A real brouhaha in the Hilltowns ...


It's time for the 3rd annual Hilltown Brouhaha, which is quickly becoming a summer tradition in the Berkshires.

The daylong festival on Saturday, July 14, will see the usually tranquil towns of Becket and Washington hopping with hundreds of people, seeking to enjoy a day of food, drink, music and games — along with other diversions.

Among the most popular brouhaha events is "Build Your Own Fairy House," during which kids can construct fairy residences, and can later stash their creations in the neighboring garden. Students from the American Dance Institute will also be performing during the fair, and a variety of music groups will be playing throughout the day, such as the local country rock band, Whiskey City.

"It's geared towards everybody," said Jennifer Beatty, co-president of the Becket-Washington Parent Teacher Organization (PTO), a major organizer of the Brouhaha event. "We really want to highlight what Becket and Washington have to offer, we are a very small community and we wanted to create a space where we could all be together."

This year, raffle proceeds will aid the Becket-Washington PTO at the Becket Washington School, an organization that helps keep students and parents engaged in the community. Each vendor will donate a prize, and participants have a chance to win one of these prizes by entering the $25 raffle.

Other attractions include a tag sale, an evening beer garden hosted at the Volunteer Fireman's Pavilion in North Becket, a bounce house, and a special performance by Bowey the Magic Clown. Organizers said that they have included something for individuals and family members of all ages, and have printed about 350 maps for fair attendees, detailing various spectacle and sale sites.

"We've got plenty of parking — we are really hopeful for good weather, and for lots of people," said Beatty, who added that she is expecting a crowd of 200-400 people.

More than 10 organizations have been working together for nine months to put the event together. Several community groups in Becket and Washington will be participating in the fair, including the Congregational Church, the Becket Athenaeum Library and the Becket Arts Center.

"We all come to the table with our own contributions," said Beatty. "And what really makes it a successful fair is that we are all together trying to make the best of it. Everyone has something different to contribute."

Schedule of events

Daytime Events at Washington Town Park

9 a.m.-4 p.m.: Police Association Kids' Bike Raffle; Build Your Own Fairy House; Becket Athenaeum & Becket Arts Center Silent Auctions; BOC-YMCA Children's Activities; Becket Federated Church Food Sales; Tour Ambulance & Firetruck

9 a.m.-3 p.m.: Becket Athenaeum Book Sale; BWCP Raffle to benefit PTO

10 a.m.-2 p.m.: PTO Carnival - Passport to Fun, Games, Bounce House

10 a.m.-noon: Bowey the Magic Clown

10 a.m. until gone: Congregational Church Strawberry Shortcake Sale

11 a.m.: Performance by students from the American Dance Institute in front of gazebo

11:30 a.m.-4 p.m.: Wandering Star Beer Sales

Noon-1:45 p.m.: Lulu and the Shoemakers, bluegrass music at the gazebo

2-3 p.m.: Proud Poverty, folk favorites music at the gazebo

Evening Activities at the Volunteer Firemen's Pavilion in North Becket

6-11 p.m.: Food sales by Volunteer Firemen; Beer Garden hosted by Wandering Star Brewery

6-8 p.m.: Music and dancing, DJ music

8-11 p.m.: Live music by Whiskey City


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