, Newburyport, MA

January 23, 2014

The Lookout: Winter Carnival, Old Newbury Bonfire on for this weekend

The Lookout
Ann Reily

---- — With a forecast of possible snow showers and highs in the lower 30s, the weather this Saturday should cooperate for two popular events: the Newburyport Winter Carnival and the Old Newbury Bonfire Bash.

Both events were postponed from Jan. 11 due to pouring rain and high winds.

From 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the Bartlet Mall, the carnival will offer activities such as skating on the Frog Pond, sledding, snowboarding, the Human Dog Sled Race and horse-drawn hayrides. Free cookies and cocoa will be served.

Indoor activities will be offered by Newburyport Youth Services at the former Kelley School on High Street. For more information, call 978-465-4462 or email

After the carnival, head over to Tendercrop Farm and the Spencer-Peirce-Little Farm in Newbury for the bonfire bash. Starting at 3 p.m., guests can take tours of the 1690 manor home run by Historic New England, toss Christmas trees and kissing balls, bid in silent and live auctions, and enjoy a variety of food and beverages from local vendors.

The fire itself will go up around 5 p.m., with the opportunity to light it among the auction items up for grabs. For more information, call 978-462-2282 or visit

Admission to both events is free, though parking is $5 for the bonfire.

Snowshoe race at Woodsom Farm

The weather should also be ideal, if a bit chillier, for the Amesbury Police Chase Snowshoe Fun Race on Sunday.

The inaugural event will feature races for kids and adults, as well as a hybrid sledding/snowshoeing contest.

Proceeds will benefit the Amesbury Police Officers Association, which raises money for youth athletics, education, community groups and the needy.

The race will be held at 10:45 a.m. at Woodsom Farm, off Lions Mouth Road. Entry is $15, and registration is available online at

For more information, email

Theater groups casting new shows

Amesbury Children’s Theatre is holding auditions next weekend for its upcoming production of “Cinderella.” Both singing and non-singing roles are available.

Auditions will be held Friday, Jan. 31, from 7 to 9 p.m. and Saturday, Feb. 1, in the theater at Sparhawk School, 196 Main St. No appointments are necessary.

For more information, call 978-388-0611.

Auditions for another classic story, “Little Women,” are being held Thursday, Jan. 30, at 6:30 p.m. and Sunday, Feb. 2, at 3 p.m. in Hamilton.

The musical, presented by The Community House Theater, will be double-cast with four male and four female roles per cast.

Interested adults and teens should bring sheet music and be prepared to sing 32 bars. Performance applications are available at

Auditions will be held at The Community House of Hamilton and Wenham, 284 Bay Road (Route 1A).

Give the gift of song to your valentine

Looking for a unique way to surprise your sweetheart on Valentine’s Day? The Beverly Northshoremen Barbershop Chorus is once again offering Singing Valentines.

Barbershop quartets will travel to offices, homes, schools and other venues throughout Essex County to sing for unsuspecting recipients. In addition to two love songs, the quartets will also present a long-stemmed rose, a card and a photo of the event to each recipient.

The Singing Valentines are a major fundraiser for the nonprofit chorus, which puts on shows at assisted-living facilities and nursing homes in the region and appears at high school concerts and a cappella nights.

To order a valentine or for more information, call 978-744-3592 or 866-727-4988, or email

Souper Saturday at Andrews Library

Warm up this weekend at the first Winter 2014 Souper Saturday at the Emma Andrews Library & Community Center.

From noon to 2 p.m. Saturday, “Hot Soup for Cool Summer Activities for Children” will offer a vegan African peanut soup, a Dutch pea soup and a chicken and wild rice soup. A $5 donation includes soup, bread and desserts.

Proceeds from the event benefit the children’s summer programs at the library, which is located at 77 Purchase St., Newburyport. Additional Souper Saturdays are scheduled for Feb. 22 and March 29.

‘Warm Up’ for Pentucket foundation

The fourth annual Winter “Warm Up” Gala will be held Saturday at 7 p.m. at Veasey Park in Groveland.

A fundraiser for the Pentucket Education Foundation, the event will feature music by the band Don’t Call Me Shirley and a beer, wine and spirit tasting.

Tickets are $25 in advance and $30 at the door. Veasey Park is located at 201 Washington St.

For more information, email

Artist exhibits work at Anna Jaques

Paintings by artist Laura Rizzari Roberts will be on display from Jan. 28 through Feb. 27 at Anna Jaques Hospital in Newburyport.

Roberts enjoys working with moody settings that evoke the senses. Her still life and landscape oil paintings feature strong lights, shadows and vivid colors. She has won a number of awards, including Best in Show at the Newburyport Art Association.

When she is not painting, Roberts is a real estate agent for Keller Williams in Newburyport and Topsfield.

Proceeds from artwork purchases will benefit the Anna Jaques Hospital Aid Association.

Free talks at Groveland library

The Langley-Adams Library in Groveland has two free environmental talks planned for next week.

On Monday from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m., Doreen Blades will present “Going Green: Sorting Out the Myths From the Facts.”

On Wednesday from 6 to 8 p.m., William Newell, a surveyor and genealogist, and Joe D’Amore will present “Above the Last Pond,” based on the book by John A. Soucy. They will share photos and updates on a trail system they plan to develop in the Hampshire Woods area.

The library is located at 185 Main St. To register or for more information, call 978-372-1732 or visit

Dine out for a good cause

A Community Sponsorship Night at Michael’s Harborside on Monday will benefit The Actors Studio of Newburyport.

To help out, visit the restaurant, located at 1 Tournament Wharf, from 4 to 9 p.m. A portion of proceeds from dining bills will be donated to the nonprofit theater company.

Blues on tap at the Grog

Parker Wheeler & Friends will welcome Lydia Warren and Gracie Curran for this Sunday’s Blues Party at the Grog in Newburyport.

Upcoming performances will feature Murali Coryell on Feb. 9; Willie J. Laws on Feb. 16; and Amadee Castenell, Tom West, Maureen Medeiros, Tony Carle, Steve Monahan and Steve Bankuti on Feb. 23. There will be no show on Feb. 2, due to the Super Bowl.

Admission is $7, and shows run from 6 to 11 p.m. at the 13 Middle St. restaurant.

Sacred Circle Dances in Newburyport

A Winter Series of Sacred Circle Dances is planned for the next four Tuesday evenings at Chailey Manor in Newburyport.

No experience is required to learn simple, traditional and newly crafted village dances from around the world.

The manor is located at 9 Spring Lane. Dancing will take place on the wooden floor of the grand ballroom from 6 to 8 p.m. on Jan. 28 and Feb. 4, 11 and 18. The first dance was slated for this past Tuesday but was canceled due to the snowstorm.

Admission is a suggested donation of $10. Registration is required; contact Ellen Kennedy at 978-388-8604 or

Open mikes atPort coffee shop

A weekly open mike called Merrimac Mic is held every Thursday at 6:30 p.m. at Plum Island Coffee Roasters.

Poets, writers and storytellers of all ages are encouraged to sign up for five minutes at the microphone. No experience is necessary.

Tonight’s event will feature poet Sylvia Reilly Collins, who published her latest collection, “The Gift,” in February.

Upcoming speakers include Mary Ann Honaker on Jan. 30, Chris Ellis on Feb. 6, KD Mason on Feb. 13 and Tony Toledo on Feb. 20.

The coffee shop is located at 54R Merrimac St., Newburyport. The shop itself is closed during the open mikes, so attendees are encouraged to bring their own refreshments.

For more information, call 978-465-4428 or email

Entertainment and food at 17 State St.

17 State Street Cafe’s “Beats, Burgers and Brews” will feature Artty Raynes and LJ Francoeur of Long Gone tomorrow and Carl Cacho on Saturday.

Raynes and Francoeur are a husband-wife duo who will play Americana, country and bluegrass tunes. Cacho is a singer-songwriter who offers an eclectic mix of musical styles.

Both shows are from 7 to 9 p.m. at the downtown Newburyport restaurant.


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