Musical Summer in North Adams
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Music's in the air this summer in the city as two free concert series — downtown and lakeside — offer up live music.
Party in the Park at Noel Field kicks off Thursday night, July 7, from 6 to 8 with the touring act Who Are You, a tribute show offering covers of the Who's greatest hits. Upcoming at the free concerts are Harbour Grace, Rock Hounds, Tony Lee Thomas, Loose Change, Sirsy, Grind and, wrapping up the series on Aug. 25, Whiskey City.
This is the second year for Party in the Park, which has expanded to six nights, covering Thursdays in July and August. The evening includes classic cars and lots of food vendors.
It is being presented by the city, WUPE (Whoopee Radio), WNAW 1230AM, Bedard Brothers and Greylock Federal Credit Union.
The free six-week concert series sponsored by the city at Windsor Lake (Fish Pond) started on June 29 (with the Drury band) and will continue on Wednesday evenings through Aug. 3 at the pavilion. This Wednesday is local favorite Champagne Jam offering up an eclectic repertoire of modern country, rock'n' roll and big band; check our Facebook page for weekly updates.
The music begins at 7 p.m. so bring a lawn chair and sit by the lake or under a tree and enjoy the scenery.
Editor's Note: The North Adams Public Library also offers a summer concert series, Music at the Mansion, on the library lawn at 6:30. This Friday features John Root with "The Golden Years." Check the library's website for upcoming concerts.
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Historic Valley Campground Sets Open House
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Historic Valley Campground at Windsor Lake is hosting an open house on Saturday from 10 to 3 to meet the new managers and check out the improvements made to the city's camping area.
Area residents are invited to meet Susan and Steven Landry, who are managing the family campground this season, and their family. Free refreshments and hot dogs will be available.
The Landrys have been working on improvements to the 100-acre campground. They also are planning themed weekend activities throughout this year's camping season
The city recently refurbished the bathrooms, with the help of students from McCann Technical School, and last week's citywide cleanup brought volunteers and Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts students to paint and rake.
You can also meet the new concession manager, Eric Dean. He is opening Coastal Smokin', a new barbecue food and snack bar at the public beach at Fish Pond.
The campground is open from May 1 to Oct. 15. It offers a private beach for campers and is within walking distance of the larger public beach and concession area. Fish Pond is also a favorite spot for anglers, canoeing and kayaking.
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Historic Valley Prepping for Camping Season
The Windsor Lake Recreation Commission hears what new campground manager Susan Landry, right, has been doing to prepare for the season.
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Historic Valley Campground has a new manager and is preparing for an open house on May 7 and an influx of visitors for the summer, including filling the sites with Wilco concertgoers.
"We have 150 people coming in for Wilco; that's not counting children — that's booked adults," new campground manager Susan Landry told the Windsor Lake Commission last Tuesday. "I know they're bringing their families, I know they're bringing teenagers."
Landry said she has five campsites left for the Solid Sound Festival weekend of June 24, 25 and 26, and will start adding in seasonal sites if they're still available in May.
Susan Landry and her husband, Steven, were named to the post in February and are volunteering their time before officially starting in May. The 100-acre campground is open from May into October; Landry will be paid around $15,000 for the season.
An iBerkshires' birds-eye view of Windsor Lake, better known as Fish Pond to North Adams residents.
The goal is to whittle down the number of seasonholder spots — which took up nearly half the campground last year — and boost reservations in the rest of park, which stood at about 30 percent.
The couple have been getting the park's name out and looking at ways to improve it. Among those initiatives are putting together welcome packets, getting in touch with camping associations and marketing the park. Steven Landry said brochures on the park were well-received at the Springfield RV Camping & Outdoor Show a few weeks ago and 200 were provided to the expo's sponsor, Pioneer Valley Chapter 8 of North American Family Camping Association.
The camping association also will return to Fish Pond after years away, said Susan Landry. "They try to stay within their region, so for us it's the Berkshires and Greenfield," she said. "They always go east because they don't realize what the west has to offer; now they're looking to come back in our direction."
New patrons include an RV rally in June, a British boarding school from Boston, and Mount Greylock Regional High School, which wants to do some geocaching on the trails.
The biggest draw, by far, is Wilco's Solid Sound Festival. Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art wasn't interested in adding a shuttle to Windsor Lake, so that led the Landrys to suggest hiring a bus from Dufour Tours to transport campers. It made sense, said Landry, because otherwise they'd have to drive their cars to Williamstown to catch a shuttle back to the campground.
The weekend cost would be about $800, which Landry figured would be covered by all but $50 by charging $5 per person for the weekend, and Steven Landry would be the driver. "This was one of the big things they asked about," Susan Landry said.
In other business, the board recommended the purchase of new playground equipment to the tune of $20,000, depending on funds left over from the work currently being completed on the bathrooms at the campground. They also thanked Susan and Robert Chilson for offering to volunteer their help.
McCann Technical School students have been refurbishing both since last fall and they are expected to be finished on or about opening day.
"I'm pleased with the way that's going," said Chairman George Forgea, noting the city still has to remove and repair the cement sidewalks around the facilities. "I thnk it' going to be nice when it's done."
A concession stand and bathrooms for the lake area are planned for next year. "They're less than acceptable," said Forgea. "It's just not a pleasant experience to use the bathrooms; that's one of the reasons were getttng rid of them because it's not worth fixing them anymore."
Landry said she was seeking new local providers for the ice and laundry after running into difficulty finding service contracts and contacts with the current ones.
The board also reviewed a job description for a park police officer to be submitted to the mayor for approval. Forgea said the Public Safety Department would now be involved in the hiring process. "They're going to be labeled as police, they should have police backing them up."
Forgea thanked the board for their work. "This is the end of my first year as a commissioner ... I was a member many, many years ago," he said. "I want to thank everyone for what you did this year and I look forward to this year ... we've come a long way in a short time."
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Planning Board OKs Land Division, Business Signs
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The Planning Board on Monday night approved a raft of signs and the division of a property on Windsor Lake.
Frederick and Linda Scully were seeking permission to rebuild a cabin on the property that burned down in July 2008 and to divide the property with Kerry Burch of Durham, N.C.
The Scullys owned two-thirds of the land and Burch, their niece, one-third; the land had been deeded from the life estate of Margaret L. Scully.
The board approved the division for two single-family residences and for a special permit for the Scullys to rebuild the camp. Building Inspector William Meranti said the plans conformed to the city's code and that the Fire Department had looked at the access road off West Shaft Road.
"They believe the road is substantal width and accessible for fire trucks to get down," said Meranti. The Scullys had installed a new bridge and planned more road improvements over what is a ancient right of way.
The board also approved signage for the new Clarksburg Collectible Gift Shop on Eagle Street being operated by David and Lori Smith; for Hemmingway, on condition that a full-color rendering be submitted; for Unforgettable Cuts on State Road; for I Got Goodies new location on Main Street; and for Rub Bourbon & BBQ on Marshall Street, on condition that a final version of the sign be submitted. The businesses either have already been approved or did not need special permit to operate in their locations.
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