Holyoke presents day of arts, food and fun

Oct. 17, 2011

By G. Michael Dobbs

Managing Editor

HOLYOKE — From discounted food and rides on the Merry-Go-Round to cake decorating demonstrations, historic tours and performances, the third annual Discover Holyoke Day promises to show off the Paper City in a big way.

Melissa Boisselle, president of PassportHolyoke.org and director of the Wistariahurst Museum, told Reminder Publications that while Holyokers turn out for the daylong event, visitors from throughout the Valley have come too.

With the purchase of a $1 wristband, participants can enjoy a wide range of activities throughout the city. The wristbands can be bought at Wistariahurst in advance or on the day of the event at Open Square, the Holyoke Merry-Go-Round, Victory Theater and the United Congregational Church.

PassportHolyoke.org is a non-profit coalition of Holyoke-based organizations and businesses dedicated to the promotion of tourism to the city as well as economic growth.

“Holyoke offers exciting theater, art and dance, plus museums to explore,” Boisselle said. “It’s a wonderful mix of urban downtown and great natural landscapes.”

Throughout the day, a Peter Pan Double Decker Bus will travel the streets with a guided history tour led by the City Historian Penni Martorell.

Boisselle said attendance has grown each year and the organizers are hoping there will be an increase in visitors again this year.

While some of the planning takes place during the three months prior to the event, Boisselle said right after the day each of the activities is examined to see what participants liked or disliked and planning begins for the next year.

The schedule for this year’s event is as follows:

• 10 to 10:30 a.m. — Discover Holyoke Kick Off at Wistariahurst Museum with Holyoke St. Patrick’s Day Parade Grand Colleen and Miss Congeniality, Holyoke Caledonian Bagpipers.

• 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. — Historic bus tours on the hour beginning at Wistariahurst. Last bus leaves at 2:30 p.m.

• 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. — Wistariahurst Museum offering historic house tours (at half price) and Gallery Exhibition: “The Carlos Vega Collection of Latino History in Holyoke.”

• 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. — Holyoke Cultural Council offering grant opportunities and information at Wistariahurst Museum.

• 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. — Tours of the United Congregational Church, including Skinner Chapel. Hear the two pipe organs.

• 11 a.m., noon and 1 p.m. — “Historic Holyoke: A Virtual Tour” at the Picknelly Adult and Family Education Center, Computer Center, first floor, Maple Street.

• 11 a.m. to noon — “Cards, Crafts, and Children’s Creativity” at the Holyoke Public Library.

• 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. — “Before the Curtain Call: Art at the Victory Theatre” and open house, at the Massachusetts International Festival of the Arts.

• All day — Dam Café offering 10 percent off regular coffee and 15 percent off appetizers.

• 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. — Mt. Joe Café offering 50 percent discount on coffee.

• Noon to 2 p.m. — Brennans Café offering 25 percent off food and free non-alcoholic beverages.

At the Canal Gallery on Dwight Street:

• Noon to 4 p.m. — Members exhibit and open house of Holyoke League of Arts.

• Noon to 4 p.m. — Create your own collage activity for all ages.

• Noon to 3 p.m. — Demonstrations in portraits, sculpture, painting.

At Holyoke Heritage State Park:

• Noon to 4:30 p.m. — Volleyball Hall of Fame (free admission).

• Noon to 3 p.m. — Heritage State Park (free admission).

• Noon to 3 p.m. — Board the Pioneer Valley Railroad parked train (free).

• Noon to 4 p.m. — Holyoke Merry Go Round (50-cent rides)

• 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. — Holyoke Children’s Museum (half-price admission).

• 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. — Slice Café, Mill 1, (free gourmet dessert with lunch order).

• 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. — Exhibit of “Ballet Dancers: Urban Portrait Series,” Mill 4, fourth floor (free).

• 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. — “Un Vitrail Photographie” exhibit, Mill 4, second floor (free).

• 11:30 a.m. — Demonstration: Cup Cakes for all Occasions, Holyoke Creative Arts Center, Mill 1, Outside Slice Cafe (free).

• 12:30 p.m. — Come chat with the Director Enchanted Circle Theater, Mill 1, second floor (free).

• 1 p.m. — Massachusetts Ballet Academy student performance, Mill 4, fourth floor (free).

• 1:45 p.m. — Ballroom dancing performance and demonstration, Holyoke Creative Arts Center, Mill 4, fourth floor (free).

• 2:15 p.m. — Holyoke Civic Symphony Quartet performance, Mill 4, fourth floor (free).

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