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ThunderFest Returns Saturday

By Jack GuerinoiBerkshires Staff
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ADAMS, Mass. — The ThunderFest celebration is back this weekend and it looks like the weather will be cooperative: atmosphere-setting snow flurries but temperatures in the 40s. 
"Nothing cures that late winter-cabin fever better than getting outdoors and having some fun at ThunderFest," said Ray Gargan, a member of ProAdams, the group that organizes the winter festival.
ThunderFest starts at noon Saturday, March 9, at the Adams Visitors Center and will feature live music, food, kid activities, chowder contest, local craft brews, vendors and a campfire. Gargan said the band Whiskey City takes the stage at 2 and the band Acoustic Grooves will open. 
Beverages will be available from Bright Ideas Brewing, Wandering Star Craft Brewery and Balderdash Cellars and there will be food vendors on hand. Also check out Caroline's Scottish Shortbread,  Berkshire Outfitters, Berkshire Hills Fresh Dog Food, Mountain Girl Farm, Aisles Bridal and more. 
Take part in the annual Chowder Competition with several new restaurants to the challenge this year beginning at 1:30.
Sponsors for the event arre Adams Community Bank, Aladco and Berkshire Gas.
"We haven't added any new major components to the event this year, but the music, vendors and other participants change every year," Gargan said.
The festival had been started to coincide with the resurrection nine years ago of the historic Thunderbolt Ski Race, but the weather has failed to cooperate and the race down the 3,491-foot summit of Mount Greylock rarely was able to happen. But it lives on in ThunderFest, which fast became a tradition as a midwinter community get-together. 
You can get an idea of what it was like back in the day to race down Mount Greylock with a visit to the Thunderbolt Ski Museum and Berkshire Scenic Railway will also be running snow trains.
"We're also happy to have Berkshire Scenic Railway Museum running their 'Snow Train’ for the second year," he said. "This is turning into a very cool new tradition." 
The train will be decorated with vintage winter sports posters and equipment recreating the Snow Trains that used to run from major metropolitan areas to bring winter sports fans to the Berkshires.
During the rides, an educational talk will be given on the history of snow trains and the local train service. The train will run hourly starting at 11 and ending at 2.
Gargan said this is an important event in Adams that not only brings locals together and welcomes visitors. 
"ThunderFest, and the other events developed by ProAdams help to create a positive image for the Town of Adams," he said. "They are designed to do more than provide a fun event for the local community. They also bring visitors from outside North Berkshire, who can experience for themselves what a nice town Adams is."

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