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The 2019 Christmas tree arrives at Park Square on Nov. 21.

Pittsfield Tree Lighting Kicks Off 'Downtown Festive Frolic'

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The annual tree lighting at Park Square will begin at 6 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 6, with caroling,  hot chocolate and a visit from Santa.
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The annual tree lighting will be held on Friday, Dec. 6, at Park Square at 6 p.m. with music, hot chocolate and a visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus. 
 
The weekend will also feature the 2nd annual Downtown Festive Frolic presented by Downtown Pittsfield Inc. with activities and shopping for all ages and Santa will return on Saturday to the Beacon Cinema on Saturday from 10 to 1 for pictures.
 
The Christmas tree was donated by Pittsfield resident James Boulais and installed on Nov. 21 by the Departments of Public Services and Parks and Recreation. The annual tree lighting will include the Taconic High School chorus leading caroling and hot chocolate courtesy of Patrick's Pub. The Clauses will arrive once the tree is lit. 
 
Those planning to attend the ceremony are asked to bring non-perishable food items that will be donated to the Christian Center's food pantry.
 
The Downtown Festive Frolic begins at 5 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 6, until 8 p.m. and again on Saturday, Dec. 7, from 10 to 3 at participating venues. The community is invited to come downtown and enjoy free and low-cost family-friendly activities in honor of the holiday season. 
 
Friday events
 
The Lichtenstein Center for the Arts at 28 Renne Ave. hosts the 5th annual Wreath Art Auction. The wreaths will be on display during a $10 ticketed event with a preview from 5 to 6:30 p.m. followed by a live auction. Handmade holiday wreaths, kissing balls, and centerpieces created by local artists will be available at auction and as grab-and-go items. All proceeds will benefit the food pantry at South Congregational Church.
 
The First Fridays Artswalk also runs from 5 to 8 with participating venues. See the list here. 
 
A "Festive Frolic Festival of Trees After Dark!" at the Berkshire Museum at 39 South St. runs from 5 to 8 p.m. Tickets are $5, $3 for museum members, and free for children ages 3 and under. Explore the hero-themed indoor forest illuminated by twinkling lights. Ornament making, screenings of classic animated holiday features in the theater, and cups of hot apple cider are all included in the admission price.
 
Township Four at 419 North St. offers free demonstrations on how to create holiday swags and wreaths at 5, 6 and 7 p.m.
 
A Pop Up Entrepreneur Showcase by EforAll at Framework at 437 North St. runs from 5 to 8.
 
Aimee Marshall host a free Glow in the Dark Jingle Bell Rock fitness class at 5:30 at Berkshire Fitness and Wellness Center, 137 North St.
 
The inaugural North Pole Pub Crawl travels to five downtown bars and restaurants from 5 p.m. to 1 a.m. and participants are encouraged to dress as their favorite holiday character for a chance to win a prize for best costume. This event is free and for ages 21 and older. Crawlers are responsible for their own food and drinks at each location. More information can be found here. 
 
Saturday events
 
The headline event for Saturday is Santa at Beacon Cinema on North Street from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Have your child's picture taken with Santa in exchange for a donation of new warm clothing or a suggested $5 donation to the Berkshire Community Action Council's Warm Clothing Program. More information here. 
 
The Beacon will also be showing $1 screenings of "The Polar Express" on both Friday and Saturday at 10:20 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.
 
The Albany Berkshire Ballet presents "The Nutcracker" at Barrington Stage Company, 30 Union St., for performances at 2:30 and 6:30; it also runs on Sunday at 1:30 and 4:30. Tickets are available here. 
 
Free events on Saturday include kids crafts at Peace Train Tees, 2 South Street; the Holiday Craft Fair, Cookie Walk & Tag Sale from 10 to 2 at Zion Lutheran Church, 74 First St.; a free Snowman Story Time and crafts at the Berkshire Athenaeum; and more free classes at Berkshire Fitness from 7:30 to 11:30 a.m.
 
Also on both days will be two free art events from 5 to 8 on Friday and 10 to 3 on Saturday. Join the artists at NUarts Studios & Gallery, 311 North St., as they open their doors for "Holiday Happenings." There will be original art for sale under $100 and free, interactive holiday activities, such as ornament making inside artist studios. IS183 Art School welcomes all ages to its  interactive artistic space "Art Town" in the Onota Building, 74 North St. Explore and make some art of your own; entrance on School Street.
 
Merchants and venues will also be offering specials and holiday activities during Friday evening and/or Saturday. For a list of all events and times, visit downtownpittsfield.com.
 
The Downtown Festive Frolic is sponsored by Greylock Federal Credit Union, Phoenix Theatres Beacon Cinema, Qualprint, the City of Pittsfield, and Downtown Pittsfield Inc.

Tags: holiday event,   park square,   tree lighting,   

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Berkshire Humane Still Caring for Animals Despite Financial Struggles

Staff Reports
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Berkshire Humane Society has been forced to change operations because of the COVID-19 pandemic but its and care and support for animals will not waiver.
 
"We understand that this is a tough time for everyone. We just want people to know that the homeless animals in our care are still getting the same, nurturing level of care that they always do and we are continuing our programs to help pet owners keep pets in their loving homes," Executive Director, John Perreault said. "We appreciate the support the community has given us at this time. We'll work through this together and look forward to better times for both people and the animals they love."
 
The novel coronavirus has forced many businesses and organizations to close their doors or modify how they do business and this has been the case for the Berkshire Humane Society.
 
The nonprofit animal shelter has closed its doors to the public for the time being but is still allowing surrenders and adoptions, but only by appointment. Human contact has been limited and these appointments take place in a sterile area.
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