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This year's tree lighting in North Adams will be held virtually because of the pandemic restrictions.

North Adams Plans Virtual Tree Lighting

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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.

Tags: Christmas tree,   tree lighting,   

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Hoosic Riverside Stroll Reveals Incomplete Food Chain

By Tor HanseniBerkshires columnist

The number of merganser ducklings decreased from a dozen to two.
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Take a summertime stroll along the Hoosic River in North Adams and scan the river that supports a surprising diversity of aquatic life. 
 
Where the elevated berm that flanks the Joseph H. Wolfe Field and the soccer fields, starting where the chutes that harness the river taper down, walking upriver one can scan the riversides for insects and birds, and maybe spot a muskrat and a turtle snout. There a rich array of shrubs and wildflowers abound, forming a
marginal thicket, and thanks to thoughtful river management , must be allowed to grow and provide not only shelter, but essential resources for pollinating bees, nectar for butterflies, and seclusion for nesting birds.
 
By midsummer the river can decline to a shallow but steady slow flow, indicating that a serious drought has affected the decreasing level of life-giving water borne from mountain brooks, going dry well before wildlife complete their life-cycles. Off to a roaring start the rites of spring gathered momentum as frequent rains provided manifold niches for the fauna. However, by mid-July, the effects from the drought result in considerable drawdown of the Greylock Reservoir, and the spillway also runs to bone dry. 
 
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