Saturday offers best of both worlds: Harvest Festival and farmers market
PITTSFIELD — Take Pumpkin painting and Halloween costumes, and mix with fresh produce, artisan foods and crafts to create the city's second Harvest Festival.
Saturday's fall celebration at The Common on First Street is a collaboration between the Pittsfield Office of Cultural Development and Downtown Pittsfield Farmers Market.
The Harvest Festival runs from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., overlapping with the farmers market's regular hours of 9 a .m. to 1 p.m. It's the final outdoor market of 2017.
The indoor market season begins Nov. 11 at the Zion Lutheran Church, next to The Common, and runs from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. every second Saturday of the month through April.
The Harvest Festival was introduced last year as a replacement for the October Third Thursday, which experienced sagging attendance and vendor interest compared with other Third Thursday events, city officials said.
Mayor Linda M. Tyer says Pittsfield is the mid-October place.
"The fall is one of the most magical times in the Berkshires," Tyer said in a prepared release. "We are privileged to witness nature on full display and enjoy all the outdoor activities that come with this time of year."
The fall fun features the Halloween Costume Festival, with giveaways for each participant, pumpkin painting and a "future farmer" selfie photo booth. Children of all ages ride for free The Roaming Railroad, a popular Third Thursday attraction.
The farmers market highlights include celebrity sous chefs Mayor Tyer and Jeff Bellows, a vice president at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts working with Pittsfield chef Anna Gershenson, the host of PCTV's "The Natural Cook." Tyer and Bellows will demonstrate the food preparation and cooking.
"By increasing access to nutritious, locally-grown food and providing programming that encourages healthy cooking and active lifestyles, the market is improving the quality of life for residents of Western Massachusetts," Bellows noted.
Live entertainment, physical fitness activities and dozens of vendors round out the farmers market lineup.
Reach staff writer Dick Lindsay at 413-496-6233.
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