Around Amherst: All-day Juneteenth Jubilee takes over Town Common

Staff Writer
Monday, June 20, 2022

AMHERST — A full day of events, including music, poetry and other entertainment, and food, drink and craft vendors was held on the Town Common on Sunday as the town celebrated Juneteenth.

Jennifer Moyston, a community participation officer who ihelped organize Juneteenth Jubilee: Lift Every Voice & Sing, said the family-friendly day comes a day after Saturday’s Juneteenth walking tour from West Cemetery to historic Black neighborhoods in Amherst and other sites.

The Juneteenth Jubilee began with a bell-ringing ceremony, a performance by the Amherst Area Gospel Choir and a libation ceremony led by Nana Andrea.

At 1 p.m., poetry will be read by Carlie Tartakov and JB the Black Magician will perform, followed at 2 p.m. by Africana Dance & Fitness and at 3 p.m. with a performance by Tem Blessed and a poetry slam by Amherst Regional High School students. Later, singer D’Anthony Lorenzo and the Wofa Pioneer Valley Performing Arts School’s West African Drum and Dance Co. perform.

Numerous Black-owned businesses will be on hand. Among the food vendors will be Hazel’s Blue Lagoon, Auntie Adrienne’s Restaurant, Paris’s Hot Dogs and Lemonade and Southern Belle Pastry, while crafts vendors will be Africana Home Goods, Dimples & Daughters, The Rock and Soul Boutique and Alex Evora Green Arts.

New flowers

New flowers were placed in boxes outside Town Hall last week with assistance from students at Summit Academy.

Following the retirement of Mary Decker, the custodian who handled the building’s landscaping, Angela Mills, a community participation officer, was tasked with taking care of the flower beds. On Tuesday, Mills removed old plants from the large flower box on Main Street and got the site ready for the students.

New flowers and other plantings were purchased at Andrew’s Greenhouse, Mills said.

Lake Warner fundraiser

The Friends of Lake Warner and the Mill River are holding a canoeing fundraiser Saturday from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Lake Warner boat ramp, at the intersection of Mount Warner and River roads in Hadley.

In partnership with Adventure East, the group that cares for and preserves the North Hadley Pond and its associated watershed will provide boats, paddles and life vests for two-hour paddles on the lake. The fee is $10 to $30 sliding scale per boat, and families and beginning paddlers are welcome. 

Funds raised will go toward management of invasive aquatic plants, water quality improvement, public outreach and education, and collaboration with other organizations engaged in watershed protection. 

For more information, visit the Friends of Lake Warner Facebook page at facebook.com/friendsoflakewarner/.

Fireworks return

Amherst’s July 4 fireworks are returning this year after being canceled the past two years, but unlike in the past will be held in advance of Independence Day.

The plans are for Amherst to have fireworks set off near Alumni Stadium at the University of Massachusetts on July 1, at around 9 p.m.

UMass Dining

UMass Dining brought home gold at the American Culinary Federation’s collegiate competition held during the 28th annual Chef Culinary Conference on the campus this month,

The UMass team featured chefs Robert Bankert, Caleb Pham, Paul Provost and Stephanie Briones, who tested their skills against eight other college and university culinary teams of four from across the United States, including Pomona College, UC San Diego, Virginia Tech and Rice University.

Each team was required to prepare a four-course meal, including a buffet-style item to be served to the judges and competing teams. The UMass team offered a pan-seared Atlantic pollock, slow-roasted lamb ribeye and braised lamb ragout and a pistachio choux craquelin. The buffet item was a turmeric and lemongrass roasted shrimp with pistachio-raisin pulao, sautéed watercress, seared nectarines and broccoli-red lentil pakora.


WEDNESDAY: Historical Commission, 6:30 p.m.

THURSDAY: Zoning Board of Appeals, 6 p.m.