NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Saturday, July 14, will mark the 20th year of artist Eric Rudd's annual "Eagle Street Beach" community beach celebration.
In celebration of the anniversary, an illustrated children's book by Rudd will be given as prizes and distributed to schools, libraries and to the city of North Adams.
The beach event, originated by Rudd in 1999, has become a summer staple for creative fun in the sand. The party, sponsored by the Berkshire Art Museum, fills the street with 500,000 pounds of sand, donated by Specialty Minerals and delivered and cleaned up by the City of North Adams Department of Public Works. A team of volunteers spreads it, curb to curb, filling the entire length of downtown Eagle Street.
Mildred Elley has donated 300 sand-pails and shovels – free for all participants to use and keep. Beach attire is recommended; smoking is prohibited. The First Baptist Church will be giving away free ice cream cones and the SteepleCats will be giving away 250 tickets to children 12 and under. Several not-for-profit groups will also be on hand with a variety of other giveaways.
Eagle Street merchants and businesses have contributed sand toys, as well as special prizes for the most creative sand castles or sand sculptures, for the event, which runs from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. Food color dye is acceptable, but no spray paint. Prizes will be awarded primarily to children, but prizes to groups of children as well as families with adults and individual adults will also be awarded. For example, Jack's has donated gift certificates good for one hot dog. Other merchants have given gifts and certificates to their stores
After the beach party, the eighth annual "Mexican Fiesta," presented with the City of North Adams, will be held from 7 to 10 p.m. Desperado’s will be selling cold beer and margaritas curbside, and there will be live msuc by singer Lita Williams. Food is available for sale within the restaurant. The designated 21+ area will be clearly marked and anyone younger will not be permitted within the roped-off boundaries.
There will be no parking allowed on Eagle Street or North Church Street after 11 a.m. on the day of the beach party. Cars that remain parked on these streets will be towed at the owner's expense.
Volunteers are needed to help spread the sand at starting at 1:30 p.m.; shovels are provided.
In case of rain, the event will be moved to Saturday, July 21.
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