Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Berkshire Fools Festival 2009

The Berkshire Fool's Festival marked the 33rd anniversary of the Greasepaint Treaty of 1976, signed in Pittsfield, which marked the end of the Clown Wars, the catastrophic conflict between clowns and mimes that began in the 1960s.

The Fools Festival brought together artists, organizations and businesses in a multi-media, multi-venue, always surprising celebration with more than a dozen exciting events that took place from April 1-5. The festival included theatre, music, art exhibitions and activities that were engaging for all ages.

To start off the festival, the Office of Cultural Development pulled a city-wide prank on the citizens of Pittsfield by releasing a Cultural Pittsfield This Week newsletter that was presented as the very last. The newsletter stated:

Pittsfield's Office of Cultural Development has been diligent in informing citizens about the many fun Pittsfield events that occur every day via Cultural Pittsfield This Week. Unfortunately, the ever-increasing number of cultural activities has led to the newsletter's downfall. City Hall's IT department has informed us that we have overwhelmed available memory space on the shared server. There is no longer room to store the dozens of new events and activities happening each week in Pittsfield. Therefore Cultural Pittsfield This Week will no longer be published until further notice. "

Surprisingly, no one noticed the little note at the bottom of the newsletter informing readers that all of this was a joke and performed in the good spirit of April Fools. The city went into a frenzy. The Office of Cultural Development received both very concerned and angry phone calls, e-mails, and in one case, a disgruntle letter to the Mayor! Even the IT Department down at City Hall took this joke to heart. Indeed, the staff of the Office of Cultural Development has something to be proud of; a successful city-wide prank is definitely something that is hard to accomplish.

As for the actual festival, many members of the Pittsfield community enjoyed themselves despite the rain by attending various events. Throughout the five day event, there were special gallery exhibits, lectures, plays, and parties. With events like these, every day in Pittsfield must be a good day!

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