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.

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.

Experience Massachusetts in Spring

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.

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.

Johnny Appleseed Trail Association Needs Your Help!

The Massachusetts House of Representatives is presently debating the state budget.  Several amendments have been filed to House budget to further support and enhance tourism and visitation promotion and marketing.  We are working this week to add co-sposnors to these amendments.

Please use the link below to email your State Representative TODAY and ask them to co-sponsor the tourism and visitor amendments.

Please act today by using the link below:

Click the link below to log in and send your message:
https://www.votervoice.net/MVIC/Campaigns/51559/Respond 

JATA hosts FAM tour for Barbara Gallucci

The Johnny Appleseed Trail Association (JATA) helped host a New England FAM tour in May, 2016 with award winning Italian travel writer  Barbara Gallucci that resulted in a feature in the April, 2017 edition of Touring Magazine highlighting New England. The Town of Harvard and several members in region were included in the feature.  Touring Magazine is the official magazine of the Italian Touring Club Association, which is similar to AAA in the United States. The publication has a circulation of 300,000 copies and a readership of 571,000 people.  The FAM Tour was conducted in partnership with the Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism and Discover New England. JATA wishes to thank members who participated.  The purpose of these familiarization (FAM) tours is to generate positive awareness among travel writers and positive coverage in their travel publications, which ultimately generates additional tourists and additional dollars to our state and our region. The marketing generated from this travel article is estimated to have a value of $300,000.

Click here to view the article

By the Light of the Moon

By the Light of the Moon

Music festivals. Quiet walks on sun-dappled trails. Afternoons spent on a warm beach, or watching the kids safely splashing in a zero-depth water park.

The long sunny days of spring and summer offer a wealth of opportunities to explore the beauty of Johnny Appleseed Country.

But wait! Your enjoyment of the great outdoors doesn’t have to end when the sun starts to dip below the horizon!

There’s plenty of beauty to enjoy after dusk settles across the region.

Take a Hike

Lace up your boots, for example, and take moonlit hike on Wachusett Mountain in Princeton for a totally different view of the region’s landscape.

There are also many groups, as well as individuals, that hike Wachusett Mountain. They range  from a few friends to organized groups (both public and private) that coordinate their adventures on Facebook, to the Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC). Although not mandatory, it is always  a good idea to hike with a partner.

The view from the top of Wachusett is always grand, but it’s even more breath-taking with the moon overhead and the city lights spread like a blanket below.

Or join the folks at Wachusett Meadow  Wildlife Sanctuary for a family hike by moonlight. You can listen for owls or coyotes, catch a glimpse of beavers on the pond, and walk among lightning bugs in the meadows before gathering around a campfire to enjoy some s’mores. These special group hikes can be found in the calendar in this Guide, or visit massaudubon.org/wachusettmeadow to learn more about the sanctuary and its programs.

The North County Land Trust also organizes walks through its properties throughout the region — including occasional guided  “Night Walk & Owl Prowl” events at the Crocker Conservation Area in Fitchburg. Check the organization’s website, northcountylandtrust.org, for an updated schedule of their day and evening walking tours.

A Ribbon of Light

For a different experience, get off the trail —and into a canoe! This region is filled with ponds, lakes, rivers and streams that are as beautiful in the evening as in the bright light of day. Don’t want to strike out on your own? Don’t worry!  Nashoba Paddler in Groton offers a series of Full Moon Canoeing Tours.  You’ll 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. You can find details about Nashoba Paddler and their moonlight tours at nashobapaddler.com.

When the sun sets, the outdoors lights up in Johnny Appleseed Country.

A Century of Service

It’s been a century since 5,000 acres of land in the Massachusetts towns of Ayer, Harvard, Lancaster and Shirley were developed into Camp Devens, training soldiers for service in World War I.

Over the next 100 years, the site welcomed soldiers returning from battle, served as a summer training camp for National Guardsmen, Reservists and ROTC cadets, and became a permanent Army post that became known as Fort Devens.

When a second war enveloped the world, Devens trained nurses, chaplains, cooks and bakers as well as the troops of the 1st, 32nd and 45th Infantry Divisions and the Fourth Women’s Army Corps.

Through the Korean Conflict, the Vietnam era, Operation Desert Storm and Operation Desert Shield, Fort Devens continued to serve the nation’s needs. But in 1996, under the Base Realignment And Closing Act, Fort Devens was closed.

Now known simply as Devens, the land remains historically significant for local residents, Massachusetts, and the United States of America.

And it holds an array of memories for the thousands of men and women who were trained and deployed there.

A decade ago, a museum was founded as a repository for a collection of artifacts related to Devens’ service, and an education resource for schools and individuals.

This year, the museum celebrates the 100th anniversary of the creation of Camp Devens with a variety of special events, including a World War I Dinner/Dance Fundraiser at  the Bull Run Restaurant on July 15;  and  18th Army Band Reunion Concert on the Devens Quadrangle on July 16. Retired members of the 18th Army Band — long stationed at Fort Devens—will join members of other local bands to perform that free afternoon outdoor band concert.

World War I Living History Weekend follows, on August 5 and 6.  In August 1917, over 20,000 soldiers were in the midst of training at Camp Devens while war waged in Europe. Visitors are invited to experience displays of US doughboys, along with French and German troops, to see what a WWI encampment looked like,  and to admire period vehicles.

To learn more about Devens, the museum and the centennial events, visit fortdevensmuseum.org.