WinterFest is on the way

  • Lisa Palombo, a member of the Umass stage crew dance team, at Winterfest in Amherst in 2015. Carol Lollis

Staff Writer
Thursday, January 31, 2019

AMHERST — Candles will light up the Town Common Saturday evening for the Luminaria, the second annual kick-off event for the week-long WinterFest.

Unlike the event that began in 2018, this year’s Luminaria, which runs from 5 to 8 p.m., will have participation from a few restaurants and a local church.

La Veracruzana on South Pleasant Street will be providing free hot chocolate, Insomnia Cookies on Main Street will be serving free cookies, and 30 Boltwood on Boltwood Avenue will be offering food and drink for sale from its outdoor patio, said Ann Tweedy, marketing director for the Amherst Business Improvement District.

Grace Episcopal Church will host a warming station at 6 p.m., and members of its choir will perform songs of light and illumination and music from Dr. Horace Clarence Boyer’s “Lift Every Voice and Sing II” catalog.

The centerpiece of the event is the candles, donated by Yankee Candle, which will be placed in paper bags decorated by local children. Volunteers for WinterFest will arrange the bags on the common that afternoon, Tweedy said.

The Amherst College DQ, an a cappella group, will perform at 5:30 p.m. Other musical guests will include bagpipers from the Springfield Kiltie Band.

Tweedy said facepainters, coordinated by Amherst College senior Helena Burgueno, will be available for children, and ice carver Joe Almeida will be delivering an ice bench the day before.

Free hand warmers will be available for all.

Black History Month recognized

Black History Month commences in Amherst with the raising of the flag in front of Town Hall at 1:30 p.m. Sunday.

The public is invited to participate in the event, where people will join together to sing the Black National Anthem. They are also encouraged to bring noise makers.

The Town Council this week issued a proclamation which will be read aloud by President Lynn Giresemer. That proclamation asks “all residents to mark this occasion and to participate fittingly in its observance” and recognizes accomplishments of individuals with ties to Massachusetts, including former Governor Deval Patrick, scholar W.E.B DuBois and Crispus Attucks, the first casualty of the American Revolution.

Kathleen Anderson, who heads the local chapter of the NAACP, said a microphone will be passed around to any community members who would like to speak during the ceremony.

Chocolate Sunday

The Amherst Woman’s Club at 35 Triangle St. is holding a chocolate fundraiser at 2 p.m. Sunday

Claire Hopley, a food columnist for the Amherst Bulletin and a cookbook author, will speak about the history and uses of chocolate.

As a fundraiser to support community service organizations, admission to the event is $15.

Reservations should be made by calling 253-3561.

Police officers commended

Five Amherst Police officers have earned letters of commendation for their “extraordinary acts of heroism.”

Benton Carr, Daniel Welch, Andrew Hulse and Justin Satkowski got their recognition for their April 29, 2018, response to a structure fire at 285 Main St., when all four entered the building and evacuated victims.

“After subjecting themselves to raging fire, extreme heat, smoke inhalation, and falling debris, these four officers removed themselves from the building after completing the three story building search and leading 20 occupants to safety,” their citation reads.

Kasey Nagle’s recognition came following his effort on May 4, 2018, to rescue a drowning man at Puffer’s Pond. With no “hesitation or concern for his own personal safety, he fearlessly remained committed to attempting to locate and revive the victim while in dangerously frigid water,” his citation reads.

UMass student wins scholarship

UMass senior Edridge D’Souza is one of 15 undergraduates nationwide to earn a 2019 Churchill Scholarship for a year of post-graduate study in genetics at the University of Cambridge in England.

D’Souza is a biochemistry and molecular biology major, math minor and member of the Commonwealth Honors College from Shrewsbury.


MONDAY: Town Council Rules of Procedure Committee, 7 p.m., Bangs Community Center, Room 101.

WEDNESDAY: Town Council, 9 a.m., Town Room, Town Hall.

FRIDAY: Regional School District Planning Board, 10:30 a.m., Ramsdell Community Room, Pelham Library.