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ThunderFest features music, food and beer. This year, you can also take a train ride.

ThunderFest Returns This Weekend With Snow Train Rides

By Jack GuerinoiBerkshires Staff
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ADAMS, Mass. — ThunderFest returns this weekend with the addition of the Snow Train.
Although the Thunderbolt Ski Run was once again canceled because of the anticipated lack of snow, the coinciding party returns Saturday at the Visitors Center Parking Lot starting at noon.
"We're very excited to welcome Berkshire Scenic Railway's Snow Train to ThunderFest this year," Ray Gargan, co-chair of ProAdams said. "It will be like taking a train ride back in time and their educational presentation will be an entertaining way to learn about our local history."
The train rides echo those from the 1930s though the 1950s that brought winter sports enthusiast to the Berkshires. According to the ProAdams press release, the trains would arrive in Adams on what is now the Ashuwillticook Rail Trail and skiers could then test their skills on the Thunderbolt Ski Trail.
This year, Berkshire Scenic Railway Museum's Hoosac Valley Train Rides is recreating the Snow Train with a decorated train to run during Thunderfest. Vintage railroad posters and winter sporting equipment will be on display and an educational presentation will be given on the history of Snow Trains and the local train service.
Gargan added that events such as ThunderFest help draw people to the community, much as these passenger trains did.
"We believe that events such as ThunderFest and RambleFest are important to Adams," he said. "They help to bring people to Adams to experience what we have to offer, which is important for economic development. And of course, the events are fun for the people of Adams and neighboring towns."
Along with the train rides there will be live entertainment from Tom Corrigan and Elizabeth Young & The Restless Hearts.
There will be food vendors as well as beer from local breweries.
As for the fate of the Thunderbolt Ski Run, that has not been held for some years now, there is talk of relocating the event from Mount Greylock to Berkshire East Ski Resort in Charlemont as part of the NE Rando Race series.
Gargan added that the Thunderbolt Ski Runners have researched the best dates for the race and have determined that late February and early March historically have had the most snow.
If they ever move the race up in the year in hopes of catching more snow, ThunderFest would follow. 
Gargan added that even without the race, the party always proves to be a good time.
"ThunderFest, in particular, occurs at a time of the year when there aren't many community events in the Berkshires," he said. "There are many things to do in the Berkshire during the summer and fall, but in late winter many people are eager to get out and shake off their cabin fever."

Tags: Thunderfest,   winterfest,   

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Suffrage Centennial Committee Kicks Off Yearlong Celebration

By Jeff SnoonianiBerkshires Correspondent

Cassandra Peltier as Alva Belmont Vanderbilt, a prominent figure in the suffrage movement.
ADAMS, Mass. — About 75 people filled The Manor on Saturday afternoon for the kickoff event of a yearlong celebration of Susan B. Anthony and the 100th anniversary of women winning the right to vote.
The event at St. John Paul II Parish's Italianate mansion was organized by the Adams Suffrage Centennial Celebration Committee. The committee serves as an advisory committee to the Board of Selectmen. 
Anthony was born in Adams and was a social reformer best known for spearheading the women's suffrage movement. She was also involved in the anti-slavery movement, collecting signatures for petitions as a teen, the temperance (prohibition of alcohol) movement, and women's financial rights.
Retired school teacher Mary Whitman, committee member and host for the day, shared why Anthony's work was so important. 
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