Spotlights

The Vermont Summer Festival Horse Shows

July 15-19 and July 29-August 2, 2971 Route 7 at Harold Beebe Farm, East Dorset, 802 362-7548, vt-summerfestival.com.

The Harold Beebe Farm in East Dorset is the perfect site for the six weeks of competition. Its lovely peaceful view of the Green Mountains, just off scenic Route 7 North, offers a well-equipped hunter/jumper facility. The show grounds boast five all weather rings, including one of the largest Grand Prix fields in New England, as well as several all weather schooling and riding areas, permanent wash racks, paddocks and extended trails for casual enjoyment. Nearby towns are full of New England charm with inns, fine dining, and world-class shopping at The Manchester Designer Outlets in Manchester. The Vermont Summer Festival is the largest ‘AA’ rated hunter-jumper horse show held in New England and has a huge economic impact on the state with an estimated $18 million spent throughout the duration of the six-week competition.

Maplerama 2009 & The Shires Maple Festival

July 24–26, 2009, 1545 West Road at Colgate Park, Bennington, 802 447-3900, shiresmaple.com.

Maplerama 2009 is a trade show for regional maple syrup and maple product-makers that moves to a different Vermont county each year. The 2009 festival will be held in Bennington, from July 24–26, under the sponsorship of the Bennington County Sugar Makers Association.

As a festival within a festival, The Shires Maple Festival has been created to complement Maplerama and also to stand alone as a full, major weekend event. For two days, July 25-26, The Shires Maple Festival celebrates not only the magic of maple but also of regional farming, fresh local produce, specialty foods and fine, hand-crafted products. The festival will in-clude the live music of The Blues Sanctuary and Tas Cru, an exten-sive farmers’ market, workshops and maple processing demonstrations, specialty vendors, a pancake breakfast Saturday and Sunday, children’s activities and wagon rides.

2nd Annual Vermont Blueberry Festival & Parade

July 26–August 9,various venues in the Mount Snow Valley, vermontblueberry.com.

Celebrate the Blues in three picturesque, bustling towns with the quintessential nature of Vermont stamped all over them. These ski towns with a unique culture are Wilmington, Whiting-ham and Dover. Over the course of nine days, everything blue will be featured— berries, vintage cars, music, food and tarp displays.

More than 30 family-friendly events are plan-ned to excite your taste buds with blueberry-infused and Vermont-centric country cooking. It’s fun, it’s historic, it’s healthy, it’s blue!

Weston Playhouse Summer Stage

Village Green, Weston, 802 824-5288, 824-8167, westonplayhouse.org.

The award winning Weston Playhouse Theatre Company, Vermont’s oldest professional theatre, continues its summer season on the Mainstage with the New England premiere of RENT, July 30–August 22. The modern-day musical that swept the nation tells the stories of a group of artists on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. The make-shift family journeys through a year experiencing the joy of rebellion, the beauty of love and the heartbreak of death. From the first chord to the last refrain, audience members will be entranced and moved by the heroic characters and their daily struggles. Based on La Bohème, This rock phenomenon won the Tony Award® for Best Musical and includes the hit song “Seasons of Love.”Other Stages: The Year of Magical Thinking, July 15–August 2; The Musical of Musicals, August 12–Sept 6. For further information and details about the 2009 season, please go to westonplayhouse.org. To order tickets, call the box office at 802-824-5288.

Southern Vermont Art & Craft Fest

July 31-August 2, Hildene’s Meadow, 1844 River Road, Manchester Center, 802 425-3399, craftproducers.com.

The setting for the annual Southern Vermont Art & Craft Fair is magical, with white Camelot tents gracing the meadows and creating a timeless marketplace of artists and artisans, musicians, chefs, and local food vendors. This year, 175 exhibitors will bring their own handmade products to share. Works range from one-of-a-kind to limited production. There are hundreds of items costing less than $25 sharing space with sculpture, furniture and original paintings that sell for more than a $1,000, with a wide range in between. The festival features a localvore food menu. Expect a Vermont roast pig by Candeleros Restaurant. Miguel’s from Waitsfield will serve barbeque chicken platters. Melanie’s Deli will offer casual delights, and Ali Babba from Burlington presents a Mediterranean menu. The Bistro Henry Wine Bar will serve crafted artisan beer and summer wines from Spain.

Newfane Fine Art Show

August 8–9, 10am–4pm, Newfane Union Hall on West Street, Newfane, 802 365-7100 or email newfaneart@gmail.com.

The first annual Newfane Fine Art Show hosted by The Newfane Business Association will showcase talented artists of Windham County in a professionally juried show. There will be three broad categories featured; Painting, Photography and Sculpture. Jim Urbaska, painter; Kiersten Hanna, photographer; and Andy Yoder, sculptor will be the jurists. Linda Rubinstein, past education director for the Brattleboro Museum & Art Center and current co-curator of Arts Bridge, will act as the judge. The show pays tribute to the creativity of the area and revives a tradition begun by the Moore Free Library.

Mount Snow Blues Festival

August 21-23, Mount Snow Resort at 39 Mount Snow Road, West Dover, 800 245-SNOW, mountsnow.com.

Mount Snow will host the first Vermont Blues Festival, bringing a little bit of the South to the northern hills. Friday night, August 21, the festival takes place from 7pm to midnight and includes a blues/ soul food buffet (when purchasing ticket in advance), on Saturday, August 22, the festivities run from 1-9:30pm and on Sunday, August 23, from 12-8:30pm. Concerts take place in the Main Base area. The roster of wonderful performers include Elvin Bishop, Shemekia Copeland, Guy Davis, Mavis Staples and more. Three days of world class blues and soul await.

Third Annual Exhibition At Grafton 2009 Annual Juried Art Show, August 30, September 10, free of charge, Grafton.

The historic village of Grafton will once again provide the backdrop for the Exhibition at Grafton 2009, a select juried art event of original works by noted professional artists from New England and surrounding states. The exhibition will feature a selection of top artists’ work in oils, pastels, watercolors, acrylics, mixed media as well as sculptures in various medium. The works will be displayed at The Old Tavern at Grafton, the Hunter Gallery of Fine Art and Gallery North Star from 9:30am–6pm daily. Art displayed will be for sale during the show. A special reception to preview the works and to celebrate the awards will be held at The Old Tavern on Saturday, August 29. This event is also open to the public. The town of 600 has three galleries.

Mount Snow Brewer’s Fest

September 5–6, Mount Snow Resort at 39 Mount Snow Road, West Dover, 800 245-SNOW, mountsnow.com.

This annual tribute to summer and its finest elixir is back with more than 20 breweries represented.  Expect the best things to pair with a cold stout on a summer afternoon, as well: musical acts and delicious foods from Vermont vendors. All paid 21-plus adult tickets include a souvenir pint glass and a free beer on Mount Snow. Tokens can be purchased for $2 after that and are good for an 8-ounce sample of well over 60 different kinds of brews including stouts, ales, hefenweizens and porters. A selection of ciders will also be available. Beer and brewing festivals are a great Labor Day tradition across the country.

14th Annual Southern Vermont Garlic and Herb Festival

September 5–6,10am–5pm, Camelot Village in Bennington, 802 447-3311, lovegarlic.com.

The delicious smells of the 14th Annual Southern Vermont Garlic and Herb Festival will soon be wafting through the air. Join garlic-lovers from throughout the Northeast as they come to sample food and crafts from 50 different vendors all made from local 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, along with planting and braiding demonstrations. Herbalists will also be on hand to take visitors on “weed walks,” where people can learn the valuable uses of everyday weeds. For aspiring gardeners, garlic growers, garlic-lovers or those simply looking for a fun way to spend a Vermont end-of-summer day, the event promises something for everyone. Other activities this year will be Garlic Golf: Get a hole in one and win a great prize. There will also be a hay maze, face painting and hair braiding, and other great children’s activities such as inflatable rides. Sumptuous cooking demonstrations will be offered throughout the weekend. Wander around the spacious lawns sampling garlic
delicacies and enjoy the festivities. Tickets $5 per day. Children 12 and under are $1.

Friends of Music at Guilford Labor Day Festival

September 5–6, 7:30pm, Packer Corners Rd. at the Organ Barn, Guilford, 802-254-3600, http://www.fomag.org.

FOMAG presents a lovely weekend of orchestral and chamber music for the Labor Day holiday. Enjoy Concert in the Barn by guest organist Justin Hartz performing several numbers, including a sweeping Handel concerto accompanied by a small number of instrumentalists. Hartz has been much acclaimed for his skills and this promises to be a whimsical evening. Sunday at 2pm brings Concert on the Lawn by the Festival Orchestra. David Kidwell conducts “Quick Bright Things,” featuring works by Mendelssohn, Haydn and others. Grounds open at 12:00 noon for picnicking (bring your own or buy a sampler plate of vegetarian salads, bread, fruit and a drink); warm chocolate chip cookies and fresh lemonade for sale. Admission is free, with donations welcome.

4th Annual Taste of the Deerfield Valley

September 12, 10am–4pm, Pisgah Rd. at the Mount Snow Base Area, West Dover, celebratethevalley.com.

The 4th Annual Taste of the Deerfield Valley is the region’s official fall foliage event. In September as the weather creeps towards autumn, the colors in the hills and mountains of Southern Vermont begin to intensify and radiate, and the harvest is collected from the fertile farms of the area—it’s time to celebrate Vermont’s bounty! More than a dozen restaurants come together to offer free tastes of their cuisine, amidst crafters and artisans, live music and kids activities such as a Bouncy House and face-painting. True Vermont local culture is here—and all of the smells, sights, sounds and tastes that go along with it! Adults $15, 7–12 $5, six and under free.

Readsboro Arts Festival

September 19, 10am-5pm, 301 Phelps Lane at Readsboro Central School, 802 423-7706, readsboroarts.org.

Now in its third year, the free festival will feature live performances by local musicians and showcase the work of artists and craftspeople from Southern Vermont. Art activities for all ages will be available and a special Arts Festival Lunch Menu will be served from 11am to 3pm at The Readsboro Inn.

Readsboro Arts was organized in 2006 by a group of community members as a non-profit organization whose mission is to support the growth of the arts in Readsboro and surrounding communities. In addition to the annual Arts Festival, Readsboro Arts hosts “ArtsMeet”, a series of workshops and events for artists and non-artists alike that provide hands-on opportunities to learn about an art or craft and network with other artists and craftspeople.

Vermont Life Wine & Harvest Festival

One of Vermont’s Top Ten Fall Events, September 25-27, the juncture of Rt. 9 East and 100 South in

Wilmington and various inns, farms and wineries in the Mount Snow Valley, thevermontfestival.com.
The 2nd annual Wine & Harvest Festival sponsored by Vermont Life magazine returns, buoyed by the wonderful success of last year’s event. When the weekend festival debuted last year, it was the first time that food and wine producers statewide had an opportunity to collectively showcase their products in Southern Vermont. Although exhibitors and participants at the festival are not limited to Vermont-only producers, the localvore culture that Vermont is so well known for will definitely be in effect. Vermont wines, Vermont specialty foods, local artisans and local music shine over the 3-day event that includes an informal bluegrass opening-day BBQ party, special wine and dinner pairings, wine and cheese pairings and daily entertainment.

Artist and author, Gloria Vanderbilt will be signing copies of her new novel, Obsession, in the Southern Vermont Arts Center’s Yester House Gallery on Saturday, September 26, at 4:00pm.

About Obsession and Ms. Vanderbilt, The New York Times wrote: At 85, a Brahmin in Blue Jeans Writes of Sex, Masks and Veggies. Gloria Vanderbilt’s new novel, “Obsession: An Erotic Tale,” which comes out June 24 may be the steamiest book ever written by an octogenarian. And it’s one of very few volumes to arrive on the sex-book shelf accompanied by a blurb from Joyce Carol Oates, who calls it, “a remarkable tapestry of human passion — an interior world of highly charged erotic mysteries that teasingly suggest, but ever elude, decoding.” Sex, presumably, is something Ms. Vanderbilt knows about, after four marriages, as well as affairs with, among others, Howard Hughes, Gene Kelly, Marlon Brando and Frank Sinatra. She said she wasn’t at all embarrassed about the explicitness of her book, adding: “I don’t think age has anything to do with what you write about. The only thing that would embarrass me is bad writing, and the only thing that really concerned me was my children. You know how children can be about their parents. But mine are very intelligent and supportive.” Ms. Vanderbilt’s son Anderson Cooper, the CNN newscaster, who read “Obsession” in manuscript, said: “The six most surprising words a mother can say to her son are: ‘Honey, I’m writing an erotic novel.’ But actually she’s pretty unique, and there’s not much she does that’s surprising anymore. At 85, whatever she wants to write is fine with me.” —Charles McGrath, The New York Times

Made in Vermont Music Festival

September 30, Arkell Pavilion on West Road at Southern Vermont Arts Center, Manchester, and October 1, Bellows Falls Opera House, Bellows Falls, 802 362-1405, 802 463-9595, vso.org.

Alan Jordan and Christopher Madkour invite you to a magical evening of Vermont music as the VSO’s Made in Vermont Music Festival tour visits all corners of the state. For this performance, Principal Guest Conductor Anthony Princiotti presents a program brimming with melodic riches: an arrangement of a Mozart string quartet, Bizet’s charming Jeux d’enfants (“Childrens’ Games”), and Haydn’s Symphony No. 82 (“The Bear”). This year’s world-premiere commission is by Derrik Jordan, of Brattleboro, who pays tribute in his piece to the Lake Champlain Quadricen-tennial. Tickets are available starting Sept. 1 at Northshire Bookstore in Manchester. The magic continues the following night at the Bellows Falls Opera House. Tickets for the Oct. 1 performance are available at Village Square books, Boccelli’s on the Canal and Fat Franks in Bellows Falls; Misty Valley Books in Chester; and VAULT Gallery and Radio Shack in Springfield.

17th Annual Hildene Arts & Crafts Festival

October 2-4, 10am-5pm, River Road off of Route 7A at Hildene Meadows, Manchester, 802 425-3399, craftproducers.com.

Nestled in a magnificent valley along the Battenkill River, Hildene Meadows is a scenic complement to the scintillating selection of original art and contemporary craft on display. There are no imports and no buy/sell products—just honest, creative artists and artisans under heated Camelot tents. Home furnishings, clothing, jewelry, furniture and original art and photography galore —with a dash of local culture. New this year is the Vermont Beer Cheese and Sausage Tent. For those aficianodos, a variety of wines that compliment the cheese and sausages will also be offered. Yummy!

Weston Antiques Show

October 2-3, Weston Playhouse, Rte. 100, Weston, 802 824-5307, westonantiquesshow.org.

Attendees find quality and variety here:  American and English furniture prior to 1900, accessories to 1900, Oriental rugs to 1920, antique and estate jewelry, and paintings and prints to 1935. Country and formal furniture, decorative arts, Americana, accessories, and folk art are in the street level stage, lobby, and lounge as well as the lower and upper levels. Now in its 51st year, the Weston Antiques Show is not to be missed for any serious collector, as well as the blossoming antiques enthusiast.

Brattleboro Literary Festival

October 2-4, all events are free, various venues in downtown Brattleboro, brattleboroliteraryfestival.org.

Brattleboro becomes a literary mecca once again. Now in its eighth year, the festival features readings, panel discussions and special events that showcase both emerging and established authors of fiction, non-fiction, poetry and children’s literature. Highlights of the 2009 festival include Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award winning poet Philip Levine, National Book Award winner Julia Glass (Three Junes), novelist and Academy Award nominee Tom Perrotta (Little Children), The New Yorker artist and illustrator Harry Bliss, Pulitzer Prize winning historian David Hackett Fischer (Champlain’s Dream), three-time Coretta Scott King award winning author/illustrator Ashley Bryan, Philip Kunhardt; PBS producer and author (Looking for Lincoln), best-selling authors Jamie Ford (Hotel at the Corner of Bitter and Sweet), Elinor Lipman (The Family Man) and David Ebershoff (The 19th Wife), award winning poet and children’s author Janice Harrington and children’s author Tony Abbott (Secrets of Droon). Other festival events include a music and poetry performance workshop with cellist Jody Redhage and poet Wyn Cooper.

Heritage Festival

October 10 & 11,10am-4pm on the Newfane Common, Route 30, Newfane, newfanechurch.blogspot.com/.

Over 80 booths fill the Common and provide wonderful browsing and shopping.  In 2005, The Philadelphia Inquirer named the Newfane Heriage Festival one of its “10 for the Road” events from the mid-Atlantic to New England.

Oktoberfest

October 10-11, Mount Snow Resort at 39 Mount Snow Road, West Dover, 800 245-SNOW, mountsnow.com.

German music, beer, food and games will be celebrated at Mount Snow’s 12th annual Oktoberfest. This fun family event features children’s activities like face painting, pumpkin painting, arts and crafts, a hay pile and the infamous “schnitzel toss.” Adult games include the keg toss, horseshoe tournament, stein holding, the one-man saw and the apple sling shot. New England breweries will be back with their fall line ups to accompany the German-style beers. All adults over age 21 will receive a souvenir pint glass and a free drink on Mount Snow with their ticket.

Saxtons River Arts Guild Fall Arts Festival

October 10–11, 10am–4pm, Walpole Town Hall in Walpole, N.H., 603 756-9389 or 603 358-6804.

Come celebrate the diverse artistry of Southern Vermont’s tucked-away villages amidst the splendor and explosion of color that is autumn in Vermont. The Festival is open to all artists and will feature fine art in all mediums.

Dummerston Apple Pie Festival

October 11, Evening Star Grange Hall Craft Fair at 1006 East-West Road, Dummerston, 802 254-9158.

1500 Apple Pies! Enjoy homemade apple pie—sold whole or by the piece, Vermont cheddar cheese, sweet apple cider, doughnuts made right on the spot, ice cream, coffee, books, exotic international crafts, handcrafts and vintage treasures galore. This little festival is a Dummerston tradition showing the grassroots nature of Southern Vermont, with a bit of a sweet tooth thrown in. A favorite stop for motorcyclists and anyone who likes pie à la mode!

Heirloom Apple Tasting Day

October 11, Tastings at 10, 12 and 2, The Scott Farm, 707 Kipling Road, Dummerston, 802-254-6868, scottfarmvermont.com.

A celebration of heirloom apples, fresh, baked and squeezed.  Visitors are invited to the  apple packing barn at 10, 12 or 2 for a free tasting and a history of some of Scott Farm’s 70 apple varieties with wonderful names such as Esopus Spitzenburg and Ananas Reinette.  Heirloom Apples will be on sale after the tasting.

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