2018 Fourth of July Celebrations & Fireworks in Western Massachusetts

4th of July Celebrations & Fireworks in Western MA for 2018

From the state where the American Revolution began, families can take part in the multitude of Fourth of July celebrations happening in Western MA! Be sure to check out the Hilltown Families list of Weekly Suggested Events for a comprehensive list of family and community events happening in Western MA.

Below is our comprehensive list of events, parades, and fireworks celebrating Independence Day throughout Western MA for 2018. Please take the time to confirm events you wish to attend, including time, place, age appropriateness, location, and costs before attending.

Be sure to check out the Hilltown Families list of Weekly Suggested Events every Thursday for a comprehensive list of family and community events happening in Western MA. Subscribe to our free eNewsletter and have an update sent to your inbox every Thursday!

Click here to find firework displays & parades!

Learning Ahead: Independence Day

American History & Holiday: The Revolutionary War & Independence Day

Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield

The call for revolution in the late 18th-century echoed throughout Massachusetts as the early American colonists sought independence from the British. Massachusetts history is deeply rooted in the history of the American Revolutionary War, from acts of rebellion to the many battles fought on this soil.  Every 4th of July, communities commemorate the patriots of the North American colonies that spoke out against a government that they felt did not truly represent them and their interests. Lasting close to a decade (1775-1783), the American Revolution shaped our country’s early identity as a nation.  The places, spaces, and communities that made up the Massachusetts colony played a major role in the early American cause for Independence.

While visitors to Eastern Massachusetts can walk the Freedom Trail, learn about the Boston Tea Party, or tour the home of Paul Revere, folks in Western Massachusetts can explore the history of the American Revolution by witnessing historical reenactments of major battles, visit memorials to the cause’s courageous soldiers, and commemorate the war for American Independence through community celebrations such as fireworks, parades, annual events, and local resources. Read the rest of this entry »

2017 Fourth of July Celebrations & Fireworks in Western Massachusetts

4th of July Celebrations & Fireworks
in Western MA for 2017

From the state where the American Revolution began, families can take part in the multitude of Fourth of July celebrations happening in Western MA! Be sure to check out the Hilltown Families list of Weekly Suggested Events for a comprehensive list of family and community events happening in Western MA.

To follow is a preview of events, parades & fireworks happening to celebrate the 4th of July for 2017. Please take the time to confirm events you wish to attend, including time, place, age appropriateness, location and costs before attending.

Be sure to check out the Hilltown Families list of Weekly Suggested Events every Thursday for a comprehensive list of family and community events happening in Western MA.  Subscribe to our free eNewsletter and have weekly update sent to your inbox every Thursday! Read the rest of this entry »

2016 Fourth of July Celebrations & Fireworks in Western Massachusetts

4th of July Celebrations & Fireworks in Western MA for 2016

From the state where the American Revolution began, families can take part in the multitude of Fourth of July celebrations happening in Western MA! Be sure to check out the Hilltown Families list of Weekly Suggested Events for a comprehensive list of family and community events happening in Western MA.

To follow is a preview of events, parades & fireworks happening to celebrate the 4th of July for 2016. Please take the time to confirm events you wish to attend, including time, place, age appropriateness, location and costs before attending.

Be sure to check out the Hilltown Families list of Weekly Suggested Events every Thursday for a comprehensive list of family and community events happening in Western MA.  Subscribe to our free eNewsletter and have weekly update sent to your inbox every Thursday! Read the rest of this entry »

2015 Fourth of July Celebrations & Fireworks in Western Massachusetts

4th of July Celebrations & Fireworks in Western MA for 2015

From the state where the American Revolution began, families can take part in the multitude of Fourth of July celebrations happening in Western MA! Be sure to check out the Hilltown Families list of Weekly Suggested Events for a comprehensive list of family and community events happening in Western MA.

To follow is a preview of events, parades & fireworks happening to celebrate the 4th of July for 2015. Please take the time to confirm events you wish to attend, including time, place, age appropriateness, location and costs before attending.

Be sure to check out the Hilltown Families list of Weekly Suggested Events every Thursday for a comprehensive list of family and community events happening in Western MA.  Subscribe to our free eNewsletter and have weekly update sent to your inbox every Thursday! Read the rest of this entry »

HFVS: 4th of July Birthday Episode (Radio Show/Podcast)

Hilltown Family Variety Show

4th of July Birthday Episode

LISTEN TO PODCAST: 

Saturday from 9-10am & Sunday from 7-8am
Jul 5 & 6, 2014
WXOJ LP – 103.3 FM – Valley Free Radio
Northampton, MA

Featured Video: How do you make a birthday cake from scratch? It helps to have a great sing-along song to make the process fun. The Indie Food Channel presents a music video called “Cake” set to a catchy original song by award-winning band Charity and the JAMband. www.jamjamjam.com. Directed by Sean Oughton


 Archived Podcasts Radio  Facebook Twitter

PLAYLIST

  • Kool & The Gang – “Celebration” [Celebration]
  • Charity and the JAMband – “Cake” [Rock Your Socks Off]
  • Suzi Shelton – “So Long Chocolate Cake” [Simply Suzi]
  • Justin Roberts – “It’s Your Birthday” [Meltdown!]
  • Betsy McCall’s Surprise Birthday Party – “Happy Birthday”
  • The Candy Band – “It’s Your Birthday” [Calling All Kids]
  • Betsy McCall’s Surprise Birthday Party – “Surprise Birthday Party”
  • The Candy Band – “Simon Says” [Calling All Kids]
  • Brady Rymer – “Happy Birthday Around the World” [Every Day is a Birthday]
  • Station Id: Steve Weeks [www.steveweeksmusic.com]
  • Charity and the JAMband – “Happy Birthday Baby” [Rock Your Socks Off]
  • Butterflyfish – “Lemonade” [Ladybug]Music
  • The Jimmies – “Somebody’s Birthday” [Make Your Own Someday]
  • The Uninvited Loud Precision Band – “The Uninvited Parade” [Blue Moo]
  • Laurie Berkner – “Five Days Old” [Rocketship Run]
  • Lisa Loeb – “H.A.P.P.Y.” [Camp Lisa]
  • Recess Monkey – “Birthday Bite” [Tabby Road]
  • The Hipwaders – “Birthday Ruckus” [Goodie Bag]
  • Ambrosia Parsley – “Everybody Came” [For the Kids Too]
  • “Birthday is Over” [Ditties for Kiddies]
  • Ralph’s World – “Happy Not My Birthday” [The Rhyming Circus]
  • The Panderers – “Come On” [Hotshot’s Boy]
  • Betsy McCall’s Surprise Birthday Party – “After the Party”

4th of July: Connecting us to History

Day of celebration offers opportunity for families to reflect on history

4th of July means fireworks but also is a time for families to reflect upon the historical significance and meaning of this patriotic holiday

The most patriotic of all American holidays, the 4th of July, is a day filled with history and tradition. With its roots reaching over 200 years back, the holiday’s origin is well known by all – it’s the day when the Declaration of Independence was signed, sparking a revolution and the creation of the United States. Today, we remember the historical significance of the day with parades, readings, and – of course – lots of fireworks.

Community celebrations of the 4th of July will take place all across western Massachusetts, and bring with them not only celebration but also opportunities to learn about our country’s history, and to reflect on the meaning of freedom. Beginning with a morning filled with parades and running right straight through to the end of the very last fireworks show, the region is jam-packed with 4th of July events.

Read the rest of this entry »

Suggested Events for June 28th-July 4th, 2014

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

SUGGEST AN EVENT

“My husband, young son and I moved to the area almost exactly a year ago and we have been avid readers of Hilltown Families since months before then! It’s been an invaluable resource for getting to know the community and for learning about some of the amazing activities, events and institutions…” – Alla K. (Northampton, MA)

Suggest EventIf you have a community event, educational program or service opportunity for youth/families 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… help us help you! Click HERE to find out more.

BULLETIN BOARD

Jun 28

Chandler’s Restaurant at Yankee Candle Village in South Deerfield (25 Greenfield Road) is hosting a Doll’s Day Out Luncheon on Saturday, June 28th at 11am. Whether it’s an American Girl doll or a beloved baby, every doll deserves a fabulous day out! The award winning kids menu will be available with a special sweet treat included. Adults will be offered the brand new lunch menu! Mrs. Claus will be making a special appearance with her own favorite doll and beautiful handmade doll clothes will be for sale. Call 413-665-1277 to make reservations for this great event! Chandlers.yankeecandle.com ($)

Jul 1 – Aug 19

Odyssey Bookshop in South Hadley hosts Camp Odyssey this summer! This once-a-week one hour craft camp features one book and activity for kids every Tuesday afternoon, July 1-Aug 19. Activities range from designing your own glitter tattoos, decorating cupcakes, making and taking home your very own lava lamp, plus many other activities. Appropriate for ages 4-12, depending on activity. Visit their web site at www.odysseybks.com for a full list of their summer long activities. There is a $3 supply fee (or the purchase of the book) to participate, and RSVPs are required at least two days prior. Hurray! Spots are filling up fast! Odyssey Bookshop is located at 9 College Street in South Hadley. 413-534-7307

Jul 9 – Aug 9

Join NCT Kids! this summer for 2 family-friendly musicals based on beloved children’s books. First up is Judith Viorst’s classic Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day about a boy who is having the world’s worst day! Sing along with Alexander as he learns that everyone has a bad day every now and then but the great thing is…there’s always tomorrow! Next up it’s the rollicking, mischievous, off-the-wall adventures of SkippyJon Jones and the Cirque De Ole! Based on the bestselling book series about the Siamese kitten who thinks he’s a chihuahua super hero, SkippyJon Jones and the Cirque De Ole is a tuneful romp through the big-top of Skippy’s imagination. For tickets call 413-585-3220 or online www.newcenturytheatre.org

Ticket Giveaway: 2014 Green River Festival! The 28th annual Green River Festival happens again this year on July 12th & 13th, 2014… and Hilltown Families has two pairs of tickets to giveaway, one pair for each day! With a free pair of tickets, and free admittance for children ten and under, two adults can take a gaggle of kids and plan on spending the day at this great western Massachusetts music festival! Find out how you can enter for a chance to win!

Circus Smirkus is coming to Northampton on July 29 & 30, and Hilltown Families is a proud premier sponsor! Find out how you can be our guests at one of the four shows taking place at the Three-County Fairgrounds! Subscribe to our eNewsletter and find out how you can enter for a chance to win a family 4-pack of tickets with preferred seating! Best seats in the house will give our guests an opportunity to see the award-winning, international traveling youth circus up close during this exuberant & joyful two-hour show! Presented by North Star: Self-Directed Learning for Teens. For more info about the show, or to purchase tickets, visit www.northstarteens.org/circus-smirkus.

From the state where the American Revolution began, families can take part in the multitude of Fourth of July celebrations happening in western Massachusetts beginning this weekend! Fireworks are happening in Holyoke on Friday, June 27, and four more displays are planned for Saturday, June 28. On the eve for July 4th, you can catch fireworks in Easthampton or South Hadley, and then on Friday, July 4th, fireworks and parades take place across the region, from North Adams to Springfield! Check our post, 2014 Fourth of July Celebrations & Fireworks in Western Massachusetts, for all the details!

ADVERTISE HERE: Reach thousands of families in Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! See your summer program, school, community event, open house, audition, homeschool program, workshop, volunteer opportunity, wellness program, local business 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 enhanced publicity packages and options and how you can partner with Hilltown Families in your online marketing by emailing us at info@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
June 28th-July 4th 2014

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Suggest an Event | Forecast | Museum Passes | Weekly eNewsletter | Farmers’ Markets

Berkshire Family Fun

Read the rest of this entry »

2014 Fourth of July Celebrations & Fireworks in Western Massachusetts

4th of July Celebrations & Fireworks in Western MA for 2014

From the state where the American Revolution began, families can take part in the multitude of Fourth of July celebrations happening in Western MA! Be sure to check out the Hilltown Families list of Weekly Suggested Events for a comprehensive list of family and community events happening in Western MA.

To follow is a preview of events, parades & fireworks happening to celebrate the 4th of July for 2014. Please take the time to confirm events you wish to attend, including time, place, age appropriateness, location and costs before attending.

Be sure to check out the Hilltown Families list of Weekly Suggested Events every Thursday for a comprehensive list of family and community events happening in Western MA.  Subscribe to our free eNewsletter and have weekly update sent to your inbox every Thursday!

Click here to find firework displays & parades!

Suggested Events for July 6th-12th, 2013

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

Click here to listen to our Summer Essentials Episode on the Hilltown Family  Variety Show!Suggest EventIf you have a community event, educational program or service opportunity for youth/families 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.

BEST BETS

Happy 4th of July! So many places to see fireworks and parades in Western MA!

Saturday, July 6th from 10am-5pm in Hampshire County COMMUNITY CELEBRATION: Celebrate music, art, summer, and the Hilltowns at the third annual Hilltown Arts Festival!  There will be live music, art for sale, a silent auction, kid’s activities, children’s performance, arts and crafts, and so much more!  In addition to fun activities and performances, there will also be food for sale.  413-238-0192.  Route 112.  Worthington, MA.  (FREE)

Saturday, July 6th at 4pm-10pm in Franklin CountyFIREWORKS: The Greenfield Independence Day Celebration features live music, dance, food, and fireworks. Fireworks start at 9:35pm. Rain date 7/7. 195 Federal Street. Greenfield, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, July 6th from 4pm-10pm in Hampden CountyFIREWORKS: There will be fireworks, food, and music at Stanley Park, sponsored by the Westfield Rotary Club.  Rain date is 7/7.  413-568-9312.  400 Western Avenue.  Westfield, MA.  (FREE)

60 Summer Suggestions: Things to Do & Places to See in Western MA

Saturday, July 6th at 7pm in Berkshire CountySING ALONG: Ever wanted to know what it’s like to be a T-bird or a Pink Lady, but never quite felt cool enough to pull it off? Well, now is your chance to don those poodle skirts or grease up your hair in a rockabilly style, and let your inhibitions go for an evening where you are the star in Sing-a-Long Grease at the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center. Belt out songs like “Summer Lovin'” and “Greased Lightning” as the 1978 hit movie starring John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John plays, complete with on-screen lyrics. Fun for kids and adults alike, this interactive show features a costume competition, goody bags, and plenty of laughs. 413-528-0100. 14 Castle Street. Great Barrington, MA ($$)

BULLETIN BOARD

Jul 13

It’s Circus Time at the Emily Dickinson Museum! On Saturday, July 13, the Emily Dickinson Museum in Amherst presents “Creatures of Bliss and Mystery: A 19th-Century Children’s Circus” from 1 to 4 pm. Especially appropriate for children ages 3 to 10, this Family Day is free and open to all. Activities include folksongs and stories with Tim Van Egmond; a performance by Henry the Juggler; the Circus Parade; and special bedroom tours (nominal fee). Other activities include a scavenger hunt, “tightrope” walking and other games, and kid friendly crafts – music makers and fairy houses. For details and complete schedule, visit www.emilydickinsonmuseum.org. With questions, contact Valerie Gramling, program coordinator, at 413-542-2034.

Jul 3-6; Jul 17-20; Jul 31 – Aug 3

PaintBox Theatre is a theatre of improvisation and imagination for the whole family. Start with a children’s classic. Add three actors. Add the Paintbox stage & a screen. Add artwork (by kids). Add lots of audience participation & improvisation. Stir well. There you go: Paintbox! This season: Little Red Riding Hood, July 3-6; Once Upon a Cool Motorcycle Dude, July 17-20; and King Kong, Jr., July 31- August 3. All shows are presented in Theatre 14, Mendenhall Center for the Performing Arts, Green Street, on the Smith College Campus in Northampton, MA. Call for more information: 413-585-3220. Or visit online at www.newcenturytheatre.org/paintbox.html.

ADVERTISE HERE: Reach thousands of families in Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! See your summer event, open house, auditions, afterschool class, homeschool program, community event, workshop, school, wellness program or business 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! Find out more about our enhanced publicity packages and options and how we can help with your online marketing by emailing us at hilltownfamilies@gmail.com.

SUMMER CAMP: Looking for a summer camp or program in Western MA? Check out our featured post, 2013 Summer Camps and Programs in Western MA for a list that will wow and dazzle you! Summer opportunities featured range from music, art, farming, theater, dance, science, nature, sports, speaking, yoga, rock ‘n roll… to traditional summer day or overnight camps/programs! There’s something for all ages, toddlers to teens! Check it out and start making your summer plans!

Green River Festival 2013

The 27th annual Green River Festival happens again this year on July 20th & 21st, 2013… and Hilltown Families has a pair of tickets to giveaway for either day! Deadline to enter to win: This Sunday, 6/7/13.

JOIN 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 hilltownfamilies@gmail.com

Children’s Literature Festival Features Local History. The annual Children’s Literature Festival sponsored by the Mary Lyon Foundation will be held mornings 8:30am-12noon from July 28 to August 2, 2013 at the Buckland-Shelburne Elementary School in Shelburne Falls for children in grades K-6. The theme this year is local history & the program will feature special stories, arts & crafts, poetry, music, old fashioned games & much more. Local history will be highlighted by special guests. The $50 registration fee covers all materials & snacks. Scholarships available. To register or for more details call Toni Wilcox at 413-863-9418 or Sue Samoriski at 413-625-2555 or email booklady2@hotmail.com. Space is limited & this program fills up quickly.


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
July 6th-12th, 2013

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Suggest an Event | Forecast | Museum Passes | Weekly eNewsletter | Farmers’ Markets

Berkshire Family Fun

Read the rest of this entry »

4th of July Celebrations & Fireworks in Western Massachusetts

28 Community Highlights: Rockets to Origami. Hieroglyphics to Bridges.

Hometown parades are a great way to have fun with your family while taking in the culture of various local towns. The Chesterfield 4th of July Parade is the quintessential hometown parade, now in its 66th year! The theme this year is “Children are Our Future.”

Swamps to Camp Fires. Rockets to Origami. Fireworks to Hometown Parades. Hieroglyphics to Bridges… 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!

HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY

4th of July Highlights! From the state where the American Revolution began, families can take part in the multitude of 4th of July celebrations happening in Western MA. Check our 4th of July preview of events, parades & fireworks happening to celebrate in Western MA: 2013 Fourth of July Celebrations & Fireworks


Independence DayPlants, Nature & Animal StudiesSTEMArchaeologyLocal HistoryArts & CraftsLawn Concerts & Family DinnersMovies


Read the rest of this entry »

Suggested Events for June 29th-July 5th, 2013

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 4th of July!

Suggest EventIf you have a community event, educational program or service opportunity for youth/families 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.

BET BETS

4th of July Highlights! From the state where the American Revolution began, families can take part in the multitude of 4th of July celebrations happening in Western MA. Check  our 4th of July preview of events, parades & fireworks happening to celebrate in Western MA: 2013 Fourth of July Celebrations & Fireworks

Saturday, June 29th from 11am-10pm in Hampden CountyCOMMUNITY CELEBRATION: Chicopee Fest-Of-All, a three day celebration, happens all day on Saturday, rain or shine!  Held at Szot Park, the festival hosts games, music and food!  Largely known as a food festival, there will be local food vendors from around the Pioneer Valley serving up great eats!  Fireworks happen Saturday evening. 100 Abby Memorial Drive. Chicopee, MA (FREE)

Saturday, June 29th from 5pm-10:30pm in Hampshire CountyFIREWORKS: Celebrate the Fourth of July at the Easthampton Spirit Extravaganza at Galbraith Field.  There will be food, music, hot air balloon rides, a rock wall, face painting, a BMX stunt show, fireworks, and more!  Please bring blankets and chairs.  Rain date 6/30.  Taft Avenue.  Easthampton, MA.  (DONATION)

Sunday, June 30th from 11am-4pm in Berkshire CountyMUSEUM ADVENTURES: Americana Family Day at The Clark! Families will have the opportunity to go back in time to experience some of the sights and sounds of nineteenth-century America as painted by George Inness and Winslow Homer. Sing along to performances by a troupe of sea shanty men, enter the pie-eating contest, learn to fly-fish, paint with watercolors, stand on the deck of a ship, play lawn games from the 1800s—and much more. 413-458-2303. 225 South Street. Williamstown, MA (FREE)

BULLETIN BOARD

Jul 3-6; Jul 17-20; Jul 31 – Aug 3

PaintBox Theatre is a theatre of improvisation and imagination for the whole family. Start with a children’s classic. Add three actors. Add the Paintbox stage & a screen. Add artwork (by kids). Add lots of audience participation & improvisation. Stir well. There you go: Paintbox! This season: Little Red Riding Hood, July 3-6; Once Upon a Cool Motorcycle Dude, July 17-20; and King Kong, Jr., July 31- August 3. All shows are presented in Theatre 14, Mendenhall Center for the Performing Arts, Green Street, on the Smith College Campus in Northampton, MA. Call for more information: 413-585-3220. Or visit online at www.newcenturytheatre.org/paintbox.html.

Host families are needed for exchange students attending the Academy at Charlemont and other area high schools this fall. Hosting is a great way to learn first-hand about another culture and to share your life with an international student. Students from over 70 countries are available. Host families provide a place for the student to sleep, meals, and a warm home environment. Students have their own spending money and medical insurance. Single parents, young couples and empty-nesters are all encouraged to apply. Interested families should contact Ann Newsmith, 802-257-4710, exchangevt@gmail.com. PAX is a non-profit organization dedicated to increasing mutual respect among the people of the world. www.pax.org.

ADVERTISE HERE: Reach thousands of families in Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! See your summer event, open house, auditions, afterschool class, homeschool program, community event, workshop, school, wellness program or business 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! Find out more about our enhanced publicity packages and options and how we can help with your online marketing by emailing us at hilltownfamilies@gmail.com.

Looking for a summer camp or program in Western MA? Check out our featured post, 2013 Summer Camps and Programs in Western MA for a list that will wow and dazzle you! Summer opportunities featured range from music, art, farming, theater, dance, science, nature, sports, speaking, yoga, rock ‘n roll… to traditional summer day or overnight camps/programs! There’s something for all ages, toddlers to teens! Check it out and start making your summer plans!

Green River Festival 2013

The 27th annual Green River Festival happens again this year on July 20th & 21st, 2013… and Hilltown Families has a pair of tickets to giveaway for either day! Deadline to enter to win: 6/7/13.

COMMUNITY SERVICE/TEENS: The Amherst Survival Center has volunteer opportunities for teens ages 15yo+ on weekdays (not Wed). Shifts are typically 2 hours/week between 9am-3pm.  There are several places for teens & adults to volunteer. In a recent inquire about volunteer opportunities for teens they responded, “We look for a minimum of a two hour/week commitment for a minimum of 8 weeks…If they are able to get here in the morning, we need help organizing and sorting through fresh bread and produce from area markets and farms which we then distribute to about 100 people/day.  If they have a super organized closet, they may be a good fit for helping in our Free Store.  Certain days we also need help serving lunch and doing dishes.  And our Emergency Food Pantry often needs help keeping the shelves stocked and helping folks fill their carts with their monthly food “box.”  Strong folks can help pick up furniture from around town in the mornings.  And people who like to clean can help clean the place after 2:30PM.  Lots and lots of options.”  For more information visit their website at www.amherstsurvival.org or email tracey@amherstsurvival.org


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
June 29th-July 5th, 2013

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Suggest an Event | Forecast | Museum Passes | Weekly eNewsletter | Farmers’ Markets

Berkshire Family Fun

Read the rest of this entry »

2013 Fourth of July Celebrations & Fireworks

4th of July Celebrations & Fireworks in Western MA

From the state where the American Revolution began, families can take part in the multitude of Fourth of July celebrations happening in Western MA! Be sure to check out the Hilltown Families list of Weekly Suggested Events for a comprehensive list of family and community events happening in Western MA.

To follow is a preview of events, parades & fireworks happening to celebrate the 4th of July for 2013. Please take the time to confirm events you wish to attend, including time, place, age appropriateness, location and costs before attending.

Be sure to check out the Hilltown Families list of Weekly Suggested Events every Thursday for a comprehensive list of family and community events happening in Western MA.  Subscribe to our free eNewsletter and have weekly update sent to your inbox every Thursday!

Read the rest of this entry »

Celebration and Educational Highlights for the Week of July 4th

Fourth of July parades are scheduled in Westfield, Williamstown, Pittsfield, East Longmeadow, Shelburne Falls and Chesterfield on July 4th. Fireworks light up the night sky that same evening in West Springfield, Springfield, North Adams, Agawam and Amherst. Happy 4th of July! (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

Fourth of July celebrations are abundant this weekend and on Wednesday. Discover parades and places to view fireworks in the region with our 2012 Fourth of July Celebrations & Fireworks resource page.  But fireworks aren’t all the excitement that will be happening this next week.  There are plenty of opportunities for kids to continue learning at the many community-based educational events, or just to be entertained with a slew of kid performances.  Plus several community celebrations will be bringing together an intergenerational crowd celebrating life in Western MA.

COMMUNITY-BASED EDUCATION

On Saturday, June 30th, the Historic Deerfield‘s open hearth cooking program is celebrating its 25th anniversary and families can learn about the history of food and cooking. And on Sunday, July 1st families can learn about the history of the Springfield Armory at Armory Day with activities for families, including live Revolutionary and Civil War-era music and tours of the museum and grounds.  The armory played a very important role to the North during the Civil War – kids can learn about the importance of Springfield by visiting this historic site! Also on Sunday, families can join the Chesterfield Historical Society for a historical bus tour of the town with multiple stops, including discussions and visual aids, part of the Chesterfield’s 250th celebration.

Other educational opportunities for older kids on Saturday, June 30th include: exploring Fitzgerald Lake Conservation Area in Florence with naturalist Dr. Josh Rose, identifying species of beetles, bugs, and butterflies.  And in the evening, at Northfield Mountain,  learn all about fireflies, then search for them and collect data for the Museum of Science’s Firefly Watch program.

SUMMER ENTERTAINMENT

This Saturday, June 30th, there are several family entertainment events: Mary Jo Maichack performs stories and songs about sleep, dreams, and stars at the Stockbridge Library; puppeteer Tom Knight presents, “The Garbage Monster and Other Tales” at the Eric Carle Museum in Amherst; juggler/magician Scott Jameson leads a juggling workshop for kids at the Mason Library in Great Barrington.  Another fun event to put on your calendar happens on Tuesday, July 3rd when drummer Otha Day shares a variety of percussion instruments with kids, as well as some of the basic principles of percussion at the Milne Library in Williamstown.

COMMUNITY CELEBRATIONS

Three intergenerational community celebrations happening this next week that we want to highlight include Chicopee Fest-of-All at Szot Park with fireworks at dusk on Saturday, June 30thChesterfield’s 250th anniversary celebration with historical tours and a family walk on Sunday, July 1st; and the Montague Center Fire Association will host their annual community bonfire on Tuesday, July 3rd.

To find out more about these events and many more happening all week, check our current list of Weekly Suggested Events.

Suggested Events for June 30th-July 6th, 2012

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

Beginning this Sunday, July 1st, the town of Chesterfield will celebrate 250 years with events happening all week, including their hometown 4th of July parade on Wednesday (pictured here) and fireworks on Friday, July 6th! (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

Suggest 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.

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 class, event, camp, workshop, fundraiser, business/school, service, open house or general announcement. Deliver your message to thousands of families living throughout Western Massachusetts while supporting the work of Hilltown Families. Click HERE to find out more.

BEST BETS

Fourth of July celebrations continue this Saturday, June 30th with fireworks in Chicopee, Ware and Westfield! Check our 2012 Fourth of July Celebrations & Fireworks resource page for a full listing of events, parades & fireworks in Western MA!

Saturday, June 30th from 11am-10pm – COMMUNITY CELEBRATION: Chicopee Fest-of-All at Szot Park. Music, food and fun activities. Fireworks at dusk. 100 Abby Memorial Drive. Chicopee, MA

Sunday, July 1st from 9:30am-12noon – COMMUNITY DANCE: It’s Community Dance Day at Jacob’s Pillow!  There will be dance workshops throughout the day, to help the community learn about (and learn to do!) new types of dance and movement.  Workshops include tai chi, yoga, swing, and more!  There will also be guided tours of this National Historic Landmark, and picnicking on their Great Lawn.  413-243-9919.  385 George Carter Road.  Becket, MA.  (FREE)

Sunday, July 1st from 10am-4pm – HISTORY: Learn about the history of the Springfield Armory at Armory Day!  There will be tons of activities for families, including live Revolutionary and Civil War-era music, kite flying (bring your own if you have one!), and tours of the museum and grounds.  The armory played a very important role to the North during the Civil War – kids can learn about the importance of their city by visiting the historic site!  413-734-8551.  Federal Street.  Springfield, MA.  (FREE)

MARK YOUR CALENDARS

Enter to win a pair of tickets to the Green River Festival happening July 14th & 15th in Greenfield, MA! Deadline to enter to win is Friday, July 6th

Saturday, July 7th from 4:30-10pm – FIREWORKS: Celebrate the 4th of July with the city of Greenfield!  There will be music, activities, and vendors, and fireworks at 9:30.  Takes place at Beacon Field and Greenfield Middle School.  Beacon Street.  Greenfield, MA.  (FREE)

Sunday, July 8th at 1pm – PUPPETS: Cactus Head Puppets present “Little Red Riding Hood” at the Eric Carle Museum!  The story is told with both hand and shadow puppets.  413-658-1100.  125 West Bay Road. Amherst, MA  (<$)

BULLETIN BOARD

Goldthread Herb Farm is providing Community Supported Medicine (CSM) Shares to the community… and Hilltown Families has a large share ( to giveaway to one lucky family! Deadline to enter to win is Monday, July 2nd.

CYCLING: MASS MoCA has discovered a way to provide environmentally friendly transportation for its visitors to explore North Adams and Williamstown with- bicycles! The museum now has a fleet of easy-to-ride bikes designed specifically for urban environments. There are even a couple kid-sized bikes! Rental is only $3 per hour- helmet included. There are plans in the works for a paved bike trail to Williamstown in the future. Enjoy a lovely morning touring the museum’s galleries, then head out on a bike into North Adams and explore the town! For more information, visit blog.massmoca.org.

JOIN 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 DIY posts, seasonal cooking, and community-based educational opportunities. Send your query to hilltownfamilies@gmail.com.

SUMMER CAMP: Are you looking for a great summer experience for your kids? Check out our post Summer Camps and Programs in Western MA which highlights opportunities happening throughout the region. With a great variety of themes, there are many summer camp/programs your family can choose, including: farm & gardening, music, art, technology, nature, personal development, science, theater, sports, ballet, preK, college… as well as a good old fashion summer camp! Discover what’s being offered near you, and find out how you can add a camp to this growing list too!

SPONSORSHIP & ADVERTISING: Reach thousands of families in Western MA while supporting the work of Hilltown Families. See your event, camp, workshop, business featured here in the bulletin board section of our list of Weekly Suggested Events and eNewsletter! Find out more about our Enhanced Publicity options and how we can help with your marketing.


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS:
June 30th-July 6th, 2012

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Suggest an Event | Forecast | Museum Passes | Farmers’ Markets | Summer Playgroups
Weekly eNewsletter | Events for Working Parents | Workshops for Parents

Read the rest of this entry »

Celebrating 250 Years in Chesterfield!

Chesterfield Celebrates 250 Years!

Celebrate the 4th of July, as well as Chesterfield’s 250th anniversary, at the town’s annual parade on Wednesday, July 4th at 10:30am!  Just one of many events happening between July 1st-7th to celebrate 250 years! (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

The Hilltown of Chesterfield (population just over 1,200) is celebrating its 250th anniversary this year!  To celebrate, the town is hosting a full week of celebratory community events (from July 1st-7th).

The events begin with opening ceremonies at Russell Field at 9am on July 1st, followed by a 4 mile run/1 mile community walk.  Other events taking place throughout the week include opportunities to learn about local history, including bus tours through town, a community quilt display, and cemetery explorations; “Celebrate Youth Day,” which includes a big wheel race for youngest kiddos, a wiffle ball tournament, an ice cream social, and a world rhythms presentation with Tony Vacca; the premier of “Chesterfield – A Personal History,” a video created to share and archive narratives of local history; a presentation on Native American history and culture; a town picnic, and a family-friendly night of country dancing!

The anniversary events are an opportunity to appreciate and celebrate the community, and also offer several of unique learning opportunities.  Kids can learn about the history of their community, and place this knowledge within what they have learned about the history of New England and America.  Learning about local history can also help kids to appreciate their community, as they will learn the significance of places they love.  For more information and a full schedule of events, visit 250th Chesterfield MA Anniversary Celebration.

2012 Fourth of July Celebrations & Fireworks

4th of July Celebrations & Fireworks in Western MA

From the state where the American Revolution began, families can take part in the multitude of Fourth of July celebrations happening in Western MA! Be sure to check out the Hilltown Families list of Weekly Suggested Events on June  28th for a comprehensive list of family and community events happening in Western MA. (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

To follow is a preview of events, parades & fireworks happening to celebrate the 4th of July. Please take the time to confirm events you wish to attend, including time, place, age appropriateness, location and costs before attending.

Be sure to check out the Hilltown Families list of Weekly Suggested Events on June 28th for a comprehensive list of family and community events happening in Western MA.

Saturday, June 23

4-10pm – FIREWORKS: Northampton Family Fourth takes place tonight at Look Park!  There will be live music, family games, food, and, of course, fireworks!  300 North Main Street.  Florence, MA.  (FREE)

5-10:30pm – FIREWORKS: Celebrate Spirit 2012 in Easthampton!  There will be tons of live music, kids’ activities (including the BearFest 2012 BearLand, a rock wall, sand art crafts, etc.), a BMX biking stunt show, and, of course, fireworks!  BYO seating for the show.  Takes place at Galbraith Field.  Taft Avenue.  Easthampton, MA.  (DONATION)

7pm – FIREWORKS: Summerfest happens at Quarry Hill School. Family entertainment leading up to the display at 9:15pm. Rain date: 6/24. Monson, MA (FREE)

Friday, June 29

6pm – FIREWORKS: Celebrate the 4th of July at Holyoke Community College.  Activities for kids, music and food.  Fireworks at dusk. Rain date: 6/30. Homestead Ave. Holyoke, MA (FREE)

Saturday, June 30

4-11pm – FIREWORKS: The Westfield Rotary Club sponsors community fireworks  at Stanley Park.  Rain date is 7/6.  413-568-9312.  400 Western Avenue.  Westfield, MA.  (FREE)

9:30pm – FIREWORKS: As part of the annual Fest-of-All!  Takes place at Szot Park.  Rain date is 6/31.  Front Street.  Chicopee, MA.  (FREE)

DUSK – FIREWORKS: At Grenville Park, sponsored by the Ware Lions Club.  Walter Drive.  Ware, MA.  (FREE)

Tuesday, July 3

6pm – FIREWORKS: Visit Old Sturbridge Village for an Independence Day celebration!  The event includes opportunities to learn about history (including a reading of the Declaration of Independence), games, live music, and more!  Fireworks take place at dusk.  800-733-1830.  1 Old Sturbridge Village Road.  Sturbridge, MA.  ($)

DUSK – FIREWORKS: Held at Michael Smith Middle School, the event includes games, music, and foods from local vendors as well.  Rain date is 7/5.  100 Mosier Street.  South Hadley, MA.  (FREE)

Wednesday, July 4

6:30am-6pm – 4TH OF JULY: Monson Summerfest happens all day, starting with a pancake breakfast, followed by a day of family fun, including a parade, live music, vintage baseball game, frog jumping contest, and more. Monson, MA (FREE)

10am – PARADE: In downtown Westfield!  Westfield, MA.  (FREE)

10am – PARADE: Through Williamstown!  There will be marching bands, floats, and a picnic at the end!  Spring Street.  Williamstown, MA.  (FREE)

10am – PARADE: Celebrate Independence Day at Pittsfield’s annual parade!  The theme this year is “Movie Classics,” and the parade route moves through downtown Pittsfield.  Pittsfield, MA.  (FREE)

10am – PARADE: In East Longmeadow there will be live music, floats, and more!  Parade route will be reversed from route in previous years.  Maple, Main, Mapleshade, and Elm Streets.  East Longmeadow, MA.  (FREE)

9:15pm – FIREWORKS: Fireworks on the West Springfield Town Common, following live music and food earlier in the day.  Wendell Road.  West Springfield, MA.  (FREE)

9:30pm – FIREWORKS: Springfield Fireworks over Grucci Memorial Bridge.  MIX 93.1 FM broadcasts a musical accompaniment.  Springfield, MA.  (FREE)

9:30pm – FIREWORKS: Following a Steeplecats game at Noel Field!  413-664-6180.  State Street.  North Adams, MA.  (FREE)

DUSK – FIREWORKS: Celebrate the 4th at Six Flags New England!  413-786-9300.  1623 Main Street.  Agawam, MA.  ($$)

DUSK – FIREWORKS: LSSE puts on fireworks at McGuirk Stadium at UMass!  Family activities and music take place leading up to the display.  College Drive.  Amherst, MA.  (<$)

Friday, July 6

9pm – FIREWORKS: Celebrate the 4th of July and Chesterfield’s 250th anniversary at the Cummington Fairgrounds with an old-fashion fireworks display. Rain date is 7/7. Cummington Fairgrounds. Cummington, MA.  (FREE)

Saturday, July 7th (POSTPONED UNTIL SUNDAY, JULY 8TH DUE TO WEATHER)

4:30-10pm – FIREWORKS: Celebrate the 4th of July with the city of Greenfield!  There will be music, activities, and vendors, and fireworks at 9:30.  Takes place at Beacon Field and Greenfield Middle School.  Beacon Street.  Greenfield, MA.  (FREE)

2011 Fourth of July Celebrations & Fireworks

2012 Fireworks Listings are HERE


2011 Fourth of July Celebrations & Fireworks in Western MA

From the state where the American Revolution began, families can take part in the multitude of Fourth of July celebrations happening in Western MA!  Be sure to check out the Hilltown Families list of Weekly Suggested Events on July 1st for a comprehensive list of family and community events happening in Western MA. (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

To follow is a preview of events & fireworks happening to celebrate the 4th of July. Please take the time to confirm events you wish to attend, including time, place, age appropriateness, location and costs before attending.

Be sure to check out the Hilltown Families list of Weekly Suggested Events on July 1st for a comprehensive list of family and community events happening in Western MA.

Saturday, June 25th

9:30pm – FIREWORKS: See fireworks in Chicopee as part of the town’s Fest-of-All celebration at Szot Park!  In case of rain the fireworks will take place at the same time on the 26th.  Front Street.  Chicopee, MA.  (FREE)

9:30pm – FIREWORKS: Attend the town of Ware’s annual fireworks display at Grenville Park!  73 Church Street.  Ware, MA.  (FREE)

Sunday, June 26th

5pm – COMMUNITY CELEBRATION: (Rescheduled from 6/25 due to rain) Attend Easthampton’s Spirit celebration at Daley Field!  There will be fun live music all evening, as well as a BMX bike stunt show.  Fireworks will take place at 9:30pm.  Daley Field Road.  Easthampton, MA.  (FREE)

5pm – COMMUNITY CELEBRATION: (Rescheduled from 6/25 due to rain) Northampton Family Fourth Celebration at Look Park with carnival games, petting zoo, tethered balloon rides, live music, food and fireworks at dusk. Florence, MA (FREE)

Green River Festival

Have a bright idea for how a family could spend the day in Western MA? Follow the link and share your day adventures and be entered to win a pair of tix to the Green River Festival happening July 16th & 17th!

Friday, July 1st

6pm – COMMUNITY CELEBRATION: Celebrate the Fourth of July early at Holyoke Community College!  There will be live music, family activities, food vendors, and fireworks at dusk.  303 Homestead Avenue.  413-552-2485. Holyoke, MA (FREE)

Saturday, July 2nd

4-11pm – COMMUNITY CELEBRATION: Visit Stanley Park for an early Fourth of July celebration!  Fireworks will take place at 9:30.  400 Western Avenue.  413-568-9312.  Westfield, MA.  (FREE)

6pm – COMMUNITY CELEBRATION: Join South Hadley in celebrating the Fourth of July with festivities, including fireworks between 9:15 and 9:30.  The show will take place at Smith Middle School.  100 Mosier Street.  413-538-5017.  South Hadley, MA.  (FREE)

9:30pm – FIREWORKS: See a fireworks display at Wyantenuck Country Club!  Rain date is 7/3.  West Sheffield Road.  413-528-8174.  Great Barrington, MA.  (FREE)

9:30pm – FIREWORKS: Celebrate the 4th early in Greenfield with fireworks at Poet’s Seat Tower!  In case of rain, the display will take place on July 3rd.  Greenfield, MA.  (FREE)

Sunday, July 3rd

9pm – FIREWORKS: Visit Old Sturbridge Village to celebrate Independence Day!  Because of the village’s location, there is little light pollution and the fireworks are very visible.  The event is planned to be larger than ever before this year!  1 Old Sturbridge Village Road.  800-SEE-1830.  Sturbridge, MA.  ($$) (canceled due to flooding)

9:30pm – FIREWORKS: Celebrate the 4th a day early in East Longmeadow!  Fireworks will take place at the East Longmeadow High School Athletic Field.  180 Maple Street.  East Longmeadow, MA.  (FREE)

Monday, July 4th

10am – PARADE: The Pittsfield 4th of July Parade celebrate Pittsfield’s 250th birthday with nearly 140 marching units and 7 helim balloons. 413-447-7763. Pittsfield, MA (FREE)

10:30am – PARADE: Celebrate the 4th in Chesterfield with the town’s annual parade!  There are events all day long, but the parade is the highlight.  There will be performers, floats, classic cars, fun for kids, and much more!  Main Road and South Street.  Chesterfield, MA.  (FREE)

12Noon-10pm – COMMUNITY CELEBRATION: July 4th Parade will winding up Route 2 from Southworth Street and continuing onto Spring Street where the Flatbed Jazz Band will be playing at the base of the street and parade goers can enjoy a barbecue.  Following the barbecue at 1:30PM, a reading of the Declaration of Independence will be held at the Williams College Museum of Art. Williamstown, MA (FREE)

5pm – COMMUNITY CELEBRATION: Amherst LSSE presents Independence Day Celebration. Activities start at 5pm. Fireworks in the fields just behind UMass McGuirk Stadium at 9:30pm. Amherst, MA (FREE)

6:30pm – BASEBALL: See the Pittsfield Colonials take on the Brockton Rox.  There will be fireworks following the game!  105 Wahconah Street.  413-448-2255.  Pittsfield, MA.  ($)

7:30pm – COMMUNITY CELEBRATION: Celebrate the 4th in Springfield with live music all evening at Riverfront Park and fireworks (shot from Memorial Bridge) at 9:30!  Springfield, MA.  (FREE)

8pm – FIREWORKS: See the Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular at Tanglewood!  The Pops’ concert in Boston on the Charles Esplanade will be broadcast live at Tanglewood, followed by a stunning fireworks display.  297 West Street.  413-637-1600.  Lenox, MA.  (FREE) (The fireworks happen live in Boston, broadcasted live in Lenox. Call to confirm.)

9:30pm – FIREWORKS: North Adams will have a fireworks display directly following the evening’s SteepleCats game at Joe Wolfe Field.  87 Marshall Street.  413-663-7333.  North Adams, MA.  (FREE)

Saturday, July 9th

9:30pm – FIREWORKS: Attend a fireworks display at Berkshire Hills Country Club!  500 Benedict Road.  413-447-9429.  Pittsfield, MA.

9:30pm – FIREWORKS: Fireworks display on the Otis Reservior 10th Anniversary. Rain date: 7/16. Otis, MA (FREE)

9:30pm – FIREWORKS: Fireworks over Pelham Lake Park, part of Rowe’s Old Home Day Celebration. Rowe, MA (FREE)

The Wonders of Summer, Family & Community

Making Memories

Real-home-town parades for the 4th of July. (Photo credit: Dana Pilson)

There’s nothing better than a good old red white and blue, wrapped yourself up in an American flag, July fourth holiday. And nothing says July fourth better than a parade and fireworks. This year proved to be one of the best. Our little village puts on a real-home-town parade, replete with sirening fire engines, antique cars sporting American flags, proud selectmen, a tiny marching band, baseball players, prancing miniature ponies, and bringing up the rear, on pony clean-up duty, a former Massachusetts governor driving a golf cart. The whole town turns out — and every year, Daisy and I struggle with the decision: should we march in the parade, or watch? We could march with the library, our CSA, Daisy’s dance troupe, or her school. Or we could sit on the curb and cheer, collecting candy tossed from the floats. Author Elizabeth Winthrop, a part-time Berkshires resident, wrote The Biggest Parade, a children’s book based on the Williamstown parade. The mayor in the story is so concerned with making sure everyone has a role in the parade that there’s no one left to watch!

Spectators clap and cheer the parade on, including Dana and her daughter, Daisy.

This year, we decided to be spectators. Seated on the sidewalk amongst friends and family, we clapped and cheered and held our ears to block out the wailing fire engine sirens. We sprang up to gather candy and waved to the selectmen and all our friends marching with various groups. As usual, we procured a free balloon from the toy store, enjoyed a festive free barbecue, and had a slice of birthday cake proffered by the local coffee shop. These are memories in the making. Each year, we add to the store of July fourth memories, cementing in Daisy’s head what it means to create traditions: not just family traditions, but communal.

In the evening, we usually travel to Bennington, VT, to watch fireworks, even though they start around 9:30pm and we don’t manage to get back home until close to 11pm. Some families might argue that fireworks start too late, there are too many teenagers tossing firecrackers at each other, and the kids need to be in bed. But July fourth comes but once a year. What do I want Daisy to remember: an evening spent like most others? Or the excitement of heading out to the local park, finding a spot on the hill for our blanket and chairs, munching on cold grapes as toddlers race around with sparklers, watching the golden sunset as the stars, moon and planets emerge, and then, finally, after so much waiting, witnessing the magic as the sky lights up with exploding colors?

We have so few opportunities to create lasting visceral memories. Fireworks can hardly be caught on film, you cannot capture the boom that rattles your insides, the crackle and sputter, or the screaming of the twirly whirlies. Words can’t adequately describe the feel of the cool evening grass in your toes, the taste of quickly melting ice cream, the smell of the sizzling sparklers, uttering in unison “ooh, aah, peachy keen,” and then the absolute darkness when the fireworks end and we feel our way back down the hill towards the parking lot. These all must be felt, and experienced using all our senses.

July fourth may be our country’s birthday, but it is also a celebration of the wonders of summer, family, and community. Our family might be small, a tiny unit of three, but it doesn’t mean we can’t make big, rich memories to last a lifetime.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

 

Dana “Dee” Pilson

Dee lives with her professor husband and young daughter in rural Pownal, Vermont, just over the state line from Williamstown, Massachusetts. She is an art historian and has worked in museums in New York City, Boston, and Williamstown. She has been an avid writer since the tender age of eight, filling journals with personal essays and short stories, as well as mounds of poetry, both serious and whimsical. New Yorker by birth, New Hampshire-ite by schooling, and now Vermonter by choice, Dee writes about art and architecture, the environment, books, food, exercise, travel, and green living. Her new blog, “The Power of One,” focuses on issues related to parenting an only child in today’s child-centric world. dpilson@aol.com

8th Birthday Episode: Hilltown Family Variety Show (Podcast/Radio Show)

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LISTEN TO PODCAST

8th Birthday Episode

Featured Video: “Figure Eight” by They Might Be Giants


Saturday from 9-10am & Sunday from 7-8am
July 3rd & 4th, 2010
WXOJ LP – 103.3 FM – Valley Free Radio
Northampton, MA

listen NOW | listen on WXOJ | archived shows/podcasts request a song | subscribe to free podcast | contests & giveaways | myspace | facebook | twitter

Suggested Events 07/03/10-07/09/10

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

SUGGEST AN EVENT

Summit Farm in Plainfield, MA has pick-your own organic strawberries, raspberries and blueberries in the hilltowns. Raspberries are ripe for the picking now, and blueberries will be ready mid-July. Call Ed Stockman for harvest schedule: (413) 634-5024. (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.

DINNER IN THE HILLTOWNS

Friday, July 2nd at Blue House Cafe in Haydenville: Gluten-free and vegan dishes. BYOB. 268-7441

Friday, July 2nd at Elmer’s Store in Ashfield: Garlic Cilantro Chicken with Sauteed peppers and onion – or – Portabello mushroom tacos. Both come with mixed beans, salsa and sour cream. BYOB 628-4003

Friday & Saturday, July 2nd & 3rd at Bread Euphoria in Haydenville: Oven fried chicken and herbed biscuits with Grafton smoked cheddar and honey butter, with Potato salad and Veggie option of Veggie burgers. Watermelon and watercress salad. Watermelon and cucumber mojito. Chocolate semifriedo with blackberry mint sauce. Also available: Sandwiches, salads, soups and pizza (including Gluten-Free pizza!).  Beer & wine available. 268-7757

BULLETIN BOARD

ADVERTISING & ANNOUNCEMENTS: Deliver your message to a large local family based audience while supporting the work of Hilltown Families. Advertise your event, camp, workshop, fundraiser, business or announcement here in the Bulletin Board section of our List of Weekly Suggested Events.

Deadline to enter to win: July 11th

Alyssa Pratt-Miranda writes: I think most people in this group have established childcare already (or older children), but I thought I’d post this just in case. Our first baby is due in November and we’d love to look into nanny share options when I have to start up work again in February of 2011. We’re moving to Easthampton in August. I haven’t really thought through the logistics yet so we are pretty flexible with days, times, and whose house the kids would be at. Are there any families in the same situation, or do you know of any expecting mamas in the Noho area who might be interested in talking with us about this? Post replies here.

Deadline to enter to win: July 7th

PEDIATRICIAN: Love your pediatrician? Share the love and let us know. Recommend a pediatrician to families in Western Mass looking for a doctor for their kids HERE.

PAINTBOX THEATER GIVEAWAY: Congratulations to Chrisoula Roumeliotis of Worthington, MA on winning a family season pass for four to the Paintbox Theater Summer Series! – If you did not win tickets, you should still check out this summer theater series. For more info call (413) 585-3220, or visit New Century Theatre at www.newcenturytheatre.org/paintbox.html

Deadline to enter to win: July 7th

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS: Interested in becoming a Contributing or Guest Writer for Hilltown Families? Have an idea for an on-going column? Have a review or resource you’d like to share? We welcome writings that reflect the positive work and educational efforts activists, families, teachers, and artists work towards and accomplish and how that affects, supports and empowers our families. All writing styles welcomed, including DIY posts. Send your query to hilltownfamilies@gmail.com.

Katie Flanders writes: Any good preschools around the Hilltowns? Thanks! Post replies here.

HILLTOWN FAMILY VARIETY SHOW

This week on the HFVS we will be spinning birthday songs and new tunes by The Sweet Colleens, Coal Train Railroad, Caspar Babypants, The Not-Its!, and Sugar Free Allstars.Tune in on Saturdays from 9-10am, or listen to our podcasts HERE. 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.
  • HFVS Podcast

    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

    Suggest an Event | Local Forecast | Free Museum Passes | Family Centers (Ages 0-4) | Movies in the Valley | Movies in the Berkshires | Farmers’ Markets | Listen Here

    Events Happening in the Hilltowns

    Saturday – 7/3

    Hilltown Family Variety Show6-10am – FAMILY RADIO Valley Free Radio (WXOJ-LP 103.3FM Northampton, MA) offers 4-hours of commercial-free family programing every Saturday, including the Hilltown Family Variety Show and Spare the Rock. Tune in on your FM dial, or listen live via streaming audio at www.valleyfreeradio.org.

    8:30am-12:30pm – FARMERS’ MARKET: On the town green. Ashfield, MA (MARKET)

    9:30am-4:30pm – MUSEUM ADVENTURES: Open Hearth Cooking Demo at Historic Deerfield.  During the hot summer months, come learn how people in early New England kept cool, and preserved summer produce.  Open hearth cooks will demonstrate how to make cooling beverages including lemonade and switchel (a drink made with molasses, ginger, sugar and water).  See how people preserved summer vegetables like cucumbers or beets.  Drop in anytime. 775-7175 www.historic-deerfield.org Deerfield, MA (FREE w/admission)

    10am – OUTDOOR ADVENTURES: A Wheelie Good Time on the Manhan Rail Trail – Bring Strollers, wagon, bikes, trikes or just your feet for a child friendly stroll along the Manhan Rail Trail with the Easthampton Family Center.  Meet on Payson Ave at the Easthampton Safety Complex. Picnic Snack provided after the stroll. 563-7672 Easthampton, MA (FREE)

    10am-5pm – MUSEUM ADVENTURES: Kick off your 4th of July weekend celebration at Norman Rockwell Museum with their annual family baseball festival. Share a rare inside look at baseball legend Babe Ruth, through a special visit from his granddaughter Linda Ruth Tosetti; enjoy a game of catch with the Troy, N.Y.-based ValleyCats; learn about creating award-winning sports illustrations with artist Graig Kreindler; and enter into a 3D art-making workshop with pop artist Charles Fazzino. Children and teens 18 and under are free, adults free with Museum admission. www.nrm.org Stockbridge, MA ($)

    11am-10pm – 4TH OF JULY: Fourth of July family celebration on the Town Common.  Chicken dinner (11-3), Russian Dancers (11:30), Pioneer Valley Concert Band (1pm) and fireworks in the evening. Call for tickets for Russian Dancers: 896-0506 West Springfield, MA

    12:30pm – MUSEUM ADVENTURES: Chow Time in the aquarium at 12:30pm at the Berkshire Museum. 443-7171 www.berkshiremuseum.org Pittsfield, MA (FREE w/museum admission)

    1pm – SCIENCE STUDIES: Amherst Solar will be set up with their telescopes on the Amherst Town Common all summer.  Stop by with the kids and see Sunspots, Prominences, Limb Darkening and more.  256-6234  amastro.org Amherst, MA (FREE)

    1-5pm – HISTORIC ADVENTURES: Tour the William Cullen Bryant Homestead. Explore the ancestral home of the great 19th-century poet, newspaperman, and essayist, and wander the grounds above the Westfield River. Try the “I Spy” family activity using a hands-on spy pack to discover the Homestead’s secrets. 634-2244 Cummington, MA (>$)

    6pm – 4TH OF JULY: Pre-firework activities at Michael E. Smith Middle School (100 Mosier St.). (Rain date: 7/5) Fireworks at dark. South Hadley, MA (FREE)

    6pm – SPORTS FANS: Take the family out to the ballpark to see a Pittsfield Colonials baseball home game at Wahconah Park. www.pittsfieldcolonials.com Pittsfield, MA ($)

    6:15pm – DANCE: At Jacob’s Pillow, “First Lady of Tap” Dianne Walker, with award-winning performers Derick K. Grant and Tasha Lawson and live music under the direction of Paul Arslanian, showcases a range of tap styles with dancers of The School after their first week of intensive study at the Inside/Out Stage. 243-0745 www.jacobspillow.org Becket, MA (FREE)

    7:30-10pm – NATURE STUDIES: Firefly program at Sheep Hill.  Annual Firefly Hike and Campfire.  The evening will feature campfire stories, S’mores, and the glittering jewels of the summer meadow.  There will be nature crafts for children before it gets dark, and stories by the fire followed by a walk through the darkening meadow to experience the dazzling firefly show. www.wrlf.org Williamstown, MA (>$ donation)

    8:45pm – DRIVE-IN MOVIE: Northfield Drive-In movie theater is featuring ooo as their first show, and ooo as their second show this weekend. (603) 239-4054 www.northfielddrivein.com Northfield, MA ($)

    6pm – 4TH OF JULY: Entertainment at Stanley Park with music and F-15 flyover.  Fireworks at dusk.  Westfield, MA

    Dusk – FIREWORKS:  The following towns have firework displays: East Longmeadow, South Hadley and Westfield.  Click here for details.

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    63rd Annual Independence Day Parade in the Hilltowns

    63rd Annual Independence Day Parade 2010
    Chesterfield, MA

    Click here to see larger image

    The Town of Chesterfield will host its 63rd annual Independence Day Parade on Sunday July 4th. This year’s parade promises to be better than ever bringing fun and family attractions that have made this event a Hilltown tradition.  See photos from last year’s parade here.

    The parade will feature bands, floats, animals, clowns, antique and collectable cars and fire and emergency vehicles.

    Activity Schedule:

    • 7:00 – 10:00 Pancake Breakfast (Firehouse)
    • 8:00 –   3:00 Food / Vendor Booths
    • 9:00 –   1:30 Quilt Display (Church)
    • 9:00 –   1:30 Historic Exhibit (Town Hall)
    • 10:30   PARADE
    • 11:30 – 1:30 Heritage Pops Concert (Town Center)
    • 11:30 – 1:30 Barbeque Chicken Lunch (Church)
    • 11:30 – 1:30 Petting Zoo
    • 11:30 – 1:30 Kid’s Fun (Magic Show, Face Painting)
    • 12:00 – 1:30 Fireman’s Muster (Playing Field)
    • 1:30 – 3:00 Family Softball (Playing Field)

    There is plenty of on-site parking

    4th of July 2010: Western MA is Alive with Fireworks & Celebrations

    2013 Fourth of July Celebrations & Fireworks


    Celebrating 4th of July in Western Massachusetts with the Family in 2010

    There’s no better destination to celebrate the Fourth of July than Massachusetts,” said Betsy Wall, executive director of the Massachusetts Office of Travel + Tourism. “From the world renowned Boston Pops concert on the Charles river to the many parades, fireworks, festivals and attractions, there are so many ways to experience the independent spirit and pride that makes Massachusetts unique.”(Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

    From the state where the American Revolution began, families can take part in the multitude of Fourth of July celebrations happening in Western MA. Only in Massachusetts can you travel the freedom trail, tour the home of Paul Revere and be a part of where America’s independence began. In Western MA, families and visitors can witness the historical reenactments in the hills of the Berkshires and Greater Springfield area, participate in the parades, music programs and dance performances, and take the families to see one of the many firework displays that happen throughout the region.

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    HFVS: 4th of July Birthday Episode (Radio Show/Podcast)

    Listen to Podcast from 2008:

    4TH OF JULY BIRTHDAY EPISODE

    Hilltown Family Variety Show
    WXOJ LP – 103.3 FM – Valley Free Radio
    Northampton, MA

    July 4th, 2009


    New Podcasts ♦ Archived Podcasts Subscribe to Podcast
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    PLAYLIST

    • Kool & The Gang – “Celebration” [Celebration]
    • Charity and the JAMband – “Cake” [Rock Your Socks Off]
    • Suzi Shelton – “So Long Chocolate Cake” [Simply Suzi]
    • Justin Roberts – “It’s Your Birthday” [Meltdown!]
    • Betsy McCall’s Surprise Birthday Party – “Happy Birthday”
    • The Candy Band – “It’s Your Birthday” [Calling All Kids]
    • Betsy McCall’s Surprise Birthday Party – “Surprise Birthday Party”
    • The Candy Band – “Simon Says” [Calling All Kids]
    • Brady Rymer – “Happy Birthday Around the World” [Every Day is a Birthday]
    • Station Id: Steve Weeks [www.steveweeksmusic.com]
    • Charity and the JAMband – “Happy Birthday Baby” [Rock Your Socks Off]
    • Butterflyfish – “Lemonade” [Ladybug]Music
    • The Jimmies – “Somebody’s Birthday” [Make Your Own Someday]
    • The Uninvited Loud Precision Band – “The Uninvited Parade” [Blue Moo]
    • Laurie Berkner – “Five Days Old” [Rocketship Run]
    • Lisa Loeb – “H.A.P.P.Y.” [Camp Lisa]
    • Recess Monkey – “Birthday Bite” [Tabby Road]
    • The Hipwaders – “Birthday Ruckus” [Goodie Bag]
    • Ambrosia Parsley – “Everybody Came” [For the Kids Too]
    • “Birthday is Over” [Ditties for Kiddies]
    • Ralph’s World – “Happy Not My Birthday” [The Rhyming Circus]
    • The Panderers – “Come On” [Hotshot’s Boy]
    • Betsy McCall’s Surprise Birthday Party – “After the Party”

    4th of July Fireworks & Parade Schedule 2009

    Click HERE for the 2010 4th of July Schedule

    2009 Fireworks & More in Western Massachusetts

    4th of July Parade in Chesterfield, MA

    Chesterfield 4th of July Parade Schedule. Click on flyer to see larger image.

    Here is a schedule of firework displays and parades happening in Western Massachusetts.  Click on the listing to find out more information. The events below are “suggested.” Please take the time to confirm that these events are happening.

    Looking for family events during the day on the 4th of July?

    • Check the comment box below for 4th of July events.
    • And be sure to click on the links below.  Many of the firework displays are part of an all-day community celebration.
    • If you know of a 4th of July event, please post it below.

    4TH OF JULY PARADES

    Right here in the hilltowns will be a great old fashion parade that the whole family can participate in beginning at 10:30am at the CHESTERFIELD 4TH OF JULY PARADE.  Click HERE to read our post, Hilltown Families’ Kids Invited to March in Chesterfield’s 4th of July Parade.

    Other parades happening in Western Massachusetts on the 4th of July include the towns of

    FIREWORK SCHEDULE FOR INDEPENDENCE DAY 2009

    July 3rd, 2009

    July 4th, 2009

    July 5th, 2009

    July 11th, 2009

    OTHER LINKS

    Chesterfield’s 62nd Annual Independence Day Parade

    4th of July Parade in Chesterfield, MA

    Click on flyer for larger image

    Nicolas Frischer of Chesterfield, MA writes:

    “Let Freedom Ring” will be the theme of this year’s July 4th parade and promises all the fun and family attractions that have made this event a Hill town tradition since 1947.

    The parade which starts at 10:30am will feature marching bands, floats, animals, clowns, fire and emergency equipment and as always, one of the best displays of antique and classic automobiles.

    Activities in town center will begin at 7am and run until 3pm include:

    • Pancake Breakfast
    • Food & Vendor Booths
    • Quilt Display
    • Historic Exhibits
    • Heritage Pops Orchestra
    • Chicken Barbecue
    • Kids Fun
    • Face Painting
    • Petting Zoo
    • Fireman’s Competitions
    • Family Softball

    The parking field is on-site at Bryant Street and there will be ten comfort stations conveniently located around town.

    Invitations remain open for any group, organization, or attraction that would like to enter a float, march or enjoy participating.

    Any small donations from individuals or sponsorship contribution and recognition from area businesses would be genuinely appreciated to help offset significant reductions in State and Cultural Arts funds received in the past.

    Please send donations to:

    Chesterfield 4th of July Association
    P.O. Box 502
    Chesterfield, MA 01012

    Or contact Mary Ann Coleman at 413-296-4787.

    62nd Annual Independence Day Parade in Chesterfield Seeks Participants (2009)

    Nicolas Frischer of Chesterfield, MA writes:

    4th of July Parade in Chesterfield, MA (Photo credit: (ccl) salomedance06)

    “Let Freedom Ring” will be the theme of this year’s (2009) July 4th parade in Chesterfield, MA, and promises all the fun and family attractions that have made this event a Hill town tradition since 1947.

    To help make this parade better than ever, we would like to extend an invitation to groups and organizations that would like to enter a float and to marching bands and other attractions that would enjoy participating.

    We are also seeking nominations for Chesterfield’s annual presentation of “Volunteer of the Year” and “Lifetime Achievement” awards.

    While plans are developing to make this year’s event better than ever, we do face significant reductions in state and Cultural Arts funds that we have received in the past. We would genuinely appreciate small donations from individuals and offer area businesses sponsorship recognition for their support.

    Please send award nominations and donations to:

    Chesterfield 4th of July Association
    P.O. Box 502
    Chesterfield, MA 01012

    Or contact Mary Ann Coleman at 413-296-4787.

    Old Fashion 4th of July Parade in the Hilltowns (2008)

    61st Annual Independence Day Parade

    The Spirit of Chesterfield will be the theme for the 61st annual Independence Day parade. Since 1947, the town has hosted this event that has grown in popularity to be a Hilltown tradition and favorite.

    • The Parade kicks off at 10:30 and will feature floats, bands, clowns, live animals and antique cars.
    • The Heritage Pops Orchestra will provide musical entertainment beginning at 11:30.
    • Visitors can begin the day with a Pancake Breakfast at 7 a.m. and then enjoy numerous displays on exhibit in town center including quilts and artwork.
    • Following the parade there will be a chicken barbecue, magic show, petting zoo, Firemen’s Muster, and continued opportunities to view the displays. The Bisbee Mill Museum and Historic Society will also be open to the public.

    There will be plenty of parking (nominal fee to support the area Boy Scouts) near the parade route, and except for the food, all the other activities are free.

    The Parade can always use more participants. Bands, horses and buggies, antique cars, floats, and kids with costumes are welcome to be a part of the festivities. Please contact Mary Ann Coleman at 413-296-4787.

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