Westhampton Fall Festival: Home of the Great Pumpkin Roll!

Westhampton Fall Festival
Sunday, October 20th, 2013

Later in the day, families can participate in the Great Pumpkin Roll, which involves rolling a great many pumpkins down a very steep hill.. Will your pumpkin roll furthest? Think about physics while choosing your pumpkin!

Despite the warmer-than-usual weather this autumn, fall is in full swing here in western Massachusetts! Celebrate the season at the annual Westhampton Fall Festival, held on Sunday, October 20th, 2013. Fun activities, delicious food, New England traditions, and educational opportunities abound at the festival, which takes place in the center of Westhampton, MA, from 10:15am-7pm…

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Local History & Culture at the Westhampton Fall Festival

Westhampton Fall Festival & Great Pumpkin Roll
Sunday, October 16th, 2011

On Sunday, October 16, 2011, events kick off at 10:15am with a community interfaith drama worship service and the 12:30pm Race for the Hills 5K road race. Activities continue throughout the afternoon. The Great Pumpkin Roll will be at 4:15, followed by a cookout supper and bonfire.

Westhampton’s Fall Festival and Great Pumpkin Roll brings smiles and
songs! At 10:15pm everyone is invited to the Westhampton Congregational United Church of Christ for an imaginative dramatization of some Native American creation stories. Resident Robbie Armenti, who also penned last year’s Celebration of the Written Word¸directs the dramas which will be enacted and narrated by many talented local folks of all ages.

All afternoon, laugh out loud at the Cow Pie Bingo, the antics of farm animals, scarecrow making, and dozens of pumpkins rolling down Stage Road hill! Wander through the town center listening to music, making scarecrows, watching demonstrations of lumberjacking, cider making, blacksmithing, and working draft animals. Get a sampling of history with a view from the church steeple, a visit to the Blacksmith Shop Museum, a look at the Civil War Encampment, and a gathering of  Classic and Antique cars. There will be children’s activities, live music, and lots of good food including homemade donuts and pies.

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A Day at the Westhampton Fall Festival

Library Grand Opening & Westhampton Fall Festival

Big Weekend in Westhampton!

“Building the library has brought our community together and all of us have made new friends because of this project, said Thecia Hancewicz, president of the Friends of the Westhampton Public Library, which oversaw the project’s capital campaign. Hancewicz said that more than 400 hundred people, businesses and foundations have donated financially to the project, and she said the number of hours that volunteers have given to the project is overwhelming. “Thousands and thousands of volunteer hours, and I don’t even want to tally up the thousands of emails,” she said with a smile. Although professional crews built the library, local volunteers from Westhampton made the cupola, designed and fabricated its owl weathervane, painted the building’s interior and exterior, and did all the stonework and landscaping around the building.

After more than ten years of planning, fundraising, and unstinting effort, library supporters in Westhampton, MA will celebrate the grand opening and dedication of their town’s new library on Sunday, October 17th. Aside from Westhamptonites, library supporters from all over the state are expected to attend. Over the last three years, Westhampton’s Library project has gained statewide recognition for its dedicated volunteers and whimsical fundraisers, which have ranged from pumpkin rolling and decorated flamingos to a marathon lounging-for-literacy reading event.

The new Westhampton library is three times bigger than the former library, ADA compliant, and on track to become LEED Certified. It also has a 60-person community room and the interior is full of local woods, native stone and is modeled after a New England home and barn to blend with the town’s historic center.

Library Director Lyn Keating says she fully expects a big increase in circulation and visitation. “If you look at library surveys around the county, that’s what happens every time a new library opens or expands,” said Keating. And among the new patrons that Keating is expecting are many students from Hampshire Regional High School, which is just 600 feet away. “We’re hoping that they’ll want to come after school or athletic practice and take advantage of the library’s computer resources, internet access and its comfortable setting.” Which means, she says, that not only Westhamptonites that benefit from the new library, but so will young people from the surrounding towns of Goshen, Williamsburg, Southampton and Chesterfield.

To celebrate the Grand Opening of its new library, the Friends of the Library and others have organized a number of events during the weekend.

On Saturday, October 16th, the Friends of Westhampton Public Library is sponsoring a harvest home tour of six of Westhampton’s loveliest homes from 10 am-3pm. Tickets are $10 in advance and are available at the Westhampton Public Library, Outlook Farm, Intervale Farm, Strawbale Café, and North Country Gardens; $12 the day of the tour. For more information, contact 529- 2373.

Come Sunday, October 17th, the day is full of events to mark the library’s grand opening. At 10:15 a.m. the Westhampton Congregational United Church of Christ is paying tribute to the new library with a special community/interfaith service titled “Celebration of the Word.” The service will trace the history of the written word from Cuneiform and hieroglyphics to the Westhampton Public Library, which for a time in the late 1800s was housed in the church. The service will be followed by a coffee hour and steeple tours that offer spectacular valley views.

Many more activities will get underway at noon in the fields surrounding the new library. Organizers intentionally scheduled the grand opening to coincide with the town’s 5th Annual Fall Festival, which means there will be plenty of things to interest everyone. The activities include a wide range of traditional and not-so-traditional activities. In addition to a woodsman’s demonstration, Indian corn shucking, cider pressing, and a farm animal petting zoo, there will be a homemade catapult that hurls squash and melons hundreds of feet and rocket launching. At 12:30 a 5K Walk/Run called Run to the Westhampton Hills will begin in the town center. Runners can get registration materials on-line HERE. The final leg of the race includes “running” up a long, steep hill to the new library—which is “somewhat symbolic,” said race organizer and library building committee chairman Phil Dowling with a grin.

From 2:00-3 pm, the Westhampton Board of Library Trustees will host the official grand opening and ceremony for the new library, with refreshments and tours of the new library to follow.  Following the grand opening, festival activities will resume. Festival organizer Janice Tracy said the local blacksmith museum will be open, and local wool spinners will be on hand to demonstrate their craft. Tracy said other activities at the festival will include an oxen demonstration, scarecrow building workshop, an antique tractor show, a largest pumpkin contest, and a variety of games for young children.

The 5th Annual Fall Festival is on Sunday, October 17th with great family activities all day. The famous "Great Pumpkin Roll" happens at 4:15pm. A community supper, bonfire and sing-a-long will follow the Great Pumpkin Roll.

At 4:15 pm, musician and Westhampton resident Jim Armenti will pick up his guitar and sing “The Great Pumpkin Roll,” a song he wrote 4 years ago as a tribute to the event and the efforts to build a new library in town. The Great Pumpkin Roll is the title track of a 10-song CD that Armenti created to benefit the Westhampton Library, and it includes songs celebrating community, the joys of reading and the benefits of public libraries. When Amenti’s last chord dies away, the great pumpkin roll will get underway. Pumpkins will be available for $1 at the event, but people are also welcome to bring their own. “Expect to see more than 250 pumpkins rolling down the main hill in town,” said Laurie Sanders, an organizer of the festival and member of the Library Building Committee. Read the rest of this entry »

December Public Hearings in the Hilltowns: Let Your Voice Be Heard!

Offer your input at the Hilltown CDBG Public Hearings in December

You can help your Town compete for the Federal CDBG grants that are needed to fund local community services by attending  one of these Public Hearing in December, and/or fill out the brief Survey below:

Public Hearing Notice

Thursday, December 10, 2009 7:00 pm
Cummington Town Hall (Community House)
Main Street, Cummington

At this Public Hearing you will have the opportunity to discuss projects and services proposed for an FY10 regional CDBG funding application for the towns of Cummington, Peru, Plainfield and Worthington.

Public Hearing Notice

Monday, December 14, 2009 5:00 pm
Chesterfield Town Offices
(Davenport School Building)
422 Main Road, Chesterfield

At this public hearing you will have the opportunity to discuss projects and services proposed for an FY10 regional CDBG funding application for the towns of Chesterfield, Goshen, Westhampton and Williamsburg. The Town of Chesterfield will also review implementation of the FY08 and FY09 Northern Hilltowns regional CDBG grants that also include the towns of Cummington, Plainfield, and Worthington.

If you have questions about either of these hearings or would like special accommodations to help you participate, please contact Andrew Baker at Hilltown Community Development Corp: (413) 296-4536 ext. 18 or andrewb@hilltowncdc.org

Not able to attend? You can also help by filling out the very brief Survey below and/or forwarding this email to a friend or colleague who may need these community services. Click HERE to begin the Hilltown Program Assessment Survey. (There are 16 Yes/No statements you can respond to.)

You can also find this survey and a survey on Housing Needs at the Hilltown CDC web site: www.hilltowncdc.org

Thanks for your help!

Greek God Comes to High School in the Hilltowns

GODS HELP US!
A Comedy Presented by Hampshire Regional Drama Company

Hampshire Regional Drama Company will continue their tradition of giving graduating seniors a chance to direct their own production and then present it to the school and surrounding community on November 5th through the 7th at the Hampshire Regional High School Auditorium at 7pm. This fall’s senior collaboration features a fresh new comedy entitled Gods Help Us, written by Hampshire Regional senior Bailly Morse. The family-friendly plot follows the fictional Greek demigod Evangelos, who in order to complete his training as a God of Mount Olympus, must complete community service hours in an American high school.

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Northern Hilltowns Invite Residents to Update Community Development Strategies

Andrew Baker, Executive Director of the Hilltown CDC in Chesterfield, MA writes:

Each year, residents of the seven Northern Hilltowns gather in public community meetings to dust off their community’s “to do” list, note what they have accomplished, and gather ideas for future community improvement projects. The Northern Hilltowns are Chesterfield, Cummington, Goshen, Plainfield, Westhampton, Williamsburg and Worthington. Their “to do” lists are also known as the town Community Development Strategy (CDS). And the annual review is a necessary part of each town’s participation in the Northern Hilltowns Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program. This year a successful CDBG application secured over $1 million in federal funding to support programs and projects serving elders and families in the seven towns.

To follow is the schedule of public meetings, which take place in the Select Board meeting room of each town: Read the rest of this entry »

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