MAGICon features vendors, entertainment, refreshments and, this year, some classes on wizarding, potions and fantastic beasts.
ADAMS, Mass. — A celebration of everything Harry Potter returns to the Greylock Glen this weekend with twice the magic.
Fans of the "Harry Potter" franchise will gather beneath the shadow of Mount Greylock, home of the Potterverse's Ilvermorny School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, to celebrate all things mystical at the Mischievous Appreciation of Greylock and Ilvermorny Convention.
"We wanted to offer the fans more than last year so we've really expanded the music, activities, and merchandise vendors," Raymond Gargan co-chair of MAGICon said. "These events help to foster a positive narrative about Adams as a place where interesting things are happening."
This is the second MAGICon, a ProAdams-sponsored event, to be held since "Harry Potter" author J.K. Rowling announced that the fictional North American School of Witchcraft and Wizardry was hidden on Mount Greylock, the state's tallest peak.
Gargan said instead of being a one-day celebration, this year the event will run through the weekend with Sunday being dedicated to magical education. "Introduction to Ilvermorny: A Concise Curriculum for the Magically Minded" will offer demonstrations on divination, herbology, potions, history and lore of Mount Greylock and magical creatures of the Greylock.
"Because magical education is such an integral part of the 'Harry Potter' books and movies, we thought fans might have some fun attending some sample classes that they might find at Ilvermorny," he said. "We reached out to some practitioners and experts on topics that fit the theme. Some of the classes will be lectures, some will be demonstrations and some practical training."
Gargan said he was personally excited about a demonstration by "Professor Clough" from the Southern Vermont Natural History Museum who will be bringing some magical creatures from the area, such as owls and snakes.
Besides food vendors, artisans and craft beer there will also be entertainment and the original wizarding rock group Harry and The Potters will return with additional acts.
"Harry and The Potters had fun last year, so it was just a question of working out the details. Lauren Fairweather and Matt Maggiacomo from The Whomping Willows had heard about MAGICon last year and were happy to join us," he said. "Banish Misfortune is an awesome traditional music from Ireland that is based in the Northampton area. Although not a wizard rock act, their music very much fits the theme and our backcountry venue."
Gargan said there will be an improved costume contest this year and participants will be asked on stage to show off their magical garb. The winner will be awarded the Ilvermorny Cup for Excellent Attire.
He also urged people to explore the glen while they are at the event, especially the 1.7 mile Meadow Loop Trail.
"We hope that our audience will recognize that Greylock Glen itself provides a unique and hidden gem experience that really can't be replicated anywhere else in Northern Berkshire County, and definitely unlike any other fandom event," he said. "That's why we're also encouraging people to walk the gentle 1.7 mile-Meadow Loop trail that circles the central area of Greylock Glen. We will be installing some interesting magical information signs along the route."
Last year, more than 1,000 people attended the event and Gargan said he expects more this year.
"We directly market this event across New England, New York and into New Jersey and Pennsylvania," he said. "However, with social media the reach of the event is unlimited. Last year, I personally met people from Washington, D.C., and Oklahoma. Perhaps they were in the Berkshires for a vacation anyway."
Saturday's festivities kick off at 11:30 a.m. and Sunday's demonstrations start at 5 p.m.
Tickets can be purchased here or at the gate. Children 12 years and younger can attend for free. Attendees are urged to park downtown and use the free shuttles available throughout the day at 4 Hoosac St.
"We urge everyone, not just Potterheads, to come to MAGICon," Gargan said. "It is a great chance to share in two lively and family fun days that celebrates not only the magical world we know through J.K. Rowling, but the magic of the natural setting at foot of Mount Greylock in the welcoming community of Adams."
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Woodlands Partnership Towns Gets $260K in State Funding
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The newly established Mohawk Trail Woodland Partnership's grant program has received $260,000 in funding from the state to support forest stewardship, nature-based tourism and climate education.
The funds were announced last week by Gov. Charlie Baker and will build on the shared stewardship agreement signed last November between the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Forest Service, the 10 of the participating municipalities and the Franklin Regional Council of Governments.
Each community will receive $20,000 toward projects and programming and the FRCOG is getting $60,000 for a regional tourism assessment.
"Improving the stewardship of our forests makes them more resilient to the impacts of climate change, strengthens local economies by encouraging nature-based tourism, and benefits rural communities," Baker said in the announcement. "These grants are a terrific example of the collaborative spirit we've worked to foster here in the commonwealth, and we are proud to partner with these communities to preserve our forests and natural resources for generations to come."
The newly established Mohawk Trail Woodland Partnership's grant program has received $260,000 in funding from the state to support forest stewardship, nature-based tourism and climate education.
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One of the last hurdles was obtaining both permanent and temporary easements and also the taking of small portions of land from abuttors to accommodate the bike lane and slightly larger sidewalks.
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