Monday, November 23, 2015

State Rep. Aaron Vega's Holiday House Decorating Contest

You are invited to nominate your home for our annual Holiday House Decorating Contest!

To nominate your home, please fill out this form and send a picture (if the house has lights, please take a daytime & nighttime picture) to:

Nominations are due by Monday, December 14th and photos will be posted on the State Rep Facebook page on Wednesday, December 16th for voting by the community. Go here for more information.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Thanksgiving Dinner at Kate's Kitchen

Kate’s Kitchen, which is located in the rear of 51 Hamilton Street in Holyoke, will once again serve a complete turkey dinner for the needy of the greater Holyoke area on November 26, 2015.

The doors will open for guests starting at 12:00 noon, with continuous service for all until 1:00 pm.

The menu, prepared by the Knights of Columbus, Council #4044 will include a traditional holiday turkey dinner with gravy, potatoes, cranberry sauce, stuffing, assorted vegetables, bread, dessert, and a beverage.

Food donations may be brought to Kate’s Kitchen any day of the week, 9-5 pm. For more information please call 413-536-9109.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Holyoke Medical Center Receives Baby-Friendly Designation

Baby-Friendly USA announced that Holyoke Medical Center has received designation as a Baby-Friendly birth facility as part of the Baby Friendly Hospitals Initiative. Holyoke Medical Center is the first, and currently only, hospital to receive this prestigious recognition in the Pioneer Valley. This international award recognizes birth facilities that offer breastfeeding mothers the information, confidence, and skills needed to successfully initiate and continue breastfeeding their babies.

Holyoke Medical Center has been working towards this designation since 2011, when the hospital made major clinical practice changes that collectively support a mother breastfeeding, including educating all maternity staff, in-patient mothers through prenatal care to after discharge, and at the community level, offices for midwifery, obstetrics, and pediatrics.

"We are very proud to have achieved this Baby-Friendly Designation, which is the result of our Birthing Center's dedicated team of physicians, nurses and staff, who provide the gold standard of care to our patients," said Spiros Hatiras, President and CEO of Holyoke Medical Center and Valley Health Systems, Inc. "Education and support are critical tools in such an endeavor and we are committed to leading the way."

As part of this five year designation, Holyoke Medical Center will establish a data tracking system to collect and maintain statistics related to Baby-Friendly USA's Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding and will report on this information annually. The aim is to improve - through optimal feeding - the nutritional status, growth and development as well as the survival of infants and young children.

Baby-Friendly USA, Inc. is the U.S. authority for the implementation of the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative, a global program sponsored by the World Health Organization and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF). The initiative encourages and recognizes hospitals and birthing centers that offer an optimal level of care for breastfeeding mothers and their babies.

There are more than 20,000 designated Baby-Friendly hospitals and birth centers worldwide. Currently there are 305 active Baby-Friendly hospitals and birth centers in the United States, including seven in Massachusetts. The "Baby-Friendly" designation is given after a rigorous on-site survey is completed. The award is maintained by continuing to practice the Ten Steps as demonstrated by quality processes. For more information on the U.S. Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative visit

The Valley Talent Showcase: Third Edition (December 4)

On to it’s third edition on Friday, December 4, at Gateway City Live (92 Race Street, Holyoke, MA), The Valley Talent showcase is quickly drawing the attention of local musicians and music enthusiasts alike. The first edition winner was the Western Mass music duo “Sona” and the second edition, a Holyoke-based band “From the Woods” who will be the featured guest performer in the Dec. 4 Showcase.

The contest features performers from the Springfield/Hartford/Pioneer Valley area, working in any form of artistic expression and including both solo and group acts of all ages. Prizes are given for the best first and second place performers and include a few hundred dollars of gift certificates from local area businesses, as well as cash prizes.

Creativity and originality receive bonus points from the judges. Each month the winners of the previous showcase are invited back to entertain the audience before and during the showcase as special musical guests. Local celebrities are invited to judge the competition. The December musical guest is an americana style band called “From the Woods” who won last month’s competition. The judges are Holyoke Mayor Alex Morse and Glenn Seigel, Founder and Director of Pioneer Valley Jazz Shares, a grass-roots jazz organization bringing more world class music to western Massachusetts.

These performances not only give the public the opportunity to see the wide variety of local talent but also provide a platform for these performers to create a buzz that can help kick-start a performing career.

While it is a “contest,” it is presented in a low pressure non-threatening atmosphere that aims to make all contestants comfortable. To be a contestant send an email with your name, address, email, photo/video or audio sample of your suggested performance to A house sound system, guitar & bass amps and a drum set will be available for your use as necessary. (Please note if you are under the age of 18. Parent or guardian permission may be required.)

A suggested donation of $3 at the door goes towards providing cash prizes to the winners. For details about the event please visit
or contact Mark Sherry at or 413-374-7671.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

The Demse Legacy

Family, friends and fans come together to honor the life and music of Demse Zullo, former drummer of the Alchemystics, in a concert to benefit Zullo's family, on Sunday, December 6 at 3:00pm at Gateway City Live, 92 Race Street, Holyoke, MA 01040.

One of the founding members of the reggae/hiphop band, The Alchemystics, Demse and his friend and drum technician Brian "Budzy" White died as a result of a car accident last Spring in Westfield on their way to play a show. Zullo was a hard-working, honest and talented musician who also taught young people in the Pioneer Valley how to play music. He played with the Alchemystics since their debut over 12 years ago.

The concert will feature performances by The Alchemystics, ReBelle, Cheat Code, Bay Rd, DJ Vibe Wise and other special guests to be announced. All proceeds will go towards Demse Zullo's family.

A suggested donation of $20 is encouraged. All ages welcome. For details visit or contact Mark Sherry at 413-374-7671 or The fund for Demse Zullo's family is at

Drinks are available for purchase from the GCA bar. Preceding the show, GCA serves a Sunday brunch from 10am-3pm. 

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Thanksgiving Fun at the Holyoke Merry-Go-Round!

Thanksgiving HoursSaturday, November 21 and Sunday, November 22: Open 12-4 PMThursday, November 26: Closed for ThanksgivingFriday, November 27 through Sunday, November 29: Open 12-4 PM

Holyoke, MA – Visit the Holyoke Merry-Go-Round for family fun on Saturday, November 21 and Sunday, November 22 from 12 to 4 PM. Take a ride on one of 48 beautiful antique horses and then make a special Thanksgiving decoration! The Merry-Go-Round will be closed on Thursday, November 26 for Thanksgiving and will re-open on Friday, November 27.
While visiting the Merry-Go-Round, be sure to stop by the gift shop for your holiday shopping needs. Featured items include carousel horse ornaments, gift cards with photographs of the horses, 20th anniversary keepsake ornaments, and books about the Merry-Go-Round. A gift of ride tickets is always a welcome stocking stuffer. All proceeds help keep the Merry-Go-Round spinning.

The public is invited to join the Merry-Go-Round in supporting Providence Ministries’ winter clothing drive. Bring in a new pair of mittens, gloves, a scarf, or a warm hat for the Merry-Go-Round’s “Warming Tree” and receive a free ride. Donations are accepted from Saturday, November 21 through Wednesday, December 30.

The Holyoke Merry-Go-Round is open on Saturdays and Sundays from 12 to 4 PM during the winter. Tickets are $2 per ride or 10 for $6. Holyoke Heritage State Park is located on 221 Appleton Street and borders Dwight Street in Holyoke. The park offers family-oriented cultural and recreational programs. The eight-acre site contains the Park Visitors’ Center, Holyoke Children’s Museum, Volleyball Hall of Fame, and the Holyoke Merry-Go-Round. For more information, call 413-538-9838, visit, or find us on Facebook.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Help Holyoke Hummus Company Open Permanent Location

Holyoke Hummus Company is looking to open a permanent location here in the Paper City and you can help! Please visit their Indiegogo page to support their business plans and when you chip in you are guaranteed some nice perks, as well.

Click here to learn more and donate!