Well, dear readers, the third Thursday in June is here and the true start of summer is literally right around the corner (on Monday, to be exact). So now's the time to enjoy the last days of spring, not to mention the return to warmer temperatures, by getting out and about the Shires. Here's just a sampling of what's on tap this weekend and beyond:
The Lion's Den at the Red Lion Inn on Main Street in Stockbridge offers live music each evening. Coming up tonight is TuTu Much (eclectic, Caribe-vibe cigar box blues); Acoustic Marshpit ("an electrifying duo for every audience") on Friday; Diva & the Dirty Boys ("tight '60s rock with a twist of Diva") on Saturday; Dick Solberg and the Sun Mountain Band (fiddle-based Americana) on Sunday; newcomer Jonah Tolchin on Monday; Art Steele blues on Tuesday; and the down-home stylings of the Berkshires' own Chris Merenda on Wednesday. Music typically starts around 8 p.m., and there's never a cover.
• Because it is the third Thursday of the month, that means that it's once again time for the Third Thursday celebration, held from 5 to 8 p.m., throughout downtown Pittsfield. Health, fitness and wellness are the night's theme, so expect to move and groove and find delicious and nutritious food and drink there, along with lots of live music and performances and other vendors. As always, this event is free and open to the public. Full schedule: www.discoverpittsfield.com/3rdthursdays.
• Need to get your dance on? The Tavern at The A, located at 303 Crane Ave. in Pittsfield, will host "Latin Summer Night at the Tavern." The event starts at 8 p.m., with an hour-long cha-cha lesson, then open dancing goes til 1 a.m., with DJ Rolo, aka Andres Prieto, playing salsa, merengue, bachata, cha-cha, kizomba and more. Admission is $10 general admission or $8 for students. Bring cash for a raffle.
• Northampton jazz outfit, FlavaEvolution, will swing through Pittsfield, starting a set at 8 p.m. at Mission Bar + Tapas, at 438 North St. in Pittsfield.
• Bakers Golf Center, located at 658 South Main St., in Lanesborough, will host another increasingly popular "Glow Ball Miniature Golf" night, where groups can tee off anytime between 9 and 10:30 p.m., on a first-come basis. There will be limited light as glow sticks and glow-in-the-dark cups light the way. Regular admission prices, $3 to $6.50, apply.
• Do you like playing tabletop role-playing games (RPGs) like Dungeons & Dragons, Dungeon Crawl Classics, or Mutant Crawl Classics? If so, you won't want to miss Free RPG Day at the UNO Community Center, 157 River St. in North Adams. Doors will open at 1 p.m. and games will start around 1:30 and last until around 5:30. Bring your dice if you have 'em. In addition to gaming, there will be RPG giveaways, free pencils, a T-shirt and dice raffle and more. You can also meet one of the writers of such Goodman Games products as "Peril on the Purple Planet" and the "Advent of the Avalanche Lords."
• From noon to 6, stop by Wandering Star Craft Brewery, 11 Gifford St. in Pittsfield, to celebrate its fifth birthday, rain or shine. There will be a barbecue, live music by B.A. Dario, Hi8us and Lulu & the Shoemakers; a bounce house, cornhole toss, and the Knights of Ye Talbot Companye will be putting on a medieval swordfighting exhibition.
• Starting at 9:30 p.m., the local rock band Shepards Crossing will play at the Hinsdale Homeclub, located at 213 South St., in Hinsdale. There's a $5 cover.
• Circle of Stone returns to the Tavern at The A in Pittsfield, starting at 9:30 p.m.
• Bright Ideas Brewing has been up and running for awhile, but will celebrate its official grand opening from 2 to 7 p.m. on Sunday, on the Mass MoCA campus in North Adams. There will be live music featuring Los Angeles Americana-soul from Freddy & Francine and bluegrass from Burlington, Vermont's Old Sky; oysters and delicious street-style food from Bon Tricycle, Hot Tomatoes, and Hops and Vines Beer Garden & Brasserie, and, of course, beer.
• From 5 to 7 p.m., Kirtan Soul Revival will be bringing lots of love and music from New York City to Sruti Berkshire Yoga Center, 33 Railroad St., in Great Barrington. The group will offer new chants and a brand new CD set to release in the fall but available in pre-release just for this tour. Enjoy chanting, funky beats, dancing, and community for $15 general admission.