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Swimming - Lake
Something for everyone, from fishing to outdoors sports, gastronomy, history, music and more!
- 9th Annual LCI Lake Champlain Bass Open – Sunday August 31 – Competitive bass fishing. You bring in your 6 best Champlain bass and there is $3,000 for the winner. The rumor is that it is one of the top 10 attended events in Vermont (dixit a fisherman).
More information at: Bass Open Tournament
- 5th Annual Plymouth Folk & Blues – Saturday August 30 and Sunday August 31 – 2 to 5 p.m. at the historic Plymouth Notch (President Calvin Coolidge Homestead). One of the Top 10 Fall Events, selected by the Vermont Chamber of Commerce. Once again, a musical event in this pleasant country place, with local and nationally known musicians. The concerts are free and there is a BBQ at noon on Sunday at the Wilder House restaurant. Too many musician names to mention but there are people like Craig Bickhardt, a hugely successful songwriter who has written songs recorded by Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Ray Charles, B. B. King, Alison Krauss, and many others, Alastair Moock has won top honors at many of the country’s most prestigious contests and Nashville star Mare Wakefield, who has been called the sonic love child of Emmylou Harris and John Denver.
More information at: Plymouth Folk and Historic Vermont Sites
- 16th Annual Echo Lake Road Race: East Charleston – Saturday August 30 – 9 a.m. – You can choose your race: walk, run or bike, 5 or 10 miles on dirt roads around the lake.
More information at: Echo Lake Race
- Presentation on Ethan Allen’s writing: South Woodstock – Saturday August 30 – 2 p.m. – For the history lovers, J. Kevin Graffagnino, Director of the Vermont Historical Society discussed the prolific and passionate writer, Ethan Allen, leader of the Green Mountain Boys and hero of the battle of Ticonderoga. An historic person difficult to miss if you are interested in the American Revolution history of the region.
More information at: Vermont Humanities
- 13th Annual Southern Vermont Garlic & Herb Festival: Bennington – Saturday August 30 and Sunday August 31 – 10-5 p.m. The Vermont Chamber of Commerce awarded this event as one of the Top 10 Summer Events in Vermont. We don’t always agree with their selection, but it is definitely a unique subject for a festival.
A number of restaurants offer a vast variety of garlic-inspired foods. Live music can also be enjoyed throughout the event.
More information at: www.lovegarlic.com

Hope you enjoy the long week-end! And as usual, we would love to hear from you: suggestions, questions, comments…

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Bottle Shock movie - posterWe are really sorry that we “stood you up” last week and did not publish the week-end events. We were redesigning the website to make it more practical for all readers… and we also launched it in French for our Quebec travelers. But we are back today with events for the upcoming week-end, from music, to sports, gastronomy and movies… sometimes even combined into the same event. So, here we go:

New this week!

- Wine tasting and movie – A very unique event; when French and Californian wines compete. That’s the subject of this new award-winning movie “Bottle Shock” (based on a 1976 story) and the theme of the wine tasting. And… the producer Todd Harris will be there for a Q&A. Where? Merrill’s Roxy Theater, 222 College Street in Burlington. When? This Friday August 22, at 5 p.m. followed by the movie or at 8:45 p.m. followed by the movie. Sounds like fun. We’ll be there for sure!
More information: Merrill’s Roxy Theater (make sure to scroll down to see the information)

- Vermont Festival of the Arts – Mad River Valley – August 1-31. Lots of exhibits and workshops in all art forms, from pottery to photography, watercolor, music, dance, cooking, theater and more during the whole month of August. We have not experienced any of the events yet, but everyone seems to be talking about this festival. Let us know what you think.
More information: Vermont Festival of the Arts

- 18th Annual Mad River Valley Century Ride – 50 or 100 miles. The biking event organized by the Hyde Away Inn & Restaurant looks like quite a well-organized and well-attended event (500 bikers). Friday night is the “carb-load” with lasagna and pasta buffet. Saturday morning: departure of the 2 races; rest stops along the way and a nice BBQ after the ride. The rides take you through the beautiful region, the quaint villages of Waitsfield and Warren, the State capital Montpelier and along the Dog, White and Mad rivers – nice scenery with great mountain backdrops indeed. We would love to have your feedback on the event if you attend.
More information: Mad River Valley Century Ride

- Grace Coolidge Musicale #3 – Sunday, August 24 at 3:00 p.m. A 45-minute program “The Romance of the Violin” with piano and violin followed by afternoon tea at the site’s restaurant, The Wilder House. The organizers recommend making reservations as seating are limited. We enjoy the scenery at President Calvin Coolidge Homestead and the village of Plymouth Notch where President Coolidge was born and raised. So, this event is a nice excuse to enjoy the site. website:
More information: President Calvin Coolidge State Historic Site
Related articles: President Calvin Coolidge House

- La Boheme, Puccini – at the recently renovated Town Hall Theater, in Middlebury – Aug 22 at 8 p.m., and Aug 24 at 2 p.m. This popular opera will be the largest production of the Opera Company of Middlebury
More information: Town Hall Theater

And for continuing events:

- Les Miserables musical is playing in Vermont… from July 31 to August 23 in Weston. We’ll try to go and check this production in the next few weeks and tell you what we thought. We are not expecting the kind of production you can see in New York or London, but we’ll see…
More information at: www.westonplayhouse.org
- And finally, if you really enjoy wine tasting and want to offer yourself a very special treat, there is a very special wine week-end cruise – one-and-half day (Saturday – Sunday) with an overnight – on the beautiful Moonlight Lady, hosted by Dellie Rex, senior Wine Instructor at New England Culinary Institute. The cost is $399 per person.
More information at: www.vtwinecruise.com

Also, don’t hesitate to leave us a comment on one of these events if you have a chance to attend!

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fort_ticonderoga-200-200This blog posting has been moved to http://christineseclecticlife.com/lake-champlain-french/

Related posts:
- Sunset on Historic Chimney Point
- Mount Independence Reenactment
- Samuel de Champlain’s Voyages
- Celebrating Champlain

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Morse Farm

That is indeed an essential question: who makes the best maple creemee in Vermont?
Essential because you cannot come and visit Vermont without trying a maple creemee. It has to be part of the experience!
The creemee is a soft serve ice cream (also seen spelt creamee or creamie) and people agree that a great maple creemee uses real maple syrup rather than flavoring. Many people say “Morse Farm” on County Road, just outside Montpelier has the best maple creemee, and indeed it’s good… It is one of these little pleasures of life, right after supper to go there for a creemee, sit down in one of their Adirondack chairs, watch the valley and the mountains far into the distance… and if you’re interested, visit their shop and their sugarhouse…
I don’t think that all sugarhouses necessary have great maple creemees though. I have had some with little taste (cheap on the syrup I guess) and on the other hand, I have seen little ordinary soft serve ice cream stands have top-class maple creemees (like Simply Subs on Main Street in Barre… I am hoping they continue to use as much maple syrup as they now do… their creemee is really good…).
One thing for sure is that it seems impossible to declare a winner… you’d need to try them all at the same time and I have not heard yet of such a competition… may be I should make the suggestion to the Harpoon Brewery group… to add a maple creemee competition to their BBQ competition next year
In the meantime, here are some tips from maple creemee lovers on the best place to get one!

  • Maynard’s on rte 100 between Waitsfield and Moretown
  • Bragg Farm, Route 14 North, East Montpelier
  • Strafford Organic Dairy farm
  • Dakin Farm in Ferrisburgh on Route 7

Where is YOUR best place?

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Lake Champlain Bluegrass FestivalPhoto courtesy of Adam Frehm

New this week!

- 7th Annual Lake Champlain Bluegrass Festival – August 8-10, in Alburgh – If you like bluegrass music, this is your week-end. Pray for good weather so you can enjoy all the outdoors concerts. And if you are not familiar with the event, take a minute and look here on the Vermont Life Magazine website, at this slideshow with music (scroll down the page and be patient, it takes a little while to load) … Looks and sounds like lots of fun.
More information at: www.lakechamplainmusic.com
- 51st Annual Antique & Classic Car Show – August 8-10, in Stowe – It’s the big and famous antique car event of the summer at Stowe with around 850 antique, classic and collector cars expected.
More information at: www.vtauto.org
- The schooner Lois McClure is coming back home to Burlington – Saturday August 5, Perkins Pier, Lake Champlain, Burlington, 5PM. You may have heard that the Lois McClure has been traveling to Quebec city (and other places on its way down the Saint-Laurent and the Richelieu river) early July to represent Vermont at the 400th anniversary of the founding of Quebec city by Samuel de Champlain. It’s back home and invites you to bring your picnic and enjoy dessert this Saturday early evening.
- Bicycle Film Series at the Savoy Theater, Montpelier – For the cyclists discouraged by the rain! Saturday August 9: The Bicycle Thief (Ladri di biciclette) (1948) – director: Vittorio De Sica (view the trailer) and Sunday August 10: Jour de Fête (1949) – writer and director: Jacques Tati. On your way, you can even admire some modern sculptures inspired by cycling, in front of several Montpelier buildings or inns!
- And finally, if you really enjoy wine tasting and want to offer yourself a very special treat, there is a very special wine week-end cruise – one-and-half day with an overnight – on the beautiful Moonlight Lady, hosted by Dellie Rex, senior Wine Instructor at New England Culinary Institute. The cost is $399 per person.
More information at: www.vtwinecruise.com

And for continuing events:
- Les Miserables musical is playing in Vermont… from July 31 to August 23 in Weston. We’ll try to go and check this production in the next few weeks and tell you what we thought. We are not expecting the kind of production you can see in New York or London, but we’ll see…
More information at: www.westonplayhouse.org
- Vermont Summer Festival Horseshow – 5th week-end of competition at East Dorset; Photographers: remember you can participate to a digital photography contest (see previous posting);
Related post: Vermont Summer Festival Horseshow
- And more chamber music at Marlboro Music, Marlboro College – Friday August 8 and Saturday August 9 at 8:30PM and Sunday afternoon August 10 at 2:30PM. It is worth the drive there and you can find nice romantic inns to stay at, in the area. Time Magazine says it’s “the most exciting chamber music in the U.S.”, the NY Times says “extraordinary rising stars and musical legends play side-by-side”.
More information at: Marlboro Music
Also, don’t hesitate to leave us a comment on one of these events if you have a chance to attend!

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Evening Chimney Point historic site
Last Thursday night, there was a very nice social evening at the historic site of Chimney Point. The historic site team was welcoming all for some appetizers and a free visit. This mid-1780s tavern seems the perfect place for it, with its nice white porch wrapped around the red brick building; and the view on Lake Champlain and the bridge to New York state is superb. Before long, people were sitting on the rocking chairs on the deck listening to a few notes from the Seth Warner Mount Independence Fife and Drum Corps, and chatting at one of the picnic tables on the lawn… It truly felt like a relaxing family gathering and it was delightful to watch the sunset on Lake Champlain… What a nice evening! We’ll make sure we let you know next time they organize such a special event.
Note: inside, there is also an interesting exhibit on the history of the region, the native Americans, the first French settlements and the history of battles which took place around the lake during both the French and Indian wars (middle of the 18th century) and the American Revolution. It also shows nice photos of the Chimney Point historic house when it was St-Frederick Inn at the beginning of the 20th century.
Opening hours: Wednesday through Sunday, through October 13, from 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Admission: Adults: $3.00

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Wind that shakes the barley - group The Unitarian Universal Church of Strafford was filled with Celtic music last Wednesday night… for our pleasure!
This was definitely a most enjoyable evening in the very quaint and “classic Vermont” village of South Strafford. The white 1833 church which hosted the concert, is definitely authentic (even though the interior is of recent style) and stands in a really nice setting, surrounded by trees and green lawn, and longed by the old cemetery.
The local Vermont group Wind that shakes the barley played Ireland, Scotland and Brittany and even became story tellers at times. Flutes, bagpipes, fiddle, guitar, accordion and voices were all playing in harmony to an audience of around 50, all fond of this very particular music style, I am sure. The flutist Rachel Clark, from Sharon and the accordion player Bob Smith (with a really nice-sounding little black accordion) were my favorite musicians in the group, but they were certainly all delightful.
They certainly had an authentic Celtic sound to them and their program was an incredible mix from soft ballades to upbeat dances, from maritime songs to Brittany gavottes… carrying us from moments of romance to times where our feet just wanted to get onto the dance floor!
There are three more concerts in this folk concert series at the church.
For the complete schedule, see our recent article.

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Harpoon Brewery barbecue competitionPhoto: Saturday afternoon, July 26 at the Harpoon Brewery barbecue competition

Thanks to all our readers for your interest and your comments.
And for those of you who may have missed one of these, here were our most popular articles for the month of July:
1- Harpoon Brewery BBQ competition
2- Fun things to do in Vermont in summer
3- Battle of Hubbardton reenactment
4- Vermont Summer Festival Horseshow – July 9 – August 17
5- Things to do in Vermont – Week-end of July 12-13

Well, it’s a new month with still lots of fun things to do here in Vermont! Hope you’ll be with us.