Ramblefest gets community geared up for 50th ascent to Greylock summit

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ADAMS — For Deb Payton, Columbus Day weekend means family reunion.

Her sister's family from Harrisburg, Penn. pays a visit for the early fall foliage, crisp autumn air (not this year) and Ramblefest.

The annual block party on the eve of the Greylock Ramble is a must-attend event for the Payton clan.

"We come for the kids activities, dance to the music and eat good food," she said while watching her son and niece decorate pumpkins inside the Adams Visitors Center on Sunday afternoon.

Six-year-old Abram Payton brightened the table of other beautified orange gourds with a smiling pumpkin.

"I like happiness," he said.

Despite the on-off showers, the crowd was in a good mood enjoying the live music of Quarter Life Crisis and License to Groove, visiting the dozens of food, beverage and craft vendors and enjoying the company of family and friends.

Introduced five years ago, Ramblefest has enhanced the trek up Mount Greylock, making the North Berkshire town the October place to be.

"Adams is Columbus Day weekend," said Erin Mucci of ProAdams, sponsors of the weekend celebration.

The downtown festival is the prelude to the Columbus Day tradition of thousands hiking the Cheshire Harbor Trail to the summit of Mount Greylock — the state's highest peak at 3,491 feet — for a spectacular view of the Berkshires' autumn colors.

Shuttles to the Ramble will run most of the day to and from the Adams Free Library.

Library volunteers were also on hand Sunday enlightening Ramblefest attendees about their programs and special events, such as the Oct. 21 "Evening of Song," all while raising some money selling popcorn, souvenir apparel and other library-related items.

"What we do, we do for the town," said President Carleen Butler.

A fall celebration in Adams wouldn't be complete without apples, pears, plums, apple cider and baked goods from Jaeschke's Orchard. Lynne McClusky was on hand to sell the fruits of the Jaeschke's family's labor.

"We're here to help keep the Adams community together — plus we have really good donuts," she said.

Reach staff writer Dick Lindsay at 496-6233



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