The Guide to North Central Massachusetts FREE visitma.com In This Issue... Johnny Appleseed Country Spring/Summer 2023 Yoga in Good Company A “Dam” Good Walk Calendar of Events Have a Berry Good Time
Johnny Appleseed Country
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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.
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Having fun at Great Wolf Lodge, Fitchburg.
The Guide to North Central Massachusetts
FARMS & FOOD
Have a Berry Good Time
THINGS TO SEE
Yoga in Good Company
Sounds of the Past Still Echo Here
Happy Birthday, America!
We've Got Art
Signs of the Times
A "Dam" Good Walk
A New Day in the Park
Calendar of Events
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Does the name “Johnny Appleseed” conjure up images of a rag-tag fellow with a stewpot for a hat and a bag of apples on his back?
This caricature, familiar to anyone who has read childhood books, is both popular and misleading. Popular, because it gives instant recognition to Johnny and his travels across the country. But misleading because John Chapman — also known as Johnny Appleseed — was actually a successful businessman who helped many pioneers survive and new communities flourish.
Born right here in Leominster on September 26, 1774, John Chapman made a name for himself across a growing nation. Along the way, he planted apple seeds — not simply scattering them carelessly, but with
an eye toward a future market for his crops. He sold, and often gave away, seeds and seedlings to settlers in communities along the way. His nearly 50 years of travels took him far and wide across a young nation.
To learn more about Johnny Appleseed, begin at a spot that bears his name: The Johnny Appleseed Visitor Center on Route 2 Westbound, between Exits 103 and 102. The center is stocked with a variety of books suitable for all ages — from coloring books for kids to more serious historical volumes. A display case serves as home to an assortment of Johnny memorabilia.
Kids might enjoy having their pictures taken with the bronze statue of a youthful Johnny, standing at the entrance to the center! §
Have a Berry Good Time!
With a nickname like “Johnny Appleseed Country,” you’d think that North Central Massachusetts is an apple-loving region — and, of course, it is!
But there’s so much more to enjoy in local fruit baskets, from those first juicy red strawberries in June through palate-pleasing July blueberries, then raspberries, cherries, and peaches… the list goes on, right up to the last variety of piecrust-bound apples in the fall. And you’re invited to head out into the fields and orchards to pick your own (or, if you’re feeling a tad bit lazy, stop by a local farmstand) to stock up your kitchen (and tummy) with the flavors of the season.
Think of it: Blueberry jam, strawberry shortcake, peach cobbler … how can you resist the fresh fruits grown right here in Johnny’s backyard?
But there’s more to these local favorites than just eating, baking, canning and freezing the fruits of our farmers’ labors.
Here in North Central Massachusetts, we celebrate them all — with fairs and festivals, weekend after weekend, from late spring right through the fall.
Since Mother Nature is in charge — and can be a bit fickle, if not downright tricky — it can be difficult for farms and orchards to determine too far in advance
when the first fruits will ripen, or be at their peak. But when the time is right, you’ll find strawberry festivals, peach festivals, apple festivals and more throughout the region. Be sure to check the VisitNorthCentral website and Facebook pages often to see when the festivals move into full swing — and keep an eye, too, on popular spots like Carlson Orchard, Lanni Orchards, Red Apple Farm, Sholan Farms for announcements that it’s time to celebrate the bounty of the season! §
VisitNorthCentral.com 4 Farms & Food
Spring | Summer 2023 5
S coop up S ome S ummer fun !
them have been greeting (and feeding) visitors for generations!
Farms & Food
Malted Milk Ball. Heavenly Mash. Bubble Gum. Cherry Moose Tracks. Cowabunga Crunch. Cotton Candy. Grasshopper.... oh, the tempting choices you face at the window of a local ice cream bar! The flavor options just go on and on … in fact, Kimball Farm in Lancaster offers more than 50 flavors daily! And, at some of these area farms, you can relax and enjoy watching the cows that produced the milk that became the cream and, eventually, ended up in those luscious scoops of ice cream.
But wait! There’s more!
Just as the produce available at farms and farmstands across the region changes with the seasons, so do the flavors of the ice cream — and sundae toppings that add to your snacking pleasure: Peach ice cream in July, or Pumpkin in August. Thinking about more than a cone? The seasons expand into sundaes, too, with strawberry rhubarb topping in the spring, and apple pie cobbler in the fall.
Following a vegan diet? No problem — there are plenty of vegan options, from black raspberry to vanilla bean and chocolate chip cookie dough.
Home Made Pleasures
No matter where you travel in North Central Massachusetts, from spring into the fall, you’ll find terrific ice cream shops ready to provide a refreshing break — and some of
Murdock Farm in Winchendon dates back to 1885, and has been producing ice cream for over 60 years! While no longer made from the farm’s own milk, Murdock still makes its creamy dessert here. Visitors can watch the farm’s Longhorn and Watusi cattle, along with cows. pigs and goats, roam in the field. The working family farm also has great views, all the way to Wachusett Mountain in Princeton and Mount Monadnock in New Hampshire. While enjoying that cone packed with peanut brittle crunch, black raspberry or “Udderly Mash” ice cream, you just might run into a customer telling his grandkids stories about visiting the farm “when I was your age!”
You can watch the dairy cows in the field, too, at Rota Spring dairy bar in Sterling, while you’re checking out ice cream flavors like Indian Pudding, Ginger, or limited-edition Lavender or Lemon Dream delights. With the ever-changing lineup of flavors, you’ll have to return again and again!
Kimball Farm’s Lancaster shop is one of the company’s four locations; it’s been scooping up delicious ice cream — made at the Kimball Farm store in nearby Westford — for more than a decade. Feeling hungry? While “we all scream for ice cream” when driving to Kimball Farm, there’s lots more to enjoy there, including classic New England lunches of fried clams and scallops, or lobster rolls. And if you love classic and vintage cars, well, this is the place for you! Cruise Nights at Kimball Farm attract hundreds of fascinating vehicles, too! Whether you like your ice cream in a cup, cone, sundae, or float, you’ll find something to tempt your palate here.
Still searching for the perfect flavor to satisfy your sweet tooth? Try the
home-made ice cream at Lickity Splitz in Winchendon, or visit The Kitchen Garden in Templeton, Cherry Hill in Lunenburg or Cherry Hill Too in Townsend. Although The Kitchen Garden doesn't make its own confections, the ice cream scooped up at the dairy bar is made right here in Massachusetts by Bliss Brothers.
Taking a tasty tour of North Central Massachusetts on a warm, sunny day? Here are some great ice cream bars to check out while you see the sights!
1643 Lunenburg Rd., Lancaster Kimballfarm.com
The Kitchen Garden
268 Baldwinville Rd., Templeton
62 Elmwood Rd., Winchendon
Find us on Facebook.
Rota Spring Farm
117 Chace Hill Rd., Sterling Rotaspringfarm.com
Cherry Hill Ice Cream
826 Leominster Rd., Lunenburg
53 Main St., Rt. 119, Townsend cherryhill-icecream.com
Hollis Hills Farm
340 Marshall Rd., Fitchburg Hollishillsfarm.com
231 Main St., Winchendon
Find us on Facebook.
Red Apple Farm
455 Highland Ave., Phillipston Redapplefarm.com
125 Still River Rd., Bolton Boltonorchards.co §
Spring | Summer 2023 7
Things to Do & See
Yoga in Good Company
You’ve burned your calories at the gym, speed-walked laps around the local high school track, and sweated to the oldies in your living room. Now it’s time to concentrate on relieving stress and improving your strength, flexibility and breathing with an afternoon of yoga.
Since you’re in here in the rural beauty of North Central Massachusetts, why not combine the benefits of that ancient practice with a real down-to-earth country experience?
Several local farms offer outdoor yoga sessions — that you are invited to share with llamas, alpacas, and maybe even dairy cows!
A dozen friendly animals at In the Meadow Alpaca Farm in Lunenburg are always happy to share their grassy home with visitors. The farm invites you to “alpaca your yoga mat” and enjoy an hour long practice that is suitable for all levels. There’s plenty of time, too, to interact with the alpacas before and after practice and take as many selfies as you like.
Plain View Farm in Hubbardston is inhabited by both alpacas and llamas, all of them eager to join in a relaxing afternoon of yoga for all levels. Once you’ve unwound and left your stresses behind, you’re welcome to meet, greet and take selfies with the llamas and alpacas, including Hyacinth, a newly adopted llama! And don’t forget to check out the alpaca fiber products in the farm’s shop.
Want a more traditional New England “down on the farm” experience? Roll up your mat and make a visit to Smith’s Country Cheese in Winchendon. Cheese, of course, is made from milk, and a lot of tasty milk comes from cows — so your partners in the yoga field will be dairy cows. They don’t mind a bit sharing their expansive meadow with visitors! And when you’re done, you’ll want to spend some time browsing the country store, where the coolers are filled with fresh cheeses, made right there at the farm, and a host of specialty local foods. Outdoor yoga sessions are offered sporadically throughout the spring and summer and continue into the fall at these local farms. To check on upcoming events, check their Facebook pages — especially since weather can dictate schedules. §
NOT INTO YOGA?
If you love the idea of communing with nature — and adorable animals — how about taking a hike … with goats?
Central Mass. Goat Rental in Lunenburg, has goats that love to eat all that unwelcome growth that’s overtaking your property (even poison ivy!) — and also enjoy a stroll through the countryside with you! They’re great hiking companions, and entertaining, too!
Whatever your exercise preferences, c’mon and talk … walk … and stretch with the animals right here in North Central Massachusetts.
Where to Find the Farms:
In the Meadow Farm
40 Page St., Lunenburg
Plain View Farm
130 Gardner Rd, Hubbardston
Smith’s Country Cheese
20 Otter River Rd., Winchendon
Spring | Summer 2023 9
Sounds of the Past Still Echo Here
city’s Coggshall Park on Sunday afternoons in August.
Leominster Colonial Band.
From the first warm days of summer through the waning weekends of fall, music fills the air throughout North Central Massachusetts.
And while country singers, rock groups and even polka bands are familiar sights on outdoor stages and bandstands these days, these popular outdoor concerts have a long … very long … history in the region.
In fact, some of the bands have very long histories here, too!
Take the Fitchburg Military Band, a 32-piece professional union band that has been a proud part of the cultural community of Fitchburg since the Civil War! This local favorite takes to the bandstand on the shore of Mirror Lake in the
Don’t let the name fool you, though — you’ll hear lots more than military marches at these free family concerts. Catering to the young and young at heart, the band performs a variety of selections from Disney film songs to music of the early ’40s.
Just down the road, the Leominster Colonial Band had its beginnings in 1910, five years before Leominster’s incorporation as a city. Gaspare Bisceglia, a 16 year-old apprentice bandmaster, immigrated to Leominster from his native San Giovanni, Italy and soon gathered together fellow immigrant musicians to form a band. Known originally as the “Banda Regione d’Italia,” (Regional Italian Band), it underwent several name changes, becoming first the “Italian Colonial Band,” and eventually, the
For more than 80 years, the band has featured the music of composer Domenico Villoni, an ItalianAmerican musician who was one of the leading composers of the "marcia sinfonica" style that was popular with the many Italian bands that existed in the Italian immigrant enclaves in the U.S.
The current Tuesday evening concerts led by longtime conductor Steven Piermarini run from mid-July through early August, and include Broadway show tunes, movie themes — and, of course, marches.
Yes, summer concerts have a long history here, and the music just keeps flowing! Check the “Ongoing” page of this magazine’s calendar section for a list of when and where you can enjoy this New England pleasure in local cities and towns this season. §
VisitNorthCentral.com 10 Things to Do & See
Fitchburg Military Band.
Leominster Colonial Band, 2022.
Spring | Summer 2023 11
Break out your red, white and blue t-shirts, hats, flags and banners — it’s time to celebrate the U S of A with parades, parties and, of course, fireworks!
In small towns and cities alike, you’ll find marching bands, bicycle decorating contests, games and more as residents commemorate the Fourth of July. And although we’re commemorating “the Fourth,” local Independence Day celebrations are really spread out over several days — so you can stop by to party again and again!
Fitchburg’s Civic Days program, centered around the Fourth, is always a highlight — starting with a Block Party on Main Street and fireworks on July 3. Flying from
the top of Rollstone Hill, the city’s pyrotechnic display can be seen from just about everywhere in town!
July 4 itself starts with a bang, with a booming cannon from the top of Rollstone Hill, followed by a parade up Main Street, complete with bands, clowns, fire trucks and more!
The Civic Days program will wrap up from 3-6 pm on July 9 at Riverfront Park on Boulder Drive, where hundreds of yellow toy ducks will bob their way down the Nashua River in the annual Rubber Ducky Race. “Buy” a duck or two, or three, and cheer your racers as they battle to reach the finish line (and perhaps reward you with a prize)! You can party in the park all day, too, with food and games and more.
Communities from Pepperell, Ayer, and Harvard to Athol and
Happy Birthday, America! Things to Do & See
Petersham will be rolling out the red, white and blue carpet, with everything from carnivals to parades and fireworks during an extended Independence Day celebration. Pepperell, for example, has its Parade at 10 am and Fireworks at dusk on July 1.
Harvard won’t be lighting the sky with pyrotechnics this year, but on July 4, the town gathers to celebrate such down-home traditions as a pie-eating contest, greased pole climbing, three-legged race, antique car show, and, of course, a parade! Food by the Lion’s Club is always a hit, too!
For the most up to date details on local celebrations, check the communities’ facebook pages, websites, or the extensive calendar on visitnorthcentral.com. §
Spring | Summer 2023 13
A “ Dam “ Good Walk
Story & Photos by
Searching for a great spot to stretch your legs, enjoy a quiet lunch, and encourage the family to explore the local wilderness? The Birch Hill Dam Road in South Royalston may be just what you’re looking for!
Walk, Look and Listen!
This 2 ½ mile walk starts just beyond a yellow gate and runs parallel to a railroad track, and you may be treated to the sights and sounds of a freight train of the Pam Am Railway rumbling by. Note, too, the old telegraph poles with glass insulators— used to prevent electric current loss during transmission—adjacent to the tracks.
In five minutes you’ll come to a stream— Beaver Brook— flowing in an “S” pattern through a wetland. The brook’s name is an apt one, as gnawed trees are evidence of that large rodent’s work.
In spring, the long, matted tawny grasses and pale green foliose lichen splotched on maple, pine and birch
trees contrast against the dark mirror of blue water to make an eye-pleasing sight.
Foliose lichens, flat and leaf like, usually grow in a circular pattern and look like odd-shaped lettuce.
The trail continues past a pine populated hillside with an impressive horizontal rock ledge at its base.
The next 15 minutes offer a long straight stretch. You’re apt to hear the tapping of a woodpecker, and see an interesting variety of mosses growing alongside the road. Passing a wetland, in early spring you will hear a deafening chorus of peepers and the cackling of wood frogs.
Soon the forest community changes as hemlock mixes in with pine, and Mountain Laurel provides a ground cover.
After moving past several ancient, moss-covered concrete pilings, you’ll notice mounded ridges on either side of the road. These are actually eskers: long, narrow ridges of sand and gravel left behind by a flowing stream of glacial meltwater. A small waterfall tumbles down a hillside to the right.
About the Dam
Completed in 1941, Birch Hill Dam was one of the first dams built by the Army Corps of Engineers in New England to prevent floods like those of 1936 and 1938 that devastated local communities. The flood storage area of the dam is normally empty but can hold up to 16 billion gallons of water for flood control. The Corps has partnered with two state agencies to provide support in managing all recreational opportunities throughout the property.
To get to Birch Hill Dam, from Route 2 west take exit 79, and turn left onto Route 2A/202. Take the first right onto Royalston Road. Continue for 4.3 miles and turn left onto Route 68. The Birch Hill Dam Road parking area is on the right.
VisitNorthCentral.com 14 Great
In spring, look for clouds of bluets, also called Quaker Ladies, nuns, or blue-eyed beauties, growing alongside the road. Twenty minutes into the hike, you will reach a metal gate that borders either side of the road as it moves uphill. In late May, the strikingly beautiful pink flowers of rhodora shrubs grace the hillside, their brilliant color a showy contrast to other drab plants that have barely shrugged off the cold. As you continue uphill, look to the right for another seasonal waterfall, then a patch of juniper and a picnic area.
See the Surge
The road bends left and continues for 1,400 feet over the dam, which is made of rolled earth with a rock slope protection. Your hike ends at the US Amy Corps of Engineers office and a recreation area. Walk over to the brick gate house, which regulates the amount of water released downstream by raising or lowering four 6-by-1foot gates. Using caution, step up onto the concrete curb and peer over the green metal post fence to the churning whitewater 30 feet below, watching it surge through a narrow, steep sided granite gorge (dam outlet channel). Now move to the other side of the brick building and do the same thing, noting the contrast as the river calmly flows into the gatehouse.
After your walk, if you’re still in the mood for hiking, there are miles of old roads and trails in the Birch Hill Dam Recreational area. Feel free to explore! §
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• Event space
• Birthday parties
• Sports bar and grill
• Summer camps
• Adult and youth leagues
Spring | Summer 2023 15
Game On Way, Fitchburg MA 01420 | (978) 956-4111 | www.gameonfitchburg.com
A New Day in the Park
activities for all ages … and, wait for it … fireworks!
There’s always something new under the sun in North Central Massachusetts — and this year, the newest hot spot is the 300-seat Robinson Broadhurst Foundation Performing Arts Amphitheater, set comfortably in the Winchendon Community Park.
A grand opening is scheduled for June 10, with lots of music — from country singers to the Winchendon Winds orchestra — along with
The terraced, stonewall amphitheater is the latest addition to the Community Park located on Ingleside Drive, just off the downtown district. This spring will also see the opening of a disc golf course, and there are loads of events planned, from concerts to picnics in the park. The town’s Recreation Department has a full schedule of fun planned this year, so you can count on coming back again and again.
The amphitheater is named in recognition of
the Robinson Broadhurst Foundation, which has given financial support to a host of projects in Winchendon over the years.
According to news reports, the Foundation, established in 1984 by siblings Anna June Robinson and Robert Avery Robinson, gifted the town more than $3 million to put towards a community project that will benefit all residents. The pair had inherited a portion of their uncle’s estate and created the foundation to improve the living standard of residents of Stamford and
Worcester, New York, and Winchendon. Over the years, the Foundation has given over $55 million to support Winchendon and the New York communities.
Opening day for the new amphitheater has a lengthy list of entertainers lined up, from The Dance Studio to Faceless Hobos, the Shriners, Eddie Raymond, Cashwood, and Bodega Dog, along with food vendors, a bounce house and more to entertain all ages. Keep up to date on the Grand Opening plans on the Winchendon Community Park facebook page. §
Spring | Summer 2023 17
Short Stops Short Stops
Of course you love exploring the Great Outdoors… and when you’ve had enough fresh air, or the weather isn’t right for a foray into the forest, there are still lots of great things to enjoy in North Central Massachusetts! Here are a few spots, both indoors and out, to explore — and you can find even more places to visit in the “Members” section at the back of this Guide!
Antique or vintage sedans, hot rods or farm trucks, in parking lots and grassy fields … Car shows and cruise nights abound here.
One of the biggest regular vehicle gatherings is at Kimball Farms dairy bar in Lancaster, where you may see hundreds of cars on any Friday night. The free weekly Cruise Night starts at 5 pm on Fridays throughout the summer, See details at kimballfarms. com.
Starting on May 10, the North Quabbin Cruisers will gather for weekly cruise nights at the Hannaford supermarket parking lot, 150 New Athol Rd. in Athol. Keep up to date with their plans on facebook.
From May through September, the Polish American Citizens Club (PACC) on Route 2A in Gardner is a Friday night hot spot for car lovers. Live music (and adult beverages in the club) add to the fun.
You’ve trekked the trails, paddled the ponds, and enjoyed outdoor concerts to your heart’s delight. But sometimes, you’re just in the mood for some indoor entertainment.
Fear not! We’ve got you covered! Whether you want to exercise your mind, sharpen your skills, or blow off some steam, businesses throughout the area have just what you need.
Escape from reality — and put your puzzle-solving skills to the test — at Curious Escape Rooms in Fitchburg, or The Gate Escape in Leominster. Check out the opportunities for adventure at curiousescaperooms.com or thegateescape.com.
Love arcades? Step into lively fun at Funstuf Party Place or Game On Sports Performance Center, both in Fitchburg. Funstuf will keep the kids happily occupied, and grownups can get in on skillful action — including axe throwing! — at Game On Sports!
Everyone loves Great Wolf Lodge, home to year-round weatherproof fun including its wet and wild waterpark, MagiQuest, ropes course and much more for families to enjoy.
And for a really different approach to indoor activity, head over to the area’s newest fun spot, Letz Rage in Fitchburg, where you can whack a barrel or a flat screen TV, or even toss paint at the walls (or your best buddy). Looking for indoor adventure? Check the VisitNorthCentral website for details on these and other great places to visit!
Meet Me at the Fair!
It’s always “fair” weather here — for country church festivals, carnivals and good old agricultural fairs!
Love carnivals? Welcome spring with the St. Bernard’s Elementary School Spring Carnival, from April 13 to 23 on Summer Street in Fitchburg. Exciting rides, carnival games, food and more await your visit!
Since this is Johnny Appleseed Country, you just have to visit the orchard for the Apple Blossom Festival at Sholan Farms, 1125 Pleasant St., Leominster. Music, handcrafts, entertainment, a butterfly release — and, if Mother Nature cooperates on Saturday, May 20, a fabulous show of pink and white apple blossoms! Visit sholanfarms.com for updates.
Get your taste buds ready, too, for the Johnny Appleseed Craft Beer Festival on Main Street, Leominster on Aug 12. Sample beer, hard cider and hard seltzer from dozens of brewers. See johnnyappleseedbeerfest. com.
And the grand-daddy of local agricultural events is the Bolton Fair — now in its 140th year! — at The Fairgrounds at Lancaster, Rt. 117 on August 11-13. It’s got everything, from animal shows and contests to a demo derby and a thrill-packed carnival midway. Visit boltonfair.org for a complete schedule of events.
Be sure to return for the Sterling Fair, complete with tractor pulls, farm machinery and entertainment on September 8-10 at Sterling Airport!
Take It Inside!
Spring | Summer 2023 19
Spring | Summer 2023 21
Artis where you find it … and as you tour this region, you’ll find yourself surrounded! You can discover intriguing icons from Russia, masks from Africa, and pottery from ancient Egypt on display in local museums. Community historical societies house troves of early American art and crafted treasures.
But change your focus a bit, and you’ll discover fascinating works in myriad forms — and in many cases, you can meet the artists, too!
A great place to begin your tour of local talent is at the Fitchburg Art Museum’s annual Regional Exhibition of Art & Craft. Running from early June until Labor Day, the juried exhibition showcases works by artists who live or work within 30 miles of the city. And here’s a bonus: you can cast a ballot for your favorite piece in the show!
The museum, which regularly spotlights contemporary New England art, also has galleries devoted to its collections of American Art, African Art, Ancient Egypt, and photography.
Beyond Museum Walls
You can see a variety of works by local artists, too,
at the GALA spring art & music festival at Red Apple Farm. On the weekend of May 19-21, the Gardner Area League of Artists puts local talent on display. View the works, chat with the artists, listen to some tunes (and enjoy a cold beverage in the brew barn)! Tucked away throughout the region, too, art galleries exhibit local creativity. The School Street Art Studios in Gardner is a growing collection of artists’ studios, including Norm Eggert Photography, Doreen LaScola, Mark Lore Fine Art, Lori MacDonald Fine Art, Scott Niemi and about a dozen more. The artists occasionally hold open studios, or offer studio talks
— so be sure to check the School Street facebook page to see what’s happening!
While you’re cruising the region, stop by the Creative Connections
gallery on Main Street in Ashburnham, or Stage on Main on South Main Street in Orange, to see local art and craft creations. Swing by the Townsend
Photo courtesy of the artist. Painter Scott Niemi in front of one of his works at The Fitchburg Art Museum's annual regional art show.
Fine artist Doreen LaScola at GALA's Annual Members' Art Show.
Photo by Doneen Durling.
Public Library to check out its Meeting Hall Gallery. Take a ride to picturesque Petersham to visit a local gem, the Petersham Art Center, where you can view (and buy) the work of local artists — and plan to return for a class or workshop!
Want to just tip your toe in a creative pool? Art on the Rocks, with locations in Leominster and Gardner, offers classes in various mediums, from pottery throwing to painting. Or swing by In the Meadow Farm in Lunenburg to try your hand at needle felting with Alpaca fiber.
There’s no question … a world of art awaits you here in the communities of North Central Massachusetts. §
Spotlight on Students
It’s a rite of spring on the college campus: The VISIONS exhibition is a juried honors showcase of the year's best original student work in the Communications Media Department at Fitchburg State University. Community members and area visitors are invited to join FSU in celebrating the talent and creative accomplishments of these students on April 26.
“This is the one time of the year when our students get to step back from their projects for a few hours and recognize all the concentrations and majors as part of a greater whole. It's a time to experience all the amazing work that the students in our department are capable of. We want people to come ask questions, network, listen, watch and play!” said Coe McIninch, Visions 2023 Committee Chair.
This one-day event has a great lineup: an Alumni Panel at 3:30 pm, followed by a Visions Forum at 4:30 pm, both in Ellis White Lecture Hall; then a gallery opening, game design demonstrations, and reception at 5:30 pm, all in Hammond Hall. The Visions program ends with theatre showcases at 7 pm and film and video screening at 8 pm in Weston Auditorium.
It’s a once-a-year opportunity to see the creativity of Fitchburg students in a bright spotlight.
For more information on VISIONS and the Communications Media Department, visit fitchburgstate.edu. You can also follow the department on social media including Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter.
Spring | Summer 2023 23
Exhibitions, events and more!
SPRING-SUMMER CALENDAR 2023
As this issue of The Guide goes to press, the events listed in this Calendar are scheduled. However, we recommend that you check the organizations on social media or by phone to confirm the event status, masking requirements, and any limits on attendance.
THROUGH MARCH 19. Allure, An Orchid Exhibition at New England Botanic Garden at Tower Hill, 11 French Dr., Boylston. Tricks, Traps, Treasure. At the Garden’s annual orchid exhibition, get to know the captivating plants that entice pollinators in surprising ways. Allure displays thousands of orchids and artist Kara Walker’s larger-than-life sculptures—orchids paired with the pollinators they tempt. All is fair in love and orchid pollination. Experience the drama of this breathtaking orchid exhibition during daytime hours or through a line-up of special events. Open 10 am–5 pm. Visit towerhillbg.org.
THROUGH JUNE 4. Paper Town at the Fitchburg Art Museum, 185 Elm St., Fitchburg. Paper is ubiquitous in everyday life, but is rarely considered beyond its flat functionality. This exhibition takes paper out of the two-dimensional into a world that is fantastical, intricate, colorful, and personal. Inspired by the materiality of paper and the metamorphic quality of the papermaking process, Paper Town explores paper in pulp, cast, folded, and cut forms. Paper Town pays tribute to Fitchburg’s history of paper manufacturing. It is the third in a series of FAM exhibitions that link contemporary practice to the industrial heritage of North Central Massachusetts. Open Wednesday through Friday, noon to 4 pm, Saturday and Sunday, 11 am–5 pm.
THROUGH SEPTEMBER 10. In the Eye of the Beholder: Gender through the Camera Lens at the Fitchburg Art Museum, 185 Elm St., Fitchburg. In the Eye of the Beholder delves into the Fitchburg Art Museum’s permanent collection to explore how photographers have used the “gendered gaze” across the early 20th and 21st centuries. This exhibition highlights some of the museum’s iconic favorites and recent acquisitions—including work from Gertrude Kasebier, Cindy Sherman, and Yasumasa Morimura— to examine how power is embedded in the male and female gazes. In the Eye of the Beholder further explores artists who experiment with or outright reject the gender binary, questioning and complicating methods of perceiving gender and its performance. Open Wednesday through Friday, noon to 4 pm, Saturday and Sunday, 11 am–5 pm.
MARCH 1. Spring Exhibit: Hidden Greenspaces at The Gardner Museum, 26 Pearl St., Gardner. The museum will reopen after the winter break with a photography exhibit by GALA (Gardner Area League of Artists). The museum is open from 1-4 pm Wednesdays through Sundays. Visit gardnermuseuminc.com for details.
MARCH 9 –16. Leominster Youth Art Show at the Leominster Public Library, West St., Leominster. Explore the creativity of the city’s students.
APRIL 26. VISIONS 2023 in the Hammond Building and Weston Auditorium at Fitchburg State University, 160 Pearl St., Fitchburg. This one-day exhibition showcases the work of FSU students in multiple media.
APRIL 28–MAY 1. Thursday through Sunday. Art in Bloom at the Fitchburg Art Museum, 185 Elm St., Fitchburg. This popular annual exhibition features floral arrangements created by local residents, inspired by works in the museum’s collection. During this exhibition, quilts created by members of Leominster’s Material Girls quilt club will be on display. Visit fitchburgartmuseum.org for details.
MAY 31–AUGUST 27. Summer Exhibit: Celebrating Gardner’s 100 Years as a City at the Gardner Museum, 26 Pearl St., Gardner. In connection with Gardner’s Centennial Celebrations in 2023, the Gardner Museum will showcase memorable aspects of the city’s first 100 years. The museum is open from 1 to 4 pm Wednesdays through Sundays. Visit gardnermuseuminc.com for details.
JUNE 23 – SEPTEMBER 4. Regional Exhibition of Art & Craft at the Fitchburg Art Museum, 185 Elm St., Fitchburg. The 87th exhibition, one of the oldest juried exhibitions of its kind in the United States, encourages and displays the talent of artists living and working within 30 miles of Fitchburg.
1 WEDNESDAY, 1 PM. Opening of Spring Exhibit: Hidden Greenspaces at The Gardner Museum, 26 Pearl St., Gardner. The museum will reopen after the winter break with a photography exhibit by GALA (Gardner Area League of Artists). The museum is open from 1 to 4 pm Wednesdays through Sundays. Visit gardnermuseuminc.com for details.
3 FRIDAY, 8 PM. Neal And The Vipers perform at the Bull Run Restaurant, 215 Great Rd., Shirley. Hear one of the area’s most respected and longest-running blues outfits. Visit bullrunrestaurant.com for tickets.
3 FRIDAY, 8 PM. A Far Cry concert at the Groton Hill Music Center, 122 Old Ayer Rd., Groton. A Far Cry’s mission is to ignite a love for music and utilize its power to bring people together locally and across the globe. Program includes Tchaikovsky’s Serenade for Strings, Golijov’s Arum Dem Fayer, Montgomery’s
Banner (a tribute to the 200th anniversary of “The Star Spangled Banner”), and Becenti’s The Glittering World, a new commission written for A Far Cry. Visit grotonhill.org for tickets.
3-5 FRIDAY & SATURDAY, 7:30 PM; SUNDAY, 2 PM. Man of La Mancha at Theatre at the Mount, 444 Green St., Gardner. Inspired by Miguel de Cervantes’ seventeenth century masterpiece, “Don Quixote,” Man of La Mancha is one of the most successful musicals in Broadway history. Powerful, brutal, hilarious, and heartbreaking, Man of La Mancha celebrates the perseverance of a dying old man who refuses to relinquish his ideals or his passion. The celebrated score includes “Little Bird,” “I, Don Quixote,” “To Each His Dulcinea,” and “The Impossible Dream.” For tickets, visit mwcc.edu/tam.
3-5 FRIDAY & SATURDAY, 7:30 PM; Sunday, 2 pm. A Shot in the Dark – 2023. New Players Theatre Guild Center for the Performing Arts, 15 Rollstone St., Fitchburg. On Broadway, Julie Harris played the good hearted and guileless child of nature who is hauled before the magistrate on a charge of murder, having been found unconscious, nude, and clutching a gun, with her lover dead beside her. Visit nptg.org for tickets. Repeats March 10-12.
4 SATURDAY, 9 AM-1 PM. Craft Materials Swap at the American Legion Hall, 22 Elm Sr., Gardner. Wachusett Crafters host a free swap of all manner of crafting materials. Donations of items welcome but not required! Meet other crafters and take home everything from fabric to flowers!
4 SATURDAY, 7:30 PM. Danilo Pérez’s Global Messengers concert at the Groton Hill Music Center, 122 Old Ayer Rd., Groton. As a solo artist and as a collaborator with jazz giants from Dizzy Gillespie to Wayne Shorter, for over three decades GRAMMY winning Panamanian pianist-composer Danilo Perez has been lauded as one of the most creative forces in contemporary music. Visit grotonhill.org for tickets.
4-5 SATURDAY & SUNDAY, 8 AM-1 PM. Breakfast at Hollis Hills Farm, 340 Marshall Rd., Fitchburg. Tour the sugarhouse and savor pancakes with real maple syrup, sugar on snow, and more. See how sap magically turns into luscious syrup! Visit hollishillsfarm.com.
The annual Civic Days event in downtown Fitchburg.
7 TUESDAY, 6-9 PM. Felted Fun: Lucky Leprechauns Workshop at In The Meadow Farm, 40 Page St., Lunenburg. Create an adorable leprechaun, just in time for St. Patrick’s Day, with fiber from the farm’s alpacas. Visit inthemeadowalpacas.com to register.
10 FRIDAY, 1 PM. Traditional Irish Music with Kate Chadbourne at the Sterling Senior Center. 36 Muddy Pond Road, Sterling. Sponsored by the Sterling Senior Center and the Conant Public Library
10 FRIDAY, 8 PM. The Robin Lane Band performs at the Bull Run Restaurant, 215 Great Rd., Shirley. Hear one of the area’s most respected and longest-running blues outfits. Visit bullrunrestaurant.com for tickets.
10-11 FRIDAY & SATURDAY, 7 PM. Binge-Watch Broadway at the Theater at St. Bernard’s High School, 45 Harvard St., Fitchburg. StageWorks presents a concert-style cabaret featuring all the melodrama, hilarity, love, hate, and emotional highs and lows from your favorite reality TV shows, brought to life onstage (with singing, of course)! Visit stageworksarts.org for tickets.
10-12 FRIDAY & SATURDAY, 7:30 PM; SUNDAY, 2 PM. A Shot in the Dark – 2023 at the New Players Theatre Guild Center for the Performing Arts, 15 Rollstone St., Fitchburg. See March 3-4 listing for details. Visit nptg.org for tickets.
11 SATURDAY 7:30 AM. Central Mass Open Karate Tournament 2023 at Gardner High School. Sterling Martial Arts presents a day of family-oriented, well-run martial arts tournament with amazing competitors of all styles from every state in New England.
11 SATURDAY, 4-8 PM. St. Urho’s Dinner Dance at the Finnish Center at Saima Park, 67 Scott Rd., Fitchburg. Meatball dinner catered by Family Café. Music by Central Mass Accordion Club. saima-park.org. For reservations, call 978 407-9690.
11 SATURDAY, 8 PM. Singer/Songwriter Taylor Ashton concert at the Groton Hill Music Center, 122 Old Ayer Rd., Groton. Ashton’s songs are inspired by the primeval crookedness of traditional old-time music, the humor and heartbreak of Randy Newman, the cosmic emotionality of mid-career Joni Mitchell, and the sage vulnerability of Bill Withers. Visit grotonhill.org for tickets.
11-12 SATURDAY & SUNDAY, 8 AM-1 PM. Breakfast at Hollis Hills Farm, 340 Marshall Rd., Fitchburg. Tour the sugarhouse and savor pancakes with real maple syrup, sugar on snow, and more. See how sap magically turns into luscious syrup! Visit hollishillsfarm. com.
12 SUNDAY, 10 AM. Gloria Steinem at the Bull Run Restaurant, 215 Great Rd., Shirley. The Bull Run Speaker Series presents writer, political activist, and feminist organizer Steinem, interviewed on stage by Cyndi Stivers, senior curator at TED, a media and conference nonprofit. Proceeds benefit the North Central MA Women’s Fund, part of the Community Foundation of North Central MA. Visit bullrunrestaurant.com for tickets.
15 WEDNESDAY, 7-8:30 PM. Play Reading Group at the Leominster Public Library, West St., Leominster. The Stratton Players invite anyone who enjoys reading and theater to portray a character, or just sit and listen! Plays range from Shakespeare to contemporary works.
16 THURSDAY, 4-6 PM. Indoor Farmers’ Market at Tata Auditorium at Leominster City Hall, 25 West St., Leominster. This market will feature locally grown produce, farm fresh eggs, pork and chicken, grass-fed beef, local honey, cupcakes and breads, freshly baked cookies and pies, soaps, blown-glass, knit and crochet, jewelry, paintings, pottery, handmade crafts, and more. Free admission and parking.
16 THURSDAY, 6 PM. Irish Step Dance at the Gardner Museum, 26 Pearl St., Gardner. After a 3-year hiatus
Anne O’Connell’s Irish Step Dancers will be performing once again at the museum! Join us for a celebration of St. Patrick’s Day with a lively performance rooted in traditional Irish dance. Reservation required; visit gardnermuseuminc.com.
17 FRIDAY, 6-9 PM. St. Patrick’s Celebration with Guns N Clovers at the Brew Barn at Red Apple Farm, 455 Highland Ave., Phillipston.
17 FRIDAY, 6-10:30 PM. Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day at River Styx Brewing, 166 Boulder Dr., Fitchburg, with traditional Irish performer Garold Amon.
18 SATURDAY, 1-3 PM. Felted Fun: Easter Eggs Workshop at In The Meadow Farm, 40 Page St., Lunenburg. Create beautiful eggs (that won’t break!), with fiber from the farm’s alpacas. Visit inthemeadowalpacas.com to register. Repeats on March 27.
18 SATURDAY, 6-11 PM. Otherworld Art Showcase - Vol 3 at The Gate Escape, Leominster. Browse the work of painters, jewelry makers, photographers, musicians, bone carvers, plant/pot designs and more. Our artists will be hosting giveaways and raffles, and will have works for sale. RiverStyx Brewing will be supplying out-of-this-world alcoholic beverages, along with food by Finicky Fork Catering. Visit otherworldartshowcase.com.
18-19 SATURDAY & SUNDAY, 8 AM-1 PM. Mass Maple Weekend at Hollis Hills Farm, 340 Marshall Rd., Fitchburg. Enjoy live music from 9 am-noon while savoring pancakes with real maple syrup, sugar on snow, and tours of the sugarhouse. See how sap magically turns into luscious syrup! Visit hollishillsfarm.com.
24-25 FRIDAY, 10 AM; SATURDAY, 10 AM AND 1 PM. Ukrainian Egg Decorating Workshop at the Museum of Russian Icons, 203 Union St., Clinton. Have you always wanted to try your hand at traditional Ukrainian egg painting, also known as psyanky? Learn this art from Slovenia native Hanka Robertson. Visit museumofrussianicons.org to register.
25 SATURDAY, 8-10AM. Pannukakku Breakfast at the Finnish Center at Saima Park, 67 Scott Rd., Fitchburg. Finnish oven pancake, bacon, sausage, and more. Loaves of coffee bread for sale. Vendors of arts, crafts, and honeybee products. Visit www. saima-park.org.
25 SATURDAY, 10 AM-NOON. Trail Navigation Workshop at the Doyle Community Center, 325 Lindell Ave., Leominster. Have you ever looked at a map, seen all the different lines and symbols, and thought you had no idea what was going on? Fear not! In this workshop, we will go over the basic components of a map and how to orient a map. You will also learn the difference between local park trail maps and technical contour maps. Register at northcountylandtrust.org.
25 SATURDAY, 6:15-7:45 PM. Woodcock Walk at Mass Audubon’s Wachusett Meadow, 113 Goodnow Rd., Princeton. The distinctive call of the male American Woodcock and its dramatic flight display are among the earliest signs of spring and are coming soon to a field or meadow near you! After a brief outdoor presentation on the natural history of the American Woodcock, a short walk into one of the meadows will set the stage to experience the elaborate courtship dance of this amazing bird. Repeats April 1. Visit massaudubon.org.
25 SATURDAY, 7:30 PM. Vista Philharmonic Orchestra at the Groton Hill Music Center, 122 Old Ayer Rd., Groton. This classical concert features Randy Steere, organ performing Still, W.G.: Symphony No. 5 (“The Western Hemisphere”); Barber: Toccata Festiva; and Saint-Saëns: Symphony No. 3. Visit grotonill.org for tickets.
25 SATURDAY, 8 PM. James McMurtry performs at the Bull Run Restaurant, 215 Great Rd., Shirley. Tickets at bullrunrestaurant.com.
27 MONDAY, 6:30-8:30 PM. Felted Fun: Easter Eggs Workshop at In The Meadow Farm, 40 Page St., Lunenburg. Create beautiful eggs (that won’t break!), with fiber from the farm’s alpacas. Visit inthemeadowalpacas.com to register. Repeats on March 27.
30 THURSDAY, 6-8 PM. Trivia w/ Ryan Murphy in the Brew Barn at Red Apple Farm, 455 Highland Ave., Phillipston.
30 THURSDAY, 7-10 PM. First Annual BGCL Cornhole Tournament at Game On Fitchburg. The Boys & Girls Club of Lunenburg and Herlihy Insurance present this bracketed, double-elimination tournament. Cash prizes for tournament winner, and prizes for best dressed! Spectators are welcome.
31 SATURDAY, 7:30 PM. Concord Chamber Music Society presents Yefim Bronfman at the Groton Hill Music Center, 122 Old Ayer Rd., Groton. The Concord Chamber Music Society will conclude their 2022-23 season with a gala performance by the acclaimed pianist Yefim Bronfman! Visit grotonhill.org for tickets.
1 SATURDAY, 10 AM-12 PM. Common Grounds: Acoustic Open Mic at the Lunenburg Public Library, 1023 Mass Ave, Lunenburg, Celebrate local talent with a new Library sponsored acoustic open mic —with free coffee! Repeats the first Saturday of each month.
1 SATURDAY, 11 AM. Town Wide Easter Egg Hunt at Winchendon Community Park, Winchendon. Join us for the annual Town Easter Egg Hunt. Games, prizes and visits with the Easter Bunny! Don’t miss it. This year more eggs than ever! There will be a rain date of April 2nd. Ages 0-12 are welcome to participate.
1 SATURDAY, 8 PM. James Montgomery April Fool’s Day Show at the Bull Run Restaurant, 215 Great Rd., Shirley. Come party with the band that knows what Blues/Rock is all about. Tickets at bullrunrestaurant. com.
6 THURSDAY, 6:30 PM. First Thursday: Poetry
Month in downtown Fitchburg. Hear a poetry reading, “Tribute to Fitchburg Poet Laureate Caroline Atherton Mason” on the Mill Street Stage, followed by an open mike reading by attendees. Visit intownfitchburg.com.
6 THURSDAY, 6:30 PM. A Worcester County Civil War Story in Letters at the Gardner Museum, 26 Pearl St., Gardner. Jan Drake is a retired librarian and hobby from Needham. Her great grandfather’s cousin, George W. Harwood, enlisted in the MA 36th
Spring | Summer 2023 25
Rick Estrin & The Night Cats.
Regiment of Volunteers, serving for three years (1862-1865), travelling with the Ninth Corps primarily under General Ambrose Burnside. He wrote home almost weekly from nine states. The program includes reading from the letters, and maps and photos of people and places mentioned. Reservation required; visit gardnermuseuminc.com.
6 THURSDAY, 8 PM. Rick Estrin & the Nightcats perform at the Bull Run Restaurant, 215 Great Rd., Shirley. Estrin’s flashing harmonica solos, quick wit and signature look and Andersen’s off-the-cuff guitar acrobatics add even more spontaneous fun to their live performances. Tickets at bullrunrestaurant.com.
7 FRIDAY, 10 AM. Easter Funday at Tata Auditorium at Leominster City Hall, 25 West St., Leominster. Make a craft, visit the live bunnies & chicks, and take your picture with the Easter Bunny (Don’t forget your camera).
8 SATURDAY, 8 AM. Sterling Recreation Road Race sponsored by the Sterling Recreation Department. 40 Boutelle Boulevard, Sterling. Visit sterlingrecruns.racewire.com.
8 SATURDAY, 9:15 AM. Road Race and Parade in downtown Athol. The 5K race is sponsored by the Athol YMCA, followed by the parade down School Street and Main Street. The Masons sponsor a breakfast from 7-10 am.
8 SATURDAY, 10-11:30 AM. Easter Egg Hunt at Parkhill Park/Splash Park, 235 Pratt Rd., Fitchburg. Bring the kiddies for Easter fun! Visit Fitchburg-ma. gov.
8 SATURDAY, 1 PM. Athol to Orange River Rat Race on the Millers River. The 58th running of this popular local event features more than 200 canoes racing on the Millers River.
Awards are presented at 5 pm in Orange’s Riverside Park.
8 SATURDAY, 8-11 PM. Tony Soul Project at the Simple Man Saloon, 119 High Street, Clinton. For details visit simplemansaloon.com.
Opening day at Davis Farmland Discovery Farm, 145 Redstone Hill Rd., Sterling. The Davis’ family farm offers so much fun for kids! Take a hayride, pet the cuddly animals, “be a farmer” by helping to milk a goat or collect chicken eggs! Check out the reptile ranch and much, much more. Visit davisfarmland.com.
13 THURSDAY, 11:45 AM-1 PM. Growing Places Winter Farmers Market at Community Health Connections, 326 Nichols Rd, Fitchburg. Inquire at Inquire at CSA@growingplaces.org.
13-23 THURSDAY-SUNDAY. St. Bernard’s Elementary School Carnival at 254 Summer St. Fitchburg. Carnival will feature rides, games, food and fun for the whole family. More than a week of fun! Times vary; visit stbernardselementary.org for details.
14 FRIDAY, 5-8 PM. The Pub Kings perform at Wachusett Brewing Company, 175 State Rd. E., Westminster.
14 FRIDAY, 7:30-9 PM. Nighttime Noises at Mass
Audubon Wachusett Meadow. Spring has sprung for frogs and salamanders in the wetlands! As soon as our vernal pools and wetlands thaw, they come alive with the sounds and movements of frogs, salamanders, and insects. Ever wonder what they are calling about at night, or how to identify the calls of wood frogs, spring peepers, and chorus frogs? On this night hike, learn about frog calls, salamander coloration, and how different species are active at different times throughout spring. Visit massaudubon.org.
14 FRIDAY, 8 PM. Carolyn Wonderland performs at the Bull Run Restaurant, 215 Great Rd., Shirley. Wonderland has been on the top of the Blues, Americana, and Alt Country charts. Tickets at bullrunrestaurant.com.
14 FRIDAY, 8 PM. Organist Randy Steere: Solo Concert at the Groton Hill Music Center, 122 Old Ayer Rd., Groton. This is Groton Hill’s inaugural solo organ concert, celebrating the new Hauptwerk virtual pipe organ built by Meta Organworks of Upstate New York and installed in the Concert Hall. Visit grotonhill.org for tickets.
15 SATURDAY, 10 AM – NOON. Trail Navigation Workshop at the Doyle Community Center, 325 Lindell Av., Leominster. Learn how to find local hikes and how to be prepared for your hike by knowing what to bring and what to research beforehand. Have your questions answered by a Fitchburg local with a degree in Outdoor Education & Leadership who is also a certified Wilderness First Responder and an instructor for the Appalachian Mountain Club! Register at northcountylandtrust.org.
15-16 SATURDAY & SUNDAY. New England Dance Championships at the Dukakis Performing Arts Center at Montachusett Regional Technical School, 1050 Westminster St., Fitchburg. A weekend of wicked cool Irish dance competition with reels, jigs, hornpipes and more. This event is a Qualifying Championship for Rince Tuatha Nua (RTN) Nationals, Cumann Rince Dea Mheasa (CRDM) All Ireland & World Championships.
20 THURSDAY, 4-6 PM. Indoor Farmers Market at Leominster City Hall, 25 West St. The City of Leominster and Growing Places are excited to bring the Leominster Farmers Market inside! Join us in the Tata Auditorium at Leominster City Hall on the Third Thursday of the month.
20 THURSDAY, 11 AM-12 PM. Beginning Birding with Hands on Nature at the Fitchburg Public Library, Main St., Fitchburg. Discover more about the local birds in your yard and how to identify them. Learn which birds are common in Massachusetts and which ones are fun to study! We will learn fun easy ways to get started in the world of birding! Learn a few common bird songs and will be able to identify some by the end of the program. Create and then take home two simple feeders to attract local birds. Register at fitchburgpubliclibrary.org.
20 THURSDAY, 6:30 PM. Going for the Gold: Art and Trade in Medieval West Africa at the Gardner Museum, 26 Pearl St., Gardner. Dr. Jean M. Borgatti will give an overview of some of the major traditions of sculpture from West Africa between the 10th century CE and the 16th century, with beautiful examples of art from Nigeria (Igbo-Ukwu, Ife, and Benin Kingdom) and Mali (Djenne). Visit gardnermuseuminc.com.
20 THURSDAY, 7-8:30 PM. Play Reading Group at the Leominster Public Library, West St., Leominster. The Stratton Players invite anyone who enjoys reading and theater to portray a character, or just sit and listen! Plays range from Shakespeare to contemporary works.
22 SATURDAY, 8-10 AM. Pannukakku Breakfast and Flea Market at the Finnish Center at Saima Park, 67 Scott Rd., Fitchburg. Finnish oven pancake, bacon, sausage, and more. Loaves of coffee bread for sale. Vendors of treasures, arts, crafts, and honeybee products. Visit www.saima-park.org.
22 SATURDAY, 7:30 PM. Vista Philharmonic Orchestra: Sonic Imagery at the Groton Hill Music Center, 122 Old Ayer Rd., Groton. A World Premiere Visual Concerto with Nicholas Bardonnay. Program includes Bernstein: West Side Story, Symphonic Dances; Copland: Lincoln Portrait; and Dvorak: Symphony No. 8. Visit grotonhill.org for tickets.
23 SUNDAY, 3 PM. Historical Piano Concert at the Ashburnham Community Church, 84 Main St. (Rte. 12), at corner of Chapel St., Ashburnham. Concert features Josefina Urraca, ca. 1830 Bösendorfer piano, Guillermo Laporta, flute, performing works by Beethoven and Schubert, pianos from the Frederick Collection. Admission, $10.
23 SUNDAY, 7 PM. Low Lily CD Release at the Bull Run Restaurant, 215 Great Rd., Shirley. American Roots band Low Lily tours as a five-piece with drums and bass for the first time ever! Tickets at bullrunrestaurant.com.
25 TUESDAY, 5–8PM. Taste of Leominster at Tata Auditorium, Leominster City Hall, 25 West St., Leominster. Sample offerings from dozens of Leominster restaurants as the community spotlights local businesses. Visit Leominster-ma.gov.
27 THURSDAY, 1-5 PM. Hidden Treasures Tour at the Fitchburg Art Museum, 185 Elm St., in conjunction with the Art in Bloom exhibition. Visit fitchburgartmuseum.org for details.
27 THURSDAY, 5:30 PM. Rachel Revere History
At Play at the Gardner Museum, 26 Pearl St., Gardner. This living history performance breathes life into the of a strong female character in the wake of an American Revolution, Rachel Revere, Paul Revere’s young second wife. Program at 6-7 pm after a museum-hosted reception from 5:30-6pm. Reservation required; visit gardnermuseuminc.com.
28 FRIDAY, 1 PM. Fitchburg State University Chamber Choir at the Fitchburg Art Museum, 185 Elm St., Fitchburg, in conjunction with the Art in Bloom exhibition. Museum is open from 11 am to 5 pm. Visit fitchburgartmuseum.org for details.
28 FRIDAY, 6-9 PM. Meet and Greet author Jarrett J. Krosoczka at Murdock High School, Winchendon. The Beals Memorial Library presents this opportunity to meet the author of this year’s One Book, One Community Read, “Hey, Kiddo.” Book signing at 6 pm., keynote talk at 7 p.m. Registration required
28 FRIDAY, 6-8 PM. Champagne Reception at the Fitchburg Art Museum, 185 Elm St., Fitchburg. See fitchburgartmuseum.org for ticket information.
28 FRIDAY, 7 PM. Artrageous at Weston Auditorium, 160 Pearl ST., Fitchburg. High-energy performance by a troupe of multi-talented performance artists from New Mexico. Visit fitchburgstate.edu/centerstage.
28 FRIDAY, 7 PM. Invisible Sun, a Police tribute band, performs at the Bull Run Restaurant, 215 Great Rd., Shirley. They cover 25 songs from The Police, spanning all of their recorded work. Tickets at bullrunrestaurant.com.
29 SATURDAY, 10:30 AM - 12:00 PM. Making May Day Posies at New England Botanic Garden at Tower Hill, 11 French Dr., Boylston. Learn how to make flower posies and how to grow your own unusual spring flowers. Visit towerhillbg.org for tickets.
29 SATURDAY, 1 PM. Floral Demonstration at the Fitchburg Art Museum, 185 Elm St., Fitchburg, in conjunction with the Art in Bloom exhibition. Museum
"Paddles," mascot of the River Rat Race
is open from 11 am- 5 pm. Visit fitchburgartmuseum. org or details.
29-30 SATURDAY & SUNDAY, 10 AM-5 PM. Baystate African Violet Society Exhibit & Sale at New England Botanic Garden at Tower Hill, 11 French Dr., Boylston. African violets are known for their unique features, vibrant colors, and beautiful blooms. The Bay State African Violet Society, Inc. is continuing its 64year tradition of growing and showing named African violets in this much-anticipated event. Visit towerhillbg.org for details.
30 SUNDAY, 1 PM. Artist Talk at the Fitchburg Art Museum, 185 Elm St., Fitchburg, in conjunction with the Art in Bloom exhibition. Visit fitchburgartmuseum. org for details.
30 SUNDAY, 3 PM. Historical Piano Concert at the Ashburnham Community Church, 84 Main St. (Rte. 12), at corner of Chapel St., Ashburnham. Concert features Atlas Trio: Gary Capozziello, violin, Ignacy Gaydamovich, cello, Mohamed Shams, piano; piano from the Frederick Collection. Admission, $10.
4 THURSDAY, 5 PM. First Thursday Celebration in downtown Fitchburg. Enjoy an outdoor exploration of Main Street with music, literature, theatrical performances and more. Visit intownfitchburg.com.
4 THURSDAY, 7 PM. Living with Nature at the Gardner Museum, 26 Pearl Sr., Gardner. See how Athol Bird & Nature Club president Dave Small transformed his yard from a boring suburban lot to a rich habitat for our native wildlife. Reservation required; visit gardnermuseuminc.com.
5 FRIDAY, 6-9 PM. Open Games Night at Petersham Congregational Church, 21 N. Main St., Petersham. All ages and games welcome! BYO Game, or try one from the church’s stash Plenty of space available in Andrew Hall, Tate Parlor, a front yard, and a back parking lot. Light refreshments usually provided, but feel free to bring a snack to share!
5 FRIDAY, SUNDOWN. Movies in the Park at Pirone Park on Bligh Street in Ayer. Bring the family to enjoy Disney’s Encanto.
5 FRIDAY, 7:30-10:30 PM. Full Moon Canoeing Tour in Groton. Set out by canoe at dusk and as darkness approaches, watch the moon rise, being on the lookout for owls, beaver, bats, and other night creatures. After some delicious refreshments, we’ll return following the moon’s ribbon of light. Take an easy, flat-water, 5 miles roundtrip with the experts at Nashoba Paddler, 398 W. Main St., Groton, enjoying refreshments along the way. Refreshments included. Registration required at NashobaPaddler. com.
6 SATURDAY, 9 AM. Seventh Annual Safety Day at the Central Fire Station, Elm Street, Fitchburg. Smoke house demonstrations to teach fire safety, face-painting, clowns, fire trucks for kids to explore, and more.
6 SATURDAY, 8 PM. Alasdair Fraser & Natalie Haas at the Groton Hill Music Center, 122 Old Ayer Rd., Groton. Enjoy an exceptional evening of cutting-edge fiddle and cello explorations of Scottish traditional and global music. Visit grotonhill.org for tickets.
6-7 SATURDAY & SUNDAY, 10 AM-5 PM. Seven States Daffodil Society Show at New England Botanic Garden at Tower Hill, 11 French Dr., Boylston. The annual Seven States Daffodil Society Show features hundreds of cut daffodil flowers in vibrant colors ranging from cream, lemon, and orange, to pink, red, and green. View an incredible display of blooms and learn about the classes
and culture of different daffodil varieties. Judges will select the best specimens for awards. Visit towerhillbg.org.
7 SUNDAY, 3 PM. Historical Piano Concert at the Ashburnham Community Church, 84 Main St. (Rte. 12), at corner of Chapel St., Ashburnham. An allChopin concert by pianist Chaojun Yang; piano from the Frederick Collection. Admission, $10.
7 SUNDAY, 3 PM. The Greater Gardner Community Choir (GGCC) at Bethany Baptist Church, 72 Ryan St., Gardner. The choir will present “Songs of Life: Rhythm and Rhyme,” celebrated poetry set to beautiful choral music that will delight and inspire the mind and spirit. Featured work will be Frostiana: Seven Country Songs by Robert Frost composed by Randall Thompson. GGCC is directed by Diane Cushing. Tickets are available at the door. Visit GGCC Facebook page or www.ggcchoir.com.
10 WEDNESDAY, 6:30 PM. Sheryl Faye presents Sally Ride (one-woman historical performance) at the First Church in Sterling, 6 Meetinghouse Hill Road, Sterling. Sponsored by the Sterling Cultural Council.
12-14 FRIDAY & SATURDAY, 7:30 PM; SUNDAY, 3 PM. Godspell at The Theater at St. Bernard’s High School, 45 Harvard St., Fitchburg, presented by StageWorks. Based on the Gospel according to Matthew, Godspell features a lively group of eccentric players who team up with Jesus to teach his lessons in a new age through parables, games, and tomfoolery. For tickets, visit stageworksarts.org.
13 SATURDAY, 9 AM-1 PM. Plant Swap & Sale at the Westminster Historical Society, 110 Main St., Westminster.
13 SATURDAY, 9 AM-3 PM. Spring Fair and Fairy House Stroll at he Unitarian Universalist Society of Gardner, 66 Elm St., Gardner. Stroll the grounds to discover fairy houses throughout the garden plots and paths. Kids (of all ages) play “Bingo Scavenger Hunt” — with a prize for everyone who participates!
13 SATURDAY, 10 AM. 9th Annual May It Forward at the Polish American Citizens Club, 171 Kendall Pone Rd West, Gardner. This event for Bronco owners and lovers benefits the Travis Mills Foundation (travismills.org. Last year, more than 100 Broncos, representing 13 states attended. Come out and help make a difference in some re-calibrated heroes lives!
13 SATURDAY, 7:30 PM. Night at the Opera at Leominster City Hall, 25 West Street, Leominster, presented by the North Worcester County Symphony Orchestra. The concert featuring over 40 musicians and vocal soloists and conducted by Jared Bloch will feature music from The Barber of Seville, Candide, The Damnation of Faust, Lohengrin, The Phantom of the Opera, and more. Tickets at nwcsorchestra.org.
14 SUNDAY, 3 PM. Historical Piano Concert at the Ashburnham Community Church, 84 Main St. (Rte. 12), at corner of Chapel St., Ashburnham. Concert features Thomas Meglioranza, baritone, Reiko Uchida, piano. Schubert: Lieder, set to poems by Goethe. Piano from the Frederick Collection. Admission, $10.
18 THURSDAY, 3-5 PM. Indoor Farmers’ Market at Tata Auditorium at Leominster City Hall, 25 West St., Leominster. This market will feature locally grown produce, farm fresh eggs, pork and chicken, grassfed beef, local honey, cupcakes and breads, freshly baked cookies and pies, soaps, blown-glass, knit and crochet, jewelry, paintings, pottery, handmade crafts, and more. Free admission and parking.
18 THURSDAY, 6:30 PM. The Language of Icons: Art as Revelation at the Gardner Museum, 26 Pearl St., Gardner. Dennis Sardella, docent at the Museum of Russian Icons in Clinton, will give an illustrated lecture about Byzantine and Russian icons, their history, symbolic language, and role in the liturgical
and spiritual life of the Eastern Church. Signed copies of his book Visible Image of the Invisible God. An introduction to Russian and Byzantine Icons will be available for purchase. Reservation required; visit gardnermuseuminc.com.
18 THURSDAY, 7-8:30 PM. Play Reading Group at the Leominster Public Library, West St., Leominster. The Stratton Players invite anyone who enjoys reading and theater to portray a character, or just sit and listen! Plays range from Shakespeare to contemporary works.
19 FRIDAY, 8 PM. Bruce Molsky & Tony Trischka at the Groton Hill Music Center, 122 Old Ayer Rd., Groton. Two legends of the folk/roots world—Grammynominated fiddler extraordinaire Bruce Molsky and banjo master Tony Trischka— join forces for an evening of old time string band wizardry. Visit grotonhill.org for tickets.
19-21 FRIDAY, 6-9 PM; SATURDAY, 11 AM-6 PM; SUNDAY, 12-4 PM. GALA Annual Spring Art & Music Festival at the Red Apple Farm, 455 Highland Ave., Phillipston. Many artists on site will be sharing and selling their artwork along with talented local musicians rocking the apple farm with both original and cover music.
20 SATURDAY, 8 AM-3 PM. Citywide Yard Sale throughout Leominster. Stop by City Hall at 25 West St., Leominster to grab a map, and follow the trail as you hunt for treasures!
20 SATURDAY, 10 AM-4 PM. Apple Blossom Festival at Sholan Farms, 1125 Pleasant St., Leominster. Enjoy a craft fair, music, live entertainment, food trucks, a butterfly release parade (2:30 pm), kids’ activities, free wagon rides, and much more. Visit sholanfarms.com
20 SATURDAY, 1 PM. Sketchbook Nature Walk at New England Botanic Garden at Tower Hill, 11 French Dr., Boylston. Take a leisurely hike around the grounds as a group and stop to sketch what you see. Visit towerhillbg.org.
20 SATURDAY, 1-5 PM. Intown Food Truck Festival, 166 Boulder Drive, Fitchburg. Enjoy munching on a wide variety of tasty treats!
20 SATURDAY, 7:30 PM. Vista Philharmonic Orchestra: Voices Rising at the Groton Hill Music Center, 122 Old Ayer Rd., Groton, featuring Liz Baldwin and Philip Lima, soloists, along with local choruses. Visit grotonhill.org for tickets.
20-21 SATURDAY & SUNDAY, 10 AM-5 PM. Massachusetts Chapter of the American Rhododendron Society Show & Sale at New England Botanic Garden at Tower Hill, 11 French Dr., Boylston. The Massachusetts chapter of the American Rhododendron Society invites you to visit Tower Hill during Memorial Day weekend to see fabulous rhododendron flower displays, learn more about these plants by attending
Spring | Summer 2023 27
The GALA Spring Show spotlights works by local artists.
one or more educational lectures/workshops, and to purchase unusual rhododendrons, azaleas, and other compatible plants.
21 SUNDAY, 3 PM. Historical Piano Concert at the Ashburnham Community Church, 84 Main St. (Rte. 12), at corner of Chapel St., Ashburnham. Concert features Nadya Meykson, violin, with Hwaen Ch’uqi, piano. Piano from the Frederick Collection. Admission, $10.
21 SUNDAY, 6-9 PM. Paddling with Beavers in Groton. Evening is the best time to spot beavers! Join the experts at Nashoba Paddler on an easy, flatwater four mile paddle through their natural habitat, getting an up-close look at a beaver lodge and perhaps even be surprised by the loud noise of a beaver slapping its tail on the water to scare us away. Registration required at nashobapaddler.com.
25 THURSDAY, 6:30 PM. Rabbit Run Railroad at the Gardner Museum, 26 Pearl St., Gardner. Artist, co-owner of Frames/Ink in Petersham, and railroad buff Ken Levine will talk about the Swift River Valley, the four towns lost during the creation of the Quabbin Reservoir (North Dana, Enfield, Greenwich and Prescott), and the Rabbit Run Railroad, which was the lifeblood of the Swift River Valley. Reservation required; visit gardnermuseuminc.com.
26, FRIDAY, 4-7 PM. Fourth Friday Festival in downtown Athol. Vendors, entertainment and more. Visit atholfirstfridayfestivals on facebook for details.
26 FRIDAY 6-8 PM. The Caliope Brothers perform in the Brew Barn at Red Apple Farm, 455 Highland Ave., Phillipston. Visit redapplefarm.com for details.
27 SATURDAY, 8-10 AM. Pannukakku Breakfast at the Finnish Center at Saima Park, 67 Scott Rd., Fitchburg. Finnish oven pancake, bacon, sausage, and more. Loaves of coffee bread for sale. Vendors of arts, crafts, and honeybee products. Visit www. saima-park.org.
27-28 SATURDAY, NOON- 7 PM; SUNDAY 3:30 PM. A Weekend of Music in the Brew Barn at Red Apple Farm, 455 Highland Ave., Phillipston. On Saturday, Moon Hollow performs from noon to 3 pm, followed by Cropdusters from 4-7 pm; Sunday, Arnold’s Carnival from 3:30 – 6:30 pm. Visit redapplefarm.com for details.
28 SUNDAY, 8-9:30 AM. Sunday Morning Bird Walk at Mass Audubon Wachusett Meadow, Princeton. These walks focus on Wachusett Meadow’s diverse birdlife, looking for newly arrived spring migrants, birds just passing through, and birds that are local breeders. Our relaxed pace will give you an opportunity to practice identifications based on sight and sound. All levels of birding experience are welcome. Repeats each Sunday morning. Visit massaudubon.org.
28 SUNDAY, 3 PM. Historical Piano Concert at the Ashburnham Community Church, 84 Main St. (Rte. 12), at corner of Chapel St., Ashburnham. Concert features Jessica Gould, soprano, Gail Olszewski, piano, Kostja Kostik, clarinet. Works by Wagner, Mozart, Louis Spohr, Niels Gade and Clara Schumann. Piano from the Frederick Collection. Admission, $10.
28 SUNDAY, 6 PM. White Cross Ceremony at Monument Park, Main Street, Fitchburg.
at the Gardner Museum, 26 Pearl St., Gardner. Westminster nature-lover Matt Landry will present 10 life changing lessons from hiking the 48 4,000-foot mountains of New Hampshire. He will share his surprising discoveries and the stepping stones to reevaluate and assess his life – the gained self-respect, confidence, discipline, and healthy habits that will remain for a lifetime. Reservation required; visit gardnermuseuminc.com.
1-4 THURSDAY-SUNDAY. Ready, Set Crop’s Summer Lovin’ Weekend at Great Wolf Lodge, Fitchburg. Four fabulous days of crafting at the Great Wolf Lodge in Fitchburg MA. Treat yourself to an entire weekend of scrapbooking and enjoy 5 delicious meals, beautiful accommodations, 72 hours of crafting time, plenty of personal scrapping space at your own 6’ table, workshops, on-site shopping and loads of fantastic goodies and prizes!! Contact Great Wolf Lodge at 1-866-980-9653.
2 FRIDAY, 7:30-10:30 PM. Full Moon Canoeing Tour in Groton. Set out by canoe at dusk and as darkness approaches, watch the moon rise, being on the lookout for owls, beaver, bats, and other night creatures. After some delicious refreshments, we’ll return following the moon’s ribbon of light. Take an easy, flat-water, 5 miles roundtrip with the experts at Nashoba Paddler, 398 W. Main St., Groton, enjoying refreshments along the way. Refreshments included. Registration required at NashobaPaddler.com.
2-4. FRIDAY, 6 PM; SATURDAY & SUNDAY, 12-3 PM. A Weekend of Music in the Brew Barn at Red Apple Farm, 455 Highland Ave., Phillipston. Friday evening, Dave Harrington; Saturday, Melissa Gates; Sunday, Briezyjane & the Hurricanes. Visit redapplefarm.com for details.
2-4 FRIDAY & SATURDAY, 7:30 PM; SUNDAY, 2 PM. Neil Simon’s Chapter Two at the New Players Theatre Guild Performing Arts Center, 15 Rollstone St., Fitchburg. Neil Simon’s semi-autobiographical Chapter Two examines what it means to truly love someone else, and asks whether it’s possible to find a soulmate more than once in a lifetime. Repeats June 9-11. Visit nptg.org for tickets.
4 SUNDAY, 12- 3 PM. Briezyjane & the Hurricane! at Red Apple Farm Brew Barn, 145 Highland Ave., Phillipston. Listen to this ever-changing and unpredictable group of musician friends who play lots of originals and some covers: folk, blues, traditional, fiddle tunes, and whatever else that could blow in.
4 SUNDAY, 2 PM. Winchendon Winds Concert at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Winchendon, 126 Central Street, Winchendon. “Win Winds,” comprised of some of the best wind and brass players in the region, will play a variety of traditional concert selections, suitable for all ages in this free concert. Refreshments will be sold on the front lawn. Visit winchendonwinds.org/ or facebook.com/ WinchendonWinds.
9-10 FRIDAY, 3:30 PM – SATURDAY, 3 PM. Greater Gardner Relay for Life at Mt. Wachusett Community College, 444 Green St., Gardner. Local community raises funds for the American Cancer Society, with walker pledges, raffles and more. Visit relayforlife.org/gtrgardnerma.
Theatre Guild Performing Arts Center, 15 Rollstone St., Fitchburg. Neil Simon’s semi-autobiographical Chapter Two examines what it means to truly love someone else, and asks whether it’s possible to find a soulmate more than once in a lifetime. Visit nptg. org for tickets.
10 SATURDAY, 8 AM-3 PM. Town Wide Yard Sale in Westminster. Pick up a map at the Historical Society building, 110 Main St. to start your treasure hunt!
10 SATURDAY, 9 AM-2 PM. Hubbardston Fair at Rec Field, Route 68. Lots of things to do for all ages, food truck, local artists & crafters, activities, a band playing in the Bandstand.
10 SATURDAY, 2-5 PM. Ashley Hensel performs at Wachusett Brewing Company, 175 State Road East, Westminster.
10 SATURDAY, 3 PM. Grand Opening of the Robinson-Broadhurst Performing Arts Amphitheater at the Winchendon Community Park, 86 Ingleside Rd., Winchendon. Enjoy music, magic, dance, food, and more, ending in a fireworks display as the town celebrates its new outdoor entertainment venue. Visit the facebook page for details.
10 SATURDAY, 3-7 PM. Summer Stroll in downtown Leominster. This annual event is a celebration of Leominster throughout the years with a focus on the ‘50s and ‘60s. Parade, music, dancing in the streets, classic car show, face painting, pony rides, sand sculptures, a misting tent, classic cars and vendors. For details, see Leominster-ma.gov.
10-11 SATURDAY & SUNDAY, 8:30 AM. Spring pro. found Market 2023 at the Lancaster Fairgrounds, 318 Seven Bridge Road Lancaster. Vintage, vintage inspired, handmade, artisan, and creative vendors will showcase their products in individual tents for a unique collaborative shopping experience. Also enjoy local food trucks and live music for a festive weekend for the whole family. Rain or shine. Kids under 12 are free. Parking is Free.
1 THURSDAY, 5 PM. First Thursday Celebration in downtown Fitchburg. Enjoy an outdoor exploration of Main Street with music, literature, theatrical performances and more. Visit intownfitchburg.com.
1 THURSDAY, 6:30 PM. Forward, Upward, Onward
9-10 FRIDAY & SATURDAY, 7:30 PM. Ruthless at Theatre at the Mount, 444 Green St., Gardner. Eightyear-old Tina Denmark knows she was born to play Pippi Longstocking, and she will do anything to win the part in her school musical, including murdering the leading lady! A hilarious romp through the world of Broadway, child acting, parenthood and unbridled ambition, this campy cult favorite may just be “the stage mother of all musicals!” Repeats June 15-18. Visit mwcc.edu/tam for tickets.
9-11 FRIDAY & SATURDAY, 7:30 PM; SUNDAY, 2 PM. Neil Simon’s Chapter Two at the New Players
11 SUNDAY, 2 PM. Winchendon Winds Concert at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Winchendon, 126 Central Street, Winchendon. “Win Winds,” comprised of some of the best wind and brass players in the region, will play a variety of traditional concert selections, suitable for all ages, in this free concert. Refreshments will be sold on the front lawn. Visit winchendonwinds.org or facebook.com/ WinchendonWinds.
15-18 THURSDAY, FRIDAY & SATURDAY, 7:30 PM, SUNDAY AT 2 PM. Ruthless at Theatre at the Mount, 444 Green St., Gardner. See June 9-10 listing for details. Visit mwcc.edu/tam for tickets.
16 FRIDAY, 8 PM. Jethro Tull’s Martin Barre: “A Brief History of Tull Tour” at the Bull Run Restaurant, 215 Great Rd., Shirley. Martin Barre celebrates the musical journey of Jethro Tull throughout the decades. Tickets at bullrunrestaurant.com.
Martin Barre performs at the Bull Run Restaurant on June 16.
17 SATURDAY. NEECA and Athol YMCA Triathlon at the New England Equestrian Center of Athol, 802 New Sherborn Rd., Athol. This unique triathlon consists of three legs: bicyclist, walker/runner and horseback rider. See details on the NEECA facebook page.
17 SATURDAY, 10 AM – 5 PM. New England Rose Society Show & Sale at New England Botanic Garden at Tower Hill, 11 French Dr., Boylston. Come see a large, colorful array of cut roses displayed at the annual New England Rose Society Show. Visit towerhillbg.org.
17 SATURDAY, 9 AM -2 PM. Summer Lawn Fair at Unitarian Universalist Church of Winchendon, 126 Central St., Winchendon. Lawn Fairs have been running at UUCW since the 1860’s, when the first summer flea market was held to help finance the construction of the building. Peruse a selection of crafts, artwork, yard sale and freecycle items, food and more! Visit uucw.ncmuuc.org/summer-fair.
17 SATURDAY, 2-4 PM. Garden Tea Party at the Narragansett Historical Society Museum garden, 1 Boynton Rd Templeton. Relax with tea, treats, cookies, and entertainment by the Take Jazz duo. Enjoy an afternoon in the garden, take a free tour of the Museum, and bring a friend. $10 donation requested.
17 SATURDAY, 7:30 PM. Vista Philharmonic Orchestra: Heart and Solstice at the Groton Hill Music Center, 122 Old Ayer Rd., Groton. Kaoru Watanabe, flutes and taiko, is featured in this season’s finale at Groton Hill. Visit grotonhill.org for tickets.
17-18 SATURDAY & SUNDAY, 11 AM-4 PM. Strawberry Festival at Hollis Hills Farm, 340 Marshall Rd., Fitchburg. tie-dye, face painting, vendor shopping, strawberry picking, ice cream, live music, food and more! See details on facebook.
18 SUNDAY. Rock & Laurel 5k Trail Race at Applewild School and Crocker Conservation Area, Fitchburg. Start at the Applewild School campus and wind your way through scenic trails lined with mountain laurel. Proceeds support North County Land Trust. Register at northcountylandtrust.org.
18 SUNDAY, 10AM-3PM. Kesajuhla/Summer Festival at the Finnish Center at Saima Park, 67 Scott Rd., Fitchburg, featuring a concert by award-winning singer-pianist Eeppi Ursin! Fun and food for all: chess tournament, outdoor games, chicken barbecue, hot dogs, festival artist, and more! Visit saima-park. org for a schedule of events. To reserve chicken barbecue dinners, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
18 SUNDAY, 2 PM. Winchendon Winds Concert at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Winchendon, 126 Central Street, Winchendon. This wind and brass orchestra will play a variety of traditional concert selections, suitable for all ages in a free concert. Refreshments will be sold on the front lawn. Visit winchendonwinds.org/ or facebook.com/ WinchendonWinds.
21-25 WEDNESDAY-SUNDAY, 6 PM. 2023 Raider Cup Annual Youth Hockey Tournament at Coolidge Park, John Fitch Highway, Fitchburg. Chipmunk, Penguin, Beaver, and Cadet Divisions. Three full size rinks all with Mateflex modular playing surface (aka Dek) installed August 2016. Visit fitchburgstreethockey.com.
22 THURSDAY, 6 PM. Botanical Mixology at New England Botanical Garden at Tower Hill, 11 French Dr., Boylston. Step into the fun of summer evenings at Tower Hill with a hands-on cocktail making workshop with a botanical twist. Join Mixologist Meredith Powell to explore how plants and spirits are and can be connected. Repeats on Thursday evenings through the summer; visit towerhillbg.for details.
23 FRIDAY, 5-7 PM. Pink Flamingo Day at Monument Square, Main Street, Leominster. The Plastics City celebrates its hometown kitschy lawn decoration, the famous pink flamingo! Created in 1957 at Union Products, this bright bird has been reproduced more than 20 million times and has become an international pop culture item.
23 FRIDAY, SUNDOWN. Movies in the Park at Pirone Park on Bligh Street in Ayer. Bring the family to enjoy The Sandlot.
1 SATURDAY, NOON. All American BBQ Community Day at the Winchendon Community Park, 86 Ingleside Rd., Winchendon. Winchendon Winds will be on stage. Bring a blanket or chairs and enjoy what the day has to offer. There will be lawn games of Bocce, Badminton and Croquet.
1 SATURDAY, NOON. Winchendon Winds Concert at Winchendon Community Park, 86 Ingleside Road, Winchendon. This is the last in the Winchendon Winds’ four-concert 2023 series. Hear a variety of traditional concert selections, suitable for all ages in the brand-new outdoor amphitheater with grassy, terraced seating and views of Whitney Pond. Visit winchendonwinds.org/ or facebook.com/ WinchendonWinds.
24 SATURDAY. Art Show and Fireworks at the Kendall Pond Betterment Association’s celebration. Works created by members of the Gardner Area League of Artists over the past year will be on display and for sale. Works will be judged and prizes awarded; the 1st Place art piece will be donated & raffled off to the public with the proceeds of the raffle split between the Artist and KPBA. Fireworks at dusk. Visit galagardner.org for details.
24 SATURDAY, 1-6 PM. Nashua River Brewers Festival at Riverfront Park, Boulder Drive, Fitchburg. Live music, beer tasting and food trucks! A 21+ event, rain or shine. Visit beersforgood.com for details.
24 SATURDAY, 2-7:30 PM. Annual Brewfest at the Snowbound Club, 130 Baldwinville Rd., Winchendon. Sample some brews and wines from local breweries and vineyards. Food by Sweet & Savory and Thee Taco Dude! Music by Sarah French & The Traveling Jones Band. Local artisans and raffles. $20 for brew tasting, $5 for general entry without sampling the brews.
24 SATURDAY, 4-7 PM. Moon Hollow at The Brew Barn, Red Apple Farm, 455 Highland Ave., Phillipston. Hailing from the hills of southern Vermont, Moon Hollow is a hard-working, high energy quartet that features the songwriting of Tim Cardiello & Charlie Peckar. They perform original music and a mix of bluegrass, Americana, alt-country, folk and early jazz
24 SATURDAY, 5-11 PM. Annual Orange Solstice Riverfest at Riverfront Park, downtown Orange. Welcome summer in The Friendly Town! Illuminated parade of boats, floating firepits on the river, great local food and music, vendors, children’s activities, fire spinners, and more! Visit billygoatboats.com.
25 SUNDAY, 10 AM-1 PM. Family Paddling with Turtles with Nashoba Paddler in Groton. Enjoy a special guided trip up the river and into a pond area filled with painted turtles and a couple of elusive snappers. Spend some time exploring and learning about these creatures and then stop for lunch (bring a picnic with you) before heading back. This is an easy, flat water three-mile roundtrip. Registration required at nashobapaddler.com.
25 SUNDAY, 2 PM. Concert on Templeton Common, Routes 2A and 101, Templeton. Gather the family, pack a lunch, bring a blanket or lawn chair, and listen to Crossroads perform on the beautiful town common at this free concert sponsored by the Templeton Cultural Council.
1 SATURDAY, 7:30-10:30 PM. Full Moon Canoeing Tour in Groton. Set out by canoe at dusk and as darkness approaches, watch the moon rise, being on the lookout for owls, beaver, bats, and other night creatures. After some delicious refreshments, we’ll return following the moon’s ribbon of light. Take an easy, flat-water, 5 miles roundtrip with the experts at Nashoba Paddler, 398 W. Main St., Groton, enjoying refreshments along the way. Refreshments included. Registration required at NashobaPaddler.com.
3 MONDAY, 4-10 PM. Civic Days Block Party on Main Street, Fitchburg. Enjoy music and family activities at the Upper Common, as the city launches its Fourth of July celebration.
3 MONDAY, 10 PM. Fireworks! from the top of Rollstone Hill, Fitchburg. Celebrate the Fourth with a fireworks display that can be seen from almost anywhere in the city, as part of Fitchburg’s Civic Days party.
4 TUESDAY, 10 AM. Civic Days Parade on Main Street, Fitchburg. The celebration begins on Summer Street and proceeds to the city’s Upper Common, with fire trucks, bands, clowns and much more!
6 THURSDAY, 5 PM. First Thursday Celebration in downtown Fitchburg. Enjoy an outdoor exploration of Main Street with music, literature, theatrical performances and more. Visit intownfitchburg.com.
7 FRIDAY, 7 PM. Rocking the PACC with Plead the 5th at the Polish American Citizens Club, 171 Kendall Pond West, Gardner. Come out for a wild summer night at the PACC.
8 SATURDAY, 7 PM. Whitney Doucett & The Moonshine Band performs at the Amphitheater at Winchendon Community Par, 86 Ingleside Rd., Winchendon.
9 SUNDAY, 3-6 PM. Amazing Duck Race at Riverfront Park, Boulder Drive, Fitchburg. Watch hordes of yellow rubber duckies float their way down the Nashua River — and cheer on your own ducky in hopes of winning great prizes! Keep up with Fitchburg Civic Days via facebook for details.
10-15. MONDAY-SATURDAY, 9 AM. Byzantine Icon Painting Workshop at the Museum of Russian Icons, 203 Union St., Clinton. This six-day workshop will be led by Master Iconographer Theodoros Papadopoulos. Visit museumofrussianicons.org to register.
13 THURSDAY, 12:30 – 2:30 PM. Amazing Amphibians with Hands on Nature at the Fitchburg Public Library, 610 Main St., Fitchburg. Join us as we learn more about our local frog, toad and salamander species. We will learn about the amphibians that live around us in Massachusetts, some of their characteristics and habits, and where they can be found. Come see some of our local species, as well as have fun doing an amphibian activity afterwards! Register at fitchburgpubliclibrary.org.
Spring | Summer 2023 29
Bring a blanket or lawn chair for the concert on Templeton Common on June 25.
15 SATURDAY, 10 AM- 2 PM. Summer Festival & Chicken BBQ at the Otter River Sportsman’s Club. Lord Road, Templeton. St. Martin’s Church presents its annual event, with raffles, handcrafts, theme baskets, free activities for kids, and a great chicken dinner. Visit St. Martin’s facebook page for details. Reservations for the dinner are strongly suggested.
15-16 SATURDAY & SUNDAY. New England Lily Society Show at New England Botanic Garden at Tower Hill, 11 French Dr., Boylston. Enjoy the profuse variety of lilies grown in New England and beautiful flower arrangements featuring lilies. Visit towerhillbg.org.
20 THURSDAY, 5-8 PM. Third Thursday Orange Fair at Butterfield Park, Orange. Music, vendors and more.
20 THURSDAY, 6:30 PM. The Crash of Delta Flight 723 at the Gardner Museum, 26 Pearl St., Gardner. Winchendon-born US Army Veteran and author Paul D. Houle has spent over 25 years in the transportation industry. Tonight’s program is about the worst plane crash in New England history (at Boston’s Logan International Airport, in 1973): the origins of the flight, the events leading up to the crash, the subsequent investigations, and the story of the sole survivor (for 134 days). Reservation required; visit gardnermuseuminc.com.
21-22 FRIDAY & SATURDAY, 9 PM. Petty Larceny Hits Chopsticks at Chopsticks Restaurant, 21 Commercial Rd, Leominster. Petty Larceny debuts at Chopsticks in Leominster for a “mini-residency” — two nights in a row!
22 SATURDAY, 8-10AM. Pannukakku Breakfast at the Finnish Center at Saima Park, 67 Scott Rd., Fitchburg. Finnish oven pancake, bacon, sausage, and more. Loaves of coffee bread for sale. Vendors of arts, crafts, and honeybee products. Visit saima-park.org.
22 SATURDAY, 10 AM-1 PM. Family Paddling with Turtles with Nashoba Paddler in Groton. See June 25 listing for details on this easy, flat water three-mile roundtrip. Registration required at nashobapaddler.com.
22 SATURDAY, 11 AM. NoWoCo Pride Fest at Riverfront Park, Boulder Drive, Fitchburg. Parade, music, dance, food, drag performers and more at this fifth annual Pride celebration. Visit nowocopride.org for details.
29 SATURDAY, 9 AM-3 PM. Christmas in July vendor and food truck fair at Orange Municipal Airport, 80 Airport Rd., Orange. Entertainment, raffles, and a wrap-up to the week-long “return to Hogwarts” event encompassing local businesses.
29 SATURDAY, 7 PM. Prefab4, a Beatles tribute band, performs at the Amphitheater at Winchendon Community Par, 86 Ingleside Rd., Winchendon.
30 SUNDAY, 7:30-10:30 PM. Full Moon Canoeing Tour in Groton. Set out by canoe at dusk and as darkness approaches, watch the moon rise, being on the lookout for owls, beaver, bats, and other night creatures. After some delicious refreshments, we’ll return following the moon’s ribbon of light. Take an easy, flat-water, 5 miles roundtrip with the experts at Nashoba Paddler, 398 W. Main St., Groton, enjoying refreshments along the way. Registration required at NashobaPaddler.com.
3 THURSDAY, 5 PM. First Thursday Celebration in downtown Fitchburg. Enjoy an outdoor exploration of Main Street with music, literature, theatrical performances and more. Visit intownfitchburg.com.
5 SATURDAY, 12 PM. Lazy Hazy Dayz Community Day at Winchendon Community Park, 86 Ingleside Rd., Winchendon. Join us for the Lazy Hazy Dayz of summer. Lounge around, do a craft, enjoy some lunch and enjoy some water activities.
5-6 SATURDAY & SUNDAY, 11 AM-4 PM. Sunflower Festival at Hollis Hills Farm, 340 Marshall Rd., Fitchburg. Vendors, music, food and drinks, crafts, and loads of beautiful sunflowers! Visit Hollis Hills on facebook for details.
6 SUNDAY, 11 AM-4 PM. Go Fly a Kite with the Narragansett Historical Society at Brooks Field, 325 Baldwinville Rd., Templeton. Come fly a kite or watch the master fly his giant kites. There will be face painting, hay rides, giant bubbles to play with, fudge, popcorn, ice cream, burgers and dogs, and music by the Williams Brothers.
9 WEDNESDAY, 6 – 8 PM. Sterling Summer Concert at Sterling Town Memorial Park. The Band From U.N.C.L.E. The concert is free and familyfriendly. Bring your picnics, your lawn chairs, blankets, and get ready for some great music
10 THURSDAY, 5:30-7:30 PM. Annual Classic Car Show at 36 Muddy Pond Road. Sponsored by the Sterling Senior Center. Rain date: August 17.
11-12 AT 7:30 PM. Hello Dolly! at Theatre at the Mount, 444 Green St., Gardner. Dolly Levi is a widow, matchmaker, and a professional meddler who ‘arranges things.’ Everything changes when she decides that the next match, she needs to make is to find someone for herself! Set in New York City at the turn of the century, Hello Dolly! is boisterous and charming from start to finish, featuring such memorable songs as “Before the Parade Passes By,” “It Only Takes a Moment,” “It Takes a Woman,” and—of course—the title number. “It’s nice to have you back where you belong!”
Visit mwcc.edu/tam for tickets. Repeats Aug. 18-20.
11-13 FRIDAY–SUNDAY, NOON- 5 PM. Huntstock 2023 at Wildwood Farm, 50 Woods Rd, Westminster, A unique experience 3-day hunting festival featuring Live Podcasts, Seminars, Meet & Greets with your favorite content creators, Hunting Gear & Prize Giveaways, Sponsor Expo, 3D Archery, After Parties, and plenty of good times & camaraderie. Visit huntstock.ticketleap.com/huntstock/details.
11-13 FRIDAY-SUNDAY. The 140th Bolton Fair at The Fairgrounds at Lancaster, Rt. 117. Visit an oldfashioned agricultural fair featuring animal shows and contests, a demo derby, Clydesdale horses, working craftsmen and a thrill-filled midway. Visit boltonfair. org for a complete schedule of events.
12 SATURDAY, 12:30-9 PM. Winchenstock at the Winchendon Community Park Performing Arts Center, 88 Ingleside Rd., Winchendon. Enjoy a full day’s lineup of music by local bands, to benefit the Winchendon Community Action Committee.
12 SATURDAY, 3-7 PM. Johnny Appleseed Craft Beer Festival in Monument Square, Main Street, Leominster. Sample beer, hard cider and hard seltzer from dozens of brewers. For tickets, see johnnyappleseedbeerfest.com or the festival’s facebook page.
12 SATURDAY, 4–7 PM. Moon Hollow at the Brew Barn at Red Apple Farm, 455 Highland Ave., Phillipston. Join us for an early evening of live music with Moon Hollow, a hard working, high energy quartet that features the songwriting of Tim Cardiello & Charlie Peckar. They perform original music and a mix of bluegrass, Americana, altcountry, folk and early jazz.
12-13 SATURDAY-SUNDAY. New England Super 10K & Sprint 5K at the Carter and Stevens Farm, Barre. This lush, robust farm offers a lot of mud, woods, and rolling hills. After the race, visit the Farm Store or stop by the Stone Cow Brewery to reward yourself with an ice cold beer to end the day.
13 SATURDAY, 9 AM-12 PM. Oxbow National Wildlife Refuge Paddling Tour in Harvard. This national wildlife refuge was set aside to conserve and protect native wildlife habitats and species. Nashoba Paddler leads this tour, beginning at the visitor center where you’ll learn about the refuge and the creatures that inhabit this protected place. Then explore the river and see what you can discover by boat. Make a full day of it and bring a picnic and take a hike around the refuge. This is an easy, flat-water, four-mile roundtrip. Registration required at nashobapaddler.com.
13 SATURDAY, 11AM. Town Benefit on Academy Hill, Westminster. Music, food trucks, raffles, carnival games, 5k race, vendors and more … raising funds for Neighbors Helping Neighbors.
18-20 FRIDAY & SATURDAY, 7:30 PM; SUNDAY, 2 PM. Hello Dolly! At Theatre at the Mount, 444 Green St., Gardner. See Aug. 11-12 listing for details. Visit mwcc.edu/tam for tickets.
19 SATURDAY, 10 AM-5 PM. Plastic City Comic Con at Game On Fitchburg Sports and Performance Center, 100 Game On Way, Fitchburg. $10 admission; kids 12 and under, free! Bring the family
down and share your love of comic books with celebrity creators, local talent and vendors!
19 SATURDAY, 7 PM. Johnny Pizzi Comedy Show at the Amphitheater at Winchendon Community Par, 86 Ingleside Rd., Winchendon.
20 SUNDAY, 2 PM. Concert on Templeton Common, Routes 2A and 101, Templeton. The 22-piece all-brass Bridgewater Antiphonal Brass Ensemble performs American and European marches, ragtime, Dixieland, 40s Big Band music and more — from Bach to the Beatles — at this free concert. Bring lawn chairs or a blanket, a lunch, the whole family!
20 SUNDAY, 2 PM. Concert in Coggshall Park, Electric Avenue, Fitchburg with Neurotic Gumbo performing in the bandstand. Bring a blanket or lawn chair and enjoy the music!
25 FRIDAY, 6-9 PM. Music at Wachusett Brew Yard, 175 State Road East, Westminster. Come join us for an evening of killer classics with one of the region’s premier bands.
Spring | Summer 2023 31
Will it stay afloat? Watch the Dinghy Dash on August 26!
Hear the sounds of music by the Bridgewater Antiphonal Brass Band on August 20.
26 SATURDAY, 8-10AM. Pannukakku Breakfast at the Finnish Center at Saima Park, 67 Scott Rd., Fitchburg. Finnish oven pancake, bacon, sausage, and more. Loaves of coffee bread for sale. Vendors of arts, crafts, and honeybee products. Visit www. saima-park.org.
26 SATURDAY, 10 AM. Dinghy Dash at Brigham Pond, Hubbardston. What could be more fun than a cardboard boat race? Build a boat out of cardboard and duct tape — the fastest one that paddles around all the buoys without sinking wins!
26 SATURDAY, 11 AM-3 PM. Dog Festival at the Dog Park at 198 Townsend St., Fitchburg. Coolidge Park hosts a fun day for pups and their families.
26 SATURDAY, 1-4 PM. Fox and The Dragon perform at Hardwick Winery, 3305 Greenwich Rd., Hardwick.
26 SATURDAY, 7 PM. Scott Brown and the Diplomats perform at the Amphitheater at Winchendon Community Par, 86 Ingleside Rd., Winchendon.
26-27 SATURDAY, 8 AM-4 PM; SUNDAY, 8 AM-3 PM. 21st Annual Bay State Chapter Antique Truck Show at the Bolton Fair Grounds, 318 Seven Bridge Rd, Lancaster. See over 350 antique trucks, along with vendors, food and more.
27 SATURDAY, 10 AM-1 PM. Car Show at Hollis Hills Farm, 340 Marshall Rd., Fitchburg. Great cars, music, food, and apple picking! Visit Hollis Hills on facebook for details.
31 SUNDAY, 7-10 PM. Full Moon Canoeing Tour in Groton. Set out by canoe at dusk and as darkness approaches, watch the moon rise, being on the lookout for owls, beaver, bats, and other night creatures. Take an easy, flat-water, 5 miles roundtrip with the experts at Nashoba Paddler, 398 W. Main St., Groton. Registration required at NashobaPaddler.com.
1 FRIDAY, SUNDOWN. Movies in the Park at Pirone Park on Bligh Street in Ayer. Bring the family to enjoy Back to the Future.
2-4 SATURDAY-MONDAY. Appleseed Country Fair at Red Apple Farm, 455 Highland Ave., Phillipston.
30 SATURDAY- 1 SUNDAY. Fithcburg open studios, downtown fitchburg. Visit fitchburgopenstudios. com
ASHBURNHAM Last Saturday morning of the month through October, Meeting House Hill
ATHOL Saturday mornings, Uptown Common
BARRE Saturday mornings, on the Common
FITCHBURG Thursday afternoons, Upper Common; Monday afternoons, Health Alliance
GARDNER Thursday mornings at Monument Park
GROTON Friday afternoons, Williams Barn, Chicopee Row
HARVARD Saturday mornings, Hildreth Elementary
LEOMINSTER Saturday mornings, Monument Park
LUNENBURG Sunday mornings, the Ritter Building
ORANGE Thursday afternoons, Butterfield Park
PEPPERELL Saturday mornings, Town Field
PETERSHAM Fridays, 3-6 pm starting May 27, Town Common
SHIRLEY Thursday afternoons, Historic Common
STERLING Fridays, 3-6 pm, Butterick Building
TEMPLETON Thursdays, 4-6 pm, Boynton Library
WINCHENDON Thursday & Saturday afternoons, 128 Central Street
WESTMINSTER Fridays, 3-6:30 pm. Academy Hill, rain or shine.
* Information provided by the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources, and subject to change. For up-to-date hours of operation, visit mass.gov/agr/ or check them on Facebook.
VisitNorthCentral.com 32 Calendar
TUESDAYS, 3-5 PM. Weekly Gaming Events at the Athol Public Library in Athol. Video games, fantasy card games, tabletop roleplaying games.
THURSDAYS, Trivia Night with Ryan Murphy at the Brew Barn at Red Apple Farm, 455 Highland Ave., Phillipston. Visit brewbarnma.com.
FRIDAYS, 6:15 TO 8 PM. Learn Finnish folk dancing with the Revontulet Folk Dancers at the Finnish Center at Saima Park, 67 Scott Rd, Fitchburg, on the second and fourth Fridays of each month. For info and schedule changes call 603-831-0836.
FRIDAYS, DUSK. JULY & AUGUST. Movies in the Park in Fitchburg. Visit fitchburgma.gov.
SATURDAYS, APRIL 15 – OCTOBER 28, 5-7 PM. Mill Street Music Series at 14 Mill St., Fitchburg. The Cellar sponsors this series featuring classic rock, alternative and country music from unique local bands.
SATURDAYS, JULY – SEPTEMBER, 7 PM. Concerts at the Amphitheater, Winchendon Community Park, 86 Ingleside Rd., Winchendon: (July 8 & 29, Aug 19 & 26, Sept. 9, 23, 30)
WEEKENDS MAY – AUGUST at Hollis Hills Farm, 340 Marshall Rd., Fitchburg. Friday 6-9 pm, Saturday 2-5 and 6-9 pm, Sunday 1-4pm.
Enjoy Entertainment at Holllis Hills Farm.
SUNDAYS, AUGUST 20. Concerts at Coggshall Park, Electric Avenue, Fitchburg.
SUNDAYS, JUNE 25, AUGUST 20, SEPTEMBER 25. Concerts on the Common, Templeton Center, Routes 101 and 2A.
MONDAYS AND WEDNESDAYS, JULY 10—AUGUST 17, 6 - 8 PM. Sterling Summer Concerts at Sterling Town Memorial Park. See SterlingRec.com.
TUESDAYS, JULY 11 — AUGUST 8, 7 PM. Leominster Colonial Band, at Bisceglia Bandstand in Leominster’s historic Carter Park, Route 12.
WEDNESDAYS, 6:30 – 8 PM, JULY 12 – AUGUST 16. Concerts on the Upper Common, Main Street, Fitchburg.
WEDNESDAYS, JULY & AUGUST, 7-9 PM. Westminster on Academy Hill.
FRIDAYS, 6 - 8 PM. JULY 7 – AUGUST 4 at GAR Park, Murdock Avenue, Winchendon. (Rain dates, Sundays, 2-4 pm)
SATURDAYS, 6 PM, JULY AND AUGUST, at Monument Park, Central Street, Gardner.
Spring | Summer 2023 33
Revontulet Finnish dancers.
Spring | Summer 2023 35
There’s no shortage of fun events in North Central Massachusetts — but we’ve highlighted a few of our faves to enjoy while you’re visiting the region. Get out your calendar, and pencil in these special celebrations.
The Sweetest Time
Cold nights, warm days — it’s a magical combination that gets the sap flowing in maple trees throughout the region.
March is maple season here, and a visit to a local sugar shack, where clear maple sap is boiled to create sweet, dark, delicious syrup, should definitely be on your agenda. It’san age-old process: Collect sap, boil it down, and enjoy! As your travel the region’s back roads, you’re likely to see buckets hanging on trees, or miles of plastic tubing snaking through the woods to bring the sap to the sugarhouse.
Hollis Hills Farm on Marshall Road in Fitchburg is the largest maple producer in eastern Massachusetts, producing around 80,000 gallons of syrup each spring! The sugarhouse is open on weekends; call ahead or check their facebook page for a schedule. On March weekends, Hollis Hills serves up a great pancake breakfast, and you can watch the syrup being made — and get a taste of the sticky sweetness, poured over snow!
Pow! Zap! Boom! The pages of your favorite comic books will come to life on August 19 when the Plastic City Comic Con arrives at the Game On Fitchburg Sports & Performance Center, located off Route 2A in West Fitchburg. Meet writers like Will Murray, Joe St. Pierre, and Rich Woodall. Chat with vendors. Have a photo taken with your heroes! Bring the family down and share your love of comic books with scores of these celebrity creators, local talent and vendors — at an affordable $10 admission fee (and kids 12 and under are admitted free)! Plastic City Comic Con is the premier event for comics, toys and pop culture, right here in North Central Massachusetts.
The arrival of summer is definitely appreciated here — and it’s given a warm welcome in Orange, when canoes, kayaks and boats take to the Millers River for an illuminated parade! Firepits set right on the river add an exciting glow to the waterway as visitors gather for the Orange Solstice Riverfest celebration.
Scheduled for June 24, this downtown event will include great local food and music, dancers, fire spinners, vendors, children’s activities, and more. The party begins at 5 pm, and runs right through till 11 pm, with plenty of lights, music and action!
Can’t picture fire-spinning? Check out the Riverfest’s facebook page to see a video of last year’s performance — then mark your calendar, because you won’t want to miss this fun family event!
On almost any day of the week, you can find a performance by a pop, country, or rock band. Restaurants, clubs, and bandstands on town commons feature a wide variety of tunes throughout the region.
But you can also go classic — and enjoy selections from across the ages — as you tour North Central Massachusetts this summer.
For a truly unique experience, check out the Historic Piano Concerts in Ashburnham. These Sunday afternoon concerts feature musicians from around the world and instruments from the Frederick Collection of Historical Pianos. The concerts at the Ashburnham Community Church on Route 12 will delight you with music by composers from Chopin to Schubert.
On May 13, the
North Worcester County Symphony Orchestra —
over 40 musicians and vocal soloists, conducted by Jared Bloch — will present A Night at the Opera at Leominster City Hall. Hear selections from The Barber of Seville, Candide, and more.
Or visit the new Groton
Hill Music Center for concerts by the Vista Philharmonic Orchestra and a variety of visiting artists.
Details on these and other great performances can be found in the Calendar section of this Guide.
Spring | Summer 2023 37
Signs of the Times
Local Landmarks Illustrate the Region’s History
From Revolutionary War experiences to children’s nursery rhymes and manufacturing highlights, local history has been captured in symbols you can visit up close and personal. Here’s a sampling to get your started on your learning tour:
You plinked it out on a piano, or sing-songed it in preschool: “Mary had a little lamb, little lamb…..” But did you know there really was a Mary and a school-bound lamb? The familiar ditty was written by John Roulstone, a classroom visitor on the day in 1815 that local student Mary Sawyer was followed to school by her pet lamb. You can find a statue of that adorable pet on Route 12 in the center of Sterling. (Learn more at: www.hmdb.org/m.asp?m=48420)
A darker piece of the region’s history is commemorated by a simple plaque at a granite ledge on Route 140 in Princeton. In 1676, in a battle against colonial expansion, some 400 Nipmucs, Narragansetts, and Wampanoag
Whether you’re touring North Central Massachusetts on vacation, or settled in to this great place to live, learning about the region’s history can be a terrific reason to explore its iconic treasures!
Native Americans attacked Lancaster, taking nearly two dozen hostages. Among them were the minister’s wife, Mary Rowlandson, and her children. Months later, the Wampanoag leader Metacom, who was known as “King Philip” by the English, negotiated her release at the spot now known as Redemption Rock. A simple sign now marks this historic spot.
(Learn more at: www.thetrustees.org/place/redemption-rock/)
Our next icon to visit is much, much bigger than Mary’s lamb — but it did a little traveling, too! Fitchburg’s Rollstone Boulder, a 110-ton hunk of granite, was deposited by a glacier on top of Rollstone Hill, and became a popular picnic spot for generations of local residents. Around 1900, as the boulder was literally falling apart, residents managed to transport it (in pieces) to the Upper Common in the downtown district, where it was re-assembled. It’s now a great starting point for the popular “rock walk” tour to a series of quarries on the top of the hill.
(Read more at: www.theboulderartgallery.com/Rock_Walk/Rock_ Walk_1.html)
It’s a chair of gigantic proportions — and it represents an industry that gave Gardner the nickname of “The Chair City of the World.” The once-thriving factories are gone, but the 20-foot high ladder back chair remains, boldly overlooking Elm Street, for all to see. It’s actually the last in a series of chairs — each bigger than the last — dating back to 1905, designed to spotlight the city’s furniture heritage.
(Read more at: www.thegardnernews.com/story/news/2021/09/23/ gardner-ma-chair-city-history-big-chair-then-nowpart-1/8418228002/)
If you love architecture, North Central Massachusetts is a treasure-trove awaiting your exploration. From Colonial-era white steepled churches to a museum spotlighting contemporary New England art, the region is jam-packed with fascinating structures. Among them are a number of churches — including the Victorian Gothic First Congregational Church at the Elm Street rotary in Gardner, with its stunning rose window; and Faith United Parish on Main Street in Fitchburg, designed in 1897 by architect and parishioner H. M. Francis, also featuring a rose window and numerous beautiful stained glass windows credited to the Tiffany studio. One of the best-known, though, is the First Church of Christ, Universalist, in Lancaster. Built in 1816, the meetinghouse was designed by architect Charles Bulfinch, and was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1977, recognizing it as one of Bulfinch's finest works. (Learn more at: www.freedomsway.org/place/first-church-of-christlancaster/)
Ready to start your tour and learn a bit of history along the way? Plan to linger a while … there’s so much to see here in North Central Massachusetts! §
Spring | Summer 2023 39
Places to visit, people to see, things to do!
SPRING - SUMMER MEMBERS 2023
Hobart Village Antique Mall
445 Main St., West Townsend
An antique mall featuring 80 dealers; new country furniture, farm tables, Amish-made oak furniture and collectibles from local estates.
Jeffrey’s Antique Co-op Mall
54 Chase Rd., Lunenburg 978-582-7831
Multi-dealer antique shop with eclectic and ever-changing stock of antiques and collectibles, furniture, country décor, vintage toys, and more.
Gardner Area League of Artists (GALA)
135 Front St., Winchendon
Visit GALA’s unique Art Gallery and immerse yourself in artwork in various mediums and affordable prices. Rotating art shows, workshops and gift shop.
New Dawn Art Center
84 Main St., Ashburnham 978-235-3691
An arts-focused gathering place for people of varying ages and abilities to share space for self-development, enjoyment, and education.
Children’s Discovery Farm
145 Redstone Hill Rd., Sterling 978-422-6666
The largest sanctuary of endangered farm animals in North America.
U-Pick apples and pumpkins in the fall. Opening mid-April – October.
Funstuf Party Place
791 Water St., Fitchburg 978-342-5000 funstufpartyplace.com
Let us help you bring more FUN to your event. Remember, at Funstuf Party Place “It’s All About the Party!”
Game On Sports Performance Center
100 Game On Way, Fitchburg 978-956-4111
A premier sports center, offering both indoor and outdoor sports, lessons, camps, clinics, tournaments, 6 axe-throwing lanes, a bar, arcade room and a restaurant.
Great Wolf Lodge
50 Great Wolf Drive, Fitchburg
Weatherproof family fun, with a massive 84-degree indoor waterpark, exclusive to resort guests; MagiQuest; indoor ropes course and more.
470 Lancaster St., Leominster 800-508-2265
A $1 Billion mutual community bank, with branch offices in Hudson, Clinton, and Leominster.
9 Sack Blvd., Leominster 888-307-5887
For over 125 years, we have believed in always doing the right thing. For us, that’s our customers and communities.
Enterprise Bank and Trust Company
420 John Fitch Hwy., Fitchburg 978-656-5689
Personalized, comprehensive banking solutions..
9 Leominster Conn., Leominster 800-581-5363
We are experts of Personal Finance. Fidelity Bank provides financial services to help our customers get where they want to be.
GFA Credit Union
229 Parker St., Gardner 978-632-2542
As a member of GFA, you are an owner. Your deposits help the firsttime home owner buy their home or support a small local business.
IC Federal Credit Union
300 Bemis Rd., Fitchburg
We strive to go beyond products and services and help our members achieve financial wellness.
Leominster Credit Union
20 Adams St.,Leominster
LCU is a member-owned, not-for-profit financial cooperative with seven branches in Clinton, Leominster, Sterling and Worcester.
Rollstone Bank & Trust
780 Main St., Fitchburg 978-345-1061
RBT is a full-service community bank specializing in commercial banking and wealth management since 1846.
470 Main St., Worcester 800-322-3264
TD Bank Massachusetts, has 160 branches in Mass. and Southern New Hampshire, including Fitchburg, Leominster, Gardner, Athol and Orange.
Workers’ Credit Union
815 Main St., Fitchburg 978-345-1021
We are a full-service financial institution offering competitive deposit and loan products. Founded in 1914 with 16 branches.
BREWERIES, WINERIES & CIDERIES
Gardner Ale House/ Moonhill Brewing Co.
74 Parker St., Gardner 978-669-0122 gardnerale.com
Gardner Ale House is a family-oriented brewpub and restaurant, with a casual, bistro style menu, 12+ award-winning beers on tap and live music.
Hardwick Vineyard & Winery
3305 Greenwich Rd., Hardwick 413-967-7763
This Winery is home to a Federal style mansion and a timber frame barn. Six varietals of French hybrid grapes are used to make our award-winning wines.
Red Apple Farm Cidery
455 Highland Ave., Phillipston 978-249-6763
Dry & semi-sweet flagship hard ciders, special blends & heritage varieties available. Outdoor cider garden, country store and Moon Hill beer on tap.
River Styx Brewing
166 Boulder Dr., Ste. 112, Fitchburg 805-807-4238
We are focused on creating a family friendly environment for all to enjoy.
Thirsty Robot Brewing
265 Summer St., (Rear), Fitchburg 978-895-5931
A ragtag collection of misfits who find solace in working hard to produce beer that you will enjoy. Specializing in New England IPAs.
Wachusett Brewing Company, Inc.
175 State Rd. E, Westminster 978-874-9965
Open 7 days a week for you to enjoy our great food, live music, and our award-winning beers. Visit us online.
Lamb City Campground
85 Royalston Rd., Phillipston 978-249-2049
Family owned/operated for over 30 years. With 280 sites, full hookups, 17 pull thru, tenting, RV rentals, cabins, sewage disposal, store, 2 rec halls, 3 pools, more.
Pine Acres Family
203 Bechan Rd., Oakham 508-882-9509
Twice voted Park of the Year nationally! We offer tenting to waterfront sites, rustic cabins, RV rentals. Big rig friendly! Boating, fishing, pool, kids splash pad.
The Pines Campground
39 Davis Rd., Ashby 978-386-7702
A four-season family campground with a pool, showers, weekend activities, store, heated bathroom, firewood, ice, picnic areas, and recreation hall.
Town of Ashburnham
32 Main St., Ashburnham
The “Town of Many Lakes” is home to Mount Watatic and the multi-state Midstate Trail. Enjoy vibrant arts, shops and dining.
Town of Ashby
895 Main St., Ashby
A bedroom community of single-family homes and open spaces. Come and explore Willard Brook State Forest, Damon Pond, Trap Falls, and numerous hiking trails.
Town of Clinton
242 Church St., Clinton
Clinton is home to the Wachusett Dam, Wachusett Reservoir and home to several industrial manufacturing companies.
City of Fitchburg
718 Main St., Fitchburg
Enjoy attractions from Fitchburg State University to historic downtown architecture and the Fitchburg Art Museum.
City of Gardner
95 Pleasant St., Gardner
The Chair City is evolving, manufacturing is growing, technology companies are expanding, and new businesses are opening, in the heart of Massachusetts.
City of Leominster
25 West St., Leominster
Leominster encompass the very essence of New England, from a hilltop apple orchard to a lively downtown, 26 miles of trails, 12 annual events, with unique shops and restaurants.
Town of Lunenburg
17 Main St., Lunenburg
The Town maintains a rural flavor, with farms and orchards.
592 Main St., Groton
Conserve open spaces for water quality, wildlife habitat, farms, forests, and recreation.
Town of Sterling
1 Park St., Sterling
The town retains much of its small-town atmosphere. Famous residents include Ebenezer Butterick developed dress patterns and Mary Sawyer pet lamb who inspired the poem, "Mary Had a Little Lamb".
Town of Westminster
11 South St., Westminster
With Wachusett Mountain, Leominster State Forest and the Midstate Trail, Westminster is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts.
Town of Winchendon
109 Front St., Winchendon townofwinchendon.com
Routes 202,12,140, pass through the quiet Town of Winchendon. A town rich in history and culture. Visit the Winchendon Rail Trail, or the Amphitheater for a concert or sample delicious food, in all they have to offer.
120 Prospect St., Fitchburg
Applewild School provides excellent, affordable education to families in North Central Massachusetts.
39 School St., Ashburnham 978-827-7000 cushing.org
A private, coeducational collegepreparatory school for boarding and day students. Services approximately 400 students in grades 9–12 and a postgraduate year.
Fitchburg Public School
376 South St., Fitchburg 978-345-3200
One district where all means ALL, every student, every day, no exceptions.
Fitchburg State University
160 Pearl St., Fitchburg 978-345-2151 fitchburgstate.edu
FSU offers undergraduate and graduate programs with an emphasis on career-orientated learning. With liberal arts, and selected majors in traditional arts and sciences.
Montachusett Regional Vocational Tech School
1050 Westminster St., Fitchburg 978-345-9200
“Monty Tech” name has become synonymous with innovative career, technical training programs and exceptional academic programming.
Mount Wachusett Community College
444 Green St., Gardner 978-632-6600
Offering quality education at affordable prices, MWCC offers several degree and certificate program options to fit your life goals.
500 Rindge Rd., Fitchburg 978-345-2701
Commitment to diversity and inclusiveness, Sizer seeks to send graduates into the world who THINK for themselves, CARE about others, ACT creatively and responsibly.
St. Bernard’s Central Catholic High School
45 Harvard St., Fitchburg 978-342-3212
It’s been 100 years and St. Bernard’s continues to graduate some of the region’s best and brightest young men and women.
Andean Dawn Alpaca
313 Ball Hill Rd., Princeton 774-578-6284
Come visit and let the alpacas charm you!
125 Still River Rd., Bolton 978-779-2733 boltonorchards.co
Specialty food store, deli, produce, bakery, flowers, gift baskets, local apples and cider available year-round. Oldfashioned ice cream and coffee café.
12 Lincoln Rd., North Brookfield 508-867-6858 brookfieldorchardsonline.com
A family friendly country store supplying locally grown delicious apples for over 100 years! The 5th Generation farm is the quintessential New England experience.
Carlson Orchards, Inc
115 Oak Hill Rd., Harvard 978-456-3916
Open July to November. Pick your own fruit in season from apples, peaches, cherries, nectarines, blueberries, and raspberries. Over 100 acres of fruit orchards.
1125 Pleasant St., Leominster 978-840-3276
The last working apple orchard in Johnny Appleseed birthplace, offers walking-hiking trails, picnic area, cross-country skiing, U-Pick fruits and Christmas trees.
Hollis Hills Farm
340 Marshall Rd., Fitchburg 978-696-3130
Family owned and operated with their own maple products, local ice cream, pick your own fruits and flowers. Outdoor bar and restaurant open seasonally.
In the Meadow Farm
40 Page St., Lunenburg
Farm offers a complete alpaca experience. Shop for all things alpaca, take a tour, interact with the alpacas, take a felting/ knitting class. Yoga on Saturday mornings April–October.
294 Chase Rd., Lunenburg
One stop shop for everything local. Wines, Craft Beers, Hard Ciders, Smith's Cheese, Dom's meats, chocolates, and cut flowers.
209 Chace Hill Rd., Sterling
Operated by the Chandler family since 1912. They harvest apples, blueberries, pumpkins, nectarines and raspberries. Farm-store and bakery.
Plain View Farm
130 Gardner Rd., Hubbardston
Stop by to see and meet the alpacas! Shop for quality alpaca items yarn, socks, hats, gloves, scarves, sweaters and more!
Red Apple Farm
455 Highland Ave., Phillipston
Country store has pies, dumplings, cider, donuts, fudge, fresh produce. Pick apples, peaches, berries, pears, pumpkins, potatoes, sunflowers. Visit the animals and take a hayride. Visit the Brew Barn, Cidery, and BBQ kitchen.
Rota Spring Farm
117 Chace Hill Rd.,Sterling
Old-fashioned homemade ice cream made on the premises, fresh produce and grass-fed beef. Watch the cows grazing, or come pet the goats.
50 Wood Rd., Westminster
Wildwood Farm LLC is a rustic 1700’s working farm in the heart of New England offering a unique wedding experience.
The 228 in Sterling 228 Leominster Rd., Sterling, 978-870-0605
Formal indoor accommodations up to 95; covered patio; BBQ/ picnic area; covered shelter; and a beautiful gazebo for your on-site wedding ceremony and photos.
Devens Common Center
31 Andrews Pkwy., Devens 978-772-0188
A celebrated convention facility and wedding venue located in the heart of historic Devens. Our wellappointed property offers the perfect meeting space for all your needs.
91 Central St., Leominster 978-537-4383
We treat you the way we’d want to be treated!
Winchendon Furniture 13 Railroad St., Winchendon 978-297-0131
A higher end, fine furniture, including cherry bedroom, dining room and occasional furniture manufactured right here in Winchendon.
LaChance Interiors, Inc.
501 W. Broadway (Loft), Gardner 978-630-3299
American-made solid wood and finely crafted upholstered furniture. Offering classic traditional styles to the soft-modern designs of today.
Spring | Summer 2023 41
Gardner Municipal Golf Course
152 Eaton St., Gardner 978-632-9703
Four sets of tees await golfers of all abilities from beginners to pros. Call to set up your tee time today and try their 6131-yard tee.
Settlers Crossing Golf Course
994 Northfield Rd.,Lunenburg 978-582-6694
Nine-hole golf course featuring rolling hills, stone walls, tree lined fairways and views of Mt. Wachusett.
Sterling National Country Club
33 Albright Rd., Sterling 978-422-0275
With an unparalleled natural setting, outstanding course and elegant dining.
133 Old Rd. to Nine Acre Crnr., Concord 978-369-1400
We believe quality health care is as much about your overall experience as a patient as it is about expert clinical care.
242 Green St., Gardner 978-632-3420
Community-owned hospital licensed for 134 bed, located in Gardner, MA. The Staff includes courtesy, and consulting physicians in primary care and a multitude of specialties.
UMass Memorial - Health
Alliance Clinton 60 Hospital Rd., Leominster 978-466-2000 healthalliance.com
A full service, acute care hospital with advanced medical technology and specialty services. Member of UMass Memorial Health Care network.
242 Adams Place, Boxborough 978-263-8701
Centrally located in suburban wooded area, the Hotel & Conference Center offers the perfect location for family getaways, romantic weekends, and corporate travelers.
59 Laurelwood Rd., Sterling 978-422-3355
A 25-room, all-suite hotel, full kitchens. Meeting rooms, function spaces, both indoors and outdoors. Specializing in relocations, long-term stays.
625 Betty Spring Rd., Gardner 978-630-2500
One of Central Mass. most romantic hotels & wedding venues. This 112room hotel, idealizes New England charm & quintessential hospitality.
DoubleTree by Hilton
99 Erdman Way, Leominster 978-534-9000
Spacious accommodations, modern amenities, indoor pool, fitness center.
Great Wolf Lodge
150 Great Wolf Dr., Fitchburg 978-343-9653
Massive 84-degree indoor waterpark. Battle a dragon while playing MagiQuest, challenge the climbing wall or play a round of put-put golf.
The Groton Inn
128 Main St., Groton 978-448-6600 thegrotoninn.com
Situated on the footprint of the original Groton Inn, with professionally designed guest rooms, meeting and banquet rooms and the Forge & Vine restaurant.
183 Main St., Westminster 978-874-5951 choicehotels.com
Enjoy affordable accommodations near skiing, Boston and nature. Our hotel is located just right off Route 2, tucked in the rolling hills of North Central Mass.
Fitchburg Art Museum
185 Elm St., Fitchburg 978-345-4207
The Museum is a catalyst for learning, creativity, and community building in the heart of North Central, Mass. Experience our art historical collections, contemporary New England art, education programs. Plan your visit today!
Museum of Russian Icons
203 Union St., Clinton
Founded in 2006 by industrialist Gordon B. Lankton. The largest private collection of its kind in North America and outside Russia.
RB Racing Museum
300 Lunenburg St., (rear), Fitchburg 978-345-7227
RB Racing Museum, honoring the local NASCAR legend Ron Bouchard. See Ron’s 1981 Talladega winning #47 car.
29 Dowds Ln., Princeton cornerstoneranch.org
Riding lessons, trail riding, birthday parties, horse-drawn rides, and year-round activities for all ages.
6 Main St., Leominster 978-230-730 descentdivers.com
All the gear you need for scuba diving or snorkling.
National Heritage Area
94 Jackson Rd., Suite 311, Devens 978-772-3654 freedomsway.org
We are committed to promoting, preserving, enhancing, and curating the natural, cultural, and historical resources within our 45 communities.
Fun Stuff Party Place
791 Water Street, Fitchburg 978-342-5000
Entertainment center where toddlers, kids, teenagers and adults all can have a blast in the arcade and playground. “It’s All About the Party!”
49 John Fitch Hwy, Fitchburg 978-868-0999
Our Rage, wreck, smash, paint splatter room are ready for you. Doesn’t matter what you call it LETZ RAGE!
Oak Hill Country Club
840 Oak Hill Road, Fitchburg 978-342-2717
A prestigious, member-owned private country club located in Central Mass. Oak Hill is the perfect club to satisfy golfers and families alike.
Mully’s Indoor Golf Lounge
44 Old Princeton Rd., Fitchburg 978-696-3152
We are the new premier indoor golfing facility, experience golfing with Trackman, the best simulators in the industry.
208 Bemis Rd., Fitchburg
The premier racing complex in the northeast, home to family racing fun, with indoor/outdoor tracks to challenge all skill levels. Hobby and RC repair shop.
Supernaural All Star LLC
44 Old Princeton Rd., Fitchburg
We love fostering the passions of athletes of all ages and skill levels to create a positive environment where everyone feels value.
Ukulele J’s Music Studio
675 Main St., Fitchburg
A pre-k music program-Song time fun. 6-week sessions designed for children ages 0-5 years.
113 Goodnow Rd., Princeton
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 Rd., Princeton
With a 1,000-foot vertical drop, 2,006foot elevation, 26 trails, 8 lifts. Big mountain skiiing close to home.
Winchendon History and Cultural Center
151 Front St., Winchendon 978-297-2142
The Center exhibits its large collection at the 22-room Murdock-Whitney House Museum. A new Toy Museum features Converse Toys.
Worcester Railers HC
105 Commercial St., Worcester 508-365-1756
The Railers are a professional ice hockey team based in Worcester. The team is a member In the Northern Division of the Eastern Conference of the ECHL.
Worcester Red Sox
100 Madison St., Worcester 508-500-8888
Minor League Baseball team and Triple-A affiliate of the Boston Red Sox, located in the heart of Worcester at brand new Polar Park.
7 Mill St., Leominster 110grill.com
Modern American cuisine, exceptional service, seasonal menu, a scratch kitchen with the freshest ingredients, and a strong commitment to allergy awareness.
873 Café and Tavern
873 Main St., Ashby 873cafe.com
Serving fresh and locally sourced food, Chef Smith and his team work to create delicious, savory and beautifully plated meals for every visitor.
200 New Lancaster Rd., Leominster 719-649-7190
Fueling the modern world by focusing daily on the customer.
VisitNorthCentral.com 42 Members
Bull Run Restaurant
215 Great Rd., Shirley 978-425-4311
Restaurant and entertainment venue set in an historic 1740 Tavern. Top entertainment, trivia night, Friendly Friday sing-along and Saturday Jazz. Holds up to 300.
Cherry Hill Ice Cream
826 Leominster Rd., Lunenburg
53 Main St., Rte 119, Townsend 978-597-0011
With locations in Townsend and Lunenburg, our Ice Cream stands focus on Customer Service and a great family experience.
Chopsticks Restaurant of Leominster
21 Commercial Rd., Leominster 978-534-0020
Chopsticks Restaurant & Bar offers authentic and delicious tasting Chinese & Japanese cuisine. Come experience our friendly atmosphere and excellent service.
23 Sack Blvd., Leominster 978-466-1224 comeketo.com
At Comeketo we are pleased to bring Brazilian-style Rodízio to our friends and family.
94 Franklin Road, Fitchburg 978-516-6124
A small woman owned business. We pride ourselves on providing fresh, quality chocolate covered treats and baked goods.
Gardner Ale House
74 Parker St., Gardner 978-669-0122 gardnerale.com
A family-oriented brewpub/restaurant with a bistro style menu, 12+ awardwinning beers on tap. Open daily with Sunday brunch buffet, 9am-3pm.
22 Ashby State Rd.,Fitchburg
978-348-2088 | goldbowl8.com
With years in business, we adhering to the principle “customer is the King,” We always are aiming to assure you a remarkable dining experience.
Il Forno Restaurant
494 Electric Ave., Lunenburg 978-345-2511
Bustling family-run eatery featuring wood-fired pizzas & other classic Italian dishes plus BYOB.
Kimball Farm in Lancaster
1543 Lunenburg Rd., (Rte 70), Lancaster
For over 75 years, Kimball Farm has served its famous, homemade ice cream, and providing some of the freshest seafood around. open (April-Oct.)
Legends Bar & Grille
68 Airport Road, Ste. 10, Fitchburg
Come and enjoy the great variety of menu items for you!
Main Street Gift and Café
40 Main St., Leominster
Stop by for a delicious Breakfast or lunch. Sit, relax and chat or look around at our unique selection of cards and gifts.
Melao by Munchies
27 Air Port Rd., Fitchburg
Come and enjoy the authentic home cooked Puerto Rican food and pleasant atmosphere. Open from 11am to 10 pm daily.
Moe’s Southwest Grill
865 Merriam Ave., Leominster
moes.com/find-a-moes/ massachusetts/leominster Fresher than fresh burrito, bowl or
whatever you're craving made from our 20+ fresh and flavorful ingredients.
Old Mill Restaurant & Country Store
69 State Rd. E, (Rte 2A E), Westminster 978-874-5941
Full-service family restaurant serving delicious meals with old-fashioned hospitality. Lunch and dinner menu daily. (Open Tue.-Sun.)
Simply Sweet by Christine Inc.
206 Meriam Ave., Leominster
Simply Sweet by Christine specializes in fresh baked goods and beautiful delicious cakes and for any occasion.
106 Lunenburg St., Fitchburg
Cozy, long-standing pub with outdoor seating offering a large American menu and numerous draft beers.
Taco Rey Coliman
7 Pleasant St., Gardner
We have authentic, fresh Mexican food. Restaurant now open in downtown Gardner for eat in and take out.
Spring | Summer 2023 43
The Barn Door
51 South St., Pepperell 978-448-3144
A 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 St., Leominster thecentralcup.com
We make our orders from scratch, daily, with the finest ingredients. Besides our desserts, we offer fresh quality coffee and espresso drinks.
The Fix Burger Bar
14 Monument Sq.,Leominster 978-534-5900
Customized fresh beef, and over 40 toppings to choose from, allowing guests to enjoy a signature “FixedUp” burger topping it off with a great beer, amazing craft drinks or shake.
The Lazy Bubble
112 Main St., Ste. #5, Pepperell 978-925-9777
Chef Chris' unique style of International Comfort Foods utilizes local, organic ingredients in our scratch recipes.
Alicia’s Spice Co.
12 Aitchison St., Worcester 774-303-0354
All Natural, Gluten Free, Kosher, Keto, Vegan and low Sodium spices and focus on wholesome ingredients.
W. E. Aubuchon Co. Inc
95 Aubuchon Dr., Westminster 978-874-0521
The oldest family owned chain of hardware stores in America throughout New England and Upstate New York.
Available at The Johnny Appleseed Visitor Center 978-235-7312
We offer 100% pure essential oils & blends, designer interpretations, fragrances for your home, bath and body.
Cold Stone Creamery
80 Orchard Hill Park Dr., Leominster 978-537-9000
Our Ice Cream is hand-crafted and made fresh in every store, with specialty cakes for every occasion. There is always something to celebrate, so stop in today.
56 Main St., Ashburnham 978-827-6211
Collection of gifts, from soy candles to blown glass, pottery, hand-crafted jewelry, gourmet items, confections, whole bean coffees and teas.
1021 Central St., Leominster 978-534-6604
Your Central Mass headquarters for gently loved clothing, shoes, and accessories for kids, teens and ladies. With over 50,000 items available every day.
East Coast Sales & Liquidations
139 John Fitch Hwy., Fitchburg 978-627-3659
Locally owned small business that purchases pallets, lots, and truckloads of merchandise from major retailers at discounted prices!
Fabrics N Things
55 Airport Rd., Fitchburg 978-878-9514
The most amazing selection of new and discontinued fabrics, notions, sewing supplies, fashion, quilting, crafts, and home decorating fabrics.
Farm at Baptist Common
342 Baldwinville Rd., PO Box 157, Templeton
Forty delicious flavors of homemade fudge. We sell our famous fudge at craft shows, fairs, festivals and at the Johnny Appleseed Visitor Center.
43 Main St., Leominster 978-466-5849
A family-owned/operated creamery and cheese shop. Our driving purpose is to make world-class, fresh cheese and share our love of cheesemaking with all.
Golden Girl Granola
2 Shaker Rd., Ste. C205, Shirley 978-425-5058
Produces gourmet granola products. Flavors including Forest Maple and Chocolate Decadence, can be found in grocery and specialty stores.
31 Kringle Dr., Bernardston 413-648-3077
Shop Kringle’s wide variety of candle fragrances, Gourmet Specialties, Christmas Store, LabLove Perfume, home décor, his & her gifts & much more!
VisitNorthCentral.com 44 Members
Little Lamb Apothecary
287 Princeton Rd., Sterling 401-787-4464
Handmade soy candles, as well as an assortment of local artisan goods that varies from season to season.
Mill No. 3 Farmstand
85 Westminster St., Fitchburg 978-345-1100 millno3.com
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 St., Leominster 978-534-7668
Organic produce, vitamins & herbs, natural body care, organic & natural grocery, & spices and the Roots Kitchen!
Smith’s Country Cheese
20 Otter River Rd., Winchendon 978-939-5738
Old fashioned traditions of creamy Gouda, Havarti, and cheddar cheeses. We also carry gourmet local food items, home décor, and more!
Spice & Grain
84 Main St., Ashburnham 978-394-8789
Spice & Grain is focused on providing high-
quality products and customer satisfaction. We are here to be your resource.
The Kitchen Garden
268 Baldwinville Rd., Templeton 978-939-8558
Baked goods, Finnish coffee bread, made daily in our kitchen, gifts, specialty foods, books, and more. Ice cream shop open May-October.
Black Bear Coatings & Concrete
644 River St., Fitchburg 978-405-0017
The leading resinous coatings In the Northeast, specializing in decorative, designer epoxy, urethane mortars, cementitious coatings, and concrete polishing.
Fitchburg Municipal Airport
567 Crawford St., Fitchburg 978-345-9580
We are a general aviation airport serving North-Central Massachusetts since 1929.
Fitchburg Public Library
610 Main St., Fitchburg
Since 1859 the Fitchburg Public Library connects with your world.
Joshua Allen Design
153 Clinton Rd., Sterling 508-901-9919
Our goal is to design innovative, functional, and beautiful spaces for each individual client with options that work within any budget.
670 Mechanic St., Leominster 978-660-9912
Looking to buy, sell or invest in the North Central Region? Your local real estate connection, bringing you home.
1001 Southbridge St., Worcester 508-749-2382
New England’s largest independent soft drink bottler, is a fourthgeneration, family-owned business.
130 Lancaster St., Leominster 978-962-3995
Revital Medspa offers a wide range of nonsurgical anti-aging aesthetic treatments to help you achieve a youthful appearance.
The Break Bike Shop
872 Main St., Fitchburg
978-627-3045 or 978-503-9174
At the Break we love bikes and fun. Service focused bicycle shop with over 20 years of experience repairing all types of bikes.
60 Sargent Rd., Westminster
Family owned company specializing in residential and commercial asphalt paving and maintenance, excavation, drainage and site work. Call for your free estimate!
WPKZ 105.3FM & AM1280 is your local community radio station and Sox affiliate, news, traffic, and more from 6am-9am.
98 Prospect St., Fitchburg
For 96 years Stratton Players has been where friends and family can come and see wonderful theatrical productions. Performing currently at Applewild School.
Spring | Summer 2023 45
Tee Up! (No Clubs Needed)
Tra-la, tra-la … The sun is shining, the birds are singing, the grass is green. It’s time to get out on the golf course. The disc golf course, that is. While there are lots of great golf courses and country clubs throughout this region, it’s easy to appreciate this new approach to an afternoon of golf. And fortunately, disc golf courses have been cropping up like weeds in the area; the newest is the Ingleside course at the Winchendon Community Park, scheduled to open this spring. Picture the possibilities for your day out in the country: wooded hillsides; and “greens” situated atop large rocks, with spectacular country views. Most of the current local courses are 18 holes, with pars ranging from 55 to 59 — and are easily played in under two hours when you head out with a friend for a sociable round. You won’t break the bank, either, since course fees range from free to somewhere under ten bucks for a full day of play.
Okay, it’s tee time! Check out these local courses courses for an afternoon of outdoor fun.:
Coggshall Park Disc Golf Course, South
Street, Fitchburg. This 18-hole course winds through the heavily-wooded park that covers 250 acres in the heart of the city. 5,278 feet, par 56.
Devens – The General, and The Hill, Exit 37B (Jackson Road) off Route 2 at the former Fort Devens Army base. The Hill was created on an old military training hill, and is a wooded, rocky par 55 course of 4,645 feet. The General has longer holes, and is very hilly and wooded, so be prepared for some exercise! 5,689 feet, par 56.
Flat Rock Disc Golf Course on Flat Rock Road in Athol was established in 1999. It’s billed as “a tight and technical course which showcases the natural beauty of the land.” 6,078 feet, par 59.
Royalston Fish & Game Club Disc Golf Course, 49 Main Road, Phillipston. A hidden gem north of Route 2, the course features primarily tight wooded holes, a “great deal” of elevation change throughout its 18 hole layout, and some baskets perched atop small, scenic cliff faces. Par 59.
Ingleside Woods Course at the Winchendon Community Park, 86 Ingleside Rd., Winchendon. Scheduled to open in spring 2023, the course is expected to start life with nine holes. Other details are pending; visit the park on Facebook for updates. §
Spring | Summer 2023 47
Johnny Appleseed Country
Boxborough Regency 242 Adams Place Boxborough 978-263-8701 143 • • • • • • (15) Cap. 500+ • 48 DIRECTORY OF Chocksett Inn 59 Laurelwood Road, Sterling 978.422.3355 chocksettinn.com 26 Suites • • • * • • (2) Cap. 275 • Colonial Hotel 625 Betty Spring Road Gardner 978.630.2500 colonial-hotel.com 112 5 Suite • • ◊ • • (7) Cap. 400 • Days Inn by Wyndham 482 North Main Street Leominster 978.751.3757 daysinn.com 86 • Nearby DoubleTree by Hilton 99 Erdman Way, Leominster 978.534.9000 leominster.doubletree.com 187 22 Jr. Suites • • ◊ • • (15) Cap. 550 Great Wolf Lodge New England Waterpark 150 Great Wolf Drive Fitchburg 800.905.9653 greatwolf.com/newengland 406 96 Suites • • ♦ • • (7) Cap. 500 The Groton Inn 128 Main Street, Groton 978.448.6600 thegrotoninn.com 60 5 Suites • • • • • (5) Cap. 150 Maguire House 30 Cobb Road, Ashburnham 978.827.5053 maguirehouse.com 3 • Nearby SpringHill Suites by Marriott/Devens Common 27 Andrews Parkway, Devens 978.772.3030 devenscommoncenter.com/ accomodations.php 120 • Nearby • • • (5) Cap. 500 # of Rooms Free BreakfastRestaurant on Site WeddingVenueSwimmingPoolGym/FitnessCenterBanquet/Meeting Spaces Pets Allowed Legend * – No pool, but has a babbling brook ◊ – Indoor pool ♦ – Indoor waterpark ^ ^ ^ F ^ F F ^ F F ^ F ^ F ^ F Use #VisitNorthCentralMa to show us what you did! Lodging NORTH CENTRAL MASSACHUSETTS Advertisers ^ F AIS 19 Andea Alpacas 35 Bank Hometown 1 Barrington's Autumn 47 Bolton Orchards 17 City of Fitchburg 9 City of Gardner 7 City of Leominster 3 Cornerstone Ranch 44 Country Roads 20 Creative Connections 23 Davis Farmland 21 Fitchburg Art Museum back cover Fitchburg Public Schools 30 FunStuf Party Place 33 Game on Fitchburg 15 Gardner Ale House 37 Great Wolf Lodge 16 Hardwick Winery 23 Hobart Village Antique Mall 11 IC Federal Credit Union 33 In the Meadow Farm 35 Jeffery's Antiques 11 Johnny Appleseed Visitor Center 2 Kringle Candles 12 LaChance 34 Lamb City Campground 43 Lanni Orchards 21 Legends Sports Bar & Grille 32 Leominster Credit Union 35 LUK 47 Manor on the Hill 47 MART 11 Michelle Haggstrom, KW Real Estate 23 Making Opportunities Count MOC 46 Nashoba Paddler 46 Old Mill Restaurant 15 Plain View Alpaca Farm 35 Pine Acres Camping Resort 13 Red Apple Farm Inside Front Cover Rota Spring Farm 13 Settler's Crossing/Westminster CC 37 Sholan Farms 17 Smith's Country Cheese 21 Spanish American Center 45 TD Bank 31 The 228 35 The Bolton Fair 35 The Groton Inn 13 The Lexvest Group 47 The Pines Campground 13 The Story School 33 Town of Sterling 5 Town of Westminster 5 Wachusett Brew Yard 32 Wachusett Mtn. Ski Area Inside Back Cover Wachusett Paving 21 Wildwood Farm 13 Winchendon Park Amphitheater 46 Worker's Credit Union 34
Funded, in part, by The Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism. For statewide planning information, visit www.visitma.com @visitnorthcentralmassachusetts @visitnorthcentralma @VisitNCM Contributors to this issue: Katie Young, Diane Burnette, Pat Gale, Scott Niemi, William Williams, Jeannette McIntosh, Steven Piermarini, and Joe Adamowicz