By Henry Higgins
As old man winter heads north, Western Massachusetts begins to come out of hibernation. With the rebirth of spring comes april showers, may flowers, and a glimpse into the warm months ahead. When the ground thaws out, so do the people. Spring time in Western Massachusetts means farmers' markets, parades, and spring festivals which draw crowds from around New England and beyond. In Northampton, be sure to catch the annual pride parade. The pride parade is a festival that celebrates love, freedom of choice, and the leaps and bounds of social progress that started right here in the north east. The pride parade began in 1982 and marches right through downtown Northampton.
Northampton also boasts the Paradise City Arts Festival, a seriously impressive display of local, as well as artists from around the country, ranging from woodworkers to metalworkers to pottery and more. Come and explore the beauty of what area craftspeople have to offer. According to Yankee Magazine "The Northampton visual arts scene explodes at the Paradise City Arts Festival, an extravaganza of 200-plus top-notch craftspeople and fine artists that's been dazzling shoppers since 1995." The Paradise City Arts Festival runs May 25, 26, and 27. Price of admission is $14, and is located at the Three County Fair Grounds in Northampton off of Route 9.
Northampton doesn't have all the fun though. Right across the river, Amherst hosts the Daffodil Run, a fun and exciting 5k that brings together the community to raise money for Big Brothers Big Sisters. Be sure to look out for the Jones Group Team, who will be participating in the walk. The walk begins and ends at Kendrick park in the center of Amherst. A bit later into spring, Amherst hosts "The Taste of Amherst." According to the Amherst Area Chamber of Commerce, "The event, organized jointly by the Amherst Area Chamber of Commerce and the Amherst Business Improvement District (BID), and presented by Atkins Farms Country Market, is filled with food, family, and fun!." According to Amherst locals, the Taste of Amherst is an awesome event where many restaurants from Amherst convene on the common and offer a wide array of culinary options." Amherst Locals are also excited that the event has been extended a day.
Additionally, folks interested in heading to Amherst can also check out the Amherst Town Fair, sponsored by the Amherst Rotary Club, which occurs May 22-27. Here you can find all the typical fair events, from fried dough to rides for everyone in the family. Amherst Town Fair is featured on the Amherst Town Common. (Photo from Amherst BID)