Around Amherst: Crafts fair returns Saturday

Staff Writer
Thursday, June 22, 2017

AMHERST — An annual event that brings craftspeople from throughout the region to the Town Common returns Saturday.

The Crafts on the Common Fair, put on by Big Brothers Big Sisters of Hampshire County, is being held for the 37th time from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

More than 100 juried artisans will set up for the event, which will also have children’s activities, food booths and live music, by performers including Eva Cappelli, Eli Caplan and the Memphis Flyers.

Jennifer Loebel, development Director for Big Brothers Big Sisters, a program of the nonprofit Center for Human Development, said in a statement that the fair remains a major fundraiser.

“While we have a good number of returning artisans to Amherst common this year, every year feels fresh and new with a great number of new vendors, musical acts and activities,” Loebel said.

Coinciding with the fair will be an extensive silent auction with handcrafted items and a children’s book sale of more than 6,000 children’s books, organized by children’s book author and illustrator Diane deGroat.

Big Brothers Big Sisters connects at-risk children with adults who serve as friends and role models

Pools open

Amherst’s outdoor municipal pools at Mill River Recreation Area and Community Field open Saturday.

Daily admission to Mill River and War Memorial pools is $3 for Amherst adults and $2 for children and senior citizens. Nonresident adults are charged $4, or $3 for children and senior citizens who live outside Amherst.

Memberships are also available.

The lone wading pool, located at Mill River, will be open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The wading pool at Groff Park was demolished, to be replaced by the town’s first spray park.

For more information, visit www.amherstma.gov/370/Outdoor-Pools

Concerts begin

The Amherst Community Band kicks off the outdoor concert season when it performs at 7 p.m. Friday as part of the Downtown Beats event at Sweetser Park

This will be followed by performances at the same time and location July 21 and Aug. 18.

Other performers will be at Kendrick Park throughout the summer. Those begin July 20 with Mister G.

Public speaking workshops

Cathy McNally, an expert in public speaking, is leading free workshops to women activists and advocates interested in becoming more effective and confident public speakers.

The two-hour workshops, at the Amherst Room at the Jones Library, begin Saturday at 10 a.m. and continue July 15 and Aug. 12.

The workshops will help women articulate and deliver their message and offer strategies to ensure that speakers feel more comfortable when they speak, and ensure that what they say is memorable and compelling.

McNally is the program development director at Speaker Sisterhood, a network of speaking clubs for women launched recently in the Pioneer Valley. She has also been a corporate communications trainer for over 20 years and has worked with women in local jails to help inmates rite and perform poetry and writing.

For more information and to reserve a space, contact McNally at cathy@speakersister hood.com.

Downtown planning workshop

A meeting in which the public and town planners will discuss visions for downtown Amherst will be held June 29 at 6:30 p.m. at the Woodbury Room in the Jones Library.

Select Board member Connie Kruger said the meeting was scheduled with Planning Director Christine Brestrup and members of the Planning Board to go over ideas about what the downtown should look like.

Kruger said the idea is to hear from people about “what’s working and what isn’t working and from that decide what kind of more focused meetings might happen later to try to create a framework for planning for the downtown,” Kruger said.