The Guide to North Central Massachusetts Fall-Winter 2021-22

Page 1

The Guide to


North Central


In This Issue...

Snow on the Mountain

Calendar of Events

By the Numbers

Treasuring Talent

Johnny Appleseed Country Winter 2021-22


U-Pick Apples, Sunflowers, Pumpkins, Potato, Ornamental Corn Fresh Cider Donuts Cider Slushies Old Fashioned Fruit-Topped Ice Cream Petting Farm Animals Country Store Hiking Trails Curbside Pickup


Moonhill Beer on Tap Brew Barn Kitchen / BBQ Pit Open for Lunch & Dinner

Follow us on Social Media for Events, Updates & Hours

Live Music Daily


The Farm: 455 Highland Ave Phillipston, MA The City: 100 Hanover Street, Boston, MA

Check our social media sites for upcoming Events, Festivals, Dates & Times


Hard Cider Made on Premises Hard Cider Slushies Seasonal Fruit Flavors Tap Room Outdoor Deck & Cider Garden

Exit 79 off Rt. 2 • Phillipston, MA • 978-249-6763 See our website for more information


The Guide to


North Central

2 Where's Johnny?

• FARMS & FOOD 4 Celebrating the Season 6 An Apple a Day... 8 Take a Taste-Filled Tour 10 On the Road to Freedom

Massachusetts Visit North Central Massachusetts


General Information Center & Main Visitor Center Phone: 978-534-2302 Volunteer & Sponsoring Member Information Phone: 978-534-2829


& ADVERTISERS 12 Short Stops 25 Quick Picks 36 Towns in Our Region 46 Places to Visit 56 Directory of Advertisers & Lodging

The Guide to North Central Massachusetts is published semi-annually to help visitors discover the pleasures of the region. This complimentary publication is distributed through the state tourist information center; AAA offices in CT, MA & RI; and sponsoring member locations serving visitors and newcomers to North Central Massachusetts. Write to us at 1000 Route 2 Westbound, Lancaster, MA 01523.


• GREAT OUTDOORS 14 By the Numbers 16 A Hiker's Guide to Fall Color 18 Double Your Pleasure 20 Ice Out! 35 Snow on the Mountain

Publisher: Roy Nascimento Executive Editor: Diane Burnette Managing Editor: Patricia L. Gale Editorial Production: Sitka Creations® LLC Contributors to this issue: John Burk, Diane Burnette, Edwin Encarnaci, Sandra Perko, Virginia Strahan, and Will Rogers Photography


• THINGS TO DO 22 Ghosts & Goblins Galore! 24 Ride 'Em, Cowboy! 26 Colorful Canines 42 Treasuring Talent 44 Light the Lights!

@visitnorthcentralmassachusetts @visitnorthcentralma @VisitNCM


Johnny Appleseed Country

• CALENDAR 28-34 Calendar of Events



Fall Edition: Photo by Carly Naszinc. Girl with her horse on fall day. Winter Edition: Photo courtesy of Wachusett Mountain Ski Area. Multiple snowboarders on Wachusett Mountain.

Funded, in part, by The Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism. For statewide planning information,

Fall | Winter 2021


Where’s Johnny? S

o you made the trip from near or far, landing smack in the middle of North Central Massachusetts. You’re in Johnny Appleseed Country. But where’s Johnny?

Of course, John Chapman — who gained legendary status as a sower of seeds and planter of apple orchards — has faded into history. Born in Leominster in 1774, Johnny spent his youth here before heading west as the fledgling nation expanded. A youthful version of Johnny welcomes travelers to the Johnny Appleseed Visitor Center on Route 2. Stop by for a selfie! But wait, there’s more! You can see where the legend began, just about a mile from the Visitor Center. Johnny’s birthplace is marked by a plaque and miniature cabin, located — appropriately enough — on Johnny Appleseed Lane. It’s a modest recognition of a national legend — but that certainly doesn’t mean that the city of his birth has forgotten him. Parks, schools and streets bear Johnny’s name, and a bigger-thanlife-size statue, carved


from wood, stands in City Hall, on West Street in downtown Leominster. And throughout the year, you’re likely to run into Johnny — in the form of a local re-enactor — who is known to stop by fairs and festivals, chatting with visitors and sharing the story of Leominster’s hometown legend. Want to learn more about Johnny? The Visitor Center on Route 2 Westbound in Lancaster has a number of books about his life and times, geared to all ages! §

The City of

Fitchburg Airport Commission:

SEPTEMBER 26th, SUNDAY ................ Brazilian Day – Buteco Boston OCTOBER 10th, SUNDAY .................... Brazilian Day – Buteco Boston

Rodeo of Fitchburg, Doors Open: 11 AM, Doors Close: 9 PM Bullriders: 2 PM, Concert: 5 PM Live Brazilian Bands/Brazilian & American Food/Rodeo/DJ’s

Parks & Recreation:

SEPTEMBER 17, 2021 .......................... Movies in the Park Riverfront Park at Dusk

OCTOBER 23, 2021............................... Spooky Drive-In Movies

Projected Location: Wallace Civic Center, Movie Starts at 6 PM

OCTOBER 30, 2021............................... Spooky Drive-In Movies

Projected Location: Wallace Civic Center, Movie Starts at 6 PM


SEPTEMBER 2, 6-9PM ......................... First Thursday

Art, music and cultural happenings on Main Street in Downtown Fitchburg

SEPT. 24, FRIDAY.................................. Food Truck Festival, 4-8 pm River Styx Brewery Bolder Drive

SEPT. 25, 2021 – JAN. 9, 2022 .............. Fitchburg Art Museum: Joyride

Cars in American Art from the Terry and Eva Herndon Collection

SEPTEMBER 25-26 ............................... Fitchburg Open Studios

A free, self-guided, art discovery tour which allows individuals to visit as many artists and locations as you desire, with each stop offering its own unique and varied experience. A project of the Fitchburg Cultural Council.

OCTOBER 23......................................... Villainous Trunk or Treat Bash A Halloween event by NoWoCo Pride

OCTOBER 30......................................... Trick or Treat on Main Street, Fitchburg 12-2 PM @FitchburgMassachusetts @Fitchburg365

Check our website and social media for updates on upcoming events.

Fall | Winter 2021



Celebrating the Season

Farms & Food

he calendar page flips — and suddenly, fall is here. Oh, you can quibble about the issue of the astronomical date vs the meteorological date — but for most folks, September 1 is the magic day. Boom! Summer is gone. Tuck away the swim suits and beach umbrellas. It’s time to celebrate autumn in all its glory! Cooler nights. Crisper air. The knowledge that in just a few short months, the colder winds (and, most likely, the snows) of winter will be felt across New England. But while it lasts, this season is oh, so sweet! So it’s no wonder that farms, orchards, and communities throughout North Central Massachusetts roll out the red carpet, turn up the music, and throw super celebrations! Want to join in the fun? Here’s a sampling of fall fairs and festivals that will help you savor the season. Appleseed Country Fair. The Appleseed Country Fair on Labor Day weekend is an obvious place to start. Imagine three days of music, art, fruit picking, hayrides, crafts, food, and much, much more! The Red Apple Farm in Phillipston will be alive with the sound of music from three stages, while food trucks and the farm’s own barbecue pit will be dishing up the food you’ll need to keep your energy up as you stroll through the orchard, swing a sledgehammer to whack a car, watch a chainsaw carving demonstration, or raise a glass of local cider or craft beer. Let the kids meet cute and cuddly animals, or learn


Kids can meet the animals up close!

Game at Appleseed Country Fair.

how their dinner veggies are grown. See their smiles as their faces are painted by local artists or they pick out the perfect pumpkin for their Halloween carving. Sholan Farms. Leominster’s volunteer-run orchard, Sholan Farms, has planned a bushel of celebrations, ranging from their annual Cream of the Crop Weekend, spotlighting a favorite local apple, to a Homecrafters Festival and Harvest Festival highlighted by scarecrows in the orchard. And if you want to learn more about apples, be sure to stop by the orchard’s

event on September 4, when the New England Museum of Apples and Cider displays more than a dozen early-season New England apples and presents a cidermaking demonstration. The Sterling Fair. Don’t believe central New England is farm country? Well, then, you haven’t been to the Sterling Fair in midSeptember, an agricultural extravaganza that includes a host of traditional farm exhibitions and contests, tractor races, antique engine displays, midway rides — and even a frog-jumping contest (don’t forget to bring your own frog)! The Harvest Jam. No, this isn’t a new flavor of fruit spread… but Hollis Hills Farm in Fitchburg will really be jammin’ on September 18 as the farm celebrates harvest season! Music, music, and more music will keep your toes tapping as you enjoy picking your own apples, visiting farm animals and enjoying food and drink in a country setting. Mountainside Fun. Before winter snows (and happy skiers) arrive, Wachusett Mountain Ski Area welcomes visitors with seasonal celebrations: A BBQ Fest, Kids Fest and, of course, Oktoberfest — all filled with food, music, and… beer! Thanksgiving Time. Good harvest, good friends, hopefully good weather —farmers can always find something to be thankful for, and you can join the folks at Red Apple Farm in Phillipston on the weekend before Thanksgiving as they celebrate the end of the harvest season. What better way to fill your holiday table with locally-grown fresh

A harvest worth celebrating at Hollis Hills Farm.

Everyone loves a wagon ride!

bounty, right down to the bright red cranberries? Community Celebrations. They’re not on the farm, but they’re definitely designed to celebrate that most colorful of New England seasons. Let your fingers walk through the September and October listings in this issue of The Guide, and you’ll find a bounteous list of fall fairs and festivals as local residents enjoy a final fling before winter sets in. Here are a few highlights: The Gardner Ale House Oktoberfest, Johnny Appleseed Art & Cultural Festival in Leominster, Winchendon Fall Festival, Westminster Cracker Festival, Hubbardston Field Day and Athol Congregational Church Country Fair… and more! The sun is bright, the air is fresh, the colors surrounding you are brilliant… Autumn is a perfect time to sample the sights, sounds and flavors of North Central Massachusetts! § For more details about these events, check the Calendar section on pages 28 through 34 of this Guide …and enjoy!

Chair City Welcomes You!

Saturday, September 25

•Fabulous Fall Festival •Gardner Ale House 15th Annual Oktoberfest

Saturday, November 27

•Small Business Saturday

Enjoy Fall Recreation at:

•Gardner Municipal Golf Course •Dunn State Park •North Central Pathway

Visit Sunday, December 25

•Holiday Stroll & Tree Lighting

Sunday, December 19 •Caroling with the Mayor

Enjoy Winter Recreation at: •Gardner Veterans Skating Park •Gardner Museum •Gardner Ten Pins •Brian’s Bowlaway

Fall | Winter 2021


An Apple a Day…

Farms & Food

celebrate the season. Walk through a local orchard and you’ll see toddlers sitting on a parent’s shoulders, straining to reach that perfect apple, and families loading brimming baskets into their cars for the ride home, ready for a day of pie-baking or jelly-making in the kitchen. If your apple experience has been limited to what you find on your local grocer’s shelves, well, you’re in for a big surprise. There are dozens of varieties out there in the orchards; maybe, just maybe, it’s time for you to try something new! But where to begin? Think of it: the Red Apple Farm in Phillipston offers 42 different varieties of the fruit that earned Johnny Appleseed his nickname. Sholan Farms, a 169-acre orchard operated by a volunteer organization, has more than three dozen varieties that ripen

Caramel apples from Lanni Orchards.


hink autumn. Think New England. Think… apples! Shiny red Macs, fairly sparkling in the sun. Pale green Granny Smiths, hiding amid the leaves. Golden Delicious, Galas —and a favorite at Leominster’s own Sholan Farms, Macouns. Everywhere you go in North Central Massachusetts, you’re likely to see reminders of Johnny Appleseed’s legacy: rolling orchards with neat rows of trees, their limbs burdened with fruit waiting to be picked. Farmstand tables piled high with recently-harvested Cortlands, Baldwins and Romes. It’s a great time to visit, to pack up the family for a day of applepicking, picnicking, and maybe a little partying as local orchards


between August and October. It’s not unusual, in fact, to find dozens of different apples to tempt your tastebuds at any of the orchards and farmstands across the region. And while it’s fun for the family to wander through an orchard, looking for that perfect orb to pick, you can always just swing by a stand to pick up a bag or basket of fresh-picked fruit, leaving you free to turn your attention to the baking and eating part of the story. Don’t forget to think outside the box: These orchards also offer a host of apple products, from cider to donuts, pies and even gooey, yummy, feel-like-a-kidagain caramel-dipped apples! Need a little help deciding which apples will suit your plans today? Let the chart on this page guide you to the perfect apple experience! §

Celebrate the Seasons in Leominster September

1 Dining Under the Stars, 6–10 pm (rain


1-20 Festival of Trees, Leominster City Hall, Tata Auditorium

date 9/2), Downtown on Central Street

3-26 Leominster Lights, 5–10 pm on

4 Farmers Market, 11 am–2 pm,

Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights, Participating addresses in Leominster

Downtown on the Common

10 Food Truck Festival, 5–9 pm

4 Winter Stroll, 3–5 pm, Downtown

(rain date 9/17), Downtown

18 Citywide Yard Sale, 8 am–3 pm,

4 Parade of Lights followed by Tree

Participating addresses throughout Leominster

Lighting, 5 pm, Downtown


16 Indoor Farmers Market, 3 pm–5 pm,

2 Tractor Parade, 10 am, Downtown 2 Farmers Market, 11am–2 pm,


Leominster City Hall, Tata Auditorium

20 Indoor Farmers Market, 3 pm–5 pm,

Downtown on the Common

Leominster City Hall, Tata Auditorium

11 Cannoli Festival, 5–9 pm

20 GardenMania, 6 pm–9 pm,

(rain date 10/14), Downtown

Leominster City Hall, Tata Auditorium

18-31 Leominster Frights, Participating

23-29 Coffee Crawl, Participating

addresses throughout Leominster

businesses throughout Leominster


23 Halloween Parade, 1–3 pm

(rain date 10/30), Downtown

2 Groundhog Day with Featherstone, 8 am, Downtown on the Common

31 Trick or Treat, 6–8 pm, City of Leominster


17 Indoor Farmers Market, 3 pm–5 pm,

Leominster City Hall, Tata Auditorium

18 Indoor Farmers Market, 3 pm–5 pm,

Leominster City Hall, Tata Auditorium

20-26 Restaurant Week, Participating

22-30 Festival of Trees, Leominster City Hall, Tata Auditorium

27 Small Business Saturday, Participating businesses throughout Leominster

businesses throughout Leominster

23 Indoor Drive-In Movie Night, 5:30 pm, Leominster City Hall, Tata Auditorium

25 Once Upon a Time, 10 am–2 pm,

Leominster City Hall, Tata Auditorium

For more information on these events visit or Fall | Winter 2021



Take a Taste-Filled Tour

Farms & Food

hen it’s time to relax and raise a glass to the joy of a great vacation, the end of a work week, or just an enjoyable moment with friends, what’s your pleasure? A dry red wine with a rich bouquet of berry and plum? A toasty Winter Ale hinting of malt, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and vanilla to warm you on a cold winter night? A fresh semi-sweet hard cider made right at the farm? Whatever your preference, you can find the taste you crave right here in North Central Massachusetts! Yes, this region — long known for the bounty of its farms and orchards — has become home to a host of wineries, breweries and cider barns crafting an array of fine adult beverages, many of them based on locally-grown produce. And while you can find them at area shops and restaurants, you can also check out many of them right at the source! Take a brewery tour, enjoy a wine tasting, sip a fresh cider on a sunny farm porch to find a favorite you’ll want to take home.


Bolton Beer Works With its home at the Nashoba Valley Winery’s farm, these brewers are not only producing a locally crafted beer but supporting Massachusetts agriculture, too. Every beer produced here is made with 20% malt from a Massachusetts-based business. 100 Wattaquadock Hill Road, Bolton | 978-779-5521

Bull Spit Brewing Co. Don’t let the name put you off. These are serious brewers with beers crafted from only the freshest of ingredients, taking you back in time to a simpler life of living off the land. Winchendon | 978-706-1479

Moon Hill at Gardner Ale House Moon Hill Brewing Co. is housed in Gardner Ale House, a popular local restaurant. Whether your tastes run to a lager, India session ale, German pilsner or a sturdy Earthshake Imperial/Double (8% ABV), you’re sure to find something you liken here. 74 Parker Street, Gardner


Moon Hill Brew Barn & Cidery Red Apple Farm in Phillipston and Gardner’s Moon Hill Brewing have teamed up to produce cider, and the Cidery Tap Room pours out the team’s own Hard Cider in traditional and seasonal flavors (as well as non-alcoholic drink options) from Memorial Day weekend through the end of the fall pick-your-own season. Red Apple Farm 455 Highland Avenue, Phillipston | 800-628-4851

Wineries River Styx Brewing Like other craft breweries, River Styx — planted in the middle of Fitchburg’s downtown — offers a constantly-changing line-up, from Phosphorus God of the Morning stout to Morpheus Sour Patch Watermelon Ale and Proteus 14, a New England IPA.

Hillside Cellars at Kalon Farm Owner Keith Kopley imports some grapes and grows others to produce these small-batch products. 28 Corey Hill Road, Ashburnham

Hardwick Vineyard and Winery

166 Boulder Drive, Fitchburg | 978-407-6014

Stone Cow Brewery Stone Cow Brewery is located at the 1,000-acre Carter & Stevens Farm — a fifth-generation dairy farm. 500 (B) West Street, Barre | 978-257-8600

Wachusett Brewing Co. New Englanders love Wachusett’s Wally and Green Monsta IPA brews— with their references to the hometown team — and the company’s Blueberry Ale evokes thoughts of summer days. Take a seat in the Brew Yard and relax! 175 State Road East, Westminster | 978-874-9965

Cider Houses The Cider Barn Taproom

at Carlson Orchards The Cider Barn Taproom at Carlson Orchards in Harvard has a host of hard ciders for you to try, from Shapley’s Gala (made with Carlson’s Gala apples) to Shandy Stand, a union of Carlson’s flagship Oak Hill Blend hard cider and its gourmet lemonade. 115 Oak Hill Road, Harvard | 800-286-3916

Hardwick’s wines bear names reflecting its history and location, from Yankee Girl Blush to Massetts. Cranberry, Bay State Blueberry, and Quabbin Native. 3305 Greenwich Road, Hardwick | 413-967-7763

Home Fruit Wine in Orange This small producer creates fruitbased wines like Strawberry Peach, Blueberry Sunrise, and Caramel Apple. 382 S Main Sreet, Orange | 978-633-4395

Nashoba Valley Winery This is a beautiful setting to find familiar wines like Chardonnay, Cabernet, and Merlot— but try something a bit more “New England-y”, like the Strawberry Rhubarb Wine. Reservations are required for tastings. 100 Wattaquadock Hill Road, Bolton | 978-779-5521


“A hidden treasure of New England.”

October 16, 2021 • 10am – 5pm

— Chronicle Boston


Arts & Crafts • Food Vendors Beer Garden • 5K Walk/Run Live Music 10am – 5pm Featured Artist Max Recoil

215 Great Road, Shirley, MA 01464


Welcomes You!

Westminster Farmers Market • Fridays, 3 - 6:30 PM, May - October

Westminster Pharmacy Open House • Saturday, December 3, 10 - 3 PM

St. Edward’s Fall Festival • Saturday, September 18

Historical Society Christmas Open House • Saturday, December 4, 9 AM - 2 PM

Westminster Cracker Festival • Saturday, October 16

Living Nativity Scene • Saturday & Sunday, December 4 & 5, 6 - 8 PM

Holiday Farmer’s Market • Saturday, November 20, 10 - 1 PM

Visit With Santa • Saturday, December 11, 10 AM - Noon

­ ­­


Find out more at

Fall | Winter 2021


On the Road to Freedom — A New Fitchburg Park Honors Local Abolitionists — Frederick Douglass.


Fitchburg Abolitionist Park.

Lucy Stone.

Park sign at Abolitionist Park at 42 Snow Street.

Fitchburg Abolitionist Park.

In spite of the risks involved for those who defied the Fugitive Slave Act, it was known at the time that Fitchburg was a safe place for slaves heading north to freedom. And throughout this era, a number of prominent abolitionists — William Lloyd Garrison, Lucy Stone and Frederick Douglass among them — came to the city to speak out against slavery. That’s a bit of Fitchburg history that has been too often forgotten or ignored. But it will be forgotten no longer — now that local residents and college students have joined forces to create a new Abolitionist Park on Snow Street. The idea grew out of a Mount Wachusett Community College class’ 2017 study of Frederick Douglass, where students learned of his visits to Fitchburg and the efforts of local antislavery residents. Those followed on the heels of the Fitchburg Historical Society’s creation of a new resource and

exhibition, "Researching the Underground" at its Main Street building. The local interest soon snowballed into an idea for a “pocket park” to celebrate the important role that Fitchburg residents played in the movement to end slavery. Fitchburg State University provided the land at 42 Snow Street, and a new group, The Friends of Abolitionist Park, began laying the groundwork to turn the idea into reality. A groundbreaking ceremony was held at the site in the spring of 2021, and the physical pieces are slowly but surely falling into place. Organizers say the park will include a mural, statues, artwork, and an interactive kiosk to tell the history of the abolitionist movement. The Fitchburg Cultural Council provided a grant for a mural to highlight the role of both courageous Fitchburg residents who were at the forefront of the movement and national figures connected

to the city. Connections are being drawn, too, to the Frances Drake House in Leominster, another local station on the Underground Railroad. Freedom’s Way Heritage Association has also partnered with the group, and the city of Fitchburg provided a $5,000 Block Grant to help with the park’s development. A quiet green space in the center of the city, the park includes benches where visitors can relax and contemplate the role the abolitionists played in the history of the city and the nation. And there’s more to come. “It will be a contemplative space,” says FSU professor Danette Day. “This has been such a grass-roots effort… an idea that came out of Mt. Wachusett students, young people who wanted to honor this history.” Besides providing a serene space in the city, she says, the park will, hopefully, lead students and residents to talk about “issues of freedom, democracy and inclusion.” §

Farms & Food

Photo by Edwin Encarnacion.

f you’re visiting Fitchburg today, it’s likely that you’ll stop for a meal, visit a museum, and maybe enjoy an outdoor concert. But in the mid-19th century, a stream of travelers passing through the city didn’t come to see the sights; they stopped here on the road to freedom. Like many New England communities, Fitchburg was a stop on the Underground Railroad, a way station for slaves who fled the South in search of an unshackled life. As early as the 1830s, local residents were involved in the antislavery movement. Several homes — including those of Benjamin Farrell Snow Jr. on Day Street, William Marshall on Grove Street, Thomas Palmer on Main Street, Samuel Crocker in West Fitchburg, and Silas Hosmer on Mount Elam Road — became stations on the Underground Railroad. And the Trinitarian Church, established in 1843, was an antislavery church.



Monday-Friday 5am-2pm Saturday 5am-1pm Sunday 6am-1pm

Breakfast All Day & Homemade Lunches

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440 River Street, Fitchburg, MA 01420 • 978-345-8030




Pick Your Own


Brand new attraction this year! The Original Jumping Pillow


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294 CHASE RD, MA-13, LUNENBURG, MA 01462 (978) 582-6246 | LANNIORCHARD.COM



Local Restaurants Ad is sponsored by the Winchendon Redevelopment Authority Fall | Winter 2021


Short Stops

PLAN YOUR ESCAPE hen you need to get the adrenalin pumping but don’t feel like a wild outdoor adventure, step inside… into a room filled with challenges and surprises. The trials and tribulations of an escape room are yours — if you’re willing to tackle them. For an hour or so, you and a few friends or family members can forget the outside world, forge a team spirit, and try to puzzle your way out of a locked room. Will you find the key before the clock runs out? Are you up to the challenge? Curious Escape Rooms in downtown Fitchburg, The Gate Escape in Leominster and the Winchendon Escape Room at the Historical Society’s Murdock Whitney House in Winchendon have all opened doors to such dilemmas, and another, Sure Locke Escape Rooms, is due to open soon in Athol. Want to get just a taste of the experience? Curious Escape Rooms is participating in downtown Fitchburg’s First Thursdays program: You can enjoy a 10-minute adventure in the Hero’s Phonebooth on the first Thursday of the month.

W COUNTRY CRUISIN’ here are so many opportunities to hike, ski, pedal and paddle through the beautiful New England countryside when you visit North Central Massachusetts that you could stay busy every minute of every day! But what if you just want to relax a bit? Maybe sit down with a cozy blanket across your lap, chill out and take in the gorgeous fall foliage or the snow-covered fields and forests of winter? Gather ‘round a campfire, perhaps, with a steaming cup of cocoa and listen to the sounds of the great outdoors? We’ve got you covered! Head out to Cornerstone Ranch in Princeton, where you can board a horse-drawn wagon in the fall, or sleigh in the winter, for a peaceful country ride. After being lulled by the clip-clopping trip through the ranch’s 51 acres of woods and meadows, you can chat over a snack of cocoa and s’mores, and create memories that will last through the years.



ON A ROLL hen’s the last time you stared down a lane to a perfectly-aligned set of bowling pins, swung back your arm, and stepped into what you hoped would be an awesome strike? It’s never too late to go bowling again! Forget the video games! Enjoy some real jumpingfor-joy action at one of the time-tested bowling alleys scattered throughout this region. And if it’s been a while since you tied on a pair of brightly-colored shoes, this isn’t necessarily your grandfather’s bowling! Gardner Ten Pins, located in the Chair City, offers an out-of-this-world experience with its Galactic Bowling. Bring the kids, too — there are bumper lanes for the little ones, so they can learn without the frustration of serial gutter balls. If you’re not a New Englander, you may not be familiar with the “other” side of the sport: candlepin bowling. Smaller balls (without holes), pins without the shapely curves, and “dead wood” lying amid the standing pins (to add some extra challenge to the action) make this popular local sport a whole new experience. Check out Mason Bowling


Center in Leominster, Putnam Street Lanes in Fitchburg, or Brian’s Bowlaway in Gardner to try your hand at this regional game. RIGHT ON TARGET


o you have a steady hand? Great coordination? Good depth perception? Get off that chair and out of that dark room. Step away from the game controller and into the great outdoors. Think you have super concentration? Nerves of steel? Have you tried your hand at archery? The communities of North Central Massachusetts are home to dozens of sporting clubs — and many of those organizations (whether called fish and game clubs, or sportsmen’s clubs, or rod and gun clubs) include archery ranges. Although most club activities are open only to members, the facilities often open their doors for public

events, and their ranges for “open” practice. The Royalston Fish & Game Club has an archery practice field and a seasonal 3D course that are open to visitors on a regular basis, and the Fitchburg Rod & Gun Club has an archery range with several targets ranging from 10 yards to 50 yards., as well as a 3D course. Archery not your thing? Local clubs also offer a variety of public events, including ice fishing derbies in the winter and family fishing derbies throughout the year — and some, like the Royalston club, are home to other attractions like disc golf courses that are open to the public. A quick search on facebook will land you a wide choice of places to sample the sporting life.


Photo by Sandra Perko.


ising some 2,006 feet above the communities of North Central Massachusetts, Wachusett Mountain beckons skiers to the carefully-groomed slopes of Wachusett Mountain Ski Area. But zipping downhill is not the only way to enjoy skiing in the region. The 3,000-acre Wachusett Mountain Reservation, part of Massachusetts’ extensive state park system, also offers numerous crosscountry ski trails — as do

many other state parks, from Leominster State Forest to Dunn Park in Gardner, Pearl Hill in West Townsend, and the Otter River State Forest in Baldwinville. You can find detailed information about the state park system at dcr. If you love cross-country skiing, you won’t want to

Fall | Winter 2021

miss a visit to the Finnish Center at Saima Park ( The trails are maintained, open to visitors, and on winter weekends, you can stop in for a hearty Finnish breakfast before heading out on the trail to enjoy the beautiful countryside. Stop for a while, calm your beating heart — and listen to the quiet of winter in the region. §



Great Outdoors

Pine Grosbeak feeding on crabapple.

By the Numbers

T he Annual Bird Count is a Winter Tradition Story & Photos by John Burk


ooking for a fun way to contribute to an important national community science project while exploring North Central Massachusetts? Check out one of the region’s Christmas Bird Counts, where you’ll have the opportunity to search for resident and rare birds at local hot spots, or from the comfort of home. The Christmas Bird Count (CBC), administered by the National Audubon Society and compiled by volunteer local bird watchers and groups, is an annual one-day census of birds throughout the Western Hemisphere. Now in its 122nd year,


it is the world’s oldest continuous wildlife survey. The first CBC took place in 1900 as an alternative to competitive bird hunting, which had been a nineteenth-century holiday season tradition. ‘Christmas’ is a general reference to the season, as counts are held from mid-December to early January on days selected by participating groups. Consistency is Key The CBC process is simple and uniform to ensure consistency from all reporters. Local groups, composed of teams of observers and a coordinator, monitor 15-mile circular territories

during a 24-hour period, recording species and the total number of birds. Participants range in experience from professional naturalists to novices. New birders, who are always welcome, are usually paired with experienced birdwatchers. If you live within a CBC circle, you can also take part from home by counting birds at feeders and around your yard. CBCs often conclude with gatherings where birders tally results and share stories from the field. There are presently more than 2,600 local CBCs nationwide, including 33 in Massachusetts. CBCs are held on scheduled dates regardless

of weather — and variable conditions and luck inevitably factor into each year’s results. Many veteran participants have stories about rare birds that appeared just before or after count days, or common species that were unexpectedly absent. Bad weather and frozen lakes and ponds can limit sightings, but a well-timed seasonal migration or coastal storm before a count may bring in rare and uncommon species. According to Athol Bird and Nature Club President Dave Small, observers saw 66 species and nearly 9,400 total birds during last year’s Athol CBC. There were unusually high numbers of barred

and great horned owls, as well as winter finches and nuthatches that migrated south to New England because of food shortages in northern forests. The most unusual sighting was a Tennessee warbler, a small songbird that breeds in Canada and winters in the tropics, that overwintered at the residence of longtime birder Jeff Johnstone. Spotting Trends After carefully verifying the day’s reports, local groups submit results to the National Audubon Society. CBC data provides crucial long-term documentation of bird population trends, declines, and geographic shifts for scientists, researchers, and conservation organizations. Such information is especially important now, as

Red Bellied Woodpecker.

many birds have declined in recent years because of climate change, habitat loss, development, and other factors. Some familiar birds we often take for granted today — such as cardinals, mockingbirds, and redbellied woodpeckers — are southern species that were once rare in Massachusetts. In North Central Massachusetts, local CBCs are held in the Athol, Quabbin Reservoir, Westminster, and the Groton/Oxbow National Wildlife Refuge. Participation is free to all, but all counters, including feeder watchers, must register with their local coordinator in advance. For more information and to register, see the National Audubon Society’s CBC page ( join-christmas-bird-count). §


he annual Christmas Bird Count is a fun and educational experience, for one day. But every day offers great opportunities to get outdoors and enjoy the multitude of birds that call North Central Massachusetts home — or happen to fly through on their travels. A group at the Worcester Polytechnic Institute put together a lengthy list of super spots for bird-watching in Worcester County. Here’s a sampling of local hot spots you might want to check out: Bart’s Pond (also known as The Pond That Never Freezes) in Clinton. It can be accessed by parking in the athletic field lot across the street from Clinton High School on West Boylston Street (Route 110), and cutting through the woods on rough trails. Harvard (Spring) Pond/ Tom Swamp on Route 122 in Petersham. According to the WPI group, this area good for spotting both landbirds and waterfowl — and keep an eye out for raptors like the Broad-Winged Hawk, RedShouldered Hawk, N. Goshawk, Osprey and Turkey Vulture. Waushacum Ponds in Sterling, on Gates Road off of Route 12. Bird watcher Mark Lynch reports that the ponds, Waushacum and East Waushacum, are home to a variety of waterfowl that can be seen in both spring and fall.

Barred Owl at Skyfields.

The Athol Bird & Nature Club, working out of the Millers River Environmental Center, often offers early-morning bird walks with an experienced bird-watcher. COVID-19 restrictions affected the club’s schedule in the past year, but it’s worth checking their website to see if any forays are planned during your visit to the region. The club also has an extensive Natural History Collection at the Environmental Center.

Red Breasted Nuthatch on a spruce.

Fall | Winter 2021


Birch Hill, Beaver Pond, fall foliage and a fisherman.

A Hiker’s Guide to

Great Outdoors

Fall Color Story & Photos by John Burk


ew England is one of the world’s best places for viewing fall foliage, and North Central Massachusetts is at the heart of it all, with a wealth of outstanding trails for enjoying the colorful spectacle. Thanks to the efforts of many conservation organizations, land trusts, and trail maintainers, the region offers a variety of options for hikers and walkers, ranging from easy family-friendly outings to long-distance treks. Wachusett Mountain, the region’s highest peak at 2,006 feet, has 360-degree views from Boston to the Berkshires. A 17-mile trail network includes direct routes to the summit and longer


Wachusett Mountain Auto Road, foliage view.

circuits combining multiple paths. The main entrance is on Mountain Road off Route 140 in Princeton, and other trailheads are located on nearby roads. Similar long views across Massachusetts and southern New Hampshire await visitors at Mount Watatic, at the southern end of the Wapack Mountains on Route 119

in Ashburnham. The combined Midstate and Wapack trails lead over the summit and to another vista at Nutting Hill. Tip: Wachusett Mountain and Mount Watatic are very popular destinations on autumn weekends. Visit during weekdays to avoid crowds and full parking lots.

Leominster State Forest, on Route 31 in Leominster, has woods, roads and footpaths leading through 4,300 acres of oak-hardwood forest. A segment of the Midstate Trail traverses Crow Hill’s rocky ridge, where there are views of ponds, wooded hills, and Wachusett Mountain. At less-traveled Monoosnoc Ridge, which extends from Route 2 south to Sholan Farms in Leominster, blueblazed Monoosnoc Trail and other paths lead to overlooks on North and South Monoosnoc Hills, brooks, and an orchard. Trailheads include West Street at the north end, and Elm and Wachusett streets (see leominster. ma/gov for maps).

The Tully River Valley in Royalston, Athol, and Orange offers many options for hikers, bikers, and paddlers. A 4.5-mile foot trail loops around Tully Lake and the quarter-mile cascades of Doane’s Falls, and a 7.5-mile mountain bike and hiking trail circles adjacent Long Pond, passing by red maple trees that offer vivid foliage along the water’s edge starting in late September. Access is available at Tully Lake Recreation Area on Route 32, and Tully Lake Campground and Doane’s Falls Reservation on Doane Hill Road. On the ridge above Long Pond, Jacob’s Hill Reservation features two vistas with panoramic westerly views across

the Tully Valley, and the steep cascades of Spirit Falls, which are especially picturesque after an autumn rain. The entrance is on Route 68 in Royalston, and the reservation may also be reached via the Tully Trail from Long Pond. Across the valley rises Tully Mountain in Orange, where ledges provide a striking view across the region to Mount Monadnock, Wachusett Mountain, and Mount Watatic. The North Quabbin Reservoir has many scenic areas and historic sites to explore. Federated Women’s Club State Forest, on Route 122 at the Petersham/New Salem town line, has trails to beaver ponds and an excellent view

Doanes Falls, upper falls in Autumn.

of the reservoir from Soapstone Hill. At Gate 40 on Route 32A in Petersham, an old road leads to the former center of Dana, one of four towns abandoned during the reservoir’s creation. Ready for an exhilarating

autumn experience? Lace up your boots, pack a bag, pick up a trail map, and explore the wonders of North Central Massachusetts, where Nature’s beauty waits around every bend in the trail! §

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Great Outdoors

Double Your Pleasure

Tully River, Autumn, evening paddlers.


hat could be more entrancing than a vista of sunlit autumn leaves, with brilliant yellows, oranges and reds backed by a deep blue sky? How about a double dose of that foliage — reflected on the shimmering surface of a quiet lake or stream? The abundant waterways sprinkled throughout North Central Massachusetts practically shout an invitation for leaf-peepers to hop in a canoe or kayak to enjoy a peaceful, colorfilled afternoon. You don’t have a canoe handy? No problem! There are businesses in the region that rent equipment — or will even lead you on a tour — so that you can double your foliage fun.


Tully River, fall foliage and kayakers.

Nashoba Paddler in Groton rents a variety of equipment, from kid-sized and double kayaks to giant canoes. Reservations are required, so be sure to call ahead. Nashoba is open weekends and holidays from Labor Day through October 24. Call 978448-8699 for reservations, or visit their website at for details about rentals. Nashoba also offers paddling tours, including a River Paddling Adventure Tour on September 11 and Fall Foliage Paddles on October 3 and October 9. And don’t forget Tip #1: Bring a drybag or put your valuables into a Ziplock bag and then into something that can be secured to the boat or yourself ! Fishing a wet

phone out of the water could put a damper on an otherwise perfect afternoon outing! Billy Goat Boats rents canoes, kayaks, standup paddleboards and paddleboats at the Orange Community Boathouse on the Millers River in Orange. Reservations are required, and can be made via the website, The company also hosts community events like canoe races; check their website to see what’s happening! So, you’re ready to take to the waters for a reflective day of foliage-viewing. The big question is: Where to begin? Try Lake Mattawa in Orange, Leominster State Forest, Dunn Park

Photos by John Burk.

in Gardner, Silver Lake in Athol, Oxbow National Wildlife Refuge in Harvard, the Squannacook River in Townsend, or Tully Lake in Royalston — and that’s just a drop in the local waterway bucket! A Millers River Watershed Council Inc., has produced a “Blue Trail Guide” to that waterway; it’s available at tourist locations like the Johnny Appleseed Visitor Center in Lancaster and Trail Head outfitters store in Orange. A 120-page pocket guide to the Nashua River watershed is available for purchase through the Nashua River Watershed Association. And to learn more about some of the canoe and kayak hot spots in this area, visit §

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Fall | Winter 2021


Ice Out! Great Outdoors

"Frozen Assets" cutout on Country Hen pond.

Rocky the mannequin on Rockwell Pond.


hat will you be looking forward to after the filling Thanksgiving dinner is just a memory, the holiday frenzy is over, and the Superbowl game has faded into history? How about spending a little time watching ice melt? Forget the old “watching paint dry” joke; this is a serious challenge! Throughout North Central Massachusetts each winter, folks tune in to see how the ice is doing on local ponds — not just because they’re hoping for a chance to tie on a pair of skates, but because they’re awaiting the exact date

and time that their favorite mascot drops into the icy drink. Whether it’s a contemplative lifeguard in Leominster, a soup bowl topped with namesake crackers in Westminster, or a thoroughly New England outhouse in Hubbardston, these local icons attract plenty of attention during the chilly winter months. They’re watched day and night — remotely, through the magic of webcams and the internet —and their ultimate demise is dutifully recorded on a timing device. Accuracy is the key, of course in a community “ice out” contest, because prizes await the best prognosticators. And guessing the date and time can be a challenge! With the uncertainty of New England winters, the dipping dates could range from late February all the way into April! In Westminster, the soup bowl topped with Westminster Crackers will rest quietly on Round

Pond. Leominster’s Rocky, the strong and silent lifeguard mannequin, tries not to shiver as he sits clad in a T-shirt and shorts through both cold, windy nights and sunny days on Rockwell Pond. Hubbardston’s Frozen Assets cutout, meanwhile, waits — unoccupied, of course — for the moment it will slip quietly into the waters of the Country Hen pond on Williamsville Road. Though diverse in nature, they share several goals: To add a little excitement to winter; to reward contest participants for their support; and to

benefit the community. Situated in front of the Veterans Center in Leominster, Rocky’s fundraising skills benefit that organization. The Frozen Assets contest, organized by Hubbardston250, is designed to encourage area residents and visitors to browse local small businesses during a normally quiet period. And the oversized soup bowl contest benefits the Westminster Historical Society. Want to join in the fun? Check the facebook pages of those organizations to watch the “action” this winter! §

Soup bowl cutout with Westminster Crackers on Round Pond.


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Ghosts & Goblins Galore! Let the fright time begin!


irates and princesses. Horribles and (super) heroes. Gnomes and goblins. You’ll find them all — and more! — strolling through North Central Massachusetts in October. After all, Halloween is a great time to let imaginations run wild! And with all that enthusiasm, the celebrations are bound to last for more than just one day. Think of it: There are downtown parades for pint-sized treat-or-treaters. Haunted hayrides and haunted gazebos for those willing to venture out into the dark of night. Homes decorated to the hilt with all manner of horribles, many of them illuminated and waving in the breeze for your drive-by enjoyment.

Take a tour of homes decorated for the scary season in Leominster: Pick up a map at City Hall, 25 West St., to take self-guided tours of homes decked out with inflatable monsters, creative scarecrows, and lots of things that go bump in the night. Catch a parade! Young hobgoblins will be touring Leominster’s business district from 1 to 3 pm on Saturday, October 23, and Fitchburg’s downtown from noon to 2 pm on Saturday, October 30 in the communities’ annual trick-or-treat parades. In Fitchburg, the ghosties can also collect Halloween swag at a “Villainous Trunk or Treat Bash” being held at parking lot at 166 Boulder Drive on October 23. Embark on a frightful adventure. The Lions Clubs in Athol, Hubbardston and Templeton are gearing up for fright-filled nights to celebrate the season.

Halloween in Hubbardston.

The Hubbardston tour of terribles will be held on October 22 and 23 at Rietta Ranch (flea market) on Route 68 and features scary seasonal skits suitable for all ages. Visit hauntedhubbardston. com for details of this community fund-raising event. Athol’s hayrides at Silver Lake in mid-October include separate (less scary) tours for pre-schoolers as well as the more frightful skit-packed rides for the less faint of heart. This year’s hayrides run on October 15-16; in case of “extreme weather,” the event moves to October 22-23. In Templeton, the Lions Club welcomes kids to show off their Halloween

Organic Coffee & Tea 22

costumes and stop by the Haunted Gazebo on the town common, at Routes 2A and 101, for a few holiday tricks and some treats. The Common, serving as the heart of the community for more than two centuries, is surrounded by Templeton history, including a preRevolutionary War burial ground — so who knows what spirits may be out enjoying the evening with you? Ready? Dust off your witch’s hat and Frankenstein mask — join in the fun as the entire region gets in the Halloween mood! §

Fall | Winter 2021


R ide ‘E m , C owboy ! Photos by Will Rogers Photography.


old onto your hats, cowpokes! The rodeo is coming to town! The Fitchburg Airport will take on a distinctly western flair this fall, when the Buteco Boston Rodeo of Fitchburg hits town with

two full days of groundpounding excitement. Picture it: dozens of cowboys, cowgirls — and energetic bulls. Championship bull riders, doing their best to last a hair-raising eight seconds on their bulls.


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And if you’ve never seen a real, live bull in action, be prepared for an awesome sight. These animals — weighing in at about a ton apiece — will be doing their athletic best to toss the riders — by contrast, weighing about 130 pounds — off their backs. It’s a memorable match of wills and skills, strength and balance that can be over in the blink of an eye. But exciting as it is, there’s more to the rodeo than bull-riding. There’s also barrel-racing competitions to delight the audience, a mechanical bull, and for the kids, pony rides and a petting zoo.

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Oh, and did we mention the barbecue… and the concert? The rodeo will be in town on September 26, and again on October 10, with lots of thrills, laughter, music and just plain fun. On both days, doors open at 11 am and the bull riders take to the ring at 2 pm. But don’t go away! There’s a concert at 5 pm with Brazilian bands, keeping the airport hopping till 9 pm. Throughout the day, you can enjoy Brazilian and American food, music provided by DJs, and plenty of entertainment for the entire family. §

Sample a variety of events in Johnny’s backyard!


Battle of the BEDS


o, there won’t be pillow fights — but there will be a lot of good-natured competition when the bed frames hit the streets in Clinton in September. As part of the town’s Olde Home Days celebration, five-person teams —four pushers and one “driver” —will take to Walnut Street Contestants competing in the Bed Race. to compete for the greatest of prizes: The Golden Bedpan. Size doesn’t matter here; beds can range from twin to king-size. Fun is the top priority, with beds and their crew decked out in style, designed to evoke a few laughs and please the cheering crowds. Of course, the ultimate goal is to actually cross the finish line — not always an easy feat considering the lack of steering mechanisms and waning stamina of the crew. Ready to join the cheering section? Head to downtown Clinton on Friday, September 10. The races begin at 5 pm… and may the best bed win!

They’re WARMING UP to a Challenge



February 2 is FLAMINGO DAY


orget the groundhog. We’ve got something better — more colorful, less squirmy, and totally reliable. Flamingo Day with Move over, Puxatawny Phil, Mayor Dean J. Mazzarella. and make way for Featherstone. Pink, proud, and plastic, this bird is Leominster’s own prognosticator. Scratch “Groundhog Day” off your calendar and replace it with Flamingo Day this winter. After all, Featherstone was born right here in Leominster. He knows the vagaries of New England weather. And he’s happy to be the center of attention. Normally seen standing proudly in gardens, or gathering in flocks of his fellow birds to celebrate birthdays, graduations and other milestones, this stalwart, graceful-necked creature will happily snuggle in the arms of Leominster Mayor Dean J. Mazzarella at 8 am on February 2 to predict the arrival of spring. Shadow or no shadow? We’ll see. Stop by the downtown common to find out!

Roll Out the BARREL!


hings may get a little wet and wild in Harvard on September 18, when fire fighters from area towns gather for a good old-fashioned muster. In this nearly century-old tradition, fire fighters bring their old trucks, their gear, their skills and their determination together for a day filled with friendly competition. Typical events include bucket brigades, tug of war games, obstacle course races — and a “midnight alarm,” in which teams are “awakened,” jump off their cots and into their protective gear, and rush to their trucks to hook up a hose and send a stream of water flying toward a target. Be prepared: bystanders are likely to get drenched when the water flies. The September 18 event at the Harvard common begins at noon with a parade, giving everyone a chance to see the vintage fire trucks and welcome the visiting teams before the friendly competition begins.

eady for a barrel of fun? If you’re old enough to raise a frosty stein of beer, you’re going to love autumn in North Central Massachusetts — because Oktoberfest at Gardner Ale House. it’s Oktoberfest time! The Gardner Ale House gets a bit of a jump on the season, creating a beer garden in downtown Gardner on September 25. Get ready to party in the street, complete with music, authentic German food, and, of course, beer! The sudsy celebration ties in with the business district’s Fabulous Fall Festival, featuring sales at local shops, vendors, food trucks and activities for the kids. But wait! There’s more! Flip the calendar page, and it’s time to celebrate again — at Wachusett Mountain Ski Area! On October 2 and 3, the mountain will ring with the sounds of German music as friends gather to eat, drink and be merry. Contests, shows, crafters and lots of food and drink will be on tap all weekend!

Fall | Winter 2021



Colorful Canines

he town of Westminster is going to the dogs… but in a nice way. In conjunction with the town’s annual Cracker Festival, the Westminster Village Foundation is holding a dog show this fall. But you won’t see dogs and their owners, connected via a leash, trotting around an arena. These dogs will be sitting quietly throughout the town center, simply waiting to be admired — and eventually, adopted — as part of a fundraiser for the community and school art programs.

Eight large and 25 medium-sized dogs, all sponsored by businesses or individuals and colorfully painted by local residents, will be displayed on Main Street through October this year, and from May through October in 2022. After doing their sentry duty in town, the pooches will be auctioned to benefit the Foundation and fund community projects. Another 40 smaller pups will be painted by art students at two local high schools — Oakmont Regional and the Montachusett Regional Vocational Technical School — and will be auctioned at the Westminster Cracker Festival over the next two years to raise funds for the community and art programs at the schools. For more than two centuries, folks have quoted Gelett Burgess’ silly poem:

What do you think Burgess would write if he were penning a poem about painted dogs? Take a stroll through Westminster center this fall, and perhaps you’ll come up with a new poem that will become a hit for generations to come! §

I never saw a Purple Cow, I never hope to see one; But I can tell you, anyhow, I'd rather see than be one.



Cars in American Art from the Terry and Eva Herndon Collection

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On view at Fitchburg Art Museum September 25, 2021 to January 9, 2022. Visit Stuart Davis, Free, 1924, watercolor on paper, 34” x 28”. Courtesy of the Terry and Eva Herndon Collection.

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Fall | Winter 2021





Exhibitions, events and more! M M





ver the past year, many community organizations have closed their doors, postponed or cancelled events, or limited attendance to comply with state Covid-19 restrictions. Although some guidelines have loosened in recent months, the situation continues to be fluid and regulations may change at any time. As this issue of The Guide goes to press, the events listed in this Calendar are expected to go forward. However, due to the constantly-changing Covid landscape, we strongly recommend that you check the organizations on social media or by phone to confirm the event status and any limits on attendance.

EXHIBITIONS THROUGH OCTOBER 3. The Long Way Home: A Photographic Journey with Gordon Lankton at the Museum of Russian Icons, 203 Union Street, Clinton. The Long Way Home collection is a series of story maps documenting Gordon Lankton's 1957 motorcycle trip from Germany to Japan as described in his trip log and photographs. On Nov. 6, 1956, armed with a camera, maps, passports, C-Rations, a budget of $5 per day ($3 food, $1 sleeping, $1 for gas and everything else) and little else, 25-year-old Gordon Lankton left Frankfurt, Germany on an NSU motorcycle and began an adventure that would come to influence the path he would take for the next 50 years. Over 40 stunning photographs, taken by Museum founder Gordon Lankton during this life-changing journey, along with artifacts from the trip will be on display.



THROUGH DECEMBER 6. Echoes in Time: New Interpretations of the Fruitlands Museum Collection at the Fruitlands Museum, 102 Prospect Hill Road, Harvard. Echoes in Time honors the creative continuity of Indigenous artists and their communities. Recently made paintings, prints, baskets, sculptures, video, and personal objects appear in conversation with historic objects made in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries by mostly unidentified individuals. By juxtaposing the Fruitlands collections with named contemporary artists, the installation illuminates the relationship between past and present. Visit exhibit/echoesintime. SEPTEMBER 19-OCTOBER 20. Gordon Morrison – Recent Works at the Petersham Art Center, 8 North Street, Petersham. Gordon is a local author, artist and illustrator, whose work always expresses his love of Nature. Call 978-724-3415 or visit the center on facebook. SEPTEMBER 25, 2021–JANUARY 9, 2022. Joyride: Cars in American Art from the Terry and Eva Herndon Collection at the Fitchburg Art Museum, 185 Elm Street, Fitchburg. Every artwork in the collection of Terry and Eva Herndon features a car in some way. This exhibition will highlight the ways that these machines have influenced our lived experience, built environment, collective and personal histories, and ideas about American identity. Visit

Fitchburg Art Museum Exhibition. SEPTEMBER 25, 2021–JANUARY 9, 2022. Uncovering the Human Condition: The Arthur S. Goldberg Collection at the Fitchburg Art Museum, 185 Elm Street, Fitchburg. Works from the private collection of Arthur S. Goldberg feature the human figure as a means to understand the human condition. References to the body can be found in each of the paintings, works on paper, and sculptures in the exhibition. Visit FEBRUARY 12, 2022–JUNE 5, 2022. American Roadsides: Frank Armstrong’s Photographic Legacy Collection at the Fitchburg Art Museum, 185 Elm Street, Fitchburg. This exhibition surveys the photographic work of MA-based photographer Frank Armstrong and explores his influence as an educator through the inclusion of a selection of work by former students who are now professional fine arts photographers. Visit SEPTEMBER 5, 2021–JANUARY 2, 2022. Abelardo Morell: Projecting Italy at the Fitchburg Art Museum, 185 Elm Street, Fitchburg. This exhibition highlights tentcamera and camera obscura photographs of sites in Italy in honor of the 20th Anniversary of the Center for Italian Culture at Fitchburg State University. SEPTEMBER 15, 2021–OCTOBER 10, 2021. Community Gallery: The Faces of Fitchburg Roots Italy at the Fitchburg Art Museum, 185 Elm Street, Fitchburg. Fitchburg Roots, Inc. is a newly formed nonprofit organization which seeks to humanize Fitchburg’s history and the families that have settled here. This exhibition will feature family portraits created by young Fitchburg artists which showcase the rich diversity of cultures and ethnicities residing in the city. Visit OCTOBER 24-DECEMBER 1. Sylvia Brown – Leather and Textiles at the Petersham Art Center, 8 North Street, Petersham. Sylvia is one of Petersham's most experienced craftsmen, specializing in Leather and Fiber Arts. Call 978-724-3415 or visit the center on facebook. NOVEMBER 10, 2021–DECEMBER 12, 2021. Community Gallery: CMPS Signature Members Show at the Fitchburg Art Museum, 185 Elm Street, Fitchburg. Explore the beauty and depth of soft pastels in the Community Gallery! This show features work by 11 talented artists of the Central Mass Pastel Society. More information about CMPS can be found at Visit NOVEMBER 10-DECEMBER 4. Annual Festival of Trees at the Gardner Museum, 26 Pearl Street, Gardner. The beloved event is open to the public on Wednesdays, and Thursdays 1-4 pm; Fridays 1-7 pm; Saturdays and Sundays 10 am – 4 pm. Admission $3.Visitors can take a chance to win one of the decorated trees. During the Festival, the museum gift shop will also carry seasonal items for purchase. Visit for details.




SATURDAY, 10 AM–2 PM. International Food Festival at Holy Nazareth Church, 750 Union Street, Leominster. Enjoy food from several different countries, baked goods, a basket raffle and more. Rain date, Aug. 29.


SATURDAY, 1–7 PM. Music Fest at the Templeton Fish and Game Club, 200 Club Road, Templeton. Music by A Night of Zeppelin at noon; Whiskey Johnson at 2:30 pm; and Max Recoil at 5 pm. Food truck, beer tent. Gates open at noon; tickets $20 in advance, $25 at the gate.


SUNDAY, 11 AM–5 PM. Beer Fest-of-Ale at Wachusett Mountain Ski Area, 499 Mountain Road, Princeton. Enjoy a wide selection of craft beers, wine from local wineries, a variety of food from assorted food truck vendors. Live music by Jonathan Bricker and dezi Garcia. We will have the Skyride, live music, arcade games, and more! Visit


SUNDAY, 5 PM. Beatles for Sale performs at Winchester Park, Memorial Drive, Ashburnham.



THURSDAY, 6 PM; FRIDAY–SUNDAY, 11 AM; SATURDAY-MONDAY, 3 PM. Nature: A Walking Play at Fruitlands Museum, 102 Prospect Hill Road, Harvard. This outdoor walking play, an immersive and family-friendly telling of Emerson, Thoreau, and their mutual love of the natural world, celebrates the dynamic connection between humanity and the natural world. Audience members walk along with the actors as the play’s scenes unfold throughout the grounds. Performances are filled with music, song, story, and celebration as scenes unfold around them in this feast for the senses. For tickets, visit thetrustees. org/place/fruitlands-museum. FRIDAY, 3 PM. Joe Reidy performs at the Westminster Farmer’s Market, Academy Hill Road, Westminster. Joe Reidy is an active touring musician, singer and songwriter. His performances focus on his original compositions and his unique arrangements of popular songs from the 1960s to today, guaranteed to get you tapping your foot, dancing and singing along.


FRIDAY, 7–11 PM. A Night of Zeppelin at the Polish American Citizens Club (PACC), 171 Kendall Pond West, Gardner. Free admission for this outdoor concert (weather permitting). Food truck available. Visit

WEDNESDAY, 8:30 PM. UpRooted performs at the Bull Run Restaurant, 215 Great Rd., Shirley. Visit THURSDAY, 5–9 PM. First Thursday in downtown Fitchburg. Music, literature, visual art and theatrical performances will be featured at businesses and cultural organizations. Stroll along Main Street to see them all!


THURSDAY, 5–7:30 PM. Thursday Evening at Tower Hill Botanic Garden, 11 French Drive, Boylston. Explore the gardens while enjoying live music, playing fun lawn games, and hiking the woodland trails. Enjoy food and drinks in the café, watch the sunset over the Wachusett Reservoir, and choose from a variety of scheduled programs for both children and adults. Reservations required. Visit


THURSDAY, 6:30 PM. Bob Cousy—the Life, the Legend at the Gardner Museum, 26 Pearl Street, Gardner. Gardner author Chris Daly, who profiled Bob Cousy in his book Hub Heroes, talks about the life and legacy of the Celtics great, who has made Worcester his home for more than 70 years. Cousy's view of the role of sports in American society will also be discussed. Admission $3. Reservations required; call 978-632-3277.

THURSDAY, 6:30 PM. Fall Concert: Mark Erelli performs at Fruitlands Museum, 102 Prospect Hill Road., Harvard. This seated concert takes place under the event tent. Tickets $24 members, $30 nonmembers. Visit for details.





WEDNESDAY. Opening of the Fall/Winter Exhibit at the Gardner Museum, 26 Pearl St., Gardner. Local collectors exhibit Nativity Scenes. On display during regular opening hours, until the end of the year. Open Wednesday to Sunday, 1 pm–4 pm.


SATURDAY, 11 AM–2 PM. Farmers Market on the common, Main Street, Leominster. Enjoy the fruits of the fall harvest in the city.




Carolyn Wonderland.

FRIDAY, 3 PM. Kathy Swantee performs at the Westminster Farmer’s Market, Academy Hill Road, Westminster. A local artist and musician. Kathy has been playing her 12 string guitar and singing since the age of 16. Enjoy songs from the ’70s & ’80s with some country mixed in.


WEDNESDAY, 6–10 PM. Dining Under the Stars in downtown Leominster. Enjoy an al fresco meal on Central Street. Rain date, September 2.

SUNDAY, 8:30 PM. John Mayall with Carolyn Wonderland performs at the Bull Run Restaurant, 215 Great Road, Shirley. Known as the “Father of the British blues,” Mayall is an English blues singer, guitarist, pianist, harmonica player and songwriter, whose musical career spans over fifty years. Visit


SATURDAY, 10 AM–5 PM. New England Museum of Apples and Cider Inaugural Traveling Museum at Sholan Farms, Pleasant Street, Leominster. This event will feature a display of more than one dozen early season apple varieties from apple orchards throughout Massachusetts. New England Apple Association Executive Director Russell Powell will talk about the varieties and answer apple-related questions. Guests will also enjoy a cider-making demonstration using an old wooden press, supplemented by other orchard artifacts and memorabilia; “Art in the Orchard” featuring artists set up with their easels and paint plein air in the orchard; photography; live music; activities for children; and food vendors. Rain Date Sept 5. Visit



FRIDAY, 5–9 PM. Food Truck Festival in downtown Leominster. Sample a wide variety of popular foods.


FRIDAY, 5:30–7:30 PM. Bed Race Competition on Walnut Street in Clinton. As part of the town’s Olde Home Day weekend celebration, teams of five will race their not-so-sleepy creations on a Walnut Street course in hopes of winning the grand Prize: A Golden Bed Pan! Stop by to enjoy this fun, family-friendly event! Learn more about the weekend at

SATURDAY, 5 PM. Petty Larceny performs at Hollis Hills Farm, 340 Marshall Road, Fitchburg. Visit


SATURDAY-MONDAY, 10 AM–4PM. Appleseed Country Fair at Red Apple Farm, 455 Highland Avenue, Phillipston. Three days of festival fun, featuring three stages with a variety of music; kids’ zone to keep youngsters busy; whacka-car (take out your frustrations!); craftspeople and other vendors. Enjoy food from the farm’s barbecue, or sample goodies from six food trucks. The Cidery will serve up hard cider from Red Apple Farm’s own apples, and the Brew Barn will feature Moon Hill Brewery and Hardwick Winery products. See a chain saw demonstration, take a hayride and let the kids visit the farm animals. Enjoy an entire weekend, presented by the Johnny Appleseed Trail Association. Admission is $10/carload; proceeds benefit Athol and Phillipston Fire Departments and the Trail Association. See details at

Clinton Bed Race Competition.


FRIDAY, 7–11 PM. The Big Random performs at the Polish American Citizens Club (PACC), 171 Kendall Pond West, Gardner. Free admission for this outdoor concert (weather permitting). Food truck available. Visit


FRIDAY 5–10 PM; SATURDAY, 10 AM–4 PM. Olde Home Days in downtown Clinton. Music, a duo fire show, brew tastings, pop-up art show, raptor show, wood carvers, puppet show, martial arts and gymnastics demonstration and much more provide two fun-filled days in Central Park and nearby locations. Check out the entertainment line-up at


FRIDAY–SUNDAY. Sterling Fair at the Sterling Airport. Fireworks—a Sterling Fair favorite—Friday Night at 9:45. (Rain date is Saturday.) Midway rides, kiddie tractor pull, kids’ frog jumping contest (bring your own frog), log sawing contest, tractor races, handcrafts, antique tractor and engine show, baked goods contests, and more! Visit

Fall | Winter 2021



SATURDAY, 9 AM. Barre Lions Car Show on the Common in Barre. Gift bags for car registrations, raffle prizes, a 50/50 raffle, refreshments throughout the town, and a breakfast held at The Congregational Church, starting at 8:00 am. Rain or shine; no rain date.


SATURDAY, 10 AM–4 PM. Baystate African Violet Society Sale & Demos at Tower Hill Botanic Garden, 11 French Drive, Boylston. Small exhibit and Sale: Demonstration: You Can Grow African Violets! Held from 11 am-12 pm and 2-3 pm. African violets are known for their unique features, vibrant colors, and beautiful blooms. The Bay State African Violet Society, Inc. is continuing its 62-year tradition of growing and showing named African violets. Learn general care of African violets and basic requirements for soil, fertilizer, watering, and light. Discover tips on how and when to re-pot and how to propagate new plants from leaves. Visit towerhillbg. org.

African Violet.



SATURDAY, 10 AM–2 PM. River Paddling Adventure Tour with Nashoba Paddler, 398 West Main Street, Groton. Enjoy the adventure of paddling a narrow, meandering section of the Squannacook River ending just below a small set of rapids, and stop to have some lunch and explore before heading back on this four-mile round trip. Cost: $50 pp-canoe, $70 pp-double kayak, $80 pp-solo kayak. Registration required:


SATURDAY, 11 AM–4 PM. First Responders Appreciation Event at the Orange Municipal Airport, East River Street, Orange. Food, auctions, vendors and fun for all, as well as a private tent for first responders and their families. Free admission.


SATURDAY, 3–9 PM. Harvard Fall Fest at Harvard Library Field, 4 Pond Road, Harvard. Sponsored by the Harvard Lions Club, the event includes live music by the Barn Burners and Far from Eden, food, a Boston Cornhole tournament, human Foosball, kids’ games and more. Free admission. Rain date, Sept. 25.


SUNDAY, 6 PM. New Pond Fondle concert at Hollis Hills Farm, 340 Marshall Road, Fitchburg. See Hollis Hills on facebook for details.


SUNDAY, 10:30 AM–NOON. Kick It & Sip It at River Styx Brewing, 166 Boulder Drive, Fitchburg. Kick It by Eliza instructor, Cristina, leads a pop-up group fitness class in Fitchburg! Kick It by Eliza is a 13-round music-driven fitness method that includes cardio kickboxing, low impact exercises and a meditative cool down. All fitness levels are welcome. The class, to be held in the parking lot, can be modified to your comfort level and is designed to make you feel good! Must be 21 to attend.


SUNDAY. Antique Car Show at Sholan Farms, 1125 Pleasant Street, Leominster. Visit for details.


SUNDAY, 2 PM. Concert at Coggshall Park, 65 Electric Avenue, Fitchburg. Bring a blanket or lawn chair and enjoy a concert by Jumpin’ Juba on the shores of Mirror Lake.



TUESDAY, 5:30–7:30 PM. Handmade Birdhouses workshop at the Chair City Legacy Maker Space, 205 School Street, Gardner. Handmade Birdhouses. Learn how to build a darling and functional handmade birdhouse to keep for yourself or give as a gift. Beginners are welcome! Learn basic woodworking skills from a talented local furniture worker. To register, visit


THURSDAY, 6 PM. Deborah Sampson—A Revolution of Her Own at the Gardner Museum, 26 Pearl Street, Gardner. A theater performance presented by History At Play™, which features the life of the first woman to fight in the American Military, Deborah Sampson. Reception at 6 pm, program at 6:30. Reservations required; call 978-632-3277.


THURSDAY, 6:30 PM. Fall Concert: Erin McKeown performs at Fruitlands Museum, 102 Prospect Hill Road, Harvard. Fall Concerts at Fruitlands are seated concerts that take place under the event tent. Tickets $24 members, $30 nonmembers. Visit for details.


SATURDAY, 9 AM–2 PM. Athol Congregational Church Country Fair at the Uptown Common, Main Street, Athol. Crafts, baked goods and fudge, theme baskets, gift card raffle, country store, books, games, snack bar and a huge emporium tag sale, with music all day!


SATURDAY, 11 AM. Harvard Fire Department Muster on Still River Road at Mass. Avenue, Harvard. Event begins with a parade of fire trucks from participating teams—and the action begins! Visit for updates.


SATURDAY, 9 AM. Harvest Jam at Hollis Hills Farm, 340 Marshall Road, Fitchburg. Celebrate harvest time with a full day of music and fun! Tickets will be required after 3pm for this event! 16 and older $12 in advance (can be purchased online) or $15 at the door. Under 16 free! The Maniac Loves You will be playing 12-3pm, Sobernaught 3-6pm, and Town Meeting will be finishing off the evening 6:30-9:30 pm! Enjoy a full day of pick-your-own, food & drink specials, music, farm animals, and fun for all ages. Visit


FRIDAY, 3 PM. Kathy John Sullivan performs at the Westminster Farmer’s Market, Academy Hill Road, Westminster.

SATURDAY, 9 AM–3 PM. Hubbardston Field Day, 20 Gardner Road (Route 68), Hubbardston. Craft booths, vendors, food including a chicken BBQ, baby contest, animals, bounce house, cow flop contest, music and more. Rain date: Sunday, September 19th. Free admission.




FRIDAY, DUSK. Movies in the Park at Riverfront Park, Boulder Drive, Fitchburg. Enjoy a family movie under the stars!


FRIDAY, 7–11 PM. Timeless performs at the Polish American Citizens Club (PACC), 171 Kendall Pond West, Gardner. Free admission for this outdoor concert (weather permitting). Food truck available. Visit


FRIDAY & SATURDAY, 7:30 PM; SUNDAY, 2 PM. The Musical Comedy Murder of 1940 at Theatre at the Mount, 444 Green Street, Gardner. Gather some 1940s show-biz types, a spooky old mansion with sliding panels, secret passageways, a sinister German maid, wacky wit and murder, and voila! A non-stop barrage of laughter as those assembled (or at least those who aren’t killed off) untangle the mystery of the “Stage Door Slasher.” Repeats Sept. 24-26. Visit for tickets.


SATURDAY, 8 AM–3 PM. Citywide Yard Sale throughout Leominster. Swing by City Hall on West Street to pick up a list of participating addresses, then shop till you drop! Visit leominstercommunitydevelopment on Facebook for updates.


SATURDAY, 10 AM–4 PM. Pepperell Fall Fest at Town Field, 4 Hollis Street, Pepperell. Entertainment, food, vendors and more! Visit for details.


SATURDAY, 10 AM–4 PM. Begonia Society Sale & Demos at Tower Hill Botanic Garden, 11 French Drive, Boylston. The Buxton Branch of the society presents demonstrations and lectures on growing and propagating begonias. Enjoy a fantastic, diverse display of begonias; enter your own plants into the exhibition; learn tips for growing this wellloved houseplant and browse many unusual and show will not be a judged plant show, but People’s Choice Awards will be awarded. Visit for details.

SATURDAY, 10 AM–6 PM. St. Edward’s Fall Festival, Church Street, Westminster. Features attic treasures, holiday room, jewelry room, theme baskets, raffles, music, vendors and Eddie’s Auction. Chicken BBQ Dinner at Noon. For updates and details, see


SATURDAY, 6 PM. Otherworld Art Showcase Vol. 1 at Great Escapes, 375 Harvard Street, Leominster, Featuring the minds and crafts of local artists and businesses. From painting and photography to bone carvings, plants, music…and more! Visit


SATURDAY & SUNDAY. Honeycrisp Harvest Celebration at Sholan Farms, 1125 Pleasant Street, Leominster.


SATURDAY & SUNDAY, 11 AM–5 PM. BBQ Fest at Wachusett Mountain Ski Area, 499 Mountain Road, Princeton. Food trucks, live entertainment, crafters and vendors, and a pig roast! The Skyride will be open. Visit


SUNDAY, 10 AM–2:30 PM. TORI/Nordic Outdoor Marketplace at the Finnish Center at Saima Park, 67 Scott Road, Fitchburg. Classic car cruise, 50/50 and basket raffle. Shop for Nordic wares, arts, crafts, jewelry, baked goods, books, music, and more! Show off your vehicle and admire others! Free admission. Food for sale.


SUNDAY, 11 AM. 1761 Old Mill Duck Run at the Old Mill Restaurant, 69 State Road East (Route 2A), Westminster. Registration begins at 10, race start at 11. Join a fun-filled 5k race that ends at the Old Mill with music, food and lawn games! Music by Darren Bassette at 11:30 and Brian Chaffee at 3:30. Two classes, adults and kids 16 or under; includes and Old Mill 75th Anniversary T-shirt. To pre-register, visit


SUNDAY, 2 PM. Throwback to the ’60s Concert on Templeton Common, Routes 2A and 101, Templeton. Put on your bellbottom jeans and tie-dye T-shirt and groove to the tunes of the Sixties at a free concert, sponsored by the Templeton Cultural Council. Visit the Council on Facebook.


SUNDAY, 4–6 PM. Opening Reception for Gordon Morrison – Recent Works exhibition at the Petersham Art Center, 8 North Street, Petersham.


TUESDAY, 7 PM. Music and Moonlight at Saima Park, 67 Scott Road Fitchburg. The Fitchburg State Community Orchestra performs under the Pavilion. Join a guided walk on the park’s beautiful grounds. You may learn about some of the park’s wildflowers and monuments, and experience a peaceful river meditation! Share a moon story or poem. You’re welcome to bring a picnic. Tables and benches available. Free admission; donations welcome. Visit


THURSDAY, 6:30 PM. Fall Concert: Vance Gilbert performs at Fruitlands Museum, 102 Prospect Hill Road, Harvard. This seated concert takes place under the event tent. Tickets $24 members, $30 non-members. Visit for details.


FRIDAY & SATURDAY 7:30 PM; SUNDAY 2 PM. Steel Magnolias at New Players Theatre Center for the Performing Arts, 15 Rollstone Street, Fitchburg. In a beauty parlor in northwestern Louisiana, life is anything but boring. Steel Magnolias follows six women over the course of three years as they face life’s challenges together and find comfort in one another. Repeats October 1-3. Visit for tickets.


FRIDAY & SATURDAY, 7:30 PM; SUNDAY, 2 PM. The Musical Comedy Murder of 1940 at Theatre at the Mount, 444 Green Street, Gardner. See Sept. 17-19 listing for details. Visit for tickets.


SATURDAY, 8–10 AM. Pannukakku Breakfast at the Finnish Center at Saima Park, 67 Scott Road, Fitchburg. Finnish oven pancake, bacon, sausage, fruit, Finnish coffee bread, juice, coffee/tea/ cocoa. $10. Art and craft sales, bee products, Raivaaja information table, Visit


SATURDAY, 8 AM–2 PM. Templeton TownWide Yard Sale at Narragansett High School, 464 Baldwinville Road, Templeton. Stop by the school parking lot to pick up a list of participating sites and to check out the vendors or grab a snack to fortify you for a full day of shopping! Visit the event on Facebook for details.


THURSDAY, 6:30 PM. American Patriotism at the Gardner Museum, 26 Pearl Street, Gardner. For Americans, the word Patriotism tends to mean shared celebrations like the national anthem and the Pledge of Allegiance. Prof. Ben Railton will demonstrate that this communal expression of an idealized America is just one of four types of Patriotism. He will explore all those forms of American patriotism, using the four verses of “America the Beautiful” as examples of each type, and traces them across our histories. Reservations required; call 978-632-3277.


THURSDAY, 7:30 PM. The Outlaws perform at the Bull Run Restaurant, 215 Great Road, Shirley. Doors open at 5:30 pm for dinner and seating. Showtime is 7:30 pm. For tickets, visit


FRIDAY, 3 PM. The Hip Swayers perform at the Westminster Farmer’s Market, Academy Hill Road, Westminster. Hailing from the hills of West Tatnuck, the Hip Swayers combine hot picking, syncopated rhythms and soulful harmonies in an eclectic mix of catchy originals and old-time twangy country that keeps your toes tapping and your hips swaying.


FRIDAY, 4–8 PM. Fitchburg Food Truck Festival at 166 Boulder Drive, Fitchburg. Join your favorite food trucks for our triumphant return to Fitchburg! Doors open at 4 pm. Free admission. River Styx brewery will be open.


FRIDAY, 7–11 PM. Sufferin’ Bastards performs at the Polish American Citizens Club (PACC), 171 Kendall Pond West, Gardner. Free admission for this outdoor concert (weather permitting). Food truck available. Visit

SATURDAY, 1–5 PM AND SUNDAY, 10 AM–3PM. New England Dahlia Society Show & Sale at Tower Hill Botanic Garden, 11 French Drive, Boylston. Visit for updated details.


SATURDAY & SUNDAY. Open Studios in Fitchburg. A free, selfguided art discovery tour which allows individuals to visit as many artists and locations as you desire, with each stop offering its own unique and varied experience. A project of the Fitchburg Cultural Council. Visit for details.


SATURDAY & SUNDAY. Cream of the Crop: Macoun Weekend at Sholan Farms, 1125 Pleasant Street, Leominster. Join us as we unveil the finest eating apple in the region! Want a perfect no-fat dessert that will satisfy your sweet tooth? Macoun may just be your apple, but, hurry, these special apples are only available in the fall. Developed at the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station in Geneva in 1932, the Macoun is named for a famous Canadian fruit breeder. Visit


SATURDAY, 9 AM–4 PM. Fabulous Fall Festival in downtown Gardner, a day-long family fest featuring local shops, vendors, food trucks, activities for the kids. Visit

SUNDAY, 9 AM. The 2021 Holdenwood Trail Run in Shirley. Scenic, challenging, and satisfying the Holdenwood Trail Run has been delighting walkers, joggers and runners for over a decade. The course flows through mown grass fields, dirt trails, cool forests, cobblestone bridges and rural roads. Options of 2K, 5K, or 10K. Post-race beer, ice cream and lunch buffet at the Bull Run Restaurant. Visit



25 Vance Gilbert.


SATURDAY. Truck A Palooza at the Townsend Public Library, 12 Dudley Road, Townsend. Friends of the Townsend Library presents vehicles of all kinds. Look at, sit in, and meet the community members who drive them. Toy Sale, magician, petting zoo, Food and drink sold by the Lions Club. No horn time from 1-2 pm Rain date, September 26.


SATURDAY, 9:30 AM–5 PM. Grotonfest at Legion Field, 75 Hollis Street, Groton. Enjoy craft demonstrations, dance, games, kids' area, pony rides and more at this free annual festival encompassing music and arts with area business and nonprofit groups.


SATURDAY, 10 AM-4 PM. Ashby Pumpkin Festival on the Common, Main Street, Ashby. The 30th annual Pumpkin Festival features kids' games, a bouncy house, animals, bake sale, used book sale, crafters and vendors, live music and entertainment, a tractor parade and plenty of food. Visit for details.


SATURDAY, 11 AM–10 PM. Oktoberfest at the Gardner Ale House, 74 Parker Street, Gardner. It’s a party in the street with music, authentic German food and beer. Relax in the beer garden and celebrate the season! Visit for details.


SATURDAY, NOON–3 PM. Rosie Porter and the Neon Moons perform at Red Apple Farm, 455 Highland Avenue, Phillpston. This genuine honkytonk band debuts at the Brew Barn at Red Apple Farm, with classic country standards featuring Doug Beaumier on pedal steel guitar.


SATURDAY & SUNDAY, 11 AM–5 PM. Kids Fest at Wachusett Mountain Ski Area, 499 Mountain Road, Princeton. Live entertainment, shows, magic and more! See the Axe Women, Flying High Dogs, Princesses Elsa and Ariel, crafters, vendors and more. Visit

Fall | Winter 2021

SUNDAY, 11 AM–9 PM. Brazilian Day—Buteco Boston Rodeo of Fitchburg at the Fitchburg Municipal Airport, 567 Crawford Street, Fitchburg. Doors open at 11; bull riders at 2 pm; concert at 5 pm; doors close at 9. Live Brazilian bands, Brazilian and American food, rodeo, DJ music and more. Repeats October 10.


SUNDAY, 12–5 PM. Motorpalooza on Templeton Common, Routes 2A and 101, Templeton. Meet and Motorpalooza on talk with automobile Templeton Common. enthusiasts about the vehicles being exhibited, tour the Historical Society building, and listen to a local band at this event presented by the Narragansett Historical Society. Visit ‘templeton museum’ on Facebook for details.


SUNDAY, 2 PM. Winchendon Winds Fall Concert Series #1 at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Winchendon, 126 Central Street, Winchendon. This 40-piece professional concert band returns for the first in a five-concert fall series. “Win Winds,” composed of some of the best wind and brass players in the region, will play a variety of traditional concert selections, suitable for all ages. Refreshments will be available for sale before and during the performance. The free concert will be outdoors on the spacious front lawn, weather permitting. In case of rain, the concert will move into the church sanctuary. Visit: or WinchendonWinds.


THURSDAY, 6:30 PM. Fall Concert: Railroad House Band performs at Fruitlands Museum, 102 Prospect Hill Road, Harvard. The seated concert takes place under the event tent. Tickets $24 members, $30 non-members. Visit for details.




FRIDAY, 3 PM. Nate Grigos performs at the Westminster Farmer’s Market, Academy Hill Road, Westminster. Nate blends folky improvisational jams on the bouzouki style mandolin.


FRIDAY, 9 PM. The Shadow Riders: Marshall Tucker Tribute at the Bull Run Restaurant, 215 Great Road, Shirley. Along with a new stellar 6 piece ensemble, the Shadow Riders perform hits like “Can’t You See’, “Heard it in a Love Song” and “Fire on the Mountain.” Visit


FRIDAY & SATURDAY, 7:30 PM; SUNDAY, 2 PM. Steel Magnolias at New Players Theatre Center for the Performing Arts, 15 Rollstone Street, Fitchburg. See Sept. 24-26 for details. Visit for tickets.


SATURDAY, 8 AM. City-Wide Yard Sale in Gardner. Stop by homes throughout the city in search of bargains! The map of participating sites will be available on Facebook; look for Gardner City Wide Yard Sale. Rain date, Oct. 3.



SATURDAY, 9:30 AM – 3 PM. Southern New England Model Railroad Show at the Chestnut Street United Methodist Church, 161 Chestnut St., Gardner. See O Scale displays and dealers; fun for the whole family. Admission $6 adults, $8 family. Visit for details.


SATURDAY, 10 AM. Tractor Parade in downtown Leominster, followed by a Farmers Market from 11 am – 2 pm on the common. Visit leominstercommunitydevelopment on Facebook for details.


SATURDAY, NOON–3 PM. Fall Foliage Paddle with Nashoba Paddler, 398 West Main Street, Groton. Reflections of autumn foliage enhance the special beauty of this river as you paddle along its narrow, meandering channel into areas of lily ponds and woodlands and stop for a scenic picnic along the way. Easy, flat-water, 3 miles roundtrip. Cost, $45-$60. (Bring a picnic to enjoy on a riverside lunch break.) Registration required. Visit


THURSDAY, 6:30 PM. Fall Concert: Alisa Amador performs at Fruitlands Museum, 102 Prospect Hill Road, Harvard. This seated concert takes place under the event tent. Tickets $24 members, $30 nonmembers. Visit for details.


THURSDAY–MONDAY. MTNside Sale & Swap at Wachusett Mountain Ski Area, 499 Mountain Road, Princeton. New England's largest Ski & Snowboard Sale & Swap! An equipment extravaganza. SWAP your used gear for credit or cash and/or shop for the best deals of the season at MTNside! Bring in your used equipment to sell for cash or Wachusett credit, then grab something new. Visit


FRIDAY, 3 PM. The Shear Brothers perform at the Westminster Farmer’s Market, Academy Hill Road, Westminster.


SATURDAY. Scarecrows in the Orchard Harvest Festival at Sholan Farms, 1125 Pleasant Street, Leominster. Scary, funny, cute...all kinds of scarecrows will fill the orchard for this annual event! (Rain date Oct 10)


SATURDAY, 7 PM. Jon Butcher Axis 40th Anniversary Tour at the Bull Run Restaurant, 215 Great Road, Shirley. Visit for tickets.


SATURDAY, 10 AM–5 PM; SUNDAY, 10 AM–4 PM. New England Carnivorous Plant Society Show & Sale at Tower Hill Botanic Garden, 11 French Drive, Boylston. The award-winning New England Carnivorous Plant Society (NECPS) will again be hosting its Fall Carnivorous Plant Show with over 300 plants on display and free seminars on growing and feeding carnivorous plants. Visit the Venus Fly Trap feeding station where you can observe up close how these plants devour insects! Demonstration held from 10:30-11:30 am and 12:301:30 pm. Visit


SATURDAY & SUNDAY, 11 AM–5 PM. OktoberFest at Wachusett Mountain Ski Area, 499 Mountain Road, Princeton. This is the season for beautiful foliage, tasty beer and camaraderie among friends! Raise your steins and toss the empty kegs as you eat, drink and celebrate with live German music, contests, shows, craft and farmers' market vendors, and activities for the whole family. Visit


SUNDAY, 10 AM–9 PM. Brazilian Day— Buteco Boston Rodeo of Fitchburg at the Fitchburg municipal Airport, Crawford Street. A day filled with live Brazilian bands, Brazilian and American food, and a rodeo! See bull riders at 2 pm, enjoy a concert at 5 pm.


SUNDAY, 11 AM. Fall Festival at Hollis Hills Farm, 340 Marshall Street, Fitchburg. Concert by Early August at 4 pm.


MONDAY, 5–9 PM. Cannoli Festival in downtown Leominster (Rain date, Oct. 14). You don’t have to be Italian to appreciate these luscious concoctions! Join the crowd on the common for an evening of music, fun—and cannoli from a variety of local bakeries.


WEDNESDAY, 8:30 PM. Walter Trout performs at the Bull Run Restaurant, 215 Great Road, Shirley. Walter Trout, considered to be one of the finest blues guitarists in the world, was the lead guitarist for Canned Heat, John Lee Hooker and John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers. He formed his own band in 1989 and has since become a global mega star. Visit


THURSDAY, 6:30 PM. Making of a Silver Spoon at the Gardner Museum, 26 Pearl Street, Gardner. Revisit Gardner’s silversmithing tradition with local silversmith Peter Erickson as he handcrafts a spoon in the museum’s replica silver shop, using the museum’s and his grandfather’s tools. Reservations required; call 978-632-3277.


FRIDAY, 3 PM. Bagpiper Chris Baum performs at the Westminster Farmer’s Market, Academy Hill Road, Westminster. Christopher is a 12 year old competitive solo piper throughout the northeast and is one of the top pipers in the eastern US for under the age of 18.


SATURDAY, 10 M–4 PM. 45th Annual Horseshed Fair at First Church Lancaster, 725 Main Street, Lancaster. Plenty of fun, items for sale, activities and food, including: Baked Goods. Hungry? Check out the Tea Room or the Lunch Box. New this year: quality antiques! Visit


Scarecrows in the Orchard Harvest Festival.


SATURDAY, 10 AM – 4 PM. Winchendon Fall Festival on Central Street, Winchendon. The festival is back with hundreds of crafters, vendors, children’s activities including bouncy houses, pumpkin painting and face painting along with Fire and Police demonstrations that include K9 Clyde! There will be a variety of food available, a beer garden and local bands throughout the route. Visit townofwinchendon. com for information.


SATURDAY, 11 AM–2 PM. Fall Foliage Paddle with Nashoba Paddler, 398 West Main Street, Groton. Reflections of autumn foliage enhance the special beauty of this river as you paddle along its narrow, meandering channel into areas of lily ponds and woodlands and stop for a scenic picnic along the way. Easy, flat-water, 3 miles roundtrip. Cost, $45-$60. (Bring a picnic to enjoy on a riverside lunch break.) Registration required. Visit


SATURDAY, 2 PM. Winchendon Winds Fall Concert Series #2 at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Winchendon, 126 Central Street, Winchendon. “Win Winds,” comprised of 40 of the best wind and brass players in the region, will play a variety of traditional concert selections, suitable for all ages. This marks the second in a five-concert fall series and will take place inside the church sanctuary. Visit or WinchendonWinds. Free admission.


FRIDAY AND SATURDAY, 6–10 PM. Haunted Hayrides at Silver Lake, Athol. Prepare to be scared! Skits by local groups will keep you on the edge of your seat as you take this haunted tour. (Separate rides available for the preschool set). The Athol Lions Club sponsors this annual event, with proceeds benefiting community programs. Extreme weather dates, October 22 and 23.


SATURDAY, 9 AM. Westminster Cracker Festival in Westminster center. A day filled with music, craft vendors, food, beer and wine and a 5K road race. This free event raises money for the Westminster Village Foundation, which funds projects for the community. More info at


SATURDAY, 9 AM–2 PM. Petersham Antique and Vintage Collectibles Marketplace at Petersham Town Hall. There will be a large number of vendors — 30 booths on two floors! — with terrific antique and vintage Christmas, Easter, Halloween, and other holiday décor and ornaments. Suggested donation of $5 will go to benefit the Northeast Houndsmen Dog team, a search and rescue team that provides search and rescue services to police forces across CT, MA, and NH.


SATURDAY, 7–10 PM. Wachusett Music Series presents Cheryl Wheeler at the Harvard Unitarian Universalist Church, 9 Ayer Road, Harvard. Heralded as a “folk luminary,” an “unassuming folk star,” and a “folk diva,” Wheeler is known for her well-crafted songs, stellar vocals, and witty on-stage patter. Visit





SATURDAY & SUNDAY, 11 AM–5 PM. Apple Fest at Wachusett Mountain Ski Area, 499 Mountain Rd., Princeton. Farmers market, Axe Woodmen of Maine, Live entertainment, Wunderle’s Big Top Adventures, food trucks over 125 craft vendors, scenic Skyride and more! Visit for details and tickets. SUNDAY, 2 PM. Winchendon Winds Fall Concert Series #3 at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Winchendon, 126 Central Street, Winchendon. “Win Winds,” comprised of 40 of the best wind and brass players in the region, will play a variety of traditional concert selections, suitable for all ages, in the church sanctuary. Refreshments will be available for sale before and during the performance. Visit: or WinchendonWinds. Free admission.

SATURDAY, NOON – 3 PM. Villainous Trunk or Treat Bash at 166 Boulder Drive, Fitchburg. Nowoco Pride invites families to have a Villainous Good Time with trunk or treating for the kids, food trucks for lunch, Villain meet and greet with photos, Villainous Stage Show and Kids Costume Contest! SATURDAY, 1–3 PM. Halloween Parade in downtown Leominster. Ghouls and goblins, princesses and pirates, and more are invited to tour the business district for this annual parade, starting at Leominster Credit Union on Adams Street. Rain date, October 30. Visit


SATURDAY, 6 PM. Spooky Drive-in Movies at Wallace Civic Center, 1000 John Fitch highway, Fitchburg.





MONDAY–SUNDAY. Leominster Frights at participating addresses throughout Leominster. Take a self-guided tour of homes decorated for the spooky holiday! Visit for details. WEDNESDAY, 7 PM. Music and Moonlight at the Finnish Center at Saima Park, 67 Scott Road, Fitchburg. Enjoy music by the Fitchburg State Community Orchestra as they play under the pavilion. Join a guided walk on the park’s beautiful grounds. You may learn about some of the park’s wildflowers and monuments, and experience a peaceful river meditation. Share a moon story or poem. Bring a picnic supper! Tables and benches available. Free admission; donations welcome. Visit


FRIDAY, 3 PM. Jeff Mendoza performs at the Westminster Farmer’s Market, Academy Hill Road, Westminster.


FRIDAY, 6–8:30 PM. Owl Prowl Night Hike at the Crocker Conservation Area, Flat Rock Road, Fitchburg. Engage your senses of sight and sound as North County Land Trust explores our trails while the full moon begins to rise and nocturnal creatures become active. We will walk quietly, avoid using our flashlights, and try to call in a barred owl! Visit


FRIDAY & SATURDAY. Eighth Annual Hubbardston Halloween Haunted Hay Ride at Rietta Ranch (Flea Market), 183 Gardner Hubbardston Halloween. Road, Hubbardston. Enjoy a country ride featuring scary seasonal skits suitable for all ages. Visit for updated details. Run by the Lions Club, 100% of the money raised goes to town organizations, scouts, sports teams, Christmas gifts and donations to needy families.


SATURDAY, 8 AM. New England Crawling Championships at 308 Bemis Road, Fitchburg. The rest of the country has all the big events, why not New England? Join us at RC Excitement in Fitchburg and let’s crown a champion! A portion of the proceeds will benefit Special Olympics. Visit rcexcitement, inc. on Facebook.


SATURDAY, 8–10 AM. Pannaukakku Breakfast at the Finnish Center at Saima Park, 67 Scott Road, Fitchburg. Finnish oven pancake, bacon, sausage, fruit, Finnish coffee bread, juice, coffee/tea. $10. Art, craft sales, bee products, Raivaaja information table. Visit

SATURDAY, 10 AM–5 PM; Sunday, 10 am–4 pm. American Craft Fair at Tower Hill Botanic Garden, 11 French Drive, Boylston. This weekend will feature 30+ fine craftsmen throughout the Stoddard Center. SUNDAY, 2 PM. Winchendon Winds Fall Concert Series #4 at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Winchendon, 126 Central Street, Winchendon. “Win Winds,” comprised of 40 of the best wind and brass players in the region, will play a variety of traditional concert selections, suitable for all ages, inside the church sanctuary. Refreshments will be available for sale before and during the performance. Visit or Free admission.


SUNDAY, 4–6 PM. Opening Reception for "Sylvia Brown – Leather and Textiles" at the Petersham Art Center, 8 North Street, Petersham. Call 978-724-3415 or visit the center on facebook.


SATURDAY, 9 AM–5:30 PM. Johnny Appleseed Arts & Cultural Festival in downtown Leominster. Live music, crafters, vendors, food trucks, fun for the whole family. Check facebook for updates.


THURSDAY, 6:30 PM. Bathsheba Spooner— Perpetrator & Victim at the Gardner Museum, 26 Pearl Street, Gardner. On July 2, 1778, Bathsheba Ruggles Spooner, a 32-year-old, intelligent and independent-minded woman from Brookfield became the first woman to be executed in the new American republic for having arranged for the murder of her husband. But she was also a victim. She was trapped by social mores that allowed no escape from an abusive husband. Condemned for her Loyalist sympathies, she was rushed to judgment by a community fearful of civil disorder. Book presentation by musicologist, art historian, teacher, and author Andrew Noone. Reservations required; call 978-632-3277.


THURSDAY-SATURDAY, 10 AM–5 PM; SUNDAY, 10 AM–4 PM. Garden Club Federation of Massachusetts Show at Tower Hill Botanic Garden, 11 French Drive, Boylston. Visit for updated details.


FRIDAY, 3 PM. Sean Fullerton performs at the Westminster Farmer’s Market, Academy Hill Road, Westminster. Sean Fullerton specializes in acoustic blues, Rock 'n' Roll and Fingerstyle Guitar using 6 String, 12 String and Dobro guitars and Harmonica.


SATURDAY, 6 PM. Spooky Drive-in Movies at Wallace Civic Center, 1000 John Fitch highway, Fitchburg.

Fall | Winter 2021



FRIDAY. Opening day of Country Roads Christmas Tour. With so many lifestyle changes generated by the Covid pandemic, the Country Roads tour has expanded from a weekend to a full monthlong celebration, running through Dec. 5. A host of businesses in the Templeton-Phillipston area welcome shoppers with special events, sales (and in some cases, snacks!) to launch the holiday season. Visit for details.


SATURDAY, 9AM–2PM. Christmas Fair at Miller’s Woods/Riverbend, 739 Daniel Shays Highway, Athol. Gift items, Chinese auction, baked goods, theme baskets, gift certificate raffle, crafts, welcome raffle, High Roller raffle, 50/50, and an awesome snack bar!


SATURDAY, 11 AM–5 PM. Fall Food Truck Fest at Wachusett Mountain Ski Area, 499 Mountain Road, Princeton. Enjoy live music, a huge selection of beer and plenty of food to keep you full and happy all day long. Visit for tickets.


SATURDAY, 6–10PM. Harvest Dinner Dance at the Finnish Center at Saima Park, 67 Scott Road, Fitchburg. Turkey dinner catered by Family Cafe, price TBD. Dance to the music of the Central Mass Accordion Club. For reservations email finnishcenter@ Visit


SUNDAY, 10 AM–4 PM. Fitchburg Arts & Crafts Show at Montachusett Regional Vocational School, 1050 Westminster Street, Fitchburg. Scores of crafters in a juried show by Mike & Pat’s New England Craft Shows.


FRIDAY, 5–9 PM; SATURDAY, 11 AM–7:30 PM. Christmas in Acadia Fair at St. Cecilia Parish, 188 Mechanic Street, Leominster. Specialty foods include poutines, râpée, pork pies, fricot, spaghetti & meatballs and much more. Chinese Auction, $3000 Major Raffle, theme baskets, crafts, large indoor flea market, game booths for all ages, baked goods. Free picture with Santa on Friday from 6 to 7:30 pm. and on Saturday from 11:30 am to 1 pm. A variety of live musical entertainment on Saturday including the "Twin City Fiddlers" and the “Songbirds.”


WEDNESDAY, 1–4 PM. Annual Festival of Trees opens at the Gardner Museum, 26 Pearl Street, Gardner. The beloved event is open to the public until Saturday, December 4. Exhibition is open Wednesdays, Thursdays 1-4 pm; Fridays 1-7 pm; Saturdays, Sundays 10 am – 4 pm. During the Festival, the museum gift shop will also carry seasonal items for purchase.


SATURDAY, 9 AM–8 PM. Fall Festival at Immaculate Heart of Mary Church, Winchendon. Raffles, games, lunch and more at this annual church fair. Visit for updates.


SATURDAY, 9 AM–2 PM. Holiday Bazaar at the Athol Congregational Church, 1225 Chestnut Street by the Uptown Common in Athol. Crafts, baked goods and fudge, theme baskets, gift card Raffle, “Winner Wonderland” Raffle, jewelry, wreaths and greens, snack bar and Christmas tag sale!


SATURDAY & SUNDAY, 10 AM–5 PM. Holiday Marketplace at Tower Hill Botanic Garden, 11 French Drive, Boylston. Local makers and crafters set up their wares. Free with Tower Hill admission.



SUNDAY, 2 PM. Winchendon Winds Fall Concert Series #5 at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Winchendon, 126 Central Street, Winchendon. “Win Winds,” comprised of 40 of the best wind and brass players in the region, closes its season with a special tribute to our local veterans. The band will play a variety of popular and patriotic tunes, and attending veterans will be individually recognized by roll call. The concert will take place inside the church sanctuary. A reception follows in the Parish Hall. Visit: or Facebook. com/WinchendonWinds.


SUNDAY, 7:30 PM. The Blues Project performs at the Bull Run Restaurant, 215 Great Road, Shirley. The Blues Project were arguably the greatest relatively unsung American rock band of the 1960s. They are like a fine wine, getting better with age—and the best is yet to come! Visit for tickets. Doors open at 5:30 pm for dinner and seating. Showtime is 7:30 pm.

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SATURDAY, 3–5 PM. Indoor Farmers Market at Leominster City Hall, West Street, Leominster.

SATURDAY. Friends of the Conant Library Craft Show at First Church, 6 Meetinghouse Hill Road, Sterling. Sponsored by the Friends of the Conant Public Library.


SATURDAY, 10 AM–1 PM. Holiday Farmer’s Market. Stock up with all the goodies you’ll need for the holiday. Visit



SATURDAY & SUNDAY, 10 AM–4PM. Thanksgiving Harvest Festival at Red Apple Farm, 455 Highland Avenue, Phillipston. Dozens of local family farms and businesses offer all the best fixings for your Thanksgiving table and home. Enjoy delicious food and local live music, along with the Harvest X-Games—hay bale toss, pumpkin launch, and other competitions. Visit


MONDAY & TUESDAY. Festival of Trees at Leominster City Hall. Tata Auditorium glows with holiday spirit as dozens of decorated trees spotlight the creativity of community residents.


FRIDAY, 5 PM. Opening of the Christmas Tree and Light Show at Sholan Farms, 1125 Pleasant Street, Leominster. The 20-minute repeating light show, complete with music via car radios (89.5 fm), runs through Saturday, Jan. 1.


SATURDAY, 8–10 AM. Pannukakku Breakfast at the Finnish Center at Saima Park, 67 Scott Rd., Fitchburg. Celebrate Finland’s Independence! Finnish oven pancake, bacon, sausage, fruit, Finnish coffee bread, juice, coffee/tea/cocoa. $10. Art and craft sales, bee products, Raivaaja information table, Visit www.


SATURDAY, 9 AM – 2 PM. Historical Society Christmas Open House at 110 Main Street, Westminster.

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SATURDAY, 5 PM. Parade of Lights, followed by the Tree Lighting in downtown Leominster.

SATURDAY & SUNDAY, 6–8 PM. Living Nativity Scene at the Lutheran Church, 1 Hager Park Road, Westminster. Visit events/living-nativity.html.


SATURDAY, 9 AM – 3 PM; SUNDAY, 9 AM–1 PM. St. Martin’s Church Holiday Fair at the American Legion Hall, 3 Central St., Baldwinville. Raffles, a “Polish Auction” of more than three dozen beautifully packaged theme baskets, hand-crafted ornaments and holiday decorations, baked goods, fresh wreaths made to order, and raffle tables. Stop in for lunch or a snack! Visit


SUNDAY. Holiday Stroll and Tree Lighting in downtown Gardner. Start the holiday season in a festive mood! Visit


SUNDAY, 8 PM. The Glenn Miller Orchestra performs at Weston Auditorium at Fitchburg state University, 160 Pearl St., Fitchburg.


Annual Members Show at the Petersham Art Center, 8 North St., Petersham. All members are invited to submit up to three pieces of work, in any medium, for display or sale. The exhibit will run through December 25. Call 978-724-3415 for details.


SATURDAY, 10 AM – NOON. Visit With Santa at the Forbush Memorial Library, 118 Main Street, Westminster. Visit


SATURDAY. Small Business Saturday in downtown Leominster. Participating businesses welcome shoppers.

SATURDAY, 10 AM – 1 PM. Holiday Craft Fair sponsored by Nowoco Pride at 1080 Adams St., Leominster. Enjoy some Holiday Cheer and crafts by local crafters as you shop for amazing holiday gifts for your loved ones! Stop by the bake sale and hot cocoa bar for some fabulous treats—and for the kids, Santa will be on hand for some holiday pictures.




SATURDAY. Small Business Saturday in Gardner. Shop local this holiday season to support small business.



Musical "Baby" at New Players Theatre Guild Center for the Performing Arts, 15 Rollstone Street, Fitchburg. Check for times and dates of this December production.


DAILY. Festival of Trees at Leominster City Hall, 25 West Street. See Christmas trees decorated by local residents and organizations, and get some great ideas for your own holiday décor.


FRIDAY-SUNDAY, 5–10 PM. Leominster Lights at participating homes in Leominster. Stop by City Hall, 25 West Street, for a map of brightly-decorated homes that will put you in the holiday mood.


SUNDAY, 4 PM. Greater Gardner Community Choir (GGCC) Annual Holiday Concert at Bethany Baptist Church, 72 Ryan St., Gardner. For the last 12 years GGCC has been an independent arts organization providing top-quality classical and contemporary choral music under the direction of Diane Cushing. Singers are from all corners of North Central Massachusetts. Get yourself in the holiday spirit enjoying a wide variety of seasonal favorites! Tickets available at the door.

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THURSDAY, 3-5 PM. Indoor Farmers Market at City Hall, 25 West St., Leominster. SUNDAY, NOON. Caroling with the Mayor in downtown Gardner. For details, visit gardner-ma.


FRIDAY, 6 PM. Starry Starry Night in downtown Orange. Fireworks, street performances, ice sculptures are among the features anticipated at this New Year’s Eve celebration organized by the Orange Revitalization Partnership. Events will also be aired on AOTV, the local community cable channel. Visit the partnership on Facebook.

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JANUARY THURSDAY, 3–5 PM. Indoor Farmers Market at City Hall, 25 West St., Leominster.

THURSDAY, 6–8 PM. Garden Mania at City Hall, 25 West St., Leominster. We know it's winter, but now is the perfect time to start thinking about your spring garden. Chat with some of Leominster's businesses and organizations on Thursday January 30, 6pm - 8pm. You'll be able to purchase items for your garden and to learn more about the resources available in the area. If you love gardening, or always wanted to give it a try, this is for you!


SATURDAY, 8–10 AM. Pannukakku Breakfast at the Finnish Center at Saima Park, 67 Scott Rd., Fitchburg. Finnish oven pancake, bacon, sausage, fruit, Finnish coffee bread, juice, coffee/tea/ cocoa. $10. Art and craft sales, bee products, Raivaaja information table, Visit



SATURDAY, 10 AM – 2 PM. Ski Trail Open House at the Finnish Center at Saima Park, 67 Scott Rd., Fitchburg. Given enough snow, our groomed trails will be open to the public for skiing and snowshoeing. Wish for snow! Free admission. Light refreshments for sale. Visit


SATURDAY, 10 AM – 2 PM. Ski Trail Open House at the Finnish Center at Saima Park, 67 Scott Rd., Fitchburg. Given enough snow, the groomed trails will be open to the public for skiing and snowshoeing. Wish for snow! Free admission. Light refreshments for sale. Visit

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THURSDAY, 3–5 PM. Indoor Farmers Market at City Hall, 25 West St., Leominster.

SUNDAY–SATURDAY. Restaurant Week in downtown Leominster. Take time to visit participating businesses in the city.


WEDNESDAY, 5:30 PM. Indoor Drive-In Movie Night at Leominster City Hall. No car? No problem! Turn a cardboard box into your own vehicle. Enjoy snacks and a movie at this familyfriendly event! Visit leominstercommunitydevelopment on Facebook for details.


FRIDAY, 10 AM – 2 PM. Once Upon a Time at Leominster City Hall, 25 West St. Bring the kids for a fun vacation-week event.


SATURDAY, 8–10 AM. Pannukakku Breakfast at Saima Park, 67 Scott Rd., Fitchburg. Finnish oven pancake, bacon, sausage, fruit, Finnish coffee bread, juice, coffee/tea. $10. Art, craft sales, Raivaaja information table. Visit


SATURDAY, 10 AM – 2 PM. Ski Trail Open House at the Finnish Center at Saima Park, 67 Scott Rd., Fitchburg. Given enough snow, our groomed trails will be open to the public for skiing and snowshoeing. Wish for snow! Free admission. Light refreshments for sale. Visit

Snow on the Mountain: IT’S SKI SEASON!


or weeks, you’ve stayed tuned to the weather channel, and looked hopefully at the trails snaking down the sides of Wachusett Mountain. And finally, there it is — sparkling white snow on the slopes, signaling the start of ski season! Local skiers are downright exuberant as they flock to the mountain on the weekend before Thanksgiving. At last, a bit of “normal” injected into this anything-but-normal year! Generations of ski enthusiasts and their families have made Wachusett their favorite local winter destination — and that tradition continues this season. But as you gather up your gear for a day or evening of outdoor fun, plan for a “2021 version” of the ski experience at Wachusett Mountain Ski Area. The Wachusett staff and management have always focused on safety, but with the Covid-19 pandemic still hanging in throughout New England, “safety” has taken on a new meaning for everyone. Time to Hit the Slopes! With its 29 trails, eight lifts and 100 percent snowmaking capacity, this season’s Wachusett will provide the same great skiing that

you’ve enjoyed for years. The “new normal” of the pandemic situation, though, includes some changes you should be aware of before heading to the popular Princeton attraction. After more than a year of reminders, you know about social distancing and face coverings — and whatever rules are currently in force in Massachusetts will apply at the ski area. Of course, when you’re on the slopes, “social distancing” is easy. But in areas where maintaining six-foot distancing is difficult, as in loading and unloading chairlifts and in indoor resort facilities, face coverings may be required, so be prepared. And if necessary, team members will limit the number of visitors in any area to maintain any mandated distancing. At the same time, the ski area is proving that fun and safety can go hand-in-hand. When it’s time to take a break, Wachusett has you covered! Although indoor activity may again be limited, outdoor seating on the giant patio has been expanded, heat lamps will be available to help chase away chills — and O’Brien’s Deck Bar & Grill, along with other grab-and-go vendors, food trucks and beer trucks can be ramped up as needed for outdoor service.

Photos courtesy of Wachusett Mountain Ski Area. Fall | Winter 2021

Change Is in the Air Here are a few other changes you may see this winter at this popular winter sport spot: * Lift Tickets can be purchased online or over the phone. Depending on current COVID guidelines, they may be available for purchase in person — but call to be sure before you head to the mountain. A tip: Order early; don’t wait! Supplies are limited and they will sell out. * Sales of Season Passes will be limited this year. * Operating schedules may be subject to change at any time. * Capacities may be restricted due to COVID-19. * COVID regulations may also affect other elements of your visit, from gear storage to shuttle bus schedules and rental orders, so be sure to check the Ski Area website ( or facebook page often. So when those brilliant white trails on the region’s signature landmark start calling your name this winter, remember that even in these challenging times, mountain skiing — and mountains of fun — are just minutes away. § 35

Towns in our Region A GUIDE




Incorporated 1767 24.2 sq. miles | Pop. 3,219 Main Street | 978-386-2424

Outdoor enthusiasts know Ashburnham as the starting point for the Wapack Trail and Massachusetts Midstate Trail, while music lovers appreciate it as the home of the Frederick Historic Piano Collection and Study Center that brings musicians from around the world to this rural community each spring and fall.

Willard Brook State Forest in Ashby and Townsend offers a quiet respite for visitors: Picture 2,597 acres, complete with a babbling brook and quick water, set amid groves of classic New England woods. The town’s past includes its history as a station along the underground railroad in the 19th century.

Athol earned the nickname of “Tool Town” through major employers like the L. S. Starrett Co. and the former Union Twist Drill. The community continues to have an active downtown, and was recently boosted by a new shopping center. Springtime brings an annual River Rat Race on the Millers River.

Incorporated 1765 41 sq. miles | Pop. 6,348 32 Main Street | 978-827-4100


Incorporated 1762 33.4 sq. miles | Pop. 11,732 584 Main Street | 978-249-4551




This town was named after Isaac Barre, a member of the British Parliament and champion of the American colonies who opposed the taxation of America in the Revolutionary era. Points of interest include the Barre Historical Society, which offers a variety of lectures and programs throughout the year, and the Barre Players Theater.

The Bolton Fair, the largest one-day agricultural fair in Massachusetts, is a major agricultural attraction to the town each August — attesting to Bolton’s continuing agricultural heritage. The Bolton Conservation Trust has worked to preserve hundreds of acres of meadows, woods, wet-lands, and agricultural land throughout the town.




Once the center of booming textile and carpet industries, Clinton is home to the Wachusett Dam and Wachusett Reservoir, which serves Metropolitan Boston, and the Museum of Russian Icons, housing the largest collection of Russian icons in the United States.

An unincorporated village, Devens is the successor to Fort Devens, a military post that operated from 1917 to 1996. Managed by MassDevelopment, the state’s finance and development agency, Devens has been recognized as a national model for military base reuse. It is now home to a variety of businesses, nonprofits, and government organizations.

Fitchburg State University, the Fitchburg Art Museum and beautiful Coggshall Park are among landmarks worthy of a visit to the city. Two active theater groups — Stratton Players and New Players Theater Guild — add to its cultural vitality, along with summer concerts and an annual Civic Days celebration.

Incorporated 1871 9.6 sq. miles | Pop. 8,196 1 Main Street | 978-772-8220

Ayer, now celebrating its 150th anniversary, has been a major commercial railroad junction since its inception. Known to generations of soldiers and military families. Ayer was home to Camp Stevens during the Civil War and Fort Devens, established in World War I. The town continues to offer commuter rail service to Boston.

Incorporated 1774 44.8 sq. miles | Pop. 5,578 40 West Street | 978-355-5003

Incorporated 1738 20 sq. miles | Pop. 5,426 663 Main Street | 978-799-2297 BoltonMassachusetts

Photo Lawrence Libby

Incorporated 1850 44.8 sq. miles | Pop. 14,000 242 Church Street | 978-365-4119

44.8 sq. miles | Pop. 1,969 33 Andrews Parkway | 978-784-2900

Fall | Winter 2021

Incorporated 1764 27.83 sq. miles | Pop. 40,638 718 Main Street | 978-829-1800



Incorporated 1785 22.08 sq. miles | Pop. 20,683 95 Pleasant Street | 978-632-1900


Incorporated 1655 40.7 sq. miles | Pop. 11,325 173 Main Street | 978-448-1100


Incorporated 1732 26.97 sq. miles | Pop. 6,620 13 Ayer Road | 978-456-4100

With numerous furniture factories and, later, factory outlet shops, Gardner earned its name of The Chair City of the World. Mount Wachusett Community College, with its Theatre at the Mount performance center, Dunn State Park, and the Veterans Skating Rink are among its attractions for visitors.

Groton is best known as the home of two famous preparatory schools: Lawrence Academy, founded as Groton Academy in 1793 and renamed in 1846 for Amos and William Lawrence; and The Groton School, founded in 1884 by the Reverend Endicott Peabody. The J. Harry Rich State Forest is a popular recreational area.




The oldest town in Worcester County and one of the earliest permanent English settlements in north central Massachusetts, Lancaster is named for Lancaster, England. A prominent feature of the town center is the First Church of Christ, also known as the Bullfinch Church, considered one of the finest works of architect Charles Bullfinch.

Known as the Plastic Capital of New England, Leominster is recognized around the world by an unlikely ambassador: the ubiquitous pink flamingo lawn ornament created by local resident Don Featherstone, designer at Union Products. The second-largest city in Worcester County, Leominster was the birthplace of folk legend Johnny Appleseed.

Incorporated 1767 41.03 sq. miles | Pop. 4,829 7 Main Street | 978-928-1400

In the 19th century, dairy and berry farming and market gardening were major enterprises in Hubbardston, attracting immigrants from Ireland, French Canada, England, Sweden and Finland to work on the farms. The agricultural character continues at The Country Hen, producer of organic omega-3 eggs from cage-free hens.


Incorporated 1653 28.3 sq. miles | Pop. 8,082 701 Main Street | 978-365-3326 groups/1024731417724912

Through its history, Harvard has been home to several non-traditional communities, including Harvard Shaker Village and the utopian transcendalist center Fruitlands. Today, the 210-acre Fruitlands Museum houses the original Farmhouse, a Shaker Museum, Native American Museum and Art Museum.

Incorporated 1740 28.81 sq. miles | Pop. 41,716 25 West Street | 978-534-7500 leominstercommunitydevelopment

Photo Lawrence Libby


Incorporated 1728 27.7 sq. miles | Pop. 11,736 17 Main Street | 978-582-4130

Generations of local residents fondly remember Lunenburg’s premier attraction, Whalom Park, which operated from 1893 to 2000 and was home to the famous Comet Flyer roller coaster. The town maintains a rural flavor, with farms and apple orchards.


Incorporated 1775 23.2 sq. miles | Pop. 12,114 1 Main Street | 978-433-0333

Located at the junction of the Nissitissit and Nashua Rivers, Pepperell boasts an array of conservation lands and trails. A popular landmark is the new covered bridge, replacing a historic structure. The bridge includes a tribute to a group of Revolutionary War women who intercepted a British messenger on his way to Bunker Hill.


Incorporated 1754 54.27 sq. miles | Pop. 1,250 3 South Main Street | 978-724-3353

A visit to Petersham isn’t complete without a stop for lunch at the Petersham Country Store — a community gathering place since 1840 — and the Petersham Art Center, an all-volunteer non-profit home for the arts since 1912 that showcases the works of local artists.

Photo Tamar Russell Brown


Incorporated 1814 24.3 sq. miles | Pop. 1,746 50 The Common | 978-249-6828

Fairs, fruit-picking, and fabulous apple cider entice visitors to this little town located off Route 2A between Gardner and Athol. Red Apple Farm has become a year-round attraction, with animals to visit, trails to hike and a popular farmstand. The town common provides an idyllic setting for “New England” photos.

PRINCETON Incorporated 1759 35.8 sq. miles | Pop. 3,488 6 Town Hall Drive | 978-464-2103

The town’s famous landmark, Wachusett Mountain, is home to the popular Wachusett Mountain Ski Area and an expansive state reservation complete with hiking trails. Tucked away on Route 140 is the Redemption Rock historic site where, in 1676, Mary Rowlandson was ransomed and freed after being abducted during King Philip’s War.

Fall | Winter 2021


Incorporated 1765 42.5 sq. miles | Pop. 1,277 13 On the Common | 978-249-0493

Visitors looking to get away from it all will enjoy spending time in Royalston, with its vast conservation and recreation areas. Royalston Center, with its library, Town Hall, and Historical Society building, is listed both as a National Register Historic District and a Local Historic District.




The town of Shirley, with its wellpreserved historic New England center, describes itself as “a slice of quiet, small town life, with rural ambience, a sense of civic pride and volunteer spirit among residents and well-preserved historic roots.”

Farms and orchards bring visitors to the home of “Mary’s Little Lamb” to enjoy fresh produce, visit farm animals and wander through an expansive corn maze each year. A small statue of the star of the well-known children’s poem stands in the center of town.



The “great outdoors” is really great in Townsend, with two large recreation areas — Willard Brook State Park and Townsend State Forest — and the Squannicook River enticing visitors to get away from it all. Outdoor summer concerts, art shows and fairs add a cultural flair to the community, too.

The Westminster Cracker Company, famous for its oyster crackers, made this town’s name a household word for more than 150 years. The iconic cracker mill building — the inspiration for an annual town festival — remains a landmark amid the historic library, white steepled churches and shops of its center.

Incorporated 1753 15.9 sq. miles | Pop. 7,636 7 Keady Way | 978-425-2600

Incorporated 1732 33.1 sq. miles | Pop. 9,506 272 Main Street | 978-597-1700


Incorporated 1781 31.6 sq. miles | Pop. 8,174 One Park Street | 978-422-8111

Incorporated 1759 37.3 sq. miles | Pop. 7,997 11 South Street | 978-874-7406


Incorporated 1762 32.4 sq. miles | Pop. 8,138 160 Patriots Road, East Templeton 978-939-8466 | TownofTempleton/?rf=103627609705199

The picturesque Templeton town common has been home to an annual summer arts and crafts festival for decades, as well as a fall auto show and autumn haunted gazebo event. The Narragansett Historical Society building, just off the common, showcases an array of treasures from the town’s past.


Incorporated 1764 44.1 sq. miles | Pop. 10,905 109 Front Street | 978-297-0085

The over-sized rocking horse on Route 12 says it all: Winchendon is “Toy Town USA” —thanks to its history as a toy manufacturing center. See toys from that era at the Winchendon History Center, then stop by the nearby GALA Art Center to check out what local artists are creating today.



CheCk our FaCebook Pages For Times and daily PromoTions.

@happyjacksrestaurant & @southsidegrille Outdoor seating is available this season.

Featuring.... Sizzlin’ Fajitas, Outrageous Burritos, Mouthwatering Burgers, and so much more!



978.632.1057 | exit 86 off rte 2 242 W. Broadway | Gardner, MA 01440

Fall | Winter 2021



Swedish Door Harp, 5 String, Maple & Cherry, from Creative Connections.

Treasuring Talent U

"Green Man," from Creative Connections.

nique. Distinctive. Personal. No matter how you describe them, there’s something special about hand-crafted items. From jewelry to pottery, silver flatware or fabric wall

hangings — the talent, skill and personality that go into any crafted item add value that can’t be measured. And if you appreciate that uniqueness, that talent, that personal touch, you’re going to love North Central Massachusetts! This region is chock-full of talented craftspeople who work in every medium you can imagine — from alpaca wool to wood, sterling silver, stained glass… and so much more!

For decades, Gardner has been known as the Chair City because of its long history of furniture-making. Most of the factories that employed thousands of furniture-makers are gone, but the wood-working skills that turned out prized pieces of furniture remain in the hands of local craftspeople. You can find them at places like the Chair City Legacy Maker Space, where they share their talents, passing on those finely-honed skills. The Maker Space, tucked away at the rear of a factory building on School Street, bills itself as “a non-profit dedicated to preserving the legacy of craft in Gardner by bringing together an intergenerational community of makers.” It’s a place where people teach people the arts they love. As a shared space for woodworking and other crafts, this Maker Space allows local furniture workers and other skilled crafts people share their skills with future generations. We’re not talking about building Queen Anne dining room chairs from scratch; rather, it’s the sharing of skills — wood carving, spindle turning, creating dovetail joints. And beyond woodworking, workshops have covered skills from creating a hand-bound notebook to building birdhouses! You can learn more about this special space at

Products from Plain View Farm.


Take a Tour of Talent! There’s more to Gardner’s past than furniture, too. Arthur J. Stone, widely considered to be the Dean of American Silversmiths, plied his trade here in the early 1900s. And today, Peter J. Erickson, Silversmith, is the sole remaining link to more than a century of sterling silver crafting in the city. Erickson makes each piece— whether a wedding ring, letter opener, or entire set of sterling flatware —by hand, hammering and tempering it to perfection. His shop on Green Street is a testament to the skills he learned from his grandfather. Before leaving Gardner, a swing by the Studio 4 Potters & Gallery is a must. Since the storefront on West Lynde Street operates primarily as a working pottery studio, the scheduled “retail” hours are limited — but on any day of the week, you might find one of the five potters working and available to chat and give tours of the studio. Christmas ornaments, bowls, jewelry… the items turned out by these potters are fun, functional, sometimes frivolous — but always beautiful. Getting ready for the holidays? Why not shop local — and shop for gifts made by local artists and craftspeople? Be sure to check out the Petersham Art Center on North Street in Petersham.

The talent on display is intriguing. Paintings, sculpture, fabric arts, jewelry... and more. And it’s more than a shop — there are exhibitions of works by local artists (with opportunities to meet the artists), and you can even catch a class, to learn a new skill yourself. In Hubbardston, it’s all about fiber arts at the Plain View Alpaca Farm, where the fiber from those cute and cuddly animals is transformed into skeins of yarn, wearables and even toys. No time to get to the farm? Drop into the Johnny Appleseed Visitor Center on Route 2 to check out these oh-so-soft creations. And your tour keeps going! Original art, pottery, stained glass and more — all produced by local artists — is on display at Creative Connections gallery on Main Street in Ashburnham. Paintings, photographs, prints … you’ll be amazed at the talent you’ll discover there. Looking for something really different? How about chain maille jewelry? Jim Bellows’

intriguing creations and hand-crafted silver designs by Helen Yetman-Bellows can be found at SquirrelEze in Townsend, a shop featuring artisan jewelry and textiles — along with elegant painted scarves that are signed by the artist! Heading home, but wish you’d picked up one more special item to remember your trip? You’ll find a selection of items, from cozy alpaca fiber socks to intricate wire-wrapped jewelry and books by local authors, at the Johnny Appleseed Visitor Center on Route 2 in Lancaster — along with a friendly greeting, coffee and snacks to help make your journey a pleasant one. Talent, skill, creativity — all are flourishing in this region. With Covid restrictions still uncertain as the months unfold, it’s a good idea to check websites or Facebook pages before heading out for a visit. But when you go, you’re sure to be impressed by the treasures you’ll find here. §

Here’s where to find these treasures: CHAIR CITY LEGACY MAKER SPACE

205 School Street, Rear of Building, Gardner Necklace from Be More Design.


ERICKSON SILVER SHOP 119 Green St., Gardner, MA Necklace "Road Less Travelled" from Squirrel-Eze.

PETERSHAM ART CENTER 8 North St., Petersham petershamartcenter


130 Gardner Rd. (Route 68) Hubbardston Silverware from Erickson Silver Shop.


18 Highland St. (Rt. 13) Townsend


4 W. Lynde St., Gardner Petersham Art Center works.

Meet the Llamas & Alpacas! Offering tours and walks. Call or message for more info. Giftshop, Alpaca clothing and yarn.

Open Sundays, 10am – 4pm or by appointment


Award-Winning Artisan Jewelry/Gifts Since 1995 • Retail • Wholesale • 978-433-9962

Alpacas & Llamas



Native American Style Flutes Lessons • Performances • Sales • Facebook Squirrel-Eze


Evans Building, 18 Highland St., Townsend, MA

See our website or Facebook pages for special events

Fall | Winter 2021


Light the Lights! A

fter a challenging year, local theaters have begun welcoming audiences back into the seats! The reopening of the 2021 theater season, though, began in an unusual venue — Forest Hill Cemetery in Fitchburg! While uncertainties about indoor gatherings lingered in the spring, the Stratton Players in Fitchburg presented an original production, Artists and Ancestors, a dramatic reenactment and walking tour in the cemetery. Members of Stratton Players re-created a number of important, historic personages — from the late 1800s through mid20th century — who were instrumental in establishing the variety of arts that are present in Fitchburg. 44

"Oliver!" performed by the New Players Theater Guild.

The production marked the 96th consecutive year of performances by the Stratton Players! As this issue of The Guide went to press, the Players had not yet announced plans for the remainder of this unusual period of history; be sure to check their website,, for notices about upcoming productions. The troupe at Theatre at the Mount in Gardner, meanwhile, will be stepping back on stage this fall with a hilarious comedy/mystery, The Musical Comedy Murder of 1940. This light-hearted fare offers a great way to get back into the theater mood: Gather some 1940s show-biz types, a spooky old mansion with sliding panels, secret passageways, a sinister German maid, wacky wit and murder,

and voila! A non-stop barrage of laughter as those assembled (or at least those who aren’t killed off) untangle the mystery of the “Stage Door Slasher.” The show runs for two weekends, September 17-19 and 24 through 26 in the spacious theater at Mount Wachusett Community College. The TAM season usually includes a handful of shows… so more may be on the way. Be sure to check the theater’s website, mwcc. edu/community/TAM or Facebook page to see what develops this year. In Fitchburg, the New Players Theater Guild returns to the stage this fall with Steel Magnolias on September 24-26 and October 1-3. The show, presented at the Guild’s Performing Arts Center

on Rollstone Street in downtown Fitchburg, marks the 46th season for this local group. The play, which follows six women over the course of three years as they face life’s challenges together and find comfort in one another, was first performed off-Broadway in 1987, became an awardwinning movie in 1989, and was produced for the Broadway stage in 2005. New Players will be following that up with a musical, Baby, in December. Show dates are to be announced, so be sure to check their website, nptg. org, for details. At last, the curtain is rising on theater in North Central Massachusetts after a long hiatus — order your tickets, find your seat, and get ready for some great entertainment tonight! §

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)-1_ v; o m|-bm "hb u;- Ň 499 Mountain Road, Princeton, MA 01541 | (978) 464-2300 Operated in cooperation with the Massachusetts Department of Conservation & Recreation

Fall | Winter 2021





Places to visit, people toM see! M

Members 2019 Members



ANTIQUES Hobart Village Antique Mall

Davis Farmland Children's Discovery Farm.

445 Main Street, West Townsend, MA 01474 978-597-0332 An antique mall featuring 80 dealers; re-creation rooms with new country furniture, farm tables and Amishmade oak furniture; and furniture and collectibles from local estates.

Jeffrey’s Antique Co-op Mall

54 Chase Road, Lunenburg, MA 01564 978-582-7831 Large multi-dealer antique shop offering an eclectic and ever-changing stock of antiques and collectibles, furniture, country décor, vintage toys, and more.

Gardner Area League of Artists.


Jeffrey's Antique Co-op Mall.

ART GALLERIES Gardner Area League of Artists (GALA)

135 Front Street, Winchendon, MA 01475 Visit GALA’s unique Art Gallery and immerse yourself in artwork in various mediums and affordable prices. Rotating art shows, workshops, gift shop.

ATTRACTIONS Davis Farmland Children’s Discovery Farm

145 Redstone Hill Road, Sterling, MA 01564 978-422-6666 The largest sanctuary of endangered farm animals in North America, Imagine-Acres and Adventureland; and U-Pick apples & pumpkins in the fall. Open weather permitting mid-April – October.

Davis Mega Farm Festival

145 Redstone Hill Road, Sterling, MA 01564 Put your navigational skills to the test in 8 acres of twists and turns that come alive with music, games, puzzles, interactive Adventure Zones, and the world’s only double-decker bridge.

Great Wolf Lodge

50 Great Wolf Drive, Fitchburg, MA 01420 978-343-9653 Great Wolf Lodge redefines yearround, weatherproof family fun, with a massive 84-degree indoor waterpark, exclusive to resort guests; MagiQuest; indoor ropes course and more.


Leominster Credit Union

Avidia Bank

Rollstone Bank & Trust.

470 Lancaster Street, Leominster, MA 01453 978-567-3663 800-508-2265 Avidia Bank is a $1 Billion mutual community bank, headquartered in Hudson, MA with branch offices in Hudson, Westborough, Clinton, Leominster, Marlborough, Northborough and Shrewsbury.


9 Sack Boulevard, Leominster, MA 01453 888-307-5887 For over 125 years, we have believed the best approach to a people business is always doing the right thing. Investing in what matters. For us, that’s our customers and communities.

Enterprise Bank and Trust Company

Gardner Ale House.

420 John Fitch Highway, Fitchburg, MA 01420 978-656-5689 Personalized, comprehensive banking solutions.

Fidelity Bank

9 Leominster Connector, Leominster, MA 01453 800-581-5363 We’ve made it our business to become experts of Personal Finance. Fidelity Bank provides financial services to help our customers get where they want to be.

GFA Credit Union

Hardwick Vineyard & Winery, LLC.

20 Adams Street, Leominster, MA 01453 978-537-8021 LCU is a member-owned, not-forprofit financial cooperative with seven branches in Clinton, Holden, Leominster, Sterling and Worcester.

Rollstone Bank & Trust 780 Main Street, Fitchburg, MA 01420 978-345-1061 RBT is a full-service community bank specializing in commercial banking and wealth management since 1846.

TD Bank

470 Main Street, Worcester, MA 01608 800-322-3264 TD Bank Massachusetts, a division of Bank, N.A., has 160 branches in Massachusetts and Southern New Hampshire, including Fitchburg, Leominster, Gardner, Athol and Orange.

Workers’ Credit Union

815 Main Street, Fitchburg, MA 01420 978-345-1021 Workers Credit Union is a fullservice financial institution offering competitive deposit and loan products. Founded in 1914 with 16 branches.


229 Parker Street, Gardner, MA 01440 978-632-2542 As a member of GFA, you are an owner. Your deposits help others in our community who need financing for their first home or to expand a small local businesses.

74 Parker Street, Gardner, MA 01440 978-669-0122 Started by home brewer Rick Walton in 2006, Gardner Ale House is a familyoriented brewpub and restaurant, with a casual, bistro style menu, 12 to 14 award-winning beers on tap and live music.

Hardwick Vineyard & Winery, LLC

3305 Greenwich Road, Hardwick, MA 01082 413-967-7763 This Vineyard & Winery is home to a Federal style mansion and a 5,000 Square ft. timber frame barn. Six varietals of French hybrid grapes are used to make our award-winning wines.

River Styx Brewing LLC 166 Boulder Drive, Suite 112, Fitchburg, MA 01420 805-807-4238 We are focused on creating a family friendly environment.

Wachusett Brewing Company, Inc.

175 State Road East, Westminster, MA 01473 978-874-9965 Wachusett Brew Yard is open 7 days a week for you to enjoy our great food, live music, and our award-winning beers. Visit us online for up to date information!


Lamb City Campground

85 Royalston Road, Phillipston, MA 01331 978-249-2049 Family owned and operated for over 30 years. Over 200 sites, full hookups, 17 pull thru, tenting, RV rentals, cabins, sewage disposal, full-service store, 2 recreation halls, 3 pools, more.

Pine Acres Family Camping Resort

203 Bechan Road, Oakham, MA 01068 508-882-9509 Twice voted Park of the Year nationally! We offer a variety of options – from tenting to waterfront sites, rustic cabins, RV rentals. Big rig friendly! Boating, fishing, pool, kids splash pad.

Wachusett Brewing Company, Inc.

Fall | Winter 2021


The Pines Campground

The Pines Campground.

25 West Street, Leominster, MA 01453 978-534-7500 Leominster’s boundaries encompass the very essence of New England, from a hilltop apple orchard to a lively downtown, 26 miles of trails, 12 annual events, and unique local shops and restaurants.


Town of Lunenburg

Town of Ashburnham

32 Main Street, Ashburnham, MA 01430 978-827-4100 The “Town of Many Lakes” is home to Mount Watatic with its stunning views and the multi-state Midstate Trail. Enjoy vibrant arts and agricultural communities, shops, and dining.


Town of Clinton Applewild School.

242 Church Street, Clinton, MA 01510 978-365-4119 Clinton is home to the Wachusett Dam and Wachusett Reservoir. It is also home to several industrial manufacturing companies.

City of Fitchburg

Sizer School.

718 Main Street, Fitchburg, MA 01420 978-829-1801 Enjoy attractions ranging from Fitchburg State University to historic downtown architecture and the Fitchburg Art Museum. Visit to learn more!

City of Gardner

Bolton Orchards.

Brookfield Orchards.


City of Leominster

39 Davis Road, Ashby, MA 01431 978-386-7702 A four-season family campground with swimming pool, hot showers, planned weekend activities, store, heated bathroom, firewood, ice, picnic areas, fishing, and recreation hall.

95 Pleasant Street, Gardner, MA 01440 978-257-4136 The Chair City is on the move! Our downtown is evolving, manufacturing is growing, technology companies are expanding, and new businesses are opening, in the heart of Massachusetts.

17 Main Street Lunenburg, MA 01462 978-582-4130 The Town maintains a rural flavor, with farms and orchards.

Nashua River Watershed Association

592 Main Street, Groton, MA 01450 978-448-0299 Conserve open spaces for water quality, wildlife habitat, farms, forests, and recreation.

Town of Westminster

11 South Street, Westminster, MA 01473 With easy access to Wachusett Mountain, Leominster State Forest and the Midstate Trail, Westminster is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts. Spend the day touring scenic farms and historic buildings.

Town of Winchendon

109 Front Street Winchendon, MA 01475 As you travel north on Routes 202,12,140, you may pass through the quiet Town of Winchendon, MA. A town rich in history; forever growing with infrastructure improvements and flourishing businesses. Take a stroll down the Winchendon Rail Trail, a 5.4 mile trail leading to delicious food, culture and activities our little town has to offer. Welcome!

EDUCATION Applewild School

120 Prospect Street, Fitchburg, MA 01420 978-342-6053 Applewild School provides provides excellent, affordable education to families in North Central Massachusetts.

Fitchburg State University

160 Pearl Street, Fitchburg, MA 01420 978-345-2151 FSU offers undergraduate and graduate programs with an emphasis on career-orientated learning that’s firmly grounded in the liberal arts, and selected majors in traditional arts and sciences.

Mount Wachusett Community College

444 Green Street, Gardner, MA 01440 978-632-6600 Offering quality education at affordable prices, MWCC offers several degree and certificate program options to fit your life goals.

Sizer School

500 Rindge Road, Fitchburg, MA 01420 978-345-2701 Guided by its commitment to diversity and inclusiveness, Sizer School seeks to send graduates into the world who THINK for themselves, CARE about others, and ACT creatively and responsibly.


Bolton Orchards

125 Still River Road, Bolton, MA 01740 978-779-2733 Specialty food store with local apples and cider available year round. Full-service deli and produce departments; bakery; flowers; gift baskets; old-fashioned ice cream and coffee café.

BrookField Orchards

12 Lincoln Road, North Brookfield, MA 01535 508-867-6858 Brookfield Orchards is a family friendly environment with a charming country store that has been supplying the surrounding communities with the most delicious apples for over 100 years! Established in 1918, our 5th Generation Family Farm will continue to bring visitors a quintessential New England experience.

Carlson Orchards, Inc

Carlson Orchards, Inc.

115 Oak Hill Road, Harvard, MA 01451 978-456-3916 Open from July to November. Pick your own fruit in season from apples, peaches, nectarines, blueberries, and raspberries. Over 100 acres of apple orchards for friends and family to enjoy.

Friends of Sholan Farms, Inc.

Lanni Orchards.

Rota Spring Farm.

Red Apple Farm

1125 Pleasant Street, Leominster, MA 01453 978-840-3276 The last working apple orchard in Leominster, birthplace of Johnny Appleseed, offers walking-hiking trails, picnic area, cross-country skiing, and cultural events; U-Pick fruits; Christmas trees.

Hollis Hills Farm

Rota Spring Farm

340 Marshall Road, Fitchburg, MA 01420 978-696-3130 We are a family owned and operated farm. Our retail store sells our own maple products, local ice cream, and a variety of other local products. Our restaurant and outdoor bar are open seasonally and we offer pick your own fruits and flowers. 294 Chase Road, Lunenburg, MA 01462 978-582-6246 We are your one stop shop for everything local. Wines, Craft Beers, Hard Ciders & more. We offer Dom's meats, Smith's cheese, ever so humble pies, fudge, chocolates, and cut flowers.

Meadowbrook Orchards 209 Chace Hill Road, Sterling, MA 01564 978-365-7617

One hundred acres of rolling farmland, owned and operated by the Chandler family since 1912. We harvest apples, blueberries, pumpkins, nectarines and raspberries. Farm-store and bakery. The Harrington Farm Country Inn & Rest.

130 Gardner Road, Hubbardston, MA 01452 978-820-1199 Stop by to see and meet the alpacas! Visit the gift shop for quality items made from alpaca fiber – yarn, socks, hats, gloves, scarves, sweaters and more! 455 Highland Avenue, Phillipston, MA 01331 800-628-4851 Our farmstand and country store are filled with pies, dumplings, cider donuts, fudge, fresh produce. Pick apples, peaches, berries, pears, pumpkins, and potatoes. Visit the animals, enjoy our fall BBQ pit. Don't forget to visit the brew barn while you're here!

Lanni Orchards

The 228 in Sterling.

Plain View Farm

117 Chace Hill Road, Sterling MA 01564 978-365-9710 Delicious, good old-fashioned homemade ice cream/made on the premises! Watch the cows grazing, and our goat petting zoo. Stop by the Farm Store for fresh produce and grass-fed beef.


The 228 in Sterling

228 Leominster Road, Sterling, MA 01564 978-870-0605 Formal indoor seating area accommodating up to 95; covered patio; barbecue/picnic area; covered shelter; and a beautiful gazebo for your on-site wedding ceremony and pictures.

The Harrington Farm Country Inn & Restaurant

178 Westminster Road, Princeton, MA 01541 978-464-5600 Harrington Farm is a full-service event venue providing the most elegant and detailed experiences in Central Massachusetts.

Fall | Winter 2021


343 Central Street, Winchendon, MA 01475 978-297-0077 Stone-Ladeau Funeral Home of Winchendon is known for its trustworthy, kind and caring service, which it gives to each family at their time of need. Owned and operated by Doug Stone, this funeral home was established in 1875. Its beautiful, handicapped facility has large, off street parking and offers webcasting, DVD memorials and superior attention to detail in assisting its families.


Gariepy Furniture

91 Central Street, Leominster, MA 01453 978-537-4383 We treat you the way we’d want to be treated!

LaChance Interiors, Inc. 25 Kraft Street (Classic) 978-632-1930 501 W. Broadway (Loft) 978-630-3299 Gardner, MA 01440 Nearly 70 years offering Americanmade solid wood and finely crafted upholstered furniture. Offering everything from classic traditional styles to the soft-modern designs of today.

Winchendon Furniture

13 Railroad Street, Winchendon, MA 01475 978-297-0131 A higher end, fine furniture resource showcasing 80% domestic products, including cherry bedroom, dining room and occasional furniture designed and manufactured right here in Winchendon.



Gardner Municipal Golf Course

Gardner Municipal Golf Course.

152 Eaton Street, Gardner, MA 01440 978-632-9703 Four sets of tees await golfers of all abilities. Beginner can shorten the course or you can challenge yourself and step back to the tips, 6131 yards. Call to set up your tee time today.

Settlers Crossing Golf Course

994 Northfield Road, Lunenburg, MA 01462 978-582-6694 Nine-hole golf course featuring rolling hills, stone walls, tree lined fairways and views of Mt. Wachusett.


Sterling National Country Club Sterling National Country Club.

200 Groton Road, Ayer, MA 01432 978-784-9000 We dedicate ourselves to the communities we serve to deliver affordable health care to all and being responsible partners.

LODGING Chocksett Inn

59 Laurelwood Road, Sterling, MA 01564-0828 978-422-3355 A 25-room, all-suite hotel. All rooms have full kitchens. Meeting rooms and function spaces, both indoors and outdoors. Specializing in relocations and long-term stays.

Colonial Hotel

33 Albright Road, Sterling, MA 01564 978-422-0275 With an unparalleled natural setting, outstanding course and elegant dining.


UMass Memorial Health Alliance Clinton 60 Hospital Road, Leominster, MA 01453-2205 978-466-2000 A not-for-profit, full service, acute care hospital and member of UMass Memorial Health Care, offers direct access to advanced medical technology and specialty services.

625 Betty Spring Road, Gardner, MA 01442 978-630-2500 The Colonial Hotel, is one of Central Massachusetts’ most romantic hotels & wedding venues. This 112 room hotel, idealizes New England charm & quintessential hospitality.

DoubleTree by Hilton

99 Erdman Way, Leominster, MA 01453 978-534-9000 Easy access North Central Massachusetts communities and attractions in Boston, Providence, beyond. Spacious accommodations, modern amenities, indoor pool, fitness center.

Great Wolf Lodge

Emerson Hospital

133 Old Road to Nine Acre Corner, The Groton Inn.

Nashoba Valley Medical Center

Concord, MA 01742 978-369-1400 At Emerson, we believe quality health care is as much about your overall experience as a patient as it is about expert clinical care.

150 Great Wolf Drive, Fitchburg, MA 01420 978-343-9653

Massive 84-degree indoor waterpark, exclusive to resort guests. Battle a dragon while playing MagiQuest, challenge the climbing wall.

Maguire House Bed & Breakfast.


The Groton Inn

128 Main Street, Groton, MA 01450 978-448-6600 Situated on the footprint of the original Groton Inn, the new TGI offers professionally designed guest rooms, public spaces, meeting and banquet rooms and the Forge & Vine restaurant.

Maguire House Bed & Breakfast

30 Cobb Road, Ashburnham MA 01430 978-827-5053 The Maguire House is an awardwinning bed and breakfast, surrounded by over 44 private acres with a spectacular view of Mt. Monadnock, Upper Naukeag Lake, and surrounding hills. Enjoy queensized beds, private baths, fresh flowers, gourmet chocolates, full breakfast, afternoon refreshments and free Wi-Fi.

Rodeway Inn

183 Main Street Westminster, MA 01473 978-874-5951 Enjoy affordable accommodations near skiing, Boston and nature. The Rodeway Inn® offers you a solid deal on a simple stay in Westminster. Our hotel is located just right off Route 2, tucked in the rolling hills of North Central Massachusetts.


Fitchburg Art Museum

185 Elm Street, Fitchburg, MA 01420 978-345-4207 The Fitchburg Art Museum is a catalyst for learning, creativity, and community building located in the heart of North Central, Massachusetts. Come and experience inspiring art historical collections, special exhibitions of contemporary New England art, education programs, and exciting community events. Plan your visit today!

Museum of Russian Icons

Museum of Russian Icons.

203 Union Street, Clinton, MA 01510 978-598-5000 Founded in 2006 by Nypro plastics industrialist Gordon B. Lankton. The largest collection of its kind in North America – and one of the largest private collections outside Russia.

RB Racing Museum

Wachusett Meadow Wildlife Sanctuary.

300 Lunenburg Street (rear), Fitchburg, MA 01420 978-345-7227 rb-racing-museum.html Start your engines — and head to the RB Racing Museum, honoring the memory of local NASCAR legend Ron Bouchard. See Ron’s 1981 Talladega winning #47 car.

NIGHTCLUBS Miranda’s Pub

488 Lancaster Street, Leominster, MA 01453 978-537-4726 Good Music and good times.

Partner’s Pub

970 South Street Fitchburg, MA 01420 978-345-5051 Partner’s Pub is home to the best craft beer selection in North Central Massachusetts with 26 rotating drafts! Come in and try our Homemade Bar Pizza.


Cornerstone Ranch Winchendon History and Cultural Center.

29 Dowds Lane, Princeton, MA 01541 978-632-0010 Cornerstone Ranch provides a quiet, focused atmosphere based on the joy of riding. We specialize in riding lessons, trail riding, birthday parties, horse-drawn rides, and year-round activities for all ages.

Nashoba Paddler, LLC

Worcester Red Sox

RC Excitement


398 West Main Street, Groton, MA 01450 978-448-8699 Canoe, kayak, and stand-up paddleboard rentals, tours, and instruction on the Nashua River. Easy paddling on a beautiful, forested river. Group discounts. Open May - October. 208 Bemis Road, Fitchburg, MA 01420 978-342-3374 The premier racing complex in the northeast, RC Excitement is home to family racing fun, with indoor and outdoor tracks to challenge all skill levels. Hobby and RC repair shop.

Wachusett Meadow Wildlife Sanctuary

113 Goodnow Road, Princeton, MA 01541 978-464-2712 A former farmstead with historic buildings, barns, spectacular scenery, woodlands, wetlands, and meadows. 12 miles of trails; facility rentals, snowshoe/ canoe rentals.

Wachusett Mountain Ski Area

499 Mountain Road, Princeton, MA 01541-1105 978-464-2300 With a 1,000-foot vertical drop and 2,006-foot elevation, Wachusett Mountain offers big mountain skiing in southern New England: 26 trails, 110 acres for all abilities and 8 lifts.

Winchendon History and Cultural Center

151 Front Street, Winchendon, MA 01475 978-297-2142 The Center, founded in 1930, exhibits its large collection at the 22-room Murdock-Whitney House Museum. A new Toy Museum features Converse Toys.

100 Madison Street, Worcester, MA 01608 508-500-8888 Minor League Baseball team and Triple-A affiliate of the Boston Red Sox, located in the heart of Worcester’s Canal District at brand new Polar Park.

110 Grill

7 Mill Street, Leominster, MA 01453 Modern American cuisine in a trendy, casual atmosphere. Exceptional service, a seasonal menu, a scratch kitchen with the freshest ingredients, and a strong commitment to allergy awareness.

Aroma Joe’s

200 New Lancaster Road, Leominster, MA 01453 719-649-7190 Fueling the modern world by focusing daily on the customer.

Bull Run Restaurant

215 Great Road, Shirley, MA 01464 978-425-4311 A full service restaurant and entertainment venue set in an historic 1740 Tavern. Top name entertainment, trivia night, Musical Bingo, Friendly Friday sing-along and Saturday Jazz. Function space up to 300.

Comeketo Brazilian Steakhouse

23 Sack Boulevard, Leominster, MA 01453 978-466-1224 At Comeketo we are pleased to bring Brazilian-style Rodízio to our friends and family.

Cornerstone Ranch.

Fall | Winter 2021


Gardner Ale House

74 Parker Street, Gardner, MA 01440 978-669-0122 A family-oriented brewpub and restaurant. Everything on our casual, bistro style menu, with 12 to 14 award-winning beers on tap. Open 7 days a week. Sunday brunch buffet, 9 am-1 pm.

Gold Bowl

Gold Bowl.

22 Ashby State Road, Fitchburg, MA 01420 978-348-2088 With years in business, we have grown to be a professional in the industry. Adhering to the principle “customer is the King,” we always dedicate to providing our customers with quality food and the sincerest service, aiming to assure you remarkable dining experience.


Happy Jack’s Restaurant

Main Street Gift and Café.

785 N. Main Street, Leominster, MA 01453 978-466-3433 A full-service restaurant and bar serving fine Southwestern food. Open for lunch and dinner seven days a week. Route 2 to exit 99B (old exit 31B).

Il Forno Restaurant

Slattery's Restaurant.

27 Airport Road, Fitchburg, MA 01420 978-345-2511 Bustling family-run eatery featuring wood-fired pizzas & other classic Italian dishes plus BYOB.

Kimball Farm in Lancaster

1543 Lunenburg Road, (Route 70),

Lancaster, MA 01523 978-534-9800 For over 75 years, Kimball Farm has served its famous, homemade ice cream. Fresh seafood at the Seafood and Grill Shack (April-October). Country Store, April-December.

The Barn Door.


Legends Bar & Grille

68 Airport Road, Suite 10, Fitchburg, MA 01420 978-342-6500 Come and enjoy the great variety of menu items for you!

Main Street Gift and Café

40 Main Street, Leominster, MA 01453 978-534-5090 We work with local suppliers to source the freshest, highest quality offerings to help support the local economy. We pride ourselves on providing organic, fair trade coffee. Sit, relax and chat or take a look around at our unique selection of cards and gifts.

Moe’s Southwest Grill

865 Merriam Avenue, Leominster, MA 01453 978-401-2657 massachusetts/leominster You'll feel welcomed from the second you walk through the doors. And that's bound to continue as you get a fresher than fresh burrito, bowl or whatever you're craving made just for you from our 20+ fresh and flavorful ingredients.

Old Mill Restaurant & Country Store

69 State Road East, (Route 2A East),

Westminster, MA 01473 978-874-5941 Full-service family restaurant serving delicious meals with old-fashioned hospitality. Sunday breakfast and brunch. Luncheon buffet and dinner menu daily. Country Store and Gift Shop.

Pammy’s Place

68 Airport Road, Fitchburg, MA 01420 978-627-3079 We have dedicated ourselves to making wicked good eats for our community. Pammy’s is a dedication to our beloved mother and grandmother Pammy. We cater to all nutritional needs including gluten sensitivities and vegan options. Drive Thru, Curbside & online ordering available.

Singapore Restaurant 170 Whalon Street, Fitchburg, MA 01420 978-345-0132

Full service restaurant featuring Hunan Cuisine, Szechuan, Thai and American-Chinese dishes.

Slattery’s Restaurant

106 Lunenburg Street, Fitchburg, MA 01420 978-342-8880 Cozy, long-standing pub with outdoor seating offering a large American menu & numerous draft beers.

Smokestack Roasters

39 Mass Avenue (Route 2A), Lunenburg, MA 01462 Freshly roasted organic coffees. Organic, fresh beans roasted on-site, amazing coffee and espresso drinks, locally made pastries.

The Barn Door

51 South Street Pepperell, MA 01463 978-448-3144 We are a small family-owned business with a passion for our community and the local artisans that call it their home.

The Central Cup, Coffee & Cupcakery

139 Central Street, Leominster, MA 01453 At Central Cup, we make our orders from scratch, daily, with the finest ingredients. Besides our desserts, we offer fresh, high quality coffee and espresso drinks.

The Fix Burger Bar

14 Monument Square, Leominster, MA 01453 978-534-5900 We feature custom and local grinds of the freshest beef combined with over 40 toppings ranging from classic to exceptional, allowing guests to enjoy a signature “Fixed-Up” burger. The Fix pours great beers and amazing crafts drinks and shakes using house syrups and the freshest ingredients.

The Lazy Bubble

The Lazy Bubble.

112 Main Street, Suite #5, Pepperell, MA 01463 978-925-9777 Chef Chris' unique style of International Comfort Foods utilizing local and organic ingredients in all our scratch recipes, including our salad dressings, breads, sauces and even ketchup! Our menu changes frequently. We also offer an authentic Hungarian Entrée of the Day from the Chef's collection of family recipes.

The Vegan Nest Café

54 High Street Clinton, MA 01510 508-292-0035 Always plant-based. Always made with love. Bringing wellness to your family.

RETAIL Mill No. 3 Farmstand.

W. E. Aubuchon Company, Inc.

95 Aubuchon Drive, Westminster, MA 01473-0473 978-874-0521 The oldest family owned and managed chain of hardware stores in America operates over 118 stores throughout New England and Upstate New York, plus

Be More Design

Roots Natural Foods.

Be More Design features jewelry created by a local artisan can be found at the Johnny Appleseed Visitor on Route 2 Westbound in Lancaster and at Mia Bella Spa on Main Street in Leominster.

Creative Connections

56 Main Street, Ashburnham, MA 01430 978-827-6211 An extensive collection of gifts, from soy candles to blown glass, pottery, hand-crafted jewelry and fine audio gear. Foodies will appreciate our gourmet items, confections, whole bean coffees and teas.

Cutie Patuties Consignment

1021 Central Street, Leominster, MA 01453 978-534-6604 Your Central Mass headquarters for gently loved clothing, shoes, and accessories for kids, teens and ladies. Huge selection of favorite brands and styles with over 50,000 items available every day.

Farm at Baptist Common

342 Baldwinville Road, PO Box 157, Templeton, MA 01468 978-939-8146 Forty delicious flavors of homemade fudge. Many seasonal themes great for all occasions. We sell our famous fudge at craft shows, fairs, festivals and at the Johnny Appleseed Visitor Center.

Golden Girl Granola

2 Shaker Road, Suite C205, Shirley, MA 01464 978-425-5058 Golden Girl Granola™ produces gourmet products for consumers who appreciate good taste. Flavors including Forest Maple and Chocolate Decadence, can be found in grocery and specialty stores.

JuJu’s Metaphysical Treasures

Fitchburg , MA 01420 978-627-6707 Our goal is to offer beautiful products to everyone!

Kringle Candle

31 Kringle Drive, Bernardston, MA 01337 413-648-3077 Kringle Candle offers more than 200 fragrances, all in décor-friendly white wax. Country Barn shopping; Farm Table Restaurant; and Chocolate Cottage, featuring sweet treats.

Mill No. 3 Farmstand

85 Westminster Street, Fitchburg, MA 01420 978-345-1100 The business has grown to include a deli, beer & wine, groceries, flowers, coffee, pastries and the list goes on. Stop in and try our specialty oils and vinegars.

Roots Natural Foods

100 Crawford Street, Leominster, MA 01453 978-534-7668 Organic produce, vitamins & herbs, natural body care, organic & natural grocery, bulk foods & spices – and our new creation, the Roots Kitchen! Get healthy food on the go or have a seat!

Smith’s Country Cheese 20 Otter River Road, Winchendon, MA 01475 978-939-5738 Old fashioned family traditions and hard work are combined to produce our Farmstead Cheeses. Anyone who recognizes the appeal of farm fresh milk will enjoy the rich and creamy flavor of our Gouda, Havarti, and cheddar cheeses. We also carry a variety of gifts: gourmet local food items, home décor, candles, and more!

Squirrel-Eze & Friends

18 Highland Street (Route 13), Evans Bldg., Townsend, MA 01469 978-597-0075 An artisan-owned boutique offering unique, useful, and affordable goods by award-winning artisans: Jewelry, textiles, handmade soaps, pottery, original art, carvings, fossils, and more.

Squirrel-Eze & Friends.

Fall | Winter 2021


The Kitchen Garden

Fitchburg Municipal Airport.

268 Baldwinville Road, Templeton, MA 01468 978-939-8558 Baked goods, including Finnish coffee bread, made daily in our kitchen. Ice cream shop open May-October. New England gifts, specialty foods, Scandinavian gifts and books, and more.

The Mall at Whitney Field


Fitchburg Public Library.

100 Commercial Road, Leominster, MA 01453 978-537-7500 The Mall at Whitney Field, located in Leominster, Massachusetts, features Burlington, JCPenney, Old Navy as well as more than 60 specialty shops. There’s plenty to do at whether it’s having fun with your kids at Chuck E. Cheese’s or enjoying lunch at Panera. Come stop by and check us out!

Black Bear Coatings & Concrete

Polar Beverages.

644 River Street, Fitchburg, MA 01420 978-405-0017 The leading resinous coatings contractor in the Northeast, specializing in decorative and designer epoxy, urethane mortars, cementitious coatings, and concrete polishing.


Polar Beverages

AAA Northeast

36 Watertower Plaza #7, Leominster, MA 01453 978-537-4000 AAA Northeast offers world-class 24-hour emergency road service, plus travel, insurance and financial services.

Fitchburg Municipal Airport

Wachusett Paving

567 Crawford Street, Fitchburg, MA 01420 978-345-9580 We are a general aviation airport serving North-Central Massachusetts since 1929.

Fitchburg Public Library 610 Main Street, Fitchburg, MA 01420 978-829-1780 Since 1859 the Fitchburg Public Library connects with your world.

Michelle Haggstrom Realtor KWNC

1001 Southbridge Street, Worcester, MA 01615 508-749-2382 Polar Beverages, New England’s largest independent soft drink bottler, is a fourth-generation, family-owned business that traces its roots back to 1882. 60 Sargent Road, Westminster, MA 01473 978-230-6666 We are a full service paving contractor based out of Westminster, Mass. We are a family owned company specializing in residential and commercial asphalt paving and maintenance. In addition to paving we also offer excavation, drainage and site work. For over 14 years, we have served businesses and home owners in Central Massachusetts. Visit us online or call for your free estimate!

WPKZ Radio

670 Mechanic Street Leominster, MA 01453 978-660-9912 Looking to buy, sell or invest in the North Central Region? Your local real estate connection, bringing you home.

978-343-3766 WPKZ 105.3FM & AM1280 is your local community radio station and Sox affiliate. Our weekday co-hosts will get your day off to a winning start with local news, traffic, and more from 6am-9am.

Live Where You Play! 343 Central Street Winchendon, MA 01475 Tel: 978-297-0077 Stone-Ladeau Funeral Home is an independent family owned business, which has offered professional service to all families and faiths since 1875.


Call me for all your real estate needs.

Michelle Haggstrom | 978.660.9912

Your Real Estate Resource Each office is independently owned and operated

WXLO Radio Station

WXLO Radio Station.

250 Commercial Street, Worcester, MA 01608 508-752-1045 Owned by Cumulus Media, 104.5 XLO serves the Worcester market with Hot Adult Contemporary music; our signal spans over 100 miles, covering all of Central New England.


Stratton Players

Stratton Players.

98 Prospect Street, Fitchburg, MA 01420 978-345-6066 For 96 years Stratton Players has been a warm and inviting place where friends and family can come and see wonderful theatrical productions. Performances currently at Applewild School.

Fall | Winter 2021


The Guide to North Central Massachusetts/ Johnny Appleseed Country encourages you to visit these local businesses as you enjoy the beauty and bounty of this region. Please keep in mind that business hours may be affected by current COVID regulations.



NCMCC Chamber of Commerce


Old Mill Restaurant

23 43

Bolton Orchards


City of Fitchburg


Plain View Farm

City of Leominster


Red Apple Farm Inside Front Cover

City of Gardner


Sholan Farms


Cornerstone Ranch


Sitka Creations


Fitchburg Art Museum


Smokestack Roasters


Gardner Ale House


Smith's Country Cheese 22


Stone-Ladeau Funeral Home


Squirrel Eze


Great Wolf Lodge Happy Jack's/ South Side Restaurant


Hobart Village Antique Mall


Jeffrey's Antiques


The Bull Run Restaurant


Town of Westminster


Town of Winchendon Fall Festival

JuJu's Metaphysical Treasure

Wachusett Mountain Ski Area


Westminster Cracker Festival


Lanni Orchard Legends Sports Bar & Grille

13 11



Workers' Credit Union


WXLO Radio Station



mid the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, these advertisers have stepped up to bring you this issue of The Guide to North Central Massachusetts/Johnny Appleseed Country. Please support them as you tour the region this season.

@visitnorthcentralmassachusetts @visitnorthcentralma @VisitNCM 56

Days Inn by Windham 482 North Main Street, Leominster 978.751.3757

g V en ue Swim ming Pool Gym /Fitne ss Ce nter Banq uet/M Spac eetin es g Pets A llowe d

on Sit e

Wedd in


26 Suites




• (15) • Cap. 550

(7) Cap. 500

(5) Cap. 150





(5) Cap. 500

(7) Cap. 400

(2) Cap. 275


F DoubleTree by Hilton 99 Erdham Way, Leominster 978.534.9000 F Great Wolf Lodge New England Waterpark 150 Great Wolf Drive, Fitchburg 800.905.9653

187 22 Jr. Suites

The Groton Inn 128 Main Street, Groton 978.448.6600


406 96 Suites

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F Maguire House 30 Cobb Road, Ashburnham 978.827.5053

F SpringHill Suites by Mariott/Devens Common 27 Andrews Parkway, Devens 978.772.3030 ^

Johnny Appleseed Visitor Center Back Cover

F Chocksett Inn 59 Laurelwood Road, Sterling 978.422.3355 accomodations.php

The Colonial Hotel 625 Betty Spring Road, Gardner 978.630.2500


Benchmark Senior Living Back Inside Cover


Museum of Russian Icons 26



Free Break fa

Bank Hometown



Michelle Haggstrom KW Real-estate

# of R



50/50 Cafe

* – No pool, but has a babbling brook ◊ – Indoor pool ♦ – Indoor waterpark


Leominster Credit Union 27





Appleseed Country Fair








112 5 Suite

We hope you enjoy your stay! Use # Vis i t No r t h Ce nt ral Ma to show us what you did !

The Confidence

to be pampered

Benchmark has proactively implemented COVID-19 protocols so you can feel confident that this is home.

Thanks to our innovative team of experts and associates, Benchmark residents are feeling confident, excited, and ready to safely step back into their normal routines. We are thrilled to be welcoming new residents and visitors into our community, and resuming many of our programming experiences like: • Celebrating birthdays, anniversaries, and family gatherings • Getting pampered at community hair salons • Delighting in dining and social hour • Enjoying trips to local restaurants, retail stores, and attractions

Schedule a tour or visit our community today to see what makes Benchmark Senior Living home.

1160 Main Street | Leominster, MA 01453 978.627.7998 |

Visit North Central Massachusetts' very own Johnny Appleseed Center Stop in for a visit and explore the variety of local products in our shop. Take a break as you travel the Johnny Appleseed Trail!

Jams, Jellies and Local Honey Maple Syrup, Candy & Freshly-made Fudge Tons of Alpaca Products Books about the region and Massachusetts Gourmet Cookies, Cider Donuts, & Kettle Corn Maps & Brochures for Local Attractions Plus lots more products to tempt your taste buds! RT. 2 West Bound in Lancaster, MA 01523 | (978) 534-2302

Articles inside

Towns in Our Region article cover image

Towns in Our Region

pages 38-43
Places to Visit article cover image

Places to Visit

pages 48-57
Light the Lights article cover image

Light the Lights

pages 46-47
Treasuring Talent article cover image

Treasuring Talent

pages 44-45
Colorful Canines article cover image

Colorful Canines

pages 28-29
Snow on the Mountain article cover image

Snow on the Mountain

page 37
Ride 'Em, Cowboy article cover image

Ride 'Em, Cowboy

page 26
Quick Picks article cover image

Quick Picks

page 27
Ghosts & Goblins Galore article cover image

Ghosts & Goblins Galore

pages 24-25
Short Stops article cover image

Short Stops

pages 14-15
A Hiker's Guide to Fall Color article cover image

A Hiker's Guide to Fall Color

pages 18-19
Ice Out article cover image

Ice Out

pages 22-23
Double Your Pleasure article cover image

Double Your Pleasure

pages 20-21
By the Numbers article cover image

By the Numbers

pages 16-17
Celebrating the Season article cover image

Celebrating the Season

pages 6-7
An Apple a Day article cover image

An Apple a Day

pages 8-9
Where's Johnny? article cover image

Where's Johnny?

pages 4-5
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