Fall Marlborough • All Around the Show

The “Jewel of Craft Shows” is nestled into the heart of Boston’s western suburbs, easily accessible from all over New England. This extraordinary selection of artists comes to the city of Marlborough, Massachusetts from every corner of America on the weekend before Thanksgiving. With 175 curated painters, potters, sculptors, jewelers, woodworkers, fashion designers, furniture makers and more, make sure you allow enough time to see it all.

The Sculpture Café

The sunlit Sculpture Café is a meeting place, a gallery exhibition area, and a cozy spot to grab a drink or a sweet bite and rest your feet after your first pass through the show. Every afternoon from noon to 4pm music wafts from the café through the entire exhibition hall. Reconnect with your friends (or make new ones!) at one of the tables in the Sculpture Café for espresso or a glass of wine, a European pastry selection and, best of all, sharing the contents of your shopping bags.

It’s a great place to people-watch and share photos of work by your favorite Paradise City artists on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter. If you’re more in the mood for food that’s savory and substantial, look to the Paradise Café in the rear of the hall for overstuffed sandwiches, creative salads, hot soups and yummy daily specials like chicken pot pie.

This November’s excellent lineup of music in the Sculpture Café: Listen to original music, ballads from the Great American Songbook, upbeat Motown, and swing in three-part harmony.

Friday, November 22 – O Tones Trio: Infectious renditions of swing and Motown. Soulful singer Mary Witt is accompanied by bass, guitar, keyboards and three-part harmony.

Saturday, November 23 – Roger Salloom, acclaimed singer/songwriter. 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.”

Sunday, November 24 – Boogaloo Trio: Classic Big Band music with fabulous vocals by Leslie Alexandra and keyboards by Don McMahon. The face behind the beat is Chet Pasek on percussion.

“The Circle Game,” Themed Exhibition at Paradise City

Our lives are encircled by circles. This is not a coincidence. Scientists believe that the frequency of circles in nature explains their abundance in manmade objects and art. As the ultimate curvilinear shape, the circle embodies so many of the attributes that attract us: it is a safe, gentle, pleasant, graceful, dreamy, and even beautiful shape that evokes calmness, peacefulness, and relaxation. The Greek scholar Proclus called the circle “the first, simplest and most perfect form.”

A circle is a shape with no beginning or end. It symbolizes the cycle of time, the perpetual motion of everything that moves, the planets’ journey around the sun (the circle of the zodiac), the great rhythm of the universe. The circle shape itself is thought to have magical protective powers. Circles can be playful, too – think of polka dots, bouncing balls, even hot air balloons!  This exhibition in the Sculpture Café, “The Circle Game”, explores circles through their symbolism, the shape of the art or its surface decoration – and sometimes all three!

How Do they Do It?

Walking the show, one often comes across an artist working on a painting, sketching out a concept for a commission, carving wood or sizing clothing for a client. This is one of the little pleasures of Paradise City. Not only is the event an opportunity to meet the artists and talk to them about their work, but there is always a glimpse of the technique and thought process behind each piece of art. Listen to their stories!

Free Parking at the Trade Center

Acres of free parking surround the Royal Plaza Trade Center and Hotel, with designated handicap parking right by the show entrance. Did you know there’s also a convenient free shuttle that can pick you up and drop you off at your car, wherever you park in the lots? That perk comes in very handy when you’re carrying out big or heavy packages. The shuttle runs a continuous circle around the parking lots and the entrance from a half-hour before opening to a half-hour after closing each day.

Enter to Win a Shopping Spree

Visitors may stop by the Information Booth 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.

Support Music in the Public Schools

Benefit Coat Check and Gift Wrap

Since 1998, the enthusiastic volunteers from the Marlborough Public Schools Music Association have been operating a coat and package check at the entrance to Paradise City to benefit music in the public schools. It’s so much more comfortable to walk the show without wearing or carrying a heavy coat or umbrella! You can even leave any purchases at the coat check and pick them up on your way out. Donations are voluntary, and much appreciated.

If you’re here to check off items on your holiday gift list, you’ve come to the right place. Need the right size gift box, festive paper and ribbons on the spot?  The expert wrapping volunteers from MPSMA will provide all that at the Coat Check Station.

The Marlborough Public Schools Music Association (MPSMA) is a non-profit organization formed specifically to support all music students in the Marlborough school system, with an emphasis on the higher grades. Their financial assistance awards scholarships, sends students to competitions and supports student music programs for vocal and dance groups as well as instrumental. Paradise City has raised over $400,000 over the years to benefit community causes and non-profits, including Hospice, animal rescue shelters, the Food Bank, the International Language Institute, Cancer Connection, the Survival Center and Public Television. The beneficiary organization receives 100% of the donated funds. Paradise City is proud to support the Marlborough Public Schools Music Association.