SHIRLEY -- The annual Shirley Hoe Down will kick off the summer season on Saturday from 11a.m. to 5 p.m. on the Common in Shirley Center.

The stage will feature local bands Ashbrook and Haynes and Back to the Garden, the middle school chorus, and a magic show by Stephanie Beach. The Crazy Hat Parade will be at 2:00 pm and the Shirley Penguins will be running the dunk tank all day long.

There will be a variety of sales booths featuring crafts, plants, wind chimes, children's books, doll clothes, face painting, 31 bags, Shirley souvenirs, and more. There is plenty of free parking and folks are welcome to bring their lawn chairs and stay for the whole day.

This event is a great fundraiser for many local charities: The Historical Society raises money by selling BBQ chicken and salads. The Boy Scouts sell sausages. The Seniors have popcorn and baked goods. ShirleyArts! cooks hot dogs and hamburgers. The Cub Scouts make fried dough. Trinity Chapel brings home made pies. There are plenty of soft drinks available and families are welcome to have lunch and supper at the Hoe Down or bring some goodies home for later.

Several local businesses help out with Hoe Down expenses. Thanks goes to Shirley Fuel, Hyde, Poor & Associates, Shirley Meeting House, Piccolino's Restaurant, Dan's Place, Shin Cleaners, Marianne Coalter, Lambert Hardware, Friends of the Seniors, Gionet's Auto Repair, and the Mass Cultural Council for their Festivals Grant.

Note that in case of rain, the Hoe Down will be postponed until Sunday.


There is room for more crafts booths and potential vendors can contact coordinator Meredith Marcinkewicz at for more information.