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art_walk_575This article is a special contribution from local artist Mary Adamsian, exhibiting at the Lazy Pear Gallery.

Montpelier Art Walk takes place on Friday March 27th from 4:00pm – 8:00pm!
We hope you’ll join the creative community in celebrating some of the finest artists and craftspeople that New England has to offer. With fifteen art venues ranging from galleries, restaurants, stores and government buildings. This is an event not to be missed.
Expand your visual senses and share your opinions and ideas with others… Meet the artists that create the works you’ll experience…
This event does coincide with the Green Mountain Film Festival. Why not journey to the fun artistic locations around Montpelier between the assorted movie venues?
Art walk booklets, listing participating venues, the featured artists, and coupons to local restaurants can be picked up at all the participating locations around Montpelier.

The participating locations are:

On State Street:

  • Vermont Arts Council Spotlight Gallery & Sculpture Gallery – 136 State Street
  • Vermont State House: Cafeteria (closed at 4:30)
  • Vermont Supreme Court Lobby (until 7pm) – 111 State Street
  • Governor’s Office, Pavilion (until 7pm) – 109 State Street
  • Positive Pie 2 – 22 State Street
  • Afterimage Photography – 26 State Street
  • Vermont Trading Company – 27 State Street
  • Capitol Grounds – 27 State Street
  • Phoenix Rising – 34 State Street
  • Salaam – 40 State Street
  • Restaurant Phoebe (4pm – 6pm) – 52 State Street

On Main Street:

  • The Lazy Pear Gallery – 154 Main Street
  • Kellogg – Hubbard Library (4 pm to 5:30pm) – 135 Main Street
  • Green Mountain Medicinals Herb Shop – 104 Main Street (2nd floor)
  • Art Resource Association: City Center – 89 Main Street
  • Artisans Hand Craft Gallery – 89 Main Street
  • La Brioche – 89 Main Street
  • Bear Pond Books – 77 Main Street
  • Montpelier City Hall Plaza – 39 Main Street
  • Rhapsody – 28 Main Street
  • The Drawing Board – 22 Main Street

On Langdon Street:

  • Langdon Street Cafe – 4 Langdon Street
  • Global Gifts – 7 Langdon Street
  • The Shoe Horn – 8 Langdon Street
  • Buch Spieler – 27 Langdon Street

Others:

  • The Cheshire Cat – 28 Elm Street
  • TW Wood Gallery – 36 College Street

Come and see!

For more information on the artists exhibiting: The Lazy Pear Gallery
Related article2009 Vermont Film Festivals – Line-ups

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green_mountain_film_festival_575This week is the Green Mountain Film Festival… But we are taking the opportunity to also bring you information on other film festivals or film series throughout the state of Vermont this year. After all, the ski season is almost over, and spring is not quite here yet. It’s the perfect time to go to the movies!

12th Annual Green Mountain Film Festival – March 20-29 – Montpelier
Hundreds of screenings. A very interesting selection of movies in several avenues.
See the complete list of movies with dates of the screenings, summaries, and links to reviews. Make sure to buy tickets early, some movies are already sold out.
Locations: Savoy Theater, City Hall Arts Center and Kellogg-Hubbard Library
Official website:  Green Mountain Film Festival

Reel Paddling Film Festival – April 4 – Colchester – 8pm
The Reel Paddling Film Festival is showing the best paddling films of the year from around the world.
Location: McCarthy Recital Hall – St. Michael’s College
More information at: Reel Paddling Film Festival – Vermont

Hirschfield International Film Series – Middlebury – April – May
The 2008-2009 Film Series still has some showings in April. You can see these films on Saturdays at 3pm and 8pm.
Upcoming showings:
April 4: The Band’s Visit (Israel, 2007, 87 minutes) – Winner 2008 Un Certain Regard – Jury Coup de Coeur, Cannes; Winner 2007 European Film Award; Winner 2007 Grand Prix at Warsaw International Film Festival. In English, Arabic, and Hebrew.
April 11: Zodiac (US, 2007, 158 minutes) – Nominated 2007 Golden Palm, Cannes.
April 18: City of Men (Brazil, 2007, 110 minutes) – Nominated for 2008 Cinema Brazil Grand Prize. In Portuguese with English subtitles.
April 25: Syndromes and a Century (Thailand, 2006, 105 minutes) – 2007 Winner at the Asian Film Awards; Nominated 2006 Golden Lion, Venice Film Festival. In Thai with English subtitles.
May 2: Duchess of Langeais (France, 2007, 137 minutes) – Nominated 2007 Golden Berling Bear, Berlin International Film Festival.
Location: Middlebury College’s Dana Auditorium on College Street
Cost: free
More information: Middlebury – Calendar of Events 2009

Central Asian Cinema Film Series – Asian Cultural Center of Vermont – West Brattleboro
A pretty amazing program of movies on Central Asia. Who would have thought that you could view so many movies about Central Asia in Vermont?
These are feature movies, subtitled in English, preceded by a short introduction and followed by a discussion.
It is a little difficult to identify the movies on the events page of the website, as 2007, 2008 and 2009 events are all mixed together on the page.
Here is the list of the upcoming showings.

white-mountains-kyrgyz-movie-75Saturday, March 28, 2009 – 5pm
The White Mountains, a film from Kyrgyzstan by Melis Ubukeev
(62 minutes, 1998, subtitles)

 

land-of-the-fathers-movie-75Saturday, April 4, 2009 – 5pm
The Land of the Fathers, a film from Kazakhstan by Shaken Aimanov
(85 minutes, 1966)

 

aksuat-movie-75Tuesday, April 7, 2009 – 6pm
Aksuat, a film from Kazakhstan by Serik Aprimov
(80 minutes, 1997)

 

little-angel-movie-75Tuesday, May 5, 2009 – 6pm
Little Angel, Make me Happy, a film from Turkmenistan
(88 minutes, 1993)

 

daughter-in-law-movie-75Saturday, May 9 – 5pm
Daughter-in-law, a film from Turkmenistan
(75 minutes, 1963)

 

kosh-ba-kosh-movie-75Tuesday, June 16, 2009 – 6pm
Kosh Ba Kosh, a film from Tajikistan
(1993, 98 minutes)

 

hasan-arbakesh-movie-75Tuesday June 30, 2009 – 5pm
Hasan – Arbakesh, a film from Tajikistan
(1965, 91 minutes)

 

the-orator-uzbek-movie-75Tuesday, July 7, 2009 – 6pm
The Orator, a film from Uzbekistan
(90 minutes, 1998)

 

youarenotanorphan-movie-75Saturday, July 11, 2009 – 5pm
You are not an Orphan, a film from Uzbekistan
(75 minutes, 1963)

 

beshkempir-kyrgyz-movie-75Tuesday, August 11, 2009 – 6pm
Beshkempir, a film from Kyrgyzstan by Aktan Abdykalykov
(77 minutes, 1998, subtitles)

Location: 814 Western Avenue, West Brattleboro
More information  and story lines at: Asian Cultural Center of Vermont – Events

2nd Annual Vermont Samurai Kaiju Film Festival – October 23-25, 2009 – Brattleboro area theatres
A festival of Samurai and Kaiju films in Japanese. Kaiju, in Japanese, means ‘mysterious beast’ and refers to a film genre that started in the 50s. The Samurais are Japanese warriors. Schedule to be announced
More information at: Vermont Samurai Kaiju

Other film series or film festivals we missed – we’ll bring them to you next year… promised!

Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour – February 2009 – Burlington
The World Tour brings a selection of around 30 of the best outdoor life films from the Banff Film Festival.
More information at: Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour

Stowe Mountain Film Series – December to March 2009 – Stowe
Stowe Mountain Resort brings you a number of films on skiing.
Main location: Spruce Base Camp, Stowe Mountain Resort
More information at: Vermont Ski Museum events

Women’s Film Festival – Brattleboro – March 13-22, 2009
An annual festival of documentaries and feature films made mainly by women, highlighting women’s lives around the world and telling women’s stories.
It was the 18th year of that festival. Proceeds go to the Women’s Crisis Center of Windham County.
Locations: Three downtown locations close to Brattleboro’s Amtrak station.
More information at: Women’s Film Festival

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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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Brookfield floating bridge in winter Photo: Courtesy of John Hughes, photographer.

Post-event note: It is 1 pm as I am writing this and would like to alert readers that the event has ended early, as the ice was not safe for competitions today…
Saturday January 31 – 10:30 am to 2 pm – It’s ice harvesting in Brookfield, Vermont. It is the 30th year that this traditional event takes place and it is one of the last ice harvest festivals in New England. It is also one of the Top Ten Winter 2008/09 Events, according to the Vermont Chamber of Commerce. There will be demonstrations and competitions, ice cutting, ice sculpting, dog sledding, food and more. We are trying to get more information on the exact timing of the various events. Stay Posted! And for more details, you can read the 2001 The Herald article which describes nicely how the ice is prepared for harvesting for several weeks and how it is carried to the ice house.
We had lots of fresh snow in the past couple of days, so the scenery should be spectacular, but dress warm because it is going to be on the chilly side (14F; 0F with the wind chill factor). We’ll definitely be there with our camera!
Note: If you are interested in the history of ice harvesting, don’t miss the ice house at the Justin Morrill Homestead, a Vermont historic site in Strafford, and its exhibit on ice harvesting, including some interesting old photographs. The site is not open in the winter though.

Related article: Brookfield: its Unique Floating Bridge
More information on Brookfield Ice Harvest Festival
at:
802-276-3959

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Cross-country skiing and horse-led sleigh at Mountain Top InnPhoto: Courtesy of Mountain Top Inn.
The 14th annual Winter Trails (Saturday January 10) is the occasion to snowshoe and cross-country ski for free in some Vermont ski resorts! It is actually a North-American event (100 locations in the US and Canada), to encourage people to try the sports, but in some of the resorts, everyone gets the opportunity to ski or snowshoe for free.
Here is the list of participating ski resorts and their activities:

Blueberry Hill Inn & Cross Country Ski Center, Goshen – January 10 – 10 am to 4 pm – Cross-country skiing is from 11 am to 1 pm and from 2 pm to 4 pm. First-time skiers can rent the equipment, take a group lesson and try the trails – all for free. Snowshoeing is from 10 am to noon and from 1 pm to 3 pm. People new to the sport can rent the equipment, have an introduction and hike in the woods for free.
More information at: Blueberry hill Inn Cross Country Ski Center

Bolton Valley Nordic Center, Bolton Valley – January 11 – 10 am to 2 pm – First-time skiers get free rental and free ski pass.
Careful: it’s Sunday January 11 at Bolton, not January 10!
More information at: Bolton Valley Events

Catamount Outdoor Family Center, Williston – January 10 – 10 am to 3 pm with a moon light snowshoe tour ($10, only adults) at 8 pm followed by hot chocolate and cookies! Free trail passes and sledding, free ski and snowshoe rentals for everyone all day… and raffle for Darn Tough socks.
More information at: Catamount Outdoor
Full schedule at: Catamount Outdoor Winter Trails schedule

Craftsbury Outdoor Center, Craftsbury – January 10 – 9 am to 4 pm – Rentals and trail passes are free for everyone all day, both for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. There is an introductory cross-country group lesson at 1:30 pm.
More information on Craftsbury Outdoor Center at: Craftsbury Outdoor Center

Highland Lodge Nordic Center, Greensboro – January 10 – 1 pm to closing – Free snowshoeing and skiing trail passes and rentals for first-timers. There is also a Full Moon Snowshoe Walk at 9 pm free, with free hot chocolate after the walk. Just call ahead to sign up. (802) 533-2647.
More information at: Highland Lodge Nordic Center Events

Mountain Top Inn & Resort Nordic Ski & Snowshoe Center, Chittenden, Rutland County – January 10 – 10 am to 2 pm – Children and adults new to the sports of cross-country skiing and snowshoeing receive a complimentary trail pass and free rentals for the day. And if you’ve read our article on “the best ski resorts are in Vermont”, you know that Mountain Top Inn has been voted one of the Top 10 ski resorts for romantic cross-country skiers in North-America by MSNBC in 2006!
More information at: Mountain Top Inn Events

Ole’s Cross Country Ski Center, Warren – January 10 – 1 pm to closing – Beginners who mention the Winter Trails event get a 1-hour trail pass, ski rental and ½ hour “try-it” lesson (at 2 pm) – all for free.
More information at: Ole’s Cross Country Ski Center Events

Sleepy Hollow Inn, Ski & Bike Center, Huntington – January 10 – 9 am to 4 pm – People new to the sports of cross-country skiing and snowshoeing receive a free trail pass and free rental.
More on the Ski Center: Sleepy Hollow Inn

Smugglers’ Notch Resort Nordic Ski and Snowshoe Adventure Center, Smugglers’ Notch – January 10 – Noon to 4 pm – Free rentals and short instructional sessions for first-time snowshoers and cross country skiers. Smugglers’ Adventure Center has 34 kilometers of cross-country trails and 24 kilometers of dedicated snowshoe trails!
More information at: Smugglers’ Notch winter events

Woodstock Inn & Resort, Woodstock – January 10 – 1 pm to 3 pm – Free passes, free rentals and a 15-minute instructional session for first-time snowshoers and cross country skiers. More information at: Woodstock Inn & Resort Nordic Center, 802-457-6674

We hope you all get out and try! Snow should be great, with the new snow we are getting today.

Post-scriptum: Ski Vermont is also organizing an event for first-time skiers and riders this week (January 4-11). Free lessons, rentals and limited-beginner lift tickers are offered in over a dozen Vermont ski resorts. More information and to sign up: Ski Vermont learn to ski

 

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New Year fireworksNote: This is a 2008 article which we will update in a few days.

Vermont is celebrating New Year’s Eve with First Night events, fireworks and torchlight parades throughout the state. We’ll gather here information on all towns and ski resorts’ celebrations.
First Night events happen throughout the US. They feature a number of artists in a number of venues. In Vermont, Burlington, Montpelier and St. Johnsbury have First Night’s celebrations planned for you. First Night Montpelier has even been voted a Top 10 Winter 2008-2009 Event by the Vermont Chamber of Commerce.

First Night Burlington – Downtown Burlington – Wednesday December 31, 2008 – Noon to midnight
The complete schedule of the indoor performances is at www.firstnightburlington.com. Outdoors, the annual parade will take place at 6 pm on Church Street. It is a special parade this year for the beginning of a year of celebrations for the 400-year anniversary of Lake Champlain, in commemoration of Samuel de Champlain’s exploration of the lake, to which he gave his name. The parade will be led by the Abenaki Community and will have the theme “400 years together – The Lake, the Land and the People”. Then, the official kick-off of the Quadricentennial Celebrations will take place in front of the City Hall at 7 pm. Fireworks will be 7:30 pm and midnight at Burlington Waterfront.
More information at: www.firstnightburlington.com
Live webcam on Church Street

First Night Montpelier – Montpelier – Wednesday December 31, 2008 – Noon to midnight
Like in Burlington, you can enjoy many artist performances, music, dance, theater, storytelling and magic, plus children’s activities, and more. From noon to 3 pm, you can cross-country ski at Morse Farm or ice skate at the Central Vermont Civic Center. There is a 5K race at 3 pm, and the performances are from 3 pm to 8 pm at various venues. Parade and fireworks are at 8 pm. Finally, starting at 9 pm, the Dance Party and Midnight Countdown is at the City Hall auditorium with The Chrome Cowboys.
For the full schedule, visit: First Night Montpelier

First Night St. Johnsbury – St. Johnsbury – Wednesday December 31, 2008 – 4 pm to midnight
Around 50 performances at various venues, music, dance, magic, children’s activities and more. Outdoors, fireworks are at midnight at the Academy gym, and they will raise a lighted ball!
More information at: First Night St. Johnsbury

And there are more fireworks at your various ski resorts as well.

Bolton Valley – Wednesday December 31, 2008 – 8:30 pm kick-off
There will be a torchlight parade followed by fireworks. New Year’s Eve fireworks will be against the backdrop of Bolton Valley. Both events can be best viewed from the base lodge.
See: New Year’s Eve fireworks

Jay Peak Resort – Wednesday December 31, 2008 – 9 pm
New Year’s Eve fireworks will be shot off on The Interstate Trail, which is on the Tramside of the resort at 9pm.
More information at: Jay Peak Resort Events

Smugglers’ Notch – Wednesday December 31, 2008 – 11:45 pm
Beginning at 11:45 pm, there will be a bonfire on the Village Green near the Gazebo and a fireworks display against the backdrop of Morse Mountain.
See: Smugglers’ Notch winter vacations

Stowe – Wednesday December 31, 2008 – 7 pm
New Year’s Eve fireworks start at 7pm at Spruce Peak. The best place to view them is from the new Spruce Camp base lodge.
See: New Year’s Eve fireworks

Stratton Mountain Resort – Wednesday December 31, 2008 – 8:45 pm
New Year’s Eve fireworks and torchlight parade are starting at 8:45 p.m. in the Main Base Area.
More information at: New Year’s Eve at Stratton

Sugarbush Resort – Wednesday December 31, 2008 – 6:45 pm
There are also fireworks and a torchlight parade at Sugarbush for New Year’s Eve.
See: New Year’s Eve fireworks and torchlight parade

And finally,

There is fireworks and ice skating at midnight at the Hawk Mountain Resort in Plymouth, for New Year’s Eve.
See: Hawk Mountain Resort – Holiday Events 

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Christmas concert

Note: This is the 2008 article. Check our 2009 article on Handel’s Messiah concerts.

Christmas is not quite Christmas without the joy of listening to Handel’s most famous creation, the Messiah, written in 1741 and still played every Christmas all around the world.
For the Vermont Philharmonic, it will be the 50th anniversary of performing the Messiah but there are several other groups playing this beautiful music throughout the state of Vermont this Christmas.
Montpelier – Friday December 5th, 2008 at 7:30 pm – Saint Augustine Church – and in Barre – Sunday December 7th, 2008 at 3:30 pm – Barre Opera HouseVermont Philharmonic performs the Messiah with guest conductor Brian Webb.
More information at: Vermont Philharmonic
Brattleboro – Saturday December 6th, 2008 at 1 pm – 38th Annual Community Messiah Sing – Centre Congregational Church. Conductor Patty Meyer, organist Bill McKim, and trumpeter Charlie Schneeweis will perform with 4 soloists and more than 300 singers will join in the choruses. It is a fund raising event for the homeless.
More information at: Friends of music at Guilford
Wells River – Saturday December 6th, 2008 at 7:30 pm – 61st Annual Christmas Concert – Congregational Church – Soloists, orchestra and chorus of the North Country Chorus, all under the direction of Alan Rowe will perform the Messiah.
More information at: North Country Chorus
Peacham – Sunday December 7th, 2008 at 3:00 pm – Congregational Church – The North Country Chorus will perform there.
More information at: North Country Chorus
Rutland – Sunday December 7th, 2008 at 3:30 pm and 7:00 pm – Grace Congregational Church – The annual performance of Handel’s Messiah will take place in the beautifully decorated sanctuary.
More information at: (802) 775-4301.
Burlington – Ira Allen Chapel at the University of Vermont – Tuesday December 9th, 2008 at 7:30 pm – It is the annual Handel’s Messiah Sing-along lead by David Neiweem with a chorus of students and enthusiasts. For the first time this year, they will be accompanied by the University Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Michael Hopkins. Free admission.
More information at: University of Vermont
– Middlebury – Sunday December 21st, 2008 at 2 pm – Middlebury Congregational ChurchA sing-along led by Jeff Rehbach, conductor of the Middlebury College Community Chorus.
More information at: Middlebury College – Annual Messiah Sing
Stowe – Monday December 22nd, 2008 at 7:30 pm – 17th Annual Handel’s Messiah Community Sing – Stowe Community Church – It’s also a sing-along with the soloists and the 20-piece orchestra.
More information at: Go Stowe
And finally,
Arlington – Sundary December 28th, 2008 at 3 pm – 6th Annual Messiah Sing-along – St. James Episcopal Church – See comment below the article for more information.
Also visit their website: St. James Episcopal Church

Enjoy the music!

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ThanksgivingThanksgiving is about great food and family fun. For this festive time, we’ve tried to find some fun things to eat and to do in Vermont. Here are our top choices:
1- Forget all the hard work and try one of these restaurants… if you are in Southern Vermont. I am relying on this article of Suzanne Donahue, who is suggesting three local restaurants with nice food and wonderful settings: the Four Chimneys Restaurant in Bennington; Arlington Inn in Arlington and the Ye Olde Tavern in Manchester Center. Let us know what you think!
2- Discover the 19th century traditions of Thanksgiving at the Billings Farm and Museum. Enjoy a visit with costumed guides and watch their demonstration of the preparation of a traditional 19th century Thanksgiving meal in the 1890 Farm House.
3- Sunday November 30, 7 pm, at the Unitarian Church of Montpelier. Attend a Gospel Choir concert in Montpelier… in the spirit of the Holidays. “The gospel choir and band combines soul, jazz, original and traditional gospel music to produce an exuberant sound”, they promise us.
4- Saturday November 29, 11 am in Randolph. Be kids again… or bring your grand-children to a delightful marionette show. The show “The Hobbit” is the newest production of the No Strings Marionette Company. The reviews are great!
5- Indulge with chocolate turkeys (for something new): Lake Champlain Chocolates has them for you.
6- Personally I prefer cheese to chocolate! Why not make your Thanksgiving supper special and discover some of Vermont artisan cheeses for the occasion? See our recent article for a list of Vermont award-winning cheeses.
7- And if you are in Putney, take part in the 30th annual Putney Crafts Tour, which happens there every Thanksgiving Week-end. The Vermont Shepherd cheese company is just one of the 27 participating “artists”!
8- And last, but not least, get some special wine for this Thanksgiving celebration. It seems that this “poor girl gourmet” blogger knows her wine and she is recommending the Apple Maple Wine and Cassis Wine from Putney Mountain Winery for Thanksgiving. Why not try it?

And on this note, happy, happy Thanksgiving to you all!

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Samuel de Champlain - battle against Iroquois - Ticonderoga 1609
At 7pm tonight, October 24th, at the Vergennes Opera House, is the film premiere of “Champlain – the Lake Between” by filmmaker Caro Thompson. Samuel de Champlain seems to be quite a celebrity these days here in Vermont but also in Quebec and in New York State. 400 years ago, when he traveled these regions, he probably did not imagine he would be so popular centuries later… As Quebec celebrates the 400th anniversary of the founding of Quebec city by Samuel de Champlain and as New York and Vermont prepare to celebrate the anniversary of the discovery of Lake Champlain by the French explorer next year, a lot is being written and discussed on this subject: conferences, movies and documentaries, books…
Tonight, Caro Thompson explores Samuel de Champlain’s legacy, the relationships between Natives and Europeans (the fur trade was essential to both the French and the Natives) and the history of the military forts (Lake Champlain was indeed a very strategic region at the time of New France). “The lake between” is the name native Americans had given to the lake… There will be a discussion with the filmmaker and reception. The documentary will also be broadcasted on Vermont Public Television, with a broadcast premiere on December 3, 2008, at 8pm.
More information at: Vergennes Opera House – Film premiere of “Champlain – The Lake Between”

In the past few weeks, there have been other events of interests, a recent conference in Vergennes on first contacts between Europeans and Natives, a presentation at Champlain College by the historian Willard Sterne Randall, TV programs on Quebec television, articles in Quebec newspapers and the New York Times… but if you missed them, you still have a chance to be part of this discovery experience.

Here are a few events to watch for:
– October 30 in Albany, Pulitzer prize winner David Hackett Fischer is presenting his new book: “Champlain’s Dream”. A superb book!
Details at: “Champlain’s Dream” – Book presentation
– July 2-5, 2009: Champlain College is organizing an international symposium called: “When the French were here”.
Details at: Champlain College – “When the French were here” – Conference
– And right here at Travel-Vermont.net, we are organizing a summer 2009 historic tour “When this land was called New France…” … 6 days of historic exploration of this beautiful region (Quebec, Vermont and New York State)… Samuel de Champlain’s explorations, the way French settlers lived here, the forts and military actions… in English or in French… In partnership with Ipswich Tours and History Traveler, the official travel organization of the History Channel, and one of the events of the Quadricentennial of Lake Champlain.
More details at:When this land was called New France“.

Related articles:
– Middlebury College’s professor Christopher Shaw has canoed the path taken by Samuel de Champlain this summer.
Read his September 26 article in the New York Times: Champlain’s Shores
– In the Boston Globe, March 9, 2008: “Champlain was here” … on the exploration of the coast of New England, all the way down to Cape Cod
– In the Times Argus, March 16, 2008: “A bold arrival, an obscure end for French in Vermont”
“Champlain names his lake”, a presentation by historian Willard Sterne Randall, from the Champlain College will air soon on Channel17 TownMeeting in streaming video. Check: Town Meeting Digital Television Conversion
– You can already see a presentation he did on Jacques Cartier and French explorers at: “Jacques Cartier and fool’s gold”
– The documentary “Facing Champlain, A Work in 3 Dimensions” by award-winning Quebec filmmaker Jean-François Pouliot can be seen at the Centre d’interprétation de Place-Royale in Quebec city
Details at: Centre d’interprétation de Place-Royale
– Map of Samuel de Champlain’s voyages
Lake Champlain… New France

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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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