NORTH ADAMS -- Nestled in the Berkshires' steep hills, it can often feel like a relaxing beach is light years away.
But this Friday, the beach is coming to North Adams.
The city of North Adams and local artist Eric Rudd are hosting the 16th annual Eagle Street Beach Party during the day, and the fifth annual adult-themed Mexican Fiesta at night.
Specialty Minerals, of Adams, is once again donating 500,000 pounds of sand that city Department of Public Works employees will spread out over the historic Eagle Street, offering North Adams residents a once-a-year opportunity to enjoy the beach downtown.
While kids will have access to several hundred beach toys during the day, the real fun will begin for adults from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. Desperado's Mexican restaurant will serve margaritas and Mexican beer, while local artist Lita Williams provides live music.
In addition to the drinking, Desperado's will also hold a hot wing-eating contest open to anyone who wishes to register. It begins at 8 p.m., with registration during the hours beforehand.
The family-oriented half of the Eagle Street beach party will be held from 3:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Mildred Elley's Pittsfield campus donated hundreds of beach toys that children can use for free.
And for those who have worked through the 10-week Mayor's Fitness Challenge, the beach party will signal the end of their endeavor. The Mass in Motion team, which created the challenge, will hold a final celebration on the beach at 6:30 p.
And when it's all over, of course, somebody has to pick up all that sand. City DPW workers will be out until as late as 1 a.m. clearing the road, according to Veronica Bosley, the city's director of tourism.
"The city has got it down to pretty much a science," Bosley said. "They put in a lot of work that day."
No matter how hard the DPW works, however, a small amount of dust might linger on the street into the next week -- a friendly reminder of a good party.