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The meeting is held at the Berkshire Athenaeum because of elevator issues at City Hall.

Pittsfield Parks Commission Approves Musical Events

By Brittany PolitoiBerkshires Staff
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The Parks Commission meets in person for the first time in more than a year.
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — After last year's cultural draught brought on by COVID-19, the city can look forward to the return of summer events this year.
 
The Parks Commission, holding its first in-person meeting since the start of the pandemic, approved a number of performances at the city's parks and beaches. 
 
These include Live on The Lake at Onota Lake, "Tanglewood in The City" featuring the Boston Symphony Orchestra at the Common, and a community concert with the band Whiskey Treaty Road Show, also at the Common. There will still be some precautions at these events to prevent spread of the novel coronavirus.
 
Mayor Linda Tyer on Tuesday lifted the city's public health state of emergency in conjunction with the rescinding of Massachusetts' emergency order and other COVID-19 restrictions. This also lifts restrictions on public events.
 
Peter Barry of Townsquare Media was pleased to be in front of the commission once more in regards to Live on The Lake. The concert series began in 2002 in partnership with Greylock Federal Credit Union and provides entertainment on the shores of Onota lake on Wednesdays throughout the summer.
 
Like many other local traditions, Live on The Lake's season was canceled for the first time last year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
 
"It will be pretty much similar to in past years, although a little less public engagement," Barry said at the meeting, held at the Berkshire Athenaeum because of a out-of-service elevator at City Hall. "We usually bring bouncy houses for the kids and that kind of stuff, we're not going to do that this year, and we do a lot of interactive things like playing cornhole with people and giveaway prizes, but we're basically foregoing any intimate public interactions."
 
The concert series will begin on July 7 and will continue on Wednesdays until Aug. 26.
 
The Whiskey Treaty Road Show concert will be a free show from 5 to 8 p.m. on Sept. 17.
 
"The mayor is very excited about this," Shiobbean Lemme from the city's Office of Cultural Development said. "And it's more of a gesture to the community and a thank you, and celebration."
 
Lemme said the intention is to close First Street from the intersection of Fenn Street to Melville Street and to have concessions in the parking lot across from the Common.
 
Parks, Open Space, and Natural Resource Program Manager James McGrath anticipates that this will be a large event because of the musical artist and the time of the year.
 
"I think this will probably be the largest that we've seen sort of given the band and the time of year," he said. "I think it's going to be a big event, so it requires some extra planning and we’re ready to do that."
 
Tanglewood in the City presented by Mill Town Capital and the Boston Symphony Orchestra will be returning for its third year on July 23 at the Common from 5 to 10 p.m.
 
Managing Director of Mill Town Carrie Holland said the event was a success in its first two years and they would like this year's event to look more like the 2019 concert before COVID-19.
 
The commission also approved two Jacob's Pillow pop-up dance performances, one in The Common on June 31 and another in Durant Park on August 7.  The July performance will be all female-led hip hop dance and the August performance is a Philadelphia-based African dance company. 
 
Also in the meeting, the commission decided to have a site visit followed by a community input meeting for the proposed bicycle pump track at Springside Park. The panel has received various letters of support and opposition for the project and feels the need for public feedback since they are approaching the review of final designs.
 
The meetings will be held in the week of July 12 before the next Parks Commission meeting.

Tags: music,   public parks,   

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Dog Perishes in Pittsfield Structure Fire


Firefighters used several avenues of attack to douse the blaze.
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A midday fire Thursday on South Atlantic Avenue killed a pet and left a family homeless.
 
Police happened to be at a neighboring house when they were notified of a fire at 16 South Atlantic. The Fire Department was called out at 12:35 p.m. and found "heavy fire conditions" on the first floor in the kitchen area, reported Deputy Chief Daniel Garner.
 
The fire had extended into the adjoining rooms of the 2 1/2-story, wood frame home. Crews from four engines and a ladder truck attacked the blaze; a primary search was conducted to ensure no one was in the building. 
 
There were no reported injuries but a dog perished in the blaze. Garner estimated that the house suffered about $20,000 to $50,000 in damage, largely from heavy fire and smoke on the first floor and smoke damage throughout. 
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