OpenAyer is back for this spring

By Jon Bishop

AYER — OpenAyer is going to get a spring edition.

The initial festival, which happened Oct. 3 and Oct. 4, featured music, food and hay rides for kids — all sponsored by Lucia’s Tavola, Markoh’s on Main, Carlin’s and the Billiards Cafe.

And it went so well they figured they’d to it all over again.

According to David Maher, community and economic development director in Ayer, the festival will run the weekend of May 15, starting on Friday and ending Sunday. Family day will be Saturday, May 16, and it will run from 2-5 p.m. Saturday hours will be from 2 p.m. to midnight, and Sunday will be from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Like last time, Lucia’s/Markoh’s, Carlin’s and Billiards will ask customers to donate to Loaves & Fishes.

And, again, it will be another chance to showcase the town.

“We want people to come out and draw their own conclusion,” said Dave Berry, owner of Carlin’s. “The town is not the same (as it used to be).”

He said he hopes people realize “there are some fun spots to go in Ayer and there are businesses to frequent.”

But there will be some differences from the last event.

“We definitely have a lot more family-oriented things,” said Sierra Young, manager at Carlin’s. “We have a lot more bands. We have a lot more — everything. Activities: we’re going to be doing a raffle.”

Berry said they figured a raffle would be a better way to get donations for Loaves & Fishes, because the can drive they had in October didn’t work out.

“We think we’ll be able to raise more money that way, for sure,” he said of the raffle.

He also agreed with his manager: “This event is even more well-rounded than the last one. And it’s fuller.”

They will also feature an open mic on Sunday, which will be outside with the rest of the bands.

“We’re looking at four or five hours of open mic,” Mark diCicco, owner of Lucia’s and Markoh’s, said.

And he, like the others, hopes people enjoy the festival.

“I hope … they can’t wait for the next one,” he said.

Maher said, if the weather is nice, the festival will be “a great thing for downtown.”

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