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It's That Time of Year: New England's Summer Festivals -- Vermont

Discovery New

Every Summer New England states host some of the best festivals. Many are kid-friendly or are just for families. Some of these events are for charities, town support, or sponsored by various local business. Some events this year are free to attend!


Burlington Discover Jazz Festival
Through June 8, 2014
Burlington, Vermont

An event that fills downtown Burlington with sounds of jazz, blues, funk, swing and Latin music. For 10 days, the entire city comes alive with a mix of concerts, street parties, cruises on Lake Champlain, meet-the-artist sessions and workshops. With an estimated 45,000 in attendance, venues for ticketed and free events include the majestic Flynn MainStage, intimate FlynnSpace, bucolic Waterfront Park, the bustling outdoor pedestrian mall Church Street Marketplace and City Hall Park, bars, clubs and restaurants throughout the city. Past headliners have included greats such as Sonny Rollins, Diana Krall, Ella Fitzgerald, Dave Brubeck, Béla Fleck and more.

Annual Strolling of the Heifers Weekend
June 4-8, 2014
Downtown Brattleboro, Vermont

This event begins with the Slow Living Summit on June 4-6 in downtown Brattleboro and continues with the Strolling of the Heifers weekend, June 6-8, which aims to connect people with healthy local foods and the farmers and producers who bring it to them. The centerpiece of the weekend is the world-famous Strolling of the Heifers Parade, featuring up to 100 heifer calves, along with cows, horses, goats, tractors, bands and more. The crowd follows the parade to the all-day 11-acre Live Green Expo for food, music, dance, demonstrations, exhibits and fun — all related to the event’s mission of sustaining family farms by connecting people with healthy local food. Sunday features the Tour de Heifer, a trio of scenic farm-to-farm bicycle rides tailored to all levels of cycling ability, with routes ranging from 6 to 60 miles. The Tour de Heifer raises money for grants that encourage innovation and entrepreneurship in farm and food enterprises.

Annual Stowe Wine & Food Classic
June 13-15, 2014
Trapp Family Lodge - Stowe, Vermont

Up-scale meets down-home in this event. The Stowe Wine and Food Classic is a one-of-a-kind food and wine experience, taking you from farm to table and vine to glass. Not only will you rub elbows with top winemakers and chefs, you will also meet the farmers and suppliers these chefs count on daily for fresh ingredients. Enjoy well over 100 wines from around the world along with a grand array of offerings from area restaurants, cheese makers and brewers, all in a casual and vibrant atmosphere. The festival is held at the Trapp Family Lodge, owned and managed by the von Trapps, one of the world’s best known and beloved musical families. The 2,500-acre resort with sweeping mountain views provides accommodations in an Austrian-style main lodge plus guest houses and villas.

Quechee Hot Air Balloon, Crafts and Music Festival
June 13-15, 2014
Quechee, Vermont

The longest continuously running Hot Air Balloon Festival in New England features more than 20 hot air balloons. Balloon rides will be available to purchase prior to and during the event. The event features continuous music and entertainment for all ages, and more than 60 craft artisans and commercial vendors. Children’s activities include train rides, a bungee jump, an inflatable climbing wall, slide and tunnel, craft activities and face painting. And of course there will be festival food, a beer and wine garden and more surprises!

June 19-22, 2014
Stratton Mountain Ski Resort – Bondville, Vermont

Wanderlust is a one-of-a-kind yoga and music festival held several times a year around the U.S. in places with inspiring natural scenery. Wanderlust is a mix of yoga classes, guided meditations, music performances, dance parties and other daytime and evening events for fans of music, yoga and environmentally and spiritually conscious living.

Burlington Wine & Food Festival
June 21, 2014
Waterfront Park — Burlington, Vermont

The festival for wine lovers, foodies and the hungry for adventure. 5th annual event showcasing hundreds of fine wines from Italy, Spain, Germany, Australia, France, Argentina, California, Vermont, Oregon, Washington and beyond. Taste world class wines paired with creations of Vermont’s top chefs, artisanal cheeses, and live jazz on the shore of Lake Champlain. Join award winning winemakers from across the globe visiting Vermont to share their craft at fun and informative seminars. Admission includes wine tastings and menu samples from Vermont restaurants leading the farm to table movement.

Vermont Symphony Orchestra: TD Bank Summer Festival Tour 2014
June 26 - July 6, 2014
Select locations around Vermont

For perfect summer evenings of picnics, music and fireworks, come see the Vermont Symphony Orchestra. The VSO has performances throughout the season at various outdoor venues around the state. Check link for full schedule.

Vermont Summer Festival Horse Show
July 1 - August 10, 2014
East Dorset, Vermont

The Vermont Summer Festival Horse show attracts the best show jumping athletes, including Olympic medalists from across the country and around the globe. The event offers more than $750,000 in prize money, making it the richest sporting event based on purse in the state of Vermont. This is a series of events over the course of July and August.

Annual Stoweflake Hot Air Balloon Festival
July 11-13, 2014
Stowe, Vermont

More than 25 hot-air balloons will soar for one of Vermont’s most popular summer celebrations; Stoweflake Mountain Resort & Spa will once again host the spectacular three-day event. Festival attendees are welcome to join in the fun; hot-air balloon rides are priced at $275 per person, plus tax, and advance reservations are recommended. Tethered rides on the hot-air balloons may be available for $10 per person.

Vermont Mountain Bike Festival
July 11-13, 2014
Ascutney Mt. Resort -- West Windsor, Vermont

This is Vermont’s premier mountain biking event: bringing riders together to enjoy Vermont’s finest trails as well as industry manufacturers and retailers with booths and demo products. For two jam-packed days, the Vermont Mountain Bike Festival will be home to exciting events catering to beginner and expert cyclists alike. This event is family friendly and will also offer kids’ rides led by Wheels Around Waterbury, a local summer camp that teaches kids mountain biking skills. Local shops and industry vendors will be on hand to share their products and provide demos.

Annual Champlain Islands Open Farm and Studio Tour
July 12-13, 2014
Lake Champlain Islands, Grand Isle County, Vermont

This special festival is a great excuse to visit the picturesque and peaceful Lake Champlain Islands of Vermont. Follow the HEART balloons to meet artists in their studios and to visit island farms for demonstrations and food samples. On Saturday, there’s a Farmers’ Market and an Islands Bike Tour. On Sunday, it’s the TASTE OF THE ISLANDS food celebration at Grand Isle Art Works. See website for details.

Vermont Brewers Festival
July 18-19, 2014
Burlington, Vermont

This is an artisan craft Beer festival celebrating artisan craft beers and the brewers who brew them. Come enjoy a great weekend in July at Burlington Waterfront Park with scenic views of Lake Champlain framed by the Adirondack Mountain Range.

Killington Wine Festival
July 18-20, 2014
Killington, Vermont

Over the last nine years, the Killington Wine Festival has become a signature summer event for the Killington region. Guests enjoy a nice July weekend tasting fine wines with Killington Peak and the Green Mountains of Vermont as a scenic backdrop. This year’s event will feature more than 500 wines from around the world represented by over 40 wineries and distributors.

Vermont Cheese Festival
July 20, 2014
Shelburne Farms - Shelburne, Vermont

With more than 50 cheesemakers, the highest number per capita in the country, Vermont is the premier artisan cheese state. Festival visitors will meet cheesemakers, and taste and purchase their cheeses. Come for educational seminars, cooking demonstrations by star chefs, and cheesemaking demonstrations throughout the day. The Vermont Cheesemakers’ Festival has been organized by Vermont Butter and Cheese Creamery in partnership with the Vermont Cheese Council. This is a busy weekend in the area; make reservations early.

Iron Adventure Run at Jackson Gore
July 24-26, 2014
Jackson Gore Resort -- Okemo Mountain, Vermont

Join motorcycle enthusiasts for a fun-filled long weekend of Vermont riding, events and more. All are welcome to this event which is powered by H.O.G., the official riding club of Harley-Davidson. Bike some of the best roads in North America to destinations including: dairy bars, maple bars, museums, mountains, lakes, covered bridges, and even sandbars. There are also bike games, bike shows, Dock Dogs, a parade, and nightly entertainment.

Deerfield Valley Blueberry Festival
July 25 - August 3, 2014
Mount Snow Valley, Vermont

If it’s blue, it’s probably happening in the Mount Snow area of Vermont in late July and early August. The Deerfield Valley Blueberry Festival is a community effort in which dozens of businesses, organizations and individuals have created blueberry or blue-themed events happening the first ten days of August. Visitors to the valley will find a Big Blue Parade, a Blue Street Fair, a blue car auto show, blueberry bake sales, blue beer, and pick your own blueberry opportunities. Don’t miss Boyd Farm’s “Fields of Blue” public art display.

The Vermont Midsummer Beer, Wine & Cheese Festival
August 2, 2014 (3-7 p.m.)
Marble Works - Middlebury, Vermont

Enjoy great Vermont beers and wines in downtown Middlebury — all to raise funds for three charitable organizations. Sample Vermont-made products, listen to music, socialize and have a great time!

Lake Champlain Dragon Boat Festival
August 3, 2014
Waterfront Park - Burlington, Vermont (Northern Vermont)

A dragon boat is a human-powered boat traditionally made of wood and a kind of traditional longboat from throughout Asia, Africa and the Pacific Islands. At this unique festival, more than 80 teams compete in dragon boat racing (a sport that originated in China over 200 years ago) to raise money for individuals battling cancer and to send out an inspirational message encouraging all cancer survivors to live life to the fullest.

Lake Champlain Maritime Festival
August 7-10, 2014
Burlington, Vermont

This festival promises exciting events and activities within a spectacular setting: Burlington’s waterfront on the shores of Lake Champlain. Stroll along the shores from venue to venue; view the classic boats, longboats, canoes, and kayaks; watch Dragon boat demonstrations. Experience boat building, sample local fare, enjoy music and bring the children for hands-on exhibits along the spectacular shores of Burlington’s waterfront. The Waterfront Wine & Food Tasting takes place at the Lake Champlain Maritime Festival in Burlington’s Waterfront Park. More than 40 participating exhibitors will be featured!

Annual Vermont Festival of the Arts
August 1 - Labor Day (September 1) 2014
Mad River Valley, Vermont (Central Vermont)

Named “One of America’s Top Summer Activities” by Travel and Leisure magazine, this annual festival has 50 free events in 50 stunning locations. Choose from exhibits, performances, workshops and demonstrations of painting, poetry and crafts, poetry workshops, lectures, a full moon celebration and culinary extravaganzas. Be sure to plan for “A Taste of the Valley” — the most talked about culinary event of the summer season!

Vermont Stinks: Southern Vermont Garlic & Herb Festival
August 30-31, 2014
Bennington, Vermont (Southern Vermont)

Vermont stinks? Only at this annual festival where garlic lovers congregate to sample food and crafts from 50 different vendors! There’s a beer and wine tent to relax in and even enjoy garlic cocktails. This event once featured in Parade Magazine only costs $5 per day or you canpurchase a two day pass for $8.00, plus kids 12 and under are $1.00 Sample garlic soup, garlic hot dogs, and even garlic ice cream, garlic apple pie and brownies!

Killington Classic Motorcycle Rally
August 28-31, 2014
Killington, Vermont (Central Vermont)

This is New England’s largest motorcycle touring rally and has earned praise from motorcycle press. The festival overlooks the Green Mountains of Vermont and provides access to unparalleled New England riding and an array of motorcycle events and entertainment each day. Enjoy a pig roast, bike show and grand parade to Rutland and the Vermont State Fair. The Killington region offers some of the best outdoor and scenic activities in New England. Take in the fall foliage from a gondola ride to the top of Killington peak, kayak through streams and lakes or enjoy a horseback ride through the valleys!

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