Fall Northampton • Around the Show

Around the show there is so much to do, see, touch and savor —

whether you come for a day or the whole weekend. Paradise City is an art museum, a learning experience, a food festival, a feast for the eyes and retail therapy, all rolled up into one. Explore the three airy Exhibition Buildings connected by covered walkways to each other and to the Festival Dining Tent. For 28 years, the Paradise City Arts Festival has been New England’s cultural, culinary and leaf-peeping destination. Take this opportunity to support the arts and do your holiday shopping at Paradise City!

Under the Festival Dining Tent

The Festival Dining Tent at the Paradise City Arts Festival is a microcosm of Northampton’s vibrant restaurant scene, with music wafting through the air and recipes that come from the heart. The region’s restaurants at this fall’s show use locally grown foods straight from the Valley’s farms. Sample everything from exotic curries, house-smoked pork mac & cheese, lobster rolls, dim sum, and Hot Honey chicken burgers, to fresh apple crisp and other yummy desserts.

This holiday weekend Paradise City presents original music, jazz, and swing by three of the region’s favorite bands, from noon – 4pm Saturday & Sunday and 11:30 – 3:30 Monday:

  • Saturday, October 8: The O-Tones! A perennial favorite of Paradise City attendees, this five-piece band showcases powerful vocal harmonies, catchy rhythms and amazing strings.
  • Sunday, October 9: The Green Street Trio, featuring Paul Arslanian on piano, George Kaye on bass, and Jon Fisher on drums, showing off their jazz chops with style and verve. With special guest vocalist Haley Peltz and renowned saxophonist, clarinetist and vocalist Evan Arntzen.
  • Monday, October 10: Roger Salloom, acclaimed singer/songwriter and local treasure. Salloom welcomes guest vocalists Janet Ryan and Ray Chaput, along with his excellent back-up band. IMDb writes about Salloom, “…The writing talent of Dylan or Guthrie… musical genius…hilarious and tragic, kindhearted and careless, all the complexities of a real human being.”

Craft Cocktails

What turns an ordinary drink into a Craft Cocktail? Some of the same elements that make the work of our exhibiting artists so special! For one thing, it’s made with more care. It’s not boilerplate, and the bartender is a little more passionate about getting it just right.

In addition to the usual bar menu of wine, beer and drinks, the Show Directors concocted signature Craft Cocktails for Paradise City. Stop by the bar in the Festival Dining Tent for a Manhattan Meets Northampton. The addition of a Bada Bing Cherry and a dash of local maple syrup takes a traditional Manhattan to a whole new place. Or try the Paradise City Cosmopolitan!

Kick back with one of these cocktails, relax with a scrumptious lunch and show your friends the artful contents of your shopping bags.

Silent Art Auction to Benefit the Northampton Chamber of Commerce

Visit the Silent Art Auction tables in Building 3! Paradise City Arts Festival, by holding this year’s auction to benefit the Chamber, helps our host city build on its aura of a great cultural destination. Northampton possesses a unique downtown “walking Main Street”, filled with independently owned one-of-a-kind shops, galleries, restaurants, antique stores, nightclubs, and theaters. Paradise City’s exhibiting artists and the community have generously donated beautiful items to be auctioned each day of the event. 100% of the proceeds from the auction will benefit the Chamber and the Downtown Northampton Association. Paradise City has raised nearly half a million dollars over the years to benefit regional non-profits. The auction tables close at 4pm on Saturday and Sunday and 3pm on Monday.

Special Exhibit: The Wild Blue Yonder!

Artists often choose the color blue when visualizing something of our imagination, out of reach, at a distance or divine. Blue is quiet, cool, deep, and meditative.

We didn’t know what the Earth looked like from outer space until the first space travel in 1968, when we suddenly realized that our world is truly the blue planet. This show’s sensational themed exhibit “The Wild Blue Yonder!” focuses on a world beyond our own, of depth and endless space. It’s also all about the color blue, which represents both the sky and the sea and is associated with open spaces, freedom, intuition, imagination, inspiration, and sensitivity. From the deep blue of sapphires, lapis lazuli, and indigo dyes to a life-size interactive sculpture of a space capsule, be prepared to be hypnotized by the magic of blue.

Lose yourself in endless blue and the mystery of space at this very cool exhibition in Building 2.

Space, The Final Frontier

Sculptor James Kitchen’s latest project is the Steampunk Spaceship, which will debut at Paradise City Northampton’s “The Wild Blue Yonder” exhibit this fall. This ship was created to inspire young imaginations. It contains an enormous red steering wheel surrounded by countless interlocking gears, gages from the 1800’s, bolted port holes and an eerie echo from the metal walls of the geodesic designed walls.

All of the metal in his sculptures come from local farms, antique stores, auctions, and occasionally a neighbor who leaves a pile of interesting objects in Kitchen’s driveway. He says, “I feel part historian and part archeologist, creating new life,” he says. “My hope is that a sense of awe and wonder will happen when kids peer into this 12-foot-high spaceship.”

Inspired by Jules Verne’s vision of traveling into space, Kitchen hopes to instill a love of books and an appreciation of science in young minds. After it leaves Paradise City the spaceship will travel to libraries throughout Massachusetts. His goal is to bring attention to the resources of community libraries and the importance of reading.

Plus… The changing installations and large-scale sculpture along the Sculpture Promenade between the Festival Dining Tent and the Exhibition Buildings are catnip for kids, Instagram heaven and full of fantastic decorating ideas for your own gardens. Think of how a beautiful firepit, stone fountain or towering metal and glass sculpture would enhance your fall/winter landscape!

Enter to Win a Shopping Spree!

There’s always a winner, and it could be you. Visitors may stop by the shopping spree tables at any time during the show to place their entry for a drawing in one of the big baskets. The winner will receive a gift certificate for a $250 shopping spree that may be redeemed at an exhibitor’s booth at any Paradise City Arts Festival over the next year.

Tour Northampton and the Valley!

Deep in the heart of the Connecticut River Valley, surrounded by the gently rolling foothills of the Green Mountains and the Berkshires, lies Northampton, the hometown of the Paradise City Arts Festival. In autumn, the hills are draped in the blazing colors of New England’s fall foliage and the bustling “#1 Small Arts Town in America” becomes the Columbus Day Weekend home to hundreds of the country’s most celebrated artists and craft makers.

New England’s most uncommon destination is definitely Northampton. It surprises you with its sophistication, diversity and eclectic flavor, its small-town ambiance and big-city features, all housed within typical New England clapboard and masonry architecture. But there’s so much more! Visit one of the region’s world-class museums, then hike to the top of Mount Sugarloaf for the spectacular view of the Connecticut River that has inspired artists for nearly two hundred years. Take advantage of miles of bike paths through farmlands, woodlands and along the river. Walk the Holyoke Range, picnic and play in Northampton’s beautiful city parks or take your clubs to one of the many challenging public golf courses in the region.

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