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iBerkshires.com Columnist Section

Sue Bush
More articles from Sue Bush

Fall Foliage Festival Week: Local Color in the Spotlight

By Susan Bush
12:00AM / Friday, September 23, 2005

Fall's yellow and orange foliage is emerging in the region.
North Adams – Mother Nature is poised to shrug off summer’s green hues and douse the Northern Berkshire hills and valleys with brilliant slashes of red, gold, and orange.

And the city is ready to celebrate the season's color bonanza with a week-long party that culminates on Oct. 2 with the 50th Anniversary “Golden Jubilee” Fall Foliage Festival Parade.

The parade is set to step off from the Curran Highway Wal-Mart parking lot at 1 p.m., continue north along Curran Highway to State Street, proceed east on Main Street, turn right onto Ashland Street, and conclude at the elderly high-rise apartment complex on Ashland Street.

Those who served as parade Grand Marshals over the past five decades have been invited to return to the parade’s top spot in honor of the golden anniversary.

Folks seeking a quiet parade may want to pass this one up.

Bands A-Plenty


Bursts of red leaves are popping out in the Northern Berkshires.
High school and professional marching bands are expected to deliver the bass-and-brass sounds that delight most parade fans. Nine high school bands, including the local Drury and Hoosac Valley high school marching bands, will strut their stuff along the route. Several New York state schools will bring on their best; the Ichabod Crane, Cohoes, and Amsterdam schools are scheduled to toot their own horns, and Connecticut’s Torrington and Lewis Mills high school bands will let spectators know that they came to play. The Immaculate Heart high school band from Massachusetts plans to step lively, and the Leland and Grey high school band from Vermont is slated to deliver robust greetings from the Green Mountain state.

Among the 10 scheduled professional marching bands are the Uncle Sam Chorus, Cambridge Band, and the Fyfe and Drums of Olde Saratoga, all of New York state, the Excelsior Drum and Bugle Corp, with members from New York and Massachusetts, the Berkshire Highlanders Pipe Band, the Celtic Spirit & Pipe Band, and the Keltie Pipe Band, all of Massachusetts, the Prospect drum Corps of Connecticut, and the Air National Guard Band.

The Ansheuser-Busch Budweiser Clydesdales are scheduled to stroll the parade route with an eight-horse hitch. The appearance is an encore performance by the popular horses; Budweiser Clydesdales traveled the parade route in 1999.

Floats, fire trucks, state and city elected officials, and the winners of a Sept. 30 Children’s Parade will be among those parading along the route.

Oct. 2 Pre-Parade Events

The Fraternal Order of the Eagles Aerie #310 will host a pancake, sausage, egg, and home fries “all-you-can-eat” breakfast at 515 Curran Highway on Oct. 2. The breakfast begins at 7 a.m.; further information is available by calling 413-664-9043.

A 5k road race is set to precede the parade. The race is scheduled to begin at 12:30 p.m.; details are available by calling the North Adams Transcript at 413-663-3741.

Let the Festival Begin

On Sept. 24, a festival favorite, the Fall Foliage Festival Autumn Leaf Hunt begins. Brightly colored paper leaves will be hidden at scenic Northern Berkshire locales; leaf-hunters will find clues about the locations in local newspapers. Those who find paper leaves may collect prizes from the Fall Foliage Festival Committee.The contest ends on Oct. 9.

Double the Fun on Sept. 25

Children's events hold court on Sept. 25. A five-category children’s road race is scheduled to get underway at 12:30 p.m. at the Joe Wolfe Field; registration begins at 11:30 a.m.. Trophies will be presented to the top finishers in each category. Categories range from “tots” for children aged three and under, to “senior,” a category for children who are 11 years old. Additional information about the free event is available by calling 413-664-6180.

A 2004 Fall Foliage Festival Parade float


The Western Gateway Heritage Park, 9 Furnace St., will host a Children’s Fair from 12:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.. The afternoon’s agenda includes entertainment, games, activities, and low-cost refreshments. For more information, call 413-663-6312.

Grinder, Anyone?

A Sept. 28 “Grinder Night” is scheduled at the St. John’s Episcopal Church on Summer Street. Meal selection includes meatball or sausage grinders, tossed salad and coffee. Large-sized grinder meals cost $5, medium-sized grinder meals can be purchased for $2.50. Dessert will be sold for $.50 and soft drinks will be sold for $1. Serving begins at 4 p.m. and the event concludes at 7 p.m.. Tickets may be purchased at the door or may be purchased in advance by calling 413-664-9656.

Dinner,Music

A Fall Foliage Festival ziti supper will be held from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Sept. 29 at the St. Anthony Parish Center. Ziti, meatballs, salad, bread-and-butter and a beverage make up the main menu; dessert will also be offered. The Aladdins are set to deliver music during the meal. Adult tickets are $6, senior citizen tickets are $5 and children will be admitted for $3. Tickets will be sold at the door and take-out meals will be available.

Children's Parade

A favorite Friday evening Fall Foliage Festival tradition is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. on Sept. 30. The “Golden Jubilee” themed Children’s Parade is scheduled to step off from the southern end of Eagle Street and march along Main Street to City Hall. Children from the Northern Berkshire region design the costumes and “floats” that are proudly displayed along the route. All participants are awarded a ribbon and top prize winners in the “group” and “float” categories are invited to march during the Oct. 2 Fall Foliage Festival “Golden Jubilee” parade. Children’s parade participants are asked to meet on Eagle Street at 5 p.m., additional information is available by calling Kathy Keeser at 413-663-7588 [Northern Berkshire Community Coalition office]

Welcome, October!

Animals, art, music, and dancing are all on an Oct. 1 festival agenda.

At 10 a.m., a “Blessing of the Animals” will occur at the St. Anthony of Padua Church grounds. The blessing will be delivered by Deacon Frank Ryan. The blessing is offered in honor of St. Francis of Assisi. All live animals brought to the blessing ceremony will receive a special blessing, and stuffed animals are welcome.


North Adams Mayor John Barrett III marched during the 2004 parade. Barrett is scheduled for participation during this year's "Golden Jubliee" parade on Oct. 2.
The city’s downtown will host an Autumn Arts Festival from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., with area artists and crafters exhibiting paintings, handcrafted jewelry, and more along the 85 Main St. sidewalk. Items will be available for purchase and food will be sold during the event. Additional information is available by calling 413-664-6180.
Early risers may take advantage of a “Farmer’s Market” scheduled to open at 8 a.m. at the St. Anthony municipal parking lot [across the street from the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art on Marshall Street]. The market will close at 1 p.m..

The Air National Guard Band of the Northeast is scheduled to perform a free concert at Drury High School from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.. The 35-member band is supported by the 104th Fighter Wing at Barnes National Guard Base and is located at the Massachusetts National Guard Headquarters, Milford, Mass..

Bob Balawender and the RU Ready band will provide the dancin’ tunes during a dance hosted by the Fraternal Order of Eagles Aerie #310, 515 Curran Highway. The dance is scheduled to begin at 9 p.m. and end at 1 a.m.. Additional information is available by calling 413-664-9043.

An Oct. 9 sports card memorabilia show is set to occur at the Fraternal Order of Eagles Aerie #310 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.. Admission is $2 for adults, $1 for children, children under age 6 will be admitted free. Additional information is available by calling 413-664-9043.

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