Thursday, December 05, 2019 04:43pm
North Adams, MA now: 30 °   
Send news, tips, press releases and questions to info@iBerkshires.com
The Berkshires online guide to events, news and Berkshire County community information.
SIGN IN | REGISTER NOW   

Printer Friendly Version
   Recommend this story to a friend

iBerkshires.com Columnist Section

Sue Bush
More articles from Sue Bush

Mayor’s Downtown Celebration: “Always a Good Time”

By Susan Bush
12:00AM / Thursday, August 25, 2005

North Adams Mayor John Barrett III talked with Kelly Crosier during an Aug. 24 Mayor's Downtown Celebration.
View Slide Show
North Adams – City resident Tony Corsi paused for a last look at the festive crowd gathered on Main Street. The sun had set and darkness had fallen, but the sounds of giggling children, adult conversation, and rock-and-roll music assured Corsi that the Aug. 24 Mayor’s Downtown Celebration remained in full swing.

The family was calling it a night and Corsi was terming the event a success.

“We always come down for this and we always have a good time – always,” Corsi said.

Social Event of the Season

Earlier in the evening, Mayor John Barrett III strolled along the Main, Eagle, Holden, and northern Ashland streets party zone. As he moved through the crowds, Barrett was greeted and offered handshakes by dozens of Northern Berkshire residents. The westward moving sun bathed Main Street in golden light and a celebratory atmosphere stretched from street to street.


A festive stage was set along Main Street.
“This is the city’s social event of the season,” said Barrett. “People come down and get reacquainted with people that they haven’t seen, sometimes since the last downtown celebration. You can see on people’s faces that they’re happy with the city, happy with the direction the city is taking.”

The celebration launched in 1996 and was meant to be a one-time event that acknowledged a series of city beautification and improvement projects. The idea came from Barrett, who said he’d wanted to give city residents a chance to revel in the accomplishment.

“We wanted to celebrate the first phase of the downtown beautification and I wanted it to be something kind of old-fashioned, something social,” Barrett said. “I said ‘I’ll throw a party,’ and the response was so positive that we did it again the next year. And now it’s a tradition.”

Barrett noted that when the Sprague Electric Co. began closing mills and terminating jobs in the mid 1980s, hundreds of people lost an important social network.

“The Sprague closing cost more than jobs, it cost socialization,” he said.

The downtown event is more than booths, food, and music; it is a mechanism for folks gather, reconnect, and communicate, Barrett said.

“That’s what’s so nice about this,” he said.

The events have been blessed with good weather and this year’s street party was no exception.

“The weather is perfect,” Barrett said. “I say this every year, I know, but I really believe the attendance gets better every year. To think about how humid it’s been most of the summer, to have a night like this, to have this kind of a crowd, this is good. There is a good mix of people here tonight.”

In the mix was Barrett’s mayoral challenger Walter Smith Jr.. Smith said that he attended the 2004 celebration, which was his first experience with the event.

“It is a wonderful thing,” Smith said. “It’s a great way to meet people.”

Sidewalk Sensations

Vinnie Gageant, 1, appeared to be enjoying the event.


The evening was packed with entertainment. The Brave Brothers and the Dixie Cats bands jammed on Eagle Street, Champagne Jam, RU Ready, and David Grover and the Big Bear Band were among the Main Street music-makers, and the Flying Garbanzos brought their harmonies to Holden Street. Drury High School cheerleaders and dance team members performed snappy routines for enthusiastic spectators and Karen’s School of Dance dancers drew strong applause after each performance.

The Hoosac Bank erected a popular, enclosed money booth again this year, and stocked the booth with money that blew about the space as selected participants plucked as many bills as possible from the air. The booth operated hourly from 6:30 p.m..

A children's activities center set up along Main Street's southern side was swarmed with families throughout the evening. A Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art "Becoming Animal" exhibit, which included free participant photographs, drew families to the

Drury High School cheerleaders wowed the crowd.
sidewalk beneath the Mohawk Theater movie marquee.

A Boston Sea Foods Main Street chicken barbecue – which has become a tradition within a tradition – drew hungry revelers, and food booths operated by local restaurateurs and concession vendors did not lack for customers.

The city fire department’s fire safety house was also popular with youngsters, and a Massachusetts Freemason/Massachusetts Crime Prevention Officers Association sponsored child identification program that included a video-taping of each participating child as well as fingerprints drew children eager to star in their own personal video.

Ali Tatro, 10, was among the children who were “interviewed” for the videotape as they stood against a height measurement chart. The tapes, which provide audio and visual documentation of a child’s voice, mannerisms, profile, and overall physical appearance, and a fingerprint record were provided to parents.

“I saw this, I saw the camera, and I wanted to do it,” said Ali. “It’s just like being an actress.”

City police officers patrolled the closed-to-traffic downtown on foot and on bicycle. The North Adams Ambulance Service provided an on-site ambulance. No incidents were reported during the event, police said.

Ashley Hadden, 5, found fun with sidewalk chalk.


As Main Street clocks edged toward 9 p.m. and the event’s conclusion, Nick Mroz, 2, was happily nestled in the arms of his mother, Chrissy Mroz of Stamford, Vt..

When asked if he was happy to be part of the crowd, Nick gave a quick, concise reply: “Yes.”

A multi-photograph Mayor’s Downtown Celebration slideshow will be posted at the www.iberkshires.com web site during the upcoming week.

Susan Bush may be reached via e-mail at suebush123@adelphia.net or at 802-823-9367.

Your Comments
Post Comment
No Comments

 
View All
Oh Be Thankful Pie Contest
Gabriel Abbott Schools annual Oh Be Thankful Pie Contest...
McCann LPN Graduation 2019
McCann Technical School held its pinning ceremony for 20...
Williamstown Veterans Day...
Williamstown's American Legion Post 152 holds Veterans Day...
Pittsfield Veterans Day 2019
The Pittsfield Veterans Day Parade stepped off at 10 a.m....
North Adams Veterans Day 2019
North Adams held its Veterans Day observes Monday morning...
Cross Country: Multiple teams...
Ted Yee finished second overall, and Colin Young placed...
Ephs Defeat Amherst, 31-9
Senior safety Ben Anthony's interception return for a...
G Soccer: Smith Academy vs...
Lenox girls soccer team won over Smith Academy 2-0 in the...
Football: Lee vs Hoosac...
Lee High football team wins over Hoosac Valley 12-7 on...
G Soccer: Frontier vs Mount...
McWeeny's successful PK clinched a 4-1 shootout win for the...
G Soccer: Palmer vs Hoosac...
Sydni Jamross scored late in the first overtime Tuesday to...
G Soccer: Pathfinder vs...
McCann Tech girls soccer team win 4-1 over Pathfinder in...
B Soccer: Mohawk vs McCann...
McCann Tech boys soccer team lost to Mohawk in Penalty...
Football: Pittsfield vs...
The Taconic football team enjoyed contributions from all...
Football: Pathfinder vs...
The McCann Tech football team Saturday scored the first two...
Volleyball: Sabis vs Mount...
Consistency was the key factor in this match and Mount...
Oh Be Thankful Pie Contest
Gabriel Abbott Schools annual Oh Be Thankful Pie Contest...
McCann LPN Graduation 2019
McCann Technical School held its pinning ceremony for 20...
Williamstown Veterans Day...
Williamstown's American Legion Post 152 holds Veterans Day...
Pittsfield Veterans Day 2019
The Pittsfield Veterans Day Parade stepped off at 10 a.m....
North Adams Veterans Day 2019
North Adams held its Veterans Day observes Monday morning...
| Home | A & E | Business | Community News | Dining | Real Estate | Schools | Sports & Outdoors | Berkshires Weather | Weddings
Advertise | Recommend This Page | Help Contact Us | Privacy Policy| User Agreement
iBerkshires.com is owned and operated by: Boxcar Media 102 Main Street, North Adams, MA 01247 -- T. 413-663-3384 F.413-664-4251
© 2000 Boxcar Media LLC - All rights reserved