Vermont Arts: Amid Farms and Fields, World-Class Culture Flourishes

When conjuring a mental snapshot of Vermont, the pastoral landscape is often top of mind. Intrinsically tied to the land however, is an unassuming, and often unexpected wealth of inspired artisans and world-class arts venues. The Burlington, Lake Champlain and Green Mountain regions offer up a multitude of arts opportunities for every level of interest: from dabblers to pros, makers to collectors.

Today, Vermont’s downtowns and off-the-beaten-path arts hubs, shops and cafes offer a cultural immersion that is equal parts pride and pleasure. While Vermont is well known for its local beer and farm-to-plate offerings, it’s also home to a disproportionately high number of galleries, exhibition halls as well as unconventional venues and impromptu, pop-up arts offerings.

According to 2012 U.S. Census, Vermont ranks third in the nation for artists as a percentage of the workforce, second for fine artists and writers, and eighth for both musicians and photographers.

Both the breadth and depth of talented Vermont artists and the events that take place with the Green Mountains or Lake Champlain as their backdrops wholly enrich Vermont experiences.

Adding to the accolades, Vermont was recently named the “Artsiest State,” in the nation based on Artists Frame Service rankings of the state’s number of artists, museums and funding per capita. Even better yet, this wealth of talent is readily accessible! In Vermont, you can immerse yourself in the arts: learn directly from potters, painters, woodworkers and song-writers. There are hidden gems of live local music, galleries, museums and vintage art collections to explore as well as hands-on experiences and festivals.

The huge presence of the arts and artists are undeniably part of what has carved out this creative and welcoming, dance-to-your-own beat culture. The arts should – and arguably do – have the same allure as the state’s beloved landscape, its beer-food culture, its fall foliage and skiing.

Come see for yourself and be inspired to partake in Vermont arts!
Galleries
Brickhouse Studios
http://www.brickhousestudios.com
Burlington City Arts/Firehouse Center for Visual Arts
http://www.burlingtoncityarts.com
Island Arts
http://www.islandarts.org
Grand Isle Art Works & Zach’s Cafe at the Gallery
www.grandisleartworks.com
Theater
Flynn Center for the Performing Arts
www.flynncenter.org
Lyric Theatre Company
www.lyrictheatrevt.org
Main Street Landing
http://www.mainstreetlanding.com
Saint Michael’s College Playhouse
www.smcvt.edu
University of Vermont Lane Series
www.uvm.edu
Vermont Shakespeare Company
www.vermontshakespeare.org
Vermont Stage Company
www.vermontstage.org
Museums & Arts Events Venues
Birds of Vermont Museum
http://www.birdsofvermont.org
Burlington Farmer’s Market
www.burlingtonfarmersmarket.org
Champlain Islands Farmers’ Market
www.champlainislandsfarmersmarket.com
ECHO Lake Aquarium & Science Center
http://www.echovermont.org
Ethan Allen Homestead Museum & Historic Site
http://www.ethanallenhomestead.org
Fleming Museum of Art
http://www.flemingmuseum.org
Islands Center for Art & Recreation
802.372.8400
Lake Champlain Maritime Museum at Basin Harbor
http://www.lcmm.org
New England Via Vermont
http://www.newenglandviavermont.net
Painting with Payton
http://www.paintingwithpayton.com
Shelburne Museum
http://www.shelburnemuseum.org
Vermont Granite Museum
www.granitemuseum.org
Arts & “Made in Vermont” Tours & Attractions
Ben & Jerry’s – Ice Cream Factory Tour
http://www.benjerry.com
Breakaway Farm
http://www.breakaway-farm.com
Burlington Brew Tours
http://www.burlingtonbrewtours.com
Burlington Edible History Tour
http://www.burlingtonediblehistory.com
Ethan Allen Homestead Museum & Historic Site
http://www.ethanallenhomestead.org
Fleming Museum of Art
http://www.flemingmuseum.org
Keurig Green Mountain Coffee Visitors Center
http://www.gmcr.com
Lake Champlain Chocolates
www.lakechamplainchocolates.com
Lake Champlain Maritime Museum at Basin Harbor
http://www.lcmm.org
Shelburne Farms
http://www.shelburnefarms.org
Shelburne Museum
http://www.shelburnemuseum.org
UVM Morgan Horse Farm
http://www.uvm.edu/morgan
Vermont Granite Museum
www.granitemuseum.org
Vermont Teddy Bear Company
http://www.vermontteddybear.com
Festivals & Performances
Burlington Discover Jazz Festival
www.discoverjazz.com
First Night Burlington, New Year’s Eve celebration
www.firstnightburlington.com
Haunted Forest, Halloween theatre
www.thehauntedforest.org
Lake Champlain Maritime Festival
www.lcmfestival.com
Vermont International Film Foundation & Festival
http://www.vtiff.org
Vermont Maple Festival
http://www.vtmaplefestival.org
Vermont Quilt Festival
http://www.vqf.org
Gifts, Crafts & “Made in Vermont” Shopping
Advance Music Center
www.advancemusicvt.com
Anjou & The Little Pear
www.anjouvt.com
April Cornell
http://www.aprilcornell.com
AO Glass Works
www.aoglass.com
Apple Mountain
http://www.applemountain.net
The Back Chamber
(802) 372-5544
Bennington Potters North
http://www.benningtonpotters.com
Argento Laraine Fine Jewelry
www.argentolaraine.com
Bittner Antiques
http://www.bittnerantiques.com
Carman Brook Maple & Dairy Farm
http://www.cbmaplefarm.com
Champlain Leather
http://www.champlainleather.com
Common Deer
http://www.commondeervt.com
Green Frog Gifts & Clothing
(802) 372-5031
The Green Life
http://www.thegreenlifevt.com
Hero’s Welcome General Store
www.heroswelcome.com
Johnson Woolen Mills
http://www.johnsonwoolenmills.com
Kiss the Cook
http://www.kissthecook.net
Lippa’s Jewelers
www.lippas.com
LOVERMONT 802
www.802clothing.bigcartel.com
New England Via Vermont
www.newenglandviavermont.net
Old Mill Craft Shop/Jericho Historical Society
http://www.snowflakebentley.com
Perrywinkle’s Fine Jewelry
www.perrywinkles.com
Sam’s Wood Furniture
www.samswoodfurniture.com
SCHIPS Treasure Resale Shop
www.schipstreasure.org
Silver by Tish Jewelry Design
(802) 372-5527
Spirit Dancer Books & Gifts/StarRoot Aromatherapy
http://www.spiritdancerbooksandgifts.com
Starboard Collection
www.starboardcollection.com
Tick Tock Jewelers
www.ticktockjewelers.com
Tinkers Barn Antiques
(802) 372-4754
Tradewinds Imports
http://www.tradewindsvt.com
Von Bargen’s Jewelry
www.vonbargens.com
Vintage Inspired Lifestyle Marketplace
www.vintageinspired.net
American Flatbread – Burlington Hearth
http://www.flatbreadhearth.com
Artsriot
www.artsriot.com
Burlington Paint and Sip Studio
www.burlingtonpaintandsip.com
Boyden Valley Winery
http://www.boydenvalley.com
Citizen Cider
http://www.citizencider.com
Farmhouse Tap & Grill
www.farmhousetg.com
Groennfell Meadery
http://www.groennfell.com
Halvorson’s
www.halvorsonsupstreetcafe.com
Hen of the Wood – Burlington
www.henofthewood.com
Higher Ground – concert venue
http://www.highergroundmusic.com
Leunig’s Bistro
www.leunigsbistro.com
Magic Hat Brewery
http://www.magichat.net
Magnolia Breakfast & Lunch Bistro
magnoliabistro.com
Nectar’s & Club Metronome – concert venue
http://www.liveatnectars.com
North Hero House  – dinner theater
http://www.northherohouse.com
Pizzeria Verità
www.pizzeriaverita.com
Reservoir Restaurant and Tap Room
www.waterburyreservoir.com
Ri Ra The Irish Pub
www.rira.com
Skinny Pancake
http://www.skinnypancake.com
Shelburne Vineyard
http://www.shelburnevineyard.com
Smitty’s Pub
smittyspubvt.com
Switchback Brewing Company
http://www.switchbackvt.com
Snow Farm Vineyard & Winery
www.snowfarm.com
Village Wine and Coffee
http://www.villagewineandcoffee.com
Vermont Pub & Brewery
http://www.vermontbrewery.com
Windjammer Restaurant
www.windjammerrestaurant.com
Zen Lounge – concert venue
www.zenloungevt.com
Colleges & Universities Offering Live Entertainment & Arts Events
Burlington College
http://www.burlington.edu
Castleton State College
www.csc.vsc.edu
Community College of Vermont
http://www.ccv.edu
Champlain College
http://www.champlain.edu
Lyndon State College
http://www.lyndonstate.edu
Middlebury College
www.middlebury.edu
Saint Michael’s College
www.smcvt.edu
University of Vermont
www.uvm.edu
Vermont Technical College
www.vtc.edu

 

Not a #TBT, Travel Website Vermont.org Officially Goes Mobile

Contact: Cathy Davis
cathy@vermont.org
802-863-3489 ext. 206
@Vermontorg  Facebook.com/vermont.org

Vermont.org Mobile ScreenshotBURLINGTON, Vt. – The Lake Champlain Regional Chamber of Commerce announced today that their website, Vermont.org, which serves more than a million visitors each year, has officially gone mobile. 

“While the World Wide Web jumped on the mobile bandwidth-wagon a few years ago, here in Vermont, we wanted to make sure it wasn’t a fad,” said Chamber President Tom Torti clutching his Blackberry. “And we’re pretty confident the best apps are still made of Vermont maple or cheddar.”

In all seriousness, Vermont.org is proud to announce new features and resources for today’s traveler. Increasingly, travelers turn to their mobile devices to plan their stay in Vermont. Whether that is booking a room with one of our exceptional hotels or B&Bs; finding that new experience that caps off their visit or deciding which one of our local restaurants to try; they are doing much of that research on their phone. Vermont.org now has all of the great information you can find on our website in an easy to navigate mobile platform. 

“Vermont is known for its classic and quaint allure, but we’re tech-savvy too,” Torti continued. “It’s only appropriate that you can now easily find Vermont.org’s information on places to stay, things to do and more at the touch of your phone.”

In many ways, Vermont’s pace is an admirable trait. Just ask the population of Brooklynites sporting plaid and lumberjack beards, or better yet, visit Vermont yourself: www.Vermont.org.

The Lake Champlain Regional Chamber of Commerce is Vermont’s largest business advocacy organization. The Chamber puts everything into place to to help our members grow their businesses: providing innovative member services and programs, promoting our region, and making it an even better place to do business. To learn more about the Chamber, visit www.vermont.org/chamber.

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Lodging Discounts for Canadians

BTV Waterfront by David Seaver
Our neighbors to the north can visit the following hotels, inns, resorts and cabins within the Lake Champlain Valley and Green Mountain regions to take advantage of special lodging deals – some are current deals and others are on-going offers:

Baymont Inn – Essex Junction offers Canadian travelers up to 20% discounts on limited seasonal dates. Currently, Canadian travel deals are available now through March: Stay overnight for $89 Canadian cash. Taxes and a returnable $150 Canadian cash deposit apply. Credit cards will not be accepted and this offer is subject to availability. Reservations must be made in advance. For current and seasonal rates and availability, contact 802-879-5200 and mention this offer.

Bolton Valley Resort welcomes all Canadian guests to dine on par this spring ski season. Upon request, onsite restaurant orders will be discounted equivalent to the exchange rate for Canadian citizens. They may pay the reduced bill with a credit card. For additional seasonal deals or discounts, visit www.boltonvalley.com.

The Inn at Buck Hollow Farm in Fairfax offers Canadian travelers up to 20% discounts on limited seasonal dates. Currently, enjoy a 20% Canadian Currency discount until April 30, 2016. Guests are also welcome to make online purchases and have packages shipped to the Farm to be in your room when you arrive. For additional seasonal rates and availability, contact Brad Schwartz at inn@buckhollow.com and visit www.buckhollow.com.

Cozy Cottages in Grand Isle offers Canadian travelers up to 20% discounts for spring and fall lodging reservations with a two night minimum. For deals available before June 18 and after Labor Day, contact Alan Perry at CozyCottagesVT@aol.com.

Days Inn – Colchester offers Canadian travelers up to 20% discounts on limited seasonal dates. Currently, Canadian travel deals are available through March: overnight rates start at $79 Canadian cash. Taxes and a returnable $150 Canadian cash deposit apply. Credit cards will not be accepted and this offer is subject to availability. Reservations must be made in advance. For current and seasonal rates and availability, contact 802-655-0900 and mention this offer.

Dubuque Lane Guest House in Burlington offers Canadian travelers up to 20% discounts on limited seasonal dates – currently available through April. For rates and availability, contact Jennifer at info@dubuquelane.com.

Green Mountain Suites in Burlington offers Canadian travelers a variety of substantial discounts on limited seasonal dates. For more information, visit www.greenmountainsuites.com. For rates and availability, contact 866-337-1616 and mention this offer. Current seasonal packages include:

  • The Montreal Gazette promotion offers rates starting at $109 for a King Deluxe Suite, including Fireside Breakfast. During the week, enjoy a Fireside Reception with complimentary beer, wine and food (Monday-Thursday). Click here to book the Montreal Gazette promotion
  • Ski Stowe or Sugarbush Package: Experience all the charm of a boutique Vermont Country Inn and a day of world class skiing at Stowe Mountain Resort or Sugarbush Resort. These packages include a two-night stay in a spacious one-bedroom suite and discounted lift tickets to Stowe or Sugarbush. Before hitting the slopes, enjoy a Vermont-style Hot Breakfast. During the week, enjoy a Fireside Reception with complimentary beer, wine and food (Monday-Thursday). Click here to book the Canadian Ski Stowe Package

The Governor’s House in Hyde Park accepts Canadian cash at par for stays of at least two nights. Advance reservations are required with notice at that time of guests intentions to use Canadian cash. Please note: Some holidays and weekends are excluded. For more details, see OneHundredMain.com’s Special Packages and contact Suzanne Boden at info@OneHundredMain.com.

Hampton Inn Burlington offers up to 35% discounts for Canadian residents. Rooms must be reserved via this special online offer. For rates and availability, contact Maureen at maureen.brown@hilton.com.

Hilton Burlington Hotel offers a 10% discount available through Expedia.ca. For rates and availability, contact Mari at Mari.Palace@interstatehotels.com.

Holiday Harbor Lodge in North Hero accepts Canadian money at par. For more details, rates and availability, please contact Bruce Batchelder at holiday.harbor@yahoo.com.

Little Place Guest House in Burlington offers Canadian travelers up to $20 off per night midweek and also weekend stays of three or more nights on limited seasonal dates: this offer is currently valid to May 1. For more information, visit www.littleplaceguesthouse.com and contact Linda Provost at linda@littleplaceguesthouse.com for seasonal offers.

At Smugglers’ Notch Resort in Jeffersonville, Canadian travelers enjoy up to 30% discounts on limited seasonal dates. For rates and availability, contact 800-451-8752. Current packages include an offer to save 30 percent off family vacation packages valid through April 2, 2016. Vacation packages include condominium lodging, daily lift tickets, use of the indoor pool and hot tubs, use of the indoor FunZone family entertainment center, snow tubing, day & evening family activities, guided winter walking, and entertainment. Also, Canadian day skiers and riders can also enjoy buy one/get one offers on Tuesdays through the end of the season for full-day lift tickets. Inquiries can be directed to www.smuggs.com and 800-451-8752.

Stowe Motel offers Canadian travelers up to 15% discounts based on seasonal availability and when booking directly. For rates and availability, contact Nancy at StoweMotel@aol.com or 802.253.7629 or 800.829.7629.   

Quality Inn in Colchester offers a Canadian Friends Discount of 25% off accommodations, based upon our best available rates. This offer is available until April 30, 2016. For reservations, additional on-going or seasonal discounts, contact Julie LaCroix at Qualityinnbtv@hotmail.com and visit www.colchestervermonthotel.com.

This lovely photo of the Burlington Waterfront is by David Seaver.

LaunchVT Applications Open and Announces New Collegiate Program

LaunchVT
Bob Bloch with Champlain College announcing Chamber partnership with Vermont higher education institutions – LaunchVT Collegiate

LaunchVT, Vermont’s statewide business pitch competition, today announced that applications for the business pitch competition are now open. LaunchVT also announced a new endeavor, LaunchVT Collegiate, which is an opportunity for a Vermont college student to win $7,500 in cash to grow their business.

LaunchVT is powered by the Lake Champlain Regional Chamber of Commerce. The Chamber’s President Tom Torti explained that “we saw a rise in entrepreneurial interest from Vermont college students. LaunchVT Collegiate is the result of institutions from around the state coming together with the Chamber’s established business pitch competition LaunchVT to create a competition focused on college students. The young workforce is critical to Vermont’s success, and more and more that young workforce – often beginning as early as college – wants to get out and start their own companies. We want to help them start those businesses here.”

Robert Bloch, head of the BYOBiz Program at Champlain College, was a leading voice in getting the program started. “I think I speak for all the Vermont institutions of higher education when I say how much we appreciate the Chamber sponsoring the LaunchVT Collegiate Business Pitch Competition.  It is these kinds of events that help the many student entrepreneurs around Vermont sharpen their skills and gain inspiration, insight and support.”

“LaunchVT has already connected more than a dozen start-ups with mentorship and connections, and we want college students across the state to benefit from that kind of focused help for their ventures. We are excited that as LaunchVT enters its fourth year as our state’s business pitch competition for entrepreneurs, we’re able to expand and reach a group of younger entrepreneurs,” Nick Grimley, co-founder of LaunchVT and Vice Chair of the LaunchVT Advisory Board.

The LaunchVT Collegiate competition will be held on Friday, February 19 beginning at 3pm in the Alumni Auditorium at Champlain College. Collegiate competitors will be judged on their industry and target market, product or service design, business model and operations, presentation, and their use of any award funds. The winning team will receive $7500 and the opportunity to compete as a finalist in the LaunchVT competition on May 5th.

Applications for LaunchVT are now underway. Those interested in learning more about the LaunchVT competition, which will award more than $80,000 in cash and prizes to two winners in May, can visit www.launchvt.com for more information. The application deadline for LaunchVT is March 13, 2016.

LaunchVT Collegiate’s participating institutions are Castleton University, Champlain College, Johnson State College, Lyndon State College, Middlebury College, Norwich College, St. Michael’s College, the University of Vermont, and Vermont Technical College.

LaunchVT Collegiate is sponsored by: VtSBDC, Lake Champlain Regional Chamber of Commerce, BTV Ignite, Castleton University, Champlain College, Johnson State College, Lyndon State College, Middlebury College, Norwich College, St. Michael’s College, the University of Vermont, and Vermont Technical College.

LaunchVT is made possible thanks to our sponsors, including: the Lake Champlain Regional Chamber of Commerce, Vermont Department of Economic Development, Vermont EPSCoR, Free Press Media, People’s United Bank, New England Federal Credit Union, ReconciledIt, Paul Frank & Collins, Dinse Knapp & McAndrew, FreshTracks Capital, Designbook, Reading Plus, Agilion, Vermont Center for Emerging Technologies, Dale Carnegie Training, Opportunities Credit Union, Gallagher  Flynn & Company, Leonardo’s, Merritt & Merritt & Moulton, Brandthropology, BTV Ignite, Champlain College, University of Vermont, Vermont Economic Development Authority, North Country Angels, Redstone, Dealer.com, ArtsRiot, and Main Street Landing.

LaunchVT is powered by the Lake Champlain Regional Chamber of Commerce. LCRCC is the largest business advocacy organization in the state. The Chamber puts everything into place to help our members grow their businesses: providing innovative member services and programs, promoting our region and making it an even better place to do business. To learn more about the Chamber, visit www.vermont.org/chamber.

Sweet Season: Late Winter & Spring Festivities

Mount Mansfield Spring by Matt Hogan

Spring-time view of Mount Mansfield by Matt Hogan Photography.

In Vermont, seasonal festivities and maple sugaring sweeten late-winter and spring days for all to enjoy! The Burlington region serves as a perfect base for outdoor adventures and also caters to those seeking cultural offerings. In the next couple months, you’ll see a drastic change in the landscape and on menus: sugar on snow is replaced by fiddleheads and the first fresh greens of the season. Take time to explore the rites of spring in the Burlington area: the lake thaws, red clover springs up across farm fields and Vermonters exuberantly come out of the woodwork – beaming from fresh air and much anticipated warmth. Take in the beauty of the season; indulge yourself and stay a few nights. Welcome to Vermont!

Enjoy some of Vermont’s most revered traditions & fetes in the months ahead:

Let the Good Times Glide: Mountain-Style Spring
Ski season does not end quietly in these parts. Parties, apres barbecues, beer festivals and a favorite for many, pond skimming, joyfully mark the closure of winter and celebration of spring. Explore Vermont’s mountains; visit one of the many ski resorts near Burlington for a truly Vermonty springtime experience. Here’s just a sampler of the hundreds of festivities:

71st Edition of the Stowe Derby, Stowe Mountain: February 28
Ski the East Extreme Competition Championships, Jay Peak: March 19-20
24 Hour Backcountry Skimo & Splitboard Race, Bolton Valley: March 19-20
Pond Skimming, Sugarbush: April 2
21st Annual Springtime Brewfest, Smugglers’ Notch: April 2

Get Ready for Magic Hat Mardi Gras Weekend
On March 4-6, join more than 20,000 families, friends, students and visitors “for a weekend of bountiful bacchanalia and splendiferous philanthropy!” On Saturday, hit the streets of downtown Burlington to join in festive revelry of the 21st annual Magic Hat Mardi Gras parade. More than 40 floats of costumed wheeled convoys will bear hundreds of marvelously masked men and women hurling tasty treats and beautiful beads!  

Maple Season is Sweet, Syrupy & Spectacular
Vermont maple sugar makers are eager for the sweetest season ahead! Tasting events, open houses and festivals flow statewide from late February through April. Planning a visit? Explore Vermont’s sugarhouse or take a sugarbush snowshoe tour. Welcome to maple season in Vermont and be sure to Sav(or) the Dates for Vermont Maple Open House Weekend: April 2-3 and Vermont Maple Festival: April 22-24!

Annual Burlington Kids Day
Take part in Vermont’s largest children’s celebration on May 7! At Burlington Kids Day, there’s a Main Street parade, plus a variety of exhibits, entertainment, craft activities, art displays, and games at Burlington’s Waterfront Park. Festive family music, drama and demonstrations of all kinds are sure to entertain kids of all ages!

Tour Vermont’s Trails of Wine and Culture
Soon enough, warm breezes and longer days will usher in the opportunity to dust off your wanderlust and explore back-roads that lead to wine, history and stunning vistas. From Burlington, find yourself exploring the Lake Champlain Coast Wine Trail or Lake Champlain Byway. If you’d like to explore in the meanwhile, check out the new Lake Champlain Region Virtual Area Guide, where you can virtually “step inside” to peruse area attractions and shops.

Stay connected with us on Twitter & Facebook.

Happy Travels from all of us at the Lake Champlain Regional Chamber!

 

T’is the Season: Vermont Holidays and Winter Getaways

Consumer Newsletter Photo Nov 2015

During late fall and winter in Vermont, there’s a lot more to do than simply… walking in a winter wonderland. The crisp weather has skiers, riders and snowmobilers revved up for resorts’ and trails openings. Historically, several Vermont ski resorts open just in time to work off some of that Thanksgiving pumpkin pie! Snowmobiling season begins as early as mid-December. The Burlington region serves as a perfect base for outdoor adventures and also caters to those seeking cultural offerings. This season, the arts are also alive with galleries, theatres and music halls host to gift bazaars, classic holiday plays and heart-warming sing-alongs. Take time to explore the more relaxed pace of Burlington before holiday shopping and First Night celebrations re-invigorate the streets with faces sporting smiles and rosy-cheeks, surrounded by music and twinkling lights. Take in the beauty of the season; indulge yourself and stay a few nights. After a day downtown, on the ice, or in the snow, cozy up by a fire with a warm mug of cocoa or your favorite Vermont beer. Welcome to winter in Vermont!

 

Take part in some of Vermont’s most revered traditions & fetes in the months ahead:

Santa Parade & Church Street Lighting Ceremony
November 27
Santa makes a stop at the Church Street Marketplace! The parade starts at noon on City Hall Block. The day’s holiday festivities conclude with Church Street’s annual lighting ceremony and singing of carols. Witness the holiday cheer and illumination of a 50 ft. tree at the top of Church Street and 250,000 LCD lights along this pedestrian-only street. www.churchstmarketplace.com

Vermont International Festival
December 4-6
Celebrate the cultures that make up Vermont’s communities. At the exposition, you’ll find crafts from all over the world, ethnic and gourmet foods, and traditional international music, dance and stories. Local cultural and ethnic organizations provide information about their programs with exhibits, demonstrations and workshops. http://www.vermontinternationalfestival.com/

Country Christmas Open House & Holiday Paint-In
December 5-6
Historic Waitsfield village’s local businesses collaborate to create a festive setting that would make Norman Rockwell feel at home. Merchants offer festive shopping incentives while artists paint the holiday scene. Shoppers find bargains and perhaps purchase artwork while families enjoy refreshments next to a bonfire. www.madrivervalley.com

First Night Burlington
December 31
First Night is a New Year’s Eve festival of the arts that began in Boston in 1976 and is now in more than 130 cities throughout the world. Burlington, Vermont was the fifth city to embrace the substance-free First Night concept and has grown to be Vermont’s largest, single-day arts festival, providing an accessible and affordable New Year’s Eve celebration to thousands. Explore more than 20 venues over 12-hours of celebration.  http://www.firstnightburlington.com/

Annual First Run 5k and Youth Fun Run
January 1
Kick off the New Year with the Annual First Run 5k and Youth Fun Run. Presented by UVM Medical Center, this festive running event is as much about fun as it is encouraging a New Year of wellness!
http://www.runvermont.org/events/first-run/

Martin Luther King Jr. Remembrance Events
Mid January
The City of Burlington hosts national speakers and local businesses; churches and colleges offer cultural events, and film screenings and discussions are held at multiple locations. Visitors may also independently tour some of the sites and historic markers along the State’s African American Heritage Trail. www.gbmrc.org & www.echovermont.org

Great Ice! Lake Champlain Islands Ice Festival
Early February
An on-ice celebration of winter fun for the whole family, the Lake Champlain Islands Ice Festival, Great Ice has both zany and classic ice activities: ice skating, dog-sledding, hockey, drag racing, frozen regattas, a fishing derby, guided island treks, extreme frisbee, a chili cook-off and bonfires to keep warm. Come play on the ice! http://www.greaticevt.org/

Winter is a Drag Ball
Mid February
Higher Ground’s largest event of the year, Winter is a Drag Ball has been a festive LGBTQ celebration for more than 20 years. Local independent paper Seven Days calls it “One of Vermont’s largest and most outrageous parties…Regardless of which way one’s gender bends, it has become a must-attend gala for local revelers as well as out-of-towners, some of whom travel from as far away as Boston, Poughkeepsie, Provincetown and Toronto.” http://www.highergroundmusic.com/

Happy Holidays from all of us at the Lake Champlain Regional Chamber!

Lake Champlain Region’s Major Annual Events & Festivals

LCRCC Things to Do

Take part in some of Vermont’s most revered traditions & fetes.

JANUARY

Martin Luther King Jr. Remembrance Events
Mid-January
The City of Burlington hosts national speakers and local businesses; churches and colleges offer cultural events, and film screenings and discussions are held at multiple locations. Visitors may also independently tour some of the sites and historic markers along the State’s African American Heritage Trail.  www.gbmrc.org & www.echovermont.org

FEBRUARY

Winter Lights
Early February
Celebrate Winter, Celebrate Light! Join Winter Lights, Church Street and Burlington, Vermont’s ongoing winter celebration. Enjoy the magical display of lights and light canopies on Church Street’s intersections as well as colorful spheres hanging in the trees. Join us as we kick off Winter Lights with Burlington Winter Weekend – there are festive events city-wide! Plus, the lights remain up for all to enjoy through March. www.churchstmarketplace.com

Great Ice! Lake Champlain Islands Ice Festival
Early February
An on-ice celebration of winter fun for the whole family, the Lake Champlain Islands Ice Festival, Great Ice has both zany and classic ice activities: ice skating, dog-sledding, hockey, drag racing, frozen regattas, a fishing derby, guided island treks, extreme frisbee, a chili cook-off and bonfires to keep warm. Come play on the ice!  http://www.greaticevt.org/

Special Olympics Vermont Penguin Plunge
Early February
Nearly 1,500 brave souls will jump into Vermont’s icy lakes to raise funds and awareness for Special Olympics Vermont athletes. The Penguin Plunge has become a highly anticipated staple of winter in Vermont and is widely recognized as a fun  team building exercise for hundreds of families, schools and businesses. Do you have 32 degrees of courage? http://penguinplunge.org/

Winter is a Drag Ball
Mid-February
Higher Ground’s largest event of the year, Winter is a Drag Ball has been a festive LGBTQ celebration for more than 20 years. Local independent paper Seven Days calls it “One of Vermont’s largest and most outrageous parties…Regardless of which way one’s gender bends, it has become a must-attend gala for local revelers as well as out-of-towners, some of whom travel from as far away as Boston, Poughkeepsie, Provincetown and Toronto.” http://www.highergroundmusic.com/

Wine & Chocolate Weekend
Mid-February
Dozens of Vermont wineries and chocolate producers team up to pair wines with chocolate confections and desserts around Valentine’s Day weekend. Visitors to wineries around the state can taste the range of Vermont wines and enjoy pairings designed specifically for this weekend tasting event. Some pairings are variations on classic combinations, like red wine with dark chocolate, and others are unexpected treats. http://www.vermontgrapeandwinecouncil.com/

Lake Champlain Pond Hockey Classic
Mid-February
Located on Malletts Bay in Colchester, the Lake Champlain Pond Hockey Classic provides its hundreds of competing teams with an unparalleled tournament experience across multiple divisions. When the day’s competition is over, participants head to Church Street in downtown Burlington to take in the nightlife and reminisce about their day on “The Pond.” http://www.pondhockeyclassic.com/lakechamplain

MARCH

Magic Hat Mardi Gras Parade
Early March
More than 20,000 families, friends, students and visitors gather together on the streets to join in festive revelry. More than 40 floats of costumed wheeled convoys will bear hundreds of marvelously masked men and women hurling tasty treats and beautiful beads!  www.magichat.net

Vermont Maple Open House Weekend
Late March
From the tree to the table, experience one of Vermont’s oldest traditions. Statewide, sugarmakers open their doors and invite visitors to learn first-hand how maple syrup is made. See the use of modern sap gathering equipment mixed with traditional wood fired evaporators. Sample the very best maple syrup fresh off the evaporator and take some of Vermont’s first crop of the year home with you. http://www.vermontmaple.org/

Jay Peak & Ski the East’s Extreme Competition Championships
Late March
In coordination with Ski the East, The Jay Peak Extreme Competition has grown from a small grassroots competition to a large-scale on-snow event in just the last handful of years. Athletes of all ages and abilities from across New England come together during each Extreme Competition to test their skills on technical terrain featured at Jay Peak Resort and to celebrate the unified love of skiing and riding in the state of Vermont. www.jaypeakresort.com

APRIL

Vermont Maple Festival
Late April
Taking place in St. Albans at the end of the maple season, the hugely attended Vermont Maple Festival has been sweetening spring for nearly 50 years. Experience all sorts of celebrations of sugaring: Maple treats, as well as a youth talent show, fiddlers’ variety show, carnival, arts and crafts, an antique show and fun for the little ones, including face painting. Savor the variety of maple food events, including pancake breakfasts, cooking demonstrations and competitions. http://www.vermontmaplefestival.org

MAY
Annual Burlington Kids Day
Mid-May
Take part in Vermont’s largest children’s celebration! There’s a Main Street parade, plus a variety of exhibits, entertainment, craft activities, art displays, and games at Burlington’s Waterfront Park. Music, drama, and demonstrations of all kinds are onsite. Plus, everyone is invited to decorate a bike or wagon and join the parade. http://enjoyburlington.com/

Vermont City Marathon
Memorial Day Weekend
Held since 1989, the state’s largest marathon and relay race attracts runners and their cheerleaders and families from across the northeastern U.S. and Canada. The race is produced by RunVermont, a not-for-profit committed to promoting running in Vermont. RunVermont also organizes several other races including First Run Burlington on New Year’s Day and the Half Marathon Unplugged in April. https://www.vermontcitymarathon.org/

Vermont Open Studio Weekend
Memorial Day Weekend
The Green Mountain State’s natural scenic beauty is enhanced each spring when the work of Vermont artists and craftspeople can be seen first-hand during Vermont’s semi-annual Open Studio Weekend – a statewide celebration of the visual arts and the creative process in which hundreds of Vermont artists and craftspeople invite the public to visit them in their studios. http://www.vermontcrafts.com

JUNE

Burlington Discover Jazz Festival
Early June
An annual festival for more than a quarter of a century, the 10-day Burlington Discover Jazz Festival is in all parts of downtown Burlington and showcases local, regional and international jazz artists. Take part in performances in intimate venues, waterfront concerts, street parties, cruises on Lake Champlain, meet-the-artist sessions, master classes, workshops and more. http://discoverjazz.com

Burlington Wine and Food Festival
Mid-June
In a region that has every reason to be proud of its food and wine professionals, producers gather for multiple day of tastings, workshops, special dinners and lively, local music. In addition to local culinary enthusiasts and travelers, Vermonters in attendance include those who regularly receive international awards and James Beard-nominated chefs. http://www.burlingtonwineandfoodfestival.com/

Lake Champlain International Fishing Derby
Mid-June
The oldest and largest freshwater fishing derby in the U.S., the Lake Champlain International Fishing Derby offers a variety of species prizes, super port prizes and more, in excess of $300,000. http://www.mychamplain.net

Make Music Vermont
June 21
Make Music Vermont is a free celebration of music across Vermont and around the world on June 21. Launched in 1982 in France as the Fête de la Musique, it is now held on the same day in more than 700 cities in 120 countries. bigheavyworld.com

Vermont Quilt Festival
Late June
New England’s oldest and largest annual quilt festival, the 3-day Vermont Quilt Festival features exhibits and competitions, lectures and hands-on demonstrations, classes demonstrating various traditional and non-traditional techniques, appraisals, seminars and more, all about various facets of quilting. http://www.vqf.org

JULY

Fourth of July Fireworks
July 3
Enjoy a masterful firework show on the shores of beautiful Lake Champlain. Fireworks are held in Vermont’s Queen City on July 3 to allow the smaller towns and villages to enjoy this large-scale show as well as host their own independence day celebrations on the Fourth. www.enjoyburlington.com

Open Farm & Studios Tour
Early July
During the Heart of the Islands Open Farm and Studio Tour, visit vineyards, farms, gardens, art studios, galleries, and farmers’ markets. Meet artists and agricultural producers and their animals living and working within sight of, and sometimes at the edge of, magnificent Lake Champlain. Artists are clustered in 14 convenient locations across four islands. http://www.openfarmandstudio.com/

Vermont Brewers Festival
Late July
Celebrating more than 20 years, the Brewers Fest is an artisan craft beer festival celebrating artisan craft beer and the passionate brewers who dedicate their time and careers to brewing. Held at Burlington’s Waterfront Park every third weekend in July, this multi-day festival sells-out quickly every year. http://www.vtbrewfest.com/

Vermont Cheese Makers Festival
Late July
Vermont is a world-class cheese state with the highest number of cheese makers per capita: more than 40. Come experience their passion for making exceptional cheeses, taste great local foods, wines, craft beers and spirits, and meet the artisans who make them. One of Fodor’s Travel Top Ten Best Summer Food Festivals, spend a summer day on the shores of Lake Champlain at the historic Shelburne Farms Coach Barn tasting, buying and learning. http://vtcheesefest.com

AUGUST

Shakespeare Festival
August
With nearly a month of performances, Shakespeare in the Park contributes to the rich cultural landscape of the region, bringing Shakespeare to life with intelligence, wit and power-packed action. Plays are performed on the grounds of area parks and museums, under the stunning night skies of Vermont. http://www.vermontshakespeare.org/

Church Street Marketplace Sidewalk Sale
Early August
Join fellow shoppers for one of Burlington’s great retail traditions, The Church Street Marketplace Annual Sidewalk Sale! For several days, merchants display their sale items both in front of and inside their stores. Find the best deals of the season on clothes, shoes, household goods, beauty products and more! www.churchstmarketplace.com

Festival of Fools
Early August
A curated festival of street theater devoted to community engagement through the celebration of circus arts, music and comedy for family audiences. The festival features the best international street performers from around the globe. Audiences of all ages will feast their eyes on some of the zaniest comic performers as downtown Burlington becomes an epicenter for laughter and spirited entertainment. www.vermontfestivaloffools.com

The Lake Champlain Dragon Boat Festival
Early August
The Blue Cross Blue Shield of Vermont Lake Champlain Dragon Boat Festival is comprised of hundreds of dedicated Vermonters, New Englander and Québécois joining together for an unforgettable day of fitness, fun, and fundraising. Teams are made up of local businesses, non-profits, service groups, and families who know that together we can make a real difference in the lives of our friends with cancer. http://www.ridethedragon.org/festivals/lake-champlain-dragon-boat-festival.aspx

Lake Champlain Maritime Festival
Early August
Stroll along the shores from venue to venue, view the classic boats, long boats, canoe, kayak and Dragon boat demonstrations as you commemorate the past, present, and future of Lake Champlain. Experience boat building, sample local fare, enjoy music and bring the children for hands-on exhibits along the spectacular shores of Burlington Vermont’s Waterfront. http://www.lcmfestival.com/

Wings Over Vermont Air Show
Mid-August
Wings Over Vermont is a free two-day air show at the Burlington Waterfront; it offers non-stop excitement as 30 daily acts showcase numerous aircrafts and perform a variety of aerial feats. Presented by Revision, a leading provider of protective equipment for military use worldwide. http://www.wingsoververmont.org/

Lake Champlain Chamber Music Festival
Late August
Explore masterworks of chamber music performed by an all-star lineup of musicians from symphonies and orchestras nationwide. The Lake Champlain Chamber Music Festival is hosted at several locations in the Burlington region, and founded on the idea that bringing musicians, audiences, and students together makes not only for great music, but also for a rich and rewarding dialog for all. http://www.lccmf.org/

Champlain Valley Fair
Late August – Early September
Since 1922, the Champlain Valley Fair has provided a summer’s worth of fun in 10 action-packed days. There’s traditional fair revelry like midway rides, tasty fair food, farm animals and grandstand shows, plus the biggest names in music and comedy headline nightly. www.champlainvalleyfair.org

SEPTEMBER

Art Hop
Early September
The Art Hop brings thousands of residents and visitors together to celebrate the dynamic art and culture of Burlington. Earning the reputation as Vermont’s largest arts festival, Art Hop has won a Seven Daysie award as the Best Event/Festival in Vermont. More than 30,000 visitors experience and enjoy art exhibits, music, performance, comedy, sculpture, and fashion from over 500 participating artists at over 100 locations throughout Burlington’s South End Arts District. http://seaba.com/art-hop/

Pride Vermont
Mid-September
Pride Vermont Festival and Parade celebrates and supports Vermont’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer community of all ages, to educate and to act as a bridge to create alliances with each other and with the greater community as a whole. With participants and performers from greater New England, upstate New York and Quebec, this yearly celebration includes an action-packed calendar of educational, social, culinary and artistic events. http://pridecentervt.org/pride-home1

Northeast Street Rod Nationals
Mid-September
Since 1994, the Northeast Street Rod Nationals’ agenda has been increasingly packed with three days of action for car enthusiasts. Included are 1,500 street rods and more than 60 commercial exhibitors selling and displaying their wares, vintage parts swap meet, arts and crafts show, games and entertainment. Tens of thousands of dollars worth of prizes will be given to the car owners and a new vehicle will be given away. www.nsra-usa.com/

Shelburne Farms Harvest Festival
Late September
Shelburne Farms day-long family-friendly event honors Vermont’s farm and forestry traditions through connection with agriculture and community. Over 7,000 people come to enjoy local foods, farm-based education and other educational exhibits, craft demonstrations, and performing arts. http://shelburnefarms.org/

Burlington Book Festival
Late September
The Queen City’s annual celebration of the written word offers readings, book signings, panels, workshops, demos, family activities, and special events featuring literary luminaries from around the world and just around the corner. All events are free and open to the public. http://burlingtonbookfestival.com/

Grand Point North
Mid-September
Organized by Vermont’s own rockstar Grace Potter and independent music venue Higher Ground, this two-day music festival along the Burlington Waterfront brings in local legends as well as nationally touring acts. http://grandpointnorth.com/

Annual Vermont Sheep and Wool Festival
Mid-September
Celebrate the beauty of wool! Sheep, goats, alpacas, llamas and rabbits are on display. There’s also activities like sheep shearing, sheepdog herding and a llama obstacle course. Plus, workshops on fiber arts, drop-in and spin, needle-felting, weaving and knitting demonstrations. Visit more than 60 vendors of spinning, weaving, knitting and felting materials, tools and finished items. http://www.vermontsheep.org/

Oktoberfest Vermont
Late September
Oktoberfest Vermont is a Bavarian themed harvest festival with a Green Mountain spin on things. Enjoy a weekend celebration of local food, authentic oompah music, tons of games and contests, local business sponsors, locally made rustic decor, and more than 40 brewers! These include a great mix of famous local breweries, regional breweries, and of course many traditional German Oktoberfest breweries. http://www.oktoberfestvermont.com/

OCTOBER

Vermont Open Studio Weekend
Early October
The Green Mountain State’s natural scenic beauty is enhanced each spring when the work of Vermont artists and craftspeople can be seen first-hand during Vermont’s semi-annual Open Studio Weekend – a statewide celebration of the visual arts and the creative process in which hundreds of Vermont artists and craftspeople invite the public to visit them in their studios. http://www.vermontcrafts.com

Vermont International Film Festival
Late October
As the flagship event of the Vermont International Film Foundation, visitors to the 10-day Vermont International Film Festival quickly find many films to entice, and also discover films that they otherwise would not have had the opportunity to learn about. Meet directors and producers, attend thought-provoking panels and celebrate international film!  www.vtiff.org/festival

NOVEMBER

Santa Parade & Church Street Lighting Ceremony
Late November
Santa makes a stop at the Church Street Marketplace! The parade starts at noon on City Hall Block. The day’s holiday festivities conclude with Church Street’s annual lighting ceremony and singing of carols. Witness the holiday cheer and illumination of a 50 ft. tree at the top of Church Street and 250,000 LCD lights along this pedestrian-only street. www.churchstmarketplace.com

DECEMBER

Vermont International Festival
Early December
Celebrate the cultures that make up Vermont’s communities. At the exposition, you’ll find crafts from all over the world, ethnic and gourmet foods, and traditional international music, dance and stories. Local cultural and ethnic organizations provide information about their programs with exhibits, demonstrations and workshops. http://www.vermontinternationalfestival.com/

Country Christmas Open House & Holiday Paint-In
Early December
Historic Waitsfield village’s local businesses collaborate to create a festive setting that would make Norman Rockwell feel at home. Merchants offer festive shopping incentives while artists paint the holiday scene. Shoppers find bargains and perhaps purchase artwork while families enjoy refreshments next to a bonfire.  www.madrivervalley.com

First Night Burlington
December 31
First Night is a New Year’s Eve festival of the arts that began in Boston in 1976 and is now in more than 130 cities throughout the world. Burlington, Vermont was the fifth city to embrace the substance-free First Night concept and has grown to be Vermont’s largest, single-day arts festival, providing an accessible and affordable New Year’s Eve celebration to thousands. Explore more than 20 venues over 12-hours of celebration. http://www.firstnightburlington.com/

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