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As a tour guide for Northampton’s WalkingTalkingTours.com it’s my job to reveal Northampton’s treasures. Even so, I’m continually surprised by what this town has to offer.
For example, last fall while walking up Main Street, I happened to glance at the Academy of Music’s scrolling marquee flashing “State Yo-Yo Championship Oct 16th.” I made a mental note to check it out, but by the time I remembered, I missed it by a week.
Later, while shopping for the grandkids at the A2Z Science and Learning Store – a paradise of toys, games, and sheer fun – I met a young lad yo-yoing, and asked him about the state contest.
“Yes, it was held last fall here in Northampton” and then he added a bit shyly “I actually won it.”
Turns out that A2Z is the hub of Northampton yo-yoing – they hold classes, sponsor a team, and stage major events and demonstrations throughout the year. But that’s not all; Northampton is a yo-yo mecca for the region, if not the country.
A few months later, on Northampton’s First Night New Year’s Eve celebration, my wife and I attended the opening act at the Academy of Music – the A2Z’s Yo-Yo Team enacting an “Academy Awards of Yo-Yo” – and just like the capacity crowd, we were thrilled and amazed by the virtuosity of the performers. Plus, I challenge anyone not to laugh or at least smile when watching a skilled yo-yo performance.
So, if you’re a kid, or a kid at heart, and yearn for some classic fun, check out A2Z’s upcoming “Z Games” (also known as the 2012 Northeast Regionals Yo-Yo Contest) on Sunday, April 1st at the JFK Middle School in Florence, MA. They promise “some of the best yo-yo players on the East Coast.” For more details go to www.a-two-z.com or call 413-586-1611.
Most recently, here’s a glance at a recent A2Z yo-yo class: