Vermont Food Festivals
If there’s one thing—besides the art—that brings people to the historic villages and rural communities of Southern Vermont, it has to be the food. In this region you’ll find a warm and sophisticated, yet rustic, lifestyle based on family traditions, with authentic and local food experiences. There are plenty of food festivals this summer and fall, many of which offer a great way to experience the flavors of a new destination, while allowing you to try new foods and gather new recipes. A culinary vacation in Southern Vermont dishes up wonderful folks and dedicated farmers, local and celebrity chefs, producers, food entrepreneurs, food coops, restaurants, CSAs, Farmer’s Markets and a host of food festivals. Here are our top festival picks.
Vermont Cheesemakers Festival, July 24
Coach Barn of Shelburne Farms, Shelburne,
212 576-2700, vtcheesefest.com
Vermont is the premium artisanal cheese state with the highest number of cheesemakers per capita—over 40 of them! We invite you to experience our passion for making fine cheeses, taste local and fresh foods and wines, and meet the artisans who make them. Spend a high summer day along the shores of Lake Champlain at the historic Shelburne Farms Coach Barn sampling, buying, learning, and networking. Hosted by the Vermont Butter & Cheese Company and the Vermont Cheese Council, the Festival will take place at Shelburne Farms from 11a-4p. The event, which is open to the public, attracted over 1,100 visitors from across the country last year. This year’s attendees will sample over 100 types of cheese from 50 different cheesemakers, a variety of locally produced wines and beers, and several other artisan foods, including maple syrup, honey, chocolates, baked goods and more.
Deerfield Valley Blueberry Festival and Parade—
Top Ten Summer Event, July 29-Aug 7
various venues in the Mount Snow Valley,
Berries, vintage cars, music, food and tarp displays; if it’s blue, it’s probably happening in the Mount Snow area towns of Wilmington, Whitingham and Dover. The event is coordinated by Janet Boyd from Boyd Family Farm and the Mount Snow Valley Chamber of Commerce in which dozens of businesses, organizations and individuals have created blueberry or blue themed events, including a Big Blue Parade, a Blue Street Fair, children’s activities, jam making, blueberry themed specials in the local eateries, blue music events, a blue car auto show, blueberry bake sales, blue beer, special “Blues fees” at Mount Snow’s Golf Course as well as pick your own blueberry opportunities.
Mount Snow Brewer’s Fest, Sept 3-4
Mount Snow Resort at 39 Mount Snow Road,
West Dover, 800 245-SNOW, mountsnow.com
Mount Snow’s annual tribute to summer and its finest elixir—beer—is back again this year. The Mount Snow Brewers Festival has become famous with great beer, great music, huge crowds, and good times. This year will be no different as we expect to host well over 20 breweries. All paid adult entries (21 and over) receive a one of a kind souvenir pint glass and a free beer on Mount Snow. Tokens can be purchased for $2 after that and are good for an 8 oz sample of well over 60 different kinds of brews including stouts, ales, hefeweizens, porters, and for you non-beer lovers cider.
15th Annual Southern Vermont Garlic and Herb Fest, Sept 3-4, 10-5
Camelot Village, Bennington,
802 447-3311, lovegarlic.com
Join garlic-lovers from throughout New England as they come to sample food and crafts from 50 different vendors all made from—you guessed it—garlic and herbs! Everything from garlic ice cream to garlic jelly, pickled garlic, roasted garlic, garlic braids and, of course, plain garlic bulbs of every variety will be available for sampling and purchase. Demonstrations include planting braiding and cooking. For aspiring gardeners, garlic growers, garlic-lovers or those simply looking for a fun way to spend a Vermont end-of-summer day. Come early if you’re looking to buy seed for next year’s crop!
6th Annual Taste of the Deerfield Valley Sept 10
Mount Snow Base Area, West Dover,
Voted “Ten for the Road” by the Philadelphia Inquirer. Taste the best from area restaurants. Demos with BBQ Champion and TV star Myron Mixon. Live Music, local wine and beer, and kid-friendly activities.
Vermont Life Wine & Harvest Festival, Sept 23-25
Junction of Rt 9 East and 100 South in Wilmington and various inns, farms and wineries in the Mount Snow valley, thevermontfestival.com
A weekend showcase for Vermont wines, Vermont specialty foods and artisans of all types celebrating the rich uniqueness, quality and ingenuity of Vermont producers. The 2011 festival will add to its list of events a “Welcome to Vermont” celebration in historic downtown Wilmington featuring select Vermont producers and entertainment; incorporating the downtown businesses as well as historic Memorial Hall, Buzzy Towne Park and the award winning new Bank Park overlooking the Deerfield River.
13th Annual Oktoberfest and 35th Annual Harvest Art and Craft Show, Oct 8-9 mountsnow.com
The 14th annual fall festival & celebration of German Music, Beer, Food & Games takes place Oct. 8-9 this year. This fun family event features kids activities including face painting, pumpkin painting, arts & crafts, a hay pile and the famous “schnitzel toss.”Adults have games too including the Keg Toss, Horseshoe Tournament, Stein Holding and more. All adult admission includes a souvenir stein and the first drink is on Mount Snow.