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Ashfield fetes fall

  • Contestants of all ages compete in pumpkin relay races at the Ashfield Fall Festival on Saturday. Runners carried pumpkins around a zucchini marker, adding another pumpkin each time. Recorder/Trish Crapo

    Contestants of all ages compete in pumpkin relay races at the Ashfield Fall Festival on Saturday. Runners carried pumpkins around a zucchini marker, adding another pumpkin each time. Recorder/Trish Crapo Purchase photo reprints »

  • Contestants of all ages compete in pumpkin relay races at the Ashfield Fall Festival on Saturday. Runners carried pumpkins around a zucchini marker, adding another pumpkin each time. Recorder/Trish Crapo

    Contestants of all ages compete in pumpkin relay races at the Ashfield Fall Festival on Saturday. Runners carried pumpkins around a zucchini marker, adding another pumpkin each time. Recorder/Trish Crapo 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

    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 »

  • Contestants of all ages compete in pumpkin relay races at the Ashfield Fall Festival on Saturday. Runners carried pumpkins around a zucchini marker, adding another pumpkin each time. Recorder/Trish Crapo

    Contestants of all ages compete in pumpkin relay races at the Ashfield Fall Festival on Saturday. Runners carried pumpkins around a zucchini marker, adding another pumpkin each time. Recorder/Trish Crapo Purchase photo reprints »

  • Janet DuCharme of New Salem wheels Mildred Kozlowski of West Haven, CT along an outdoor exhibit of paintings at the Ashfield Fall Festival on Saturday. "We come every year just because we love it," DuCharme said. Recorder/Trish Crapo

    Janet DuCharme of New Salem wheels Mildred Kozlowski of West Haven, CT along an outdoor exhibit of paintings at the Ashfield Fall Festival on Saturday. "We come every year just because we love it," DuCharme said. Recorder/Trish Crapo Purchase photo reprints »

  • Nancy Hoff, one of the proprietors of Ashfield Hardware, cooks apple slices for hot apple sundaes during the Ashfield Fall Festival on Saturday.

    Nancy Hoff, one of the proprietors of Ashfield Hardware, cooks apple slices for hot apple sundaes during the Ashfield Fall Festival on Saturday. Purchase photo reprints »

  • Contestants of all ages compete in pumpkin relay races at the Ashfield Fall Festival on Saturday. Runners carried pumpkins around a zucchini marker, adding another pumpkin each time. Recorder/Trish Crapo

    Contestants of all ages compete in pumpkin relay races at the Ashfield Fall Festival on Saturday. Runners carried pumpkins around a zucchini marker, adding another pumpkin each time. Recorder/Trish Crapo Purchase photo reprints »

  • Contestants of all ages compete in pumpkin relay races at the Ashfield Fall Festival on Saturday. Runners carried pumpkins around a zucchini marker, adding another pumpkin each time. Recorder/Trish Crapo

    Contestants of all ages compete in pumpkin relay races at the Ashfield Fall Festival on Saturday. Runners carried pumpkins around a zucchini marker, adding another pumpkin each time. Recorder/Trish Crapo Purchase photo reprints »

  • Contestants of all ages compete in pumpkin relay races at the Ashfield Fall Festival on Saturday. Runners carried pumpkins around a zucchini marker, adding another pumpkin each time. Recorder/Trish Crapo
  • Contestants of all ages compete in pumpkin relay races at the Ashfield Fall Festival on Saturday. Runners carried pumpkins around a zucchini marker, adding another pumpkin each time. Recorder/Trish Crapo
  • 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
  • Contestants of all ages compete in pumpkin relay races at the Ashfield Fall Festival on Saturday. Runners carried pumpkins around a zucchini marker, adding another pumpkin each time. Recorder/Trish Crapo
  • Janet DuCharme of New Salem wheels Mildred Kozlowski of West Haven, CT along an outdoor exhibit of paintings at the Ashfield Fall Festival on Saturday. "We come every year just because we love it," DuCharme said. Recorder/Trish Crapo
  • Nancy Hoff, one of the proprietors of Ashfield Hardware, cooks apple slices for hot apple sundaes during the Ashfield Fall Festival on Saturday.
  • Contestants of all ages compete in pumpkin relay races at the Ashfield Fall Festival on Saturday. Runners carried pumpkins around a zucchini marker, adding another pumpkin each time. Recorder/Trish Crapo
  • Contestants of all ages compete in pumpkin relay races at the Ashfield Fall Festival on Saturday. Runners carried pumpkins around a zucchini marker, adding another pumpkin each time. Recorder/Trish Crapo

ASHFIELD — Main Street and its nearby arteries pulsed with music, smells of hot maple syrup and cooking meat this weekend for the annual fall festival.

Sunday, the first day’s athletic competitions had passed — including the well-attended “Pumpkingames” foot races — and the focus returned to the many food and craft vendors lining the streets and filling community buildings.

Evicting emergency vehicles, the Ashfield Firefighters’ Association converted the three bays of the fire station into a banquet hall, and the adjacent Town Hall saw a similar transformation.

With the first floor vendors’ aromas of fried dough and maple syrup permeating the building, local crafters filled the second floor.

William Cudnohufsky and wife Elizabeth Keyes of Ashfield displayed Cudnohufsky’s wood work, including delicate miniature chalices and vases turned from tagua nuts.

Keyes explains the nuts, also known as vegetable ivory, begin life as sweet and edible palm tree produce and harden to the point they were used to counterfeit ivory buttons in the 1800s.

Cudnohufsky uses a lathe and handmade tools to shape the nut, reducing one to an eggshell thin, partly translucent cup fixed to a slender ebony stem.

Cudnohufsky said they used to travel up and down the Northeast for craft shows, but the majority of his business is now custom picture-framing and Ashfield’s is the only craft show he now attends.

“It’s home,” Cudnohufsky said. “We’ve been doing it so long, we see all the people we know, we see them once a year here.”

At the far end of the room, fellow woodworker Kurt Meyer also stressed the non-commercial side of the fair.

“It’s a great chance for me to get some direct feedback from people who buy my work, and it’s a wonderful social event,” Meyer said.

Meyer said he has been attending the festival since he moved to Ashfield, officially Shelburne Falls according to the Postal Service, 13 years ago.

This year Meyer displayed a collection of inlaid and mosaic wooden boxes and ornaments, including boxes of his own design resembling a sort of accordion Russian nesting doll, with increasingly smaller cases opening to a ring box at the core.

Outside, near the music of a real accordion — technically a concertina, courtesy of the band Banish Misfortune — Keith Obert and Amy Roberts-Crawford took a break from booth work with some of the festival’s edible offerings.

Obert guessed he and Roberts-Crawford, Ashfield natives, had been attending for about 40 years.

“It’s the social event of the year,” Obert said.

“I run into all my high school classmates,” Roberts-Crawford said, and Obert said the number of meetings stretches the walk from one end of the street to another to about three hours.

Obert said it is important to come prepared with a list of food to be eaten, including the Cajun pulled pork, candy apples and maple cotton candy, to which Roberts-Crawford adds the pumpkin whoopie pies she makes for the church sale.

While Obert and Roberts-Crawford set to work on loaded baked potatoes daughter Octavia Crawford, 8, son Adison Crawford, 5, worked off the excess energy of maple cotton candy in leaping on and off the bench.

You can reach Chris Curtis at: ccurtis@recorder.com or 413-772-0261, ext. 257

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