Family-friendly Hadley Common Beer & Wine Garden kicks off Friday

  • Fiona McNutt, 4, of Amherst takes a turn sitting in the driver’s seat of a McCormick Farmall tractor that pulled the Boisvert Farm asparagus float to the WGBY Asparagus Festival on the Hadley Town Common on Saturday, June 2, 2018. FILE PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

Staff Writer
Published: 6/10/2019 4:11:44 PM

HADLEY — For the past decade, the West Street Common has hosted an annual autumn road race to benefit Kestrel Land Trust, and in recent years it has been home to the WGBY Asparagus Festival each June.

But aside from these events, the extensive green space in the heart of Hadley, a historic common that dates back more than 300 years and runs from the Connecticut River dike to Bay Road, has been largely unused.

An effort to nurture new community activities now includes the creation of the Hadley Common Beer & Wine Garden, a family-friendly event, which starts at 3:30 p.m. Friday on the north side of Route 9 and will run for 5 ½ hours each Friday through July 5.

“I love this area, and I thought, ‘Why don’t we use it more?’” says Nicole Blum of Carr’s Ciderhouse, who is organizing the Hadley Common Fridays with Andrea Stanley of Valley Malt.

While beer will be prominently featured — look for Valley Malt’s Peak Organics and hard cider from Carr’s Ciderhouse — Blum said the event will promote both food and drink that are made from crops that grow in Hadley’s soil.

“The idea is to celebrate Hadley agriculture,” Blum said.

Restaurants that will be set up selling food include Mi Tierra, which will be serving tamales, tacos and quesadillas, while Esselon will have pulled pork sandwiches and platters. Sno-cones made from organic local fruit will also be for sale, along with ice cream made by Flayvors of Cook Farm and cotton candy.

Music and games will round out the event. Musical acts will include Mossy Cup, the Ephemeral Stringband and the community ukelele band. The Hadley Department of Recreation will set up games for children, and People’s Bank is sponsoring cornhole.

Blum said a post-and-beam pergola will be erected where the community can hang out and will serve as a protection from the elements. It will also have lights to provide some illumination as the event winds down each week around 9 p.m.

As the event will take place near the Norwottuck Rail Trail, Blum said organizers are encouraging as many people as possible to come to the event by means other than driving.

“We’re really hoping people who can will ride their bike or walk,” Blum said. 

A bike rack will be set up each week, and those who do drive will be able to park on the common north of Cemetery Road.

Scott Merzbach can be reached at


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