Tag Archives: fun

Scarecrow In The Park (Cushman Park, Bernardston, MA)

Dates Of Event: October 19 – 21, 2018 (I attended Oct. 20)

Location: Cushman Park, 19 South St, Bernardston, MA

Cost: Free

Dog Friendly: Yes

Highlights: Scarecrows, parade, vendors

Website: Scarecrow In The Park (Facebook Page)

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Boo!

Now that I have your attention, Salem isn’t the only part of New England that celebrates the Halloween and Fall season.

Last weekend, the Bernardston Kiwanis sponsored the annual Scarecrow In The Park event to raise funds for the scholarship fund.

Among the three day event, the festival included an exhibition of classic cars, a tractor parade and a wood carving demonstration. But, the main attraction for most of the visitors are the scarecrows.

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The scarecrows were made by individual artists or a group of artists. The scarecrow below, which is a tribute to Dr Suess (Theodor Seuss Geisel), a native of nearby Springfield, MA, and thing number 1 and 2 from one of his stories, was created by a local elementary school.

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Another artist with ties to the area, Eric Carle, had a scarecrow dedicated to him. Holding one of his picture books (The Very Hungry Caterpillar), Carle is shown sitting on the ground with other symbols from his book. Although he is not from New England (he is a native of Syracuse, NY and has also lived in Florida among other places), he lived in Northampton, MA, for some time and there is a museum dedicated to him in Amherst, MA.

 

No, this isn’t your ex or your in-law.

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The scarecrows ran the gamut from the scary (and that could refer to the witch or the objects in the background in the photo above – I find them both to be very frightening)…

..to the humorous like this funny pirate.

 

But, most of the scarecrows were made for fun and they were all family friendly.

 

In addition to the scarecrows, there was a Halloween-themed graveyard display with phrases many of us from New England and anywhere else can relate to.

 

There were lots of vendors at the festival as well. A news article stated they were hoping to attract 60 vendors to the festival. It seemed like there were many more though.

This vendor make their own wares. The gentleman pictured below carves shapes and figures out of wood he finds. He does not plan the shapes ahead of time. He tole me he goes with the shape and feel that it gives him.

 

Another more popular vendor was the witch hat shop.

 

This cute wood carving shop was also a popular shop.

 

Speaking of wood carvings, wood carving exhibits and demonstrations were provided by Laker’s Acres from Orange, MA.

 

Some of the visitors came in costume. These visitors are actually parade marchers who participated in the tractor parade.

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If you did not wear a costume to the event, there were face painters there to help you get made up for the event.

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The make up artists did a great job on all of the people they worked on.

 

A parade of tractors (new and older models) drove down South St with parade marchers in tow.

 

A mad scramble ensued as some of the drivers threw candy to the onlookers. Note to festival planners: try throwing some Starburst next year.

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Across the street from the park, the fire department had some huge pumpkins that seemed to fit into the fall theme of the festival.

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The festival is a dog friendly event and we saw lots of cute dogs.

Pumblechook (named after Mr. Pumblechook from Great Expectations) is a 19 week old Boston Terrier. He is sporting a stylish skull and cross bones sweater.

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Nami is a 3 year old, Redbone Coon Hound and black Lab mix.

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Harley is a 3 year old Puggle.

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The video below shows some of the tractor parade.


Kite Day (Hampton Beach, NH)

 

Date Of Event: May 20, 2018

Location: Hampton Beach, 160 Ocean Blvd, Hampton, NH (about an hour north of Boston, MA and an hour northeast of Nashua, NH)

Hours: Hampton Beach is open everyday.  The beach is closed from 1 a.m. until sunrise.

Parking:  Parking cost me $2 an hour during my visit (pre-Memorial Day).  There are various parking options and rates at Hampton Beach.  You can find the parking rates here.  There are also several parking lots that generally charge $20 for all day parking during the late spring and summer seasons.

Handicapped Accessible: Yes

Dog Friendly: Yes

Highlights: kites, kite flying

Fun Facts:

  • Recently, “kite day” has also served as the “Kites Against Cancer” event in which funds are raised to fight cancer (the event was cancelled this year)
  • In addition to the visitors kites, the beach staff tie up several jumbo sized kites of their own

Website: Kites Against Cancer

Related Post: Kites Against Cancer 2017

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The next time tells you to go fly a kite.  Don’t take it personal.  Just head over to Hampton Beach.

Hampton Beach held their annual “Kite Day” event last weekend.  The Kite Day event usually serves as the day of the Kites Against Cancer event.  But, due to forecasts of potential of rainstorms and thunderstorms (and very high winds), the Kites Against Cancer event was cancelled.  Hopefully, the vent was merely postponed for another date (I will keep you all updated on my Facebook page if it does change dates).   You can learn more about the charity this event supports and make a donation at the Beyond The Rainbow website.

The high winds, perhaps too high, made for some great kite plying weather.  It also helped cool down the visitors at the beach.  The photos of the waves at the beach give a little evidence of the high winds that day.

 

 

Did I mention it was windy?  Well, there were some brave souls who decided to fly their kites despite the strong winds.

 

 

And, of course, the staff at Hampton Beach did a great job making sure their kites stayed up in the air despite the…well, you know.

 

 

What the event lacked in kites, it made up for in dogs.  There were dogs everywhere!

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Baxter, a 5 year old Boxer mix rescue, was having fun playing in the sand.

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Brady is a 2 year old Boxer.  Say what you want, Tom has nothing on this Brady.

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Razz, a 3 year old Jack Russell mix, I especially liked his black and white face.

 

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Brutus is a 1 and a half year old English Bulldog.  I don’t know what’s cutest about him.  The wrinkles, the tongue out or the cute little legs!

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Jackson, a 1 year old mixed breed, struck a pose for me during his walk.

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Kobe is a 16 month old Great Dane.  But, the real question is, can he dunk?  Scratch that.  At his height I would say most definitely.

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Goober is a 10 year old mixed breed who loves to play in the water.

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Pearl, a 6 year old English Springer Spaniel, is a gem of a dog!

If all this wasn’t enough, I arrived at the parking lot just in time to see the parade of trucks making their way to the 45th Annual Hampton Beach Tow and Trade Show.  This yearly event begins with a convoy of trucks, and a few wayward car drives who got mixed up in it making their way to the park for the event.  The neighbors must love all of the honking and diesel fumes at 10 a.m. on a Saturday.  Actually, a few of them did as you can see in the video below.  As an fyi, it is over 12 minutes long.

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Halloween In Salem – Part I (Salem, MA)

Date Of Visit: October 31, 2017

Location: Salem, MA

 

There’s no better place to be on Halloween than Salem, MA.  You might think I don’t have any second thoughts about the celebrations that celebrate a dark time in our history.  However, I have a different take on it.

I do actually have some mixed feelings about it, though, given the history of the witch trials in Salem so many years ago. It’s a quaint, pretty seaside city with a rich history and things to do all year round that transforms into a party town for 31 days.

But, I love the city for so many more reasons than just the pageantry and fun of their Halloween celebrations although I do find some of the novelty items to be a  bit distasteful.

My take on the whole commercialization and atmosphere of the season, though, is that we have taken a dark time and, despite that awful time, we’ve been able to turn a negative mark on the city into a time of fun and revelry.  I do think it’s important to remember the tragedy.  But I am also glad people are able to have fun and bring commerce and happy times to the area.

I thought I would begin this photo blog of my day in Salem with some couples and friends who have dressed up as a duo.

I think it’s funny how people walk by these, at times, bizarre outfits and act like it’s just another October day in Salem.  Definitely nothing out of the ordinary to see here.

I am always surprised by the creativity of the costumed visitors in Salem.  The “Cereal Killer” gave me a good chuckle.  And the Joker below was the best version  of him I saw during my visits, not just because of his look but his personality and the way he acted like him.

One of the more popular things to do in Salem, especially on Halloween, is have a psychic reading.  Each year, psychics flock to Salem to offer their services at the Psychic Fair.  There are also psychics who give readings all year round.

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The past few years I have arrived in Salem early in the morning on Halloween so that I can see as many people in their costumes as I possibly can.  And, this year, it paid off.  I saw these cute little trick or treaters walking through Essex St.  I think they trick or treat at some of the local businesses in the area.

And, yes, there were plenty of dogs in Salem for Halloween.

Alfie is a 1 year old Schnauzer mix.

Luna (on the left) is a 3 year old rescue Terrier mix.  On the right is Dobby, a 4 year old Golden Doodle.

Adele, dressed up as Beetlejuice, is a 10 month old Great Pyrenees.

Omid, Persian for “hope”, is a German Shepherd  rescue from Iran.  Omid was abused while he was in Iran and, after being hit by a car, he was left for dead.  But, a man saved her and brought him to a shelter.  Eventually, Omid was adopted by a family in the United States.  Omid is an inspirational example of how we should never give up and how things can change for the better, even in the darkest of times.  You can read more about him and like him on his Facebook Page.

You can also learn more about his story and see videos of him as a pup at the following YouTube videos:

Omid Video 1

Omid Video 2

These cuties got to see Salem in comfort and style.

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Thank you for stopping by and reading Part I of my photos of my day in Salem.  I may have to post 3 parts to include all of the photos from my trip.  Stay tuned for part II!

Please check out my Facebook page here.


Halloween Costumes – Part II (Salem, MA)

Dates Of Visits: Throughout October, 2017

Location: Salem, MA

With the record breaking crowds this Halloween season there were so many opportunities to photograph some really cool costumes.

I always go to Salem with the same thought.  “Less is more.” I try to focus on the best of the best costumes.  The problem is that so many costumes are great for different reasons.  A simpler, basic costume could be much more interesting and funny than an elaborate costume.  And, even if you were to focus on only the elaborate costumes, well, they are around every corner as well.  So, I d photograph a lot of people.  But, I also think everyone I photograph is “photo worthy!”

This post may have a little more gory costumes than I usually post.  There’s nothing too bloody and I kind of feel weird mentioning it.   But, I also understand some people might not be into that thing.  I have grouped the photos into categories.  So, you can skip the “creepy” group if you’re not into that.  After all, I don’t want anyone to have nightmares later.

Once again, out of all of the costumes that impressed me, I think the couples and friends who dressed up together are some of the best.  It’s great to see people get into the spirit of the season.

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This Nightmare Before Christmas couple posed with their beautiful dog, Bruiser, a 5 year old boxer.

These couples, families and friends did a great job with their costumes.  The funny thing is I have seen some of these people in my previous visits to Salem through the years.  I am pretty sure the “Three Blind Mice” in the bottom row visit Salem on Halloween yearly.  I love that they take so much interest and passion for celebrating Halloween!

This guy is another regular in Salem during my visits here.  he definitely comes up with the coolest costumes.  Spolier alert: his costume for Halloween was just as, if not more, amazing.

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Clowns and other creepy costumes have also been popular this Halloween.

 

 

My favorite costumes, though, are the fun ones.

It’s definitely not an election year.  I only saw one person dressed up as a politician and this person is not even in office anymore.  He also took up smoking.

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Costumes of the witches from the movie Hocus Pocus are a popular costume choice which makes sense since some of the scenes from that movie were filmed in Salem.

 

As Halloween drew to a end, it was only appropriate for Mr and Mrs. Clause to make an appearance since that is all we are going to hear about for the next few months.

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These beautiful dogs are Calvin Ruckus, a 5 year old Australian Cattle dog (blue heeler) is on the left and Bean (or Corbin), a 5 year old Australian Cattle dog (red heeler) is the happy fella on the right.   You can follow them at calvin_n_bean.

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This brave cat Oliver (5 years old) and his friend Hedy Lamarr (named after the Austrian/American actress and inventor), a 5 year old Chihuahua Weimaraner, took to the streets of Salem.  Oliver has similar marking as my cat, Bailey and she probably would have hid in the back of the carriage like Oliver did.

 

I know Halloween is technically over.  But, I’m going to extend the Halloween theme on my blog for a little while longer.  Stay tuned for my Halloween related posts coming soon.  I spent pretty much all day in the city on Halloween and I have lots of Halloween goodness to share with everyone!  I also have a few other extra surprises coming up.

Please check out my Facebook page and consider liking it.  Thank you to everyone reading and a big thank you to everyone who stopped to pose for these photos!


2017 Zombie Walk (Salem, MA)

 

 

 

 

Date Of Event: October 7, 2017 (usually the first Saturday in October each year)

Location: Collins Cove Park, E. Collins Rd, Salem, MA

Parking: street parking can be found on Collins St. and the surrounding neighborhood

Website: Salem Zombie Walk

Handicapped Friendly: Yes

Dog Friendly: Yes

The zombies have invaded Salem, MA.  And I don’t just mean the ones engrossed with their phone screens wandering through the streets.

No, these zombies are participants in the annual Salem Zombie Walk.

There were zombies of all ages, attire and degrees of scariness.  It’s never too early to get into the Halloween spirit and these people were definitely in the spirit of the season!

But, my favorite zombies have to be the families and children who have dressed up for the walk.  After all, the families that stalk together stay together.

There’s nothing cuter than “zombie kids!”

The zombies arrived in a variety of different vehicles.  “Witch Taxi.”  How appropriate.  Was her broom broken?

After a quick game of zombie kickball, they all got lined up and began the walk.

Although there weren’t any dogs in the zombie walk (although they are welcome), I did see these cute dogs on the way to the park.

Gatsby is a 1 year and 3 month old Golden Retriever.

Baloo (named after the character in The Jungle Book) is a 5 year old Pomeranian.

These two friends watched the parade from the window of their home.  Perhaps I’ll see you next year…if the zombies don’t get you first!

Below are some videos from the festivities at the zombie walk.


Tom Fiorini Sculpture Garden (Lenox, MA)

Date Of Visit: May 31, 2017

Location: Behind Joane Cornell Jewelry Store (63 Church St, Lenox, MA)

Hours: Art is available for viewing 24 hours

Cost: Free to view (unless you want to buy something)

Parking:  Free street parking is available on Church St (although it may have time limits).  There is also a parking lot on Franklin St that you may use for short term parking.

Handicapped Accessible: Yes

Dog Friendly: Yes

Highlights: Variety of unique art and decorative items made by New England artist Tom Fiorini

Website: Tom Fiorini – Sculptor

Tom Fiorini Facebook

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You interested in a doghouse covered with license plates?  (dogs sold separately)

How about a some carved fish? (at least you don’t need to feed them or buy a tank for them)

Perhaps you’re looking for boat?  I’m just not sure if she is sea-worthy.

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Tucked away behind the Joane Cornell Jewelry store at 63 Church St, Lenox, MA (at least for now), Tom Fiorino’s art, sculptures and other unique items offer an unusual brand of decorative items.

Tom Fiorini is not your orthodox artist.  He works mainly with metals and often times his choice of tool is a chainsaw.  Much of his art is made of normal, everyday materials reshaped and manufactured into a completely different.

Tom’s signs, with their offbeat slogans and designs, may be the highlight of his collection.

Tom also uses his creativity to make his art and create arrtful designs.

I don’t know about you but sometimes I could really use this really big bottle of wine.

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Other miscellaneous works of art are scattered around the lawn.

As you can see by his art, Tom has a great sense of humor.

Also, his prices may be negotiable based on the sign below.

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For now, Tom’s work can be viewed at the address listed above on Church St.  I am not sure where he stores his sculptures during the winter season.  You can contact him at his website listed above for more information.  Below is more information about him and his art.

Keeping with today’s theme of outdoor art, today’s New England featured link is the deCordova Sculpture Park & Museum in Lincoln, MA.  I’ve yet to go there.  But, it is definitely on my list.

 


Wonder Woman Rosey House (Lee, MA)

Date Of Visit: May 31, 2017

Location: 22 Robert St, on the corner of Center St. and Robert St, Lee, MA

Cost: Free

Hours: Accessible everyday, 24 hours a day.

Parking: You can park on Roberts St.

Handicapped Accessible: Yes

Dog Friendly: Yes

Highlights: House decorated with statues, designs and other decorative items

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Most houses are decorated for the holidays, birthday parties or some other celebration.  But, the Wonder Woman Rosey House on the corner of East Center St and Robert St in Lee, MA is decorated all year round.

Without knowing the back story or reason for decorating the home, the house and property may seem crazy or a little bizarre.  However, it is more of a tribute and memorial than some random decorations.  Rosey (or Rosemarie) was the wife of painter and resident of the house, Bob Dupont, a professional painter.  He painted and decorated his home and property as a tribute to her.

The garage next to the house is decorated primarily in red, white and blue.

 

 

The decorations do not stop there at the garage, though.

The house and property are also decorated with decorations and statues ranging from Santa Claus to rabbits.

 

 

I would have loved living in a house like this when I was a growing up.  It looks like a real fun place to experience!

There are many randomly placed decorations scattered around the property.

 

 

The home owner doesn’t seem to mind having visitors.  I wasn’t bothered or questioned while I photographed the area.  But, it is private property.  So, visitors should be respectful of that.

The featured link of the day is another decorated home called The Crazy Christmas House in Coventry, RI.

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Dock Dogs 2017 (Agawam, MA)

 

Date Of Event: June 3, 2017 (first weekend of June each year)

Location: Parking lot of Dave’s Soda And Pet City, 151 Springfield Street
Agawam, MA

Cost: Free

Handicapped Accessible: Yes

Highlights: dogs, jumping,speed and agility contests, face painting, fund raising

Website: Dock Dogs

IMG_9966Dogs big and small came from all over New England and farther to take part in the Dock Dogs competition last week in Agawam, MA.

 

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In case you missed it, I covered last year’s Dock Dogs event.

There were two events at Dock Dogs during my visit.  There was the Big Air Wave and the Extreme Vertical contests.

The first event, the Big Air Wave contest, was a jumping contest.  The dog’s trainer would throw an object, usually a tennis ball, Frisbee or toy, and the dog would jump as far as he or she could to retrieve it.

Just watching the trainers getting their pets psyched up for the jump was fun to watch.

Some dogs needed a little more encouragement than others.  But, what I really loved was the trust and discipline the dogs had.

The second event was the Extreme Vertical contest. Each dog would have the chance to reach the bar resting on a hook.  Although the dogs try to grab the bar in their mouths, all the dog has to do is knock the bar off the hooks to be successful.  Yeah, that”s easy enough for me to say.

Even if the dogs didn’t grab the bar in their mouth they could still advance to the next round by just knocking it off the holder.  The winner was Coop, a 2 year old, Chocolate Lab, who was able to grab the bar at 7 feet, 2 inches.

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Some people seemed more interested in the swarm of bees one of the trees near the competition.

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By the time we came back from lunch, bee keepers had been called and had handled the situation.

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Not all of the dogs who came to Dave’s for the event participated.  But, even if they were just spectators they were still beautiful.  Below are just some of the dogs I saw at the Dock Dogs event.

Duke is an 8.5 year old German Short Hair Pointer.

This 10 wek old Belgian Malinois did not have a name yet.

Bella is a 7 year old Pomeranian.  She is known as “Bella The Therapy Dom.”  She works with Paws For Friendship as a therapy dog as well as being the official mascot of the East Forest Park Library.  You can find out more about Paws For Friendship here.  You can also contact Bella at bellatherapydog@gmail.com

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Lola is a 2 year old mini Pincher Chihuahua.

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Fiona is a 8 month old Maltese Yorkie.

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Fargo is a 3 year old German Shepherd.

Inky is a 15 month old Blue Merle Australian Sheepdog.

Meeko is a 15 month old Siberian Husky.

Tobin is a 2 year old Great Pyrenees.  His sister Maggie Mae, a 3 year old Great Pyrenees and Golden Retriever, is behind and to the right in the photos.

Token is a 5 year old Belgian Tervuren.

Fluffy Puffer, with the signature Newfoundland signature drool, is a 1 and a half year old Newfie

Miller is a 1 year old Golden Retriever and German Shepherd.

Rufus is a 7 year old Newfie.

Max is a 9 year old Border Collie.

There was also face painting, a bouncy house (I was tempted to go in it) and a variety of vendors and charitable organizations at the event.

Can’t wait until the next year’s Dock Dogs event!

Below are some videos of the dogs competing at Dock Dogs!

 

Please connect with me on Facebook to see other fun stuff not included in this blog!

 


North American Alpaca Show (West Springfield, MA)

Dates of Event: March 31-April 2, 2017 (photos taken April 1)

Location: Eastern States Exposition Center, Mallory Building, 1305 Memorial Ave, West Springfield, MA (2 hours west of Boston, MA)

Cost: Free

Parking: ample parking is provided, free of charge, at the rear and side of the Mallory Building

Handicapped Accessible: Yes

Highlights: Alpacas, Alpaca shows, products made from Alpaca fleece

Web Site: North American Alpaca Show

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Known for their seemingly ever present signature smile and calm demeanor, alpacas are one of the more popular animals in the New England area.  Alpaca farms have been springing up more and more in the Northeast area.  In fact, the New England Alpacas Owners and Breeders Association (NEAOBA) lists 85 breeders in the New England and New York area.  Many of these breeders and owners met last weekend at the Eastern States Exposition Center in West Springfield, MA.  The owners and breeders came as far away as Phoenix, New York and parts of Maine and Vermont.

Besides being absolutely adorable and generally calm animals, alpacas are said to be very smart animals.  They often tend to pack together, you know like you expect from alpackas.  Okay enough word play.  For now.  As you can see from the photos below, they do like to be close to each other.

But, I did manage to get a few Alpacas on their own to photograph which was hard to do since they were all packed in there together (I told you I wasn’t done with my word play).  There are so many different colors and sizes.  Fun facts: the average alpaca can grow to be 150 to 175 pounds!  They also have a life span of 15-20 years and can grow to be as tall 3 feet at the shoulders and 4.5 feet tall by the head.

I also liked this “Alpaca photo bomb”

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Alpacas are shown and judged (they all received ribbons from to last place) and they are generally calm while they are being shown, except when their personal space is encroached.  But, overall they were very graceful.

Some of the alpacas appeared to mouth the metal fencing of their pens.  This is not uncommon.  In fact, one owner said he keeps baby teething rings for his alpacas and they enjoy using them.

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Most of the alpacas were very friendly, albeit a little guarded.  But, once they warm up to you, they were very social.  In fact, they seemed to pose for me.  That is what I noticed most about them.  They seem to have a lot of personality.

There were also several people selling many products made from alpaca fleece.  They sold a variety of products made from  alpaca fleece.  They were even selling alpacas made from alpacas (fleece). Being an animal lover, I inquired about the shearing process and I was informed that it is a simple, quick process that does not hurt the animals.

One of the cool things about these cuties is how they communicate to each other in a variety of ways such as through posture, the movement of their tails and some of them even make a noise the owners and breeders call “humming”.


Amherst Society Railway Society Railroad Hobby Show (Eastern States Exposition Center, West Springfield, MA)

 

Dates Of Event: January 28 and January 29, 2017 (it’s usually held the last week of January or the first week of February each year at the Eastern States Exposition Center)

Location: Eastern States Exposition Center, 1305 Memorial Avenue
West Springfield MA, exhibits are in three buildings (the Mallory Building, the Stroh Building and The Better Living Center, they are all adjacent or connected to each other)

Hours: Saturday, January 28, 2017 – 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
Sunday January 29, 2017 – 10:00 am – 5:00 pm

Cost: Adults: $14.00 per day
Children 15 and under: FREE Accompanied by an Adult
EASTERN STATES PARKING: $5.00 per day

Tickets may be purchased online or at the site.  Tickets go on sale a the ticket booths one hour before the event

Parking: Parking is available for a $5 fee (not included in the ticket price) at the Gate 9 entrance.  Get there early as it does fill up

Handicapped Accessible: Yes

Highlights: model trains and train sets, vintage model trains, elaborate train sets, family friendly

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The annual Amherst Railway Society Railroad Hobby Show proved trains are not just for children.  The fact of the matter is the hobby show is fun for people of all ages.  In fact, watching some of the older men and women get into their train sets and even get dressed up as conductors is one of the best parts of the show.

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But, the best part is watching the children get excited to play with and watch the trains.

There are many activities at the hobby show geared for children.  There is an instructional event where children can learn how to make their own model trees, a table which has buttons for the children to use to move the trains or turn the lights of the train set off and on.  There is also a tor train that kids can take, with their parents or guardians, that makes a short journey inside the exhibition hall and other fun activities for children as well as a clown.

There were dozens, if not hundreds, of train sets set up.

While the trains were cool, I actually liked looking at the little accessories that people used to dot the landscapes of their sets.