Around Amherst: Lunar New Year brings food, Winterfest fun this weekend


Staff Writer

Published: 01-27-2023 8:56 PM

AMHERST — Amherst will celebrate the Lunar New Year and Spring Festival with an event Sunday at the Amherst Regional Middle School auditorium.

The Human Rights Commission is sponsoring the celebration, running from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m, that will include a conversation with Lily Soh, associate pastor at the First Baptist Church.

Soh will explain the festival’s origins followed by lunch and performances by the East Culture Arts. Lunch will be provided by Crazy Noodles, Formosa Chinese Restaurant, Fresh Side and Ginger Garden.

To mark the Lunar New Year, the Town Council adopted a proclamation this week to mark the transition from one animal to the next, with Jan. 21 ending the Year of the Tiger and Jan. 22 signaling the start of the Year of the Rabbit, noting that “in Chinese culture, those born under the sign of rabbit are gentle, elegant, modest, alert, cautious, ambitious and intuitive, and is Yin energy.” The proclamation also advises residents to join together “so that families may celebrate on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. ”

Meanwhile, another proclamation from the Town Council states that Wednesday will mark the beginning of Black History Month, an observance that starts with a flag-raising ceremony that day at 6 p.m. at Town Hall. Throughout the month, there will be celebrations and recognitions of Black and African American history.

Winterfest returns

This week’s snowfall arrives just as Amherst Recreation and several organizations kick off Winterfest on Saturday at noon at Cherry Hill Golf Course in North Amherst.

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The free event, running until 4 p.m., includes a variety of events, from the Cardboard Classic sled race to the Frosty Fun Kids Carnival. There will also be s’mores and hot chocolate, a wildlife scavenger hunt and sledding.

Free parking will be in the Mill District, where shuttles will bring people to the Montague Road site.

Winterfest then continues with other events throughout town that extend through Saturday, Feb. 11, concluding with the Fire & Ice Festival on the Town Common that afternoon.

Hair East closes

A downtown hair salon at 103 North Pleasant St. that opened in 1984 closed earlier this month.

“It has been a pleasure to offer hair service to the wonderful clients in the time here,” reads a message from Dawn Einhorn on the salon’s Facebook page.

Hair East had an open house on Jan. 15 to say goodbye to its customers.

Mead Art reopens

After extended closures due to the pandemic and construction, Mead Art Museum at Amherst College is reopening Tuesday.

The reopening, which marks the first time the Mead will be fully open in nearly three years, begins a spring season featuring three new exhibitions. Its open hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday, except on Thursdays, when the museum stays open until 10 p.m.

“As we reopen our galleries, we are excited to connect once again with our local friends and neighbors, and to grow relationships with those who may not know us yet,” Mead Director Siddhartha V. Shah said in a statement. “We hope that members of our community will share their hopes for the Mead’s future, as well as their well-wishes as we begin a new chapter in the museum’s history.”

Monkey research

People for Ethical Treatment of Animal activities rallied last week inside the Westin St. Francis hotel in San Francisco at a University of Massachusetts alumni event to call on UMass President Marty Meehan and Chancellor Kumble R. Subbaswamy to stop campus laboratory experiments with marmoset monkeys.

PETA Senior Vice President Kathy Guillermo said in a statement that the action was about what the organization argues are torment to the animals related to menopause studies. “PETA is calling on the school to shut down these costly experiments that have never helped women and never will,” Guillermo said.


WEDNESDAY: Community Development Block Grant Advisory Committee public hearing, 7 p.m.