By G. Michael Dobbs
HOLYOKE -- The second annual Discover Holyoke day promises to present not only attractions from last year's premiere event but also several new features.
Melissa Boisselle, the executive director of the Wistartriahurst Museum and the president of Passport Holyoke, Inc., told Reminder Publications the goal of the day was to promote the city as a destination for art, entertainment and tourism. Last year, she said that between 350 and 450 people came for Discover Holyoke and many of those were from around Western Massachusetts.
With Wistariahurst, The Volleyball Hall of Fame, The Children's Museum, Heritage State Park and the Merry-Go-Round as permanent attractions and organizations such as the Holyoke Civic Symphony, the Holyoke Creative Arts Center, the Enchanted Circle Theater, the Holyoke Public Library and the Massachusetts Academy of Ballet offering regular programming, Boisselle said "[Holyoke] has a lot to offer."
One popular feature will return this year, she noted. The Pioneer Valley Railroad will have an engine, boxcar and a caboose at Holyoke Heritage State Park.
The day is a rain or shine event.
"This is a really good chance to explore in your own backyard," she said.
Participants need to purchase wristbands at $1 each, available in advance at Wistariahurst Museum. On Oct. 23, wristbands can be purchased throughout the day at Wistariahurst Museum, Open Square, Heritage State Park Visitor's Center, Victory Theater and at the Holyoke Council on Aging.
The schedule for the day is as follows:
• 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.:Wistariahurst Museum will offer Historic House Tours and Gallery Exhibits (1/2 price admission)
• Noon to 3 p.m.: Heritage State Park Explore a locomotive train and caboose operated by Pioneer Valley Railroad, (free entry).
• 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.:Children's Museum (free entry).
• Noon to 3 p.m.: Merry-Go-Round (50 rides).
• 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.: Volleyball Hall of Fame (free entry).
• 10:30 a.m.: Story time at the Holyoke Public Library. Free.
• 11:30 a.m.: Beaded jewelry workshop for all ages with the Holyoke Creative Arts Center at the library. Free.
• 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.: Historic Holyoke Tours on a Peter Pan Double Decker Bus, led by city historian. Departs from Wistariahurst hourly. Free.
• 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.: Victory Theater tours on the hour. Free
• 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.: Holyoke Community College will offer tours of the new Picknelly Adult and Family Education Center at the Multimodal Transportation Center on Maple Street hourly. Free.
• 11 a.m. to 2: p.m.: Holyoke Cultural Council Community Input & Informational Table at Open Square. Free.
• 11:45 a.m.: Swing dance demonstration by Holyoke Creative Arts Center at Open Square. Free.
• 12:30 p.m.: Musical preview of Enchanted Circle Theater's production of "Sojourner's Truth: I will shake every place I go to" at Open Square. Free.
• 1:15 p.m.: Massachusetts Academy of Ballet student recital at Open Square. Free.
• 2 p.m.: Holyoke Civic Symphony String Quartet performance at Open Square. Free.
• 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.: Art Show, "Edifice." Free.
• 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.: Tag sale at 380 Appleton St. , sponsored by the Friends of the Holyoke Council on Aging, at the War Memorial.
• 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.: Tag sale at 400 South Elm St., sponsored by the Holyoke Creative Arts Center.
• 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.: Brennan's Place, 173 High St., is offering food at half price to anyone wearing a wrist band.
Additional information can be found at www.passportHolyoke.org.
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