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Botanical Garden Slates 76th Harvest Festival

11:07AM / Tuesday, September 21, 2010
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STOCKBRIDGE, Mass — The 76th annual Berkshire Harvest Festival will be held Saturday and Sunday,  Oct. 2 and 3,  from 10 to 5 both days at the Berkshire Botanical Garden.

Conceived as a harvest-season family and community festival, it is one of the largest and longest running events of its kind in the country.

Harvest Festival showcases local artisans, supports local services, and promotes a wide array of Berkshire products. This year’s festival will highlight Berkshire-grown foods and produce, with cheesemakers such as Cricket Creek Farm and bakeries like Pittsfield Rye. In addition to local foods, there will be crafters such as wreath-makers, blacksmiths and spinners demonstrating their skills.

New this year is a farmers' market featuring produce and cut flowers, and workshops covering topics such as fermented pickle making, dried flower arranging, backyard medicine, invasive plants, backyard birding, and wrapping up your garden for the winter.

Entertainment includes a children’s show by Aric Bieganek daily at 1 and family music from Moonshine Holler, Tom Ingersoll, the Berkshire Ramblers led by WAMC host Alan Chartock and a Sunday morning gospel wake up with Higher Help. The main stage will also feature world rhythms from percussionist Tony Vacca. In addition to his main-stage performance, bluesman Frank Schapp will be parked under a tree throughout the festival, as will steel drum musician Mentos, who will play requests in Caribbean style. The Violin Girlz will be playing Mozart and the traditional Pocket Lady will be roaming the grounds.

Kids' activities include pony rides, hay rides, a haunted house, hay jump, animal exhibits, games and a maze. Haupt Tree Co. will give rides in its cherry picker.

The Red Lion Inn will once again donate its famous Butternut Bisque, which will be sold along with pies to raise money for the garden. The food court will offer bratwurst, curly potatoes, fried dough, barbecue, smoked ribs and Greek fare. Barrington Brewery and Java Hut Coffee Roasters will be on hand along with So-Co Creamery.

New this year is a pumpkin art contest for all ages, ranging from traditional jack o'lanterns to multimedia. For more information, contact youth education coordinator Judy Boschetti at 413-298-3926.

Also featured is the annual "Opportunity Clothing Sale" of used clothing and  Reggie’s Famous Giant Two-Day Tag Sale. Both have been big attractions in past years and Reggie has been running the tag sale for almost 30 years. There's also a Country Bazaar and the Lenox Garden Club Book Sale.

The silent auction will feature artwork, jewelry, pottery, wines, private dinners, theater tickets, sports activities, garden choices, and a week's stay at Martha's Vineyard and other locations. Bidding begins on Saturday at 10 and ends at 3.

All proceeds benefit the garden and its educational programming. For more information, contact Berkshire Botanical Garden at 413-298-3926 or visit www.berkshirebotanical.org. Parking is $10 per vehicle.
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