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The city spreads 500,000 pounds of sand curb-to-curb along Eagle Street to create the urban beach

Eagle Street Beach Party Returns Saturday

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Prizes will be awarded for the most creative sand castles or sand sculptures.

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The City of North Adams once again will transform historic Eagle Street into an urban beach on Saturday, July 13.

An annual downtown tradition that originated with artist Eric Rudd in 1999, the beach party is a fun and creative summer staple in North Adams.

Specialty Minerals donates 500,000 pounds of sand, which is spread curb-to-curb along Eagle Street to create the urban beach and is reclaimed by the city Department of Public Services following the beach party for use in various city projects. Anyone interested in volunteering to spread sand is invited to Eagle Street beginning at 1:30 p.m. Saturday, July 13; shovels and tools will be provided.

Family fun begins at 3:30 p.m., with local entertainer Lita Williams DJing the event. Beach attire is encouraged. Children, adults and families are invited to dig, play, sculpt and enjoy the city beach. Prizes will be awarded for the most creative sand castles or sand sculptures using sand toys and tools donated by local businesses, and copies of Eric Rudd's 20th anniversary beach party book have been donated by MountainOne. In addition, the North Adams SteepleCats will give away 250 game tickets to children 12 and under.

The beach party winds down at 7 p.m to make way for an evening fiesta, including an on-street cash bar from Desperado's restaurant along with music and dancing courtesy of Lita Williams and other local musicians.

The rain date for the beach party will be Saturday, July 20. Any decision to postpone to the rain date will be made by noon on Friday, July 12, and announced to local media. As a reminder, smoking is prohibited on all city property and at all city-sponsored events.

The Eagle Street Beach Party is co-presented by the City of North Adams and artist Eric Rudd, and sponsored by the Berkshire Art Museum and Greylock Federal Credit Union. Additional supporters include Specialty Minerals, Desperado's Restaurant, Mildred Elley, Adams Community Bank, MountainOne Bank, North Adams SteepleCats, A-1 Septic, and the merchants and businesses on historic Eagle Street.

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PCTV Documentary Finds Pittsfield Parade Dates Back to 1801

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Pittsfield Community Television's recently released documentary "Fighting For Independence:  The History of the Pittsfield Fourth of July Parade" has traced the first Pittsfield Fourth of July Parade back to at least 1801.  

An article in the Pittsfield Sun from July 7, 1801, says that "at 12:00 o’ clock at noon a Procession was formed consisting of the Militia of the town."

Previously the Pittsfield Parade Committee acknowledged that the parade dated back to 1824.

"This was a fascinating discovery, as we researched to put this documentary together," said Bob Heck, PCTV’s coordinator of advancement and community production and executive producer of the program.  "Not only were we able to trace the parade back further than ever before, but to see how the parade has impacted Pittsfield, and how the community always seems to come together to make sure the parade happens is remarkable."

The Pittsfield Fourth of July parade experienced bumps in the road even back in the early 1800s - most notably, when Captain Joseph Merrick, a Federalist, excluded Democrats from the yearly post-parade gathering at his tavern in 1808.

The parade ran concurrently from at least 1801 until 1820. In 1821, Pittsfield’s spiritual leader Dr. Rev. Heman Humphrey, canceled the festivities so the day could be dedicated to God before resuming in 1822 after residents decided they wanted their parade.

"Fighting for Independence: The History of the Pittsfield Fourth of July Parade" premiered July 4 at 9:30 am on PCTV Access Pittsfield Channel 1301 and PCTV Select.  The program is available on-demand on PCTV Select, available on Roku and Apple TV, or online.

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