This is a selected list of some of the top events in the area, all of them within an hour's drive from our inn and most of them much less than that. More often than not there will be many other activities but this will give you an idea of a few things to do while you are here. If you have a particular interest and want to know if there is anything like that here, just let us know and we'll research it for you. Also, we have a good supply of maps, plus brochures and other literature that we will be happy to share with you for planning to attend events.
For the latest event news, updates, and more details, see the Events Calendar that I maintain for the Watrebury Tourism Council.
The events listed below are more or less in chronological order but note that some are one day events and others last for months so the order is not perfect.
One of the barns at Shelburne Farms
Great variety of music, educational, family events, campfires, etc., all held in a magnificent facility.One of the top places to visit in Vermont.
ECHO at the Leahy Center for Lake Champlain, Burlington lake front, year around, www.echovermont.org
Aquarium and science center with 60 species of fish, a hundred hands-on exhibits, theater, summer raptor exhibit "Hunters of the Sky" with hawks, eagles, owls, osprey.
Open Craft Studio Weekend, Memorial Day weekend and early October: www.vermontcrafts.com/links/open.html
The Open Studio Weekend is a statewide event held twice a year during which about 200 Vermont craftspeople and artists open their studios to the public for the sale and demonstration of their work. If you like fine art and high quality crafts, you will enjoy this event a great deal. It's an unusual opportunity to see some studios that are not normally open to the public.
One of the most amazing places to visit in all the United States. Vermont is greatly fortunate to have such a gem. Add a day to your Vermont travel plans and spend it here. Not just an art museum but a huge facility of 1400 acres with homes, barns, gardens, Lake Champlain steamship, carriage collections, authentic old general store, pioneer village, antique carousel, small gauge train, much more. Takes at least two days to cover completely. You will be impressed.
Vermont History Expo
Vermont History Expo
One of our favorite things to do. Held every Saturday, mid-May to mid-Oct, 9:00 - 1:00. Lots of fresh produce, flowers, crafts, great entertainment, horse-drawn wagon ride, people watching. Very relaxing and enjoyable way to start the day. It's a good place to meet and chat with some Vermont locals. The link above has a list of farmers markets and farm stands throughout the state.
Exhibits, workshops, lectures, appraisals, merchants mall, kids programs. One of the largest quilt shows in the northeast. More than 400 quilts in two buildings: antique quilt section, works by the festival teachers, and special exhibits. Leading the way is a judged show with some 180 quilts entered in the annual contest. From the youngest beginner to the most practiced expert, contestants provide something for every taste, from the most traditional to the avant-garde. Also, there are daily gallery talks about some of the principal exhibits. The curators or other knowledgeable Festival staff will offer informal 30 to 45 minutes talks once or twice each day and answer questions about the quilts.
Vermont Brewers Festival, mid July, Waterfront Park, Burlington: www.vermontbrewers.com
Rated as one of Vermont's Top 10 Events and Featured as one of ten Great Beer Festivals by USA Today. The Vermont Brewers Festival is the longest running outdoor brewers festival in the East, and it's no wonder since Vermont is home to more breweries per capita than any other state. Brewers participating in this event do so by invitation only, based on brewery capacity, distinctiveness, and product quality. Enjoy a wide range of offerings, including traditional lagers, ales, and unique products such as fruit beers, barleywines, and Belgian-style white beers. You'll also enjoy gourmet foods, demonstrations, and top quality entertainment. A lot of fun in a beautiful location overlooking the lake. Great sunsets there too.
Stowe Taste of Stowe Arts Festival, late July
Now in its fourth year and getting better every year.
Vermont Festival of the Arts, August 1- 31
Painting, sculpture, photography, crafts, printmaking, woodcarving, glassblowing, poetry, flower arranging, chamber music, chorale, concerts, dance, culinary workshops, cheesemaking workshops, theatrical performances, Art in the Garden Tour, street fairs, film festivals, historic barn tours, farmer's markets, and, believe it or not, much more.
Over 800 antique cars, trucks, military vehicles, and fire engines on display. Antique car auction, parade, fashion contest, Car Corral, antique car related Flea Market, food. One of the top car shows in the eastern USA.
North America's largest all British classic and sports car show plus British cultural activities, shops, crafts, Auto Jumble, car corral. Jaguar and Morgan are the featured marques this year.
For more than 30 years, the Mad River Valley Craft Fair has been held in the Valley. About 100 good quality artists and artisans display their paintings, pottery, handmade clothing, carvings, jewelry, basketry, weavings, furniture. Live entertainment and food that is far better than you find at most events.
See a large part of rural Vermont life. Sheep, llamas, alpacas, angora goats, rabbits. Shearing demonstrations, dog herding, llama obstacle course, spinning, knitting, rug hooking. More than 60 vendors. Workshops and classes.
Stowe Oktoberfest, late September www.stoweoktoberfest.com
A Stowe Rotary event for the entire family. Grand parade, oompah bands, continuous singing and dancing, authentic German food and desserts, Vermont micro-brewed beer, children's tent with puppet theatre, pumpkin painting. Huge silent auction. Raffle prizes.
190 juried artisans, music, shopping, great food in the beautiful village of Stowe. Wide variety of crafts from jewelry to wood products, from dry flower arrangements to homemade fudge, surrounded by beautiful fall foliage.
Stowe Winter Carnival, every January www.stowecarnival.com
Professional ice carvers create elegant and masterful sculptures throughout the village in the 7th Annual NICA sanctioned Ice Carving Competition. Refresh your spirit and sense of humor by experiencing the return of an Olympic moch-Hollywood Squares where quasi movie stars , politicians and famous athletes answer questions in a hilarious game show setting. Watch or participate in zany events such as International Snow Golf Calcutta and Tournament, SnowVolleyball Tournament, Stowe Super G Ski Race, Snowshoe Races, Kids Carnival, and the long-standing, ever popular Village Night Celebration Block party on Main St.