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Lola Rodriguez, 5, diligently paints a pumpkin at the first Harvest Festival in Pittsfield, run in conjunction with the final farmers market of the season at the Pittsfield Common on Saturday.

PITTSFIELD >> For Jennifer Glockner, the city's director of the Office of Cultural Development, Saturday's daylong Harvest Festival/Farmers Market combination at the Pittsfield Common was almost a no-brainer.

"We are all about collaboration," she said. "We love collaboration. And this one made a lot of sense."

The Office of Cultural Development is the driving force behind the city's widely popular Third Thursday celebration. But, said Glockner, weather and the dwindling daylight was making the October Third Thursdays less viable.

"It gets dark so early now, and we were seeing a lot of vendor drop off," she said.

Glockner and Jessica Vecchia, the Downtown Pittsfield's Farmers Market manager, got together and planned Saturday's event. The Farmers market will be moving indoors after this week, to the Lighthouse space in the Boys and Girls Club. The Third Thursday events wind down in October, as well.

Vecchia admitted she was excited to work with Glockner and her the Office of Cultural Development to make Saturday's event more attractive and high profile for city residents and visitors.

"I was joking with Jen today," said Vecchia with a laugh. "I said, 'You've had 10 years of Third Thursdays. Maybe you want to start trying Third Saturdays?' We just had so much foot traffic and energy today. We saw a lot of new faces and the vendors all reported heavier traffic."


So on Saturday, in addition to the usual farmers market vendors, such as Taft Farms, Square Roots Farm, Cricket Creek Farm, Assembly Coffee Roasting and Hilltop Orchards, there was the Roaming Railroad giving free rides, a Halloween parade, a bounce house, pumpkin painting and many more events.

"It's really another reason to take in the crisp fresh air of fall and admire the foliage around the city," said Pittsfield mayor Linda Tyer in a statement.

It was a busy day all around. In addition to the afternoon's events, the American Cancer Society's Making Strides Walk was held at the Common beginning at 9 a.m. The walk is a non-competitive event that raises money for cancer treatment and awareness. Many of the walkers stuck around for the Harvest Fest, said Glockner.

And the weather was magnificent:

"A beautiful fall day," said Glockner.

Contact Derek Gentile at 413-496-6251.