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 more than 25 years, the Paradise City Arts Festival has been New England’s cultural, culinary and leaf-peeping destination.

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, dim sum and crisp-crusted pizza to locavore burgers and fresh homemade ice cream. 

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

  • Saturday, October 9: The O-Tones! Whether they are playing Swing, Motown, or R & B, this six-piece band showcases powerful vocal harmonies, catchy rhythms and amazing strings.
  • Sunday, October 10: New! The Bagboys! The Bagboys are a historic part of the Massachusetts acoustic music scene. Harvey Bag (bass) and Frank Drake (mandolin) are prolific composers and keep the band well stocked with brand new Americana future classics. Gretchen Bowder is acclaimed for her talents on banjo and vocals.
  • Monday, October 11: Roger Salloom, acclaimed singer/songwriter, with his excellent back-up band. Rolling Stone Magazine calls his music “superb” and IMDb writes, “…The writing talent of Dylan or Guthrie… musical genius…hilarious and tragic, kindhearted and careless, all the complexities of a real human being.”

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: “Abstract Thoughts”

Looking deeply at abstract art can take you down a rabbit hole. What image did the painter or sculptor have in their head when they started? How did they get from there to here? 

Modern times, with fast-paced inventions, global upheavals, and constant change, challenges artists to view the world in a way that is outside of time and place. This fall many of the show’s artists are taking the leap into abstraction in painting, photography, and sculpture. Abstract design in furniture, home furnishings, wearable art and jewelry also draws inspiration from the same aesthetic well, resulting in remarkably playful works that in the hands of Paradise City’s makers achieve both sophistication and beauty. Be distracted by abstraction at this very cool exhibition 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.

A Turn in the Wood

Wood artist Steven Wiseman shares the pleasures and intricacies of wood turning on the lathe at Paradise City Northampton. He’ll demonstrate lathe and spindle turning, creating everything from pens to bowls to sculptural vessels as you watch. Don’t miss this very popular demonstration! 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 beautiful firepit, stone fountain or towering metal and glass sculpture would enhance your fall/winter 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 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 and the new Noho Madras.

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 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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