Downtown Pittsfield's Festive Frolic expands to include pub crawl and Santa visits

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PITTSFIELD — The downtown Festive Frolic will grow this year, reaching beyond a Friday evening stroll to include activities like a pub crawl and family-friendly fun on Saturday.

One important new addition to the roster: Santa Claus will be stationed at the Beacon Cinema from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, and will be available for photos and visits with children. While the event is free, those participating are asked to bring either warm clothing or $5 to donate to the Berkshire Community Action Council.

Downtown Pittsfield Inc. launched the Festive Frolic last year as a way to build off the Wreath Art Auction at the Lichtenstein Center for the Arts and the city's annual tree-lighting ceremony in Park Square, which start Friday at 5 and 6 p.m., respectively.

Last year, the organization lit the pilot light, and this year, the event stretches into a two-day affair aimed at drawing feet downtown and into city shops.

The first night of festivities also coincides with the First Friday Artswalk, which will feature dozens of local artists, beginning at 5 p.m. with a free guided tour beginning at the Intermodal Center at the Berkshire Regional Transit Authority.

The night also features a special showing of the Festival of Trees at the Berkshire Museum from 5 to 8 p.m. Tickets are $5 for nonmembers and free for children 3 and younger.

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Businesses throughout downtown will put on a festive face for the event — Township Four will do free wreath-making demonstrations through the evening Friday, and Berkshire Paint and Sip will host a "Winter Stroll" painting session starting at 6 p.m. and for a $35 admission fee.

The North Pole Pub Crawl kicks off at 5 p.m. with drinks at The Lantern, and includes stops at Methuselah Bar and Lounge, Hotel on North, Panchos Mexican Restaurant, and Thistle and Mirth. Each venue will boast a special holiday cocktail; the last stop wraps at 1 a.m.

On Saturday, the Berkshire Athenaeum will host free snowman story time and activities, beginning at 10:15 a.m. Kids also can participate in free arts and crafts from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Peace Train Tees, and Berkshire Paint and Sip will host a holiday ornament workshop from 1 to 3 p.m. Admission is $30.

"The Polar Express" will be screened at the Beacon both days for $1. Marketplace Cafe will offer half-priced hot chocolate both days.

Festivities will continue into the evening Saturday, with showings of "The Nutcracker" at Barrington Stage Company, and with "A Christmas Carol" at the Colonial Theatre.

A full schedule of events for the Festive Frolic is available online at downtownpittsfield.com.

Amanda Drane can be contacted at adrane@berkshireeagle.com, @amandadrane on Twitter, and 413-496-6296.


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