Are We There Yet?: Book It To These Events
I've got Pownal on my mind.
I know, strange, right? It's a little town in the corner of Vermont. What's so special about Pownal?
This Saturday, July 26, the annual Pownal Valley Community Fair will be held behind the post office on Route 346, starting at 10 a.m. The fair features kids games, an exhibit hall, crafts and vendors, food for sale, horseshoe tournament and more. The day ends with fireworks at 9:30 p.m.
But more personally, my daughter and I just finished reading Williamstown author Elizabeth Winthrop's "Counting on Grace," a book about a girl in the early 1900s who has to work in a cotton mill in North Pownal. The book is inspired by a photo taken by Lewis Hine, who is famous for documenting child workers for the National Child Labor Committee. We adored the book and now are looking forward to heading down to Adams to see "The Mill Children" exhibit at the new 5 Hoosac St. Gallery. The exhibit of Hines' photos, many taken in our own region, has been seen here before, but somehow I missed it. Reading "Grace" has inspired me to check it out when it opens in early August.
Speaking of books, another one of my daughter's favorites is the Magic Tree House series. So this week I'm skipping over a couple days and highlighting an event being held at the Berkshire Athenaeum in Pittsfield on Tuesday, July 29, at 10 a.m. Author Mary Pope Osborne herself will present "A Visit from Mary Pope Osborne" in which she will discuss her inspiration for the series and answer some questions. This 45-minute family event is free.
We have a history with Mary Pope Osborne. When my daughter was 4, we saw the staged reading of Pope Osborne's version of "A Christmas Carol" at the Berkshire Theatre Festival, where we sat right in front of the author and got a book signed by her afterward. Last year, we attended a special performance at the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center, which was part of the Highland Street Foundation's Free Fun Friday series. My daughter was the one on stage singing along with Jack and Annie, of course. We just can't get enough of the Magic Tree House.
Oh, and speaking of Free Fun Fridays, please don't forget them this summer. Every Friday different venues across the state open their doors to families to experience different things for free. This Friday, July 25, no local venues are participating, but next Friday, Aug. 1, Hancock Shaker Village is free, as is this year's offering at the Mahaiwe: a celebration of the spirit of vaudeville and the early days of the Mahaiwe Theater featuring a Slapstick Symposium including silent movies and vaudevillian circus tricks as well as activities for children of all ages. The free event runs from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
For the complete schedule, click here.
Rebecca Dravis is the community editor at iBerkshires. She can be reached at email@example.com.
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Are We There Yet?: Stay Empowered This Weekend
So now that we have power up here in the Northern Berkshires — for now — let's take a look at this weekend.
Actually, let's start with Friday, July 11, and if the power goes out on this event, who cares? I'm talking about Eagle Street Beach Party in North Adams, and a lack of electricity might actually enhance this event by removing the music that's always way too loud on one end of the street.
But I digress. From 3:30 to 6:30 p.m., kids are invited to come play in the more than 250,000 pounds of sand dumped on the street. There are games and contests, and the Eagle Street merchants always get in on the fun, too. The event is only held if there is no threat of rain; after all, who wants 250,000 pounds of mud? As of this writing in Thursday, Friday looks good to go, so head north and prepare to play!
On Saturday, July 12, get thee to a library ... where electricity is always helpful. In Otis, the library fair will be held from 10 to 3:30 (OK, it's actually NOT in the library, but on the church green, but this is Otis and it's all right there anyway). This event will feature more than 50 unique artists, craftsmen and clothes vendors selling their products. There will also be a book sale, bake sale, cookout and raffle prizes. All proceeds go toward new library computers, books, videos, and expanded library operating hours.
Staying in South County, the Ramsdell Library in Housatonic will hold a program called "Robots on the Run" from 2 to 4 p.m., presented by the Rhode Island Computer Museum. This workshop aims to explain basic circuits and instructions on how to build a simple robot. Kids 10 and up Will learn programmable electronics including how to make lights blink, motors run, sounds and more.
Back to North County, the Milne Library in Williamstown will host a program on Saturday called "Fire and Ice" at 1 p.m. As party of the "Fizz Boom Read" Summer Reading Program. Mad Science of New England will present this interactive science program about states of matter. Library programs are free.
Sunday, July 13, brings another fun outdoor activity: An Appalachian Trail Family Hike from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Great Barrington. This a special kid-friendly hike is geared at helping families enjoy hiking the Appalachian Trail. The 2-mile hike (round-trip) through ice gulch to the Tom Leonard Shelter will take families into one of Berkshire County’s most interesting trail sections. Kids will be able to explore a thru-hiker shelter, eat their lunch with an awesome view, and play games that help develop good trail skills. Parents will learn great tips for successful family trail days. For more information and to register, email firstname.lastname@example.org. Registration is required, group size is limited.
Power or no power, our beautiful Berkshire Hills can still be hiked. Maybe next time the power goes out we all need to remember that there are plenty of ways to have downtime when you can't power up.
Rebecca Dravis is the community editor at iBerkshires.com. She can be reached at email@example.com.
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