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11th Cheshire Block Party Set for Saturday, July 23

By Brian RhodesiBerkshires Staff
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CHESHIRE, Mass. — The Cheshire Community Association is hosting its 11th Cheshire Block Party from 5  to 8 p.m. on Saturday, July 23, at Town Hall Center. 
"With the great music and food we've assembled this year, I imagine we'll equal or surpass last year's turnout," said John Tremblay, president of the association. 
The party is free and open to the public and will play host to a raffle, live music, food and refreshments. Guests are encouraged to bring lawn chairs and have dinner and dessert, which will be provided by Ozzie's Food Truck and Diane's Twist Ice Cream. 
"We've had really nice crowds for all of our block parties," Tremblay said. "The 2021 event was likely our largest with around 300 attendees."
This year's party was moved to be over the weekend instead of on Friday, as was the normal date in past block parties. 
"We've moved from Friday evening to Saturday and expanded the window an hour, beginning at 5 p.m. and going until 8 p.m., to allow more time to relax and enjoy," he said. "We're urging folks to come for dinner since we'll have Ozzie's Food Truck which is one of the most popular in Berkshire County, and as always, there will be ice cream for dessert." 
The live music will be played by Berkshire-based band the Misty Blues. The group will start at 5 p.m. along with the party. 
"They performed at our 2019 block party and were a huge hit," Tremblay said. "Their eclectic offering of blues, folk, rock and funk provides something for everyone." 
Tremblay thanked the community and the numerous businesses involved with the party. He said the event would not be the same without their help. 
"We've witnessed a strong desire for connection and can see that fulfilled by the many smiles on faces. This is only accomplished by a village," he said. "All the planning, preparation and work is done by volunteers. Local businesses support us financially and through amazing donations for our raffle; and the presence of community organizations from the Fire Department to the Lions Club to the Youth Center makes everything complete." 
In the event of rain, the event will move to the former Cheshire Elementary School. For more information, visit the Cheshire Community Association's Facebook Page

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Adams Parks Commission Considering Options for Renfrew Bleachers

By Brian RhodesiBerkshires Staff

ADAMS, Mass. — The Parks Commission is looking for solutions for the bleachers at Renfrew Field, after debate over their arrangement on the field in recent months. 


Currently, three sets of bleachers are on the south side of the field, when in previous years, two were on the south side, with two on the north. The bleachers had been arranged that way over the summer, something the board voiced support for in July


The commission's previous meeting had a larger-than-normal audience to give input on the issue, after the board received a letter from the Adams Cheshire Youth Football League expressing confusion from parents, coaches and others over the change. Commission co-Chair Jacob Schutz said he and others have since looked into portable bleachers, which can move without the need for heavy machinery. 


"We looked out there, and the first thing we found is they are very expensive," he said. "Twenty-five thousand dollars on average, and we'd probably need at least two for one side to match something like what we had." 


Town staff has explained that constantly moving the heavy bleachers and equipment around the field can cause wear on the field. Equipment operator Mark Pizani said they have installed tires on the current bleachers to move them, which requires a loader to lift the bleachers and pull them to where they need to go on the field. 


"If something like this was permanent and didn't have to be taken apart, and you could just do it, we could push them or pull them with something smaller," he said. 


Commission Co-Chair James Fassell was not present for the meeting but had previously suggested moving one set of bleachers from the southeast side of the field to the southwest side. He had expressed concerns at the previous meeting about emergency vehicles and accessibility with the current placement. 


Pizani explained that this is not a viable option because of banking on the west side of the field, which would prevent the bleachers from being level. 


"You would have to actually dig into the ground, and there's underground wires there," he said. "It's really just not feasible." 


Selectman Joseph Nowak suggested that the commission reach out to the Adams Agricultural Fair to use their bleachers, which he said are lightweight and made of aluminum. He said it would benefit elderly spectators, so they don't have to walk as far, and would get them through the rest of the season. 


Schutz said he does not feel the board has the authority to tell the leagues which side of the field they use as the home side. He said the high school and the leagues that use the field should decide for themselves which side they want to use. 


In other business, the group was updated on the new shed at Valley Street Field. Pizani said the shed looks fantastic the students from McCann Technical School who put it together did a good job. 


"They sent me a text thanking us for considering them [to build the shed] and letting the kids do it. That's a great thing," he said. 


Schutz suggested that the board write a letter thanking the students for building the shed.

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