Suggested Events for October 13th – 19th, 2018

Hilltown Families List of Weekly Suggested Events

To find out about more event, be sure to visit our Suggest an Event Bulletin Board to see what our readers have recently shared! Have an event to share? Feel encouraged to self-post community events here at any time!

Suggest EventIf you have a community event, educational program, or service-learning opportunity happening in Western Massachusetts that you’d like to let us know about, self-post your event at any time on our Suggest An Event bulletin board. The events below are “suggested.” Please take the time to confirm that these events are happening, along with time, place, age appropriateness, and costs before attending.

Enhanced PublicityServing Western Massachusetts since 2005, Hilltown Families supports development and enhancement of our local economy and community. Local businesses, individuals, schools, and non-profits are encouraged to partner with Hilltown Families through sponsorship and advertising. Let us help get the word out about your after school/homeschool class, event, camp, workshop, fundraiser, business/school, service, open house, volunteer opportunity or general announcement. Deliver your message to thousands of families living throughout the four counties of Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! Click HERE to find out more.

After-School Classes & Enrichment Programs

Reach thousands of families in the region with our 2018-2019 directory! Reserve your space.

Our community is rich in learning opportunities to supplement the interests of children, teens, and life-long learners. We have put together a directory of after-school & weekend classes and enrichment programs happening across Western Massachusetts throughout the school year. Many of these programs aren’t just for kids, so to all the adults out there – feel encouraged to pursue your interests and honor your callings through these enrichment classes, too!

If you have a class or program you would like to have included in our directory, contact us at sales@hilltownfamilies.org to learn about our advertising options and sponsorship packages.

Bulletin Board

Oct 13

Join The Common School for their annual Children’s Carnival on Saturday, October 13 from 10 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on their school’s beautiful campus at 521 South Pleasant Street in Amherst. The Carnival is open to the public, with no admission fee. Many activities, such as a bounce house and games will be available for a small fee. Breakfast, hearty lunches and treats, such as, cotton candy, homemade baked goods and smoothies will also be available for purchase. In the event of rain, The Carnival will be held indoors at The Amherst Regional Middle School at 170 Chestnut Street. For more information, call 413-256-8989 or go to www.commonschool.org.

Oct 13

OnTrend Crafts is hosting its 5th annual Fall Craft Fair on Saturday, October 13 on the beautiful Hadley Town Commons. More than 60 of the region’s top indie crafters will be in Hadley selling their high-quality handmade goods. Shoppers will find handcrafted jewelry, home decor, paper goods, ceramics, body care products, knitted apparel, and much more. Locally sourced and made eats include tacos, ice cream, cake pops and more. Come support our talented local artisans! Free admission; rain or shine. For more information, visit ontrendcrafts.com or email Jennifer at jennifer@ontrendcrafts.com.

Oct. 16

The Bement School is pleased to host the Pioneer Valley Independent School Fair on Tuesday, October 16, 2018 from 4:30-6:30 p.m. in the Kittredge Building. Twenty-five independent schools from the Pioneer Valley area participating represent pre-school through grade 12 and post graduate. Information sessions on topics such as how to apply for financial aid, finding the right match, and advice on applying to schools will take place from 5-6 p.m. The event is free and open to the public. Registration is not required. Please contact Kim Loughlin in the admission office at Bement at 413-774-4209 if you have any questions. A list of schools participating in the event can be found at www.bement.org.

Oct 20

Take part in the 47th Annual Fall Foliage Celebration and 5K Walk/Run on Saturday, October 20th , 9:30am – 1pm on the Amherst Town Common. This will be a family event with lots of great entertainment including FREE face painting, hayrides, dancing and drumming, local hip hop and more. The 5K includes beautiful vistas during peak foliage! The Amherst A Better Chance program has been in Amherst for nearly 50 years and has changed the lives of over 125 high schoolers. The community has played a critical role in making this program happen, so please sign up today. Click here to register: www.amherstabetterchance.org.

Oct 21

Celebrate the Valley’s farms, food, and friends with Kestrel Land Trust’s special 10th Annual 5K for Farmland & Farmers’ Market Festival! Sunday, October 21, 11 a.m. – 2 pm on the West St. Common, Hadley. Family-friendly 5K race on a flat route through scenic farmland or a beautiful 2-mile riverside walk. Farmers’ Market Festival after the race with music by “The Empty Bottle Ramblers,” local food, products and crafts, plus a live Birds of Prey demo with Tom Ricardi. Henry the Juggler will be there, courtesy of Hadley Cultural Council. For the adults, free local beer by Valley Malt for registered participants age 21+. Get a special edition pint glass and be entered into a drawing for great prizes when you register at 5kforfarmland.org.

Add your class

Reach thousands of families in the region with our 2018-2019 directory! Reserve your space. Our community is rich in after-school learning opportunities to supplement the interests of our children, teens, and life-long learners. We are putting together a directory of after-school & weekend classes and enrichment programs happening across Western Massachusetts to be published on our web site later this month and featured throughout the school year. If you have a class or program you would like to have included in our directory, contact us at sales@hilltownfamilies.org to learn about our advertising options and sponsorship packages.

Add your school

Hilltown Families Preschool Directory: Are you looking for a preschool that fits your child’s personality and reflects your family’s values? Check out our growing Preschool Directory, covering all four counties in Western Massachusetts, and find the perfect place for your young one! — Have a school you’d like to include in this list? Click here to find out how to have it added.

ADVERTISE HERE: Reach thousands of families in Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! See your summer camp, class, community event, school, open house, audition, homeschool program, workshop, volunteer opportunity, wellness program, local business, after-school class, or non-profit featured here in the Bulletin Board section of our list of Weekly Suggested Events and in our weekly eNewsletter, reaching thousands of families living throughout the four counties of Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! Find out more about our advertising options and how you can partner with Hilltown Families in your online marketing by emailing us at at sales@hilltownfamilies.org.

Become a Contributing WriterJOIN OUR TEAM OF CONTRIBUTING WRITERS: Interested in becoming a Contributing or Guest Writer for Hilltown Families? We welcome writings that reflect the community-building and educational efforts parents, teens, teachers, artists, activists and community leaders work towards and accomplish, and how that affects, supports and empowers our families. All writing styles welcomed, including local reviews, DIY posts, seasonal cooking/local food, and community-based educational & community service learning opportunities/resources. Send your query to info@hilltownfamilies.org.


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
October 13th – 19th, 2018

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Suggest an Event | Cultural Itineraries | Forecast | Museum Passes | Weekly eNewsletter | Farmers’ Markets | Storyhour & Playgroups| Berkshire Family Fun | Advertise/Sponsorship | en Español

Donate Now Events Happening in the Hilltowns

Saturday, October 13th, 2018

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Hilltown Family Variety Show9-10am – HILLTOWN FAMILY VARIETY SHOW: Tune in on your FM dial, or listen live via streaming audio at www.valleyfreeradio.org. Explore themes of friendship and community with musician-educators David Ladon and Seth Adams, the singer/songwriter team behind the children’s music band Animal Farm. David and Seth share some Animal Farm tunes from their albums Run Free and We Are One, as well as songs by everyone from Nina Simone to Kermit the Frog. These are songs that celebrate not only getting along but learning to love and share with one another. After all, we’re all riding on this rollercoaster trip around the sun! You and me are we, and we are one! Encore of Saturday’s broadcast airs Sunday morning from 7-8am and podcast is posted here on Hilltown Families immediately following Sunday’s broadcast. Listen to the Hilltown Family Variety Show podcasts anytime. Click here select from over 10 years of archived shows!

Saturday, October 13, 10-11am
STEM/DENDROLOGY
Have you ever wondered why the leaves change colors in the fall? The breakdown of chlorophyll is the short answer, but this magical process is much more complicated. Once the temperature and amount of sunlight begins to change, leaves stop producing chlorophyll. As this happens, the green color, which is derived from the presence of chlorophyll in the leaf, begins to drain out. When this happens, the color changes from green to orange, yellow, and red. Learn all about the science of the colors of the fall and see how many different color leaves you can find during this special Family Science event. Hitchcock Center for the Environment. 845 West Street, Amherst, MA (FREE)

Saturday, October 13, 10am-1pm
CHILDREN’S CARNIVAL
Come enjoy games, music, food, and live entertainment at the Common School Children’s Festival this Saturday! The Common School is dedicated to providing transformative, progressive education, inspired by the principles of collaboration, critical thinking, social justice, and environmental awareness. Believing that education should be driven by children’s natural curiosity and passion for learning, the Common School integrates creative expression, hands-on learning, reflection, and play. The Common School. 521 South Pleasant Street, Amherst, MA (FREE)

Saturday, October 13, 10:15am-12:15pm
LECTURE/SOCIAL ISSUES
As indigenous author and scientist Robin Wall Kimmerer writes in her brilliant 2013 book Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants, “We need acts of restoration, not only for polluted waters and degraded lands but also for our relationship to the world. We need to restore honor to the way we live so that when we walk through the world, we don’t have to avert our eyes with shame, so that we can hold our heads up high and receive the respectful acknowledgment of the rest of the earth’s beings.” Given the holistic connection between humanity and the world, it is no surprise that as our relationship with the earth erodes, our relationships with ourselves and each other also erodes. At this event, author and educator Strong Oak, director and founder of the Visioning B.E.A.R. Circle Intertribal Coalition, will be discussing the ways that traditional indigenous values can add to our understanding of structural racism and social justice. First Congregational Church of Greenfield. 43 Silver Street, Greenfield, MA (FREE)

Saturday, October 13, 1-3pm
NATURE STUDIES/BRYOLOGY
With autumn upon us, everywhere we look in nature we can see plants and animals transitioning for the long, dark, cold months ahead of us. There are, however, a few notable exceptions to this. Mosses and ferns, some of the oldest plant species on earth, continue to thrive under colder conditions. This plant walk, with local botanist Roberta Lombardi, will focus on searching for and identifying mosses and ferns. Jabish Brook Conservation Area. 509 Daniel Shays Highway, Belchertown, MA (FREE)

Saturday, October 13, 6-7pm
MUSEUM ADVENTURES/SCAVENGER HUNT
Ever wonder what happens in the museum after lights out? If you have ever dreamed of having your own “night in the museum,” this is the event for you! Berkshire Museum is inviting guests to go on a special Flashlight Scavenger Hunt through the museum after hours. With your trusty flashlight, you will explore museum favorites such as Josh Simpson’s amazing glass planets and Pahat the mummy. Berkshire Museum. 39 South Street, Pittsfield, MA ($)

Saturday, October 13, 7:30-10pm
STORYTELLING/THEATER
Before the days of YouTube and Netflix, and before the rise of the novel in the 18th century, storytelling was the most popular form of entertainment in the world! Many of the oldest and most beloved literary classics, such as the Homeric epics, began as a form of storytelling. Linking us to our community and the land, stories are how we understand our place in the cosmos. One might even be tempted to make the argument that storytelling is the main defining characteristic of humanity. It is universal and, as far as we know, we are the only animals who do it. Celebrate the legacy of storytelling and our own community at the Best of Valley Voices Story Slam! Local storytellers will be telling stories chosen by the audience from previous Valley Voices events. The Academy of Music Theatre. 274 Main Street, Northampton, MA ($)

Saturday, October 13, 8-11pm
DANCE STUDIES/PERFORMANCE
The classical Indian dance tradition of Odissi dates back thousands of years. Suppressed under the British, Odissi has become hugely popular in India since independence. Odissi seamlessly blends together dance and drama, typically acting out mythical stories, devotional poems, or spiritual teachings. Odissi’s use of symbolic costumes, body bends, and geometric symmetry is highly distinctive. The Indian dance ensemble Nrityagram, which was listed among the New York Times’ “Best Dance of the Year” two years running, blends together Odissi dancing with the traditional Sri Lankan Kandyan dance. Don’t miss this opportunity to experience a unique collaboration between two ancient dance traditions. UMass Fine Arts Center. 151 Presidents Drive, Amherst, MA ($$)

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Sunday, October 14th, 2018

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Click HERE to discover classes. Click HERE to find out about other community events. Click HERE to leave a comment about upcoming events.

Hilltown Family Variety Show7-8am – FAMILY RADIO: Valley Free Radio (WXOJ-LP 103.3FM Northampton, MA) airs encores of the Hilltown Family Variety Show every Sunday morning. commercial-free family radio. Tune in on your FM dial, or listen live via streaming audio at www.valleyfreeradio.org. Listen to the Hilltown Family Variety Show podcast anytime – click here to select from over 10 years of archived shows!

Sunday, October 14, 2-4pm
FILM STUDIES/GENDER STUDIES
Agnes Varda has been a major figure in French film since the 1950s. An important influence on the French New Wave movement, Varda’s work has always focused on feminist politics and documentary realism, featuring a distinct experimental aesthetic. Shooting film on location and employing non-professional actors, Varda was a revolutionary figure at the time and has continued to play a pivotal role in the evolution of French cinema, six decades later! In terms of her views on sex and gender, Varda’s films often focus on female characters, with a female cinematic voice. She is quoted as saying “I’m not at all a theoretician of feminism, I did all that—my photos, my craft, my film, my life—on my terms, my own terms, and not to do it like a man.” In 1971, Varda signed the Manifesto of the 343, a petition signed by 343 women who admitted to having an abortion, despite the fact that it was illegal to do so in France at the time. The text of the manifesto was written by Simone de Beauvoir and begins thus: “One million women in France have abortions every year. Condemned to secrecy, they do so in dangerous conditions, while under medical supervision, this is one of the simplest procedures. Society is silencing these millions of women. I declare that I am one of them. I declare that I have had an abortion. Just as we demand free access to contraception, we demand the freedom to have an abortion.” Abortion was legalized in France three years later. Varda’s 1976 film “One Sings, the Other Doesn’t” is the story of the friendship between two French women during the Women’s Rights movement, in which Varda herself played such a key role. Don’t miss this special screening of “One Sings, the Other Doesn’t,” a masterpiece by one of film’s most brilliant visionaries. Amherst Cinema. 28 Amity Street, Amherst, MA ($)

Sunday, October 14, 5pm
SURREALISM/THEATER
Folklorists have argued that the medieval British custom of the Lord of Misrule dates back to ancient Rome, where the Saturnalia, or Winter Solstice, involved choosing a man to rule as King for thirty days. At the end of the thirty day period, on the Solstice eve, the man would be sacrificed upon an altar to Saturn, the Roman god of renewal, wealth, and fertility. Anthropologists such as James Frazer demonstrated that these rituals, which persisted throughout much of Europe until the so-called Enlightenment in the 16th and 17th centuries, symbolically celebrated the passing of the seasons, the transition from darkness into light, and from death into life. The trope of the sacrificial king appears in folklore all over the world and generally is linked to agriculture and the concept of the sacrifice of the individual for the good of the community. While more recent customs around the Lord of Misrule seem to not have included the element of ritual death, the figure eventually evolved into mummery shows, in which community members dressed in costumes, took on the roles of gods and heroes, and enacted myths and legends. Many of these shows continue to revolve around a murder, in this case symbolic, to mark the passage of the seasons and other transitions. Evoking the mummery show aesthetics and earth-based spiritual philosophy, the Royal Frog Ballet’s Surrealist Cabaret leads audiences on an enchanted dream journey through the field and wood, conjuring images of death and rebirth, land and spirit. This is an absolutely one of a kind show and it is not to be missed. You will remember this experience for the rest of your life. Park Hill Orchard. Easthampton, MA ($)

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Monday, October 15th, 2018

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Storyhour & Playgroups: East Longmeadow, Pelham & Whately

Monday, October 15, 5pm
POETRY READING/LITERARY STUDIES
Dogen, the 13th century founder of the Soto school of Japanese Zen Buddhism, once wrote:
“Treading along in this dreamlike, illusory realm, / Without looking for the traces I may have left; / A cuckoo’s song beckons me to return home; / Hearing this, I tilt my head to see / Who has told me to turn back; / But do not ask me where I am going, / As I travel in this limitless world, / Where every step I take is my home.” The link between Zen and poetry has always been strong and few people and few personify that link better than Zoketsu Norman Fischer. Since the 1970s, Fischer has published 25 books of poetry and non-fiction. As a Soto Zen priest and the founder of Everyday Zen, Fischer is without a doubt one of the most influential voices in the American Zen community. Come hear Zoketsu Norman Fischer discuss “Writing at Degree Zero,” this Monday at Smith College. Seelye Hall, Northampton, MA (FREE)

Monday, October 15, 6pm
SING ALONG/FILM SCREENING
There is nothing quite like getting together to sing in public. Whether you are a veteran singer or someone who until now has only sung in the shower or car, come on out and enjoy an evening of movies, community, and singing at Greenfield Public Library’s Sing Along Movie Night. Don’t forget to bring costumes and props! Greenfield Public Library. 402 Main Street, Greenfield, MA (FREE)

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Tuesday, October 16th, 2018

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Storyhour & Playgroups: Agawam, Amherst, Belchertown, Cheshire, Easthampton, Florence, Gill, Great Barrington, Greenfield, Hatfiled, Huntington, Lanesborough, Lee, Ludlow, New Salem, North Adams, Sheffield, Sunderland, Turners Falls, Ware & West Springfield.

Tuesday, October 16, 12:15-1pm
ART STUDIES/GENDER STUDIES
The so-called “Enlightenment” refers to a period during the 17th and 18th centuries in Europe, which saw a massive growth in scientific understanding, as well as the articulation of humanistic and democratic ideals. This period also saw, however, the birth of the global slave trade, colonialism, industrialism, and the decimation of indigenous cultures in Europe and around the world. The Enlightenment was paradoxical in terms of its understanding of gender, as well. While rationalist feminist Mary Wollstonecraft and others worked tirelessly to promote the cause of women’s rights, gender roles in society at large were, in many cases, as rigid as they had ever been. This Tuesday, join curator Melissa Hyde for a discussion of the exhibit “Becoming a Woman in the Age of Enlightenment.” Smith College Museum of Art. 20 Elm Street, Northampton, MA (FREE W/MUSEUM ADMISSION)

Tuesday, October 16, 3:30-5:30pm
LEGAL STUDIES/INDIGENOUS STUDIES
The indigenous people of North America have been resisting settler-colonialism every single day for more than five hundred years. Over this time, this resistance has taken many different forms. Powerful leaders such as King Philip and Red Cloud organized large scale military uprisings but even the peaceful expression of indigenous culture became an act of resistance, as in the case of the Ghost Dance. After prohibiting the dance, in 1890 the United States Army massacred 200 Lakota women and children for refusing to stop practicing their tradition. In this talk by professor Kathleen A. Brown-Perez, a member of the Brothertown Indian Nation (Wisconsin), she will discuss the question: what does it mean for indigenous people to resist in the 21st century? As professor Brown-Perez notes, while the policies of the United States government no longer explicitly promote killing native people, as they once did, there are still many legal policies that undermine and erode indigenous rights, culture, and identity. For Brown-Perez, the key to understanding this dynamic lies in the definition of a settler-colonial society. In most historical instances of colonialism, resources, whether human or natural, are extracted from the colony and transported back to Europe. In the case of settler-colonialism, however, it is not a matter of extracting resources for profit, but of full-scale invasion. The goal of American settler-colonialism is, simply put, “destroy to replace.” Integrated Science Building. UMass. Amherst, MA (FREE)

Tuesday, October 16, 7pm
LOCAL HISTORY/READING
Local author and environmentalist John Sinton has dedicated his long and illustrious career to analyzing the intersections between history and the environment. His new book Devil’s Den to Lickingwater: The Mill River Through Landscape and History tells the story of the Mill River, from its origins during the last ice age 20,000 years ago to the current efforts to conserve this important waterway. The Mill River played an enormously important role in the human history of this area. Don’t miss this reading by John Sinton, followed by discussion! Florence Civic Association. 90 Park Street, Florence, MA (FREE)

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Wednesday, October 17th, 2018

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Storyhour & Playgroups: Amherst, Athol, Becket, Belchertown, Bernardston, Cummington, Deerfield, East Longmeadow, Erving, Granby, Greenfield, Huntington, Leverett, Monson, New Marlborough, North Adams, Northampton, Sheffield, Shelburne Falls, South Deerfield, Springfield, Turners Falls, Wendell, West Springfield, and Williamsburg.

Wednesday, October 17, 6-8pm
LITERARY STUDIES/HISTORY
One tends to think of Jane Austen’s novels as charming, if not somewhat detached, depictions of rural English life in the early 19th century. For instance, the United Kingdom was embroiled in the Napoleonic Wars for twelve years during the period in which Austen’s novels are set, claiming the lives of hundreds of thousands of British soldiers, and one would hardly know it from reading her works. The same can be said for the struggle of the English working class. Mansfield Park, however, is anomalous among Austen’s oeuvre in more ways than one. Universally considered Austen’s most controversial, psychologically and morally complex, and flawed novel, it is also considered by some to be her masterpiece. Published in 1814, Mansfield Park explores a number of subjects and themes that are absent from the author’s other novels. While moral struggles are often presented in a fairly one dimensional manner in most of Austen’s writing, many of the conflicts in Mansfield Park occupy a moral grey area. The frank and open discussion of sexuality, greed, and the legacy of slavery and colonialism also make Mansfield Park one of Austen’s most contemporary works. Come discuss this complex and thought provoking work by one of the greatest prose writers of all time at the Jane Austen Book Discussion. Greenfield Public Library. 402 Main Street, Greenfield, MA (FREE)

Wednesday, October 17, 7pm
LOCAL HISTORY
Few episodes in American history are more strange and disturbing than the Salem Witch Trials in 1692. More than 200 men and women in Colonial Massachusetts were accused and nineteen were put to death, making it the deadliest witch hunt in American history. In many ways, this event was one of the most pivotal and influential in the history of the country, as it effectively ended the theocratic rule of the Puritans in the colony. One can hardly imagine that the revolution would have followed less than a hundred years later, had the Puritans repressive control of society continued. Some years earlier in the 1670s, however, a less well known witch trial occurred in Northampton, centering around Mary Bliss Parsons, who founded a plantation on the banks of the Connecticut River. Kathy-Ann Becker, an 8th generation descendant of Mary Bliss Parsons will be presenting the story of her ancestor, drawing from her book Silencing the Women: The Witch Trials of Mary Bliss Parsons. This discussion and slideshow will take place on the grounds of Parsons’ home. Historic Northampton. 46 Bridge Street, Northampton, MA (SUGGESTED DONATION)

Wednesday, October 17, 7-9pm
IMMIGRATION STUDIES
As Christopher Hitchens once wrote: “Nihil humanum a me alienum puto, said the Roman poet Terence: ‘Nothing human is alien to me.’ The slogan of the old Immigration and Naturalization Service could have been the reverse: To us, no aliens are human.” Indeed, the language of anti-immigration is the language of dehumanization. We can see this clearly in comments made by the current president, such as “these aren’t people. They are animals.” Human beings are naturally empathetic and in order to persuade people to support inhuman policies, one must first convince people that the subjects of these laws are not fully human. In this talk, Less than Human? Perceptions of Immigrants, Muslims, Refugees, professors Linda Tropp and Emile Bruneau will present recent groundbreaking research on the dehumanization of immigrants, its implications for society, and possible ways to begin to rebuild and heal relationships within the community. Jones Library. 43 Amity Street, Amherst, MA (FREE)

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Thursday, October 18th, 2018

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Storyhour & Playgroups: Agawam, Amherst, Athol, Belchertown, East Longmeadow, Florence, Gill, Greenfield, Hatfield, Huntington, Lee, Lenox, Millers Falls, Montague, Northampton, Sheffield, South Hadley, and Turners Falls.

Thursday, October 18, 5-7pm
HALLOWEEN/PLACEMAKING
The Halloween custom of trick-or-treat has ancient roots but was not a common practice in the United States until after the 1940s. As a matter of fact, before the 1930s, the custom of children going door-to-door to ask for treats was actually associated with Thanksgiving, rather than Halloween. It seems clear, however, that the origins of trick-or-treating derive from the medieval European custom of mummery, in which people would dress up in costume and go door-to-door singing songs and performing plays in exchange for food or drink. Halloween, of course, began as the Celtic holidays of Samhain and Calan Gaeaf. During this time, ancient Celtic peoples believed that the boundary between the human world and the other world was at its thinnest. According to custom, by disguising oneself as a spirit one might be protected from them. Additionally, one might accept offerings on behalf of the spirits to gain their favor and blessings. This Thursday evening, come trick-or-treating in downtown Pittsfield! For a full list of participating businesses, please visit Downtown Pittsfield Trick or Treat. Downtown Pittsfield. Pittsfield, MA (FREE)

Thursday, October 18, 7pm
LITERARY STUDIES/THOREAU
 Henry David Thoreau is without question among the most brilliant and important American thinkers and authors. Unwilling to accept the terms of a life and a world that was intolerable to him, Thoreau dedicating himself to pursuing his dreams and making them into reality. With a fierce will that resisted any attempt to be broken into despair and resignation, Thoreau still had hope that American society and humanity as a whole could be healed, by embracing the simplicity of life and rejoining the self to our primal, free, natural, wild spirit. For Thoreau, the civilizing process has ultimately been harmful to humanity. He once wrote: “Take long walks in stormy weather or through deep snows in the fields and woods, if you would keep your spirits up. Deal with brute nature. Be cold and hungry and weary.” The notion that comfort and ease should be the measure of our happiness was clearly unpersuasive to Thoreau. If you are a fan of Thoreau and would like to learn more about how to engage with his work on a deeper level, don’t miss this presentation by local author John Clapp, entitled “Thoreau Simplified.” Westhampton Public Library. One South Road, Westhampton, MA (FREE)

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Friday, October 19th, 2018

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Storyhour & Playgroups: Amherst, Belchertown, Cummington, East Longmeadow, Easthampton, Florence, Granby, Great Barrington, Greenfield, Hadley, Housatonic, Longmeadow, Monson, Northampton, Pelham, Shutesbury, South Hadley, Stockbridge, and Sunderland.

Friday, October 19, 6-7pm
LOCAL HISTORY/TAPHOLOGY
As summer turns to fall and winter is right around the bend, this is a perfect occasion to ruminate on mortality and the passage of time. In Percy Bysshe Shelley’s 1818 poem “Ozymandias,” the poet writes of a traveller who comes upon the fragments of an ancient monument, deep in the desert. Upon the ruins are inscribbed these words: “My name is Ozymandias, king of kings; / Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!” Shelley invites his reader to observe that ultimately, no matter what we have achieved in life, we end up the same. Put another way: “time is the great leveler.” Come enjoy a contemplative walk through the Forestdale Cemetery and learn all about the lives of some of Holyoke’s most illustrious families. Forestdale Cemetery. Holyoke, MA ($)

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Hilltown Families’ list of Suggested Events is supported in part by a grant from the Belchertown, Buckland, Chicopee, Hadley, Plainfield, Shelburne, Westhampton, and Worthington Cultural Councils, local agencies which are supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.

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