22 Community Highlights: Sweet Festival to Zucchini Festival. Minerals to Rockets.

Modern pow wows invite both Native and non-Native American people together to honor American Indian culture and history. Authentic dancing, drumming and tribal regalia will be presented at the 8th Annual Rock, Rattle & Drum Pow Wow this weekend in Adams, MA.

Sweet Festival to Zucchini Festival. Minerals to Rockets. Silversmithing to Citizen Scientists… These are just a few of the learning highlights we’re featuring this week!

Peruse our list below and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play!

Featured learning highlight this week celebrates while learning about Native American traditions and history at the Rock, Rattle, and Drum Pow Wow in Adams this Saturday & Sunday, August 10th & 11th. The event is an explosion of Native American culture – families can listen to drumming, try out traditional foods, learn about the creation of arts and crafts such as pottery and beaded items, participate in community dances, and more!


Plant & Nature StudiesCitizen ScientistsHistoryCultural StudiesLocal FoodFilmsScienceAnimal Studies


PLANT/NATURE STUDIES

Learn about the amazing world of carnivorous and wetland plants at Bog Pond in the Savoy State Forest in Windsor with Tamarack Hollow Nature and Cultural Center on Saturday morning, August 10th. Wetland plants are unique and families will learn about the ecology of bogs and how/why these plants are able to thrive there while others cannot at this free educational opportunity.

Explore Pine Cobble, Williamstown Rural Lands Foundation’s largest preserve, on a free guided interpretive hike on Saturday afternoon. The preserve totals 380 acres and offers spectacular views, as well as interesting plants and geology. The hike is moderate to strenuous and leads to a 600-million-year-old cliff overlooking the Berkshires. This is a wonderful opportunity to explore one of many local natural areas while learning about the unique geology of the region!

CITIZEN SCIENTISTS

Hemlock woolly adelgid (HWA) is an insect that survives by feeding on hemlock trees.  HWA is extremely damaging to hemlocks and is already responsible for the deaths of many of these trees.  Learn about the impact of this invasive insect and how you can help at Northfield Mountain Recreation and Environmental Center on Thursday evening, August 15th This free introductory citizen science program will teach you how to monitor hemlock tree growth and the presence of HWA.  The data will then be sent to the Harvard Forest for analysis.  Citizen science programs allow people to participate in scientific studies and research on a volunteer basis.  Programs like this instill in kids the benefits of volunteering and a love for science and nature.  This program is best for students ages 7 and up. 

HISTORY

Join Northfield Mountain Recreation and Environmental Center for “Dynamite, Whiskey, and Wood: Logging Tales On Board the Quinnetukut” with Ed and Libby Klekowski  Saturday morning, August 10th.  During a cruise, the Klekowskis will tell stories about the history of logging in the Northeast, specifically in and around the Connecticut River in the late-1800s and early-1900s.  This education cruise is best for students 16 and up with an interest in local history.

Learn about the art and history of silversmithing and the process of making a sterling silver flatware set for an 18th-century American home with silversmith Steve Smithers at Historic Deerfield on Saturday, August 10th. Smithers will go through the entire process, from research and design to the actual silver work itself.

The Buckland Historical Society is holding two free open houses on Sunday afternoon, August 11th! The Buckland Historical Society Museum, which is in an old school house and now contains artifacts and town records, will be open to visitors. The Wilder Homestead will also be open. The Homestead has a furnished 1775 saltbox with five fireplaces, a 1779 English barn with an antique loom, and a shoemaker shop. Visitors to the houses can learn about Colonial architecture and the history of Buckland by seeing the old houses and examining the documents and collections in the Museums.

CULTURAL STUDIES

Celebrate and learn about Native American traditions and history at the Rock, Rattle, and Drum Pow Wow in Adams this Saturday & Sunday, August 10th & 11th. The event is an explosion of Native American culture – families can listen to drumming, try out traditional foods, learn about the creation of arts and crafts such as pottery and beaded items, participate in community dances, and more!

The Whitney Center for the Arts in Pittsfield will host a free community Eid celebration on Saturday. Eid-ul-Fitr, also called the Sweet Festival, is a three day long festival that celebrates the end of Ramadan, which this year ends on August 8th or 9th, depending on the sighting of the moon. Traditionally Eid is a day when friends and families gather, sweet dishes are served, music is performed and gifts are given. For this community celebration families can enjoy Middle Eastern fare, learn about Mehndi, or henna, and discover more about this important Muslim holiday.

Discover, learn about, and celebrate Turners Falls at the Turners Falls Block Party and Heritage Festival on Saturday afternoon! The Block Party is a free celebration of the many different people in Turners Falls and the unique experiences had by each. Honor Turners Falls’ ethnic diversity, Native American heritage, art, music, creativity, neighborhoods, canals, and everything else great about Turners Falls! There will be live music, games, face-painting, street performers, food, and more.

Rekindle Shabbat is an organization that aims to “support the joy of celebrating Shabbat together” in communities around Western Massachusetts. In order to do so, they are hosting “Shabbat Under the Sky,” a family potluck picnic with a musical service and storytelling, on Friday evening, August 16th in Greenfield and Northampton. Open to everyone. Bring the whole family and enjoy a community-centered Shabbat dinner.

LOCAL FOOD: Zucchini & Corn

Saturday, August 10th is the 10th annual West Stockbridge Zucchini Festival! There will be a pet show and parade, zucchini car races, a best zucchini costume contest, games, face-painting, crafts, a petting zoo, live music, food, and loads of other zucchini-related activities. There will also be performances by David Grover, Terry a la Berry, and the drummers of the Berkshire Bateria. This free zucchini-centric event is not to be missed!

In Cheshire on Sunday, August 11th, Whitney’s Farm Market’s 4th Annual Corn Fest features a corn shucking contest, corn eating contest, corn sack race, corn sampling, a petting zoo, and more! This yearly free celebration of local farms and corn is fun for the whole family.

FILMS

Come see Japanese film director, animator, manga artist, producer, and screenwriter, Hayao Miyazaki’s film, My Neighbor Totoro (1988; rated G) at Pothole Pictures in Shelburne Falls on Saturday evening, August 10th. The animated film follows two young sisters and their adventures with friendly spirits that live in the woods around their home in rural post-war Japan.

Join MASS MoCA in North Adams on Saturday evening for a screening of Beasts of the Southern Wild (PG-13), accompanied by a live score composed by Dan Romer. Romer and the film’s director, Benh Zeitlin, will perform this score with the Wordless Music Orchestra to a special music-less version of the film. Adults and older students interested in film and/or music would enjoy this special screening.

Norwegian artist Edvard Munch was born 150 years ago, and to celebrate, the National Museum and the Munch Museum, both in Oslo, have created Munch 150, an onscreen tour of Munch’s work. Munch 150 takes the viewer behind the scenes of the exhibition to see how it was put together. This once-in-a-lifetime show allows you to see Munch’s most famous works up close on the big screen. The Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute in Williamstown is screening the film, along with a question and answer session, on Sunday afternoon, August 11th.

Do you love food, Shakespeare, and movies? The Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center in Great Barrington presents food historian Francine Segan, who will present her lecture “Shakespeare’s Kitchen,” to be followed by a screening of Franco Zeffirelli’s Romeo and Juliet (1968; rated PG). The lecture focuses on the many food-related traditions present during Shakespeare’s time. This event may also be appropriate for older students interested in food studies, anthropology, Shakespeare, and/or film and takes place on Monday evening, August 12th.

Hey sports fans, Amherst Cinema is screening Rare Films from the Baseball Hall of Fame on Tuesday evening, August 13th, including a 1945 Look Magazine shoot for Jackie Robinson, early baseball films from 1898, vintage commercials, and more. David Filipi of the Wexner Center for the Arts in Columbus, OH assembled the film and will give a live introduction at Amherst Cinema. The film is great for baseball fans, movie-lovers, and those who want to learn more about the history of baseball.

SCIENCE

Explore the night sky from the highest natural point in Massachusetts on Saturday evening, August 10th! Mt. Greylock Public Star Parties provide a free opportunity for anyone to observe the night sky using a variety of different telescopes. The summit of Mt. Greylock in Lanesborough is an excellent place to view the stars and planets because of its low light pollution and low horizons.

Mineral Mania with Mad Science at S. White Dickinson Memorial Library on Wednesday afternoon, August 14th. This free workshop in Whately is for young children and offers an introduction to geology, including an understanding of the geological formation processes, classification systems, identification methods, and physical properties of rocks and minerals. Hands-on activities encourage students to interact with the concepts presented.

Boston Museum of Science’s traveling program “Rockets: There and Back Again” is coming to the Lenox Library on Thursday, August 15th. Youth will learn all about rockets and even get the chance to make their own at this free event for kids 5 and up.

ANIMAL STUDIES

Learn about the many unique senses and defenses of different animals at the Zoo in Forest Park in Springfield on Sunday, August 11th! Those who attend the workshop will learn a lot about animal behavior, especially as it relates to certain animals that live at the zoo. Want to learn more about your favorite zoo animals but can’t make it to the Park? Forest Park Zoo’s “Zoo on the Go” program is coming to Stanley Park in Westfield on Wednesday, August 14th! Kids of all ages can get up close to the animals while learning about their native habitats, eating habits, and behavior.

Would you like to see a wolf up close? The Berkshire Botanical Garden’s Family Fridays in Stockbridge offers the opportunity for families to see a presentation by Maggie Howell of the Wolf Conservation Center on Friday morning, August 16th. Howell will talk about the natural history of wolves in the United States, why they are important to ecosystem health, and the importance of wolf conservation. Joining Howell for her presentation is Atka, an ambassador wolf, who you will get to see up close!

List of Weekly Suggested EventsFind out about these events and over 150 other events & activities happening all next week in our List of Weekly Suggested Events. All of our listed events are “suggested.” Please take a moment to confirm that these events are happening as scheduled, along with time, place, age appropriateness and costs before heading out.

[Photo credit: (ccl) Andrew Brannan]

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