Around Amherst: Celebrate Amherst Block Party ready for Wednesday

Staff Writer
Thursday, September 28, 2017

AMHERST — Even though the Celebrate Amherst Block Party will be held in the fall for the first time, organizers are promising it will have the same vibe that it’s had as an end-of-summer event.

The sixth annual block party is scheduled from 5 to 9 p.m. Wednesday on North Pleasant Street, which will be turned into a pedestrian boulevard between Hallock and Amity streets.

Various performers will line the street, restaurants will serve food and various organizations will dispense information.

BID Executive Director Sarah la Cour said among the biggest changes this year will be the move of the WRSI: The River performance stage from Kendrick Park to the smaller Realignment Park, near Hope the Cow at the corner of Hallock Street.

Kendrick Park, she said, was becoming too separated from the rest of the event.

The live music will include funk rock band Trailer Park, followed by high school students Glass House and then Irish traditional band Banish Misfortune.

The Peter Pan Futurliner Stage, at the Amity Street end, hosts DJ Kaliis, who will be spinning popular songs and setting up the music for the University of Massachusetts Bellydancing Club, which performs at 6 p.m.

Show Circus returns for high wire acts in the middle of the block party. Its performers will be joined by stilt walkers, acrobats and jugglers.

Several children-specific activities and games will be done throughout the evening, including the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Hampshire County photo booth, and martial arts and dance demonstrations.

After hearing concerns from people that there were not enough places to sit, a dozen tables and 48 chairs will be set up on the street in three distinct areas, la Cour said.

The street closes to traffic at 3 p.m., with parking prohibited at 1 p.m.

Tucker Trail

A new conservation trail in South Amherst will bear the name of retired Planning Director Jonathan Tucker.

At a celebration of Tucker’s more than 30 years of working for the town, officials informed him that the Tucker Trail will be dedicated sometime in 2018 to recognize his service.

Tucker Trail will be in South Amherst on a piece of land the town will be purchasing later this year, Assistant Town Manager David Ziomek said.

As a parting gift, Tucker’s colleagues shipped in to give him a fly-fishing day with a professional.

Land to be acquired

A 10-acre piece of land that was likely once a private woodlot at the base of the Mount Holyoke Range is being acquired by the state’s Department of Conservation and Recreation.

The Select Board this week waived the 120-day notice for the acquisition, which will allow the steep, wooded parcel off Bay Road to remain protected in perpetuity.

The closest homes to the land are on Canterbury Lane, but there is no access to the property from a municipal way.

New food cart

Dumplings, cold noodles and hot buns will soon be served from a new food cart that will be on the sidewalks of downtown Amherst.

Golden Dumplings, to be run by Choega Dhondup, a native of Tibet who now lives in Greenfield, received permission from the Select Board this week to locate in front of St. Brigid’s Church on North Pleasant Street and the Bank of America on South Pleasant Street

The only other sidewalk cart currently operating is New York Halal Food in front of the Unitarian Universalist Society on North Pleasant Street near Kellogg Avenue.

Housing Authority vacancy

The commission that oversees the Amherst Housing Authority has an opening following the resignation of Peter Jessop, who left the board Sept. 1.

Residents have until Oct. 26 at 4 p.m. to submit letters of interest. Candidates will then be interviewed by the remaining commissioners and the Select Board, with a vote on a successor scheduled for Oct. 30.


MONDAY: Transportation Advisory Committee’s Complete Streets and Traffic Calming Subcommittee, 4:30 p.m., conference room, Department of Public Works; Select Board, 6:30 p.m., Town Room, Town Hall.

TUESDAY: Personnel Board, 8 a.m., and Community Preservation Act Committee, 7 p.m., both at First Floor Meeting Room, Town Hall; Dog Park Task Force, 7 p.m., Town Room, Town Hall.

WEDNESDAY: Planning Board, 7:05 p.m., Town Room, Town Hall.