FallsFest offers fun for all

by Town Reminder

Music and art festival to be held July 27
By Kristin Will
Staff Writer

SOUTH HADLEY – As a way to highlight the past of South Hadley Falls while simultaneously focusing on its future, locals have created FallsFest, a music and arts festival for the entire community.
The daylong, free festival will take place Saturday, July 27 from 12 to 10 p.m. at the Beachgrounds Park.
“It’s about building community,” said FallsFest Co-Chair Carol Constant. “We’ve talked for many years about what we can do to revitalize South Hadley Falls.”
The entire community is invited to listen to talented local and regional musicians who will continuously perform all sorts of genres throughout the day on two main stages.
Delectable meals and treats will be shared by restaurants Dockside, Olde Towne Caterers, Red Neck Roasters, Thirsty Mind, Yarde Tavern and the South Hadley Lion’s Club.
A beer and wine garden will interest parents while appeasing children with soda and water.
Crafters and artisan booths will offer wares and handmade goods for residents to peruse through. Non-profit organizations, like the South Hadley Historical Society, the NHN Food Pantry and Operation Backpack will be set up offering information for those interested.
Big rigs from fire and town departments are sure to entertain young children. The South Hadley Youth Commission and the town’s Recreation Department will host a handful of activities for children. So too will Gerry’s Music Shop and Edward Jones.
Bungee jumping, bounce houses and face painting, staples of a great family-oriented community celebration, will be available as well.
FallsFest may just be a one-day event, said Constant, but it’s sure “to bring people to the Falls and experience the neighborhood that it is.”
Although the event is free, donations are sought of non-perishable food for the NHN Food Pantry.
And any extra funds left over from the event will be donated to the food pantry and USO of the Pioneer Valley.
“It’s going to be a fun day,” said Constant. “Residents should come down with their blankets and lawn chairs and enjoy the day for as long as they like.”
More than 100 volunteers have assisted in pulling FallsFest together, partnered with the South Hadley Chamber of Commerce, South Hadley Falls Neighborhood Association, South Hadley Recreation Department and USO and with help from a South Hadley Cultural Council grant.
Preparations began in September with a 20-person committee who was able to raise $15,000 for the event budget.
“We’re one community,” said FallsFest Co-Chair Ira Brezinsky. “FallsFest is something we’ve put together because we think it’s a good opportunity for people to come together in an area of town that is beautiful and has a lot to offer.”
The event, said Brezinsky, will “shed a bit of spotlight on that area of town.”
“We hope people will come out and just have a great time,” he said.
For more information about FallsFest, as well as a performance schedule, visit http://shfallsfest.com.