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Horse-drawn carriage rides are a WinterFest staple.

WinterFest Set for Saturday in North Adams

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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — North Adams will host its annual WinterFest on Saturday, Feb. 17, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., featuring sledding, snow building, hot chocolate, the annual Chowder Cook-off, ice sculpting, horse-drawn wagon rides, a community camp fire and the third annual WinterFest Farm & Artisan Marketplace.

Festivities will wrap up at the North Adams Skating Rink, with free skate rentals and rink access from 2 to 4 p.m. Due to expected warmer weather and rain this week, Sunday's activities at Windsor Lake have been cancelled for this year's event.

All events are free and the schedule is as follows:

* Ice Sculpting on Main Street and Eagle Street, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.:
Watch artists along the street carve 300-pound blocks of ice into creative creatures and objects. This year's ice block sponsors are the Museum of Dog (x3), Empire Cafe, Berkshire Emporium, PopCares and Klipper Kingz.

* Fun in the Snow at Colegrove Park (weather permitting), 9 a.m.-4 p.m.: Self-guided fun in downtown's "backyard." Colegrove park offers great sledding. Bring your own sled.

* Community Conversation led by MCLA's Diversity Programs & Multicultural Education Center at the Design Lab, 49 Main St., 9-11 a.m.: In this community conversation, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s "Letter from Birmingham Jail," which focuses on the four steps of non-violent protest — identify, negotiate, self-purify and direct action — will be discussed.

* Farmer & Artisan Market at 66 Main St., 10 a.m.-3 p.m.: Shop local at this indoor food and crafts market featuring more than 30 vendors and live music by Sandy & Sandy from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Shoppers can expect to find jewelry, ceramics, knit wear, handmade toys, home decor, natural skincare and remedies, winter produce, meats, cheese, eggs, jams, relishes, syrup, bread, granola, baked treats and pastries. The market will also offer prepared crepes and grilled cheese sandwiches from Natalya's Ethnic Cuisine and Cricket Creek Farm. Bright Ideas Brewing will be offer crowlers to purchase for home consumption and pints will be available to purchase for on site consumption. Attendees wishing to purchase alcohol must be 21+ and show valid ID. Open containers cannot be taken off the premises.

* Hot cocoa, cookies, and robotics at MountainOne, 93 Main St., 10 a.m.-noon: Event sponsor MountainOne will be offering free hot cocoa and cookies in their lobby, along with robotics demonstrations from the McCann Tech Robotics Team.

* Free screening of "Cool Runnings" at the North Adams Public Library, 74 Church St., 10 a.m.-noon: Get excited for the 2018 Winter Olympics with this free, family-friendly, movie screening at the library. Free popcorn will be served.

* Children’s Winter Carnival at First Baptist Church, 131 Main St., 11 a.m.-1 p.m.: The First Baptist Church will open its Eagle Street Room for some indoor winter games and activities for the family.

* Chowder Cook-off at The Green, 87 Main St., and Community Campfire at Main and Holden streets, noon-2 p.m.: Taste delicious samplings from this year’s competitors and vote for your favorite chowder. Awards will be given for People's Choice and Judges Choice. Only one will walk away with the "Only in North Adams" award for most unique chowder. Participating restaurants are Berkshire Food Project, Boston Seafood Restaurant, Gramercy Bistro, Freight Yard Pub, Grazie, The Hub, Mingo's Bar & Grill, North Adams Commons and Ramuntos.

* Free open gym at J Star Gymnastics, 69 Union St., noon-2 p.m.: J Star Gymnastics opens its doors to the community for a free, two-hour, open gym! Families are welcome to come over and get out some energy in their spacious gym. All children must have a guardian present.

* Coloring Activity at the Makers' Mill, 73 Main St., noon-2 p.m.: Stop by the Maker's Mill for a coloring activity for kids of all ages.

* Horse-drawn wagon rides, 1-3 p.m.: The line for free horse-drawn wagon rides begins in front of MountainOne Bank.

* Ice skating and free skate rentals at the Peter W. Foote Vietnam Veterans Memorial Skating Rink, 2-4 p.m.: The city welcomes all to finish off the festivities at the ice skating rink for two hours of free skate rentals and skating.

Tags: downtown,   North Adams,   winter event,   winterfest,   

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Estate Plans Can Help You Answer Questions About the Future

Submitted by Edward Jones

The word "estate" conjures images of great wealth, which may be one of the reasons so many people don't develop estate plans. After all, they're not rich, so why make the effort? In reality, though, if you have a family, you can probably benefit from estate planning, whatever your asset level. And you may well find that a comprehensive estate plan can help you answer some questions you may find unsettling – or even worrisome.

Here are a few of these questions:

* What will happen to my children?
With luck, you (and your co-parent, if you have one) will be alive and well at least until your children reach the age of majority (either 18 or 21, depending on where you live). Nonetheless, you don't want to take any chances, so, as part of your estate plans, you may want to name a guardian to take care of your children if you are not around. You also might want to name a conservator – sometimes called a "guardian of the estate" – to manage any assets your minor children might inherit.

* Will there be a fight over my assets? Without a solid estate plan in place, your assets could be subject to the time-consuming, expensive – and very public – probate process. During probate, your relatives and creditors can gain access to your records, and possibly even challenge your will. But with proper planning, you can maintain your privacy. As one possible element of an estate plan, a living trust allows your property to avoid probate and pass quickly to the beneficiaries you have named.

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