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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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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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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.

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Marlboro Music FestivalThis posting is becoming a weekly tradition, I guess…
I hope you like it.
There seems to be a lot of music played these days in Vermont. Hey, it’s summer and concerts are mainly outdoors, it’s wonderful… except when we get pouring rain like last week-end… oups!
It reminds me that we want to give you some ideas of “summer concerts on the green” – stay tuned for this upcoming posting!
But for now, this week-end, what caught our attention:
Vermont Mozart Festival is still happening (the full schedule is on our Event Calendar page). There are more concerts to attend this week-end in one of the beautiful places the Festival chooses to play at: Friday night July 25, at the Barre Opera House (in-door) and outdoors on Saturday July 26 and Sunday July 27, concerts at Shelburne and at Stowe. We are planning to attend 2 of them… and praying for sunny weather;
Vermont Summer Festival Horseshow – 3nd week-end of competition at East Dorset; Photographers: remember you can participate to a digital photography contest (see last week’s posting);
11th Annual Green Mountain Antiques Show & Sale in Woodstock – We have not been there, but I am guessing that the event could be reasonably big, it’s in Woodstock afterall and it’s the 11th year they have it! For information, call 802-484-5942;
– The Green Mountain Chamber Festival is having concerts for the whole month of July. Friday night July 25 is a faculty concert “Immortal Beethoven” in Burlington. Should be nice!
– And more chamber music at Marlboro Music, Marlboro College – We are intrigued by this series of concerts, which seems to get great reviews. The Time 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” – this week-end, Saturday night July 26 and Sunday afternoon July 27… we’ll try to go!
Harp concert, Heidi Soons, the principal harpist of the Vermont Symphony Orchestra – Salisbury Congregational Church, Salisbury, this Friday July 25; For information, call 802-352-6671;
– The Vermont Arts Council has noted this special exhibit in Dorset, “It’s all about Marble: Dorset marble heritage” on the history of Dorset Quarries and its marble industry. Only Sunday afternoon July 27;
– and for something less serious, of course the Harpoon Brewery BBQ competition is Saturday July 26 and Sunday July 27 in Windsor. Well, we like the arts, but we also like fun, so we’ll be there Sunday evening!
– And last but not least, this Saturday July 26, for the sportive crowd (very fit crowd!), it’s the 5th Annual Onion River Century Ride – 100 kms or 110 miles biking ride.

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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Swimming - LakeThere are lots of fun things to do in Vermont in the summer. Here is for starters:
– Go to one of the 89 swimming holes – ponds and rivers – listed on this website. Make sure to watch their slideshow, it gives you a great idea of the look of the different places (names are on the photos). Great for a hot day!
– Go to one of many outdoor concerts of the Vermont Mozart Festival or the Lake Champlain Bluegrass Festival;
– Watch antique cars at the 51st Annual Antique & Classic Car Meet, in Stowe on August 8-10;
– Eat a maple cremee: you got to have one if you are in Vermont in the summer… Make sure you get the ones made with real maple syrup and not just the flavor! We’ll give you some addresses soon, but for now, let’s mention Morse Farm, up County Road, near Montpelier, that’s the place everyone knows;
– Go to the Harpoon Brewery BBQ competition in Windsor on July 26-27; 40 teams from all the country will compete!
– Get a Vermont Brewery Challenge – Official Passport and visit all 18 great micro-breweries in the state of Vermont; Get a stamp at each and you can win prizes!
– Go and watch the Challenge Race at the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum, near Vergennes on July 20; it’s a 3-mile race of around 50 small boats. Should be fun. Around 200 spectators usually attend. And may be even more fun, on Saturday 19 (today!) there is a duct tape boat construction and race there!
– Attend your first Thunder Road night in Barre (not NASCAR racing but close!) – every Thursday and occasionally on week-ends;
– And if you are into American Revolution history, go to one of the reenactments/encampments which take place at different historic sites along the summer: the Battle of Hubbardton early July, Mount Independence encampment this week-end, Bennington in August…
What do you think? Fun enough?… Anything fun we should add to this list, leave us a comment and tell us about it!!

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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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Harpoon brewery
Note: In 2009, the dates for this competition are July 25 and 26.

The 2008 dates are July 26th and 27th. And it definitely seems like great fun. Nothing less than 40 teams are competing and they are coming from everywhere in New England and as far as Texas. But if you want to participate as a competitor, you’ll have to wait until next year, because all the competing spots are already filled. So when the weather is warm and a cold beer and nice BBQ seem like the best thing you get, we imagine that Harpoon Brewery BBQ competition must be the place to be. We’ll be there for sure and we suspect this could become one of our favorite summer events in Vermont. It should make our upcoming Vermont Top Summer Events list if it lives to its expectation. One thing for sure is Harpoon Brewery – one of the top micro-breweries here in Vermont – always seem to have the greatest ideas for fun and well-organized events! We were already there a couple of week-ends ago for the 150-mile bike race (all the way from Boston to Windsor where their headquarters are!), and despite the heavy rain at the end of the afternoon, we definitely enjoyed seeing all these great athletes arriving at the site and sharing a nice cold beer with us! (Yep, we were the lazy ones, just there for the beer!). As usually, if you attend this event in July, we would love to know what you think about it!
More on Harpoon Brewery BBQ competition.

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vermont culinary classic

10 days of delightful gastronomy experience in the Stowe area! You cannot miss it if you enjoy food and wine. You can taste wines, beers, cheeses or all-natural chocolates, learn to make bagels, take a 2-hour cooking class with Vermont 2007 Chef of the Year Michael Kloeti, have a “farmer’s lunch”, visit cheese farms and have a “cheese dinner”, enjoy some fancy dinners all made with local farmers’ products, etc. The list of events and activities is almost endless! The brochure for the program includes location and prices for each event. Some are pricy but I am sure everyone can find something to enjoy. Don’t wait, the kick-off is today!
And don’t hesitate to give us your comments on your favorite event!
For more information, visit their website: www.vermontculinaryclassic.com or download their brochure at: http://www.vermontculinaryclassic.com/2008Brochure.pdf
Related post: Waterbury award-winning restaurants

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