Italy has Carnivale, Brazil has the same.  Germany has Fasching, New Orleans has Mardi Gras.

Ashfield has Winklepicker.

And while those other festivals are all tied to the last possible blow-out moments before the contemplative days of Lent, out here in the Protestant hinterlands, Winklepicker is tied to the hardest part of the year – when the novelty of winter has worn off, warmth is still half a globe-turn away and you’d like something to do besides plow snow and rake roofs. 

Winklepicker stirs all the warmth of music, dancing, community, eating and drinking up together in one big, roiling pot.  Winklepicker celebrates warmth and fun in the coldest, plainest days of the year.

This inaugural year, the third weekend of February also turned out to be the weekend that precedes the above celebrated festivals, and so we took Mardi Gras in New Orleans to be our inaugural theme for the weekend.  In upcoming years we may keep the hedonistic theme or we may change it – part of its Winklepickerliness is how it tickles our fancies. 

As it grows, we hope for it to include more participants and action-filled events.  The world, as all New Orleans know is our oyster (or, erster, as they say in New Orleans,) so as we go we will develop it.  But at its erster-loving heart, Winklepicker is when New Englanders go Barnyard Crazy.


WinklePicker Schedule of Events


Friday, February 17th

2 – 5pm

Creole and Cajun Cooking Class:

Creole Dinner Party

Oysters Rockefeller
Seafood Gumbo
Pecan Fish Meuniere
Bananas Foster


5 – 8:30 pm

Dinner at Elmer’s:

Roots Rock Salad- Thinly sliced salt red and golden roasted beets,
julienned fennel dressed with vinaigrette.
 Creole Onion a la gratiné- sauteed caramelized onion in a light beef broth
topped with a crouton and provolone cheese.
BBQ Shimp Poboy- Sautéed shrimp seasoned with native filé spice, herb
and garlic infused olive oil, crisp lettuce and juicy tomatoes on an
AnnaBread baguette.
Vegetarian Muffalatta- Minced Mediterranean olive vinaigrette salad with whole fire
roasted artichoke hearts, mushrooms, red bell peppers, tomatoes and spinach
with provolone or vegan cheese on an AnnaBread Baguette. 




So Much Fun!  The Serious Art of Mardi Gras Costuming:  Opening Reception (free)

Congregational Church, Main St

The real Costumes of Mardi Gras;  from parade krewes, Mardi Gras Indians, marching clubs and the many, many hours and hundreds of dollars that go into them! 

Saturday, February 18th ,

10am – 5pm:

So Much Fun!  The Serious Art of Mardi Gras Costuming Gallery Exhibit (free)

Congregational Church, Main St


Kids’ Cajun Music Camp

10:30 am – 2:30pm

Ashfield Pre-School, Baptist Corner Road


11:30 am – 2:30pm

Creole and Cajun Cooking Class:

New Orleans Brunch
Crabmeat Ravigote
Shrimp Creole
Grillades and Grits
Brandy Milk Punch



Chris Smither Concert (Andy Friedman to open)

Ashfield’s Town Hall


5 – 8 pm

Elmer’s Dinner

Seafood Gumbo

Crab Cakes with smoked tomato and Jalapeno tartar sauce

Spinach and Artichoke Casserole

Fried Green Tomatoes

 7:30 pm

WinklePicker Mardi Gras Ball featuring Buckwheat Zydeco

Ashfield’s Town Hall


9:30 pm

Mardi Gras Dance After-Party featuring The Primate Fiasco

Elmer’s Store

Sunday, February 19th 

Elmer’s All-Star Gospel Brunch

Featuring The Baptist Corner Revelators

Seatings:  9:30 and 10:45

Elmer’s Store

Shrimp and Grits

Pain Perdu (French Toast)

Scrambled Eggs

Bacon, Sausage

Orange Juice



1 –  5pm

So Much Fun!  The Serious Art of Mardi Gras Costuming Gallery Exhibition (free)

Congregational Church, Main St


Noon – 3pm

Creole and Cajun Cooking Class:

Cajun Country Cuisine Party
Cajun Style Jambalaya
Duck Gumbo
Crawfish Etouffée
Gateau de Sirop


For tickets and more information go to or Elmer’s Store!  (the actual store.)