Neighbors: Fireworks fun, but lots more to summer ahead

Hello, neighbor.

Greenfield’s Fourth of July celebration and fireworks display did not disappoint on Saturday.

I went to Beacon Field with grandson Justin around 7 p.m. The first thing we did was take a “choo-choo” train ride around the grounds. Just before that, I ran into Greenfield Recreation Director Christy Moore, who said the celebration, to that point anyway, was another huge success.

People found their spots on Beacon’s lawn and waited for the fireworks while listening to some good music and enjoying some luscious fare provided by several vendors, including fried dough with maple cream from Hager’s Farm in Shelburne.

Finally, Justin, his mom and I settled into our spot at Hair’s the Thing on the corner of Federal and Riddell streets — the perfect spot to watch and, more importantly, beat the crowds after the show was over. Thank you, Kelly, for allowing us to join you and the rest of your friends for a wonderful evening.

The nicest part about the evening was running into neighbors, old friends and some new acquaintances, who I hope will eventually become friends.

Now, it’s time to head into the rest of the summer — only 76 days left.

There’s the Green River Festival, which will be held Saturday and Sunday on the Greenfield Community College campus, and there will be concerts in the Greenfield Energy Park and other county locations throughout July and August.

Don’t forget that farmers markets are in full swing, offering some of the best produce, meats and other products, all of which are locally grown.

Yankee Doodle Days in Charlemont is right around the corner and in August there will be a reggae festival in Charlemont, a block party in Turners Falls, a fair in Heath, Old Home Days in Montague and the Grange Fair in Shelburne, to mention a few.

Then, just a few weeks before autumn falls upon us, the Franklin County Fair will open.

All you have to do is check the Franklin County Chamber of Commerce website for more information and a complete list of upcoming events:

For information on and a schedule of Green River Festival events, visit:

By the way, if you’re looking for a nice place to swim and have a picnic with the family, Lake Wyola in Shutesbury, Laurel Lake in Erving and Green River Swimming and Recreation Area in Greenfield all come to mind.

Have a fun and safe summer!

OUR NEIGHBOR BILL NEWMAN, local radio talk show host and author, will appear at Boswell’s Books in Shelburne Falls to discuss his book, “When the War Came Home,” on Thursday at 6:30 p.m .

The book discusses the accomplishments and failures of the anti-war movement of the 1960s and 1970s and the impact of the anti-Vietnam movement on other social movements at the time.

Bill will speak, answer questions and sign books. The event is free and open to the public.

For more information, call 413-625-9362.

ROWE OLD HOME DAYS will be held Saturday and Sunday. You’ll find everything from strawberry shortcake and a delicious pancake breakfast to a climbing wall and dunking booth to a fishing derby and pie-eating contest.

On Sunday, there will be a bonfire from 7 to 9 p.m. at Pelham Lake with fireworks around 9.

Festivities begin at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday and 7:30 a.m. on Sunday.

For more information and a complete schedule, visit:

DON’T FORGET ABOUT THE GOLF TOURNAMENT at Thomas Memorial Golf and Country Club on July 19 (rain date: July 20). Proceeds from the four-person scramble, shotgun start tournament will provide flags for the graves of all veterans buried in the town’s 14 cemeteries and one wreath for each cemetery.

For more information about the tournament, call 413-863-8003 or 413-659-3061.

JUST ROOTS IN GREENFIELD has some great events and activities coming up, including a workshop called “Baking Bread, Butchering Chicken and Making Stock and Soup” on July 20. It’s part of its Homesteading-Resilience workshop series. The early registration rate is $95 per person.

For more information on this and future workshops and to register, call 413-325-8969 or visit:

THE TOWN OF ERVING DEDICATED its annual Town Report this year to Robert Bitzer, who has served as the town’s representative to Franklin County Technical School for the past 24 years. Mr. Bitzer has read his report at the Erving Town Meeting since he began serving as the town’s representative. He is 88 years old and still serving.

Congratulations, Mr. Bitzer!

To contact Anita Fritz, a staff reporter at The Recorder, send an email to: or call 413-772-0261, ext. 280. You can also reach Anita on Facebook at Anita’s Neighbors. Information to be included in Neighbors may also be sent to: up to noon two days before you want it to run.

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