Ramblefest in Adams marks opening of Thunderbolt Museum
ADAMS -- More than 1,200 people sipped beer, sampled burgers and sandwiches and listened to lively music as the town of Adams threw a party for Mount Greylock, the state's highest and well-known mountain.
The event also herald's today's annual Mount Greylock Ramble.
Concurrent with Sunday's Ramblefest was the official opening of the Thunderbolt Museum, a facility honoring the history and importance of the Thunderbolt ski trail, which snakes down the face of Greylock.
The Thunderbolt Museum is the creation of the Thunderbolt Ski Runners, a group of local ski enthusiasts who organized an impressive series of artifacts and exhibits located at the Berkshire Visitors Center. In addition, a documentary about the trail, "Purple Mountain Majesty," was shown.
The museum is in one portion of the Visitors Center and admission is free and open to the public, according to Robin Avery, the daughter of one of the "Legends" of the Thunderbolt trail, skier William Linscott.
The trail was first cleared in 1934 by the Civilian Conservation Corps and was for several years the site of world-class championship ski races. It fell into disrepair before the Ski Runners refurbished it several years ago.
There was more to Ramble fest than the museum. On Sunday. Music was provided by two local bands, the North Shine String Band and Whiskey City, both of whom performed danceable sets on the afternoon.
In addition, there were about 20 exhibitors and food vendors, according to co-organizer Daniel Hogan. The town was also offering trolley rides on Main Street. Residents dressed in 19th century garb and acted as interpreters for out-of-towners, of which there were many.
"We don't have a performing arts center or a major museum here," said David Bissaillon, the organizer of the event with Hogan. "What we do have is Mount Greylock and the local events connected to it, the Columbus Day Ramble and the Thunderbolt race [in March]."
"Mount Greylock is one of the iconic places in Massa chusetts, maybe New Eng land," said longtime Adams resident Chris Sampson, who was attending the event with his wife, June. "This is a good way for the town to gain some recognition."
Sampson, whose daughter, Erica, is the director of the town's Council on Aging, was also appreciative that beer was being served.
"I think it's a good idea," he said.
Ray Gargan, another resident who acted as a volunteer marketing director, said he was pleased with the turnout, estimated by Town Admini strator John Butler to be from 1,000 to 1,200 people.
The organizing group reached out via several mediums, including Facebook, radio spots, billboards and newspaper ads.
Part of the focus, Gargan said, was on out-of-town visitors.
"We had probably a few hundred people here by 12:30, which was a half-hour before we opened up," he said. "We were very pleased with the turnout."
If you go ...
What: 45th annual Mount Greylock Ramble
When: All day today, starting at 8 a.m.
Where: Base of Mount Greylock on West Mountain Road in Adams, Cheshire Harbor Trail
Transportation: Parking is extremely limited at the base of the trail. No parking on West Mountain Road or Gould Road. A free shuttle bus will provide round-trip transport from the Adams Free Library at McKinley Square. Last departure: 1 p.m. Last return to downtown: 4 p.m.