Green River Festival 2015: Shopping, Music and Community

You can go shopping, learn about guitars, or even join the Peace Corps at this year's Green River Festival.
You can go shopping, learn about guitars, or even join the Peace Corps at this year’s Green River Festival. Doug Mason photo.

I know a lot of the people in the Valley who are eagerly waiting for a chance to again relax on the green lawns at GCC for the Green River Festival.  And some of the more than 9000 fans who are coming will inevitably end up doing some shopping too. That’s because a feature of the fest again this year is the Maker’s Market, where local and regional craftspeople and vendors offer a huge array of goodies.  You’ll find one-of-a-kind clothing and jewelry and you can also meet and schmooze with a group of three luthiers (stringed instrument makers) who will have booths at this year’s GRF.

Healy Guitars  and Goat Peak  both of Easthampton,  and Homebody Guitars out of Putney Vermont will bring instruments to strum, and best of all, experts you can chat up about your guitar and violin questions.   Not only will the vendors be selling, but you can get information from local organizations like Dial Self, The Food Bank of Western Mass, Northampton Prevention Coalition, and even the Peace Corps!  Who knows  you may end up taking off on the journey of your life if you get signed up for the latter.

Yes indeed, there are many things you can learn about and shop for and listen to at the Fest. But for many of us, especially us old-timers, the best part is setting up our ‘camp’ with our chairs, getting a good spot right in the first row of the umbrella section, and then hunkering down and meeting and greeting.  Mary especially enjoys people watching, and I like to bounce between the stages, throw a frisbee, and some times even take a little nap.

Whatever you want to do, make sure you don’t miss this year’s Green River Festival, July 10-12, at Greenfield Community College.