HADLEY, Mass. (WWLP) – The New England Public Media (NEPM) Asparagus Festival is making its return to Hadley’s town common on Saturday, June 3.

This year marks the ninth consecutive year for NEPM’s Asparagus Festival, a family-friendly event that spans the length of Hadley’s town common, offering fantastic local food, drinks, music, games, and more.

Western Massachusetts is commonly known as “the asparagus capital of the world”, for its over-abundance of the crop, being home to hundreds of operating farms and even more locally-owned restaurants and breweries.

The event will host more than 100 local-food, crafts, cultural, nonprofit and agricultural vendors at the festival’s ‘Famers & Makers Market’. Beer, wine and cider will also be poured from local breweries in the ‘Beers & Spears Tent’, as well as over a dozen local food trucks, serving everything from fried asparagus to ice cream.

If you’re looking for more to do, there will be plenty of live music on the ‘Rooted in the Valley Stage’, curated by Northampton-based Signature Sounds. According to NEPM, the stage will feature a selection of musical acts, including gritty and raw folk-rock outfit The Wolff Sisters, New England Music Award-nominated bluegrass act Poor Monroe, and local old-school funk and neo-soul band Soul Magnets. 

Kid-friendly performers include award-winning bilingual artist, author, activist, educator, and Amherst College grad MISTER G and the Global Citizen Ensemble with Marcos Carreras, director of music at the Springfield Conservatory of the Arts Magnet School, according to NEPM.

Kids will also be able to get a photo with PBS Kids characters, Curious George and Molly from “Molly of Denali”, and learn about the geological history of the region with The Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association’s Jurassic Roadshow.

With the festival taking place right on the Norwottuck Rail Trail, attendees are encouraged to ride bikes to the event and take advantage of MassBike’s free bicycle valet service.

It is also encouraged for attendees to preregister to skip the line at the gate, and potentially win a prize. All festival-goers who preregister for the event will receive free ice cream from Hadley’s Flayvors of Cook Farm.

The NEPM Asparagus Festival is a free event for all ages with a suggested donation of $5 per person, or $20 per family to support public media in western Massachusetts. More information about the event is available at their website.