KEEPING THANKSGIVING SIMPLE

KEEPING THANKSGIVING SIMPLE

In many ways Thanksgiving can be one of the most daunting American holidays of the year. As tradition goes, we feel the need to make sure every Thanksgiving dish is nothing short of perfection. From hand picking our ingredients at local farmers markets to prepping the food, sometimes up to a week in advance, it can certainly get overwhelming.

There’s a lot to think about. Aside from planning a delicious meal, you may also feel pressure about how to keep your family, friends, and guests entertained, especially if they’re visiting for multiple days. You might begin to wonder, “Where will they stay?” or “What else can we do? Thankfully, Johnny Appleseed Country can offer ways to keep Thanksgiving simple.

 

Stick with tradition and hand pick your ingredients from the local farms and orchards, here is a list of open places with undeniably fresh harvest options.  

  • The Red Apple Farm (Phillipston) – Open daily 9am to 6pm.
  • Bolton Orchards (Bolton) – Open daily 7am to 6pm.
  • Carlson Orchards (Harvard) – Mon. –  Fri. 9am to 6pm, Sat. & Sun. 9am to 5pm.
  • Heifer Farm (Rutland) – Open daily from 9am to 5pm.
  • Hollis Hills Farm (Fitchburg) – Mon. – Fri. 10am to 6pm, Sat. & Sun. 8am to 6pm.
  • Kalon Farms (Ashburnham & Lancaster) – Lancaster farm open daily 10am to 6pm, Ashburnham farm open weekends only 10am to 2pm
  • Lanni Orchards (Lunenburg) – Open daily 8am to 6pm

Lastly, here are some helpful suggestions for those visiting family, friends, or guests planning to stay in Appleseed Country.

O Christmas Tree!

For a few short weeks each winter, they stand as beacons on town commons and brighten windows of homes. Many tell stories, festooned with ornaments accumulated and passed down through generations.

And in Johnny Appleseed Country, they take center stage in museum galleries, historical society rooms and public halls for all to enjoy.

Ideas Galore

Looking for ideas for a new theme for your holiday decorating? Head to Gardner, for the Gardner Museum’s annual Festival of Trees. From November 9 through December 2, you can wander through the rooms of the Museum, getting inspiration from dozens of tree decorated by local individuals, businesses and community groups. You never know what you might see at this event that’s been running for more than a decade: themes based on popular movie characters, New England sports teams, and various modes of transportation. Trees with baby items and beach gear.  Santas and snowmen. Dogs and ducks. And along with the light-hearted decorations, there are likely to be trees with Victorian, Colonial or contemporary themes, too.

Adding to the fun is the raffle. Yes, you could win one of these creative conifers — and take it home in time for your own holiday season!

Want more?

Visit Leominster City Hall for that city’s Festival of Trees, running from November 27 to December 17. The city also hosts a Winter Stroll through the downtown district on December 2, when you can take in the decorated windows of local stores and watch the lighting of the tree.

Prefer to see those decorations in context? How about taking a holiday house tour? Historical societies and homeowners in Fitchburg, Leominster, Winchendon and Westminster will be rolling out the red carpet, inviting visitors to see trees — and so much more! Staircase railings, fireplace mantles, dining room tables, porches … home-decorating ideas roll out endlessly at these local fund-raising events. Check the calendar section of this Guide for details.

Tree, check. Lights, check. Tinsel, got it. Now let your imagination run wild — with a little help from these community showcases!

 

Johnny Appleseed Trail Association Donates to Athol Firefighters’ Association

The Johnny Appleseed Trail Association (JATA), an affiliate of the North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce, made a donation of $3,085.00 to the Athol Firefighters’ Association in September to aid in their fire relief efforts.  The donation came from a portion of the money raised at the 2017 Appleseed Country Fair held Labor Day weekend.

Roy M. Nascimento, president of the Johnny Appleseed Trail Association presented the check to Deputy Chief Jeffrey Parker (pictured in the center of the photo) and Bruce Winters (pictured on the left of the photo) on September 27, 2017 at Red Apple Farm in Phillipston, Massachusetts.

“We are extremely grateful to the hard working and dedicated members of the association for their efforts and assistance this year with the Appleseed Country Fair,” said Roy M. Nascimento, president of JATA. “The volunteers from the Athol Firefighters’ Association were critical in helping to organize the parking during the fair and did an amazing job of getting over 10,000 people in and out safely, quickly and easily.”

Johnny Appleseed Trail Association Donates to Phillipston Firefighters’ Association

The Johnny Appleseed Trail Association (JATA) made a donation of $3,085.00 to the Phillipston Firefighters’ Association in September to aid in their fire relief efforts.  The donation came from a portion of the money raised at the 2017 Appleseed Country Fair held Labor Day weekend.

Roy M. Nascimento, president of the Johnny Appleseed Trail Association presented the check to Captain John Seamon, Jr. of the association (pictured on the right in the photo) on September 27, 2017 at Red Apple Farm in Phillipston, Massachusetts.

“We are extremely grateful to the hard working and dedicated members of the association for their efforts and assistance this year with the Appleseed Country Fair,” said Roy M. Nascimento, president of JATA. “The volunteers from the Phillipston Firefighters’ Association were critical in helping to organize the parking during the fair and did an amazing job of getting over 10,000 people in and out safely, quickly and easily.”

Experience North Central at Red Apple Farm

Johnny Appleseed Trail Association and Chamber offer new experiential networking series

The Johnny Appleseed Trail Association (JATA) and the North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce are pleased to announce the launch of their newest networking program, Experience North Central!  This new quarterly series offers guests a unique opportunity to experience local businesses and attractions while networking with other like-minded professionals.  The first session will be held from 5:30pm to 7:30pm on Thursday, September 28th, 2017 at Red Apple Farm located at 455 Highland Avenue, Phillipston, MA.

Each session of the Experience North Central will offer a non-traditional networking opportunity with a fun, experiential learning twist.  The first edition of the new series hosted by Red Apple Farm will feature a farm tour, discussion with the fourth generation owner and operator, Al Rose, and the hands on experience of making and eating Red Apple’s famous cider donuts!  Red Apple Farm will also offer farm oriented refreshments and a cash bar during the event.

“We’re excited to launch this unique new event series as a way to help connect members through these fun shared experiences,” said Roy Nascimento, President of the North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce and the Johnny Appleseed Trail Association.  “Experience North Central is a great way to meet other professionals and leaders in the community while also promoting the great attractions and businesses that we have to offer here in the region.”

The 105 year old Red Apple Farm opened in 1912 with beginnings in wholesale apples.  Now a destination for everything autumn oriented, Red Apple Farm has three locations: the Farm, Wachusett Mountain, and the City of Boston: opening one of the largest stalls at Boston Public Market two years ago.  Their famously delicious cider donuts are made daily and sold at each location.

The next Experience North Central is scheduled for October 18th with a beer tasting at Moon Hill Brewing and will include a discussion of the micro-brew industry with owner Rick Walton and their head brewer.  Upcoming Experience North Central events will offer behind the scene tours of local companies and attractions; and other interactive and experiential networking events.

The cost of the September event is $15 for Chamber and JATA members and $25 for non members. For registration, please visit www.northcentralmass.com or contact Maria McCaffrey at 978.353.7604 x. 235 or mmccaffrey@northcentralmass.com

 

Advertise with the Country Guide

Don’t get left out! Planning is underway for the Spring/Summer Johnny Appleseed Country Guide and the time is now to reserve your spot. The publication is distributed at over 350 locations locally and throughout New England and into Canada promoting North Central Massachusetts as a great place to visit, play and live. Expand your company’s presence in the community and with the traveling public by advertising with the Johnny Appleseed Country Guide. Please contact Diane Burnette at 978-534-2829 or David Ginisi at 978-353-7600 ext. 240 for more information or to reserve your advertisement.

Experience Massachusetts in

Welcome to Johnny Appleseed Country! Here you will be able to find information on the attractions, lodgings, restaurants, shops, and events that make the 26 cities and towns of north central the perfect travel destination. Continue to the rest of the site and begin your adventure to Johnny Appleseed Country.

Fireworks, Food and Fun!

Looking for something fun to do with family and friends this 4th of July? Look no further than right here in North Central Massachusetts! With dozens of things to do the week of the 4th, you are certain to find something that everyone in your party will enjoy.

1. Cruise Night at Kimball Farm (June 30 @ 8:00 am – 5:00 pm)
Kimball’s recurring event is always a fan favorite. Take your family to ice cream where you can also enjoy browsing over 300 cars, hot rods, classic cars and uniques on display. Enjoy music by The 215th US Army Band performs and giveaways! Also don’t forget to take a ride on the original Kimball Express.
2. Splash Bash Weekend (July 1 – July 2)
Come to Davis Farmland July 1st weekend and celebrate the opening of Adventure Play and Spray. While you’re there check out the interactive animal showcase and explore Adventureland!

3. Ayer Parade and Fireworks (July 1 @ 2:00 pm – 11:00 pm)
The 4th celebration begins with a parade at 2 pm on Main Street, followed by a bike decorating contest, fair with vendors and crafters, food and live entertainment, capped by fireworks at 9:30 pm. Make sure to stop by and start your 4th festivities!

4. Concert at Monument Park (July 1 @ 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm & July 8 @ 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm)
Bring a lawn chair and blanket, and come on down and enjoy a wide variety and taste of music. The concerts includes performances from bands like Trailer Park, a Rock and Roll with Saxophones band. Don’t miss a beat and bring the family down for a night of music!

5. Moonlight Hike and Campfire for Families (July 1 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm)
Listen for owls or coyotes, and walk among lightning bugs in the meadows, then enjoy s’mores around the campfire, nothing says the 4th of July like the great outdoors! Fee: $15 Adult, $8 Child.
6. Fitchburg Block Party and Fireworks (July 3 @ 5:00 pm – 11:00 pm)
The annual Civic Days celebration continues with music on three stages, food and fun all day, and then fireworks starting at 10:00 pm on Rollstone Hill.

7. Fitchburg Fourth of July Parade (July 4 @ 10:00 am – 12:00 pm)
Continue the 4th festivities in downtown Fitchburg, on Summer Street and Main Street. Bring a folding chair and sunglasses, and settle in to watch a good old-fashioned Independence Day parade, complete with fire trucks, clowns, marching bands, floats and more.

8. Reading of the Declaration of Independence (July 4 @ 11:00 am – 1:00 pm)
Come to the First Church in Templeton Center in celebration of our nation’s birthday. Display of Civil War memorabilia, photos, artifacts and presentations at the Narragansett Historical Society.

9. Concert on the Fitchburg Common (July 5 @ 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm)
Come enjoy a free show in downtown Fitchburg! Way Up South performs at the bandstand on the picturesque Upper Common.

10. Flair performs at the Leominster Summer Concert Series (July 6 @ 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm)
Come down and enjoy another show at Carter Park in Leominster! The perfect night for friends and family to kick back and enjoy the music!
11. Mac N Cheese Festival on Templeton Common (July 8 @ 11:00 am – 3:00 pm)
The 4th of July is an excuse to eat lots of food! So do not forget to check out the Mac N Cheese Festival – from Mac N Cheeseburgers, Mac N Cheesedogs, Mac N Cheese Pizza and Mac N Cheese from local establishments this festival is Mac N Cheese Heaven. The festival will also have music, vendors, raffles, touch a truck, and kids’ games!
12. Full Moon Canoeing Tour in Groton (July 8 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm)
Enjoy some outdoor fun with the family this weekend! Set out by canoe at dusk and as darkness approaches, watch the moon rise, being on the lookout for owls, beaver, bats, and other night life. After some delicious refreshments, you’ll return following the moon’s ribbon of light. Registration required: visit nashobapaddler.com.

For more events and info check out www.appleseed.org/event/!

Batter Up!

When the weather warms, the boys of summer take to the field — and in Johnny Appleseed Country, that means baseball season at Doyle Field.

If you enjoy the national pasttime, you’re going to love watching the Futures Collegiate  League Baseball games! There are no nose-bleed seats at Leominster’s Doyle Field; you get to see the action up close at every game.

And don’t worry about remembering players’ stats. This is college ball, and every season brings a new crop of players, creating new teams to cheer on throughout the season. What’s more, you never know — one of these players just might make it to the big leagues some day!

Now entering its seventh year, the Futures League offers a chance for families to enjoy baseball — and ballfield snacks — at affordable prices.

And don’t forget Digger! Proudly wearing the number K9 on his jersey,  Digger is the team mascot and a fan favorite. He loves having his photo taken with fans, and has been known to instigate a foot (or paw) race around the bases with youngsters, just for fun.

Doyle Field is a family-friendly place, encompassing a football stadium and  track, plenty of bleachers and a fenced in field. The season includes special nights, too, with tributes to the military, or promoting outdoor fitness, adding to the home-town experience.

No matter when you’re visiting Johnny Appleseed Country this summer, you’re almost sure to be able to take in a ballgame. The Dirt Dawgs season starts on June 1 with a home game, and wraps up in early August. The  league has a busy schedule, so there are plenty of chances to see some great baseball. Most games start at 6:15 pm (Sundays at 4:35). To see the full schedule, visit the team’s website, dirtdawgsball.com.

Experience Massachusetts in

Welcome to Johnny Appleseed Country! Here you will be able to find information on the attractions, lodgings, restaurants, shops, and events that make the 26 cities and towns of north central the perfect travel destination. Continue to the rest of the site and begin your adventure to Johnny Appleseed Country.