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Adams Lights Christmas Tree

Andy McKeever

ADAMS, Mass. — With Thanksgiving tables now cleared, the Christmas season is here.

Hundreds of people gathered at the town common on Sunday to usher the season in with caroling, carriage rides and a visit from Santa Claus, who lit the town's tree.

Girl Scouts caroling and lines for the horse-drawn carriage (only one carriage this year) began to form at 2 p.m. At 3:30, the Fire Fepartment escorted Santa Claus, who had a long line of children waiting. Led by Santa, the crowd counted down and the town's was lit with thousands of multicolored bulbs. Santa also lit a second tree on Summer Street.

Photos clockwise from top: People pose in front of the tree; Santa arrives; the wagon ride was popular; the tree.

 

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Pittsfield Trys To Turn Black Friday Plaid

Andy McKeever

Cultural Pittsfield is hoping those long lines outside of major retail stores on Friday will be just a little shorter and instead of rushing around and fighting angry mobs, the group wants people to stroll down Main Street dressed in plaid and buy locally.

The city has joined the Plaid Friday movement that began last year in Oakland, Cali. and has spread thoughout cities across the nation. The movement promotes shopping at independently and locally owned stores, restaurants and cafes to invest in the local economy. Supporters will be wearing some sort of visible plaid and enjoying downtown as an alternative to the hussle and bussle of Black Friday.

Local businesses Carr Hardware, Chapters Bookstore, The Emporium and Dottie's Coffee Lounge are recognizing the day with special deals.

Cultural Pittsfield is promoting to "the diversity and creativity of independent businesses" and is joined by another Massachusetts city: Somerville. As a long-term goal, the nationwide movement hopes to become a resource to link shoppers with local businesses in every city.
 

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Pittsfield Wins Arts Video Challenge

Staff Reports

Congratulations to the city of Pittsfield for winning the Massachusetts Cultural Council Mayor's Art Challenge. The three-minute video of "The Art of Revitalizing a City" will be showcased at the State House this coming February at the Commonwealth Awards, the state's highest honors in arts and culture.

The awards are presented every two years and, in 2009, the city was recognized as the state's most Creative Community for its efforts in using arts and culture to advance its goals as a vital community.

Pittsfield was one of 16 videos entered in the contest and features Mayor James M. Ruberto talking about the city's revitalization from a booth in Dottie's Coffee Lounge. The video's racked up more than 2,700 views to date and garnered 219 "likes" on YouTube. That seems a small amount, but voters had to have a YouTube account to vote. It still outpaced the larger cities of Lowell and Melrose (both with 186) and Haverhill (132). See all 16 videos here.

These four top vote-getters were reviewed by a panel at MCC and Pittsfield declared the winner.

Berkshire County's other city, North Adams, also vied in the challenge but couldn't come up with enough votes for the final. Featuring North Adams Mayor Richard Alcombright, the Steeple City's video picked up 72 likes and more than a 1,000 views. See that one below.

The Pittsfield video will be also be shown next year to the U.S. Conference of Mayors as part of the Americans for the Arts annual presentation. The video was created by Jennibeth Gomez, and AmeriCorps-VISTA intern in the city's Office of Cultural Development.

 

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