Sunday, July 14, 2024

News and Ideas Worth Sharing

Bits & Bytes: Hancock Shaker Village Country Fair; rescheduled Berkshire Jazz Showcase; tree care talk; Kung Fu at the Colonial; Community Conversations recap

The 'Save a Tree' workshop will focus on supporting the health of the red oak adjacent to River Walk on Bridge Street.

Hancock Shaker Village to hold 22nd annual Country Fair

Pittsfield — Hancock Shaker Village will hold its 22nd annual Country Fair Saturday, Sept. 28, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday, Sept. 29, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. This year’s fair will include more than 50 vendors, a Harvest of Quilts, a fiber festival, workshops and demonstrations, and family activities including pony rides and face painting.

Highlights of the fair include the Harvest of Quilts, which celebrates color and design in a display of historic and modern quilts with a quilt raffle, pop-up consignment shop and demonstrations; a Fiber Festival, which brings together fiber artisans and enthusiasts from around the region for workshops, yarns, notions and inspiration; a drop-in broom-making workshop with Larry Antonuk of the Enfield Shaker Museum; a contra dance with caller Fern Bradley; and a hot sauce contest. The fair will also include artisanal crafts, farmer Olympics, music and dance performances, craft beer, local food vendors, a farmers’ market, pony and wagon rides, an animal exhibit, face painting, and balloon-making.

The fair is included with regular admission, which is $20 for adults, $8 for youth ages 13-17, and free for kids 12 and under. Some workshops and events may have additional charges. For more information, see the Berkshire Edge calendar or contact Hancock Shaker Village at (413) 443-0188.


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Gina Coleman of Misty Blues. Photo courtesy Misty Blues

Berkshires Jazz to hold second annual Berkshire Jazz Showcase

Pittsfield — Berkshires Jazz will present five popular regional bands in its second annual Berkshire Jazz Showcase at the First Street Common Saturday, Sept. 28, from noon to 5 p.m. The lineup will feature Gina Coleman and Misty Blues, Paul Green and Two Worlds, Andy Wrba’s Berkshire Jazz Collective, Mary Ann Palermo and First Take, and the Kyle Murray Quintet. The event will be held on the field adjacent to the Common’s playground and splash park, and will include food vendors as well as a beer and wine garden. In the event of inclement weather, the concert will move indoors to the Zion Lutheran Church adjacent to the Common. Prelude music will be provided from 10 a.m. until noon at the Downtown Pittsfield Farmers Market.

Berkshire County enjoys a long-standing reputation as a hotbed of jazz talent, going back nearly 75 years to Music Inn. On any particular weekend, and some weekdays, audiences can find locally based world-class musicians in clubs and lounges, but rarely on a main stage. Berkshires Jazz addressed that oversight in 2018, when the showcase took off, with Pittsfield’s outdoor stage as the launching pad.

The event is free and open to the public. Audience members are advised to bring blankets or chairs. For more information, contact Berkshires Jazz at


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Tree care talk to take place at River Walk

Tom Ingersoll discussing trees at River Walk in Great Barrington. Photo courtesy Great Barrington Land Conservancy

Great Barrington — On Saturday, Sept. 28, at 1:30 p.m. at River Walk, the Great Barrington Tree Committee, the Great Barrington Conservation Commission, and Ward’s Nursery and Garden Center will present “Save a Tree,” a learning event focused on the best care and maintenance of large trees. Local land care expert Tom Ingersoll will lead this hands-on workshop aimed at teaching the steps needed to encourage the health of large trees.

The workshop will focus on supporting the health of the red oak adjacent to River Walk on Bridge Street. The red oak’s roots help to secure the riverbank, its branches provide habitat to a host of birds and pollinators, and its green leaves give shade to humans and other mammals. The Great Barrington Land Conservancy invites community members to lend a hand to help ensure that the health of the tree is protected and supported. At the same time, participants can learn the steps needed to care for trees in their own yards.

The event is free and open to the public. Registration is requested. Those interested in attending are asked to meet in the W.E.B. Du Bois River Park and dress to work; work gloves are recommended. Eye and ear protection will be provided. For more information or to register, contact


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Colonial Theatre to welcome King Fu

Kung Fu. Photo courtesy Kung Fu

Pittsfield — Berkshire Theatre Group will welcome Kung Fu with special guest Shokazoba to the Colonial Theatre, 111 South St., Thursday, Sept. 26, at 8 p.m.

Proud to be firmly installed in the new-funk movement, Kung Fu is quickly popularizing their unique contribution, blurring the line between intense electro-fusion and blistering dance arrangements. The band features Tim Palmieri on guitar and vocals, Robert Somerville on tenor sax and vocals, Beau Sasser on keyboards and vocals, Chris DeAngelis on bass guitar and vocals, and Adrian Tramontano on drums and percussion. Originally a Fela Kuti tribute project, Shokazoba is a nine-piece funk band whose original work aims to inspire greater human awareness through conscious funky jazz and progressive topical lyrics. There will be pre-show entertainment by Mike McMann at 6:30 p.m.

Tickets are $25. For tickets and more information, see the Berkshire Edge calendar or contact the Colonial Theatre box office at (413) 997-4444.


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Roe Jan Community Library to discuss findings of community conversations

Hillsdale, N.Y. — On Saturday, Sept. 28, at 11 a.m., the Roeliff Jansen Community Library will host and lead a discussion on the findings of the community conversations the library held in May and June, as well as the next steps based on the findings. The conversations provided an opportunity for participants to discuss what matters to them as members of the Roe Jan community and to better understand each other’s hopes, concerns, goals and what might make a difference in strengthening the community.

Residents of Ancram, Copake and Hillsdale are invited to join the discussion at the library. For more information, call the Roeliff Jansen Community Library at (518) 325-4101.



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