Leverett Village Co-op’s first Harvest Festival coming Sunday

The Leverett Village Co-op is heading into the leaner cold months ahead.

The Leverett Village Co-op is heading into the leaner cold months ahead. STAFF FILE PHOTO


Staff Writer

Published: 10-25-2023 11:36 AM

LEVERETT — Live music, horse-drawn wagon rides and a variety of artisan vendors will be set up at the Leverett Co-op Harvest Festival, being held on the grounds of the 180 Rattlesnake Gutter Road store on Sunday afternoon.

Running from noon to 4 p.m., the co-op’s inaugural fall festival will honor local farmers and makers, while also celebrating National Co-op Month and serving as a fundraiser for the long-running enterprise.

Along with the financial difficulties it’s faced in recent years, the co-op had additional challenges caused by the wet summer and sales that were lower than anticipated due to fewer people heading to Lake Wyola in Shutesbury on weekends because construction closed the road near the lake.

Ken Washburn, an employee at the store, recently launched a GoFundMe effort that set a $15,000 goal to provide a buffer to help the co-op get through the normally slower winter months, when there’s less traffic through the Moore’s Corner section of town to and from the lake, and fewer people are hiking and biking Rattlesnake Gutter.

“When I think about Leverett, I think about the co-op, and how it has served as a vibrant community space for so long,” Washburn writes. “The co-op is more than a grocery store: it’s a meeting place, an art gallery, a coffee shop, an event space, a pizza restaurant, a wine shop, a stage for local musicians, a volunteer opportunity, a heartwarming collection of friends and neighbors.”

No admission is being charged at the festival, where horses from Muddy Brook Farm in Amherst will provide wagon rides. Live music will be provided by Silverback Swing, which performs gypsy jazz, the acoustic swing music of the 1920s and 1930s in the style of Django Reinhardt, and Myrtle Street Klezmer, joined by guest musicians to play a set of traditional Greek music.

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The artisan booths and vendors will have pottery, handmade jewelry, goat milk soaps, lotions and lip balm. There will also be professionals offering fairy hair and massages, and a bag share table to transform feed bags into free reusable tote bags. Other activities include tool sharpening, s’mores, roasting chestnuts, hard cider tastings, a raffle, free samples, pumpkin decorating, hands-on microgreen kits and worm hunts.

Inside, the co-op kitchen will have specials throughout the day, including lunch offerings and baked goodies.

In case of rain, the festival will be delayed to Sunday, Nov. 5. For more information, call 413-367-9794.

Scott Merzbach can be reached at smerzbach@gazettenet.com.