Bits and Bites: Weekend festivities include wine, bratwurst and beer, Nutcracker Tea Party

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The National Alliance on Mental Illness Berkshire County is hosting a Chocolate and Wine Extravaganza from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday at the Stationery Factory, 63 Flansburg Ave., Dalton.

The fundraiser will showcase local merchants, including: DeMarsico's Wine Cellar, Gimme Some Sugar, Linda's Pastries, Mielke Confections and Sarah's Cheesecake & Cafe. The event will include samplings of chocolate treats and a variety of wine. There will also be a silent auction, and attendees will receive a commemorative wine glass.

Tickets are $35 in advance and $50 at the door. Advanced tickets may be purchased online at For more information, call 413-443-1666 or email

Proceeds from the event will support the programs of NAMI Berkshire County, which provides information, referrals, classes, workshops, support groups and advocacy to family members and caregivers of people living with mental illnesses throughout Berkshire County.


First Congregational Church and Christ Trinity Church are sponsoring a Bratwurst, Beer and Hymns from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday at Big Elm Brewing on Silver Street, Sheffield.

It's is a casual gathering of folks who like singing together with a craft beer in hand. Enjoy Padre Pollo's bratwurst, while drinking Big Elm beer and singing hymns and and raising money to support the 2020 Appalachian Trail ministry.(You don't need to drink beer or know any hymns to attend and have a good time.) Side-dishes and soft drinks will also be available.


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Join The Trustees of Reservations and Wheelhouse for "Dinner in 1800s New England: Celebrating the Apple!," a special farm-to-table dinner with historic foodways specialist Dennis Picard, in the historic parlor and dining rooms of the William Cullen Bryant Homestead, 5 to 7:30 p.m. Saturday.

Guests will dine on 19th-century inspired meal highlighting heritage apples and the cider-making season. Throughout the dinner, Picard will engage diners in conversation about cooking traditions in the 19th century with particular emphasis on that quintessential New England fruit: the apple.

Dress is informal. The cost is: Member, $76; nonmember. $95. For reservations, call 413-200-7262 or email Tickets are available for purchase at

The William Cullen Bryant Homestead is at 207 Bryant Road, Cummington.

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A fundraiser for the Columbia County Habitat for Humanity featuring local wines and seasonal small bites will be held from 3 to 5 p.m. Saturday at Sabba Vineyards 383 Pitts Road Old Chatham, N.Y. The cost is $35; RSVP at or call 518-828-0892


Butcher and charcuterie expert Jake Levin, will demonstrate mouth-watering smoking and curing methods and discuss the importance of buying local, pasture-raised meat — and how this decision impacts the environment and builds community connections at 6 p.m. Saturday at Hancock Shaker Village. The talk is part of Hancock Shaker's "Food for Thought" series.

Tickets are $100, $90 for members and include the demonstration, dinner, wine, and a copy of Levin's book, "The Smokehouse Handbook." Hancock Shaker Village is at 1843 West Housatonic St., Pittsfield.

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The Stockbridge Grange will serve a public, corned, beef and cabbage, dinner, served family-style fro 1 to 2 p.m. Sunday in the hall, 51 Church St., Stockbridge.

The cost is $12 for adults, children younger than 12, $6; and younger than 6, free. To place take-out orders, call 413-298-3185.


Albany Berkshire Ballet will offer a taste of "The Nutcracker" holiday magic with a special Nutcracker Tea Party from 3 to 5 p.m. Sunday at Zion Lutheran Church, Pittsfield.

This family experience will offer an array of sweet treats, tea, coffee and punch served up with excerpts of the Albany Berkshire Ballet's upcoming production of "The Nutcracker," performed by members of the ABB's Junior Company, along with other holiday-themed dances by the dancers of the Academies of the Cantarella School of Dance. The afternoon will culminate with the Sugar Plum Fairy performing the solo from the Grand Pas de Deux, from Act 2 of "The Nutcracker."

Tickets are $21 adults, $16 children 12 and younger, available online at, or at the Cantarella School of Dance, 116 Fenn St., Pittsfield.

For more information, call 413-445-5382 or email


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