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.
Having grown up in Brattleboro, I vividly remember a field trip to Rudyard Kipling’s Naulakha House. Even at the ripe age of 7 I knew that visiting this historical landmark was pretty special. The Naulakha House is where Rudyard Kipling, Nobel Prize winning author, wrote The Jungle Book, Captain’s Courageous, The Seven Seas, and The Day’s Work.
The Naulakha House was acquired by the Landmark Trust USA in 1992 after it had been unoccupied since 1942. The Landmark Trust USA restored the home to be as it was when Kipling occupied the property. However, some modern conveniences, such as electricity, have been added to the home, which is now available as a Vermont vacation rental. When the house is not being rented by tourists or writers looking for some inspiration, it is open for school programs. More than 6,000 performances of the Just So Stories have been given to school programs.
On April 4 there will be a rare open house for the public at the Naulakha House to raise money for the school programs. The event will include a full property tour, coffee, and desert. Tickets for this event are by reservation only, and are available by calling 802-254-6868.
If you are interested in staying in the Naulaka House, which is nestled into the woods of Dummerston, Vermont, you can book your stay online. Perhaps when you visit us at Stonehurst this summer you’ll opt out of staying at a bed and breakfast, instead renting Rudyard Kipling’s home. To learn more about this National Historic Landmark visit the Landmark Trust USA’s website.
Vernon, Vermont, where Vermont Woods Studios is located, is about 20 square miles and has a population of about 2,200. So, many of us either live in Brattleboro, or travel there a few times a week for necessities (groceries) or entertainment (movies, restaurants). This weekend, our neighboring town has an exciting event for Vermonters and visitors alike: the annual Harris Hill Ski Jump Event.
The Harris Hill Ski Jump is a 90-meter jump, which is designed to International Ski Federation specifications. It is the only 90-meter ski jump in New England, and there are less than a handful of this size in the United States. Skiiers from around the world zip down this huge jump, launching themselves more than 300 feet in the air at 60 miles per hour! As read in the Brattleboro Reformer, “According to event organizers, this year’s event will not only feature the annual Pepsi Challenge and the Fred Harris Memorial Tournament, but also the only U.S. Stop on the International Ski Federation’s FIS Cup and a stop on the United States American Ski Jumping U.S. Cup Tour.”
The ski jump closed in 2005 due to significant maintenance repair that needed to be done. With the help and support of the local community, they were able to complete an extensive renovation to restore the jump to it’s original first-class ski jump in 2009. The Harris Hill Ski Jump has continued to be a popular community based event each year. It is put on entirely by volunteers and local sponsorship. Join the Brattleboro area community during this is a two day event (Saturday, February 16th and Sunday, February 17th). Visit the Harris Hill Ski Jump website for the full schedule and additional event information.
Come visit for Presidents Day weekend and enjoy this event. In addition to flying skiiers, there will be concessions, a beer tent, and souvenirs. We just had a huge snow storm (thanks, Nemo), so this is a great time to be in Vermont!
We love wildlife here at Vermont Woods Studios. Forest conservation
is, afterall, a large part of our mission. So, if you're anything like us, we have an
exciting event for you to attend this weekend. Saturday, September 15, is the third annual Vermont Wildlife Festival. This day-long event, put together by the Southern
Vermont Natural History Museum, is designed to "showcase the many ways
that we enjoy the outdoors in Vermont."
The day (10am-4pm) is packed full of events by over twenty different organizations. During the Vermont Wildlife Festival you will see live animals (including
raptors and a wolf), have the opportunity to go on a guided hike, a scavenger
hunt, interactive demonstrations, wilderness survival information, and much more. Not quite sold yet? What
if I told you that this event is FREE?
Still not 100% sold? Have I mentioned that this event will
be taking place right near the Hogback Mountain Scenic Overlook? It is a
panoramic 100-mile breath-taking view. It is a must-see, and a perfect photo opportunity,
for both Vermonters and tourists alike.
Heather Barrett is a Marketing Assistant at Vermont Woods Studios, an online furniture gallery which showcases Vermont's finest wood furniture. Follow our blog to learn about Vermont fine furniture, Vermont happenings, our mission, and our team.
The Art and Craft Festival will be held at the Shelburne Museum July 27-29. Photo via Craft Producer's Facebook Page
A couple of weeks ago, I blogged about "Five Fantastic Vermont Events In July." The Shelburne Museum Art and Craft Festival was included, and is wrapping up my list of July events. The Art and Craft Festival is this weekend, July 27-29, and after a 6 year hiatus, the festival is returning to the Shelburne Museum in Shelburne, Vermont. This 14th annual event will feature over 150 artists and artisans, who will be showcasing their specialties. Vermont artisans, like the ones who make wood furniture at Vermont Woods Studios, are a large part of Vermont's culture and history. Vermonter's pride themselves on their craftmanship, and the unique items they can handmake. Art items that will be at the festival include hand thrown pottery, fine silver and gold jewelry, photography, paintings, and many more.
The Shelburne Craft School will be demonstrating how their products are made. Kid's will be invited to join in with the activities offered by the school instructors.
This weekend event is more than just art, it is also largely focused on food and drink. This year there will be a new spirit and wine tasting tent, where you can sample local wines. Vermont craft beer will be another local beverage option at the event. Your taste buds will also be satisfied when you discover the small size food portions being served by local restaurants on Sunday. This Sunday event is called the "Taste of Shelburne" and the restaurants will be donating their profits to the Shelburne Craft School.
This is a great opportunity to experience Vermont culture, buy local products, and enjoy delicious food and drink.
Heather Barrett is a Marketing Assistant at Vermont Woods StudiosF, an online furniture gallery which showcases Vermont's finest wood furniture. Follow our blog to learn about Vermont fine furniture, Vermont happenings, our mission, and our team.