MONSON — It’s okay to be nosey, at least when you’re in Monson on Saturday, June 4. From noon to 5 p.m., businesses in town are hosting Nosin’ Around Monson, designed to encourage, well, nosiness.
“I want people to come in and get the story,” said Ed Hoovler, owner of With the Grain and creator of fine wood-turned bowls. “People aren’t interested in just the thing itself, but also the process.”
Hoovler, who is chairing this year’s event, wants people to ask questions not only at his business but also at 21 other businesses open that day. He hopes the event will spark conversation, so that both business owners and visitors can share their stories.
A practicing artist for 40 years, Jarvis said she is looking forward to meeting new people and sharing her work, which has gone through many phases.
“This past year or two I turned toward the abstract and non-objective,” said Jarvis, whose gallery is located at 48 Pleasant Street “This led me to be more expressive and intentional with color and focus on the woods we live in.”
Jarvis hopes people will want to hear the stories behind her paintings.
“Ask me questions – especially the ‘why?’ questions,” she said.
Gallery visitors are invited to look through Jarvis’ work, including many pieces that have not been framed. Some matts and an easel will be available for those who want an idea of what a piece might look like if matted or framed.
“If you’re out with your dog, I have a nice shady yard and I will keep a big bowl of water outside during the Nosin’ event, so Dad and Mom can come inside and poke around,” she said.
Sean and Johanna Billings, owners of The Lily Cat: North Woods Antiques and Buttons, are eager to answer questions, the most frequent of which is, “Where do you find all your stuff?”
Shop visitors will have a chance to win prizes by finding cat silhouettes positioned throughout the shop, located at 14 Tenney Hill Road.
In addition to prizes for the cat-finding game, Lily Cat and other businesses are donating items to be raffled off. Visitors can enter by stopping in at the various businesses for a free entry ticket.
Non-winning tickets from each business will be entered for additional drawings to take place at the end of the day at Turning Page Farm, 842 North Guilford Road, which will host the after party, starting at 5:30 p.m. Of course, people can stop by anytime to meet Turning Page owners Tim and Joy, visit with their goats, and enjoy beer and cheese.
“Last time we did this, there was a wonderful party,” Hoovler said, adding this will be the third year for Nosin’ Around, which debuted in 2018. It took place again in 2019 but took a two-year break because of the pandemic.
Other participating businesses include Breault Construction on Pleasant Street, which will offer visitors a chance to get a close-up look at a dump truck; Daydream Creations at 33 North Guilford Road, which will feature beading demonstrations, and the Lakeshore House at 9 Tenney Hill Road, which will present live music.
People who add physical activity to the day can hike the Fierce Chase XC Ski Trails at 246 Elliotsville Road. Volunteers Sue and John Chase will be available to answer questions about cross country skiing, snowshoeing and fat biking, as well as the equipment for each.
The Monson Historical Society at 6 Tenney Hill Road will offer tours of its museum all day. Even the Monson Fire Department, post office and the library, all located downtown, have invited visitors to see how their operations run.
Curiosity need not be limited to business and community organizations. Kids are invited to join retired Maine state game wardens to learn about fishing from 1-3 p.m. at the boat launch on Wilkins Street, behind the post office. Participants are encouraged to bring their own fishing poles, though a few extras will be available.
Hoovler noted the sign for his business at 29 North Guilford Road says, “The curious are welcome,” and it is to be taken literally. Visitors and the telling of stories is part of his creative process, which he described as “magical,” adding it’s “transforming and satisfying and makes me giggle.”
His bowls have stories that generally begin with a tree that had to be removed because someone was afraid it would fall and harm people or property.
With every bowl he makes, “I know whose tree it was and I can tell you the story about how I got it,” he said.