ADAMS, Mass. — The Greylock Ramble turns 50 this Columbus Day weekend with Ramblefest returning Sunday and the hike up Mount Greylock on Monday.
Back in 1965, a group of residents covertly named Operation Wonderful Town, chaired by Adams resident, businessman and champion Thunderbolt skier Bill Linscott, formed with the charge of organizing an annual hike to the summit of Mount Greylock.
And 50 years later, ProAdams has taken over where Operation Wonderful Town left off and hundreds still make the trek every Columbus Day.
"These events are important to Adams," ProAdams member Ray Gargan said. "Not only do they provide unique activities for the residents of North Berkshire, but they also attract visitors to Adams from far afield."
Gargan said little has changed over the years and hikers will journey three miles up the Cheshire Harbor Trail, with a total vertical gain of 2,100 feet from which hikers can view the foliage from the vantage point of the summit.
Gargan said the magical theme will continue this year, since the summit of Mount Greylock is the home of the fictional Ilvermorny School of Witchcraft and Wizardry — the North American school in J.K. Rowling's popular "Harry Potter" book and movie series.
"Fans of the Wizarding World of J.K. Rowling are invited to make the hike to Ilvermorny in costume," he said. "We will have a table at the top where they can sign the Ilvermorny Guest Registry for a chance to win prizes from Pottermore.com."
The ramble starts at 8 a.m. and runs until 4 p.m.
Gargan said events like the Greylock Ramble put Adams on the map.
"I spoke with some Ramblers from the United Kingdom at the summit last year and these events have helped to put Adams on the tourism map," he said. "We promote and market the events throughout New England and New York. It is important to ProAdams to show Adams as the creative, vibrant and active community that it is."
Ramblefest also returns Sunday starting at 11 a.m. at the visitors center. The festival was established a few years to extend the Ramble weekend and provide activities outside of the hike.
Admission is free for an afternoon of live music, food and various vendors. Music will be provided by Quarter Life Crisis and License to Groove. There will also be activities for kids.
The festival's half-marathon road race on the Ashwillticook Rail Trail and Hoosac Street to Winter Street will be shut down to traffic while the runners race on Sunday. Adams Police Department noted that traffic will be congested and drivers may need to find alternative routes to find parking.
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Five Fire Companies Respond to Thanksgiving Fire in Adams
By Tammy DanielsiBerkshires Staff
ADAMS, Mass. — Five fire companies responded to a structure fire on Richmond Street on Thursday morning that gutted the apartment building.
The second floor of the century-old building at 16-18 Richmond was fully involved when firefighters arrived shortly after 9:30 a.m.
Everyone was reported out of the building and no one was injured. It wasn't immediately clear how many people were affected.
It was the smoke from the fire that could be seen across town and from as far as Curran Highway in North Adams that alerted first-responders.