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Vermont foliageFall is definitely here in Vermont! A couple of fresh nights this week and the first maple trees turned red and tonight frost will have more leaves turn red, no doubt. A nice premise for a nice week-end.
And to celebrate Vermont foliage season so dear to all of us, there are many things to do here. Of course you can go canoeing and kayaking on lakes and rivers (I will write about it next week) or hike or do a lot of other outdoor activities. But there are also some special events and festivals this week-end:
Apple picking : You are invited to participate to the annual contest « Apples to iPods » which takes place in many orchards again this year. If you find a wooden iPod in a tree at one of the participating orchards, you’ll win a real iPod. More info at: Vermont Apples.
Vermont Life Wine & Harvest Festival – Mount Snow Valley –September 25-27, 2009: It’s the second year of this event, where you can participate to cooking demonstrations by local restaurants, wine and cheese pairing presentations, wine pairing diners at some local restaurants, etc. Specialty food makers, cheesemakers and craft artists will show their products. And of course, there will be music, jazz trio and acoustic roots band… Don’t miss a Vermont style breakfast on Saturday or Sunday morning, with maple syrup (I am sure) and products (bacon and sausages) from local company Vermont Smoke and Cure, or the BBQ and Blue Grass diner on Friday night. The event is listed as one of the top ten Fall events by the Vermont Chamber of Commerce this year. More info at Vermont Life Wine & Harvest Festival.
Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom Annual Fall Foliage Festival – September 27 – October 3, 2009 – Towns and villages of the region offer a variety of activities during this week : food events, visits, music, etc. More info on the site of the Chamber of Commerce.
5th Annual Burlington Book Festival – September 25-27, 2009 – A book fair in Burlington is always a good excuse to come and wander the nice streets of this nice little Vermont town we all like (see our last year’s article on Burlington). Many authors will be there, there will be new and used books, free appraisal of rare books and more. More info at Burlington Book Festival.
6th Annual Vermont Fine Furniture & Woodworking Festival – September 26-27, 2009 – In the Southern part of the state, woodwork and nice furniture lovers won’t miss this event. More than 50 furniture makers and woodworking artists are expected. You can even watch Barre Pinske carve a bear on site. More info at Vermont Fine Furniture & Woodworking Festival.
Lake Champlain Maritime Museum – Archaeology Week-end – September 26-27, 2009 – South of Burlington, near Vergennes, it is the annual archaeology event at the museum. You can do a tour on the lake to see a shipwreck (Saturday 1pm), or enjoy presentations, movies and more. More info on the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum website.
Biking tour – South Hero and Grand Isle – September 26, 2009 – And for cycling amateurs, the Montpelier Section of the Green Mountain Club organizes a 25-mile loop in this beautiful region of Lake Champlain Islands, north of Vermont. For more info, contact: Mary Garcia at (802) 229-0153 or Mary Smith at (802) 505-0603.
– And don’t forget to read the last issue of Vermont Life magazine (we are not paid to promote it), for more info on a lot of outdoor activities you can do this Fall here, or just for the pleasure of looking at the beautiful photos they have throughout the magazine! Vermont Life Magazine Current Issue.

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vermont-institute-for-artisan-cheese-575Photo: Courtesy of Vermont Institute for Artisan Cheese.

We have to confess: we like cheese and Vermont cheese! Last month, we brought the news to you about the Vermont Cheesemakers’ Festival. It was unfortunately sold out so we’re glad to tell you that you can still attend an evening on Cheese and Wine Pairing, at the Vermont Institute for Artisan Cheese, at 255 Carrigan Wing Building, University of Vermont: it’s on September 22nd from 6 to 9pm.
More information at: Vermont Institute for Artisan Cheese website.
To learn more about Vermont cheeses, you can also listen to the recent Vermont Public Radio interview of Allison Hooper, from Vermont Butter and Cheese Company and Paul Kindstedt, from the Vermont Institute for Artisan Cheese. They are both authors of books on cheesemaking. You’ll learn the definition of artisan cheese, farmstead cheese and much more!
And finally don’t forget that cheesemakers in Vermont always welcome you to visit them: you can consult the cheese trail map or read “The Vermont Cheese Book” to plan your visit.

Related articles:
First Vermont Cheesemakers Festival
Award-winning Vermont Cheeses

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cheesemaker_festival_575It’s this Sunday, August 23, 2009 from 10am to 5pm.
A great looking event which unfortunately is… SOLD OUT!
So clearly everyone noticed the quality of the activities presented (seminars, cooking shows, cheesemaking demos, over 100 cheeses to taste, etc) and of the presenters… and the tickets went like hot cakes!
The organizers were planning for 500 to 1000 attendees and 85 people maximum for each of their seminars (Cheesemaking 101, Cheese Pairing Beyond Beverages, Cheddar and Beer Tasting, Cheese and Wine Pairing, Explore Shelburne Farms) and every seminar and general entry ticket is sold!
But you can still enjoy the Vermont Artisan Foodmakers Open Studios, on Saturday, August 22 (the day prior to the festival). On that day creameries, wineries, breweries and artisan foodmakers across the state will be open for special tours and tastings. A map showing location of all the participating foodmakers as well as all website addresses can be seen on the event website.
And for the festival, as the organizers say: “See you in 2010”.
Related articles:
Award-winning Vermont Cheeses

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Harpoon Brewery barbecue competitionJuly 25-26, 2009 – It’s the week-end of this very popular annual event, an event we attended last year and really enjoyed: definitely great food, nice beer, nice music, and a nice setting to sit down and enjoy a beer… if the weather cooperates. Enjoy!
See our article from last year:
Harpoon Brewery – BBQ Competition
Harpoon Brewery web page on the event: Harpoon Championships of New England BBQ

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wine_tasting_575There are a lot of food events to enjoy in Vermont in June. If you are looking for things to do during your stay here, think food festivals!

June 13, 2009 – Cabot Creamery Visitors’ Center – Cabot
This Saturday, Cabot celebrates its 90th anniversary by opening its plant. They’ll serve food, have some music, entertainment, in order to raise money for the Cabot School’s Performing Arts Center.
Time: 10:00 am – 3:00 pm
Location: Visitor Center, Cabot Creamery Visitors’ Center, Cabot, VT
For more information: (802) 371-1265

June 14, 2009 – GNAT-TV Culinary Experience 2009 – Hildene, Lincoln Family Home – Manchester
It seems like a nice fund-raising gala night at Lincoln Family Home.
It starts at 6pm, it will be Champagne hour with hors d”oeuvres, cheese, champagne and jazz. At 7pm, these 22 chefs from the area will have the “Grand Tasting”. There is also live music with the “Don’t Leave Band” and a Grand Prize Raffle of all the dinners for two donated by the chefs.
Location: Hildene, 1005 Hildene Road, Manchester
Tickets: $60; $25 for raffle tickets.
For more information:
GNAT-TV Culinary Experience
Chef’s Circle: The list of 22 participating chefs

Hildene, Lincoln Family Home

June 19-21, 2009 – 11th AnnualStowe Wine & Food Classic – Stowe
Several nice events over these three days to celebrate wine and food.
Friday night – 4 to 6pm: Wine tasting at the West Branch Gallery & Sculpture Park. Tickets are $75.
Saturday night – 6pm: Gala dinner, Live Auction & Dance at the Trapp Family Lodge. Gastronomic five-course meal, prepared by the Trapp Family Lodge’s renowned chef with wine pairings, presented by M.S. Walker. Followed by dancing with Penny Arcade.
Tickets: $150 per person. $185 per person for the Saturday/Sunday package.
Sunday – Noon to 4pm: Grand tasting & Silent Auction: Enjoy culinary demonstrations by regional chefs, including Eric Warnstedt, one of Food & Wine’s Top Ten Chefs of the Year, in 2008. Attend wine seminars. Taste up to 100 wines. Participate to a silent auction of fine and rare wines.
Tickets: $60. $185 per person for the Saturday/Sunday package.
Location: Trapp Family Lodge
More information at: List of events of the 11th Annual Stowe Wine & Food Classic
Related article: Waterbury Award-winning Restaurants

June 26- 28, 2009 – 24th Annual Green Mountain Chew Chew – Food & Music Festival – Burlington
It’s a family-oriented event, with food, entertainment, live music, which showcases a number of restaurants, caterers and food producers. At every booth, you can taste three unique food items. Lots of fun!
Location: Waterfront Park, Burlington
Time: Fri & Sat: 11am to 9pm; Sun: 11am to 6pm.
More info at: Green Mountain Chew Chew

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pirates_lake_champlain_575Lots of events for this first week of June in Vermont, from food and music to sports, for adults and for kids.

Monday June 1, 2009 – David Byrne – Shelburne Museum
David Byrne
(formerly of The Talking Heads), a Grammy and Oscar recipient, will perform songs from his new album while taking in a beautiful sunset over Lake Champlain. His long collaboration with Brian Eno has resulted in ethereal, world-music influenced musical landscapes. The Shelburne Museum, a gorgeous venue, hosts this show on “The Green” as part of Ben & Jerry’s Concerts on the Green series.
Time: Doors open at 6:30pm, concert at 8:00pm.
Location: Shelburne Museum, 5555 Shelburne Road (US7), Shelburne.
Tickets: www.highergroundmusic.com.
Cost: $45 in advance; $50 day of show.

Thursday June 4, 2009 – “Three Girls and Their Buddy”, Emmylou Harris, Shawn Colvin, Patty Griffin & Buddy Miller – Shelburne Museum
Folk, bluegrass and country from this quartet with Emmylou Harris, who sang on the soundtrack of “O Brother, Where Art Thou,” Shawn Colvin, Patty Griffin, and Buddy Miller.
Time: Doors open at 5pm, concert at 6pm.
Location: Shelburne Museum, 5555 Shelburne Road (US7), Shelburne.
Tickets: www.highergroundmusic.com.
Cost: $50-54.

June 5-14, 2009 – Burlington Discover Jazz Festival
Burlington Discover Jazz Festival, in its 27th year, features concerts at the Art Deco Flynn Theater, with headliners like Diana Krall, Branford Marsalis and Pink Martini – as well as day-long music in the streets. Ticket prices vary, and some events free.
For the complete schedule, visit www.discoverjazz.com.

Some of the concerts of note for the week of June 1 to 7:
Friday June 5, 2009 – Anat Cohen Quartet (double bill with Esperanza Spalding) – Flynn Center
Tenor saxophone and clarinet, Anat Cohen has thrilled audiences throughout the US and Canada. She is said to be “one of the brightest, most original young instrumentalists in jazz”.
Bassist, vocalist and composer Esperanza Spalding, is a remarkable performer who has played and been acclaimed on world’s stages. Her 2008 album incorporates the rich traditions of jazz, soul, Latin, R&B and world music.
Time: 8pm
Location: Flynn Center for the Arts,153 Main Street, Burlington
Tickets: $34, $27, $21; www.discoverjazz.com.

Sunday June 7, 2009 – Diana Krall- Flynn Center
Pianist and singer Diana Krall, recipient of two Grammys, doesn’t need any presentation. Millions of people have already enjoyed her vocals, her rhythmic music, her remarkable stage presence and unmistakable piano interpretation.
Time: 8pm
Location: Flynn Center for the Arts,153 Main Street, Burlington
Tickets: $99, $69, $49, www.discoverjazz.com.

June 5-7, 2009 – Strolling of the Heifers Weekend – Brattleboro
Only in Vermont – it seems – can you see a parade of 100 heifers on Main Street. What’s a heifer” may you ask. Well, it’s a young cow which has not yet had a calf of her own. Parade is at 10am sharp on Saturday June 6. It will be followed by by a dairy festival that includes the Future Chefs of Vermont tent, a Children’s Farm Fun Tent, a Royal Farmer’s Feast, and farm tour. Don’t miss as well the Great Vermont Grilled Cheese Cook-off, on Friday June 5, at River Garden, on Main Street, a contest with the aim of discovering the best grilled cheese sandwich recipes in Vermont.
More information at: Strolling of the Heifers

June 4-7, 2009 – Vermont Dairy Festival – Enosburg Falls
It’s also dairy festival time at Enosburg Falls, for the 53rd year – a family event with rides for the kids, crafts, baking contest, food vendors including ice cream and cheese, a parade on Saturday and stage entertainment all weekend.
More information at: www.VermontDairyFestival.com.

June 6-7, 2009 – Kid’s Pirate Festival – Lake Champlain Maritime Museum – Vergennes
Who doesn’t like to play pirates? Kids will love to come in costume, participate in activities, including a treasure hunt, enjoy live performances of pirate comedians.
Location: Lake Champlain Maritime Museum, 4472 Basin Harbor Road.
Time: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Cost: adults, $10; youth 5 -17 and under, $6; children under 5, free.
More information at: Lake Champlain Maritime Museum

And last but not least, for the more athletic crowd:

June 4-7, 2009 – 2009 National Life Group VerMontreal Tour – from Burlington to Montreal
As part of the events for the 400th anniversary of Lake Champlain, groups of 40 and 60 cyclists will ride 139 miles in 3 days or 210 miles in 4 days. The journey will take them from South Hero to Montreal, where they will join the 30,000 cyclists, participating in Montreal’s famous day-long Tour de l’Ile. Tour includes fine hotels, full breakfasts, support vans, nightlife, historical and culinary highlights. Note: we are confirming with the organizers that this tour is indeed still happening.
More information at: Local Motion

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maple_sugarhouse_575Spring is in the air and it means it is time to enjoy Vermont maple syrup. There are a few activities taking place throughout the state for all to participate. We just need to hope for cool, freezing nights and warmer days for the next few weeks, for the best maple syrup!

Vermont Maple Open House Weekend – March 27-29 – The big event is the 8th annual Vermont Maple Open House Weekend, March 27-29, 2009. A number of sugarhouses throughout Vermont participate and activities are different at each sugarhouse. You’ll watch maple syrup being made (weather permitting), can taste maple syrup on the snow, see how it is sapped from the trees, and often sample and buy maple products.
More information: List of participating sugarhouses

St. Albans Vermont Maple Festival – March 24-26 – It’s the 43rd annual maple festival in St. Albans, and it is one of the “top 10 winter events” according to the Vermont Chamber of Commerce. This year, there is a special theme to the celebration, for the 400th anniversary of Lake Champlain. The website mentions “Samuel de Champlain was in St. Albans at the time of maple sugaring” which of course could be a stretch of historical facts, as Champlain discovered Lake Champlain in July! But who knows, may be he came back at a later date…
In any case, there are a lot of friendly activities at the festival: pancake breakfast, Fiddlers’ variety show, Vermont maple buffet dinner, “sap run” – an 8.5 mile run, sugarhouse tours, Vermont maple festival parade, antique show, and much more…
More information: Schedule of events

Lunenburg Maple Festival – Lunenberg – March 28 – This is a smaller local event at the Lunenburg Elementary School, but it does offer some of the traditional activities: pancake breakfast, Chicken’N Biscuits supper, tree tapping, and maple syrup making (weather permitting), pie contest, and more.
More information: Top of the Common; Schedule of events

Breakfast at Eaton’s Sugarhouse – Locals know that this is a great place to enjoy breakfast with maple products, all-year-long – right off exit 3, of highway 89, on the east side of the highway. You can even see the place from the highway! Feel free to leave a comment and tell us of other such places, but this is the one we know!

New England Maple Museum – Pittsford – Located on route 7, and open starting mid-March, the museum is promising a trip through over 200 years of maple sugaring, starting with its discovery by Native Americans. Did you know that we owe maple syrup to Native Americans, who had discovered that boiling the tree sap gave a deliciously-tasting syrup? Native Americans were heating rocks on the fire and dropping them in wooden bowls filled with maple sap. The rocks were hot enough to make the sap boil. It was and still is a slow process.
More information: New England Maple Museum

Related articles: Who makes the best maple creemee?

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pumpkinsFoliage in Vermont is still beautiful in a lot of places, and if in some places, the leaves have fallen, you can see “golden lawns” and it’s still spectacular on a sunny week-end day. So, it seems it’s still a week-end to enjoy the outdoors. And, as Halloween is approaching, one fun thing to do is to take part in one of the few pumpkin events throughout the state.

3rd Annual Pumpkin Carving Festival – Manchester – Saturday October 18 – This is a serious thing! The Festival is trying to reconquer its Guinness World’s Record for the place where the most carvers are working at the same time! So 2 pm is the time to be there. There is also the 1st Annual Harvest Dinner, at 6 pm at the Equinox Valley Nursery, with food from local chefs and music.
More information at: 3rd Annual Pumpkin Carving Festival

23rd Annual Pumpkin Festival – Townshend – Saturday October 18 – A day of fun with contests for best decorated pumpkin, best pumpkin pie, best scarecrow, best costume and of course pumpkin pies for sale, and more.
More information at: Townshend Vermont

9th Annual Cabot Apple Pie Festival – Cabot – Saturday October 18 – There will be apple pie contest (enter your pie by 10:30 am) and the group will participate to the state-wide Pumpkin Carving Guinness World’s Record at 2 pm as well. Also apple pies for sale, cider and apple tasting and more.
More information at: Cabot Historical Society

Pumpkin Carving Party – The Haunted Forest – Willington – Saturday October 18 – There is free snacks and a Power Tool Pumpkin Carving Contest at the Haunted Forest this week-end. And of course, you can always come back to one of the Haunted Forest’s performances on October 23-26 and 30-31. The Haunted Forest is listed as one of the Top 10 fall events by the Vermont Chamber of Commerce. It must be quite an experience, as mysterious guides lead the visitors through the Haunted Forest, lit by over 1,000 jack-o’lanterns – an event which “combines outdoor theater, special effects, the magic of the night forest, and the spirit of Halloween to delight audiences of all ages” they say.
More information at: The Haunted Forest

The Enchanted Forest – Hubbard Park, Montpelier – Saturday October 18 – 4 to 8 pm. The Friends of the Parks are promising theater, storytelling, candlelit trails, wagon rides for the kids and more. You can buy tickets in advance at the Montpelier City Hall.
More information at: (802) 223-9500

– And finally, if you are in the Northeast Kingdom, go and visit Ben’s Pumpkins in East Hardwick. He grows 12 varieties of pumpkins – for all tastes and purposes, pie pumpkins, carving pumpkins, giant pumpkins – on the 4 acres of his farm. On an usual year, it’s a total of 4,000 pumpkins he sells, even though this year’s harvest has been somewhat affected by the heavy rains. Where to find him? 824 Pumpkin Lane… of course!

Related article: Enjoy Vermont foliage… differently

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applesColumbus Day week-end is a week-end of apple festivals throughout Vermont – a lot to enjoy in these small or large events.

26th Annual Vermont Apple Festival – Springfield – Saturday October 11 and Sunday October 12. A small local event with 50 crafters and an apple pie baking contest on Sunday. It was listed as one of the Top Ten Fall Events by the Vermont Chamber of Commerce in 2007.
More information at: Springfield Apple Festival

The Fameuse Apple – Chimney Point Historic Site – Addison – Saturday October 11, 2PM. A presentation by the botanist Elizabeth Gilbert on the historic Fameuse apple, planted by the French settlers in the 18th century. Chimney Point is charming, with its view on the lake and the foliage… and we’ll be there!
More information on Chimney Point Historic Site

South Hero Applefest and Craft Show – South Hero – Saturday October 11 and Sunday October 12. They say it’s Vermont’s largest apple festival. Don’t they all say that? No website though…

36th Annual Apples and Crafts Fair – Route 4 – Woodstock – Saturday October 11 and Sunday October 12. Over 100 juried vendors. No website.

Heirloom Apple Day at The Apple Packing Barn – The Scott Farm, Dummerston – Sunday October 12 – The Scott Farm is a land trust USA property and they grow more than 70 varieties of the Heirlom apple from around the world. They open their packing barn every Columbus week-end for this event. There is free tasting of heirloom apples baked and squeezed and presentations of the apple history at 10 am, noon and 2 pm.
More information at: Scott Farm – apple tasting days

Dummerston Apple Pie Festival – Dummerston Congregational Church – Dummerston Center – Sunday October 12 – Also in Dummerston, this event has been taking place for more than 40 years… and it is one of the Top Ten Fall Events by the Vermont Chamber of Commerce this year. From 9 am until everything is sold out, you can buy a piece of pie or the whole pie. They make more than1500 apple pies! They also serve Vermont cheddar cheese, homemade ice cream, cider, coffee, donuts. No website.

Well, I hope you love apples!
The weather and foliage is definitely perfect this week-end to drive around. Enjoy!
Related articles:
Sunset on Historic Chimney Point
Vermont Scenic Drives – Route 17

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Vermont Granite Museum - BarreWith Fall approaching, the buzz here in Vermont is definitely about foliage, but we’ll have a special article on foliage activities in the next few days.
For this week-end, still lots of things to do for the pleasure of all:

11th annual Barre Granite Festival – Barre – Saturday September 13, 10am – 3pm – Stone carving, music, history lectures, photography exhibit, Chicken BBQ lunch, tours of the Hope Cemetery are all on the program! We are definitely going to check it out! Afterall, people come to Barre from far away to see the delightful granite sculptures of the Hope Cemetery and the granite quarries. And Barre is – to our knowledge – the only Vermont county with a published article in National Geography!
More information at: Vermont Granite Museum – Granite Festival

7th Annual Small Farms Food Fest and apple picking – Shelburne Orchards – Sunday September 14, 11am – 5pm – You can enjoy 80 acres of apple trees, 10 acres of which have organic apples, you can enjoy the panoramic views of Lake Champlain, and you can enjoy the special activities on that Fest day: live music, haybale maze and special foods. Sounds like a fun Sunday afternoon!
More information at: Shelburne Orchards and Small Farms Food Fest

14th Annual Burlington Latino Festival – Burlington – September 10-14 – Lots of Latino music. The main event is Saturday 13, at the Boathouse, downtown Burlington, starting at 10am, with music bands from 6pm to 10:00pm and even a boat cruise on the Spirit of Ethan Allen III at 10:30pm to 12:30am!
More information at: Burlington Latino Festival

42nd Annual Bennington Car Show – Bennington – September 12-14 – 100 acres of antique and muscle cars for antique cars’ lovers!
More information at: 42nd Annual Bennington Car Show

Puppets in the Green Mountains – 10 locations in Bellows Falls, Putney, and Brattleboro – September 12-21 – Looks like an amazing event. It is the 6th edition of this international festival of puppet theater, with 8 groups from 7 countries – Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, France, Sweden, Taiwan, and Vermont – 22 performances in total!
More information at: Puppets in the Green Mountains

Vermont Humanities Council events – Windsor – Sunday September 14 at 3pm – For history lovers like me, the Vermont Humanities Council is presenting 400 Miles Down the Connecticut River by Michael Tougias, author of fourteen books about New England.
More information at: Vermont Humanities

Lake Champlain through the lens – Lake Champlain Maritime Museum – September 6 to October 29 – A juried photography exhibit with participating professional and amateur photographers. Admission is included in the admission to the museum.
More information at: Lake Champlain through the lens

Hey, don’t forget to write to us with your comments!

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