This year’s Spirit of Shrewsbury promises to be bigger than ever…

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By Melanie Petrucci, Senior Community Reporter

Shrewsbury – Celebrating community since 1996, the Spirit of Shrewsbury (SOS) Fall Festival has become an institution and has grown beyond the two-day event into a month-long extravaganza. This year’s festival takes place Saturday, Sept. 29, and Sunday, Sept. 30.

Much is new this year. First, the SOS has a new chair – Frances Carvalho. She is excited to continue the legacy founded by Sue Falzoi while focusing attention on the diverse community that Shrewsbury has become.

Because SOS is about community, Carvalho is introducing a charitable aspect this year. The festival will benefit St. Anne’s Human Services, Shrewsbury Youth and Family Services and the Worcester County Food Bank.

Also new is the SOS’s first benefit concert which takes place behind Sherwood Middle School, 28 Sherwood Ave., Saturday from 12-7 p.m. The lineup includes the Whitney Doucet and Moonshine Band, Dark Horse, Nemes, The People’s Party and Pink Talking Fish – all with local connections.

Food and Entertainment sponsors of the event include Shrewsbury Federal Credit Union, Columbia Gas and R.H. White Construction Company.

Attendees are asked to bring non-perishable food items to the festival to donate to the Worcester County Food Bank. Collection points will be placed throughout the premises.

Most activities take place at Oak Middle School, 45 Oak St, (10 a.m. to 4 p.m. unless otherwise noted), including:

  • Town Expo and Craft Fair;
  • Live from the Oak Street Expo (Shrewsbury Media Connection will broadcast live until 12 p.m.);
  • Shrewsbury High School FIRST Robotics Team 467 interactive demonstration and Family Carnival;
  • The Feast of Nations food trucks and tables;
  • Kids Got Talent competition;
  • Animal Fair Petting Zoo, 12 – 4 p.m.;
  • Shrewsbury Youth and Family Services Community Pasta Dinner, 4 – 7 p.m. (https://www.classy.org/event/syfs-community-pasta-dinner/e189295/register/new/select-tickets).

Other activities taking place Saturday include:

  • Free vision and health screening, 9 a.m.– 12 p.m. at the Senior Center, 98 Maple Ave;
  • Free historical walking tour on the Town Common by the Shrewsbury Historical Society, 10 – 11 a.m., beginning at the 1830 Brick Schoolhouse;
  • Shrewsbury Historic District Commission Town Common Marker re-dedication, 10 a.m., Town Common; and
  • Shrewsbury Youth and Family Services Open House; 2 – 4 p.m., 222 Maple Ave. (Higgins Building).

Sunday’s schedule includes:

  • Ecumenical Community Worship (10 a.m.) and brunch (11:45 a.m.), North Pavilion in Dean Park;
  • Shrewsbury Town Center Association’s coffee and donut meet and greet on the Town Common, 11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.;
  • Senior Citizens (90 and above) parade viewing at 12:30 p.m. in front of Town Hall and tribute tea following;
  • Parade (rain or shine), 1 p.m. Beal School to Oak Middle School; and
  • Pop Up International Food Festival, 2 – 5 p.m., featuring local restaurants from around the globe.

To view the complete festival program booklet, visit www.spiritofshrewsbury.org/program-book.