Category Archives: Greenfield

Ice Sculptures (Greenfield, MA)

Date Of Visit: February 3, 2017 (Carnival is usually held annually the first weekend of February)

Location: Main St, Greenfield, MA

Cost: Free

Parking: I found metered street parking to be plentiful on Main St.  There is also parking available on the side streets off Main St.

Handicapped Accessible: Yes

Dog Friendly: Yes


  • the sculptures are lit up at night
  • there are several events and exhibits during the carnival (see the website below and the link to my post from last year’s carnival to see what other events take place at the carnival

Website: Greenfield Winter Carnival

Highlights: Ice sculptures from the Greenfield Winter Carnival

Well, we made it.  We’ve officially made it half way through the winter season.  Pause for collective groan. But, cheer up.  To celebrate this monumental milestone, Greenfield holds their annual winter carnival fair.  The fair includes a variety activities such as a parade of lights to kick off the carnival, face painting, a k9 keg pull a cardboard sled race among many other fun family friendly activities.  But, the highlight for many of the visitors to the Greenfield Winter Carnival are the ice sculptures.

Unfortunately, I was not able to attend the festivities this year.  But, I did post about it last year.

You can click here to view my blog post from last year’s winter carnival.

Unlike other ice sculpture exhibits where the sculptures are carved elsewhere and delivered, like the Salem’s So Sweet ice sculptures which are going to be on display this upcoming weekend, the ice sculptures at the Greenfield carnival are carved on sight on Main Street.  In fact, you may see some of the chunks of ice from the original blocks of ice in some of the photos below.

There were 11 total ice sculptures.  They are located on both sides of Main St.  We found 10 of them.  All of them are located on Main St. These sculptures are also lit up during the evening and some were already lit when we saw them during the afternoon.  The frigid and blustery conditions ensured the sculptures remained frozen despite the abundant sunshine.

The first sculpture on Main St (going from south to north) was created Sue O’Sullivan of Royalston, MA.

The second sculpture was created by Brendon Kellner of Cambridge, MA.  I think the figures are supposed to be dancing or about to embrace.  Or, they’re choking each other.  It is up to your particular interpretation today.  It may also depend on how your day is going, I suppose.

The next sculpture of a family of penguins (there is a little one in the middle of the two larger penguins) was created by Marc Cinamella of Palmerton, PA.

This sculpture was certainly one of the more popular ice sculptures and my favorite.  There were a group of photographers huddled around this sculpture.  Of course, waiting for the scene to clear out before I took my photo was less than pleasant given the conditions.  The intricate detail of the sculpture really is impressive.  The sculpture was carved by Mark Bosworth of Athol, MA.

Unfortunately, I did the shadow of this groundhog look a like sculpture.

This sculpture created by Chef Ben Pike and Franklin County Tech School Culinary students.

This snowflake is not any ordinary snowflake.  This icy snowflake was carved by hometown Greenfield citizen John Passiglia.

This howling wolf was created by Robert Markey of Ashfield, MA.  I’m not sure if it was done by design or if it was the way the sun was reflecting off the sculpture but I like how the wolf seems to disappear the father you look up on the sculpture in the second photo.


These humongous legs and feet were carved by Annaliese Bischoff from Leverett, MA.

David Barclay of Northampton, MA carved this dragon.  I love the scales on the chest of the sculpture.

The final sculpture we found (there was one more farther down the road we missed) of a certain Boston Bruins goalie was carved by Michael Legassey of Athol, MA.

In case you were wondering, yes there were many dogs attending the carnival festivities.

Andrew is a 3 year old Black Mouth Cur.

Bella, a 2 year old Shih Tzu was dressed for the cold temperatures.

Marcey, a rescue all the way from Chicago, is an 8 year old Shepherd mix.

Marcey’s sister, Zoie, a 5 year old Shih Tzu, showed off her talents.


Veterans Mall (Greenfield, MA)

Date Of Visit: October 14, 2017

Location: Main St, Greenfield, MA (next to the Town Hall Annex at 253 Main St) (45 minutes north of Springfield, MA)

Hours: open daily, 24 hours a day

Cost: Free

Parking: There is a good amount of metered street parking near the memorial park

Handicapped Accessible: Yes

Dog Friendly: Yes

Highlights: memorials, mural, sculptures


It would be easy to miss the grand memorial at Veterans Memorial.   Couched in between the busy downtown business district, the memorial is almost an after thought, if you’re not expecting to see it.  I had to make a quick stop and scramble for parking at the last moment as I had already driven by it when my passenger brought it to my attention.

Located in the bustling Main St in downtown Greenfield, Veterans Mall is truly a hidden gem.Tucked away between the various retailers in the busy business district, Veterans Mall includes a mural and numerous war and veteran memorials.

The mural located at Veterans Mall includes images and symbols of Greenfield and the surrounding area such as Poets Tower and Greenfield Covered Bridge.



One of the cool aspects of the mural are the symbols around the border and in the mural that are indicative of the area such as the corn that is planted and farmed at the local farms.  There are also symbols that are common in any area across the area, the crazy weather we have(symbolized by the wind blowing its cold air) and symbols that are common across the nation such as children trick-or-treating.


The mural was repainted April 28, 2017 after 27 years.  Below is a photo of what it looked like before it was painted over.

See the source image

As if this wasn’t enough, there are several other war memorials at Veterans Mall.

This monument, dedicated to the people of Greenfield who served their country during the Vietnam War, has the name of every person from Greenfield who was killed in this war.  It’s hard not to tear up or take a deep breath while reading all of those names.  It will stop you cold and ground you to see the list of all of those lives cut short.



The Greenfield War Memorial, sculpted by Homer Gunn in 1965, sits in the center of the memorial park. The sculpture is meant to give a message of peace

Apparently, it also acts as a home for some of the residents of the area.


A lot has changed since these memorials were first installed in the area.  Below is a photo of the two memorials from an earlier time, presumably when it was first dedicated over some 50 years ago.

War Memorial Greenfield Massachusetts

The memorial located next to the Vietnam War Memorial is a memorial to the veterans of World War I

Where there was once a pool of water stands a pine tree dedicated to the all of the women veterans of all wars.

Directly across from the War Memorial is another memorial by Homer Gunn.  This serpentine memorial is meant to chronicle the history of warfare during the 20th century. The memorial shows soldiers, airmen, sailors and marines in an array of different activities and using a variety of different weapons, machines and vehicles from different eras.  There are also shapes of geographic regions where they fought.


The park is a wonderful destination for all, even four legged visitors.  Watson is a 12 year old mixed breed rescue.









Greenfield Arctic Blast Winterfest (Greenfield, MA)

Dates Of Event: February 3-5, 2017 (the first weekend in February each year) photos taken February 5

Location(s): All over the town of Greenfield, most events held at Beacon Field, 61 Beacon St, Greenfield, MA)

Cost: Free (there are small fees for some activites such as $5 to skate at the public outdoor ice rink)

Hours: 9 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Parking: limited parking can be found at the parking lot for Beacon Field.  Street parking is also available

Highlights: carnivsl hockey, sleigh rides, sled making contest, k9 keg pull, ice sculptures, family friendly activities (see web site below for more info)

Web Site: Greenfield Artic Blast Winterfest



It’s that timee of the year again.  You know that time in between the “fun” part of winter and the coming spring.  The holidays have passed, the seemingly never-ending chill is still fast upon us, snow has stopped looking “pretty” and everyone is just eager to be able to go outside without layering so much that they look like the Michelin man.  So, to bring a little cheer to the frustrated masses, many cities and towns have organized “winterfests” or “winter carnivals” to get everyone out of their ruts and bring some cheer to the frozen masses.

Winterfests are not some new fangled celebrations.  In fact, this was Greenfield’s 95th winterfest.  I guess people got the doldrums back then, too.

The three day event (the first Friday, Saturday and Sunday in February) is a family friendly extravaganza.  Besides what I photographed dueing my visit Sunday, there are a bonfire, fireworks and a “family fun fest” event for kids to play and do a variety of events with other children and their parents.

The first thing I noticed, and I was looking for specifically, was the winter carnival hockey game between the Greenfield Sheriff’s Department and the Franklin County Firefighters.  The shortened rink and lack of goalies (they used boxes with holes in them to try to score goals), allowed for more action and more scoring chances.

There wasn’t much checking and not one fight (perhaps a first in a game between firefighters and police).  But, it was still entertaining.  I didn’t get a final score.  But, the Sheriff’s department (in the green jerseys) had a comfortable lead when I left to check out more of the winterfest.

In between breaks, some kids came out and practiced.  Future players for sure.

Most of the events during my visit took place at Beacon Field.  In some of the photos, you may notice the Poet’s Seat Tower which I posted about in May of last year.

The first thing I noticed was the sleigh rides being provided.

Some children took advantage of the hill at the park to do some sledding.


Some of the children brought their home made sleds to the park for a contest.  The sleds were judged but they didn’t take them on the hill perhaps due to the lack of a good snow covering.

The big event for most of us, though, was the K9 Keg Pull.  Dogs from a variety of breeds, sozes, shapes and physical prowess participated.  The size of the (empty) kegs and cans the dogs pulled were commensurate to their size.  There was a small registration fee ($25 I think) and all of the proceeds went to a animal shelter.

There were over 60 participants and they all did great.  The parents or guardians would usually run with their dog ot urge them on from the finish line.  Sometimees it seemed like the parents were having more fun with it than the dogs!

Bodie and Clarence (left to right) were twoo of the bigger competitors.

Not all of the dogs there were participating in the keg pulls

Sadie is a 2 year old Lab mix.

Duncan is a 14 week old mini-poodle.

There were also ice sculptures scattered around the town.  Of course, most of them had been damaged or destroyed by revelers.  I was able to photograph a couple of them.

Below are 2 videos from the keg pull



Buttonball Tree (Sunderland, MA)

Date Of Visit: January 5, 2017

Location: 158 N. Main St, Sunderland, MA

Parking: You can park on the side of the road at or near the tree.  It’s a residential area so please be safe when viewing

Cost: Free

Hours: everyday, 24 hours a day

Handicapped Accessible: Yes

Dog Friendly: Yes

Highlights: “widest tree this side of the Mississippi”, biggest sycamore tree in Massachusetts, 300 plus year old tree


On a nondescript road in Sunderland, MA, stands a tree.  A big tree.  But, no, this is no ordinary “big tree.”  This is the widest tree in the Eastern part of the United States.

The Buttonball tree, located on N Main St,  is over 113′ high, with a girth of 24’7″ and has a spread of 140′.  Pretty big, huh?  The locals think so.  Because of its size and its legendary status, locals have dubbed the Buttonball Tree, “The widest tree this side of the Mississippi.” It is also considered, wrongly, to be the “biggest” this side of the Mississippi.

In fact, another tree in Massachusetts may hold this claim.  Or, at the least it may be the tallest this side of the Mississippi.  The Eastern White Pine in the Mohawk State Forest in Charlemont, Massachusetts, is listed at 174 feet in height.  And there are many others that are taller than the Buttonball.

For instance, the “Boogerman Pine” (186 feet tall) located in the Great Smoky Mountains in North Carolina, is considered by many as the tallest tree in the U.S. east of the Mississippi.

In addition to these trees, there could be some huge, crazy big tree in some forest or park somewhere that has yet to be recorded.  As you can see, it is a hotly contested claim!

So, the claim of “largest tree east of the Mississippi” is a title that has been debated.  But, the Buttonball still holds the title for widest tree this side of the Mississippi.  OK, enough fun tree facts.  For now.

Who knew it would be such a contentious subject!  Who knew there was so many details about these trees? But, there’s more to the tree than it’s girth and height.  Besides, it’s not the size…never mind.

While the title for largest tree east of the Mississippi may be up for debate, one thing is for: the Buttonball Tree is one big tree!  It is the largest sycamore tree in Massachusetts and one of the largest trees of any kind in Massachusetts.  Once part of the Sunderland forest, the tree now stands in a residential area.  I bet the neighbors just love all the attention.   (another) Fun fact: because of their longevity, during the 17th and 18th century sycamores were sometimes planted at the door of new house for newlyweds as “bride and groom” trees.  The trees lasted much longer the marriages I am sure.

Not only is the Buttonball Tree big, it is historically significant.  And old.  I mean really, really old.  The tree is estimated at being between 350 and 400 years old.  And you thought you were getting long in the tooth.

Without further delay, ladies and gentlemen…the Buttonball Tree….


In 1987, to celebrate the 200th anniversary of signing of the Constitution, a plaque was engraved in a stone and placed in front of the tree.  The plaque is engraved with the following:


Don’t forget to Connect with me on Facebook (this isn’t part of the inscription)