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Tiger LiliesSummer is definitely here and Vermont is still booming with activities and festivals. Anywhere you stay, you can enjoy music or historic narrations or military reenactments or food festivals!
So, as you plan the upcoming week-end, here are a few events we noticed:
- Vermont Mozart Festival is in full swing with both adults and kids concerts this week-end;
- 25th anniversary week-end of Billings Farms, Woodstock - July 20 – with lots of activities planned. The Vermont Fiddle Orchestra will perform at 1 pm, and Robert Resnik & Friends at 3 pm. There will be free ice cream and cookies throughout the day. And Governor Jim Douglas will be there (2 pm)!
- Mount Independence reenactment and encampment “Soldiers Atop the Mount” – it’s the major activity of the summer for the site;
- 7th Annual Killington Wine Festival – July 17-20
- Vermont Brewers Festival – July 18-19 – Rumor is that the Brewers Festival in Quebec is better but…
- 30th Annual Middlebury Summer Festival on-the-green – July 13-19 – Vermont Public Radio (VPR) gave a nice preview last Saturday of some interesting musicians participating to the event, such as some celtic and some Quebec traditional music groups;
- Lake Champlain Maritime Museum, near Vergennes, has a fun small boat race on Sunday (3 miles rowing or paddling) attracting around 50 participants and a small crowd of roughly 200;
- Vermont Summer Festival Horseshow – 2nd week-end of competition. Interestingly, the Northshire Digital Arts Center holds a digital photography contest for all attendees and participants of the horseshows. Check rules and prizes here.
- David Maxwell – Bennington Center for the Arts – The concert will be recorded for a future album. The organizers say that critics and fans think David Maxwell is one of the finest blues pianists alive.
- Marlboro Music – Marlboro College, Malboro – We don’t know the event, but the organizers are quoting the Time to have said that it is “the most exciting chamber music in the U.S.”
We’ll be posting more details in the next couple of days. Make sure to come back and visit us.
Also, don’t hesitate to leave us a comment on one of these events if you got a chance to attend!

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Vermont Mozart FestivalVermont Mozart Festival is in full swing, after its Grand Opening, last Sunday night (see our posting).
Quite unique in its format with 16 concerts (plus 3 for families and kids), over 3 weeks from July 13 to August 3, in various locations throughout Vermont! Great music, wonderful scenery, many opportunities for a nice outdoor picnic before the concert. And to make it even more special, several of these venues are actually taking place in historic sites: such as the West Monitor Barn, St. Anne’s Shrine, Middlebury Hall Town Theater, Barre Opera House and of course the Inn at Shelburne Farms.
We have the complete schedule of concerts with artists and locations for you on our Event Calendar page (easier to glance at than the official website, we believe)!
Link to Vermont Mozart Festival official website for bookings.

2008

Jul 13

Tax-free Week-end

Filed under: Blog

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Saturday July 12 and Sunday July 13, you won’t pay the 6% tax in Vermont. So enjoy the outdoors and walk the streets of nice village downtowns for some shopping. Have a great week-end!

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One-room schoolThis is our new Friday feature! Every week, we’ll put your knowledge of Vermont to the test. And we hope you’ll have fun with it. We’ll keep track of the number of right answers you each get and on July 4th, 2009, Independence Day but also the day when (most) people believe that Samuel de Champlain discovered Lake Champlain – that’s another story – we will announce the winner. The prize? A mug with the logo of our cute cow!
So, here are the clues for our first weekly quiz:
- This building is in the western part of the state, not far from Lake Champlain,
- It is actually at the corner of the road which leads to one of Vermont State Historic Sites,
- We are not experts in stone, but it seems made of limestone,
- The building is dated 1829,
- And for a bonus point… the 4 side-by-side windows are giving us a clue about its past use and indicates that it has been renovated in the 1920s or 1930s. Such windows can be seen on a number of buildings throughout the state – when you learn to watch for them – most of them now converted to other uses. So… what was the previous function of this building?
And now… good luck to all of you! The answer will be shared in our next Weekly Quiz.
Click here to log in your answer as a Comment!

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Shelburne Farms InnDoesn’t this place look gorgeous? It is Shelburne Farms, a pretty fancy 19th-century country home, on the shores of Lake Champlain in Shelburne. Designed in 1886 by Dr. William Seward Webb and Lila Vanderbilt Webb, it was and still is a 1,400-acre working farm, and now a national historic site. The lake and mountain views are spectacular, and the setting seems perfect for an enjoyable summer evening. On the sweeping lawns of the 24-room Inn, on Sunday night July 13, it’s definitely the place where we will be, for a nice picnic (doors will open at 5:15PM), dressage at 6:30PM and at 7:30PM the Grand Opening concert of the Vermont Mozart Festival, one of the top summer events in Vermont. Tickets are $36, but you can also buy season ticket pass for the summer-long series of concerts throughout Vermont. What a wonderful excuse to drive around Vermont all summer long!
We have the complete schedule of concerts, with artists and location on our Event Calendar page!
Post-Event Note: Well, unfortunately, the rain prevented us to enjoy Shelburne Farms. The concert was relocated indoors.  The music was great, and there was a great moment when Senator Leahy spoke the words of Abraham Lincoln on democracy in sync with the music! Very well done, senator!
However we have to say that the hall was overcrowded and the rain on the roof was somewhat distracting. Oh well… Our personal recommendation would be to skip a concert if you don’t have tickets yet and you know the rainsite is being used.

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Vermont Summer Festival HorsehowThis article is a special contribution from Ariana Monti, Vermont rider & horse sports fan. Photography credit to David Mullinix.
Horseback riders have plenty of summertime activities in Vermont, including the returning Vermont Summer Festival Horseshow which kicks off another six-week run of top horse jumping competition at the Harold Beebe Farm off Rte 7 in East Dorset, VT this weekend. I spent a “Grand Prix Sunday” at the show a few summers ago, and had an amazing time watching horse and human competitors square off against one another for the top prizes.
Spectators are warmly welcomed at New England’s largest “AA” rated hunter/jumper horse show, so whether you’re a horse-show veteran or a first-time visitor, this show is a great weekend option.  The first five Sundays feature a $30,000 Grand Prix and it all concludes on Sunday, August 17, with the $50,000 Vermont Summer Celebration Grand Prix. On Sundays, entrance fees are $7 Adults/$5 Children and Wed-Sat are $5/$3 (proceeds donated to local schools).  Long-time fans of horse jumping competition may enjoy the quieter weekday competition schedule.
Personally, I also love the horse-related shopping on-site, with tack stores setting up temporary locations including Bevals, Oak Manor Saddlery, and Hadfield’s Saddlery; as well as saddle companies like Devoucoux, CWD, and County Saddlery. And, all that spectating and shopping might make you want a drink or bite to eat… all available from New England vendor David’s World Famous Catering. Of course, the Manchester Designer Outlets are also just down the road if you want to do some non-equine shopping or for more food options! I hope you’ll get a chance to enjoy it all!
Schedule for the Vermont Summer Festival Horsehow.

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Quebec flag
The French Heritage Days starts on Friday night, July 11, from 6 to 9PM, in Vergennes, with the Veillée, a traditional French Canadian supper and traditional music and dance with the Club Carrefour, from Quebec. That should be so much fun! Everything we dream of for a traditional French Canadian supper is on the menu for sure… “French onion soup, pea soup, tourtiere (traditional meat pie), chicken pie, sheppard pie, apple pie, blueberry pie, tarte au sucre (sugar pie)”… that was the list Marguerite, the organizer of the event gave me… Carbs count? You got to forget about those for one night for sure!… afterall, the hard-working farmers in the harsh winters of Quebec really needed these calories… but it should be delicious…
Then, on Saturday July 12th, a number of events and activities are taking place in various Vergennes locations to be enjoyed by the whole family: reenactors of French soldiers, French Voyager, Comte de Vergennes, and Samuel de Champlain, fencing demonstrations, story tellers, waiter’s race, etc. … and lots of music (fiddle and accordion)!
As you can see, Samuel de Champlain is already a star this year at the French Heritage Days, even though the 400th anniversary celebration of his discovery of Lake Champlain is only next year: there will be a lecture by Julie Dowd, “They Walked with Champlain” at the library and a Samuel de Champlain historical interpretation at the bandstand.
And last but not least, the Vermont French Canadian Genealogical Society will be there to help you trace back your French-Canadian ancestors, if your name happens to be Sénécal, Gagné or Gagnon! And on that subject, I need to open a little parenthesis for those of you interested in tracing back your ancestors to France. I came accross this France Guide website yesterday, which has a free ancestry search tool to just do that: simply type your name and it will give you the names of French ancestors who came to North-America! You can click here to access the free ancestry search tool. Nice, no?
Well, to conclude… we have not attended this event before, so we don’t know how well attended it is and what its ”quality” is, but we’ll be there on Saturday for sure (too bad we cannot make it Friday night!).
What we know though is that it seems to attract more people every year and it has also been chosen as the “signature event” of the summer celebrations for the 400th anniversary of Lake Champlain next year.
So, if you drop by, make sure to tell us what you thought!

Schedule for the French Heritage Days in Vermont – July 11-12, 2008

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Hubbardton reenactment
Sunday morning – July 6, 2008 – Battle of Hubbardton reenactment

Fourth of July’s week-end is hardly over that we are already thinking about next week-end! Summer is here and Vermont has so many events and activities to choose from! It seems particulary true for the upcoming week-end of July 12-13.
So, we thought we would share our initial thoughts with you, the few events which garbed our attention, and which we will write more about as the week progresses.
- Vermont Mozart Festival – a renowned festival for musicians, will have its Grand Opening next Sunday night at Shelburne Farms. We’ll be there!
- French Heritage Days, Vergennes - an event more popular every year, for the people like me who enjoy Quebec food and music, and a lot more! We’ll be there as well, on Saturday.
- the Mountain Bike Festival in Waterbury July 12 and 13 – for the more sportive among us!
- the Vermont Summer Festival Horseshow – the start of six weeks of top equestrian competition in the beautiful Green Mountains scenery;
- the Stoweflake Hot Air Balloon Festival - 25 hot air balloons will launch Friday at 6:30pm, Saturday at 6:30 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. and Sunday at 6:30 a.m.!
So… come back and visit us for more detailed information and all the relevant links. And don’t miss our upcoming story on the Best Maple Cremee in Vermont as well!

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Fourth of July celebrationsIt’s time to celebrate Fouth of July all accross the country. Here in Vermont, there will be parades and fireworks in a number of towns. But we have identified a few other Fourth of July events for you.
There are two events worth noting at State Historic Sites which we already mentioned in previous posts:
- At the President Calvin Coolidge Homestead, celebrations for the birthday of the only U.S. president born on the Fourth of July. There is chicken BBQ to enjoy for lunch there at the restaurant!
- At Hubbardton Battlefield site, it is the annual Battle of Hubbardton reenactment this week-end, July 5-6th, with the actual battle reenactment taking place Sunday morning from around 8AM to 10AM. The battle is the only American Revolution battle which took place in Vermont. The date was July 7, 1777. Interestingly, at 4PM on Sunday afternoon, at the Old Constitution House in Windsor, a messenger will arrive to announce the Battle of Hubbardton and the American withdrawal from Mount Independence and Fort Ticonderoga – just like the messenger did on that day of July 1777 when he announced the news to the constitutional delegates.
And…
- The Vermont Symphony Orchestra is at the Shelburne Farms tonight (July 4th) and if the weather is good, the program will end with musicians playing Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture while you enjoy the fireworks!
- For the very serious crowd, at the Bennington monument, like every year, an actor will read the Declaration of Independence at 1:00PM.
- Reading the Declaration of Independence is also part of the family celebrations at the Billings Farm and Museum today!
So, to all of you, have a very happy Independence Day!

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