Mansfield Travel Guide
Mansfield, Ohio, the town where the 1994 cult classic The Shawshank Redemption was filmed, is still hoping to cash in on the 15 minutes of fame it experienced nearly 20 years ago.
Mansfield has recently developed The Shawshank Trail, a "drive-it-yourself" tour of the sites used in the movie, like the "Shawshank Oak Tree", the woodshop where the prisoners worked, the county courthouse, and the stretch of road where Red rode the bus after being released from prison.
Sherwood Forest is in peril. The storied English woodland has been whittled down to just 423 square kilometers in the eight-plus centuries since the legendary Robin Hood and his Merry Men used it as a hideout from the Sheriff of Nottingham. Of the fewer than 1,000 Sherwood oaks that remain, an increasing number have been dying each year, falling victim to disease, old age, and the encroachment of neighborhoods, mines, and other industries. Fortunately, there's something you can do to help, and it doesn't even involve any actual work. Grab your jester's hat and head up to Nottinghamshire from July 28 - August 3 for the annual Robin Hood Festival, which celebrates the legend of Robin Hood and supports efforts to preserve, protect, and rebuild Sherwood Forest. Expect plenty of period music, prancing, and men in tights as role-players from across England converge on the Sherwood Forest Visitors Centre just outside Edwinstowe Village. Entertainers include Perrotts Puppet Players (pictured), falconers from the National Hawking School, and the Oakwood Outlaws - famed for their costumed combat displays - as well as assorted apothecaries and alechmists. No word on how "tuned in" those dudes are, but it can't hurt to sidle up for a chat on the finer points of ancient medicine.
Jaunted was on hand for Download 2007 at the Tweeter Center (say it with a Mass accent for added entertainment value) in Mansfield, MA this past weekend. Overall, the Tweeter Center, the venue formerly known as Great Woods, is your classic summer outdoor amphitheater, with seats peeling back into a wider lawn area. The above footage is from row X, which is fairly close to the stage. As for the sound, well, it is an open air venue, so acoustics can be a bit spotty. Furthermore, if you are up on the lawn area it can be difficult to see the stage, you end up watching the jumbotrons, but isn't that the case at most of these outdoor summer concert stadiums?
The venue atmosphere is laid back, with plenty of food and beverage options. The beer selection is vast, but a beer will run you $8 a pop -- food is also on the expensive side.
Leaving the concert you will end up in a long, slow moving traffic line if you leave right as the show ends. If you want to avoid exit traffic you have two choices -- leave a song or two early, or just chill out after the show for a good thirty minutes before you exit and you will have smooth sailing on the way home.