISPOSAL: Do you or a family member have leftover medications that you no longer need?  On April 30th, medication disposal locations will be set up all over western Massachusetts!  Needles, lancets, syringes, thermometers, and IV bags will not be accepted, along with liquid medications and chemotherapy drugs.  All other medications can be brought to a disposal site between 10am and 2pm to be safely taken care of.  For a list of drop off locations click here.

SCIENCE FIELD TRIP: The Cambridge Science Festival begins on Saturday, April 30th! The festival celebrates Cambridge’s role as a hub of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) and will make science fun, accessible, and interactive! The festival begins with an open house at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) where families can take part in hundreds of STEM-related activities. Other events will take place throughout the week at locations all over Boston, including the Boston Museum of Science, Harvard University, the MIT Museum of Science, and the Cambridge Public Library. This is a great opportunity for kids to learn about the real-life applications of science! For more information and a full schedule of events, visit www.cambridgesciencefestival.org.

Deadline to enter to win: May 6th

SURVIVAL CENTER: The Amherst Survival Center has many programs and services to offer besides food distribution! The center also offers hot lunch on weekdays from 12-1, including vegan and vegetarian options; a free store filled with donated clothing, household items, books, etc.; a free clinic on Mondays from 12-2 and Thursdays from 5-6; Family Nights on 1st and 3rd Mondays including arts and crafts and food; and movie nights most Thursdays with a light meal provided! The Survival Center also offers assistance with finding housing, health insurance, and food stamps. The center is open Mondays, Tuesdays, and Fridays from 11-3 and Thursdays from 11-7 and can be reached at 413-549-3968. It is located at 1200 North Pleasant Street.

TEEN THEATER AUDITIONS: High school aged students are invited to audition for the Majestic Theater’s summer children’s series in Springfield!  The shows performed will be Stuart Little, Charlotte’s Web, and Peter and the Wolf; rehearsals begin June 27th and the final performance is August 17th.  In order to audition, students must prepare a monologue and a song with CD accompaniment, as well as be prepared for a cold reading.  Auditions will take place at the theater on May 14th from 12-3pm, and May 15th from 6-9pm.  Actors selected to perform will be provided a small stipend for their participation in the performances.  To schedule a time slot, call the theater directly at 413-747-7797.

RENT A BAND MEMBER: Do you have Spring Cleaning needs? Yard work? Odd jobs around the house that aren’t getting done? Get a jump on Spring Cleaning this year with: Rent a Hopkins Academy Band Member!  During the weekends of April 30 & May 1, May 7, and May 14 & 15, Hopkins Academy Band members could be working at your home tackling odd jobs, like raking and spring clean up, painting, moving wood, etc. In exchange for your generous contribution of $60, you will get a team of TWO hard working Band members for a TWO hour shift. All money earned will directly support the Hopkins Academy Band Trip to Florida.  Band members can come to your home or place of business on one of the five days at 9:00, 12:00, or 3:00 p.m. Call for more info: 413-387-0076 or 413-626-0568.

HILLTOWN FAMILY VARIETY SHOW

Hilltown Family Variety ShowTune in every Saturday from 9-10am. Encore episodes are aired every Sunday from 7-8am. This week on the HFVS we will be rebroadcasting an episode with Ben Rudnick as our Guest DJ from a couple of years ago. Families have several ways to tune in to the Hilltown Family Variety Show:

  • Streaming Audio: Surf on over to ValleyFreeRadio.org on Saturday & Sunday mornings and listen to us live via streaming audio.
  • On Your FM Dial: Tune in to WXOJ 103.3FM if you live near Northampton, MA.
  • Podcast: Listen to the most recent episodes of the Hilltown Family Variety Show anytime you wish! Click here to see our current select of episodes, and be sure to subscribe to our podcast too!

WEEKLY LIST OF SUGGESTED EVENTS

Saturday Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday

Suggest an Event | Forecast | Free Museum Passes | Playgroups & Family Centers | Farmers’ Markets | Listen Here | Pick Your Own Movies in the Valley | Movies in the Berkshires | Donate to HF | Weekly eNewsletter

Read the rest of this entry »

Morris Dancers, May Pole & Solar Powered Music on 3 Stages at the 5th Annual Hilltown Spring Festival!

Update: Joining the festival this year will be the Juggler Meadow Morris Men and the lovely ladies from the Wake Robin Morris Dancers!
Seth Isman, Economic Development Director at the Hilltown CDC in Chesterfield, MA writes:

Morris dancers, maypole, solar powered music on 3 stages, local food, family activities, and much more! Find it all at the 5th Annual Hilltown Spring Festival on May 14th at the Cummington Fairgrounds. (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

Please join us on May 14th, 2011 at the Cummington Fairgrounds for the Hilltown Spring Festival! There will be music on 3 stages, healthy local food, children’s activities all day long, displays by businesses and artists, a Focus on Sustainability, dancing around the Maypole at 12:30 with Morris dancers.

JOIN US! There are still opportunities to display your work, promote your business, or volunteer to help out. Some businesses are signing up to sponsor the event, others are signing up to display their products and services, and many are offering raffle prizes. And volunteers are signing up to help us build stages, direct vendor traffic during morning setup, and encourage recycling during the day. Last year, we reduced our waste stream by 30% by recycling paper, plastic, metal, and compost. This year, with your help, we can do even better.

Performers who are already scheduled include: The Nields (kids show), Tony Vacca (world music percussionist), Swing Caravan (alt-jazz quartet), Gaia Roots (vocals and percussion), string band Appalachian Still, singer/songwriter Laura Wetzler, Misty Blues (blues you can groove to), the Dave Bartley Trio, Pat and Tex LaMountain, Boxcar Lilies, and popular children’s performers Mister G, and Ben Rudnick & Friends. One of the three music stages will be devoted to family music all day long, but families and children will enjoy all the music being performed.

Local food highlights confirmed so far include: fresh wood-fired pizza from The Baker’s Oven of Colrain, fried rice, lo mein and spring rolls from the Goshen Snack Bar, bratwurst and hot dogs from Elke’s Catering of Worthington, and Bart’s Ice Cream.

For more information, or to participate, go to http://www.hilltowncdc.org, email Seth Isman at sethi@hilltowncdc.org, or call Seth at 413-296-4536 ext. 112. We look forward to seeing you at the Hilltown Spring Festival on May 14th, 2011, at the Cummington Fairgrounds!

Giveaway: 5 Gifts Locally Handmade by Hilltown Mompreneurs

Celebrating 5 Years with 5 Fabulous Gifts from Hilltown Mompreneurs

At the turn of the year, Hilltown Families will be turning five years old … and we will be celebrating all year long! To start the celebration, we have invited five Hilltown mompreneurs to partner with us. These five crafty businesses, located here in the Hilltowns of Western MA, create handmade products that kids will enjoy receiving — and we have one of each to giveaway to one lucky family!  It’s our birthday, but we’re giving you the presents … just in time for the holiday season!

Read more about these local businesses below, surf over to their web sites to discover what other neat products they’re making, and find out how you can enter to win all five to give as gifts this holiday season below.  Deadline to enter to win: December 13th, 2010 by 7pm (EST).

JAR OF WONDER: jarofwonder.etsy.com

Kerri Simonelli and Niki Lankowski of Haydenville, MA started Jar of Wonder in 2009.  Their line of felt play food has been a fast success, selling at local venues like Twist and A Childs Garden in Northampton, MA, and as far away as Aspen, CO.  Their etsy shop features several felt play food sets, including breakfast, sushi, pasta dinner and lunch.  Their latest sets soon to be featured include Sushi and a new and improved Tea Party, along with play kitchens and aprons for the holiday season. All of their felt food sets are all hand sewn right here in Western MA, using ecofi felt which is made from recycled plastics. Each set comes packaged in a corn plastic compostable package.

Kerri & Niki are offering a Felt Food Tea Party Set ($22 value). The Tea Party Set includes 2 cookies, 2 tea bags and 1 tea sandwich. Deliciously fun play food for your little chef made even more tasty with recycled eco felt. This tea party set is sure to inspire your child’s imagination and plant the seed for hours of open-ended play. You will be surprised with what your little ones will come up with, when given this type of inspirational tool.

SMITHPHOTO WORKS: www.smithphotoworks.etsy.com

Jen Smith of Ashfield, MA is photographer and artist who first created a collection of photo jewelry in 1995, and more recently photo pillows, that both incorporate her original photography into handmade items for the home and body. Jen’s pillows are created with her original photography printed directly onto 100% cotton fabric using the cyanotype photo process. Cyanotype is a photographic printing process invented in the 1800’s. A permanent photographic image is achieved when a negative or object is placed on fabric or paper coated with light sensitive salts, then exposed to sunlight. Unexposed areas dissolve away when fabric is washed in water leaving what is often referred to as a “blueprint.” Jen Smith’s work can be found at Pinch in Northampton and her online etsy shop.

Jen is offering a Mini Lavender Photo Handmade Pillow ($22 value).  This 8″x8″ pillow is printed with a cyanotype image of a gorgeous moth with a solid blue backing.  The pillow is made of 100% cotton and filled with hypo-allergenic polyfil and lavender buds. Spot clean only.

SMARTYPANTS: www.smartypantsproject.org

SmartyPants are eco-funky children’s pants made from a combination of recycled, vintage, and new fabrics.  Lisa Ganci of Shelburne Falls, MA started SmartyPants when her daughter was 21 months old and she was diagnosed with breast cancer.  Cancer turned her world upside-down as well as inspired her to launch this dual-purpose mission which includes a portion of the proceeds to be donated to Rays of Hope, a Western MA organization that supports families coping with breast cancer.  By using mostly repurposed fabrics, and employing local folks, this project is turning a little piece of the garment industry up-side-down by creating one-of-a-kind, beautiful children’s clothing that are practical, affordable, sustainable and locally produced.

Lisa is offering a gift certificate for SmartyPants to be redeemed for a pair of one-of-a-kind pair of pants ($22-$30 value).  With all of the amazing fabric designs to choose from, it will be hard to select! Her baby/toddler pants, 6m to 2T, have a “butt-panel” that provides extra room for a diaper.  Sizes 2/3 to 5/6 lose the butt-panel, but gain a contrasting rear pocket.  Waist bands are simple elastic and all seams are serged for durability.

SNACKTAXI: www.snacktaxi.com

Erin Kelly-Dill of Plainfield, MA invented snackTAXI back in 2003 as an alternative to the tide of plastic ziplock bags that flowed from her house to the landfill when their 3 kids started school. Her family pack over 500 lunches every year, and had definitely fallen prey to the easy appeal of the ziplock bag. SnackTAXIs was her answer.  Made in our home-based workshop by local sewers, she is committed to keeping her business local, and will never outsource labor.  The exterior of a snackTAXI is comprised of 100% cotton and the interior is lined with polyurethane coated nylon, confirmed to be lead, phthalate and BPA free.  SnackTAXIs are lined with coated nylon, and can be machine washed and dried, or simply wiped clean with a damp sponge.

Erin is offering both a Snack Sack and Sandwich Snack from her line of snackTaxis ($16 value).  With nearly 50 different fabric designs to choose from, picking one can be difficult.  Her Night Owls Espresso design are being offered for our giveaway.  The snack-sack neatly fits rice cakes, pretzels or corn chips, and is equally good for carrot or celery sticks, and the sandwich-sack is the perfect fit for a generous sandwich, bagel or wrap, or a hearty snack.

PEACE TRAVELERS GLOBAL GARLAND: www.etsy.com/people/tlemos

Tony(a) Lemos of Ashfield, MA has been making Peace Travelers Global Garlands since 2009. The tradition of hanging flags began more than 2,000 years ago. Inspired by the Prayer Flags of Tibet, Tony(a)’s garlands offer a special way to express some of the most important wishes of your heart.  The pockets on the flags are intended to carry burdens, hopes, worries, releasing them into the world as the flags blow in the breeze. Families participate together in the visual creation of wishes of peace and unity by tucking poetry, verse, quotes, pictures, paintings, etc. into the pockets on the flags. The garland help to spin a common thread of unity between this and other communities.  The garlands are available at Elmer’s in Ashfield and her online etsy store.

Tony(a) is offering a Peace Travelers Global Garland ($25 value).  Each garland has seven flags, many with designs from different world cultures.  This garland set is a gentle reminder to pause, notice, and honor your world …  a prayer for the environment.  The garland comes with a handout and book list, Ways You Can use the Peace Travelers Global Garland to Learn about World Cultures.

HOW TO WIN:

Your chance to win a Felt Food Tea Party Set from Jar of Wonder, Mini Lavender Photo Handmade Pillow from SmithPhoto Works, gift certificate from SmartyPants, Sandwich and Snack Sacks (Night Owls Espresso design) from snackTaxi, and a Peace Travelers Global Garland, is as easy as 1-2-3 (4-5)! To win simply

  1. TELL US HOW HILLTOWN FAMILIES HAS BENEFITTED YOUR FAMILY THESE PAST FIVE YEARS,
  2. SHARE THIS PAGE ON FACEBOOK BY SELECTING “LIKE” BELOW and be sure to tell us your
  3. FULL NAME and where you
  4. LIVE (TOWN/STATE) Must include your town and state to be eligible. We’ll randomly draw a winner from those who participate and contact the winner via email.  So be sure to leave an
  5. ACCURATE EMAIL in the email field of the comment box (we never share your email address).

IT’S THAT SIMPLE! — Deadline to enter to win is Tuesday, December 13th, 2010 by 7pm (EST).  All five gifts will be shipped together to one address.  If you have any questions, please contact us before entering to win at hilltownfamilies@gmail.com.

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