Photo: Pixbay.com

Here’s a short list of some events going on in town during the holiday season.

Saturday December 21.  UMASS Amherst Sunwheel and Skywatching Events to Mark Winter Solstice.   UMass Sunwheel (south of McGurick Stadium, just off of Amity Street/Rocky Hill Road) 7 Am and 3:30 PM..  At the hour-long gatherings, UMass Amherst astronomer Stephen Schneider will discuss the astronomical cause of the solstice. He will explain the seasonal positions of Earth, the sun and moon, and the design of the Sunwheel and other calendar sites such as the Temple of Karnak in Egypt and Chankillo in Peru. He will also answer other astronomical questions, such as why the earliest sunset occurs about two weeks before the solstice and the latest sunrise about two weeks later, or why the longest day of the year is actually December 22. If it is clear during the morning session, a telescope will be set up to observe the waning crescent moon. In the evening session a telescope will be set up to safely observe the surface of the sun. Sunwheel visitors who stop in on their own will be able to see the sun rising and setting over the winter solstice stones from roughly Dec. 16–26. This is because around the time of the solstice (which means stationary sun) the sun appears to rise at a fixed spot on the southeast horizon and to set in a fixed southwest direction for more than a week.

Sunday, December 22. Dreaming of a Jewish Christmas. 2-3:30 pm. Yiddish Book Center, Hampshire College. A musical documentary that tells the story of a group of Jewish song writers who wrote the soundtrack to the Christmas season. $6-$10. 413-256-4900.

Friday, January 3rd, (5-8:30 pm) and Saturday, January 4, (9:00 am to 1:30 pm). Ski and Winter Gear Sale to Benefit the Amherst Historical Society. 2-Day Pop Up Ski Shop with new and used gear, at the Pacific (Masonic) Lodge, located at 99 Main Street, Amherst. Great discounts for the beginner skater to the expert skier, all in adult and youth sizes. Experts will be on hand to help with sizing and selection. All proceeds benefit for the Amherst Historical Society. Questions, email Bonnie at amhersthistory@gmail.comCONSIGN YOUR GENTLY USED WINTER GEAR-Equipment accepted only on Thursday, January 2, from 5:30-7:30 pm at Pacific Lodge, 99 Main Street, Amherst. Outgrown your skis or winter gear? Bring in your gently used gear to sell on consignment during the 2-Day Pop Up Ski Shop.  The seller sets the price and if sold, receives forty percent of the sale price for their used equipment. Donations also accepted. Contact Bonnie at amhersthistory@gmail.com for more details.
Want to have first look at the merchandise? Contact Bonnie about volunteering to help unload the gear on January 2 nd.

Thursday January 9.  Community Meeting.  Planning a Playground for Kendrick Park.  6-8 pm.  Pole Room,  Bangs Community Center. 70 Boltwood WalkThe Town of Amherst invites you to come and talk about Planning a Playground for Kendrick Park. The town has received a PARC grant to build a playground so please come and share your ideas for this exciting project!  For further information contact: Chris Brestrup, Planning Department, 413-259-3145 or brestrupc@amherstma.gov

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