Annual Fiber Festival of New England Returns to Western MA

Fourth Annual Fiber Festival of New England
November 2nd & 3rd in Hampden County

The 4th annual Fiber Festival of New England is back in West Springfield, MA, and offering an incredible learning experience to guests interested in workshops, demonstrations and all things fiber. Workshops offered at the Fiber Festival includes needlefelting, hairpin lace crochet, and rug hooking. Other activirties include spinning and weaving demonstrations and a fiber fashion show.

Learn about all things fleece and fiber at The Fiber Festival of New England! Held on November 2nd and 3rd, 2013, at the Eastern States Exposition in West Springfield, MA, the festival includes workshops, demonstrations, fleece and fiber art vendors, and even a woolen fashion show filled with beautifully spun, felted, knitted, and crocheted clothing items of all kinds. Families can learn about the vast artistic potential that fiber offers as a medium, as well as the specifics of raising animals for fiber.

Both days of the festival will include workshops where older students and parents can learn new skills like needle felting, crocheting, rug hooking, and more. There are workshops for all abilities – some are designed for absolute beginners, while others are geared towards teaching skills to more experienced fiber artists. Felting, knitting, and other fiber-related crafts are all based on their own fairly simple skill set, the basics of which still allow for a fair amount of creativity and originality in the pieces created. Additionally, once you’ve learned the basics of a type of handwork, there are lots of resources available for self-teaching. Kids who learn the basics of needle felting, for example, may expand their own skills using books, videos, and other educational resources

Read the rest of this entry »

Maple Harvest Day 2012 in Hampden County

Maple Harvest Day at Storrowton Village
Sunday, March 11th, 2012

Maple Events in estern MA

Click on the banner to find out about maple events happening throughout Western MA.

Springtime in New England means maple syrup season!  As the days get longer and warmer, the sap starts flowing by the bucket.  Maple syrup and maple sugar production has been important within New England culture ever since the earliest days of the region, and Storrowton Village in West Springfield is offering families a chance to learn about the history of the practice!

On Sunday, March 11th from 11am-3pm, the village will be open for Maple Harvest Day, a time when visitors can learn about maple sugaring.  There will be demonstrations of every step of the process, including sap gathering, tree tapping, boiling sap into syrup- all in the style of 19th century New Englanders!

Breakfast in Western MA

Find out how you can enter to win an opportunity to take your family out for breakfast at a traditional sugar shack in Western MA, while enjoying locally produce coffee & tea!

Along with maple sugaring will be demonstrations of open hearth cooking, quilting, and wool spinning inside the village’s buildings.  There will be a pancake breakfast and maple-themed lunch that visitors can take part in for a fee- proceeds from both events benefit Storrowton’s educational programming.

Visiting the village for Maple Harvest Day guarantees a valuable learning experience.  Not only will kids be able to learn about where their delicious syrup, sugar, and candy comes from, but they’ll learn about the lives lead by and practices of the people who lived in the area before them.  For more information, visit

Civil War Tales and Tours in West Springfield

Civil War History at Storrowton Village

Storrowton Village in West Springfield is offering a unique opportunity to learn about the Civil War! On Wednesday, October 26th from 6-7pm, the village will hold a tour during which visitors will hear tales of the events of the war and what wartime life was like for the townspeople! Characters (including farmers, shopkeepers, tradesmen, and residents of all ages) will offer their own unique perspective on the war, allowing visitors to learn the effect that it had on people depending on their vocation and socioeconomic status, as well as what different members of society did in order to help with the war effort. The tour is best for slightly older students- and it’s a great way to make history fun! Tickets are $7 and must be purchased in advance. For more information, visit for more information.

Maple Harvest Day at Storrowton Village

Maple Sugaring Showcased at Storrowton Village

Dennis Picard, Storrowton Village Museum director, demonstrates the art of open kettle evaporation to boil sap from a nearby maple tree into sugar during last year’s Maple Harvest Day.

Storrowton Village Museum will present its fourth annual Maple Harvest Day, Sunday, March 14th from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the grounds of Eastern States Exposition in West Springfield, MA.

The history and lore of maple sugaring, a practice in Massachusetts since before the Pilgrims arrived, will be showcased through ongoing sap gathering and boiling demonstrations in the Gilbert Farmstead’s front yard with Dennis Picard, director of Storrowton Village Museum.

The free event will feature Sugar Maple tree tapping, sumac spile making and sap boiling over an open fire to educate the public about the origin and legend of the tradition.

Inside the historic building, docents will demonstrate 19th century open hearth cooking at the cozy kitchen fireplace as well as quilting and spinning wool.


Storrowton Village Museum, an educational arm of Eastern States Exposition, presents hands-on school programs and guided tours of its historic buildings throughout the year as well as seasonal 19th century-themed events. For more information on this and other Storrowton Village events, visit or call 413-205-5051.

Keeping with the spirit of Maple Day here is a 19th century recipe from Storrowton Village Museum’s “Out of the Farmstead Kitchen,” collected in Enfield, New Hampshire, by the late Amy Bess Miller and published in one of her cookbooks. This is a very simple, but delicious, seasonal treat.

New Hampshire Maple Pie

  • 1¼ cups maple sugar
  • ½ cup butter
  • 1 egg lightly beaten
  • 1 cup cream
  • 1 unbaked 8 inch pie shell, purchased pie dough or homemade dough

In a bowl, combine sugar and butter using a fork. Add the egg and cream; mix well. Pour into the pie shell and place in a 400 degree oven for ten minutes. Lower the heat to 375 degrees and finish cooking for twenty minutes. The pie will bake like custard.

Pioneer Valley Jewish Film Festival ’07

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

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

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

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

Read the rest of this entry »

%d bloggers like this: