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Culture to Do: Dec. 27, 2023

NEPM and The Berkshire Bach Society present "Bach At New Year’s: A Very Baroque Celebration" Saturday, Dec. 30 at 7 p.m. at the Academy of Music in Northampton.

Bach At New Year’s: A Very Baroque Celebration
Academy of Music
Saturday, Dec. 30 at 7 p.m.
The Berkshire Bach Society presents an event that has been a holiday tradition since 1993. Nine-time Grammy Award winner, co-founder of the legendary Emerson String Quartet, and Berkshire Bach Music Director Eugene Drucker leads the Berkshire Bach Ensemble in a veritable tasting menu of the splendid feast that is Baroque music Join Berkshire Bach for an evening of great music and dazzling performances in works by Bach, Telemann, von Biber, and more to start your New Year on a high note. This concert is co-presented by Berkshire Bach and NEPM.

First Annual Florence Tractor Parade
Friday, December 29 starting at 6 p.m.
It’s a new festive concept that honors the agricultural life of our region. A parade of light-bedecked tractors will convene at the Smith Vocational and Agricultural High School and travel through the center of Florence on Main Street. Here’s your chance to be a part of local history.

Happy New Year from Vicki Island
Saturday, Dec. 30 from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Daniel Giordano finds material for his provocative and playful sculptures on the streets of Newburgh, New York, and along the banks of the nearby Hudson River. His eclectic assemblages reflect the mores of his Italian-American heritage and the postindustrial realities of his hometown, where the artist works in his family’s now-defunct factory. Here’s a chance to see his MASS MoCA which closes at the end of this month, and take part in two events with him.

First Night Junior
Holyoke Heritage State Park
Sunday, Dec. 31 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
A parent's dream! Kids can go round and round on the Holyoke Merry-Go-Round ad infinite because tickets are good for unlimited rides. When (if) your child is ready for something else you can head to the Children’s Museum where there will be a special craft project and live entertainment. Important: Tickets are available online only!

First Night Northampton 2024
Sunday, Dec. 31 from noon to midnight
Since 1985, First Night Northampton has filled the Paradise City with a 12-hour, family-friendly festival of the arts culminating in a traditional ball-raising from the roof of the Hotel Northampton. Gather with friends, neighbors, and visitors at 23 terrific downtown venues for an astounding array of entertainment presented by hundreds of talented performers. Among them is Fabulous 413 co-host Kaliis Smith performing with the Soul Magnets at 10 p.m. at the Academy of Music.

New Year's Yoga
Bombyx, Florence
Sunday, Dec. 31 and Monday, Jan. 1 at 2 p.m.
Mark the crossing from last year to next, at this mini-retreat where you can consciously let go of past negativity and embrace the future refreshed with a clear mind and a courageous heart. Taught by Ruth Anne Lundeberg and Rose Khalsa, the two days are designed to support us in crossing the threshold of the New Year. We are encouraged to attend both, but each is a complete experience and can be taken separately. Each session is 3 hours.

Starry Starry Night
Downtown Orange
Sunday, Dec. 31 from 6 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.
The towns of Athol, Erving, New Salem, Orange, Petersham, Phillipston, Royalston, Warwick, and Wendell come together to celebrate the New Year and the beautiful North Quabbin region. There will be performances at multiple venues throughout the evening. Then, at 10 p.m., the “Parade of Stars” will lead you to Memorial Park from where you can watch the fireworks on the Miller River. It’s free!

New Year’s Eve Extravaganza
Student Union Ballroom, UMass
Sunday, Dec 31 from 7 p.m. – 12:30 a.m.
We all know the advantages of being able to go to concerts, lectures and exhibits at our local colleges. But here’s an opportunity to party! This year, we can dress up and head to UMass for a glamorous ’80s-style celebration with live music, dancing, award-winning cuisine and a spectacular countdown to midnight. Plus! You have the option to stay the night on-campus at Hotel UMass.

Happy New Year with The Picky Bastards and The Feathers
The Barn, South Egremont
Sunday, Dec. 31 from 7:45 p.m. – 12:30 a.m.
Combine Jordan Weller and The Feathers with The Picky Bastards and you get a three-set line-up of New Year’s rocking greatness. Venue tidbit: for two consecutive years, the Barn has been voted 2nd best music venue in the Berkshires by Rural Intelligence — after Tanglewood!

New Year’s Eve with Max Creek
Colonial Theater, Pittsfield
Sunday, Dec. 31 at 8 p.m.
Max Creek mixes rock, country, reggae, soul, jazz and calypso and combine it with their own great songwriting, sculpting their shows from their 200+ song catalog. They’re multigenerational. Guitarist Scott Murawski, keyboardist Mark Mercier and bassist John Rider have remained since the mid-70s; the current drums and percussion players Bill Carbone and Jamemurrell Stanley weren’t even born when the band started.

First Day Hikes
Monday, Jan. 1
First Day Hikes originated in Massachusetts in 1992 — yay us! Since 2012, They’ve been held in all 50 states. Last year nearly 55,000 people rang in the New Year, collectively hiking over 133,000 miles throughout the country! This year there are hikes starting in Turners Falls, at Chester Blandford State Forest, and Mount Greylock State Reservation.

The Ice Rink
MGM Springfield
Open through Jan. 14
There’s something special about skating in the city. I grew up in Manhattan, so I learned how to skate at Wollman Rink. I later found out about Lasker rink at the northernmost tip of Central Park, where the music (mostly Motown) was much better. Anyone craving an urban outdoor ice-skating experience can head to the rink at MGM Springfield. Then go to the Red Rose for pizza.