When I was younger, one of my favorite events of the year was the local hot air balloon festival that took place in my town (Pittsfield, New Hampshire) each year. While it wasn’t the Quechee balloon festival, it was a hot air balloon festival all the same. I loved the way that it would bring the whole community together for a day of fun and celebration, despite whatever else was going on in the world and on the news. It seemed like even the busiest people in town always made time to come down to the festival to watch the hot air balloons or to just be in the presence of friends, family, and community members. Kids loved it too, because they’d get to come and run around and go on rides with their friends (plus there is usually cotton candy and all sorts of other goodies too). And there really is just something special about hot air balloons. They are whimsical, and magical in a way. Magical in that they never fail to give you that feeling of childhood excitement, wonder, and awe as you watch them rise. Maybe its the way their colors light up in the sky, or the fact that they get to float amongst the clouds…either way, a hot air balloon festival is a spectacular event that every person should get to experience at least once in their life (but hopefully more)!
This weekend is the 34th annual Quechee Hot Air Balloon festival, taking place in Quechee, Vermont! The weekend festivities include music from a bunch of great bands that will be playing continuously throughout the weekend, tasty food, a kiddie zone for the children, a beer and wine garden for the adults, tons of talented Vermont artists and crafters, vendors of all sorts, and hot air balloons of course!
I truly hope that you get to enjoy the unique and heartwarming experience that a small town hot air balloon festival provides– and if not this year, maybe next year!
For more information on the festival, check out their official website and Facebook page.
As you know, when Hurricane Irene blew through Vermont, hundreds of our roads, bridges, homes and businesses were severely damaged or destroyed. Being on the banks (being THE banks, actually) of the Ottauquechee River, the Simon Pearce flagship store in Quechee Vermont suffered major flooding and sustained serious damage to its glassblowing, pottery and hydroelectric facilities.
Luckily their restaurant and retail store suffered much less damage and they recently re-opened.
We, at Vermont Woods Studios love to visit the Simon Pearce Mill and Restaurant, especially during these colorful weeks of Fall (that's Arn and Cathy in the restaurant– the picture was taken just before the hurricane). The Pearce family and their staff are an inspiration to us and a role model for sustainable operations and good corporate citizenship. Their business is a benchmark for the kind of destination we want to offer at our next location.
Check out the Simon Pearce website and Facebook to see the kind of principled company they have created. And definitely stop by for lunch or dinner at the Simon Pearce restuarant– one of the finest in the Northeast.
There are a few weeks of leaf peeping left in Vermont, so we hope you'll wander through our state this weekend or next. You'll find that almost all of our businesses have managed to dry out, dig out and clean-up in time for your visit. Your efforts will be greatly appreciated by all the Vermont business owners who are working around the clock to recover from the worst catastrophe the state has ever seen.
Enjoy your travels!