Organizer David Bissaillon says the group is hoping to supplement the events that are already happening in town.
ADAMS, Mass. — The Pro Adams group wants the town to take over Columbus Day by adding Ramblefest to a lineup of events.
According to David Bissaillon, a member of Pro Adams, Ramblefest will be similar to Thunderfest, which the group organized to go with the Thunderbolt Ski Race. Thunderfest featured a bonfire, live music and food from various vendors.
"If there is any weekend that Adams should own, it's Columbus Day weekend," Bassaillon told the Board of Selectmen on Wednesday when he announced the plans. "Ideally, this could become a full weekend of events."
The event is scheduled for Sunday, Oct. 7 - one day before the annual Mount Greylock Ramble, which sees hundreds of participants hike to the top of the mountain. The goal, as ThunderFest was to the Thunderbolt Ski Race, is to supplement the town's "unique" events, Bissaillon said.
"Any town can throw a festival but we have these singular, unique events," Bissaillon said.
Building on those events is what the group hopes will attract people to Adams and help businesses. Bassaillon said the local booster group is seeking ways to not only bring people to the event but also to the downtown, where he believes Thunderfest could have done better. He is hoping other organizations will join in the effort with their own events.
"We always feel that we need more people in town," he said. "We don't have that real destination that other cities and towns have."
Town officials have raved about ThunderFest and the board was more than happy to support it. Selectman Scott Nichols advocated for the town to close down a section of Hoosac Street for it.
The group is a volunteer committee aimed to help market the town. After Thunderfest drew hundreds to the Adams Visitors Center in March (despite the cancelation of the Thunderbolt race), the group eyed expanding that event. Additional volunteers joined the effort and Pro Adams was able to form a subcommittee to focus solely on these events.
"We didn't want Pro Adams to become a second event planning organization in town," Bissaillon said after the meeting. The Adams Events Planning Committee oversees a number of community events, including Susan B. Anthony Days and the Ramble.
However, the demand and high praise for the first Thunderfest proved to be worthwhile, he said. With that experience behind them, the subcommittee can do that aspect while the main group plans its next efforts.
"We clearly feel that the experience of our first ThunderFest without the skiers, that we can handle a bigger crowd," Bissaillon said. "We should be more efficient in executing this event."
In other business, Town Administrator Jonathan Butler reported that the Adams-Cheshire Regional School District is expected to end its lease with the town for Adams Memorial Middle School at the end of October. Town officials are still brainstorming and researching ideas on what to do with the now vacant building.
Butler said the town has budgeted $35,000 to maintain the building from deterioration.
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