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The chowder cookoff is returning to North Adams' Winterfest. The last cookoff was in 2019.

Winterfest Seeking Participants for Chowder Cook-off and Artisan Market

By Sabrina DammsiBerkshires Staff
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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — North Adams Tourism is bringing back a community favorite — the Chowder Cook-off — for this years Winterfest on Saturday, Feb. 18. 
Only two contestants had signed up for cook off when iBerkshires spoke with organizers last week: Italian restaurant Grazie and Clarksburg Elementary School. The cookoff has featured a dozen or more in the past so businesses and organizations are encouraged to participate. 
Interested in showing off your chowder recipe? Sign up for the competition by Monday here
Festivalgoers will be able sample these recipes from noon until 2 p.m. at Terra Nova Church's The Green.
In addition to the chowder cook-off, Winterfest hopes to brighten up chilling winter by exploring goods from local vendors and artisans. Some 17 vendors have already signed up and organizers are hoping for 25 to 30 at the time of the event. 
Interested in selling your goods at the event? Again, sign up by Monday here
Explore the goods from 10 until  3 in The Green and the concourse at 85 Main.  
This free event encourages residents to come downtown and visit small town businesses, the city's events coordinator Lindsay Randall said. 
"I think it's integral to the community because there's not a whole lot to do within the winter months. Everyone kind of gets cabin fever. So it's something to do for families or any individual who just wants to get out and do something fun," she said. 
Randall hopes that the range of activities and opportunities that the festival offers will also encourage Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts students to leave their dorms and explore the area that they will call home for the next four years. 
"I think there's a huge need for college students to kind of venture and see things that are happening within towns and kind of give that broader range of experience under their belt to be a part of something bigger," Randall said.
"There are a lot of internship and career opportunities that MCLA presents to their students but just to be a part of something different."
With the cultural venues such as Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art and community events the area can provide students opportunities they would not have elsewhere due to its great art culture, Randall said. 
Winterfest will include a range of activities for individuals of all ages including winter games, horse-carriage rides, a children's carnival, ice sculpting, and more. 
"We are excited for this year’s Winterfest and would like to thank all of the downtown businesses for getting involved. We are hoping for a strong turnout from city residents and folks from our surrounding towns," Mayor Jennifer Macksey said.
Start the day off by watching ice sculptor's carve sponsored blocks of ice into works of art on the Main street from 9 until 4. 
Bring sleds to Colegrove Park and zoom down the snowy hill, stop by First Baptist Church's children's carnival from 11 to 1 and grab a hot cocoa and cookies at MountainOne from 10 until noon.  
Northern Berkshire Community Coalition is hosting a snowman toss on Main Street from 10 to noon and will be handing out lists of winter games and activities for families to do at home.
JStar Gymnastics, located at 69 Union St., is be opening its 10,000 square foot gym from noon until 1:30. Residents can use its Olympic-quality equipment for children of all abilities. More information on the gym here.  
Finally, warm up at the bonfire and have s'mores from noon until 2 on Main Street and take a horse-drawn wagon ride around Main Street from 1 to 3. 
Warm up at Moulton's Spectacle Shoppe, where Macksey will be reading to children from 2 to 2:30 p.m
Conclude the day with free skating and rentals at Peter W. Foote Vietnam Veterans Memorial Skating Rink from 2 until 4 p.m.. 
More information on Winterfest here

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North Adams Commission Passes on River Street Parking Ban

By Tammy DanielsiBerkshires Staff
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The Traffic Commission is holding off on any changes to parking along River Street near the Corner Store. 
The commission had received a letter from resident Nancy Bullett and several phone calls from residents about congestion specifically between Holden and North Holden streets caused by cars parked along River Street.
"The way the cars were parked right up to the corner and with the high, like the SUVs, and that [drivers turning out of  North Holden] really couldn't see oncoming traffic," Chair MaryAnn King told the commission on March 8. "You had to like almost pull out halfway in the road to turn before you can see oncoming traffic."
She said she didn't want to hurt any businesses by prohibiting parking along the north side and so had spoken with the police. The result was the Highway Department installed new signs for "no parking here to corner" on both sides of the street to remind motorists that parking within 20 feet of an intersection is prohibited. 
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