Are you in the mood for some biking, hiking, canoeing, some adventures, a taste of theBerkshire outdoors? Then you should get to know Jim Czarnecki of Taking Shape. Jim is an outdoor fitness enthusiast and guided tours expert and he’s just the guy to show you the Berkshires’ natural beauty.
Jim is fresh from leading a tour of the Ashuwilliticook Rail Trail with members of the UK press, who were delighted with their two hour bike trip.
This group tour had been organized by the office of Discover New England (DNE) and it was what is called a familiarization (FAM) tour. A FAM tour is typically press people, travel agents, or tour operators who come over to familiarize themselves to the area in hopes of promoting it to certain audiences or industries. The theme of this group press familiarization tour was culinary and outdoor adventure. The six press people were looking to familiarize themselves with NE, so they could go back to the UK and write about it in their daily newspaper, travel publication, or travel website that they work for.
One of the 6 press people cancelled at the last minute because of food poisoning (ah, the hazards of traveling), but the other 5 came, along with their DNE escort, Joanna Thomas. Josephine Austin toured with them - writer for Selling Long Haul, the only monthly publication dedicated to the coverage of long haul travel from the UK. It’s distributed to every retail Travel Agent and Tour Operator in the UK, along with other individuals in the travel industry. Jacqueline Thake also joined the tour, she’s a writer for the Sunday Mirror – a weekly that’s also the national Sunday paper. Richard Hartley-Parkinson - writer for TravelMail - a news website at dailymail.co.uk was on board as well, as was Simon Hill - writer for the Express & Star - published Monday-Saturday, a paid for newspaper mainly distributed in the West Midlands area in England.
You too, could benefit from Jim’s fitness expertise and knowledge of the natural Berkshires. He can be reached through his website or by phone at (413) 281-7671…and you can find him featured in the Berkshire Eagle’s “Big Deals”.
Jim also leads winter sports excursions so if cross country skiing and snowshoeing are more your idea of fun, book ahead with him to enjoy our region in the winter!
Great Barrington brings yet another terrific offering to our Berkshires “things to do”recommendations – The Berkshire Arts Festival. The festival draws thousands of visitors from all over for a weekend of arts fun for the 4th of July weekend.
Artisans will be there to sell their handmade wares, with over two-hundred of them in attendance – ceramics, glass, wood, sculpture, fashion and more will be represented. And the event goes beyond artisan crafts and other handmades. Performance is a major attraction as well and a variety of performances will be featured throughout the weekend. Here’s a link to more information about the performances throughout the week and there will definitely be jazz in the mix. The festival itself has a website too which will tell you everything you need to know.
Check out this great link which also gives you a list of the weekend’s performances!
The dates this July weekend of fun are July 6, 7, and 8. However, July isn’t the only installment! August 24, 25, and 26 will bring another mix of craft, art and music to the same location and in September they move the show to our dear home town of Lenox! September 28, 29 and 30, find them at the 30 acre site of Shakespeare and Company. This one is their first Fall offering and it is a benefit for Shakespeare and Company. The address for Shakespeare and Company is 70 Kemble St. in Lenox which means this one is a ½ mile walk from our Inn.
It’s pretty near seconds from the launch of the 2012 Williamstown Theatre Festival – June 26th – and it’s no secret that the festival attracts “names”. It really IS where talent spends the summer. Here’s some highlights:
• David Hyde Pierce (of Fraser fame) directs The Importance of Being Earnest, the classic by Oscar Wilde. His cast includes Tyne Daly, most recently of Judging Amy, and a multiple Emmy and Tony award-winner.
• Blythe Danner takes the stage in The Blue Deep.
• See Lili Taylor in The Last Of The Red Hot Lovers.
• The Elephant Man features Bradley Cooper and Patricia Clarkson.
To reduce the festival to an enumerating of celebrity names though is to dimish the quality of the entire festival. The festival really focuses on crafting excellent modern drama and is well worth a visit.
A little festival history perhaps?
“During the winter of 1955, Ralph Renzi (Williams ’43), News Director of Williams College, and David C. Bryant, chairman of the College’s active drama program, conceived the idea of using the Adams Memorial Theatre on the Williams College campus for a summer theater with a resident company.” – festival website
Since then, the festival has maintained a tradition of presenting excellent performances of plays both new and old, but which all have one thing in common: durability and excellence in performance.