Western Massachusetts region to host summer festivals

GREENFIELD, Mass. -- Families heading to western Massachusetts this summer can make the most out of a host of festivals that take place throughout the Upper Pioneer Valley region.

The following is a look at what is going on in June and July:

  • Shelburne Falls will hold its annual Riverfest on June 9 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. along the Deerfield River. A children's Frog and Flower Parade across the Bridge of Flowers is on tap along with whitewater rafting, educational programs, musical events and crafts.
  • A Taste of Amherst festival, set for June 21 to 24 at Amherst Town Common, will feature regional food tastings, live music and children's entertainment. More than 20,000 visitors typically attend the event, which is covered by live radio broadcasts.
  • The 15th annual Green River Festival, scheduled for July 20 and 21 at Greenfield Community College, will feature hot-air balloon rides all weekend. Fireworks displays are set for Friday evening, accompanied by musical entertainment.
  • Families can explore a crafts marketplace and see jugglers and other entertainers perform. Tickets are priced at $20 if purchased by June 1; $25 through July 15. Tickets also will be available at the festival for $35 per adult.

    Children ages 12 and under are admitted free. For additional information, visit the festival's Web site at www.greenriverfestival.com.

    The Upper Pioneer Valley is located about two hours from Boston or Providence, R.I., and about three hours from Manhattan.

    Local activities include whitewater rafting, trout fishing on the Deerfield River and hiking at Northfield Mountain Recreation Center. Art lovers can take in the many galleries at Shelburne Falls and Northampton.

    A tour of the Yankee Candle Car Museum in South Deerfield is a popular draw for groups as well as families.

    For more on the Upper Pioneer Valley, call the Franklin County Chamber of Commerce at (413) 773-5463 or visit its Web site at www.franklincc.org.

    The Upper Pioneer Valley Visitor Information Center can be reached at (413) 773-9393.

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