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8th Annual MA Walking Tour Prepares for 11 Day Trek through the Blackstone Valley

Jun 06, 2017 02:18PM ● By Pamela Johnson
The Eighth Annual Massachusetts Walking Tour, founded by songwriting duo Mark Mandeville & Raianne Richards, will be coming this year to the Blackstone Valley – performing 11 free community concerts while traversing the state on foot. Since 2010, Mandeville and Richards have organized now over 100 coffeehouse style concerts which showcase local musicians and artists across the state – creating a quality evening program for all ages and an opportunity for talent young and old to be enjoyed by a listening audience. Venues chosen for these community concerts include public libraries, town parks, and historical properties – and this year all events have been funded through grants from the Massachusetts Cultural Council program.

Carrying approximately 40-50 lbs of gear and instruments, the Massachusetts Walking Troupe, including veteran members Mark Kilianski (guitar, banjo) and Amy Alvey (fiddle), will be hiking from concert to concert using the Blackstone Valley’s many recreational trails – Southern New England Trunkline Trail (SNETT), Charles River Bikeway, and trails within DCR’s Riverbend Farm to name a few.

In addition to evening concerts, the troupe will also be organizing a series of short group hikes wherein the community will be invited to meet up with the Massachusetts Walking Tour as they travel between towns. These public hikes will highlight some of the Blackstone Valley’s recreational hiking trails, routes which appear in local author Marjorie Turner Hollman’s book Easy Walks In Massachusetts. All routes will be displayed and downloadable at

The Eighth Annual Massachusetts Walking Tour will take place between June 15 and June 24, beginning in Webster and ending in Blackstone. All concerts will be from 6-8 PM. A complete listing of events follows:
  • June 15 – Memorial Beach – Webster, MA
  • June 16 – EN Jenckes General Store – Douglas MA June 17 – River Bend Farm – Uxbridge, MA
  • June 18 – Kiwanis Beach – Upton, MA
  • June 19 – Hopedale Unitarian Parish – Hopedale, MA
  • June 20 – Milford Senior Center – Milford, MA
  • June 21 – Medway Public Library – Medway, MA
  • June 22 – Bellingham Public Library – Bellingham, MA
  • June 23 – Franklin Public Library – Franklin, MA
  • June 24 – Blackstone Boys and Girls Club – Blackstone, MA
For more information on these events or for videos of previous year’s Massachusetts Walking Tours, please visit If you are an artist or musician from the towns above, and you would like to be involved in an event, send an email to [email protected] or find the Massachusetts Walking Tour on Facebook.

Bellingham will be the site of three days of travel within this tour--JUne 22 as the troupe walks from Medway south to Bellingham, June 23 as the troupe heads over to Franklin for the concert there that night, and JUne 24 as they return through Bellingham on the SNETT on their way to the last concert of the tour in Blackstone.





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