Wednesday September 19, 2012

The Berkshire Chamber of Commerce is looking for a few good men, women, boys and girls. At least 150 of them, to be exact.

Adults and children are needed to serve as banner carriers for the 57th annual Fall Foliage Festival Parade in North Adams on Sunday, Sept. 30. The parade steps off at 1 p.m. from the Walmart parking lot on Route 8.

The Chamber, which sponsors the parade, needs a minimum of 150 carriers to tote the banners of corporate sponsors along the parade route. Everybody who volunteers to carry the banners of parade sponsors will receive an official parade T-shirt that is available exclusively to banner carriers.

The number of banner carriers increased for last year’s parade, and the Parade Committee is hoping for a similar result this year.

Contact Christine Hoyt at (413) 499-4000, ext. 126; or choyt@berk
shirechamber.com. Updates on the festival at www.fallfoliageparade.com.

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The Lenox Apple Squeeze, which is among the area’s first events launching the fall foliage season, is as down-home New England as you can find in these parts, along with the Lee Founders Weekend. And both are coming up this weekend.

In Lenox, Lilac Park, home to summertime bandstand concerts, is being transformed into a Kids’ Park on Saturday through the efforts of the Morris Elementary School PTO.

"It’s a lively family bash, featuring carnival games, a two-story giant inflatable ‘Big Kahuna’ slide, bouncy houses, live music, a Sol LeWitt-inspired community art project, face-painting and other kid-friendly activities," said Morris PTO member Margaret Keller.

Kids’ Park, open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. this Saturday, is in its fourth year and has emerged as a prime attraction of the annual Lenox Squeeze. It also features what organizers call "an amped-up lineup of live local bands," ranging from singer-songwriters to soul, funk, reggae and blues groups.

Individual tickets start at 50 cents for specific attractions; a full-day pass can be purchased for $25. Proceeds benefit student activities at the Morris public school.

The 33rd annual two-day festival, dubbed The Squeeze by locals, aims to celebrate autumn and the harvest, and features booths with artisan-crafted items, samplings of local restaurant fare and homemade baked goods, especially apple pies.

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Berkshire Immigrant Center is observing National Welcoming Week, a nationwide event that will promote meaningful connections and a spirit of unity between United States and foreign-born Americans by providing opportunities to learn about each other and work together for the greater good.

The Berkshire Immigrant Center, a Welcoming America affiliate, will mark the event with a "Welcoming Winter" clothing drive. Now through the end of September, the center will be collecting gently used clothing with an emphasis on winter coats and boots to distribute to the local immigrant and refugee community. Many newly arrived immigrants have relocated to the Berkshires from climates where winter clothing is not necessary and they are unprepared for the winter months ahead.

Clothing donations are welcomed and can be dropped off Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Berkshire Immigrant Center’s office on the second floor of the First Baptist Church, 88 South Street, Pittsfield.

Collection hours will also take place during this week’s Third Thursday street festival.

Information, (413) 445-4881 or email info@berkshireic.com.

County Fare, a weekly column featuring "tales from throughout the Berkshires," is compiled by Eagle staffers. Visit the County Fare blog at www.berkshireeagleblogs.com/countyfare.