Spring 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 popular Festival Dining Tent.

Get a sampling of Northampton’s vibrant restaurant scene under the Festival Dining Tent. This is your chance to check out some of the area’s best chefs, with exciting menus that span the globe.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 recipes that span the globe. Expect lots of tasty surprises from the region’s restaurants at this spring’s show, often using locally grown foods straight from the Valley’s farms. Sample exotic curries, pad Thai, crisp-crusted pizza, lobster rolls, poutine, spring salads, mac & cheese poppers, dim sum, locavore burgers, smoked BBQ, Asian tacos, overstuffed burritos, mango lassi, fresh strawberry shortcake and homemade ice cream.

Ramen demonstration at the Great Wall Restaurant! They’ll be making, pulling and cutting fresh ramen noodles as you watch, every day under the Festival Dining Tent.

Restaurants include: Mama Iguana’s • Local Burger • Amber Waves • Great Wall • Spoleto • Sierra Grille • Pizzeria Paradiso • India House • Bart’s Homemade Ice Cream • 3 County Fair Bar • Café & Bar in Exhibition Building 3

Saturday, 12-4: The O-Tones! Whether they are playing Big Band Swing, Motown or R & B, this four-piece band showcases powerful vocal harmonies, catchy rhythms and amazing strings. 

Sunday, 12-4: The lovely Valley Jazz Divas, Barbara Ween, Jill Connolly & Carol Abbe Smith, backed by the Green Street Trio led by Paul Arslanian on keyboard. Listen to classics from the Great American Songbook.

Monday, 11:30-3:30: NEW! Singer/Songwriter Showcase

  • Songwriter Lisa Martin’s music bridges the elements of folk, rock, country and blues, with her pop sensibilities always evident in the mix. She is the Founder of the New England Women Songwriters Collaborative and has produced 3 CDs.
  • Steve Piper (vocalist/songwriter) and Carl Hopkins (guitar) fuse blues, rock, reggae, R&B, country, folk and jazz.
  • Tony Bernardo (pictured) is a singer/songwriter who also has a knack for capturing familiar songs, transforming them into his own. Bernardo uses a loop pedal to create beats with his guitar and emulate other instruments.

Silent Art Auction to Benefit ILI

Bid high and bid often at Paradise City’s Benefit Silent Art Auction in Exhibition Building 3. With generous donations from our artists, we have raised over $400,000 over the years to benefit many community causes and non-profits. The selected organization receives 100% of the donated funds. This spring the auction benefits the International Language Institute of Massachusetts (ILI). ILI provides free English classes for America’s new arrivals from all over the world so they can recycle their skills in this country and successfully integrate into our local community.

SPECIAL EXHIBIT: “Fully Engaged!”
The Modern Art of Tying the Knot

From love matches to arranged marriages, there are so many elements that contribute to making the journey into marriage a memorable one. The objects associated with this journey play an important role, starting with that most enduring symbol of love – the engagement ring. At Paradise City, fine jewelers turn engagement rings into small works of art, from the traditional “round brilliant” diamond to more avant-garde styles handmade with colorful gemstones and unusual metals.

Paradise City can play an important role in making the experience even more special. Hand-blown champagne flutes to toast the couple, honed knives to cut the cake, festive outfits for dancing the night away, unique table favors, stunning vases for floral centerpieces, and romantic photography all contribute to the festivities – and the memories. And for the participants, what better way to say “I love you” to the happy couple than with something artfully exquisite for their new home that they will cherish forever. The exhibit is in Building 2.

How Do They Do It?

From workshops and demonstrations to fascinating talks, Paradise City keeps your hands, eyes and brain busy. Get a glimpse of the technique and thought process behind each piece of art or craft, whether it’s during a formal demonstration or just talking to individual artists. It’s one of the many pleasures of this event.

Play with Clay

Roll up your sleeves and learn clay sculpture with Alan and Rosemary Bennett. The Bennetts create hand-sculpted fish, aquatic life and imaginary creatures from stoneware and porcelain, fired using the raku, crystalline and magnesium carbonite glaze methods. A spellbinding teacher, Alan Bennett especially loves working with children. But all ages can exercise their creativity with clay! Building 3, Booth 700

Use Your Marbles!

Richard Borden and Patricia Disantis of Shibumi Silks offer a fantastic hands-on experience in silk marbling techniques. Their enthusiasm for their craft is contagious, and anyone can learn how to do it. Make your own patterned scarf using a rainbow of vibrant dyes! Building 2, Booth 400

NEW! A Turn in the Wood

Wood artist Steven Wiseman shares the pleasures and intricacies of wood turning on the lathe for the first time at Paradise City Northampton. He’ll demonstrate lathe and spindle turning, creating everything from pens to bowls to sculptural vessels as you watch. Building 3, Booth 901.

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 charming trellis, meditative stone fountain or towering metal and glass sculpture would enhance your summer landscape!

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 boiler-plate, 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 always concoct 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, published in the Paradise City Guide years ago – we still get requests for the recipe. See if you can guess the secret ingredient.

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

Enter to Win a Shopping Spree!

There’s always a winner, and it could be you. Visitors may stop by the Information Tent 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.