2009

May 12

Celebrate Spring at Adamant’s Blackfly Festival

Filed under: Blog, Celebrations

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black_fly_festival_575This article is a special contribution from Montpelier’s local resident Karen Kane, owner of Paris by design and Montreal by design.

Forget about fiddleheads, peepers, or maple sugaring. Blackflies are the real harbinger of spring in central Vermont!

And excitement is building as the residents of Adamant, VT, a rural village near the state capital of Montpelier, prepare to host the 7th Annual Adamant Blackfly Festival on Sat. May 16th, 2009.

Adamant is a small, unincorporated village, situated on the town line between Calais to the north and east Montpelier to the south. There is no true boundary to define the village, and as such there is debate as to what constitutes residence. This is, however, purely theoretical as there is no legal, governmental or commercial status associated with residence.

The general wisdom is that “Adamant is a state of mind.”

The Blackfly Festival exemplifies an important aspect of the small community’s state of mind: creativity. Its inhabitants, many of whom are artists, are resourceful and fun-loving. The festival is the brainchild of Adamant resident Cindy Cook, whose family timed a trip to Ireland to avoid the small flying creatures, one year.

“They bite, draw blood and leave welts,” says Cook. “I can’t go outside the house without a head net when they’re out. Creating the festival was one way to keep us from going insane.”

With any luck, the guests of honor won’t be in attendance this year.

The Blackfly Festival has two purposes: to benefit the Adamant Co-op, which is the oldest food co-op in Vermont, and to have some serious fun. The event brings together the entire community – and visitors from across the country – to celebrate, in Cook’s words, “the bug we love to hate.”

The day’s events take place at the Adamant Co-op. The oldest food cooperative in Vermont was incorporated in 1935, when eleven families contributed five dollars a piece to provide working capital. Since then, the coop has functioned as a small, community-run general store and post office. It is a place where folks stop to get a few groceries, pick up their mail, and find out what’s new with their neighbors. The store is the heart and soul of Adamant.

There is a parade at 3pm featuring eclectic costumes, impromptu music, synchronized bug zappers, a local Ferrari, and farm equipment. Past parades have been described as “campy,” “a whole lot of fun,” and “the Macy’s Day Parade of the Insect World.”

The Blackfly Pie contest at 1pm is expected to draw out the competitive spirit in local bakers. Categories include Best Tasting, Best Appearance, and Most Creative. Judges include chefs from the nearby New England Culinary Institute, one of the finest cooking schools in the country.

The grill fires up at 11am. Music throughout the day will be provided by several bands, including Earthman Band, with local musician Pitz Quattrone playing the digeridoo. And there is much more to discover…

For more information, visit Adamant’s Blackfly Festival. And to see a video of the festival, click on this link.

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