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It’s festival time in Ashfield

  • Lily Manseau adds some fresh color to the pumpkin she is painting during the Fall Festival in Ashfield<br/>STORY<br/>11/10/9 MacDonald

    Lily Manseau adds some fresh color to the pumpkin she is painting during the Fall Festival in Ashfield
    STORY
    11/10/9 MacDonald Purchase photo reprints »

  • Antique cars line Main Strteet during the Fall Festival in Ashfield<br/>STORY<br/>11/10/9 MacDonald

    Antique cars line Main Strteet during the Fall Festival in Ashfield
    STORY
    11/10/9 MacDonald Purchase photo reprints »

  • Lily Manseau adds some fresh color to the pumpkin she is painting during the Fall Festival in Ashfield<br/>STORY<br/>11/10/9 MacDonald
  • Antique cars line Main Strteet during the Fall Festival in Ashfield<br/>STORY<br/>11/10/9 MacDonald

ASHFIELD — The annual Ashfield Fall Festival takes place this weekend, and is a mecca for leaf peepers and locals alike, who come for the music, local food, the children’s activities, the tag and used-book sales and the showcase of arts from local crafts people.

The event takes place throughout the town center, mostly along Main Street, from the Ashfield Lake House to Baptist Corner Road. The 43-year-old Columbus Day-weekend event kicks off Saturday morning at 10 a.m. with the Florence Community Band on stage at the Town Common.

Highlights of Saturday’s events include the noon pumpkin games for children, and Morris Dancers at 3:30 p.m. Musicians scheduled to perform on Saturday include Radio Free Earth, Lost Mountain and Zoe Darrow and the Fiddleheads.

Throughout the weekend, children’s games on the common include mini-golf, a “fidget ladder,” a “top hat toss” and face- and pumpkin-painting booths.

There is a wide variety of food, but perennial favorites include the Gray family’s fried dough with maple cream, the Ashfield Boy Scout Troop’s fresh pumpkin spice doughnuts and cider, St. John’s Episcopal Church’s blueberry cobbler, and fresh baked apple pies.

This year, there will also be an “Ashfield Autumn Dance” held at 7 p.m. Saturday in a tent behind the Norton Inn.

Sunday’s highlights include a day of music, starting with Abby and Harry Adams at 11 a.m. and continuing with Lui Collins, West County Jazz, Banish Misfortune, Abe Loomis and Friends, and the Ashfield Community Band.

The fall festival was started in 1969, as a town celebration, as a fundraiser for scholarships and community organizations, and as a way to showcase the town’s farms, artisans and businesses. At least 50 artists, artisans and craftspeople will display their work.

The event is free. Dog owners are asked to leave their pets at home.

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