September

9 St. John's Bazaar: Auction starts at noon, come and play games, and buy fresh home grown produce. Purchase wonderful local crafts. Stroll around listening to good music and enjoying great food. Take a chance to win amazing themed gift baskets and other great raffle prizes. It's good old-fashioned fun for young and old. From 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on scenic Townsend Common. Rain date is Sunday at noon.

Veterans Breakfast: 8:30 to 10 a.m. at the Pepperell VFW, sponsored by State Rep. Sheila Harrington and Pepperell Family Pharmacy.

Native Plant Sale: 10 a.m. to noon, Ayer Library, sponsored by the Friends of the library. Pollinators for bees and butterflies on sale.

Cemetery Talk: The Shirley Center Cemetery has many stories to tell. The educated observer can tell which of the gravestone is actually the oldest. The good researcher can find the history behind the people who were buried here. The interested visitor to Shirley Historical Society Museum at #182 Center Road will be able to learn a lot about these stones which are located in the oldest Shirley cemetery. At 7 p.m., Barbara Yocum and Catherine Lahousse will share their cemetery photos and explain what they have discovered from studying the cemetery during the past year. The program is open to the public free of charge and the display will remain up through December. If there are any questions, telephone 978-425-9328 or email mail@shirleyhistory.org.


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10 Rally Sunday: Community Church of Pepperell, One Townsend St., 10 a.m. service. Sunday School resumes for preschool through grade 12. Come discover the opportunities in worship, education, music, fellowship, and service.

11 Honoring First Responders: On the solemn anniversary of 9/11, please join us at the fire station, as we honor Groton's First Responders. Their service and dedication to the seniors of Groton cannot be measured but through this small gesture they are celebrated. The Groton Council on Aging invites senior citizens to attend a luncheon to honor our first responders at noon at the Groton Fire Station, 45 Farmers Row. This program is made possible through the generous support of Ebi and Desiree Masalehdan, and Massachusetts State Senator Eileen Donoghue with music donated by Mr. John Murphy. Seating is limited and we ask you call the COA for your reservation, 978-448-1170 by Thursday, September 7.

12 Hindu Temple Talk: The Groton Council on Aging invites the community to join us for a conversation with members of Shri Shirdi Sai Bada Hindu Temple and learn about their beliefs, practices and relationship vision in Groton. They will be joining us at the senior center, 163 W Main Street, at 7 p.m. All are invited. Call the COA to register, 978-448-1170.

Improving Medicare: State Senator Jamie Eldridge (Middlesex & Worcester) and State Rep. Jen Benson (37th Middlesex) will discuss their pending legislation on "Improved Medicare for All for Mass." Free public forum, sponsored by the Lunenburg, Ayer, Shirley, and Sterling Democratic Town Committees. 7:00 to 8:30 p.m. in the Ayer Town Hall, 1 Main Street. Preregistration requested at Eventbrite.com under "Improved Medicare for All" in Ayer. Contact: lunenburgdtc@gmail.com.

13 Plant Swap: 6:45 p.m. Pepperell Garden Club at Senior Center 37 Nashua Road, Pepperell. The new year will begin with its annual plant swap. Bring a plant or two and swap for another. New members from all towns are welcome to join. Dues are $20 to enjoy a year of informative programs and as always delicious refreshments. For info: Terry 433-2581

14 Friends of Lawrence Library Pepperell: 10:15 a.m. at the library. Come discuss plans for activities at the library. FLL is a non-profit organization whose purpose is to foster closer relations between the library and the community; to promote awareness of the library's services and programs; and to raise funds for library purchases. Free babysitting is available and refreshments served. For more info: Diane at 433-0012

15 National POW/MIA Recognition Day: Townsend VFW Post #6538 and its Auxiliary will conduct a Candlelight POW/MIA Ceremony on the Townsend Common in the evening beginning at 6:30 p.m. The public is encouraged to attend.

16 Arts & Crafts Fair: 36th Annual Arts and Crafts Fair on the Common sponsored by the Townsend Historical Society. Saturday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Call 978-597-2106 or email townsendhistoricalsociety@yahoo.com for additional information.

Pig Roast: The Townsend Conservation Commission is sponsoring a Pig Roast at the VFW Post 6538, 491 Main St., W. Townsend, 6 to 10 p.m. There will be a 50/50 raffle-guess the weight of the pig. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased at the Town Clerks Office, Building Department, Land-Use Office or at the door. Proceeds will benefit future River cleanups. The Conservation Commission organized a clean- up of a portion of the Squannacook River this Summer. There will be a "before and after" presentation of the work. For more information, contact Lyndsy Butler, Townsend Conservation Administrative Assistant, at lbutler@townsend.ma.us, or 978-597-1700x1740.

3rd Annual Pepperell Fall Festival: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Town Field at the Community Center. Bring the Family and Enjoy: Live Music, Farmers' Market, Local Business Vendors, Crafts, Hayrides and Kid Games, Petting Zoo, and Performances by Talented Local Youth. Lots Fun and Food Vendors all Day.

Hawk Watch: The Nashua River Watershed Association (NRWA) will lead a free "Hike and Hawk Watch" up Mt. Watatic in Ashburnham (off of Route 119). In the event of a steady rain on Saturday, the event will be held on Sunday, September 17. After convening at the trail-head off Route 119 at 8 a.m., we'll hike up Mt. Watatic, a 30 to 40 minute hike, moderately difficult with a few steep sections. We'll head back to the parking area around 1 p.m. Bring along binoculars (a must), spotting scopes, bird book, food and water, hat, hiking seat and a windbreaker. The hike is free and open to the public; limited to the first 20 people who register. Children should be old enough to hike on their own (12 years and up) and be patient enough to spend several hours at the summit staring into the sky. No dogs please. To register or for more information, please contact Mark Archambault, NRWA Smart Growth Circuit Rider, at (978) 448-0299, or email MarkA@NashuaRiverWatershed.org.

Craft Beer & Wine Tasting: A relaxing afternoon of sips, tastes, nibbles and conversation, with all proceeds to benefit the historic Shirley Meeting House. This first-of-its-kind, 21+ fund raiser will take place from 3 to 6 p.m. on the common in Shirley Center, with the Meeting House as a backdrop. A craft beer tasting tent will feature local New England breweries Moon Hill (Gardner, MA), Wachusett (Westminster, MA) and Two Roads (Stratford, CT), and a wine tasting tent will offer red and white selections from Bully Hill Winery (Pleasant Valley, NY). All beer and wine selections will be available for purchase on site. In case of inclement weather, the event will move indoors to the Center Town Hall. $35 per ticket includes beer and wine tastings, sumptuous hors d'oeuvres, live music, cash bar, tours of the Meeting House and a generous contribution toward historic preservation. To purchase tickets, visit tickets.bullrunrestaurant.com or call the Bull Run Restaurant at (978) 425-4311.

Ben Hollingsworth Memorial Ride: Registration 8:30 to 10:15 a.m. with coffee and doughnuts at 219 Townsend Road, Groton. Kickstands up at 10:30 a.m. Hamburgers and hotdogs at 1 p.m. Donation: $20 for driver, $5 food only, $5 for passengers. Door prizes and raffle. The ride benefits the Learning Center for the Deaf in Framingham.

17 Free Community Breakfast: All are welcome to the Free Breakfast sponsored by St. John the Evangelist Church in Townsend. 8:15 a.m. to noon at Father Mealy Hall 1 School Street. Enjoy homemade savory and sweet dishes, coffee and tea.

Groton History: 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at Legion Hall, Carl Byron from the Boston and Maine Historical Society will speak about Groton Junction. When Ayer was part of Groton, South Groton or Groton Junction became a center for both railroad freight and passengers. For more information, visit www.grotonhistoricalsociety.org

18 Wizard of Oz: Follow the Yellow Brick Road for a fun family movie night at Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church, 80 Champney Street in Groton. Hot dogs, chips, cole slaw and drinks will be served from 6 to 6:45 p.m. when the movie will begin and during intermission popcorn will be available, too! Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran extends this invitation to all who would like to come to this free event (donations will be accepted) and although walk-ins will be welcomed, an RSVP is appreciated by calling 978-540-0768. Children may bring blankets but chairs will be available.

Recycle Your Reusables: 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Ayer Shirley Middle School. It is open to residents of all towns. Over 30 vendors, including charitable and non-profit organizations will be in attendance, giving you the opportunity to recycle an enormous variety of household goods, baby gear, books, art supplies, and so much more.

19 Protecting Dunstable's Waterways: The Nashua River Watershed Association invites the public to a free presentation, 7 to 8:30 p.m., at the Dunstable Free Public Library, 588 Main St. in Dunstable Martha Morgan, NRWA Water Programs Director, and Kathryn Nelson, NRWA Water Monitoring Coordinator, will discuss the history of the cleanup of the Nashua River since the 1960's, and the water quality issues facing Dunstable's waterways today. Learn more about the Nashua River Wild & Scenic River Study (which includes segments of the Nashua, Squannacook, and Nissitissit Rivers), NRWA's monitoring program, habitat connectivity, invasive aquatic plants such as water chestnut and milfoil, and efforts to curtail the spread of invasive plants. This presentation is free and open to the public, supported by a grant from the Greater Lowell Community Foundation. For more information, please contact Martha Morgan at (978) 448-0299, or email MarthaM@NashuaRiverWatershed.org.

20 Groton Women's Club: The first in a series of nine monthly lunches noon at the senior center. A fabulous lunch of tacos with ground turkey, bean salad and orange sherbet will be followed by the Fred Fowler and his fiddle! Fred's performances include old country, western swing, a few classic old tunes, and of course, bluegrass. He will entertain with his guitar and a few fiddle tunes. This program is made possible through the generous suppor of the Groton Trust Program and Lecture Fund. Please call the center, 978-448-1170 by Sept. 15 for your reservation.

22 Bulbs and Perennials: The Middlesex Conservation District will be holding its annual Fall Bulb and Perennial Sale on Friday, 3 to 6 p.m. and Saturday 8 a.m. to noon at the Great Brook Farm State Park Ski Touring Center, 1018 Lowell Rd, Carlisle. The sale includes tulips, daffodils, specialty bulbs, perennials and fertilizer. All items may be ordered in advance through August 31 by visiting our website at www.middlesexconservation.org or requesting a catalog from middlesexconservation@yahoo.com.

23 Grotonfest: Legion Common in Groton.

Groton History Center Open House: 10 a.m. to noon, 172 Main St., stop by for cider doughnuts and the display of some of our rolling stock, such as a carriage and the antique Torrent fire pump. Visit our exhibit on Groton's George S. Boutwell's participation isn't the impeachment proceedings of President Andrew Johnson. With the recent renovations you can visit the second floor and see "Grant's bedroom", Governor Boutwell's office and the map room. More details, visit www.grotonhistoricalsociety.org

Truck-a-Palooza: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Townsend Public Library parking lot. No horn time, 1 to 2 p.m. See and touch multiple types of trucks, along with free safety seat checks by Safe Kids, a K-9 Demo, the Lions Eyemobile, a petting zoo, yard sale and more.

24 Concert at the Garden: Join us for our first concert of this season with beautiful harp and flute music! The Virginia Thurston Healing Garden presents the first in our "Concert at the Garden" series at 3 p.m. featuring Espressive Flute and Harp, a mother/daughter duo. They will be presenting a relaxing and uplifting program of classical, Irish and spiritual music. The Healing Garden, a non-profit organization, is located at 145 Bolton Road in Harvard, and offers support, educational and therapeutic services to those affected by cancer. Admission is $15 (tickets sold only at the door). Visit www.healinggarden.net for event updates or cancellations.

26 Clustertruck Food Festival: Noon to 7 p.m., Kalon Farm, 339 Seven Bridge Road, Lancaster.

Flag Football for Girls: Calling all girls ages 6-16 who want to learn flag football from the FIRST FEMALE NFL coach Jen Welter at Lawrence Academy in Groton. Register: https://www.jenwelter.com/register

College Funding: Parents and students are invited to attend a free seminar on paying for college, which will be held on at 7 p.m. in the Ayer Shirley Regional High School Auditorium. This seminar is offered through MEFA, the Commonwealth's authority on planning, saving, and paying for college. An experienced MEFA representative will provide an overview of the college financing process, including types of financial aid, how to apply, and financing options. Before the seminar, be sure to visit MEFA's website -- mefa.org -- to download a copy of the seminar presentation in English College-Financing-Fall-2017.pdf or Spanish College-Financing-Fall-2016-SPANISH.pdf and explore other tools and resources to assist you in the college planning process.

28 Concert: Elisabeth Von Trapp, the granddaughter of Maria and Baron von Trapp will present a concert at the Townsend Congregational Church, 3 Brookline St., Townsend, at 7 p.m. Elisabeth's voice has been heard from the subway platforms of New York City and small folk clubs and concert halls to the White House, National Cathedral and the Kennedy Center. She has released five self-produced albums and her music has been featured on BBC-Radio, Japanese National Radio and CNN Spanish Radio. She has appeared on CBS's Eye on People, ABC's Good Morning America and BBC-TV. There is no charge for this event, but a free-will offering will be taken. For more information, please contact the Church Office at 978-597-8925.

30 Bake and Craft Sale: Friends of Shirley Seniors, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Ayer Shirley Middle School, 978-425-0981 or 978-425-9566.

Writing From History: A Panel Discussion with Tim Castner, Mary Babson Fuhrer, Tona Hangen, Kevin Levin, Megan Kate Nelson, Richard C. Wiggin, and Ursula Wong, 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Thayer Memorial Library, Lancaster. How do you create compelling stories born from the past? Seven Bridge Writers' Collaborative hosts a panel of local, award-winning novelists and historians as they explore the ways fiction and non-fiction writers bring history alive for the modern reader and address the challenges they face. How do we weave historical fact into compelling characters and plots, reconstruct worlds and cultures, maintain truths in speech and action, and conduct effective research? For more information go to sevenbridge.org/seven-bridge-sessions/

Turkey Dinner: Townsend Congregational Church invites you to enjoy a turkey dinner with all the fixings from 5 to 6:30 p.m. Tickets, available at the door, are $ 10.00 for adults and $5.00 for children ages 3 through 8 and $25 for a family. As always, children under 3 eat free! Dinners are also available for take-out. Townsend Congregational Church is an open and affirming member of the United Church of Christ. Everyone is welcome to attend our worship and community events. For more information, call 978-597-8925.

October

12 "Dirt": North Middlesex Regional High School, doors open 5:30 p.m. Written and performed by John Morello, sponsored by NM Cares.

14 Hunger Run 5K: Nashoba Valley Medical Center's 6th annual Hunger Run 5K road race, benefits Loaves & Fishes. The race begins at Nashoba Valley Medical Center, 200 Groton Road, at 11 a.m. and travels along the scenic back roads of Ayer and Groton. Walkers are also welcome to participate. In addition to the Hunger Run, children are encouraged to dress in their favorite Halloween costumes (optional) and enjoy the "Harvest Half Mile Run." Fun activities for the whole family will be available at the finish line. Registration is $20 in advance, $5 for the Half Mile Kids Run and $10 for 5K walkers. Register by Sept. 15 and receive a free T-shirt. Registration the day of the event is from 9 a.m. to 10:15 a.m. To register, visit www.nashobamed.org/hunger-run-5k. For more information or questions, please email gary.donia@steward.org.

15 Free Community Breakfast: All are welcome to the Free Breakfast sponsored by St. John the Evangelist Church in Townsend. 8:15 a.m. to noon at Father Mealy Hall 1 School Street. Enjoy homemade savory and sweet dishes, coffee and tea.

November

19 Free Community Breakfast: All are welcome to the Free Breakfast sponsored by St. John the Evangelist Church in Townsend. 8:15 a.m. to noon at Father Mealy Hall 1 School Street. Enjoy homemade savory and sweet dishes, coffee and tea.

25 NMRS 1967 Class Reunion: Townsend VFW, Main Street, West Townsend, 7 to 11 p.m. Contact people for more information John Whittemore: Arrowseptic@yahoo.com or 978-840-4338; Michael Jastrab: MikeJastrab@msn.com or 603-689-5783; Lynda Landry Heywood: bakerbabe27@gmail or 978-386-7902; Nancy Ovaska Sullivan: Genasully@verizon.net or 978-597-8932; Patty Schulze Ladue: Pattiladue@yahoo.com or 978-512-9508; Ann Thatcher Adams: Ann_M_Adams@hotmail.com or 978-597-8886