Fall Foliage Parade

Who among us doesn't love a parade? As the leaves start to turn color -- setting the forest ablaze with red, orange and yellow -- North Adams is ready to celebrate the occasion with the annual Fall Foliage Parade, along with a host of related events to add to the fun.

On Friday, children will lead their own parade, stepping off from Eagle Street at 5:30 p.m. clad in colorful, creative costumes based on this year's festival theme of "Toys on Parade."

On Saturday from 8:30 to 10 a.m., pet pooches will have their turn to participate in the Dog Day of Fall Parade. Dressed in their fanciest outfits, the pups will compete for top honors in costume categories including funniest, best doggie group, and best owner and dog duo.

The winners of these contests will have an invitation to take part in the 57th annual Fall Foliage Parade beginning at 1 p.m. on Sunday, joining marching bands, floats, dignitaries and local organizations as they stride before thousands of onlookers in a grand celebration of civic pride. Plenty of food vendors will pepper the route to feed the throng.

Hungry for more? Tonight, get an early start on the festivities when St. Elizabeth's Parish Center hosts a ziti and meatballs supper from 4 to 7. After, enjoy the many art openings, live music and more that will fill downtown streets from 6 to 9 p.m. as part of the monthly DownStreet Art festival.

Hop on a free trolley for a trip around area art destinations and see three striking new murals painted on downtown North Adams walls. Pop into galleries to see an array of exhibits. Infor mation: www.fallfoliageparade
.com, (413) 664-6180; downstreetart.org, (413) 663-5253.

Berkshire Athenaeum

On Tuesday at 7 p.m., as part of the "Call Me Melville" celebration in honor of Herman Melville, spend an eveningin the past when the Berkshire Athen aeum presents a look at 1862 through music, poetry and history.

The old-time musical ensemble Wintergreen will playsongs from the Civil War and Underground Rail road, evoking an era of homegrown entertainment when songs inspired action and un locked the route to freedom.

Local historian Bernard Drew will recount the history of the All-Berkshire Mas sachusetts 49th Regiment. The program also will include a reading by Alex Recz kowski of Melville's poem, "The College Colonel." Ad mission is free. Information: www.pittsfield
library.org, (413) 499-9480.

Milham Planetarium

The Old Hopkins Observ atory in Williamstown hosts free weekly planetarium shows by Williams College Astronomy students, starting at 7:30 p.m. on Fridays. The petite building overlooking Main Street, built in 1836, is the oldest extant observatory in the United States. Its museum of antique astronomical artifacts is open before the presentations.

The 50-minute shows use a high-precision Zeiss Skymaster projector to display the night sky from locations around the globe.

See comets and artificial satellites, the retrograde motion of planets and phases of the moon in a tour around the galaxy. Res ervations: mcr4@williams.edu, (413) 597-2188. Information: www.williams.edu.