The Fall Festival in Ashfield, Massachusetts

by Cassandra Pope
The festival includes many free activities for children.

The festival includes many free activities for children.

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The Ashfield Fall Festival takes place annually over two days in October in Ashfield, Massachusetts, a tiny town in the western part of the commonwealth. The festival features a variety of booths selling food and arts and crafts, as well as live music, dancing and games.

History

The festival began in 1969 as a means of celebrating the community and the skills of its artisans and business people. It also is an opportunity to raise money for local service organizations and for the Ashfield Citizens' Scholarship Fund.

Food and Crafts

Each year the festival showcases the best local produce and crafts. Booths sell traditional sweet and savory delights such as fresh hot pumpkin donuts, fried dough with maple cream and homemade fudge, as well as a variety of soups and baked potatoes. The artists displaying their work range from jewelers to wood workers and from glass blowers to instrument makers.

Games and Music

Unique to the Ashfield Festival are the Pumpkingames -- a series of races involving pumpkins as props, which takes place every year. The festival also runs competitions for the heaviest pumpkin and the tallest sunflower. Musical acts perform during the festival. In 2010, these included country jazz, "countrified rock and roll," traditional and contemporary Irish and Scottish music, and, of course, local performers.

Ashfield

Nestled in the foothills of the Berkshire Mountains, Ashfield has a population of just 1,800 but this swells by thousands every year for the festival. The festival takes place in the town center and parking is available on the east side of Main Street or on Baptist Corner Road; follow the signs.

About the Author

Based in London, Cassandra Pope has been writing since 2006. She is assistant station manager of an online radio station and has written articles for the "London Student" newspaper, the culture blog Arts Attack and various other websites. Pope has a first-class Bachelor of Arts in war studies with film studies from King's College, London.

Photo Credits

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