What’s New?

This year the Organizers are celebrating 20 years of this Fantastic Festival.  Who would have imagined that in 1999, when a small group of people gathered and decided to hold a Festival, that it would have thrived and grown into its current incarnation — a family-friendly and hugely popular event that showcases the beauty and talent of the North Quabbin region.  Still passionate about upholding the mission of the festival to preserve and support the environment and the community, the organizers strive to bring new ideas, exhibitors, vendors, and experiences to festival attendees each year.

For 2018 they are sharing the bounty of the North Quabbin region with the Festival attendees.  Pick up a packet of Bee the Change pollinator seeds from American Meadows at the Portal to the Future, The Seeds of Solidarity booth, the Info/Sales Booth, or the Kids Activity Tent — a gift from the festival to sow goodness far and wide.

Got lawn?  There are more sustainable alternatives.  Step through the Portal to the Future and see how you can make your lawn disappear — into cover crops, pollinator plants, and food for your family and friends.

On Sunday, at 3 PM, a parade, led by the Inside Out Dance Company, the Expandable Brass Band and MuZen Puppet Theater, will begin at the Kids Activity Tent and circle the field, joined by children, puppets, and enthusiastic supporters.  A moment of peaceful silence will be observed in the games area.  And a giant “birthday” cake served to all.

If you want to know how the Festival came to be held at Forster’s Farm, hear the story as performed by Grandma Forster herself — as part of the contribution of MuZen Puppet Theater to this year’s festival.  Twice a day “Grandma” will tell the “Tales of the Farm” in the MuZen Puppet tent on the Main Field, below the bread oven.  Check the schedules and field map for times and location.

Check out “Slow Cloth” at the Fiber Demo Tent.  For 20 years we’ve been learning about sustainability at the festival – agriculture, energy, commerce, resources – and this year a new focus will be cloth.  There’s “slow food” at the chef demo tent and now there will “slow cloth” at the Fiber Demo Tent. Come learn about the Massachusetts “fiber shed.”  See demonstrations of how plant and animal fibers are prepared to be spun into threads, then woven into cloth, or twisted into rope. Natural dyes are all around us to provide inspiring colorways. Handwoven cloth becomes bed and table linens, curtains, towels, rugs, and all manner of clothing. Natural fibers that don’t create ecosystem havoc, and last many times longer than mass-produced “bargains.” We look forward to sharing all this with you!

This year, thanks to Pioneer Valley Photovoltaics and Domestic DC Systems, the entire festival — stages and vendors — will be powered by solar and batteries.  No running generators required.

We heard our attendees and have made a change to the admissions process.  Credit/debit cards will be accepted at the Entry Gates and at the Sales Tent.