Top 20 Vermont Events for 2011

APRIL 30-MAY 1: ESSEX JUNCTION, Everything Equine. Seminars, exhibits, and presentations devoted to the love of horses, featuring speakers and experts in equine science, industry, and competitive sports. Plus an equine art show, 4-H corner, and more, all at the Champlain Valley Expo. 802-878-5545; APRIL 30-MAY 1: WOODSTOCK, Spring Farm Festival. A weekend packed […]

By Yankee Magazine

Apr 18 2011

APRIL 30-MAY 1: ESSEX JUNCTION,Everything Equine. Seminars, exhibits, and presentations devoted to the love of horses, featuring speakers and experts in equine science, industry, and competitive sports. Plus an equine art show, 4-H corner, and more, all at the Champlain Valley Expo. 802-878-5545;

APRIL 30-MAY 1: WOODSTOCK,Spring Farm Festival. A weekend packed with traditional seasonal activities at Billings Farm & Museum, including the annual shearing of the Southdown flock. Farmers demonstrate plowing skills with oxen and draft-horse teams; plus horse-drawn wagon rides and more. 802-457-2355;

MAY 1: ROCKINGHAM,Herricks Cove Wildlife Festival. Take an early-morning stroll through a renowned birding area and spot a variety of winged species along the Connecticut River. Plus live “Wildlife Encounters,” nature presentations (including guests from the International Wolf Center), guided strolls, workshops, crafts, storytelling, and great food. 802-843-2111;

MAY 21: DERBY,Dandelion Run. The world’s prettiest weeds are the backdrop for this half-marathon (with relay options) along dirt roads and through bright fields in the heart of the Northeast Kingdom. Gather at the Derby Beach House at Lake Salem. 802-334-8511;

MAY 28: BENNINGTON,Mayfest Arts & Crafts Festival. Historic Main, School, Silver, and Valentine streets transform into pedestrian thoroughfares hosting more than 190 artisans (selling jewelry, pottery, fine art, and more), vendors, and entertainers, plus a beer garden and great food. 802-442-5758;

JUNE 3-5: BRATTLEBORO,Strolling of the Heifers. Friday evening features a gallery walk and live music, plus the River Garden’s “Ultimate New England Sandwich” competition finale. Saturday brings the 10th annual parade of flower-bedecked dairy calves strolling up historic Main Street. Don’t miss Saturday’s “Live Green Expo” (crafts, cheesemaking, conservation exhibits, and films) at the Brattleboro Retreat and Sunday’s “Tour de Heifer” (three farm-to-farm bike rides). 802-258-9177;

JUNE 11-12: MANCHESTER,Antique & Classic Car Show. Some 40 classes of autos and 800 antique vehicles, all at Dorr Farm. Silent auction, raffles, live music, vendors, tech sessions, parade, and more. 800-362-4144;

JUNE 11-12: STATEWIDE,Vermont Days. Free admission at all Vermont State Historic Sites and State Park day-use areas. Visit the Web sites for lists of monuments, homes, and outdoor recreation and natural areas. 802-828-3213,; 802-241-3655,

JUNE 17-19: QUECHEE, Quechee Hot Air Balloon, Crafts & Music Festival. Come to the Quechee Green: food, music, kids’ activities, skydiving demonstrations, 20 colorful hot-air balloons on scheduled flights, balloon rides, beer garden, and 75 crafters and vendors. 800-295-5451, 802-295-7900;

JUNE 18-20: LAKE CHAMPLAIN,LCI Father’s Day Fishing Derby. Adult and junior anglers compete for awards, cash, and prizes in a gorgeous setting. Cold-water, cool-water, and warm-water divisions include 12 species in seven categories. A major fundraising event for Lake Champlain International, a conservation nonprofit dedicated to the preservation and restoration of the watershed. Preregistration required. 802-879-3466;

JUNE 24-26: ESSEX JUNCTION,Vermont Quilt Festival. New England’s oldest and largest quilt event fills the Champlain Valley Expo, with more than 500 new and antique works on display. Shop more than 85 booths brimming with quilts, fabrics, and gifts; choose from 80 classes and lectures; plus appraisals, gallery talks, and demonstrations. 802-872-0034;

JULY 9: CRAFTSBURY COMMON,Antiques & Uniques. Head up to the Northeast Kingdom and peruse the wares of some 100 antiques and crafts vendors, including jewelry makers, quilters, potters, woodworkers, and more, all on the Common. Listen to live music, and don’t forget to visit the grill and the legendary bake-sale tent. 802-586-7596;

JULY 24: SHELBURNE,Vermont Cheesemakers’ Festival. Meet the artisans, sample regional cheeses and other local foods, and check out the seminars at Shelburne Farms’ Coach Barn; visit the historic Farm Barn to watch the cheesemakers at their craft. 800-884-6287;

JULY 27-SEPT. 5: WAITSFIELD, WARREN, FAYSTON,Vermont Festival of the Arts. The Mad River Valley hosts dozens of events in 50 locations, from music, workshops, exhibits, and tours to craft demonstrations, fine-art shopping, and culinary feasts. 802-496-6682;

JULY 29-AUG. 7: WILMINGTON, WHITINGHAM, DOVER,Deerfield Valley Blueberry Festival. The Mount Snow area turns blue for this 10-day celebration of a native New England superfood. Check out the full roster of events: parade, street fair, jam making, kids’ activities, bake sales, beer, art, music, and blueberry specials at local restaurants. 802-464-8092;

AUG. 5-7: BURLINGTON,Festival of Fools. Celebrate the joy of street theater, circus arts, music, comedy, and community. Four main stage locations at Church Street Marketplace and City Hall Park. 802-865-7166;

AUG. 9-13: NEW HAVEN,Addison County Fair & Field Days. A big agricultural event at the county fairgrounds, with all the favorite sights and sounds: crafts, 4-H exhibits, live entertainment, midway, parade, ox and tractor pulls, draft horses, kids’ barnyard, livestock judging, fair food, and more. 802-545-2557;

AUG. 27-SEPT. 5: ESSEX JUNCTION,Champlain Valley Fair. Celebrate agriculture at the Champlain Valley Exposition fairgrounds, with circus acts, shopping, gardening exhibits, great food, blue-ribbon competitions, livestock, horse shows, concerts, and more. 802-878-5545;

SEPT. 3-4: BENNINGTON, Southern Vermont Garlic & Herb Festival. An event with the slogan “Vermont Stinks!” is bound to be fun. Head over to Camelot Village to celebrate this glorious bulb in all its odorous forms, including ice cream, jelly, dips, dressings, salsas, even margaritas. Plus workshops on growing and harvesting. 802-447-3311;

SEPT. 10: PLYMOUTH,Plymouth Cheese & Harvest Festival. Celebrate Vermont’s bounty of the season! Cheese tasting and recipe contest, sheep shearing, farm-life and craft demonstrations, BBQ, wagon rides, live music, and more, all at the President Calvin Coolidge State Historic Site. 802-672-3773;