Everybody’s doing it... painting, planting, polishing and planning. Spring fever is in the air, and the GAZETTE & RECORDER want to help your sales get-up-and-grow! Sponsorship and exhibitors packages are available to the ONLY LOCALLY SPONSORED HOME SHOWS IN FRANKLIN AND HAMPSHIRE COUNTY. Reserve your spot today.

Franklin County Chamber of Commerce members will receive a 10% discount on rates for the Northwest New England Home Show. In addition to the member discount, members are eligible for the combination discount for participation in both Hampshire and Franklin county shows.

Contact Kalyn Burke at 585-5208 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. The Recorder Daily Hampshire Gazette https://homeshow.recorder.com

Home Shows 2018Valley Home Expo
Saturday & Sunday
March 10 & 11, 2018
Smith Vocational, High School
80 Locust St., Northampton, MA 01060

Northwest New England Home Show
Saturday & Sunday
March 17 & 18, 2018
Franklin County Technical School
82 Industrial Blvd., Turners Falls, MA 01367

 

artweekArtWeek

Please join us for an ArtWeek info session at the Yiddish Book Center January 11th at noon. This week long arts event has expanded from Boston to the rest of Massachusetts this year and we are encouraging western Mass artists and cultural organizations to participate to bring more exposure to what we have to offer.

The info session will be in the form of a webinar with ArtWeek's Sue Sullivan and will give artists of Franklin and Hamsphire Counties a chance to see each other in person at the Book Center to hopefully spark some collaborations. The session will also be available in real time online for those who are unable to come to Amherst.

Please RSVP so we can either expect you on the 11th or so we can send you the log in details for the online version.

Below is some more info on ArtWeek.

The Franklin County Chamber of Commerce and Hampshire County Regional Tourism Council have been named collaborators for the statewide 2018 ArtWeek festival happening April 27 – May 6. Applications for the festival are now available at artweekma.org. The early bird deadline to submit an ArtWeek event is January 8, 2018, and the final deadline is February 28, 2018.

ArtWeek is an award-winning innovative festival featuring hundreds of unique and creative experiences that are hands-on, interactive or offer behind-the-scenes access to arts, culture, and the creative process. Now an annual statewide festival, ArtWeek was born in Boston in 2013 and recently expanded its footprint across the Commonwealth.

To promote the upcoming Spring 2018 festival, ArtWeek will be working with a number of statewide, regional and local collaborators. Through this partnership, we will help spread the word about ArtWeek across our networks about applying to host an ArtWeek event as well as encourage people to get out and experience the 10-day festival next spring.

RSVP here.

For Immediate Release
Press Contact: Lisa Davol
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., 413-773-5463

ArtWeek Press Contact:
Michelle Chapman | 617.532.1210 | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
ArtWeek

FRANKLIN COUNTY CHAMBER OF COMMERCE TO PARTNER WITH SPRING 2018 ARTWEEK FESTIVAL

Spring 2018 ArtWeek applications now available

Greenfield, MA 12/14/17 – Franklin County Chamber of Commerce announced today that it has been named a collaborator for the statewide 2018 ArtWeek festival happening April 27 – May 6. Applications for the festival are now available at artweekma.org. The early bird deadline to submit an ArtWeek event is January 8, 2018, and the final deadline is February 28, 2018.

ArtWeek is an award-winning innovative festival featuring hundreds of unique and creative experiences that are hands-on, interactive or offer behind-the-scenes access to arts, culture, and the creative process. Now an annual statewide festival, ArtWeek was born in Boston in 2013 and recently expanded its footprint across the Commonwealth.

To promote the upcoming Spring 2018 festival, ArtWeek will be working with a number of statewide, regional and local collaborators. Through this partnership, Franklin County Chamber of Commerce will help spread the word about ArtWeek across its networks about applying to host an ArtWeek event as well as encourage people to get out and experience the 10-day festival next spring.

”One of Franklin County’s greatest economic drivers is our creative economy. ArtWeek provides an excellent opportunity for our creative communities to shine,” said Natalie Blais, Executive Director of Franklin County Chamber of Commerce. “With three official cultural districts and scores of artists and creative organizations in our area, we are looking forward to a concentrated week of festivities that highlight the creative industry that helps to fuel the quality of life in our region.

Presented by Highland Street Foundation and produced by the Boch Center, ArtWeek offers new ways to experience art, culture, and creativity. This year, the Mass Cultural Council and the Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism have joined ArtWeek as Lead Champions in this unique opportunity to shine a spotlight on the state’s creative economy.

“We are thrilled to have organizations like Franklin County Chamber of Commerce partnering with ArtWeek this season,” said Josiah A. Spaulding, Jr., President & CEO of the Boch Center. “ArtWeek is an innovative festival that works to spotlight how the creative economy is thriving in Massachusetts. Each year ArtWeek showcases unique experiences spanning dance, fashion, media arts, spoken-word, poetry, writing, culinary, visual arts, music, opera, theater, design, film, and more. And the best part is that many of the events are free making it affordable and accessible to everyone!”

For more information on ArtWeek, visit www.artweekma.org.  Info session set for January 11th at noon at Yiddish Book Center.  RSVP now.

About Franklin County Chamber of Commerce - Franklin County Chamber of Commerce is a Regional Tourism Council and membership organization dedicated to strengthening and sustaining economic and civic vitality in our region.

About ArtWeek – Presented by Highland Street Foundation and produced by the Boch Center, ArtWeek has become an annual award-winning innovative festival featuring hundreds of unique and creative experiences that are hands-on, interactive or offer behind-the-scenes access to artists or the creative process. ArtWeek was born in Boston in 2013 and has since expanded to serve communities across Massachusetts. Statewide partners include: Mass Cultural Council, Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism as well as Mass Center for the Book, MASSCreative, MassHumanities, MassPoetry, New England Foundation for the Arts, New England Museum Association, Young Audiences of Massachusetts and VSA Massachusetts. To learn more about our regional and local collaborators as well as about the festival and its growth, visit www.artweekma.org.

About Highland Street Foundation – Since its establishment in 1989, Highland Street Foundation has donated more than $180 million to many worthy non-profit organizations. It is committed to addressing the needs and concerns of children and families primarily in Massachusetts and California specifically in the areas of education, housing, mentoring, health care, environment and the arts. To learn more about Highland Street Foundation, please visit www.highlandstreet.org.

About the Boch Center – The Boch Center is one of the nation’s leading nonprofit performing arts institutions and a guardian of the historic Wang and Shubert Theatres. As New England’s largest cultural venue, the Boch Center is home to theater, classical and popular music, dance, comedy, opera, Broadway musicals, family entertainment, and more.

Located in Boston’s historic Theater District, the Boch Center also offers a diverse mix of educational and community outreach initiatives, including the City Spotlights Leadership Program and ArtWeek; collaborates with artists and local nonprofit arts organizations; preserves historic venues; and acts as a champion for Greater Boston’s arts and cultural community. Learn more at bochcenter.org.

About the Mass Cultural Council
The Mass Cultural Council is a state agency that promotes excellence, inclusion, education, and diversity in the arts, humanities, and sciences to foster a rich cultural life for all Massachusetts residents and contributes to the vitality of our communities and economy.

The Council pursues this mission through a wide range of grants, initiatives, and advocacy for artists, communities, organizations, and schools. Mass Cultural Council also runs the Massachusetts Cultural Facilities Fund in partnership with MassDevelopment. For more information, please visit www.massculturalcouncil.org.

About the Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism
MOTT’s mission is to promote Massachusetts as both a leisure and business travel destination for domestic and international markets and to contribute to the growth of the Commonwealth’s economy. MOTT works closely with 16 regional tourism councils across the state, and with larger tourism alliances such as Discover New England and BrandUSA. For more information on visiting Massachusetts, go to massvacation.com.

Apple table

Looking to get out of the office and into the fresh air? Been meaning to do more physical activities and eat more fresh fruit? What about getting in some fun outdoor activities with the family before the cold weather hits? Picking your own apples is the perfect way to check these items off your list.

Franklin County has orchards dotting some of the most scenic landscapes in Massachusetts. Pick from century old trees located in orchards that have been in the family for generations or from newer experimental orchards. While you’re at it, take a break, bring a picnic lunch, and take in the scenery or refuel at some of the orchard restaurants. Here are four of our favorite pick your own spots.

Clarkdale Fruit Farms

303 Upper Road, Deerfield, (413) 772-6797
Pick Your Own daily 9am-5pm
Farm Stand open daily 8am-6pm
Website

Clarkdale ben Tom

This fourth-generation family fruit farm located in the beautiful hills of Deerfield grows heirloom apple varieties from trees planted by the first generation of Clarks in1912. As true New England farmers, the Clarks are not ones to rest easy and continue to plant new varieties every year. Clarkdale offers eight pick your own apple varieties to choose from including Macintosh, Ginger Gold, Gala, Empire, Cortland, Macoun, and Jonagold. Looking for that hard to find variety that you won’t find in your local supermarket? The Clarks actually grow over 40 apple varieties including Esopus Spitzenburg, Wolf River, Akane and Pound Sweet. If you’re looking for more for your cornucopia, their farmstand, open 8am-6pm daily, also carries pears, nectarines, plums, grapes and more. They accept credit cards and SNAP EBT. While you’re there, don’t forget to take your picture in front of the iconic Clarkdale apple.

Let’s face it, there are only so many whole apples you can eat, so they conveniently have a few tasty recipes on their website like Lavinia’s Apple Lemon Custard Pie


New Salem Orchards and Preserves

67 South Main Street, New Salem, MA, (978) 544-3437 
Pick Your Own Saturday and Sunday, 9am-5pm
Website

April at New Salem

Spectacular view overlooking Quabbin Reservoir? Check. Location on a farm established in 1750 with 125 year old fruit trees? Check. A barn with fresh pressed cider, just baked cider doughnuts, local cheeses, preserves and apple butter? Yup. You’ll definitely want to bring a picnic lunch and make a day of your trip to this orchard in the historic town of New Salem. The views here are spectacular year round but for a real treat, come at the peak of foliage where you will likely find friends and neighbors savoring hot mulled cider in the barn kitchen. If you hit it right, you may find a pop up cider or vinegar making workshop.


Bear Swamp Orchard

1209 B Hawley Road Ashfield, 413-625-2849, 413-768-7989
Organic Pick Your Own and Hard Cider Tasting Room open Fridays - Sundays, 10am – 6pm
Website

Bear Swamp

Stroll through this ten year old small family-owned certified organic solar powered orchard perched on a hilltop in Ashfield with panoramic views that span Vermont and New Hampshire. With more than 60 different cultivars in varying degrees of production, the Gougeon family grows many great heirloom varieties. Since 2010, the family has focused on identifying new apple varieties that have seeded naturally and grafting them into the orchard.

This is definitely a picnic worthy spot and while you are there, say hi to the chickens and Shetland sheep. Aside from apples you will also find hard ciders, sweet ciders, vinegar (raw, un-pasteurized, untreated), jams and jellies, baked goods, and maple syrup. In case you did not get enough of a workout while you were picking, the orchard borders the Trustees of Reservations Bear Swamp Reserve  which offers miles of scenic hiking trails and views of its own.


Pine Hill Orchards

248 Greenfield Rd, Colrain, MA 413-624-3325  
Pick Your Own Saturday and Sunday 10am-5pm and Monday holidays 
Restaurant open Monday – Friday, 6am-2pm and Saturday and Sunday, 7am-2pm
Website

CIDER DAYS 2012 crates

Matt Shearer, a member of this family-owned 75 acre orchard in Colrain, says people come for the apples but stay for the animals. After picking Macs, Courtlands, Jonagolds, Spencers, Honey Crisps, Macouns, and Galas, he finds visitors lingering for hours at the pond with the cows, goats, potbelly pigs, donkeys and ducks. The on-site restaurant serves delicious comfort food every day from early morning until 2 pm. And there’s more. The orchard’s market has hard and sweet cider, fresh baked pies, cider doughnuts, maple products, crafts, and local meats.

Tips and resources

Call ahead to find out which apple varieties are currently available for picking or just show up and be surprised. If you’d like to do your own research before heading out, this interactive Apple Finder has pictures, tartness levels, and descriptions of more than 120 varieties grown in New England.

Still have not satisfied your apple appetite? You can immerse yourself in all things apple with workshops, tours, tastings and more at Franklin County CiderDays. This annual event, held the first weekend in November, features the longest running hard cider tasting in the country.

Why not get some creative ideas on what to do with your apples by taking cooking classes from James Beard Award winning Chef Sanford (Sandy) D'Amato at Good Stock Farm

CISA’s Pick Your Own page  

Franklin County events calendar 

Eight Franklin County views worth the visit.

Millers River Erving Laura Herbert crop

Head to Franklin County and leave life behind for the afternoon or weekend. Take to the rolling hills, lush river valleys, and charming towns of western Massachusetts to unwind. Here are eight transcendent views to start you off.  Read more

PageImageCrop

The thermometer has plummeted, but that does not mean the end of downtown street festivals! The 2017 holiday season officially kicks off the day after Thanksgiving in Franklin County, Massachusetts!  Here are some festive and glowing celebrations to bring you out into the village centers.


Moonlight Magic: Friday, November 24th, starting at 4 PM
Downtown Shelburne Falls

MoonlightMagic2015Just a turn off the scenic and historic Mohawk Trail in the Berkshire foothills, you'll find the picturesque village of Shelburne Falls. A designated Massachusetts Cultural District, this village kicks off Franklin County's holiday season with the annual Moonlight Magic events!

Join in the Lighting of the Village where stores, galleries and restaurants will stay open late for special holiday promotions. Vendors will be offering a rich assortment of items, including baked goods, crafts, delicious food, hot drinks and entertainment!
Find more info here.


jinglefest pic 2017JingleFest: Friday, December 8th, 5-7 PM
Downtown Greenfield

What could be better than a holiday celebration in Everyone's Hometown? Jinglefest is a fun event for the whole family! Bring the kids to complete holiday crafts, have hot cocoa, march in the parade, see Santa and more! Shoppers, vote for the business with the best-decorated window and you could win a free shopping spree! Also happening to help downtown come to life is the Greenfield Local Cultural Council’s Storefront Window Performance/Installation Art! Some of the finest artists in our region are creating art in downtown Greenfield’s storefronts to celebrate the holiday and beautify Main Street for all the shoppers. And, speaking of shopping, don’t forget to pop over to the first Greenfield Holiday Pop-Up at the Pushkin, celebrating local artisans with art, music, food and libations! Jinglefest 2017 is going to be Greenfield’s largest event of the holidays, so don’t miss it!
Find event details on the JingleFest event page on Facebook.

 

It's a Wonderful Night in Turners Falls! 
Friday, December 15th, 3-9 PM
Downtown Turners Falls

Its A Wonderful Night2015Shopping, Dining and Seasonal Cheer

Planned throughout this vibrant and artsy downtown along the Connecticut River are festive holiday activities for the whole family: art exhibitions, live music, restaurant specials, performances and unique gift buying opportunities. Children and adults alike are encouraged to put a wish list in the Magic Mailbox. Santa arrives at Spinner Park (Avenue A and 4th St.) at 6:30 PM. Play the “Holiday Open Door Promo” and enter to win $150 in gift certificates redeemable at 25 participating downtown businesses. More information at turnersfallsriverculture.org

 

12th Annual Special Day in Northfield Holiday Celebration: Saturday, December 9th, starting at 10 AM
Northfield Center

SpecialDayNorthfieldTEMPLATE12th Annual Special Day in Northfield Holiday Celebration, (second saturday in December), Starting at 10 AM Free Horse-Drawn Wagon Rides, Santa, Live Music at Participating Locations, Live Theater, WHAI Radio Personality Nick Danjer, Hands on Crafts for Kids, Holiday Sales and Gifts, Indoor Craft and Farmers Market, Seasonal Foods, Members of the Pioneer Valley Regional High School Band, the Redemption Christian Academy Chorus, a Bonfire at Northfield Golf Club and more. Event times, descriptions, age recommendations and pricing (if any) appear below.
Information at (413) 498-5921. Schedule updates on Twitter and at  at 413-498-5921.
/www.visitnorthfieldarea.com/

 

Midnight Madness: Saturday, December 9th, from 6PM- 12 AM
Downtown Orange and Athol

Midnight Madness Logo Color2015Midnight Madness is a great way to shop locally for excellent gifts, get tremendous discounts and support our local economy. The North Quabbin Chamber and Visitors Bureau, store owners and artisans from around our area are getting ready for another terrific event.
The night features a sleigh full of prizes with products and gift certificates from local businesses and artisans including three prize packages worth over $2,000 and of course, deep discounts, some up to 50% or more!
Stay tuned to the North Quabbin Chamber of Commerce facebook page for details.

 

Starry Starry Night: New Year's Eve
Downtown Orange

starry starry night poster crop2015Plans are underway for Orange's 22nd annual New Year's Eve celebration, Starry Starry Night! The event includes performers, ice sculptures, hayrides, parades, fireworks and more. Check the Orange Revitalization partnership page for details...

“Our Chamber membership is one of the important ways that we place value on our relationships with other business owners and with our community. “ Bruce Lessels, Zoar Outdoor
“Chamber membership helps keep my staff in contact with the local business community through their seminars and events.” – Michael Tucker, Greenfield Cooperative Bank
     
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