Finally, Summerfest returns to Great Barrington


GREAT BARRINGTON -- SummerFest is back.

After a two-decade hiatus, the community celebration featuring a bonanza of musical acts will liven up Main Street today due to popular demand

Year after year, longtime Great Barrington residents have clamored for the return of Summerfest, an annual event that raised funds for the now defunct-Berkshire Hospice back in the 1980s and early 1990s, according to Betsy Andrus, executive director of the Southern Berkshire Chamber of Commerce.

After receiving so many requests, she had no other choice but to comply.

"When you hear something being repeatedly asked over so many years, it's something you have to look into," Andrus said.

Summerfest originally ended in the early 1990s due to the difficulty of organizing the popular event, Andrus said. The Berkshire Co-op Market, WSBS Radio and the Southern Berkshire Chamber teamed together to sponsor the event's return.

True to the original format, there will be three stages that will host nine bands. While enjoying the music, people will be able to visit up to 35 vendors lining the west side of Main Street from Elm Street to Railroad Street and Railroad Street to Castle Street. The festival will run from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m.

The event is returning to bring back "a really good community event," Andrus said. "It's both people and [business owners] coming out to enjoy the evening."

For the festival, no lanes of the roads will be closed. Stages will be set up at the First Congregational Church, Triplex Cinema parking lot and Town Hall.

Musical acts will include the Arthur Holmes Blues Band, Berkshire Bateria, Whiskey City, Sandy & Sandy, Steve Nichols and Spur USA.

Andrus said she hopes the festival will be return in 2014.

"We would like to make this an annual thing," Andrus said. "The first time you do anything you have to learn how it goes."

To reach John Sakata:
or (413) 496-6240.
On Twitter: @jsakata

If you go ...

What: Summerfest, featuring vendors and live music

When: 3 to 9 p.m. today

Where: Main Street, Great Barrington; from Elm Street to Castle Street. Stages will be in front of Town Hall, the Triplex Cinema parking lot and First Congregational Church parking lot.

Cost: Free

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