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Turners Falls RiverCulture (TFRC): Press Releases

Turners Falls River Culture

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Friday: Al Canali & Small Change at Great Falls Coffeehouse

Al Canali & Small Change treat music lovers to a rare blend of swing, jazz, country, folk, and a few other genres that defy categorization. Al and pals Karen Hogness, Dennis Avery, and Dick Boehmer offer up strong vocals supported by guitar, mandolin, dobro, and washtub base, and some of the tunes are Al’s own.

The coffeehouse takes place on August 12th in the historic, handicapped-accessible Great Hall of the Great Falls Discovery Center at 2 Avenue A in downtown Turners Falls. Doors open at 6:30 pm. Coffee and home-baked treats are available, and the museum and museum store open during intermission. The suggested sliding scale donation of $6 to $12 (free for children) helps the Friends support free nature programming at the Great Falls Discovery Center. For more information, please call the Friends of the Great Falls Discovery Center at (413) 863-3221 or visit

Pre Block Party:  How Much is that Doggie in the Window?

Considering the doggie division of the Block Party parade is usually among the most popular and really highlights the joys of our canine companions, we think this a particularly well timed workshop. 

Thinking about adding a puppy or dog to your household? While a canine companion can bring much love and joy to your family’s life, there are also many things to consider before taking that leap of faith!  What kind of dog? Big vs little, short hair vs long, puppy vs adult dog. Where to get the dog? Animal shelter, rescue, breeder, friend, Craig’s list, newspaper ad.  What is the cost? Purchase price, food, vet care, training, grooming, licenses, toys.

Please come to join Dr. Lauralyn Brown and her staff who will share information and expertise. Cat lovers might be able to sneak in a question or two! Saturday, August 13th, 10 am to Noon, Greenfield Savings Bank, 282 Avenue A, Turners Falls. Call Kerri or Linda at 413-863-4316 for reservations. Light refreshments will be provided.

SATURDAY August 13th:
Turners Falls Block Party, Fashion Show

+ Lantern Parade!

Block Party 2-8pm

This Saturday is the 5th Annual Turners Falls Block Party!  We are excited to have the Gill-Montague School Partnership as the lead organizer of this year’s event and to be able to add RiverCulture’s Producers Series grant winner, River of Lights Lantern Parade, on to the event as the grand finale. 

The event will kick off with a parade starting at 4th and J streets at 2 pm and will include zombies, soap box cars, lawn chair brigade, dogs and more.  Children’s games and activities will take place on the lush green lawn of the Great Falls Discovery Center, music sponsored by Between the Uprights outdoor café, acoustic music live at Spinner Park, a Unity Skate Park Committee’s BMX stunt demonstration in front of Power Town Apartments among many other activities. Old favorites include Montague Parks and Recreation’s games, good eats, make- your-own activities, shopping, music and a street full of smiling friends.

Throughout the day, you can make a lantern at the River of Lights booth for the evening parade.

Spinner Park line-up
2:30-3:45 Pitchfork
4:00-4:45 Various Green
5:00-5:45 Michael Graffius & Christopher Snow
6:00-6:45 Well Suited
7:00-7:15 Fabrication Fashion Show
7:20-8:00 Dave, Lela and Friends

Between the Uprights line-up
Noon-2pm Moriah Sterling w/Piano Mike
2pm-4pm Scott Kuzmeskus
4:30pm-8:30pm Curly Fingers Dupree
9pm-1am The Extra Point Nightclub with DJ "Brownie"

At the Shea Theater
6:00 - Daniel Hales
7:00 - Heather Maloney

At 8 pm, River of Lights lantern parade will start to assemble.

Please volunteer an hour or two. There are countless tasks to be attended to simultaneously when an event this size occurs, so we need volunteers. Tasks for Saturday, August 13th begin on Friday. Offering even one hour of your time will make a difference. Please email if you can help!

Fabrication Fashion Show at 7pm!

Organized by Rachel Teumim, this is an annual recycled fashion show at the Turners Falls Block Party featuring clothing made out of things that would otherwise be tossed. In previous years, designs incorporated old vinyl records, chopsticks, bike tires, playing cards, Salvation Army price tags, burlap bags, old clothing, plastic bags, video cassette tape, mens' ties, tin can lids, laundry detergent boxes and many more found objects. Fashion Show starts at 7 pm.

River of Lights Lantern Parade Block Party Finale 8pm 

Yes, the day caps off with RiverCulture's Producers grant and Feast for the Arts recipient, the "River of Lights” lantern parade!  Organized by Hunter Greenwood, Kathryn Greenwood Swanson and Alexis Arcaro, the parade aims to celebrate the mighty Connecticut River and all who inhabit it.  Two lantern making workshops were held this past week with one more to happen all day at the Block Party.  Art materials (some of which have been donated by Chartpak) will be supplied and Hunter, Alexis and Kathryn will be there to assist you in making a lantern to carry in the parade.  So far we have river themed lanterns and other creative designs constructed from materials including tissue paper mache, twigs, plastic wrap, 2 liter soda bottles, metal wire, paint, markers and more.  See photos in this section.

The parade festivities will start at 8 pm at the River of Lights block party booth on the lawn of the Discovery Center.  Here, we will congregate, go over the route, light lanterns and wait for the perfect night light to set in.  Then we will follow the parade route and end in Unity Park for a lantern design contest with great prizes and popcorn!  The finale will be the release of three special lanterns into the night sky which is said to take all of one's demons and bad luck and carry them away.  

If you were not able to attend the lantern making workshops, you are invited to bring your own lanterns or pick one up at the event for a nominal fee.  All are welcome to this festive event sure to become an annual tradition! 

Montague Soapbox Derby!

Winners from the 2010 Montague Soapbox Derby, as well as new contestants for the 2011 Derby will be in attendance at the Block Party this Saturday!  The carts will be part of the kickoff parade, which starts at 2 pm. After the parade attendees of the block party will be able to sit in and even ride some of the carts.  Jack Nelson of Carriage House Designs will also unveil a marble bench he made just for the derby, complete with an engraved image of the derby logo.

The Derby, which will take place September 17th,  is looking for local artists and sculptors willing to help create a series of six to ten trophies for winners of the various style categories of soapbox carts entered into the derby. Categories can be vague or specific, and trophy sizes may range from six inches to twenty inches in height. Any material may be used, found or crafted, as long as the trophy appears to be a valid, worthwhile object attained through excellence in that category, and must be able to be mounted on a standard wooden base, which will be provided by the race committee.

If you are interested in this opportunity or other race details, find Mik Muller at the Block party or call him at (413) 320-5336 or go to the official derby website and fill out the "Contact Us" form.

Coming Up: Cartooning at Greenfield Savings Bank August 20th

Calling Kids of ALL Ages!  Like Cartoons?  Like to Doodle?  Who Doesn’t! Justin Prokowich will be our presenter for a fun-filled morning session!  Justin’s theory of “You are NEVER too old to like a good cartoon!” will be demonstrated in learning the basics of cartooning.  Whether it be comics, superheroes, newspaper comics, illustrations… name it, Justin can do it all. Justin hails from Gill, but recently comes from the Joe Kubert School of Cartooning and Graphic Arts.  As a budding illustrator, Justin will give you a taste of how he works.  Who knows, maybe you too will go back to New Jersey with Justin to be taught by comic book greats like Joe Kubert, Andy Kubert and Adam Kubert………..or just take home your very own personalized cartoon from this one of a kind session!  You don’t want to miss this opportunity.

Saturday, August 20, 10 am- noon, Greenfield Savings Bank, 282 Avenue A, Turners Falls. Please call to reserve your spot with Kerri or Linda at 413-863-4316.  Light refreshments will be provided.

Montague Old Home Days

Saturday + Sunday Aug 20th + 21st, all day
On the Village Common in Montague Center

All day fair, features music, crafts, food, dancing, parade, quilt show, mug race and much more! For more info please call 413-367-2601

Turners Falls RiverCulture

RiverCulture is the recipient of the 2011 Commonwealth Award, honoring exceptional achievement in the arts, humanities, and interpretive sciences. For more information, visit

We are community supported and sustained through contributions from individuals, businesses, and organizations.  We'd like to thank our major supporters who have taken a significant investment in the vibrancy and livability of our community:

Massachusetts Cultural Council

Town of Montague

Hillside Plastics

Allied Waste Services



Posted by RiverCulture - August 11, 2011