(PITTSFIELD, Mass.) – Hancock Shaker Village’s 15th annual Country Fair – replete with locavore food, handcrafts for sale, best in show awards, bluegrass music, and agricultural-derived activities for the whole family – takes place on Saturday and Sunday, September 29 and 30, 2012, from 10am to 5pm. The fair features a Kids Tent, wagon and pony rides, and a display of antique engines and tractors. New this year, the first annual Chicken Games (in honor of the London Olympics) will be held, with races at 11am and 2pm both days. Country Fair event tickets are included with museum admission.
The Harvest of Quilts exhibition will feature approximately 30 antique and newly-made quilts on display in the Round Stone Barn. Selected quilts in the Harvest of Quilts exhibit will be available for purchase, with a portion of the proceeds helping to support Hancock Shaker Village programs. There will also be daily demonstrations of quilting techniques. Viewers Choice and Heritage Award prize ribbons will be awarded on Sunday at 4:30pm.
Seasons at Hancock Shaker Village, an exhibit in the Poultry House gallery, features 50 works by regional artists Marguerite Bridge, Michael Cohen, Ivor Parry and Scott Taylor who, over four seasons, studied the Village property and its historic buildings and livestock and responded with vibrant drawings, oil paintings, and watercolor images. These modestly-priced works are for sale, with proceeds to benefiting the Village.
The Farmers Market Tent will offer fresh produce, flowers, honey and soap; enjoy Delights of the Earth, Jennings Brook Farm, and Giuseppe’s Wild Mountain Honey.
Fair attendees can learn about HSV’s Community Supported Agriculture program and sign up to join the farm for 2013. From mid-June through late-October, Village CSA members enjoy fresh produce, herbs, fruits, and flowers on a weekly basis, in an overflowing canvas bag complete with recipes. For as little as $250 a year, a couple can partake of a Village-grown bounty of lettuce, broccoli, Swiss chard, beets, potatoes, and dozens of other healthy and sought-after items.
The Crafts Show and Sale will consist of more than 70 vendors, with artisans offering fine crafts of all sorts, furniture, Shaker-style oval boxes, hand–woven textiles, candles, and antiques; find The Grant House Press, Grasselli Oval Boxes, Maggi Kern Crafts, and Mostrom & Chase Handweavers, among other purveyors.
Robin Catalano, content editor for Annie Selke Companies, will award the “Best in Show” of the crafts area. In the Kids Tent, Hancock Shaker Village interpreters will lead a host of fun activities, including crafts, old-fashioned games, and face painting. Wagon Rides ($5 each person) will entail open-air drives through the scenic Village grounds and, of course, a hay pile to jump and play on. Party Time Ponies and rides for children ($5 per ride per person) will be on site from noon to 3pm both days to offer their warm, fuzzy, and friendly ponies.
Chicken Races will be held at 11am and 2pm daily during the Country Fair. Kids will draw numbers from a basket of plastic eggs, and if their chicken comes in first, the child will receive a coloring book prize and get their picture taken with the winning chicken. Five or six chickens will run in each race.
Beginning Wednesday before the Country Fair, adult students can learn Timber Framing building construction using 18th- and 19th-century techniques and tools, assembling the frame of a small building. Instructional demos and discussion supplement hands-on learning. By the close of Country Fair on Sunday, a finished building will be on display. Participants must register directly with instructors Jack Sobon and Dave Carlon by calling 413.684.3223 or 413.684.3612.
Entries to the 7th Annual Pie Contest must be baked from scratch and fillings can either be the baker’s own recipe or Shaker Cranberry Pie or Shaker Apple Pie from The Best of Shaker Cooking by Amy Bess Miller. The pie judge team includes Berkshire Museum Director of Communications Lesley Ann Beck, Mission Bar + Tapas Owner Jim Benson, WAMC president Alan Chartock, artist Roselle Chartock, food writer Judith Lerner, and Chocolate Springs owner Joshua Needleman.
Country Fair admission is free to Hancock Shaker Village members and children 12 and under. Fair and Village admission for adults is $17 and youth visitors aged 13 to 17 are $8. For more information, call 800.817.1137 or visit Hancock Shaker Village.
About Hancock Shaker Village
Situated on a picturesque expanse of farm, field, and woodland in Pittsfield, Mass., Hancock Shaker Village is an outdoor living history museum and center for the study of principled living in the 21st century. The fully restored Village includes 20 historic buildings, heirloom medicinal and vegetable gardens, 22,000 examples of Shaker furniture, crafts, tools, and clothes that depict daily life at the Shakers’ City of Peace through its 220 years, as well as heritage breed farm animals and spectacular hiking trails. Visit and enjoy daily tours, craft and cooking demonstrations, lectures and workshops, and a variety of activities for children and families, as well as a Museum Store and Shaker-inspired cuisine at the Village Harvest Café. The Discovery Room offers hands-on opportunities for kids of all ages to try their hand at chair seat weaving, working at a loom, trying on Shaker-style clothing, or milking a life-sized replica of a cow. An interactive audio tour (free with admission) is available in English, French, Italian, and German. Additionally HSV offers an executive every-other weekend Master of Science in Design & Historic Preservation program in collaboration with UMASS Amherst; see www.umass.edu/preservation for more information about degree and elective coursework and opportunities.
Hancock Shaker Village is located on Route 20 in Pittsfield, Mass., just west of the junction of Routes 20 and 41. For GPS purposes, the Village is located at 34 Lebanon Mountain Rd., Hancock, Mass. 01237. Or, enter 1843 W. Housatonic St., Pittsfield, Mass. 01201 then proceed 1/2 mile further west on Rt. 20 to the parking lot.