Upcoming festivities celebrate a variety of Vermont’s spring traditions. Some events are playful, like fiddlehead picking competitions; others are enriching, like plein air festivals and history exhibitions. Here's a sampler of the hundreds of VermontVacation.com events you’ll want to experience in the months ahead:
Watercolors: The Artist's Story
Now Through June 30, Brandon
Gayl M. Braisted, Lyn DuMoulin, Maurie Harrington, and Andrea Varney express their story through watercolors. Listen as Lyn, Maurie, and Andrea share their story, techniques and maybe even some secrets at 'Story Hour' on May 25.
Opening Weekend at Billings Farm & Museum
May 1-4, Woodstock
Horse-drawn wagon rides, free ice cream, sheep-shearing and several hands-on farm education programs.
The Neolithic World of Stone from Gobekli Tepe to Stonehenge
May 1, Stowe
Art historian Bob Manning will examine two Neolithic sites, Stonehenge, and Gobekli Tepe, which predates Stonehenge by 6,000 years. Bob will focus on these “stone circles” as two distinctly different windows through which to view ancient humankind.
Nomad of Beltane: Dance and Musical Works of Damon Honeycutt
May 1, Brattleboro
This retrospective concert will showcase the key works of performing artist Damon Honeycutt and guests. Join Damon and guests for a night of original music and dance.
An Evening with Groucho
May 2, Randolph
This two-act comedy consists of the best Groucho one-liners, anecdotes and songs. Accompanied by Pianist Jim Furmston, Ferrante portrays the young Groucho of stage and film and reacquaints us with the likes of brothers Harpo, Chico, Zeppo and Gummo, Charlie Chaplin, W.C. Fields, Greta Garbo, and MGM's Louis B. Mayer.
Alfred Hitchcock and the Art of Suspense
May 2, South Londonderry; May 22, Brattleboro; June 5, *Shelburne
By drawing on twelve film clips, starting with his 1925 silent “The Lodger” and continuing through to his Hollywood classics such as “Notorious and Rear Window,” Rick Winston will illuminate the arc of Hitchcock’s brilliant career. *RSVP required at Shelburne location.
Inventive Vermonters: A Sampling of Farm Tools & Implements
May 2, Jericho
Vermonters have always been inventive, especially when it comes to agricultural innovations. Retired engineer Paul Wood presents a sampling of farm tools, implements, and artifacts invented or produced in Vermont and the often fascinating stories of the inventors themselves.
The comedy BORN YESTERDAY
May 2 – 11, Hyde Park
Harry Brock, a loud-mouthed and corrupt tycoon goes to Washington, D.C. to manipulate legislation of a crooked deal. He brings his girlfriend, Billie Dawn, a dim-witted and uneducated ex-chorus girl. Brock worries that Billie’s lack of social graces will embarrass him and hires a magazine journalist to tutor his “dumb broad” to fit in with Washington society.
Mom’s Day Out
May 3, Burlington
Luxury events and great shopping deals to celebrate Mom! Enjoy free beauty treatments, style tips, shopping discounts and prizes while loved ones shop for the perfect Mother’s Day gift!
Duty’s Faithful Child: A Visit with Louisa May Alcott
May 3, Ludlow
Famous as the author of “Little Women,” Louisa May Alcott was herself a fascinating character. Her life was formed in the intellectual and philosophical hotbed of 19th-century Concord, Massachusetts, home of Emerson, Thoreau, Hawthorne, and her philosopher father, Amos Bronson Alcott. Jeanne Austin draws on the life and writings of this remarkable woman.
On Wings of Song
May 3, Norwich
Cantabile women’s chorus, under Director Erma Mellinger, will perform On Wings of Song, with accompanist Jeanne Chambers. The program highlights the group’s versatility and featuring works by Brahms, Bernstein, Mozart, Haydn, and Mendelssohn.
Springfield Community Chorus Concert
May 3, Grafton & May 4, Springfield
The chorus of 50 singers directed by Kenneth Olsson will perform a spring concert featuring songs of inspiration, hope and freedom. The moving strains of “Hear my Prayer” by Moses Hogan, opens the concert of Spiritual Songs and sets the tone for a presentation of songs born in the heart of a slave set free.
Sarah Blacker at Brandon Music
May 3, Brandon
Sarah Blacker, New England Music Awards ‘Female Performer of the Year,’ returns to Brandon Music. The Boston Herald’s Jed Gottlieb said, “Sarah Blacker makes some of the most interesting folk music in Boston – mostly by making folk the starting point and reaching out toward rock, Americana and prog.”
Benson Bear Obstacle Challenge
May 3 & June 21, Benson
3.1 or 6.2 challenging miles of cross-country and wooded terrain with 30+ or 50+ obstacles and challenges on the famous Benson Bear Obstacle Challenge Course.
VYO 50th Anniversary Concert
May 4, Burlington
This 50th anniversary season culminating concert features the return of former VYOA music director Troy Peters to conduct an orchestra of VYO alumni, a new work for chorus and orchestra by alumnus Tim Woos, and Beethoven's monumental Ninth Symphony, including soloists, the VYO Chorus, and music community members in the Ode to Joy.
Middlebury Maple Run - The Sweetest Half
May 4, Middlebury
The Middlebury Maple Run - The Sweetest Half has earned a reputation as being well-organized and friendly event, a “Must-Do” for New England runners. Plus, the beautiful, scenic course features vistas of the Green Mountains and Adirondacks.
The Old Country Fiddler: Charles Ross Taggart
May 4, Guilford
From Topsham, Vt., Charles Ross Taggart went on to a forty-year career performing in countless stage shows across the country, including the famous Red Path Chautauqua circuit. Fiddler Adam Boyce portrays Mr. Taggart near the end of his career, circa 1936, sharing recollections of his life and career interspersed with live fiddling and humorous sketches.
Eleanor Roosevelt - Wife, Mother, and First Lady
May 4, Waterbury
Actress Elena Dodd brings life to Eleanor Roosevelt in this one-woman drama and historical interpretation of 40 years of marriage to Franklin D. Roosevelt. She recalls life as a young wife and mother, her growing involvement in politics and social issues, and her gradual emergence as an independent force.
Herrick's Cove Wildlife Festival
May 4, Rockingham
The Herrick’s Cove Festival, on the Connecticut River, hosts one of the most popular festivals in the area. The festival includes nature walks, fly tying demonstrations and live animals. There will also be hands-on activities, a ‘creepy crawly’ exhibit, guided nature walks and a puppet show for families.
May 6, Rutland
A folkie in punk's clothing, Ani DiFranco emerged as one of the most influential and inspirational cult heroines of the 1990s. Her songs tackle issues like rape, abortion, and sexism with insight and compassion, the music's empowering attitude and anger tempered by the poignant candor of singer/songwriter confessionalism.
Spiritual Adventure Novelist Nora Caron
May 9, Burlington
Spiritual adventure novelist Nora Caron will discuss and sign copies of her book, “New Dimensions of Being.” Nora’s mission in life is to help people break away from negative thoughts and destructive behaviors in order to find true joy and love in life.
May 9, Randolph
TradNation artists perform repertoire from their own families, new roots-inspired music compositions, or music learned from local traditions that are unique to the only officially French-speaking population in North America. Among these artists are award-winning musicians and dancers, ethnologists, and composers. Featured performers are New World Festival favorites, Dentdelion and Les Poules à Colin.
Middlebury Arts Walk
May 9 and June 13, Middlebury
Stores and businesses will remain open, becoming galleries displaying the work of dozens of area artists. Art will be featured in restaurants, on the town green, and in other exciting and unlikely places. Visit Middlebury on the second Friday of every month.
Lights, BELLS, Action! Northern Bronze Handbell Concerts
May 9, South Hero; May 10, Bristol; May 11, Essex Junction
If you love show tunes, you will be dazzled to hear them played on handbells. This concert series includes favorites such as “Beauty and the Beast,” “Phantom of the Opera,” “Mary Poppins,” “The Muppets” and more!
B.A.S.H. - Big Arty SPA Happening
May 9, Barre
A benefit for Studio Place Arts (SPA) includes great art, music and a silent auction. Enjoy rock band, Swale, and blues and folk musician Andy Pitt. Wine will be served by the Grand View Winery (cash bar) and there will be black & white desserts created by students at the Barre Tech. Center’s Bake Shop.
Vermont Vaudeville: Red Tape
May 9 – 10, Hardwick
The founders of Vermont Vaudeville, Rose Friedman, Justin Lander, Brent and Maya McCoy, are back at the historic Hardwick Town House with an action packed show, including circus stunts and comedy. This show features the Vermont Vaudeville House Band as well as new guest performers.
The Russian Soul - The Russian Voice
May 10, Putney
Explore two great masterworks of the 19th and 20th Centuries, Tchaikovsky’s Piano Trio and Shostakovich's 2nd Piano Trio, in the context of Russian literature and the Russian language. Guided by mentors from both fields, Trio Cleonice will explore not only these two beloved Russian piano trios, but parallel works of fiction.
An Evening of Variety Entertainment - A GMAD Benefit
May 10, Burlington
The North End Studio is host to a night of various entertainment presented by Aviano Entertainment including Zumba with Angel, local performers, a silent auction, door prices, and light vegan fare courtesy of Shelburne Supermarket, Pingala Cafe and Snaffle Sweets.
Young Tradition Contest Weekend
May 10-11, Burlington
Presented as part of Kid's Day, talented performers under the age of 25 will dance, sing and play instruments in traditional styles. The Sunday concert features winners of the 2014 Young Tradition Contest and Tristan Henderson and Hazen Metro, winners in 2013.
Chamber Music Concert at Middlebury College
May 11, Middlebury
Royal College of Music Violin Professor Viktoria Grigoreva is joined by Pianist Diana Fanning and Cellist Dieuwke Davydov for an evening of chamber music.
The Wailin' Jennys
May 11, Randolph
Founding members Ruth Moody and Nicky Mehta along with New York-based Heather Masse continue to create some of the most exciting and exquisite music on the folk-roots scene, stepping up their musical game with each critically-lauded recording and thrilling audiences with their live performances.
The Vermont Civil War Songbook
May 13, Fairfax
Dressed in period costume, singer/researcher Linda Radtke shares songs from Vermont during the Civil War period, with engaging commentary and letters from Vermont soldiers. Subjects of the seldom-heard songs range from satire on Jefferson Davis to a soldier returning home to die. Radtke is joined by pianist Arthur Zorn.
Full Moon Paddle
May 14, East Charleston
There is nothing like being out on the Clyde River during a full moon, witnessing the transition from sunset to moonrise while paddling along the slow moving waters. Bring a flashlight, warm layers, a hot thermos, and a camera if you so please.
The Next Generation
May 16, Randolph
“It is hard to overstate the quality of the musical experience presented by these two dozen young people, one as young as 12 and some as “old” as 17, singing and playing piano, strings, flutes, and marimba, sometimes in solos and sometimes in ensembles. The performances, without exception, were riveting, inspirational.” – The Randolph Herald
DIY: Hypertufa Planters Workshop
May 17, Woodstock
Create rustic, textured planting containers from a mixture of concrete, peat moss, perlite and water. Instructor Fiona walks you through the ratios for mixing the concrete, choosing and preparing your forms and molding your planter. Leave the planter here to set and for a few days and come back to get your finished work, ready to be planted and set in your garden!
Plein Air Open Art Day in Milton
May 17, Milton
Calling all artists to Milton, Vermont! The second annual Plein Air Art Day is free to all and open to the public. All mediums welcome: bring friends and supplies. Registration May 17 at 7am at Milton Grange, Reception at 1pm – 2 pm. Art supplies will be available for purchase.
Burlington Chamber Orchestra "Celebration of Youth" Concert
May 17, Colchester
The Annual Celebration of Youth Concert is led by Conductor Yutaka Kono, UVM’s Director of Orchestra, in a performance of works by Schubert, Frederick Delius, and Mozart, as well as a commissioned piece by student composer Adele Woodmansee.
The Rock 'n' Roll Ball
May 17, Middlebury
Red Cedar School celebrates its 25th year with its very own Rock 'n' Roll Ball. The Ball is an adults-only evening to benefit the school's scholarship fund. It features a live band, The Grift, a cash bar, appetizers, desserts and an amazing silent auction featuring unique gifts from across Vermont and beyond.
Brattleboro Concert Choir: Missa Gaia
May 17 – 18, Brattleboro
A grand celebration of creation, Missa Gaia was premiered on Mother’s Day, May 10, 1981 at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City. An exhilarating fusion of sound and drama.
Woofstock 2014: Dog Festival
May 17, Ferrisburgh
Enjoy the day with a Fun Run and Walk—dogs welcome, of course—great demos, vendors galore, kids’ activities, a silent auction to benefit Homeward Bound, a doggie play park, a shelter dog parade and more!
Honoring Heirlooms with The Beekman Boys and Landreth Seed Co.
May 18, Vergennes
Join us during opening weekend for an immersion into the world of heirloom vegetables with the Beekman 1802 Heirloom Vegetable Cookbook and a presentation from Landreth Seed Co. on Americas Great Seedhouses and the Art and Science of Saving Seeds.
Sage City Symphony
May 18, Bennington
Program includes Allen Shawn's Concerto for Cello, with Maxine Neuman as soloist, and Edward Elgar's Enigma Variations, Op. 36. Conducted by Michael Finckel.
Lincoln and Vermont
May 18, Swanton
Beginning with Lincoln’s preliminary Emancipation Proclamation, and continuing through to the consecration of the National Soldiers Cemetery at Gettysburg, historian Howard Coffin traces how Lincoln’s leadership of the Federal war effort and his political canniness shaped the relationship between the president and Vermont, a state Lincoln admired though never visited.
Beatrix Potter Revisited
May 21, Middlebury
Using books, props, and bibliography, Helene Lang presents the life of Beatrix Potter, highlighting her artistic talent, her writing ability where every single word is appropriate and perfectly arranged, and finally, her years as a countrywoman raising Herdwick sheep.
Green Mountain Comedy Festival
May 21 – 25, Burlington, Montpelier and Barre
The Sixth Annual Green Mountain Comedy Festival features national headliners Tig Notaro, Myq Kaplan, DeAnne Smith, Upright Citizens Brigade and Specter Improv, plus over 100 Vermont comics, improv and sketch performers, and Burlington punk rockers Rough Francis will open for Tig’s two shows.
The Vermont Country Store Tent Sale
May 22 – 26, Weston
Pop in to our big tents at the Weston and Rockingham stores for a wide variety of sale and one-of-a-kind items. Satisfy your hunger at Mildred's Dairy Bar or The Bryant House Restaurant.
First Annual Fiddlehead Festival
May 23 – 25, West Dover
Marketplace featuring Vermont products, food, and entertainment. Bragging rights and cash prizes for our Fiddlehead competitions: Best pickled fiddleheads, a barbeque competition and fiddling competition. Area artisans will be showing their works and there’s a block party!
Mayfest Juried Arts & Craft Festival
May 24, Bennington
Main Street closes down for Bennington’s largest event of the year; come celebrate the 29th annual festival of handmade arts and crafts.
Statewide Open Studio weekend
May 24-25, Statewide
Open Studio weekend is a self-guided statewide celebration of the visual arts, offering a unique opportunity to meet a wide variety of artists and craftspeople in their studios, some of which are only open to the public during this event. The tour features the work of glassblowers, jewelers, printmakers, potters, furniture makers, weavers, ironworkers, painters, sculptors, quilt makers, and wood carvers.
Cheese & Dairy Celebration at Billings Farm & Museum
May 24 – 25, Woodstock
Celebrate Vermont’s distinctive dairy heritage during a weekend of sampling delicious New England cheeses and dairy products and meeting local cheese makers, dairy education programs, making cheese, ice cream, and butter.
May 24 – 25, Waterbury Center
Come celebrate an old fashion sugar on snow with donut, pickle and hard-boiled egg. There’s also a maple bake sale with baked beans, candy, pies, breads & more. Waterbury Center Community Church on Rt. 100. For more info, call 802-244-8089.
The Changing Music Scene of the 1940s
May 26, Enosburg Falls
Take a look at the popular music scene of the 1940s and how styles evolved from the beginning of the decade to its end. This talk, by Martin Bryan of Catamount Arts, includes selections from original 78 rpm recordings, ranging from Big Band swing to wartime music, from popular Broadway musicals to bebop. Americans marched off to war and returned to a changed society.
The Italian Girl in Algiers, Comic Opera by Rossini
May 30, June 1, 5, 6 & 7, Middlebury
Opera Company of Middlebury presents "The Italian Girl in Algiers" by Gioachino Rossini. An Italian beauty finds herself stranded in small-town America in the 1950's, but using her wits (and Rossini's brilliant score) she soon beats the boys at their own game. The cast of professional singers is directed by Douglas Anderson and conducted by Maestro Emmanuel Plasson.
Beethoven String Quartet Op. 74 - Ives String Quartet No. 2
May 30, Putney
Since its founding, the Momenta Quartet has been exploring new ways of expanding the tradition of the string quartet, presenting works by living composers of diverse musical backgrounds and cultures that are often underrepresented or unknown in this country. Enjoy works by Beethoven and Ives, two composers who revolutionized the musical traditions of their own times.
May 30, Shelburne
Shelburne United Methodist Church presents a Piano Cabaret featuring Dr. Joe Utterback, jazz pianist, Friday evening, May 30 at 7 pm. Call 802-985-3981 for free tickets to help us plan for you, seating on first come basis. Doors open at 6:30 pm. Refreshments will be available.
2014 Burlington Discover Jazz Festival
May 30 - June 8, Burlington
For 31 years the Discover Jazz Festival has been celebrating amazing live music in Burlington, Vermont. Music resonates from every corner of Downtown Burlington — from the Flynn Center, to Church Street Marketplace, to Waterfront and City Hall Parks, to clubs and restaurants.
Coyote Scramble Ultras
May 31, East Burke
The Coyote Scramble is not a race, but more of a rambling party at Kingdom Trails. There’s routes of 40'ish/30'ish/20'ish miles; you'll earn bonus minutes/miles for wandering, yet within the 12 allotted hours for said scrambling. Sidebar activities of pre-/post-scramble feeds, maybe even some bowling, help fill your weekend.
World Masquerade Ball: A Dates for Coffee Benefit
May 31, Brattleboro
The World Masquerade Ball is a benefit for the film Dates for Coffee and promises to be a magical evening of enchanting live entertainment, delicious refreshments, dancing, and lively conversation. Enjoy cocktail hour, live entertainment and an auction of masks created by local artists.