tourism annual eventsMutton and Mead Festival (photo by The Recorder/Peter MacDonald)

soapboxderbyTo say that there are numerous choices any given day or weekend is no exaggeration. Summer and fall, of course, are the most active with ethnic and music festivals, notably the Green River Festival in July, and craft fairs and fall foliage celebrations well into October and November. Whatever your pleasure, you will find extraordinary experiences that celebrate the rivers, hills and valleys and towns that typify New England as you’d hoped to find it.


JANUARY/FEBRUARY

Greenfield Winter Carnival
Held at Beacon Field and other locations in town, it features a downtown ice sculpture contest, ice skating, XC skiing, cardboard sled contest, and other winter activities. Greenfield Recreation Department. 772-1553, greenfieldrecreation.com


APRIL

orangeriverratraceRiver Rat Race
Zany antics characterize this Athol to Orange race with over 300 canoes. riverratrace.com

Patriot’s Day Revolutionary Muster & Parade
Travel back in time and rediscover the history behind the Patriot’s Day holiday and the “shot heard round the world.” Revolutionary times will come to life through demonstrations of period crafts and activities, fife and drum music, and a parade and muster. 774-5581
 historic-deerfield.org

Franklin County Better (Greener) Living Show
Showcases home, garden and recreation activities, and environmentally friendly products and services. fcbetterlivingshow.org

Asparagus Pottery Trail Tour
A self-guided driving tour of clay studios in western Massachusetts. 
asparagusvalleypotterytrail.com


MAY

Fish Ladder
Operated by First Light Power. Viewing facility for watching anadromous fish such as shad and the occasional Atlantic salmon as they make their way up the Connecticut River to spawn. Open from early May through the middle of June. It is located behind the Town Hall in Turners Falls. 659-3714 http://www.gdfsuezna.com/fishway/


JUNE

Shelburne Falls Riverfest
Held annually, it is a celebration of life along the Deerfield River. It features a parade, crafts, music, boat or raft excursions and educational programs. First Saturday. shelburnefalls.com

Mutton & Mead Medieval Festival
Fun, food and entertainment with a medieval flair. Held in Montague. muttonandmead.com

Lavender Festival
Lavender, labyrinth, local crafts, workshops and demonstrations. Buckland. 
413-522-9068, lavenderland.com


greenriverfest12jacobsenJULY

Greenfield Fourth of July Celebration
Music, food, vendors and fireworks display (fired from Poet’s Seat Tower). Held at Beacon Field in Greenfield. 772-1553, greenfieldrecreation.com

Green River Festival
Held the second weekend on the grounds of Greenfield Community College, the festival features nationally known musicians, craft vendors, local food and hot air balloon launches. www.greenriverfestival.com

Yankee Doodle Days
Held in July at the fairgrounds, Charlemont’s hometown fair features activities for children of all ages, fireworks, demolition derby, vendors, exhibits, food and entertainment. www.yankeedoodledays.com

Deerfield Lions Club Antique Car Show at Yankee Candle
Enjoy the beautiful old-fashioned cars, vendors, & food. South Deerfield, 877-636-7707

SummerFest 
Shop local merchants and visiting vendors at sidewalk sales for two days; Saturday visit the big block party on Main Street — dunking booth, pie-eating contests, face painting, bike parade, bands, dance & zumba demonstrations, and more. Greenfield, 774-2791 greenfieldbusiness.org


AUGUST

Annual Greenfield Lightlife Triathlon
Bike, swim and run event. Sprint, international, and team divisions. First Saturday 772-1553, greenfield-triathlon.com

Annual Reggae Fest
Charlemont Fairgrounds, Route 8A North, Charlemont. charlemontreggaefest.com

Turners Falls Block Party
Street party featuring food, community art, street vendors, kids’ activities and more.
Second Saturday. turnersfallsriverculture.org

bridgeofflowersroadraceBridge of Flowers 10K Road Race
This 10K race attracts Olympic caliber runners. Second Saturday. 
834-3477,
bridgeofflowers10k.com

Annual Iron Bridge Dinner
Unique dinner for 400 at table spanning the Iron Bridge between Buckland and Shelburne.
Benefit dinner provided by local restaurants. Third Sunday. 625-2526, shelburnefalls.com

Montague Old Home Days
Held third weekend of August in the village of Montague Center, the festival features games,
an auction, food, music, parade and a 5.5-mile foot race.

Heath Agricultural Society Fair
Held two weekends before Labor Day, this fair offers music, arts, crafts, needlework, baked goods and flowers. Featured events include the horse and oxen draws, fireworks and barbeque. heathfair.org

Shelburne Grange Fair
Held annually on the fourth Saturday, this agricultural fair features crafts, food exhibits, flea market and a chicken barbeque (get there early, it sells out!). Fellowship Hall on Little Mohawk Road just off Route 2. 625-6592, www.shelburnegrange.org

Deerfield Dirt Road Randonnee
The courses use the narrowest and most scenic roads for riders. 625-9151, http://www.franklinlandtrust.org/d2r2


SEPTEMBER

roundhouseFranklin County Fair
Opens on the Thursday after Labor Day, runs for four days. It is a large agricultural fair featuring livestock, exhibits, demonstrations, crafts, music, a midway, demolition derby and lots of food. fcas.com, 774-4282

Old Deerfield Fall Craft Fair
The third weekend on the grounds of Memorial Hall, this show features over 200 juried exhibitors. 774-2739

Annual North Quabbin Garlic and Arts Festival
The last weekend in Orange. “The Festival That Stinks” includes crafts & arts, garlic cuisine, regional agriculture, music, renewable energy exhibits, and more. (978) 544-9023, garlicandarts.org


OCTOBER

Ashfield Fall Festival 
Crafts, art exhibits, locally grown food, live music, dance, and more.  Ashfield, 
ashfieldfallfestival.org

Celebrate the Harvest
Saturday of Columbus Day weekend in Orange. A family-friendly event celebration including a Car Show, Craft Fair, and Parade. orangebusinessassoc.org

Festival of the Hills 
First Sunday — Live music, crafts and arts exhibits, 10K road race, skillet toss, parade and more. Conway, 522-7374, festivalofthehills.com

Franklin County Pumpkinfest
Thousands of glowing carved pumpkins light up the village of Turners Falls. A full array of local crafters, retailers, restaurants, nonprofit groups, farmers, artists, and musicians gather together with thousands of county residents to celebrate community. October 24. 522-0712, facebook.com/pumpkinfest


NOVEMBER

ciderdaysmarketplaceFranklin County CiderDays
Held on the first weekend, this self-guided tour takes you to orchards, wineries and great restaurants for demonstrations, tastings, food and crafts, all celebrating the apple harvest. Talks during the day Saturday in Shelburne Falls; activities at orchards throughout the county all weekend; two sessions of the world's largest cider tasting salon Saturday at Berkshire East Mountain Resort; dinner Saturday night in Charlemont; Sunday tastings in Old Deerfield. 773-5463.
ciderdays.org

Annual Crafts of Colrain - Artisans Studio Tour
Enjoy Hilltown beauty and discover the talented artisans of Colrain. Tour starts at Pine Hill Orchard located at 248 Greenfield Road in Colrain. Second weekend, 624-1200, craftsofcolrain.com

Shelburne Falls Moonlight Magic
Held on the Friday after Thanksgiving beginning at dusk when thousands of luminaries are lit along Bridge Street. Sales in the stores, craft vendors, music and fun. 625-2526, shelburnefalls.com


DECEMBER

A Special Day in Northfield Holiday Celebration
Annual day of traditional crafts, horse-drawn surrey rides, holiday foods and shopping on historic Main Street and artist studios.  Contact Centennial House B&B, 498-5921.

JingleFest! 
Downtown Greenfield shows off with First Friday shopping & eating plus luminaries, Santa, caroling, and lots more holiday fun. greenfieldbusiness.org

Starry Starry Night New Year’s Eve
Performers as well as hayrides, ice sculptures, a puppet parade, and fireworks. Orange. starrystarrynight.org


YEAR-ROUND & SEASONAL EVENTS

Art Walks in Downtown Shelburne Falls
Mingle with local artists, view demonstrations, enjoy live music, participate in community art projects, and ride Trolley No.10.  First weekends of May and November, 625-2526, shelburnefalls.com

Contradances
Most Fridays and Saturdays. The Guiding Star Grange in Greenfield hosts live callers and musicians. 772-6840. guidingstargrange.org

COOP Concert Summer Series 
Local musicians give free concerts on Thursday evenings from 6 - 8 pm at the Greenfield Energy Park. Bring a chair or blanket, coopconcerts.org. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

farmersmarketFarmers’ Markets
Get the best quality and the most nutritional value when you buy foods that are locally grown and in season. Held in many towns throughout Franklin County during the summer months. Check http://www.farmfresh.org/?sortby=&zip=01301 for locations.

First Fridays Greenfield 
From May to December, downtown shops & restaurants stay open late and from 5-8 p.m. offer specials, sales, and giveaways. Enjoy live music, special workshops, art openings, & more. 774-2791, greenfieldbusiness.org

Foliage Fairs
During the foliage season many festivals celebrate the country life with art shows, craft fairs, food, games and entertainment including The Ashfield Fall Festival (Columbus Day weekend) and The Conway Festival of the Hills (last Sunday in September).

Full Moon Coffee House
Monthly concerts held on the Saturday night closest to the full moon in the Town Hall in Wendell. (978) 544-2086 http://www.wendellfullmoon.org/

Great Falls Coffeehouse 
Monthly live music performances in the summer months. Turners Falls.  
863-3221, greatfallsdiscoverycenter.org

Hands On Learning Series in Historic Deerfield
Monthly family programs with subjects ranging from open hearth cooking demonstrations to sheep shearing. 775-7214, historic-deerfield.org

Mike’s Maze 
Amazing works of art cut into the cornfield at Warner Farm. Family fun including horse drawn wagon rides, pick your own pumpkins, petting zoo. August 31st through the end of the season. 665-8331, mikesmaze.com

Mohawk Trail Concerts 
Summer and fall at the air-conditioned Federated Church on Route 2 in Charlemont. The programs feature chamber music, theater and contemporary works. 625-9511, mohawktrailconcerts.org

Music at the Station at the Greenfield Energy Park 
All kinds of entertainment, from music and yoga to the circus! Bring a chair or blanket. greenfieldrecreation.com

Music in Deerfield
A series of chamber music concerts featuring nationally and internationally known artists. Held in the Brick Church in Deerfield and in Northampton. 774-4200, www.musicindeerfield.org

Pioneer Valley Symphony & Chorus
Orchestral and choral concerts from October through May since 1939. 773-3664, www.pvso.org

Pothole Pictures
A series of classic films held in the Memorial Hall Theater in Shelburne. 625-2896, shelburnefallsmemorialhall.org/pothole-pictures

Shea Theater
Community performing arts center with plays and musicals presented by resident companies, plus music, dance, comedy and special events. 71 Avenue A, Turners Falls. 863-2281, sheatheater.org

sugarhouseSugaring
Late February through early April. Franklin County takes to the woods to gather sap from sugar maple trees, boiling it down to pure maple syrup. Sugar houses are open to the public during the season, but check for hours and boiling schedules. In season, the Massachusetts Maple Phone is updated regularly. 628-3912, www.massmaple.org

Third Thursday Turners Falls
A monthly arts, culture and downtown business night featuring art exhibits, open studios, musical performances, walking tours, theater and invited artisans as well as extended open hours at participating venues. Turners Falls. 835-1390, turnersfallsriverculture.org

 

 

"My husband is a motorcycle enthusiast and likes riding the Mohawk Trail"
"The county is peppered with old and new all mixed up"
"An air of peace and tranquility"
"Real community authenticity. Franklin County is not pseudo anything."
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