New Year’s Eve Party (Take 2!)
Aug. 5: The pandemic may have canceled its planned New Year’s Eve celebration last year, but local comedians are having the last laugh. Happier Valley Comedy is throwing a New Year’s Eve Party (Take 2!) and annual fundraiser where people are invited to come ring in the improvised New Year. Tickets include entry to the party, two tickets to the raffle, finger food, and something fizzy to toast. The festivities take place at Happier Valley Comedy’s Next Door Lounge in Hadley, where partygoers can choose from a curated selection of mostly local alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. Ginger Love Cafe Food Truck will be on site, and raffle prizes include goodies from Bueno Y Sano, Animal Alliance Dog Training School, Ecstatic Rabbit Tarot, the Ekus Group, Home Depot, Trader Joe’s, and more. To purchase tickets to the event and raffle, visit www.happiervalley.com.
Brew at the Zoo
Aug. 6: After a three-year hiatus due to COVID-19, the Zoo in Forest Park is bringing back its popular Brew at the Zoo, presented by PDC Inc., from 1 to 5 p.m. The 21+ event features beer samples from local craft breweries, a home-brew competition, food trucks, live music, games, a raffle, and animal interactions. Attendees can choose from four ticket types: VIP, VIP Designated Driver, General Admission, and Designated Driver. Attendees with a VIP ticket will enjoy an extra hour of sampling beginning at noon, the opportunity to participate in up-close animal encounters, and grain to feed the animals. All attendees must be age 21 or over. The current list of breweries attending the event include Loophole Brewing, One Way Brewing, Vanished Valley Brewing Co., Broad Brook Brewing Co., Connecticut Valley Brewing Co., Berkshire Brewing Co., Rustic Brewing Co., Iron Duke Brewing, Two Weeks Notice Brewing Co., Brew Practitioners, and New City Brewery, in addition to nine home brewers. The zoo will be closed to the public on Aug. 6. Advanced tickets are required to attend this event, and IDs will be checked at the door. Tickets are limited and on sale at www.forestparkzoo.org/brew.
Business Resource Expo
Aug. 9: Entrepreneurship for All Berkshire County is coordinating a half-day Business Resource Expo at the Stationery Factory in Dalton. A collaborative effort of EforAll, 1Berkshire, Pittsfield Economic Revitalization Corp., and the Berkshire Regional Planning Council, this event will feature booths from more than 25 organizations that support small business, panel discussions, and plenty of opportunities for networking. Business owners and managers will be able to connect with organizations and programs that have resources to help them, whether with technical assistance, funding or grant programs, marketing, or other advice or support. The program will be valuable for existing businesses, would-be entrepreneurs, and solo service providers and consultants. Participants will be able to access experts through a series of panel discussions led by regional experts, including “Which Organization Can Help Me with What?” moderated by Ben Lamb of 1Berkshire; “Fueling Your Business: Where’s the Money?” moderated by Raymond Lanza-Weil of Common Capital; and “How Can I Find More Customers…What Marketing Works?” moderated by Noah Cook-Dubin of Kanoa Consulting. The event will be inside at the Stationery Factory on Flansburg Avenue in Dalton. Doors open at 8:30 a.m., and the event will conclude by 1 p.m. A networking area will be open throughout the event for one-on-one conversations and meetings. Admission is free of charge, but pre-registration is required at bcbizexpo.com.
Springfield Jazz and Roots Festival
Aug. 12-13: The Springfield Jazz and Roots Festival will be staged over two days this year with a broad mix of music; arts activities; talks on arts, culture, and social justice; and local pop-up crafts, food, and beverages. The internationally heralded festival features national stars and local talent playing jazz, blues, funk, Latin, and African music. Admission is free, but donations are appreciated. This year’s full musical lineup can be found at springfieldjazzfest.com. The festival will also offer a sneak peek (or an unveiling, depending on its progress) of the iconic Worthington Street mural project celebrating Springfield history. The mural is being painstakingly restored by Springfield artist John Simpson, who has studied old photographs of the building’s wall in an effort to accurately recreate as much of the original mural as possible. Musical performances on Aug. 12 feature soul and R&B legend Shor’ty Billups, valley legends FAT with Peter Newland and special guest Scott Murawski from Max Creek, Valley blues/rock icon Mitch Chakour and friends, popular Valley blues rockers the Buddy McEarns Band, and soulful blues belter Janet Ryan and her band. The festivities on Aug. 13 commence at 12:30 p.m. with a parade led by New Orleans ensemble the New Breed Brass Band starting from the Wood Museum of Springfield History, where attendees will have free access to the “Horn Man: The Life and Musical Legacy of Charles Neville” exhibit. The parade will end at the stage for the kickoff performance of the Saturday shows. In addition to the musical performances, the multi-faceted festival will feature various arts activities and presentations and workshops. Puerto Rican jazz trombonist William Cepeda will lead a workshop about traditional Afro-Puerto Rican music on Aug. 12 at 5 p.m. at the Hispanic American Library. Cuban jazz vocalist Dayme Arocena, will lead a workshop about traditional Afro-Cuban music on Aug. 13. Attendees can also participate in a mural paint party (a separate mural project from the one on Friday) and a presentation by Puerto Rican mural artist Betsy Casanas, and conversations connecting arts with food and climate justice.
ACC Car Show and Next Step Registration Event
Aug. 13: Asnuntuck Community College’s (ACC) Advanced Manufacturing Technology Center will host a car show from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. The day will also include a college-wide Next Step Saturday registration event beginning at 9 a.m. Tours of the Advanced Manufacturing Technology Center will also be held. The car show, located in the college’s back parking lot, near the Advanced Manufacturing Technology Center building, will include music by Cruisin’ with Bruce Marshall. All owners are welcome to bring their cars free of charge, with no pre-registration, and there is no charge to the public to come and view the cars. The car show has a rain date of Aug. 20, with the open house and registration day taking place rain or shine on the 13th. Next Step Saturday helps new and continuing students apply and register for the fall semester. Advising assistance will be offered, and staff will be on campus to assist with questions regarding financial aid and registration. Participants will also be able to learn about the college’s more than 50 academic programs, in addition to Asnuntuck’s Advanced Manufacturing program.
Housatonic Heritage Walks
Weekends from Sept. 3 to Oct. 2: The Upper Housatonic Valley National Heritage Area announced the 20th annual autumn Housatonic Heritage Walks on five weekends: Sept. 3-4, 10-11, 17-18, and 24-25; and Oct. 1-2. More than 80 free, guided walks will be offered throughout Berkshire County, Mass., and Litchfield County, Conn. The public is invited to participate in these family-friendly, informative walks, offered in partnership with our region’s historic, cultural, and outdoor recreational organizations. The Heritage Walks are an ideal opportunity to experience and learn about this region’s rich and varied local heritage. Historians, naturalists, and environmentalists will lead participants on explorations through historic estate gardens and town districts, behind-the-scenes cultural-site tours, nature walks, trail hikes, and tours of many of the industrial-site ruins that were once thriving local industries. There will be Native American and African-American history walks, a canoe paddling trip on the Housatonic River and a bike tour on scenic country roads. Detailed Heritage Walks brochures will be available at libraries, post offices, restaurants, and grocery stores in the region. The schedule is also available at housatonicheritage.org/events/heritage-walks. To request a brochure by mail, email [email protected]