September

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.

Groton Woman's Club: First meeting of the year at the home of Audrey Bryce, 564 Longley Road. The Garden Party, held rain or shine, will begin at 11:30 a.m. Hostess Chairmen for the party are Marie Melican and Andrea Burrier. Meetings of the Groton Woman's Club are held on the third Friday of each month from September through May. For more information please visit the website, www.grotonwomansclub.org. If you would like to become a member, please call Audrey Bryce, Membership Chairman, at 978-272-1172.

Concert: The concert season at Indian Hill Music begins with an evening of German art songs featuring faculty musicians Charlotte Russell (voice), Martha Warren (voice), Rob Woodin (baritone), Bill Kirkley (clarinet), and Shawn McCann, piano: 7 p.m. at 36 King Street, Littleton. Their program will include selections by Mozart, Schumann, Schubert, Spohr, Mahler, and Ives. Tickets for the concert are $15 (free for IHMS students) and will be available at the door. Learn more at (978) 486-9524x116 or order tickets online at www.indianhillmusic.org.

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.


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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.

Walking Tour: Noon to 1:30 p.m., Depot Square, Ayer. The Ayer Office of Community and Economic Development received a District Local Technical Assistance Grant from the Montachusett Regional Planning Commission to engage in a public process to envision, formulate and produce a draft form-based code for the Park Street/Depot Square district. Get hip to form-based codes by checking out the Form-Based Code Institute at http://formbasedcodes.org/.

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

Create Peace: A gathering to reaffirm our sense of community and stand together against hatred of all kinds will be held at 6 p.m. on the common. It will be followed by a special program inside the Shirley Meeting House, "Creating Peace: In Ourselves, Our Community, Our World," at 7 p.m. This program features words and music performed by our neighbors and friends. Please attend and celebrate our community. We are One Shirley.

Rite I vs. Rite II: St. Andrew's Episcopal Church, Ayer, is introducing a Forum series, focusing of different aspects of Christian life and the Episcopal Church. Topics will range from what it means to be an Episcopalian, to Science and Religion in Modern Culture, to a discussion of David Brooks' book, The Road to Character. The Reverend Joyce Scherer-Hoock, Rector of St. Andrew's, will lead Sunday's discussion of Rite I versus Rite II, highlighting the evolution of and differences between the two Eucharistic services used in the Episcopal Church. The forums will be held at 11 a.m. on Sundays in the Parish Hall, following the 9:30 am Service of Holy Eucharist. Visitors are always welcome. The church is located at 7 Faulkner Street in Ayer. For more information, please go to www.standrewsayer.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.

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.

21 Groton School Concert: 7 p.m., Michelle Cann -- a prize-winner in the Music Teacher's National Association Competition, the International Russian Piano Music Competition, the Gilmore Piano Foundation Competition, and the Blount Young Artists Competition -- presents an ambitious program featuring Chopin's "Variations Brillantes, Op. 12" and Debussy's "Reflet dans l'eau." Ms. Cann has been featured on the radio show "From the Top" and called "a compelling, sparkling virtuoso."

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: 10 a.m., Legion Common in Groton. Co-hosted by Dan Shaunessy of the Boston Globe with masters of ceremonies Police Chief Don Palma and Fire Chief Steele McCurdy. Booths, food and live entertainment.

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.

National Alpaca Farm Days: Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Celebrate the first anniversary of the Harvard Alpaca Ranch, 58 Old Mill Road, Harvard. Farm tours, interactions with alpacas and other activities. Free.

PACH Food Pantry Drive-Through: 9 a.m. to noon. Volunteers will be at PACH on 45 Main Street Pepperell to unload your donations. Please donate all canned food items, toilet paper, personal care items for babies. All will go to help local residents in need. Drop off locations are also located at Donelan's and Main Street Bank.

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.

No Longer Interim Pastor: The Townsend Congregational Church will celebrate choosing the Rev. Mark Brockmeier as pastor at 11:30 a.m. at the church on the common. Brockmeier has served as interim pastor since 2014.

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.

Chicken Barbecue: Drive up to Christian Union Church in West Groton as they hold their second chicken barbecue. The retired West Groton firemen want to end the summer season and welcome the fall season with another of their delicious barbecues. They will use their renowned sauce on the chicken and the dinner will also include homemade potato salad and coleslaw. Serving will start at 4:30 p.m. and continue until sold out -- which was 45 minutes last barbecue. Price $9. Church is located on route 225, West Main Street in West Groton. More info may be obtained by calling 978 448-5480 or 978 272-0145.

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

7 Jacqui Hawk: Artist reception 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Lawrence Library, 15 Main St., Pepperell. Hawk is a nationally collected, award winning artist living in Dunstable MA. Her work has been featured in solo, invitational juried state and national exhibitions and represented in private and corporate collections in the US, Europe and Asia. She is a native of Edinburgh, Scotland and began her career in the arts over 25 years ago.

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

Groton School Concert: 7 p.m., join Groton music faculty Mary Ann Lanier (voice), Robert Baughman (piano), Kenji Kikuchi (saxophone), and Greg Passler (bass) for an evening of fun and jazz.

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.

21 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.

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