FallsFest music festival set to draw thousands

by Town Reminder

Falls B
By Kristin Will

SOUTH HADLEY – An 11-hour-long musical medley will fill Beachgrounds Park next weekend with the return of FallsFest.
The annual festival of music, food and fun starts Saturday, July 25 at 11 a.m.
“We’re really super excited about it,” said FallsFest Co-Chair Ira Brezinsky.
Music geared toward children begins at 11 a.m. with Jose Gonzalez and Banda Criolla Caribbean Fiesta for Kids.
“We’re trying to encourage families with young kids to come to that,” said Brezinsky.
About every hour after that features a different musician or group on two stages.
While the music plays on, visitors can dance in a dance party tent, grab delicious local fare from nine food trucks, lounge at the beer and wine garden and visit local artisans and vendors.
For children, an activities tent provides a musical instrument petting zoo, arts and crafts, Zumba, a visit by Elsa and Anna, as well as other fun activities.
Thirty community organizations will have booths set up promoting non-profit groups. About 29 juried artists and vendors will sell their photos, paintings, drawings, wares and creations.
“It’s really very high-quality stuff,” said Brezinsky.
The evening really gets going with live music at 5 p.m. starting with The Mary Jane Jones band, followed by NRBQ at 6 p.m., Seth Glier at 7:30 p.m. and Marcia Ball at 8:30 p.m.
“We want the entire town to be there,” said Brezinsky.
To make it easy for everyone to attend, FallsFest partnered with the Council on Aging to provide a shuttle from various designated parking areas throughout the Falls area.
Surely, the annual event will draw a large crowd. Each year it grows in popularity and size.
“We’re really proud of it,” said FallsFest Co-Chair Carol Constant. “We really are thrilled at how the community has come and rallied around the festival.”
Brezinsky said the event draws visitors from as far as Boston and Connecticut.
“I feel really good about that,” he said. “When Carol and I first kind of came up with the idea three years ago, it was sort of a crazy idea. But I give a lot of credit to the Neighborhood Association. They’re the ones that started with the very first event they ever did. It was this block party.”
After that party, Brezinsky and Constant brainstormed a festival that featured live music. Piggybacking off the South Hadley Falls Neighborhood Association’s idea of gathering in the Falls for a fun event, Brezinsky and Constant came up with FallsFest.
“The word is getting out,” said Brezinsky. He’s expecting about 40,000 visitors to FallsFest this year.
“We’re really happy with the lineup that we have,” he said. “All really great, very talented musicians. Everything from local in-town musicians to pretty big national artists.”
Entry into FallsFest is free. To find the complete schedule of events and musical lineup, visit http://shfallsfest.com.
“If you’re in town, really make a point to get down there,” said Brezinsky. “It’s just a really nice event. Come on down and just have a great time.”
Constant agreed.
“It’s just phenomenal that people are really excited about being involved. Just come down and have a great time,” she said. “I think it’s the vibe of a block party with a lot more friends and neighbors. It will be a really good party.”