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Fun Family Activities Offered During 50 Hours Celebration At The Clark

For Immediate Release

May 25, 2005

The Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute’s 50 Hours celebration will feature an array of family-friendly activities, most free of charge, from 6 p.m. Friday, June 3 through 8 p.m. Sunday, June 5. Events are scheduled for all hours, throughout the Clark’s buildings and grounds, with many planned specifically for children. A highlight of the weekend will be a “Treasure Trail” hunt for 50 items in the Clark galleries and on the grounds. Pick up a map and the clues at the information desk, complete the treasure hunt, fill out the coupon on the clue sheet and enter it at the information desk for a chance to win a ride in a hot air balloon on Sunday afternoon.

Saturday

Budding artists will want to visit the large tent on the front lawn between the hours of 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. on Saturday to decorate wooden boxes and mirrors, magnets and pins, and create bookmarks and personalized journals—all with images from the Clark’s permanent collection. A caricaturist will sketch portraits for $5.

Want to spend the night at the Clark? A limited number of campsites will be available for families wishing to set up a tent on the Clark’s grounds starting at 4 p.m. Enjoy the 50 Hours festivities a short jaunt from your campsite. For more information and reservations, call 413-458-0661.

From 5 to 6 p.m., John Bryan, of the Mountain Goat, will lead a family hike to put orienteering skills to the test. Prizes will be awarded to all children who participate.

A summer cookout complete with popular seasonal offerings will satisfy the appetites of hungry guests from 6 to 7 p.m. Cost, including tax, is $11 for adults and $6 for children 12 and under and includes an entrée selection and all side dishes. Drinks and dessert will be offered a la carte, as well as all menu items for the convenience of the guests.

At 7 p.m., the ever-popular bluegrass band, Northern Lights, will perform for two hours on the South Lawn. Entertaining audiences for 30 years with their bluegrass blend of rich harmonies and lightning-fast instrumentals, Northern Lights promises to captivate all ages.

The Clark’s 50th celebration festivities would not be complete without fireworks. Families will not want to miss this fantastic display of pyrotechnics scheduled to start at 9:15 p.m. on Stone Hill.

Brave souls will gather around a campfire to feast on toasted marshmallows while listening to master storytellers Clark director Michael Conforti, president of the board of trustees of the Clark Frank Oakley, and curator of education Michael Cassin, spin their web of ghost stories beginning at 9:45 p.m.

A pajama gallery talk, held for those still awake, will take place from 11 to 11:30 p.m. Meet in the courtyard, and don’t forget those p.j.s, for a humorous kid-friendly gallery talk.

Sunday

Sunday morning, June 5 features a kids’ film festival with Muppets Take Manhattan at 7 a.m. followed by From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler at 8:45 a.m. Both films will be shown in the Clark’s auditorium.

The 5K Fun Run will include a one-mile loop for children 12 and under. Registration starts at 8 a.m. at the pond on the Clark’s campus. Forms are available online for registration. Race time is 9 a.m. and prizes will be awarded.

Join Eric Carle, beloved author of such children’s classics as The Very Hungry Caterpillar, for a special reading of his new book, 10 Little Rubber Ducks, followed by an interview, and signing, in the Clark auditorium from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Mindy Hackner, children’s librarian at the David and Joyce Milne Library, will lead the interview with Carle.

Is chess your game? Come to the front lawn at 11 a.m. to witness, or play, a life-sized chess game, complete with Napoleon-inspired pieces. To challenge the resident chess champ, call 413-458-0661, or add your name to the players’ list on Sunday. All players will receive a Clark t-shirt.

Officially kick off the Clark’s 50th summer season with cake, lemonade, and Dixieland swing music by the Steve Murray Group from 4 to 6 p.m. At this time, names will be drawn from the “Treasure Trail” entries, and 20 lucky families will be selected to take a short hot air balloon ride.

Parking is limited. A complimentary shuttle bus from the Mount Greylock High School parking lot will be in service from 5:30 to 11 p.m. on Saturday. For more information and a schedule of 50 Hours activities, visit www.clarkart.edu. The museum will be closed on Monday, June 6 so the staff may recover.

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