Next Saturday is Essex River Day, but the town is starting its celebrations next Friday.
The day, said Mark Lynch, is a chance for town residents to get "down river."
Essex residents with boats are encouraged to take friends and neighbors down the Essex River on Saturday. Its the fifth year the town's run the event.
"We look at this as a chance to kick off the season before things get hectic with vacation plans, etc," Lynch said.
Friday at 6 p.m., Essex River Cruises will offer a free sunset cruise along the river.
Reservations are on a first-come, first-served basis.
The town's celebrations start with a softball game at Memorial Field at 5:30 p.m., and the town will be holding a dinner with live music from the band Innuendo. A bonfire will conclude the event at 8:30 p.m.
Nature Preserve dedication
The Manchester Essex Conservation Trust will dedicate the Julius K. Rabardy Memorial Park and Nature Preserve this Sunday.
Those who would like to attend should meet at 2 p.m. beside the mailbox at the end of the driveway at 280 Southern Ave in Essex, a few hundred yards north of the Agassiz Rock Reservation. They'll walk a newly created trail in the park, just less than 4 acres of woodland on the east side of Southern Avenue behind the land known as the Coolidge Trust.
According to the trust's spring newsletter, Julius Rabardy, a prominent Manchester resident, gave ownership of the acreage to the French Baptist Mission of Salem in 1912 for use as a park. In the deed, Rabardy specified that if the mission failed to incorporate, the parcel was to be offered to the town of Manchester under the same conditions.
Manchester Town Meeting in 2011 authorized selectmen to convey the Rabardy parcel to the Manchester Essex Conservation Trust.
Tools come home
What might be considered the most comprehensive single collection of New England tools of trade — 200 years of shipwright, farm, cooper, shoemaker, and carpenter tools — was donated to the Essex Shipbuilding Museum in 2011 by the Elwell family.
A portion of the collection, mostly wooden objects and furniture was sent to Historic New England in Haverhill for professional preservation services — treatment of the furniture against any pests that may have worked their way into the wood over the years.
Last week, volunteers brought that collection back to Essex. The tools will soon be incorporated into the exhibits, the museum says on its Facebook page.
When Travel + Leisure magazine published its "food issue" this month, among the contents was an ode to the simple — or not — sandwich.
Accompanying the article was a list of the world's 11 best as named by well-known food aficiondos — and, lo, one made in Essex was there.
"No Reservations" reality star, author and chef Anthony Bourdain picked the Vietnamese Bahn Mi as made in a Hoi An shop, media maven Martha Stewart choose Lady M Cake Boutique in New York's ham and cheese on a baguette, "The Chew" cohost and chef Mario Batali's favorite is the Bocadillo de calamares en su tinta (Squid in its own ink with aioli) as put together at a food stand in the Plaza de Santa Ana in Madrid.
But beneath a picture of a quintisental New England lobster roll was the headline "Essex, Mass." followed in italic type by the maker, "J.T. Farnham's Seafood & Grill, 88 Eastern Ave., 978-768-6643. $16."
"The roll is piled high with big, juicy morsels of fresh meat, with just the right amount of melted butter," said Gail Simmons, a judge on show "Top Chef," the editor of Food &Wine magazine, and author of "Talking with My Mouth Full.''
I'm allergic to shellfish, and I'm hungry for one just writing about it.
Andrea Holbrook may be contacted at 978-946-2256 or firstname.lastname@example.org.