Photo Gallery: RambleFest 2013
ADAMS -- The sun shined down on a crowd of thousands at the Adams Visitor Center on Sunday afternoon for the second annual RambleFest, a celebration held in coordination with the annual Mount Greylock Ramble.
"One of the bigger things we have in the community for big draws is the Ramble on Columbus Day weekend," said Town Administrator Jonathan Butler. "It's a 46-year-old event where people have been hiking up Mount Greylock for years and years. We got the idea to complement it with this festival last year."
The Ramble attracts hikers from across the region each year, filling Mount Greylock's trails as thousands of people make the ascent to the summit, 3,491 above sea level.
"This is the festival to pair it together and have everybody come out and spend the weekend in Adams and really enjoy some family fun," said Andrea Stump, a RambleFest organizer.
RambleFest is a celebration of all things in Adams and showcases a host of vendors from local retailers, restaurants and nonprofits, as well as live music performances by area bands, including Dublin Porter and Rebel Alliance. This year, the festival featured trolley rides, a bonfire and cooking demonstrations by local chefs.
"This is very good for the town. What a nice crowd," 67-year-old Adams resident Frank Kozik said. According to Kozik, his favorite thing about the festival was the cooking demonstrations by chefs from the Bounti-Fare Restaurant, Adams Ale House, the Haflinger Haus and Soldier On.
"It was excellent. We had a very big crowd," Haflinger Haus' Chef Gerhard Schmid said after his demonstration. Schmid lives in Adams but moved from Austria to the United States 50 years ago. The chef prepared Viennese apfelstrodel, (apple strudel) and impressed the crowd as he stretched his dough thin enough to see through.
"It's one of the favorite things I like to make," Shmid said.
The cuisine from local restaurants and food trucks weren't the only big draw this year.
"I really liked the beer," Kozik said.
The Ramblefest Beer Garden, featuring libations from Pittsfield brewery Wandering Star, drew long lines all afternoon.
"Luckily, the brewery is only 20 minutes away," Wandering Star co-owner Shannon Post said as her husband Chris drove off to pick up more beer. The brewery's Zingari Belgian Witbier was a big hit with festival goers this year.
"The weather cooperated with us, but we're selling beers we didn't expect," Post said.
Though there was good food and beer, the weather Sunday was the main highlight for some Ramblefest attendees.
"The big fireplace with hay bales is a good place for the kids to play," Jesse Egan Poirier said as his wife, Amanda, and 7-month-old daughter, Aria, lounged in the sun.
Selectman Skip Harrington set up the bonfire and hay bales to add to the fall atmosphere and as a place to roast marshmallows.
"We try to make it out to all the festivals. We're great lovers of the community," said Egan Poirier, of North Adams.
"This year has been phenomenal. The event started at 1 (p.m.) and people came at 12," Stump said.
Stump partnered with 12 other volunteers as part of the group Pro Adams in order to make this year's Ramblefest happen.
Pro Adams is an informal group of Adams residents, business owners and town officials whose purpose is, according to Butler, "marketing the town outside of Adams and promoting it to a bigger audience."
"Our goal is to make Adams the outdoor recreational hub of the Berkshires," Stump said.
This year's 46th annual Ramble will offer prizes today to the fastest, youngest and oldest hikers and a special award for the hiker who travels the farthest distance to get to the mountain's summit. There will be commemorative clothing for sale, and the summit's Bascom Lodge will serve food and drinks from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
For more information on the Ramble, visit Hiking the Mt. Greylock Ramble on Facebook