Vermont May 03, 2016
These 15 Unique Festivals In Vermont Are Something Everyone Should Experience Once
When it comes to festivals, Vermont is one of the best places to be to find unique gatherings filled with fun and entertainment. These festivals are just some of the many we love and 2016 may just be the best year for great festivals in the Green Mountain State. Whether you like animals, food, music, art or all things local, Vermont is sure to have a festival planned that you’ll love. Get your calendar out and start marking the dates – these are some awesome times you’re not going to want to miss!
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life as we all practice social and physical distancing. While we’re continuing to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, we don’t expect or encourage you to go check them out immediately. We believe that supporting local attractions is important now more than ever and we hope our articles inspire your future adventures! And on that note, please nominate your favorite local business that could use some love right now:
1. Birdfest - May 28, Montpelier
Head over to the North Branch Nature Center for Birdfest for an up close and personal look at all species of feathered friends. Warbler walks, bird banding demonstration and live raptors are just a few things you'll see, along with all different nature walks for experienced birdwatchers and children alike.
2. Strolling of the Heifers - June 3-5, Brattleboro
Strolling of the Heifers
is one of Vermont's favorite festivals. This 3-day event has everything from artisan foods, parades, art strolls, bike rides and, of course, some pretty good looking heifers. We'd recommend this amazing weekend to anyone!
3. Wanderlust - June 16-19, Stratton
festival is a must for anyone who embraces natural living, organic food, environmental dedication and spiritual healing. This multi-day exploration of wholesome living has everything including (but not limited to) music, yoga, lectures, and a variety of enriching classes.
4. Burlington Wine & Food Festival - June 18, Burlington
Attention all foodies! The
Burlington Wine & Food Festival
highlights Vermont's farm to table movement and serves up culinary masterpieces paired with world class wines. Enjoy the spectacular views and live jazz while your taste buds explode. This event sells out so be sure to get tickets early!
5. Frendly Gathering - June 23-25, Windham
was created by 6 pro snowboarders who call themselves the "Frends Crew." This festival is capped at 3,000 people and has great music on multiple stages as well as small gatherings everywhere you look. The festival allows “car camping” and RVs, has food and crafts available for sale and embraces The Frendly Manifesto, which is a set of ideas meant to promote a sense of community, respect and personal growth. Sounds rad!
6. Firefly Arts Collective - June 29 - July 4, Bethel
People all pitch in to make the
Firefly Arts Collective
an amazing experience as all things from setup to cleanup are done by community volunteers. The organization operates under the principals: Radical Inclusion, Gifting, Decommodification, Radical Self-reliance, Radical Self-expression, Communal Effort, Civic Responsibility, Leaving No Trace, Participation, Immediacy. Heads up - there are no vendors here as Firefly is a Gift Economy. This means no money changes hands for any goods or services, and people often come prepared to share or “gift” something, such as art, food, performance or interaction that they feel would add to others’ experience of the event. So cool!
7. Vermont Brewers Festival - July 15-16, 2016, Burlington
If you're a beer lover, you'll love the
Vermont Brewers Festival
. Two full days of toasts, tastes and many discussions about hops, barley and more. Cheers!
8. Cambridge Music Festival - July 16, Cambridge
The Cambridge Music Festival (CMF) showcases New England-based musicians, singers, and songwriters. All proceeds from the event benefit Cambridge 360, a well-known local organization with a mission is to raise funds from community members to cycle back into the community through projects like building a community center.
9. Vermont Cheesemakers Festival - July 17, Shelburne
If you love Vermont cheeses (and who doesn't?) then this is a festival you won't want to miss. The 7th annual
Vermont Cheesemakers' Festival
gathers over 40 passionate cheese makers and they share their passion for making fine cheeses as festival goers taste local and fresh foods and wines. Meet the artisans who make them and spend a beautiful summer day along the shores of Lake Champlain at the historic Shelburne Farms Coach Barn.
10. Vermont Blueberry Festival - July 29 - August, Wilmington
A whopping 10 days are dedicated to one of the most fun - and delicious - festivals in Vermont. The
Vermont Blueberry Festival
! You'll find fresh berries, vintage cars, music, and food... If it’s blue, it will probably be at this family friendly festival in the Deerfield Valley this summer!
11. Manifestivus - July 29 - 30th, Cabot
is a local festival with a global vibe. This 2 day extravaganza brings some great live music to about 2,000 concert goers and is has many different events and activities that are fun for the whole family.
12. Festival of the Arts - August 13, Jeffersonville
The Cambridge Arts Council has been keeping it local since the inception of the Festival of the Arts in 2009, showcasing local art galleries, artists, and musicians. The goal is, and always has been, to support local artists, musicians and restaurants.
13. Vermont Music Festival - August 19 - 21, Waitsfield
There are many sights to see at this festival, bringing great music, food and people together for a memorable experience.
14. Middlebury New Filmmakers Festival - August 25 - 28, Middlebury
The 2nd annual
Middlebury New Filmmakers Festival
will bring a new lineup of outstanding films from all over the world. Organizers of this festival are dedicated to showcasing incredible and engaging films by first and second time directors. If you're a movie buff, you won't want to miss this one!
15. Mac and Cheese Challenge - September 11, Windsor
Vermonter's love mac and cheese, and at the 4th annual
Mac and Cheese Challenge
, you will have the chance to sample all kinds of recipes and vote on your favorite. Buy your tickets early, they cap the attendance at 3,000 people and, yes, it sells out!
Don’t see your favorite festival listed? Leave it in the comments to share with other Vermonters and visitors so we can experience all the wonderful times and places in our favorite place. Be sure to like this if you’ve enjoyed any of the festivals mentioned above, too!