Summer is Here! What’s on your To-Do List!?
I always make one once Spring hits. There’s something about renewal that allows the mind to open to possibility. I also admit that the list is an ideal picture where every weekend is devoted to some great new adventure, new experience, new place, new pastime. I don’t usually accomplish most of it, but the list in and of itself is kind of motivational, so it’s well worth the daydreaming. In making my list this year, I asked our crew for recommendations. It grew to such lengths, that I’ve decided to break down our rec's into bite size pieces, so stay tuned in the coming weeks!
This week, we’re dishing up festivals and attractions (to be sure no more go by without you knowing about them!). In the following weeks, we'll publish our recommendations geared toward outdoor rec enthusiasts, foodies, and water lovers. They’ll be incomplete and abbreviated collections of suggestions, and yet there’s something in them for everyone so read on and look forward to the next installment!
BETH RECOMMENDS! Foodaroo – the 5th Annual is fast approaching! Head down to the Middlebury Marbleworks on Sunday, June 23rd, from 4 – 9pm for food trucks, music, street performers and more! It’s a lively time with so many delectable options you’ll want to be sure to bring friends and family (more mouths mean more sampling!)
WE’RE SPONSORS! The Henry Sheldon Museum’s Annual Pops Concert and Fireworks is on July 3rd. Grounds open at 5:30, concert at 7:30, fireworks after dark. Arm yourself with bug spray, then nestle into the fields behind the Mahaney Art Center for an absolutely lovely evening. Don’t forget a little extra cash for raffle tickets. This year 5 celebrated local artists have painted picnic baskets (covet-worthy, of course!) - it's the Museum's largest annual fundraiser event after all!
POLLY RECOMMENDS! JULY 4 in BRISTOL – beginning on the 3rd with fireworks, music and food & craft vendors at the Bristol Rec Fields, the celebration continues the next day with a 5K road race, outhouse race (don’t miss it!), parade, music, and food and craft vendors on the Bristol Green. An enormously popular event in Addison County, stake your ground early for the parade (or cozy up to a friend who lives on the route) – it’s a madhouse of fun!
BETH RECOMMENDS! St. Stephen’s Peasant Market – the area’s largest outdoor flea market is on July 6, 9 – 2pm; you’ll find antiques, furniture, books, jewelry, clothing, linens, homemade pies and lemonade (and so much more!). The Middlebury Green is hopping for this local favorite summertime event!
POLLY RECOMMENDS! Festival on the Green – it’s the 41st annual, July 7 – 13, on the Middlebury Village Green; with accolades that include The VT Chamber of Commerce’s “Top Ten Summer Events” and Vermont Life’s “the best series of free performers in Vermont”, you’re sure to find an act or three you'll be excited to lounge for. Bring a chair or blanket and a picnic!
Middlebury Summer Music & Movie Series – brought to you by Experience Middlebury and the Downtown Middlebury Partnership; Free, June – August. Throughout the season, grab a picnic blanket and some local take out to enjoy live local music at the Marbleworks, and a variety of movies beneath the stars at various venues around town.
Ciderstock – Woodchuck Hard Cider’s annual festival is scheduled for early August this year. They’ll be in their sixth year, and if the weather prevails, guaranteed to be an awesome time. They've yet to post the schedule, so bookmark the link and check back soon.
WE’RE SPONSORS! Middlebury New Filmmakers Festival – the 5th annual will happen August 22 – 25; fast growing and for good reason – the 2018 collection included over 100 short and full-length films by first- and second-time filmmakers, shown over 5 venues across 4 days. You'll see some amazing work, so block out the time (in fact, we'd recommend a festival pass)!
COURTNEY RECOMMENDS! Vergennes Day – in its 38th year, start the partying early on Friday , August 23rd with a street dance form 7 – 10pm (PAIR with dinner at one of Main Street's restaurants that offer outdoor dining for a front row seat!); come back Saturday the 24th for a day filled with music, crafts, vendors, wagon rides, a chicken BBQ, and 5K, 10K, 15K road races and fun run! The Little City is alive for this local annual favorite!
Lake Champlain Maritime Museum – open May through October, a visit to the museum is a wonderful lakeside learning experience year after year, with more than a dozen exhibit buildings, full-sized and operational replica vessels, workshops, and kids and teen camps, all steeped in lake ecology, archaeology and history. PAIR with a visit to the Red Mill Restaurant at Basin Harbor Club for dinner!
Rokeby Museum – on Route 7 in Ferrisburgh, from May to October you’ll enjoy world class exhibits (“Free & Safe: The Underground Railroad in Vermont” and “Rokeby Through the Lens” will wow you), nine historic buildings and 90 acres (grab the hiking trail map upon arrival!); learn the story of the Robinson Family and the 170 years that they lived and thrived on their Ferrisburgh land. Agricultural artifacts, art, furnishings and personal belongings illustrate an incredibly rich history. PAIR with a stopover at Vermont Cookie Love for one of the best creemees in the state (and take home some cookies, too – yum!)
Henry Sheldon Museum – Henry Sheldon (b. 1821 - 1907) was a businessman and entrepreneur, but apparently found his calling as a collector! In the heart of downtown Middlebury at the Judd-Harris House on Park Street, you’ll find permanent and rotating exhibits, many of which focus on the community and surrounding region. Learn about local social customs, business and political life, and Addison County interests through objects, art, photographs and written records.
A few doors up the street, on the roundabout, you’ll find…
Vermont Folklife Center – “The way of life of a community or group” – the definition describes the fodder for their mission; Vermont Folklife Center is a nationally known folklife education organization that uses ethnography – the study of cultural experience through interviewing, participation and observation – to document and share story; a visit to their Main Street Middlebury home will open your mind to the legends and lore of community.
TAKE A BREAK between your Henry Sheldon Museum and VT Folklife Center visits with a stopover to Otter Creek Bakery on Main Street – with 220 degree views up, down and across town, you’ll be eye to the vibrancy of downtown Midd while enjoying a delectable lunch and baked treats!
Mahaney Arts Center and the Middlebury College Museum of Art– the hub of arts activity at Middlebury College, the depth and breadth of programming will astound – from performance to art and craft, inside, outside and across campus. You’ve got access to world-class visual and performing arts so bookmark the events calendar - you’ll be visiting year-round to see, hear and experience the globe!
Whew! That's a start! Stay-tuned for more next week and in the mean time, have an exciting, engaging, purposeful, healthy and happy summertime of people, place and thing... and please let us know your favorite festivals and educational day trips. We'd love to add to our list!