By Rebecca Dravis On: 11:07AM / Thursday July 24, 2014
I've got Pownal on my mind.
I know, strange, right? It's a little town in the corner of Vermont. What's so special about Pownal?
This Saturday, July 26, the annual Pownal Valley Community Fair will be held behind the post office on Route 346, starting at 10 a.m. The fair features kids games, an exhibit hall, crafts and vendors, food for sale, horseshoe tournament and more. The day ends with fireworks at 9:30 p.m.
But more personally, my daughter and I just finished reading Williamstown author Elizabeth Winthrop's "Counting on Grace," a book about a girl in the early 1900s who has to work in a cotton mill in North Pownal. The book is inspired by a photo taken by Lewis Hine, who is famous for documenting child workers for the National Child Labor Committee. We adored the book and now are looking forward to heading down to Adams to see "The Mill Children" exhibit at the new 5 Hoosac St. Gallery. The exhibit of Hines' photos, many taken in our own region, has been seen here before, but somehow I missed it. Reading "Grace" has inspired me to check it out when it opens in early August.
Speaking of books, another one of my daughter's favorites is the Magic Tree House series. So this week I'm skipping over a couple days and highlighting an event being held at the Berkshire Athenaeum in Pittsfield on Tuesday, July 29, at 10 a.m. Author Mary Pope Osborne herself will present "A Visit from Mary Pope Osborne" in which she will discuss her inspiration for the series and answer some questions. This 45-minute family event is free.
We have a history with Mary Pope Osborne. When my daughter was 4, we saw the staged reading of Pope Osborne's version of "A Christmas Carol" at the Berkshire Theatre Festival, where we sat right in front of the author and got a book signed by her afterward. Last year, we attended a special performance at the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center, which was part of the Highland Street Foundation's Free Fun Friday series. My daughter was the one on stage singing along with Jack and Annie, of course. We just can't get enough of the Magic Tree House.
Oh, and speaking of Free Fun Fridays, please don't forget them this summer. Every Friday different venues across the state open their doors to families to experience different things for free. This Friday, July 25, no local venues are participating, but next Friday, Aug. 1, Hancock Shaker Village is free, as is this year's offering at the Mahaiwe: a celebration of the spirit of vaudeville and the early days of the Mahaiwe Theater featuring a Slapstick Symposium including silent movies and vaudevillian circus tricks as well as activities for children of all ages. The free event runs from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
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