NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — North Adams' holiday tree lighting will have a different look this year.
The annual event, which kicks off the holiday season in the city, will be held virtually beginning at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 25. We respectfully ask that instead of gathering downtown, community members join the celebration by tuning into a special broadcast event in order to limit public gathering as part of the ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The virtual tree lighting event will be broadcast on Northern Berkshire Community Television (NBCTC) channel 1301 and livestreamed on iBerkshires.com.
Mayor Thomas Bernard will kick off the event with an in-studio holiday message, joined by a special guest. Afterward, the ceremonial switch will be thrown, lighting up the holiday trees and Main Street. Following the tree lighting local favorite Rebel Beat Sound System will spin holiday music to lift everyone’s spirits.
"The public health guidance is clear and consistent — public gatherings, whether indoors or outdoors can increase the chances of getting or spreading COVID-19 or the flu," said Bernard. "A virtual celebration lets us all see and enjoy the spectacle of lighting up our downtown while ensuring social distancing and safety for everyone. It also allows family and friends who are unable to travel this year to get a taste of hometown North Adams spirit by tuning into the livestream event."
The city is offering thanks to Beth and Marcus Webb of Windsor for donating the tree at the top of Main Street, and to Debbie Sullivan of North Adams for donating the tree at City Hall in memory of Elizabeth Lavigne Patterson.
Thanks also to the city Department of Public Services, Wire & Alarm, and the Fire and Police departments for getting the trees downtown and set up, as well as to National Grid, Arbortech Tree Co., Atlantis Equipment, and Moresi & Associates for their assistance in the tree installation.
While this celebration looks a bit different this year the city said it is grateful to Berkshire Bank, Cascade School Supplies, First Baptist Church, the Drury High School band, MountainOne, Greylock Federal Credit Union, and Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Arts for their many years of support for this special event.
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There's a winter weather advisory in effect overnight Friday in the Berkshires and a chance of up to 5 inches of snow.
The National Weather Service in Albany, N.Y., issued the advisory effective from midnight to 10 a.m. on Saturday with warnings of slippery roads in the morning.
The snowfall could reach up to an inch an hour for a brief period in the morning and will be accompanied by winds up to 40 mph. There's also a chance of sleet and freezing rain in the mix.
Temperatures could reach a high of 40 in the Hudson River valley on Saturday and Sunday will be windy, with some gusts possibly reaching 35-45 mph across eastern New York and the Berkshires. High temperatures Sunday ranging from the mid-20s/lower 30s for higher terrain, to the mid 30s to around 40 for valley areas. Lows Sunday night in the teens and 20s. Monday will be similar.