The Winchendon Courier
Serving the community since 1878 ~ A By Light Unseen Media publication
Week of July 15 to July 22, 2021
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Bull Yard Opening Weekend
Bull Yard Opening Weekend

A strong first Saturday turnout enjoys some overdue fun in the sun listening to the band The BIG RanDom while talking with friends and family.
Photos by Keith Kent

Bull Spit Brewing Company Holds First Central Street Public Outdoor Concert Event

Bull Spit Brewing Company held its first live outdoor entertainment weekend event in Winchendon this past Friday, Saturday and Sunday. If the opening attendance numbers were any indication of good weather crowds, the company may soon need to add seating in the Bull Yard.

Six hours before the event's start, General Manager Rebecca Higgins said, "The town has been really great working with the company, both with helping with moving Bull Spit Brewery into town, permitting, the company relocation and building's remodeling, and this event location along Central Street. It's been a positive experience and we have been looking forward to this."

Higgins confirmed that there is seating for roughly 250 guests set up at this time, with room for more by adjusting aisle spacing, and more room available in front of the musical performance area, which is currently held open for dancing.

The event attracted people of all ages and demographics. Adults of multiple generations, elderly parents accompanied by their children and some with their grandchildren, parents attending with infants--attendees from youthful to octogenarians appeared happy to be outside together.

Winchendon Building Commissioner and Zoning Enforcement Officer Geoff Newton told the Courier that Bull Spit Brewing Company agrees with the Town to restrict the area inside the Bull Yard fencing to about 400 persons, with the facility's current layout and seating design. When this limit is reached, Bull Yard hosts will need to turn away new guests until some attendees inside depart. There is no knowing how popular the free admittance venue could potentially become in the future.

The Bull Yard's permitting is based week to week, and month to month, instead of the customary one-year application, allowing the town room for flexibility, and also allowing the business to adapt to weather and seasonal conditions. This particular type of repeating outdoor public venue is believed to have never been previously tried in Winchendon. Newton explained that the town is in the process of determining what the cost of permitting should be moving forward.

During the Saturday, July 10 event, parking spaces along Central Street were full from the GFA Credit Union to CVS, on both sides of the street, even with parking available in a sizeable portion of the Walgreens parking lot, Winchendon Furniture, and other areas, including some of the Clark Memorial YMCA upper parking lot. This was with an event crowd of approximately 220 persons, not the maximum of 400. Some of the Central Street parking spaces being used are slated to be eliminated in the Central Street Reconstruction Project beginning next spring, per federal and state funding guidelines mandating a bike lane.

Friday's opening musical performance featured Ian Wilkins playing what Higgins described as a "mix of everything" from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. There was a limited crowd of roughly fifty people in attendance due to the region being on the western edge of Tropical Storm Elsa, whose heavy rain cleared out shortly before the music was scheduled to begin in the mid-afternoon.

Bull Yard Opening Weekend
Well known and locally popular band, The BIG RanDom, plays at the Bull Yard located along Central Street on Saturday, July 10 with over 200 people in attendance.
Photo by Keith Kent
Bull Yard Opening Weekend
Seen here at Sunday's performance, Lexi Jordan and Eric Giribaldi play Country Pop to the crowd's delight.
Photo by Keith Kent
That all changed on Saturday, July 10, as sunny skies helped prove the saying: "If you build it, they will come." Over 200 attendees could be consistently counted enjoying friendship, live entertainment from favorite local band The BIG RanDom, who helped draw the large crowd, and plenty of cold Bull Spit beer in the sun under large umbrella covered tables. So much beer was enjoyed that the Bull Yard actually ran out at one point, and had to call in for another delivery from the Bull Spit facility in Lancaster, Massachusetts.

On Sunday afternoon, the group Lexi Jordan played Country Pop, a fusion genre of country and pop music. 21 year old lead singer Lexi Jordan of Shrewsbury, Massachusetts and fellow musician Eric Giribaldi, age 31, sang together with Giribaldi playing guitar. With cooler temperatures and cloudy skies like Friday, an average of fifty attendees came and went during the three hour concert.

Speaking after Sunday's show, Jordan said she was excited to be moving to Nashville, Tennessee next year to pursue her dreams and work on expanding her career.

When asked what kinds of beer were sold by Bull Spit Brewing Company, Higgins confirmed two different styles of IPA--Hop Yard New England and Acre Maker New England--Rodeo Clown Sour, Apple Knocker Cider (which Higgins said "went quick"), El Toro which is a Mexican lager, Mixed Berry Bullberry Ale, and Angus Coffee Stout.

Along with the various Bull Spit Brewing beverages available, patrons can bring in food from outside the venue supplied by local businesses. Food from Gabby's Pizza which is located directly across the street, C&S Pizza, Christo's Place, and Friends Garden Chinese Restaurant could be seen ordered as takeout at various tables.

Gabby's Pizza was asked if they noticed any increase in revenue as a result of the event. The business said they did see a little bump in sales, but also said overall the weather was not as favorable as it could have been. Gabby's also stated it will be providing a menu list to Bull Spit to put on the Bull Yard tables.

Neighboring business Not Just Produced's owner Beth Hunt was asked if they were joining the menu offerings. Hunt replied, "Yes! We are actually providing Bull Spit with cards to place at their tables with sandwiches and other items for sale. We will be offering pulled pork sandwiches, Chicken Salad sandwiches, and Porchetta sandwiches, along with hot dogs, macaroni, coleslaw and more. Bull Spit is allowing other businesses to have food at their own venue, so please come out and support your local businesses and help support your community."

After the weekend ended, Higgins was asked how much beer the company estimated was sold at this first free attendance event. Higgins replied, "Between quarter, half, and full kegs we went through, we could safely estimate as much as or pretty darn close to one hundred gallons of beer during the weekend, with Saturday using the most of it, as at the start we had at least four half kegs and at least ten quarter kegs before we had to get more after running out Saturday."

When asked, as General Manager, how the company felt overall about this first Bull Yard weekend, Higgins said, "We were happy with the turnout. We obviously have to get used to the new area. There are new things we learned so we can make sure we continue to keep people as happy as they were the first weekend. I checked around with customers there, and everybody was happy that we were in town, and that we are here to support the community with our company, and relocating here."

Higgins continued, "Some who came in didn't necessarily drink, and the common question also asked was if there is going to be a cover charge, and I said absolutely not. While it's a plus for our business if attendees buy beer, it's not necessary. We just want everybody to know we want to be part of the community and support it moving forward."

Town Manager Justin Sultzbach was contacted regarding the outcome of Bull Spit Brewing Company's first outdoor public event. Sultzbach said, "I am very pleased to hear how well it all went and the attendance even with less than favorable weather. New businesses such as this are key to our future economic development needs and a long term financial plan for new revenue, as well as expanding and improving the downtown area showcase which can attract even more businesses."

Sultzbach added, "I am also very pleased that Bull Spit Brewing has chosen to support local existing businesses by not bringing in outside food vendors, allowing food purchased from local businesses to be brought in to their venue at the Bull Yard and enjoyed by all who are supporting their own new business venture. It's a great start, and we are happy Bull Spit Brewing is both here and also relocating to Winchendon."

Bull Yard Opening Weekend
Groups of all sizes and ages congregate together saying hello and sharing stories.
Photo by Keith Kent
Bull Yard Opening Weekend
A line of thirsty people, at times sixty deep, wait their turn to purchase Bull Spit Brewing Beer to bring back to their tables during live entertainment.
Photo by Keith Kent

Not Just Produced Has Expanded and is Investing in the Community

Not Just Produced expanding
The once mostly antique sale area is now tastefully full of artisan crafts by 45 vendors selling works of all kinds from baby blankets to furniture.
Photo by Keith Kent
Not Just Produced expanding
New additional glass display coolers allow for selling of stuffed peppers, hotdogs, salads, pies, and other tasty meal items.
Photo by Keith Kent

Not Just Produced continues to grow! The store has recently expanded both its kitchen and food preparation facility and added more storage, allowing it to offer a significantly increased selection of food and specialty product offerings. Owner Beth Hunt will be the first to tell you that good old fashioned hand-shake deals, community credit union backing, hard work and a supportive community can still make anything possible.

Hunt, a life long town resident who proudly believes in supporting your community, opened Not Just Produced in July, 2016 at its 290 Central Street location across from CVS in Winchendon. She held one combined dream: bringing better healthy food choice options to Winchendon, adding something unique to the community, and finding a way to give back.

With what Hunt calls a "significant investment," she has expanded her kitchen and preparation area, tripled or more the food product line, and added new coolers for meats, seafood and homemade foods such as blueberry pies, stuffed peppers and shepherd's pie. New products include sausages, steaks such as Sirloin, Black Diamond, Rib Eye and other cuts, pork chops, gluten-free stuffed pork chops along with more gluten-free items, cheeses, salads such as Sweet Pepper Sassy Chicken salad, macaroni and much more. All the while Hunt practices "Keeping it Local" standards, ensuring all items for sale come from sources within a 70 mile distance in Central and Western Massachusetts.

"My community is Winchendon, Royalston, Gardner, Ashburnham, along with Rindge, Fitzwilliam, Troy, and Jaffrey New Hampshire," Hunt said. "I am pretty fortunate to have that community to support my business, and I am fortunate to have money to invest back into Not Just Produced. Unfortunately when my mother became ill, and then COVID taking over, I lost two years of advancing this expansion but now we have finally made it happen, with my friends Donna and Beth really stepping up to the plate and we finally made it happen. We're excited about what we can offer the community!"

Crediting the G.F.A. Credit Union, Hunt said, "The GFA worked hard with me on an expansion loan, so I could do things such as all the new necessary plumbing, electrical, and everything else. The GFA helped me with the commercial loan I needed to make the expansion possible and we finally made it all happen."

Not Just Produced expanding
Fresh seafood options are now also for sale with additional coolers.
Photo by Keith Kent
Not Just Produced expanding
Just part of the newer larger kitchen and food prep area, allows NJP to cook and create family style foods and meals increasing customer options.
Photo by Keith Kent

Staying with "Keeping it Local," Hunt explained, "My new deli meat display coolers came from a guy in Royalston on a handshake deal. My six-burner Imperial stove came from a businessman in Peterborough, New Hampshire who opened up Monadnock Oil and Vinegar and hooked me up with a good old fashion I.O.U. and a handshake and he delivered it. It was funny, it was in his garage and he just wanted to make room for another John Deer tractor! He also credited me a product line with a handshake again. These types of deals still exist, and I can tell you when you go west down to the valley with the farmers as an example there are still a lot of them out there."

Hunt went on to say, "I've met so many nice people, from help with the structural engineer, to through the permitting process, the credit union, people in the community, the deals, so many people were just eager to work with me and help me out, just like all our community members who shop here and support the business, I couldn't do it without you. I also want to thank Winchendon resident and butcher, Butch Clapp, who came in and showed us how to properly cut the meats and more and is still working with us.

"My number one objective was to bring in healthy foods to the community, healthy foods to everyone, and also teach how to cook meals, and how to prepare pre-cooked meals people just have to throw in the oven versus just having to go buy some frozen pizza from an convenience store. I want to expand working with HEAL Winchendon, Growing Places, organizations such as those to help support our community and grow."

Maple syrup by Cory Wilson, Oils and Vinegar by Monadnock Oil, Artisan Cheeses both hard and soft by Smith's Country Cheese, Fynns Sweets of Winchendon, Wild Brook Apiary products from Leominster, Erving Chocolates, Murphy's Jam of Winchendon, Diane's Strawberry Rhubarb Jam from Gardner, and a wide variety and assortment of meats from Hubbardston Farm of Princeton, Mass, round out just a few of many more local specialty options.

In the rear of the store, Not Just Produced has now changed its format. Previously filled with antiques and some crafted items, the section now provides a vibrant plethora of all things had made by talented artisans, with a vast array of items in nearly all shapes, sizes, and colors.

Not Just Produced expanding
Hand pounded copper bowls and other items offer something for that personal touch.
Photo by Keith Kent
Not Just Produced expanding
Local crafting experts display throws, baby blankets, cloth paintings and more.
Photo by Keith Kent

Customers can find a baby section with hand made blankets, new wooden furniture designed with the look of yesteryear, multiple small hardwood constructed jewelry cabinets, hand-blown glass items, earrings, soaps, scrubs, and body mists, novelty wall hangings with signs and sayings, hand-carved wooden bowls, pottery, cloth paintings, throws, incense, pocketbooks, hand-pounded copper items, and even alpaca yarns.

Not Just Produced's crafting display area has something for nearly everybody, no matter if they need a housewarming gift, birthday gift, or early Christmas shopping, all supplied by forty-five dedicated crafting artisans displaying talents sure to catch shoppers' eyes.

In closing Hunt was asked what both the community and Not Just Produced mean to her. Hunt replied, "It's a team. We are a team. I wouldn't be here if it wasn't for the community. For us to continue to grow, I need to grow, and I need them to help us as a business grow. We can't do it without each other, and we all must work together.

"You can bring in all the business you want, if you don't support them, you are not going to have them. Let's support each other, and we can fill up Central Street. So I ask that if you don't already, learn to stop and shop here first before you head over the border to New Hampshire. See what we have, support local businesses, and watch your community continue to grow."

Not Just Produced expanding
Farm fresh vegetables from near by western valley farms are always on hand for purchase.
Photo by Keith Kent
Not Just Produced expanding
A variety of steaks, pork chops, stuffed meats, and more are now also for sale with the new additional space.
Photo by Keith Kent

Summer Fun at the Beals Memorial Library

Are you looking for something fun to do in the upcoming week? Then head over to the Beals Memorial Library for a few fun, educational kids' programs!

On Tuesday, July 20th from 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m., the library will be hosting the third Tails and Tales Storywalk event of the month, in partnership with the Winchendon Coordinated Family and Community Engagement Program. Follow the path outside of the library from one poster board to the next, enjoying and interacting with each childrens' story. The July 20th story will be "Click, Clack, Moo Cows That Type" by Doreen Cronin, and each child who attends will receive a free book while supplies last. This event is fully open, so registration is not required.

On Wednesday, July 21st at 2:00 p.m., come explore exciting, innovative, and messy science experiments with Melissa the Mad Scientist! Participants will have the opportunity to try experiments hands-on, watch others, and learn interesting things about the world of science. Limited space is available for this program, so registration is required.

Finally, on Thursday, July 22nd at 2:00 p.m. join the library for story time under the shade of their big oak tree. They'll be sharing three stories of unusual animal friends. A snack and drink will be provided. This program has limited space, so contact the library to register.

The Beals Memorial Library is located at 50 Pleasant Street in Winchendon. Contact the library at 978-297-0300 or email at for more information or to sign up for programs. All summer programs are outdoors on the library lawn. Masks are not required for outdoor programs.

Melissa the mad scientist
Join Melissa Thayer, the library's mad scientist, for some fun, hands-on science experiments
Photo credit:Beals Memorial Library

Subway April 2021 Steak Sub Ad

St. Martins Fair Ad

Stone Ladeau Funeral Home

Central Mass Tree

Hawk watching over Toy Town
Millers River Raptor on the hunt
Seen in this Wednesday, July 14 photo, a large adult Red Tailed Hawk is seen roosting on top of a multi-family Spring Street building next to Williams Package Store while on the lookout for food. The adult raptor was witnessed flying back and forth from from the building to the trees along the Miller River banks and edge of the Spring Street Bridge in its search for prey both by land and water, once skimming the river surface but just missing its target.
Photo by Keith Kent

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Winchendon Businesses, Organizations, Services, and Government

5th Annual Fall Festival to be held October 9, 2021

We are excited to announce that the 5th Annual Fall Festival will be held on Saturday, October 9, 2021! This will be the fifth year that the Winchendon Fall Festival has been located on Central Street. At past year's festivals, there have been over 200 crafters, vendors, and businesses set up along Central Street with over 8,000+ in attendance. Many craft vendors will be selling their handmade items. Not all vendors accept credit cards so it is best to bring cash to pay for your purchases, although there are some ATM machines along the festival route. There will be many children's activities including bouncy houses, pumpkin painting and face painting to name a few. There will be a variety of food available, a beer tent and local bands! We pride ourselves on this fun family event!

Winchendon Fall Festival will be taking place in the heart of Winchendon on Central Street from Front Street to Maple Street. If you are using a GPS mapping service, please keep in mind that there may be some road closures and detours in the immediate area of the festival; please use Central Street and Front Street for your destination.

Vendors interested in registering may find the application here (PDF).

For further information contact Nicole Roberts at 978-297-3537 or

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Applications Available for Senior Tax Work-off Program

The Senior Work-Off Abatement Program is a program allowing the Town of Winchendon the opportunity to utilize the knowledge and skills of its senior residents in exchange for credit toward the resident's property tax bill. The purpose of this program is:

  • To employ qualified senior citizens who will apply their earnings toward payment of a portion of their property taxes;
  • To increase senior citizen involvement in local government; and
  • To enhance municipal service by using the skills of resident senior citizens.
Qualified and income-eligible residents will accrue the Commonwealth's minimum wage per hour ($13.50/hr) toward a maximum credit of $1,100.00 per household during the fiscal year. The criteria for this program is:
  • You must be 60 years old or older
  • Homeowner in Winchendon and occupy property
  • Annual income below $40,150 if single; or below $45,900 if married.
Applications for the program are now available in the Town Manager's office or on the town website, and will be accepted until the eight slots are filled. There are different types of positions that are available depending on the preference and qualifications of the resident and the needs of each department. Types of past and current positions have been: Custodial services, clerical help for both School & Town, library aides, Senior Center aids, cable station operator, Bike Path clean up, painting, light outdoor work and classroom volunteers. Click here for more information and a downloadable application.

STILL Seeking Volunteers to Serve on Master Plan Implementation Committee (MPIC)

At their February 22, 2021 meeting, the Board of Selectmen unanimously voted to adopt the Master Plan presented to them, and to establish a Master Plan Implementation Committee (MPIC) for the purpose of overseeing the execution of the Master Plan as outlined.

The Winchendon Master Plan describes the will of the people of Winchendon. All town boards, commissions, committees, staff and citizens should use this Plan to guide their work in creating the future everyone seeks. The Master Plan Implementation Committee (MPIC) is charged with overseeing its execution and will work with the Town Manager and Responsible Leads. Members of the MPIC have a demonstrated interest in and knowledge of the Master Plan, are a Winchendon resident or have vested interest in the community, are a demonstrated team player, are reliable and have at least one of these qualifications:

  • Project management
  • Communications
  • Town history
  • Knowledge of "how things work"
MPIC specific responsibilities include:
  • Coordinate and monitor implementation
  • Collaborate with players to develop and track execution goals
  • Assist with goals that require additional resources
  • Encourage ongoing citizen engagement
  • Assess status of specific actions, evaluate priorities, and suggest new implementation techniques where appropriate
  • Identify successful strategies and barriers to progress
  • Periodically evaluate the plan
  • Create a mechanism to provide updates and progress reports to the Board of Selectmen
To see the full Master Plan, click here.

The Board of Selectmen is currently accepting letters of interest to serve on this committee. If you are interested, please send your letter of interest to the Town Manager's Office, 109 Front Street, Winchendon MA 01475 or to Taylor at

Town Committee Vacancies
as of June 24, 2021

If you'd like to be an active participant in decision-making and management for your community, consider joining a town committee or board. There are a number of vacancies currently open.

Communications Committee - 1 vacancy
Cultural Council - 7 vacancies
Fence Viewer and Field Driver - 1 vacancy
Historical Commission/Historic District - 1 Alternate vacancy
Master Plan Implementation Committee - 7 vacancies
Open Space Preservation Appraisal and Survey Revolving Fund Advisory Committee - 1 vacancy
Recreation Commission - 1 student vacancy
Toy Town Community Partnership - 4 vacancies
Zoning Board of Appeals - 2 Alternate vacancies

If you'd like more information about any of these positions or are interested in being considered for an appointment, contact the Town Manager's office at 978-297-0085, or send a letter to Town Manager, 109 Front Street Dept. 1, Winchendon MA 01475.

Complete description of each committee's responsibilities, updated for May 10, 2021 (PDF).

Council on Aging Now Hiring Part Time Position

The Council on Aging is seeking a part time employee, 18 hours a week from Monday through Friday. The ideal candidate would:

  • Be able to lift 50 pounds
  • Be able to load/unload food
  • Have an excellent driving record
  • Enjoy working with elders
  • Maintain vehicle inside and out (referring to the Director when repairs are needed)
  • Keep vehicle fueled
  • Be able to maintain accurate records
  • Other duties as required
For more information, please call the Council on Aging at 978-297-3155. Application deadline is June 29, 2021.

The Town of Winchendon is an equal opportunity employer.

Water Use Restrictions Begin May 1

Water use restrictions for users of Winchendon town water will be effective as of Saturday, May 1, 2021 and will remain in effect until October 1.

Outdoor water use is permitted for odd-numbered addresses on odd-numbered days, and for even-numbered addresses on even-numbered days. Watering is permitted only overnight, from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 a.m., to minimize water loss from evaporation.

Call the Department of Public Works at 978-297-0170 if you have any questions.

According to the National Weather Service, the Monadnock region is currently experiencing "moderate drought" with below normal amounts of spring rainfall.

If You Call for Emergency Services...

...the Winchendon Fire Department asks that you let the dispatcher know if you have flu-like symptoms, are quarantined or are under self-quarantine. This will allow the first responders to take all necessary precautions to avoiding spreading COVID-19 and to protect themselves and you.

Toy Town FYIs

The 2021 Town Street List is now available at Town Hall and on the town website. You can download a PDF copy at You may purchase the hard copy of the book for $8.00 or $5.00 for seniors. Please call Town Clerk's office at 978-297-2766 to arrange pick up/payment.

The 2020 Annual Town Report is now available at Town Hall and on the town website. You can download a PDF copy at 2020 Town Report PDF. Hard copies are available, free of charge, and can be picked up at the Town Manager's Office during regular business hours (Monday 8:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. and Tuesday through Thursday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.). To request a copy, call the Town Manager's Office at 978-297-0085, extension 5, or email

2021 Dog Licenses are now overdue. All dogs were required to be licensed by March 31. You may purchase a license through the mail, drop box, or online through the Town Clerk's page. The licenses will be mailed to you. Please be sure to provide a valid rabies certificate. Spayed & Neutered dogs are $10 and Non-Spayed & Non-Neutered dogs are $20.

Sign up for Code Red Emergency Alerts
Sign up for our emergency notification program today! Receive up-to-date information before, during and after an emergency in your neighborhood. You can choose to be notified via voice, text and email notifications of emergency and inclement weather alerts.

Please Do Not Flush Sanitizing Wipes Down the Toilet
Wipes Clog Pipes!

The Department of Public Works is asking all users of the public sewer system to please be careful not to flush santizing wipes down the toilet. These wipes collect in the pumps and destroy them, causing the Town to be forced to replace two pumps just in the last month alone. If a pump at the wastewater treatment plant were to burn out from wipe accumulation, it would cost the Town $30,000 to replace it. Please throw these wipes into your rubbish instead.

Is Your House Number Clearly Visible from the Street?
The Winchendon Fire Department reminds all residents to make sure their house number is clearly visible for first responders who may need to find you. Numbers should be at least four inches high and facing the street, with lighting if possible. Put numbers on a contrasting background so they will stand out. If your driveway is long, put the number on a mailbox or pole on the street or at the end of driveway, facing in both directions. (Reflective numbers are helpful.) Check your house numbers to make sure foliage has not grown up in front of them without your being aware of it.

Organic Farm Opens CSA Shares for 2021

Many Hands Organic Farm will be hosting its largest organic community supported farmshare yet, with a goal of 200 shares! MHOF focuses on maximum fertility through soil carbon-sequestering techniques that grow the tastiest and most nutrient-dense vegetables. The summer fruit and vegetable CSA starts on May 24 and runs through October 22. Become involved in the local food movement by signing up for a share at

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