The weekend festivities will begin on Friday, April 29 and run through Sunday, May 1. At noon on Friday, the city kicks off its birthday weekend with a free Arbor Day Celebration at Park Square, where an elm tree will be rededicated as a symbol of the historic elm that stood for centuries at the heart of Pittsfield. Bring your lunch and watch the rededication on the picnic tables provided.
Friday, April 29 | 12pm | Park Square | firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com | Free
The ceremonies then move to City Hall for an afternoon of great music, provided by the Eagles Band, Berkshire Hillsmen, and high school singers. Mayor Ruberto along with members of the Berkshire legislative delegation will speak about the importance of Pittsfield's past. The military honor guard will be present, and Pittsfield will also unveil its new city flag. Get into the spirit of our city by attending in period costume from 1761 to the present day.
Friday, April 29 | 1pm | City Hall | firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com | Free
Immediately following the opening ceremony, a free community performance entitled Pittsfield Past, Present and Future, will be held across the street at the United Methodist Church on Fenn Street. The night will feature performances by the Eagles Band, Price Memorial Church Choir, Pittsfield Children’s Chorus, Town Players, Miss Behavin’, Terpsichore Dancers, Senior Singers, Gaia Roots Drummers, Gospel Gang, Miss Cookie Crumble and many others celebrating the City through song, verse and pictures.
Friday, April 29 | 2pm | Park Square | firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com | Free
Friday evening, the celebration continues with free dance parties presenting a variety of genres beginning at 7:30pm. The dances will feature country music with the local band County Line at South Congregational Church beginning at 7:30pm; classic rock with DJ John Sottile at the Masonic Temple, also at 7:30pm; and Dance Band, part of the United Cerebral Palsy benefit at the Crowne Plaza, open to the public and free, from 9-11pm. Also on Friday evening, a number of Pittsfield restaurants will mark Pittsfield’s 250th Anniversary with Opening Celebration discounts and specials.
Friday, April 29: County Line | 7:30pm | South Congregational Church | 110 South Street | firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com | Free
Friday, April 29: DJ John Sottile| 7:30pm | Masonic Temple | 116 South Street | firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com | Free
Friday, April 29: Dance Band | 9pm | Crowne Plaza | 1 West Street | firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com | Free
On Saturday, the festivities continue all over Pittsfield and on one-day-only train rides from Pittsfield to Lenox! On Saturday, April 30, 2011 roundtrip passenger train service will operate from Pittsfield to Lenox for one day only to mark the 40th anniversary of the last southbound passenger train from Pittsfield, courtesy of the Housatonic Railroad Company and the Berkshire Scenic Railway Museum. The Berkshire Scenic Railway will offer the public free, hour and one-half, round-trip train rides in vintage passenger coaches between Pittsfield and the historic Lenox Train Station. During the break at Lenox, check out the gift shop and exhibits available to the public. Trains will depart at 10am, 12pm, and 3pm from the Pittsfield City Public Works maintenance facility at 232 West Housatonic Street, where parking is available. Passengers should be ready to board 15 minutes prior to departure.
There are a limited number of tickets for each run, so you should pick up the tickets ahead of time. Tickets for each run will be available for in-person pick-up at the Pittsfield Visitors Center located in the Colonial Theatre, 111 South Street, open Monday through Friday, 10am to 4pm and Saturdays, 10am to 2pm. Up to five free tickets per family will be available.
Saturday, April 30 | 10am, 12pm, 3pm | Pittsfield City Public Works | 232 West Housatonic Street | firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com | Free
Also on Saturday, the Berkshire Museum will hold a free all-day, 250th birthday family celebration from 10am to 5pm, complete with a cake cutting, two performances by David Grover, face painting and special activities. While you’re there, check out the Museum’s 250th exhibit, on view until May 8.
Saturday, April 30 | 10am - 5pm | Berkshire Museum | 39 South Street | 443-7171 | Free
Saturday night, Barrington Stage joins in on the celebration with their free screening of Glory, a 1989 Civil War film directed by Edward Zwick, starring Matthew Broderick, Denzel Washington, Cary Elwes and Morgan Freeman about the Massachusetts 54th African American Regiment, which Pittsfield’s Samuel Harrison served as chaplain.
Saturday, April 30 | 7pm | Barrington Stage Company | 30 Union Street | 236-8888 | Free
At Hancock Shaker Village on Sunday, celebrate baby animals, and get up close and personal, helping at feeding time and having special access to the newborns. There will also be a water turbine demonstration, a Shaker music program, and tours of the Brick Dwelling. While you’re there, don’t forget to explore the other historic Shaker buildings and look at artist Susan Merrill’s exhibit, Black & White Barnyard.
Sunday, May 1 | 10am - 12pm| Hancock Shaker Village | 1843 W. Housatonic St | 443-0188 | Free 10am - 12noon for Berkshire County Residents
Finally, on Sunday night, the Boston Symphony Orchestra presents Tanglewood Music Center Fellows in a free, special chamber concert at the Colonial Theatre. For the first time at the Colonial, recent and current Tanglewood Music Center Fellows are coming together to performing chamber music as part of the Pittsfield 250th Celebration. Do not miss this chance to hear the future stars of the musical world in concert together. Tickets are free, but reservations are highly recommended.
Sunday, May 1 | 2pm | Colonial Theatre | 111 South Street | 997-4444 | Free
The first weekend in July will also be packed with special events celebrating Pittsfield’s 250th birthday – and if you’re out of town, Pittsfield invites you to come back home for the big weekend. There will be a free patriotic concert by Berkshire Lyric and the Eagles Band at First Methodist Church on Friday, July 1st. On Saturday, July 2nd, UNICO and the Senior Center will serve a pancake breakfast. All weekend long, the Pittsfield Colonials will play games and there will also be a charity car show at Hillcrest. Take a walk down memory lane and enjoy good food, camaraderie and reminisce with old friends at the welCOME BACK buffet reunion dinner, which will be held at Berkshire Hills Country Club Sunday night at 5:30. Click here to reserve a spot to the dinner. Stay until Monday and enjoy the Fourth of July parade, Pittsfield: Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow. That night, there will be fireworks set off at Wahconah Park, after a Colonials game.
While you're out and about in Pittsfield, don't forget to look down on the ground and see some great pieces of art, historical photographs, and poetry & prose installed on the sidewalks all over the city! It's all part of Pittsfield's Walk On project.
To find out more information about all the events going on during Pittsfield's 250th Celebration, click here!