The Vermont Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce the highly anticipated 2010 Top Ten Summer and Fall Events. The 2010 award recipients display a wide variety of unique Vermont activities that will provide something fun for everyone in all corners of the Green Mountain State. The winners in chronological order include:
Vermont Maple Festival: Celebrate the Official Flavor of Vermont
St. Albans, April 30 to May 2, see website for hours & admission (much is free).
At the end of winter, it s time to celebrate the Official Flavor of Vermont - PURE MAPLE! The Vermont Maple Festival is three days of fun and learning - there s something for everyone - kids, teens, families, singles, and seniors. Main Street entertainment, Maple Exhibit Hall, antique & craft shows, cooking demonstrations, sugarhouse tours, face painting, a Grand Parade and a Maple Buffet, pancake breakfasts, fiddlers and youth talent shows, carnival, Sap Run Foot Race, historical museum, a pretty park for playing and picnicking, a downtown of delightful shops, and more. www.vermontmaplefestival.org, 802-524-5800.
Burlington Discover Jazz Festival
Burlington, June 4 to 13
The Burlington Discover Jazz Festival celebrates its 27th year with the sounds of jazz, blues, funk and Latin music. For 10 days more than 45,000 people enjoy a unique mix of concerts, street parties, cruises on Lake Champlain, meet the artist sessions and more. Past headliners have included Diana Krall, Dave Brubeck, Ella Fitzgerald, and Dizzy Gillespie. See website for event details. www.discoverjazz.com, 802-863-7992, tickets: 802-863-5966.
Strolling of the Heifers
Brattleboro, June 4 to 6, Fri. 5 - midnight, Sat. 8 am to 3 pm, Sun. 8 am to 3 pm.
Inspired by Spain s famous Running of the Bulls, Brattleboro s annual Strolling of the Heifers parade features scores of heifers ambling up the town s historic Main Street, along with many farmers, cows, bulls, horses, goats, poultry, floats, tractors, bands, clowns, and much more. When it s over, the crowd follows the parade to the grounds of the Commons and enjoys food, music, dancing and fun at the Dairy Festival. The event is held each year on the first weekend in June, which is National Dairy Month. Free.www.strollingoftheheifers.com, 802-258-9177.
Vermont Quilt Festival
Essex Junction, June 25 to 27, Fri. & Sat. 9 am - 6 pm, Sun. 9 am - 3 pm.
Thread your way to the beautiful Lake Champlain Valley for a delightful experience for the whole family at New England s oldest and largest quilt event. Be dazzled by some 500 breathtaking new and antique quilts and enjoy workshops, lectures and entertaining free gallery talks and demos. Shop the colorful merchants mall for treasures to suit everyone, treat the kids to fun kids classes, and bring your quilts for appraisal. All at the air-conditioned Champlain Valley Expo. $12 adults, seniors and groups $10, children under 14 free.www.vqf.org, 802-872-0034.
Vermont Summer Festival Horse Show
East Dorset, July 7 to August 15, Wednesdays to Sundays, 8 am - 4 pm.
The Vermont Summer Festival is a six-week-long show jumping event featuring five rings of equestrian jumping action. The largest event of its type in New England, it s a chance to see world-ranked horse and rider combos as well as kids on ponies, competing for blue ribbons and more than $750,000 in prize money. All the action takes place on show grounds complete with food vendors, shopping and a bar. Wed.- Sat. $5, Sun. $7.
www.vt-summerfestival.com, Prior to July 1 call 802-496-9667 and after July 1 call 802-362-7548.
Stoweflake Annual Hot Air Balloon Festival
Stowe, July 9 to 11.
25 hot air balloons will soar during the 24th Annual Stoweflake Hot Air Balloon Festival. Begins Friday, July 9 at 4 pm, launch at 6:30 pm, continuing with sunrise launches at 6:30 am on Saturday, July 10, and Sunday, July 11. Second twilight launch at 6:30 pm on Saturday, July 10. Children s activities, live music, food, beer and wine. Balloon rides $275 per person, tethered rides $10 per person. Adults $10, children 12 and under free. www.stoweflake.com, 800-253-2232.
SolarFest: the New England Renewable Energy Festival
Tinmouth, July 16 to 18, Fri. 12 - 10 pm, Sat. 9 am - 11 pm, Sun. 9 am to 7 pm.
SolarFest s 16th annual festival is a renewable energy-powered celebration of the performing arts, sustainable living, and community. The weekend is packed with education and entertainment. Six tents house more than 100 workshops on renewable energy and sustainable living topics, plus world-class performers on two solar-powered stages, Theater-in-the-Woods, more than 100 exhibitors inside and out, crafts, clothing, food, children s activities, bonfire art and much more. See website for admission. www.solarfest.org, 802-235-1513.
Vermont Mozart Festival
July 18 to August 8, see website for individual event details and locations.
Entering its 37th summer season, the Vermont Mozart Festival continues to enrich people s lives with beautiful music in special Vermont places. The festival brings more than 90 artists from around the world to perform classical masterpieces at 19 concerts in a variety of scenic and historic venues. The 2010 season will celebrate the works of Chopin and his concertos and solos for the piano. www.vtmozart.org, 802-862-7352.
Deerfield Valley Blueberry Festival
Whitingham, Wilmington, Dover, Wardsboro, July 31 to August 9, see website for event details.
What started out as a silly blue whim has turned into an all-inclusive cooperative between local businesses, churches, a town Economic Group, Chamber of Commerce, farms and charitable groups. The Deerfield Valley Blueberry Festival promotes all things Blue and Agricultural! Ever roll in 100 gallons of Blueberry Jell-O, dress up as a blueberry fairy, attended a Blueberry Block Party, seen a blue llama, shop for bluelight specials, visit a Deja Blue Car Show? Many events are free. www.vermontblueberry.com, 802-464-5618.
Vermont Festival of the Arts
Watisfield, Warren, Moretown, Fayston, Middlesex, Granville, Rochester, August 1 to Labor Day Weekend
Vermont Festival of the Arts is a month-long (actually 5 weeks!) celebration of the arts running throughout the Mad River Valley and beyond. The Festival is comprised of more than 125 events ranging from exhibits and performances to painting, poetry and crafts, poetry workshops, lectures, a full moon celebration and culinary extravaganzas. The center of the state is the center for the arts in Vermont. August is Art in the Mad River Valley. www.vermontartfest.com, 802-496-6682.
15th Annual Southern Vermont Garlic & Herb Festival
Bennington, September 4 and 5, 10 am - 5 pm.
Live music all day! Great food from garlic ice cream, sausage, to garlic margaritas. Cooking demos, planting and braiding. Children s activities! Camelot Village. $5, under 12 $1. www.bennington.com, 802-447-3311.
Killington Classic Motorcycle Rally
Killington, September 9 to 12.
The town of Killington invites you to join the Thunder Through the Mountains: the Killington Classic. Go for the ride, stay for the party! Welcome event, vendors, pig roast, bike show and grand parade to Rutland and the Vermont State Fair. Autumn in Vermont is spectacular and what better way to enjoy it than from your motorcycle. The welcome mat is out and Killington looks forward to your visit! $10.www.killingtonclassic.com, 800-337-1928.
South End Art Hop
Burlington, September 10 and 11, Fri. 5 - 9 pm, Sat. 10 am - 10 pm.
Art, fashion, community, creativity, it s all part of the 18th annual South End Art Hop that s set to take over Burlington s South End on September 10 and 11. With more than 500 artists displaying work in more than 100 sites, there s plenty to explore. Bring your family. Meet up with friends. Buy some art. Visit online. Most activities are free to the public. www.seaba.com, 802-859-9222.
Tunbridge World s Fair
Tunbridge, September 16 to 19.
The 139th Tunbridge World s Fair is a blend of active livestock shows with beautiful farm animals, a good old fair-time midway, and a competitive harvest and crafts exhibition. Not only a demonstration of traditional agriculture, it also looks to the future of Vermont farming with diversity, and heritage breeds. As a family venue this couldn t be better - for all ages and interests - tucked away in this charming valley. See website for admission. www.tunbridgefair.com, 800-889-5555.
Stowe, September 24 to 26.
The Stowe Rotary Club brings a Bavarian village to life in Stowe s Jackson Arena for an entire weekend with oompah bands, authentic German foods, freshly brewed Vermont beers and fun activities for the kids. Friday night s live music and dancing kick-off party is admission free. Saturday s activities begin with a parade through town. See website for hours and admission. www.stoweoktoberfest.com, 802-253-8506.
Vermont Life Wine & Harvest Festival
Wilmington, September 24 to 26.
Annual festival celebrating the best of wine, food and the good life! The Vermont Life Wine & Harvest Festival highlights the unparalleled quality and ingenuity of Vermont producers and artisans. Special dinner wine pairings, food demonstrations, and tastes from a variety of exhibitors. See website for hours and admission. www.thevermontfestival.com, 877-887-6884.
Brattleboro Literary Festival
Brattleboro, October 1 to 3, 10 am - 7 pm.
The annual Brattleboro Literary Festival features emerging and established authors of fiction, non-fiction, poetry and children s literature in readings, panel discussions, and special events. More than thirty authors appear each year in a series of events, many of them targeted to children and families. Free. www.brattleboroliteraryfestival.org, 802-365-7673.
Dead Creek Wildlife Day
Addison, October 2, 9:30 am - 4 pm.
Activities at Dead Creek Wildlife Day are especially for people who enjoy hunting, fishing, bird watching, or learning about Vermont s diverse wildlife. The day-long event features nature walks, live wildlife demonstrations, hunting dog demonstrations, fishing and hunting tips, and much more. Plus, there are plenty of kid-friendly activities like decoy carving, face painting and building bluebird boxes. All events are free, and a complimentary shuttle bus provides regular access to nearby field events. www.vtfishandwildlife.com, 802-241-3700.
18th Annual Hildene Fall Arts Festival
Manchester, October 1 to 3, 10 am - 5 pm.
200 juried artists and artisans exhibit one-of-a-kind creations as well as contemporary and traditional craftwork. This is the largest craft marketplace in southern Vermont. Craft demonstrations educate and accentuate that everything is handmade. Live music and kids activities. The Vermont Cheese, Beer and Sausage Tent returns along with localvores food court featuring Vermont Roast Pig. Specialty food vendors sell gourmet products to take home. All exhibits are housed under large, heated Camelot tents. Adult $8.www.craftproducers.com, 802-362-2100.
Harvest Weekend at Billings Farm & Museum
Woodstock, October 9 & 10, 10 am - 5 pm.
The two-day event features a husking bee and barn dance each day plus a variety of 19th century harvest activities including pressing cider, preserving apples, putting food by, harvesting vegetables in the Heirloom Garden, shelling vegetables, and fun activities; fence building, apples-on-a-string, and 19th century games. Hot spiced cider and homemade doughnuts will be served to all. Adults $11, seniors $10, ages 5-15 $6, ages 3-4 $3, under 2 free. www.billingsfarm.org, 802-457-2355.
Each year, a panel of independent judges chooses Vermont s best activities, selected for their diversity and wide appeal. The 2010 winners display a wide range of family-friendly activities and represent many different parts of the state.
In order to qualify as a Vermont Chamber of Commerce Top Ten Event, events must appeal to out-of-state visitors as well as Vermonters; appeal to a diverse audience, including children and families; and due to the additional attention a Top Ten Award garners, the event must be able to accommodate an influx of visitors up to twice the normal count.
The Vermont Chamber of Commerce, the largest state-wide private, not-for-profit business organization represents nearly every sector of the state s corporate/hospitality community. Our mission is to create an economic climate conducive to business growth and the preservation of the Vermont quality of life.
Source: Vermont Chamber of Commerce