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ThunderFest features music, food and beer. This year, you can also take a train ride.

ThunderFest Returns This Weekend With Snow Train Rides

By Jack GuerinoiBerkshires Staff
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ADAMS, Mass. — ThunderFest returns this weekend with the addition of the Snow Train.
Although the Thunderbolt Ski Run was once again canceled because of the anticipated lack of snow, the coinciding party returns Saturday at the Visitors Center Parking Lot starting at noon.
"We're very excited to welcome Berkshire Scenic Railway's Snow Train to ThunderFest this year," Ray Gargan, co-chair of ProAdams said. "It will be like taking a train ride back in time and their educational presentation will be an entertaining way to learn about our local history."
The train rides echo those from the 1930s though the 1950s that brought winter sports enthusiast to the Berkshires. According to the ProAdams press release, the trains would arrive in Adams on what is now the Ashuwillticook Rail Trail and skiers could then test their skills on the Thunderbolt Ski Trail.
This year, Berkshire Scenic Railway Museum's Hoosac Valley Train Rides is recreating the Snow Train with a decorated train to run during Thunderfest. Vintage railroad posters and winter sporting equipment will be on display and an educational presentation will be given on the history of Snow Trains and the local train service.
Gargan added that events such as ThunderFest help draw people to the community, much as these passenger trains did.
"We believe that events such as ThunderFest and RambleFest are important to Adams," he said. "They help to bring people to Adams to experience what we have to offer, which is important for economic development. And of course, the events are fun for the people of Adams and neighboring towns."
Along with the train rides there will be live entertainment from Tom Corrigan and Elizabeth Young & The Restless Hearts.
There will be food vendors as well as beer from local breweries.
As for the fate of the Thunderbolt Ski Run, that has not been held for some years now, there is talk of relocating the event from Mount Greylock to Berkshire East Ski Resort in Charlemont as part of the NE Rando Race series.
Gargan added that the Thunderbolt Ski Runners have researched the best dates for the race and have determined that late February and early March historically have had the most snow.
If they ever move the race up in the year in hopes of catching more snow, ThunderFest would follow. 
Gargan added that even without the race, the party always proves to be a good time.
"ThunderFest, in particular, occurs at a time of the year when there aren't many community events in the Berkshires," he said. "There are many things to do in the Berkshire during the summer and fall, but in late winter many people are eager to get out and shake off their cabin fever."

Tags: Thunderfest,   winterfest,   

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Adams Decides Month-by-Month Budget Going Into Fiscal 2021

By Jeff SnoonianiBerkshires Correspondent

Chairwoman Christine Hoyt says the board is looking to assist restaurant owners with Phase II of Governor Baker's reopening plan.

ADAMS, Mass. — Town Administrator Jay Green and the Board of Selectmen have decided to go the 1/12th budget route for at least the start of fiscal year 2021.

Municipalities across the commonwealth are struggling to not only finalize budgets because of an uncertain financial outlook brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, but also to find a way to physically hold annual town meetings to get those budgets approved. Both situations factored into the decision for the town to settle on the 1/12th option.

When a town can't finalize a budget before the state mandated June 30 deadline, they must revert back to the prior year's budget and operate on a month-to-month basis. Monthly budgets must be approved by the Selectmen and then forwarded to the state Department of Revenue for its approval. Once that is received, the town can begin to pay its expenses for that month only.

Green and the board had been wavering between trying to predict revenue shortfalls for a reduced budget, forging ahead with original revenue projections, or using the 1/12th option.

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