At the end of each year we often wish we had packed more things into the 365 days. Well, why not make this year’s resolution to try something new in Vermont? There are so many fun things to do and now is your chance to pack excitement and fun into the new year by planning ahead. Whether you’re a spectator or a participant, you can make this year the best ever! Grab your 2016 calendar and start filling it in with some of these exciting, informative and entertaining events.
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. SLEIGH RIDE WEEK - Woodstock, February 13-21
Take a classic sleigh ride, enjoy presidential themed cookies or take part in one of the many hands on activities with livestock and the dairy industry.
2. MAGIC HAT MARDI GRAS PARADE - Burlington, March 5
Friday night festivities and a parade on Saturday at 3, don't miss this frenzy of fun. The kids will love it, too!
3. VT OPEN SNOWBOARD AND MUSIC FESTIVAL - Stratton Mountain, March 11-13
Check out the signature competitions as people celebrate Vermont-born snowboarding. The riding will be epic!
4. JAY PEAK AND SKI THE EAST’S EXTREME COMPETITION CHAMPIONSHIPS - Jay, March 21-22
Jay Peak teams with Ski the East for this intense competition you won't want to miss if you're into extreme sports.
5. GREEN MOUNTAIN FILM FESTIVAL - Montpelier, March 18-27
This 10-day festival showcases the best of the best in narrative, documentary and short film.
6. 50TH ANNUAL VERMONT MAPLE FESTIVAL - St. Albans, April 22-24
Saint Alban's celebrates the harvest of the Green Mountain State’s signature product, maple! The active Main Street has entertainment, maple exhibits and contests, antiques and crafts shows, cooking demonstrations, sugarhouse tours, face painting, maple barbecue, pancake breakfasts, a parade and much, much more.
7. VERMONT CITY MARATHON & RELAY - Burlington, May 29
Cheer on these runners as they navigate through the city streets of Burlington and taking in spectacular views of the surrounding mountains and lake.
8. WANDERLUST FESTIVAL - Stratton, June 16-19
Join the thousands of people who come to the Stratton Village each June for a four-day celebration of yoga, music and local fresh fare.
9. ROCKFIRE - Websterville/Barre, June 24-26
Set in the abandoned quarries and granite ruins, Rockfest is a unique combination of art, music and fire on a monumental scale.
10. MAD MARATHON, MAD HALF & RELAYS - Waitsfield, July 10
Runners from all 50 states and 24 countries have been attracted to the Mad Marathon to enjoy this beautiful place we call Vermont.
11. 38TH ANNUAL MIDDLEBURY SUMMER FESTIVAL ON-THE-GREEN - Middlebury, July 10-16
Check out this free, family-friendly event which starts on Sunday evening and goes through the next 5 days. The festival is supported by community donations.
12. JEEZUM CROW FESTIVAL - Jay, July 22-23
This family friendly, two-day music festival, takes place in the 3,000 person amphitheater at Jay Peak Resort. This year will feature artists including Dark Star Orchestra, Lukas Nelson, The Weight, Anders Osborne, Rick Redington & The Luv grace the out- door concert venue, providing great and easily accessible music for everyone.
13. BLUEBERRY FESTIVAL - Wilmington, July 29-August 7
Time to celebrate all things blueberry! It's deliciously entertaining.
14. HOPS IN THE HILLS BEER & WINE FESTIVAL AT OKEMO MOUNTAIN RESORT - Ludlow, August 5-7
Enjoy a great lineup of live music, delicious local food and goods while sampling over 50 craft beers, a dozen hard ciders and 20 wines—all while hanging out in the beautiful courtyard at Okemo’s Jackson Gore Inn.
15. STOWE WINE & FOOD CLASSIC - Stowe, August 26-28
Foodies unite at this delicious 3-day slice of culinary heaven.
16. CHAMPLAIN VALLEY FAIR - August 26 - Sept 4
Celebrate “Summer's Last Blast” with 10 days of rides, food, fun, concerts and shopping. The Champlain Valley Fair has been around for years and we suspect it will go on for many more!
17. 21ST ANNUAL SOUTHERN VERMONT GARLIC & HERB FESTIVAL - Bennington, September 3-4
Join garlic lovers from far and wide as they sample food made from garlic and herbs and enjoy crafts from more than 180 vendors. Garlic ice cream? You betcha!
18. 22ND ANNUAL MOUNT SNOW BREWERS FESTIVAL - West Dover, September 3-4
The 3rd Annual Hops for Hope 5K kicks things off to benefit the American Cancer Society. Then, sample from nearly 90 beers and ciders from almost 50 different brewers.
19. VERMONT GOLDEN HONEY FESTIVAL - Proctorsville/Cavendish, September 10
This small town and free event is perfect for anyone with a sweet tooth.
20. VERMONT WINE AND HARVEST FESTIVAL - West Dover, September 16-18
Hosted at Mount Snow Resort, enjoy the town of Wilmington during the annual Soup Contest & Wine Stroll before you go back to the festival which boasts more than 70 vendors.
21. TUNBRIDGE WORLD'S FAIR - September 15,16,17,18, 2016
Always 10 days after Labor Day, The 145th Tunbridge Fair has run continuously since 1867 except in 1918, due to the great flu epidemic, and during World War II. The fair keeps it traditional with a bevy of agricultural exhibits along with tractor pulls, pig races, games and rides.
22. 19TH CENTURY APPLE & CHEESE HARVEST FESTIVAL - Strafford, September 25
Classic fair activities 19th century style. Come and celebrate Johnny Appleseed's birthday!
23. CELEBRATION AT BILLINGS FARM & MUSEUM - Woodstock, October 1-2
Make cider, ice cream and more classic apple farm games. Also, be sure to vote for your favorite!
24. 19TH ANNUAL MOUNT SNOW OKTOBERFEST - West Dover, October 8-9
Enjoy your schnitzels and bratwurst while oompah music and yodeling fill the background noise. There is also an annual Harvest Arts and Crafts Show in the base lodge.
25. COLUMBUS DAY WEEKEND HARVESTFEST - Stratton, October 8-10
A fall spectacular with live music, hay rides, pumpkin painting and caramel apple dipping.
26. ROKTOBERFEST: A BEER, BACON & BANDS FESTIVAL - Vergennes, October 15
Music to keep you dancing, great local beer, delectable menu items that include the flavors of fall: bacon, cheddar and maple. What more can you want?
27. HAUNTED HAPPENINGS - Shelburne, October 30
Put on your costume and get ready for tricks, treats and fun activities! Visitors are encouraged to bring donations of non-perishable food items for the Shelburne Food Shelf.
Whether you do 1 or 27, these are all fun things that Vermont has to offer. Be sure to like and share this post with your friends so you can start marking your calendars! Life is too short to keep doing the same old things.