Travel

Find Your Harvest Festival!

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It's sad to see but August is coming to an end and harvest season is upon us. As always, Vermont has numerous celebrations planned in honor of the harvest and fall season. Check out the ones listed below:

39th Annual Harvest Festival in Shelburne - Saturday, September 16th (10am - 4pm) - Explore a tent full of children’s activities, entertainers performing on multiple stages, artisans sharing their skills and crafts, and of course, delicious farm-fresh food. Farm animals and horse-drawn hayrides, too! It’s a community event for the whole family. 

Stowe Rotary's Oktoberfest in Stowe - September 29th - October 1st - A celebration of the harvest highlighting our local beers. Bavarian style bands perform during the weekend, with food, fun and dancing for all ages. Come enjoy peak foliage and have a beer or two. 

Rocktoberfest in Morrisville on Saturday, September 30th - Starting with Copley’s “Run for the Heart” 5K Fun Run/Walk starting at Oxbow Park, followed by a street festival featuring live, well known bands, a fabulous food court, the great chili cook-off, recyclable miniature golf, creative events, local merchants, massages, live Chair-Art-Able Auction, local brews and the best of the best in the region! 

Sam Mazza's Harvest Festival in Colchester - October 1st & 2nd - The festival offers lots of on-grounds entertainment. The children can enjoy pony rides, a petting zoo, a hay ride down to the pumpkin patch, the corn maze and many craft and entertainment activities held under the tent. 

Sugarbush Oktoberfest at Lincoln Peak on October 8th - Will feature Bavarian inspired food, drink, games, and the Mad Bavarian Brass Band. Compete in the stein hoisting competition, keg tossing, and corn hole tournament for a chance to win lift tickets for the upcoming winter season. Friendly Lens will provide photo booth fun.

 

Vermont Community Events

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Crowd ConcertVermonter's love to celebrate. Seriously, we'll celebrate everything from cheese and wine to bikes and cars. We like to think we know how to have a good time, which is evident from our numerous festivals and fairs. Upcoming fun includes:

Music in the Meadow - A summer-long concert series at the Trapp Family Lodge in Stowe, VT.

July 14-15 - Waterbury Arts Fest - Kick off this fun-filled event with a Friday night block party, followed by a day of entertainment, crafts, food, and more. This event has quickly become one of the most anticipated of the summer.

July 15 - Vermont Cheesemakers Festival (Waitsfield) - Don't be fooled, this festival celebrates much more than cheese with local foods, wines, ciders, beers and spirits for you to try. 

July 21-23 - Vermont Mountain Bike Festival - Head to Sugarbush for this festival celebrating all things mountain biking, but the fun doesn't end there with live music, BBQ's, a bonfire, games, and much more all weekend long

August 11-13 - Stowe Antique Car Show - In its 60th year, this car show is the one of the biggest and longest running in New England. Check out over 800 vehicles on display with lots of fun music, contests, and activities throughout the show.

August 27 - Race to the Top of Vermont - Bike, hike, or ride to the top of Mount Mansfield, Vermont's highest peak with this challenging course. Then, rest and relax with a BBQ and Music at the base lodge. 

Pond Skimming Season

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It's just about April which means pond skimming is just around the corner! For anyone who is at a loss for what this event could possibly be, it's just as it sounds. Contestants race down a small hill and try and see how far they can make it across a 'pond' with their skis or boards as they skim across the water. Awards are typically given out for best splash, longest skim, style, best costume, etc. It's a great pastime that draws hundreds to the mountains for a fun-filled day. 

Bolton, for example, designates a theme for each years' pond skimming event. This year is 1966 to celebrate their 50th year. Visit each mountain's page below for more details on their event.

April 1st - Stowe Mountain Resort

April 1st - Bolton Valley

April 8th - Sugarbush Resort

 

 

It's Snow Time!

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We're smack dab in the middle of ski season and there are so many fun races, parties, and events at all the local mountains. Check out everything from a Retro 80's weekend in Stowe to an Island Weekend bash at Sugarbush Resort. Whether you ski, board, or fat bike, there is a race here for you. Check out the links below for detailed information on these events and registration for races. These are only a few of the many events in the area so make sure you check out each resort's calendar of events.

February 26th: Stowe Derby at Stowe Mountain Resort

March 4th: Castlerock Extreme at Sugarbush Resort

March 5th: High Fives Fat Ski-A-Thon at Sugarbush

March 8th: Bolton Valley Rail Jam

March 10th - 12th: Retro 80's Weekend at Stowe Mountain Resort

March 18th: Ski and Ride New England Party at Bolton Valley

March 19th: Sugarbush Mountaineering Race

March 25th: Island Weekend at Sugarbush 

Area Winter Festivals To Know About

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Hopefully, if you're living in Vermont, you actually like the snow, cold temperatures, and all the wonderful activities that come with this type of climate... or at least you don't dislike them. But whether you're a seasoned winter enthusiast, or are just starting to work on your 'icy-parking-lot-walking' form, there are a few winter celebrations in the area you won't want to miss.

Stowe Winter Carnival - January 14 - January 28

In its 43rd year, this Stowe carnival is 15 days long and full of tournaments, ice carving, skating, dance parties, movie nights, karaoke nights, brews, and a fishing derby. 

Shelburne Winterfest - Saturday, January 21

This indoor/outdoor winterfest at Shelburne Farms includes family friendly activities including sledding, horse-drawn rides, crafts, music, and a rock climbing wall by Northern Lights Rock and Ice.

Waterbury Winter Fest - January 17 - February 5

New England Landmark is a Proud Sponsor of Waterbury Winterfest!

10 days of awesome winter activities in and around Downtown Waterbury, and Waterbury Center. Partake in anything from guided hikes and classes to the Winterfest Snowball, craft beer tastings, and the highly competitive annual broomball tournament! (Some preregistration needed, so check out the schedule in advance.)

Montpelier's Ice on Fire Winter Festival - Sunday, January 29

A celebration of community along with the season, this festival features storytellers, theatre acts, music, facepainting, crafts and winter games, hot cider, chili, and warming hut to help keep warm.

Brrrlington Winter Bash - Saturday, February 25

A kid-centered celebration of snow-fun a the Miller Recreation Center in Burlington. Free snowshoeing, xc skiing, face painting, crafts, and youth yoga classes by Spark Youth Yoga. 

 

First-Rate Fall Foliage

If you live in Vermont, one of the best times of the year is fall. The scenery around you changes on a daily basis from deep greens to an assortment of warm colors. Looking out your window to a collage of yellow, red, and orange is enough to make anyone grateful that this is their home. Luckily, we know it and celebrate it through many harvest and foliage festivals throughout the season.

In our area, you'll find the Stowe Foliage Arts Festival taking place from October 7-9. And, while fall is amazing, every season in Vermont is beautiful from snowy peaks to refreshing dips in our lakes. Living here, you get the best of every season. Vermont is an ideal place to raise a family with numerous outdoor activities for everyone year round.

 

Stowe Antique Car Show August 12 - 14

The 59th Annual Stowe Antique and Classic Car Meet is this coming weekend (August 12 - 14). This is one of the largest and oldest car shows in New England featuring:

  • A Street Dance
  • Automobile Parade
  • Vintage Fashion Judging
  • Automobile Judging
  • Car Corral
  • Flea Market
  • Valve Cover Racing/Hot Wheels Racing
  • And Much More!

This event draws thousands of car connoisseurs each year and boasts over 800 antique and classic cars. There are food concessions during the festivities and this year's show will feature RACE CARS!

To read the brochure and schedule of events click here.

Green Mountain BBQ & Music Festival

The Waterbury-Stowe area is a great place to live. Wonderful shops, restaurants, great outdoor adventures/activities, but one of the biggest reasons, are the events.

Waterbury likes to start celebrating July Fourth a week before the rest of the country. We call it Not Quite Independence Day. It comes with a parade, fireworks, and the Green Mountain BBQ & Music Festival!

Put on by the Rotary Club of Waterbury, the event features authentic barbecue, food trucks, craft brews by von Trapp Brewing, kids' activities and live music.

  • Authentic Barbecue: More than 3,000 barbecue enthusiasts will gather to watch 35+ pit masters from across the region compete at the Green Mountain BBQ Championship. Events are sanctioned by the New England Barbecue Society & Kansas City Barbecue Society.
  • Kids' Activities: Carnival-style games that aren't rigged; climbing wall, provided by the Vermont National Guard; a large sandbox; lawn tractor jousting, sponsored by NAPA Auto Parts; a roaming railroad; inflatable obstacle course, provided by the Waterbury Mission; pie baking contest; face painting; baby animals; and fun photo opts to remember the occasion.
  • Live Music: Bands such as Tim Brick, Dark Hours, Mellow Yellow, The Pilgrims, Prydein, and Jimmy T Thurston grace the stage at Farrs Field on Route 2 West.

On-site ticket prices $12 adults, $5 kids ages 5-12, $25 pass for a family of adults and two kids. Tickets are also available online at greenmountainbbq.com at a reduced rate.

This year, the schedule is as follows:

Saturday, June 25 11 am:

Not Quite Independence Day Main Street Parade, starts at the Ice Center and ends at Stowe Street. This year's parade theme: Kid's Favorite Characters.

Noon to dusk: The Green Mountain BBQ & Music Festival, at Farr's Field. At dusk, fireworks at Farr's Field, weather permitting.

Sunday, June 26 11 am - 5 pm:

Green Mountain BBQ & Music Festival resumes. 

Vermont Life Magazine Youth Exodus? Vermont Life Magazine

Vermont Life Magazine Youth Exodus? » Vermont Life Magazine.

For a long time the myth has been that young people are leaving the state, leading to economic, social, and cultural downfalls. Recently, Vermont Life Magazine has painted a different scene and with ample research found that, "Universally, the young people we spoke to said they prize Vermont's intimate scale and interconnectedness, its natural beauty and easy access to the outdoors, its down-to-earth priorities and its indefinable vibe. Vermont has a bright future. Vermont is also admired. People want to live here, and with the Web and telecommuting, more and more of them can." They do point out that indeed many young people are leaving, but they are also returning to the state with the wealth and knowledge gained from travel and life experience. They said, "The youth-flight narrative, with its aversion to nuance and context, overlooks the flow of people who return in mid career."

If more young people are going to stay in the state, they need to be able to thrive in their career and find a home to match their lifestyle. Vermont Life Magazine looked at the case of Dealer.com, "everybody's idea of what Vermont needs to stop young people from leaving the state." Dealer.com is, "a fast-growing business that provides digital marketing systems for the automotive industry, in a setting, with about 750 other employees, that has all the toys and perks of Silicon Valley culture: brightly colored warrens of open cubicles, organic café with espresso, on-site gym, rooftop solarium with putting green and a renovated building that, it almost goes without saying, is a model of green design." Sean Hurley, director of advertising and social products for Dealer.com said that, "It's a mistake for anyone to think that there aren't real businesses here making real money." In fact there are many examples of thriving local business in Vermont in order to keep young people in the state engaged and challenged within their careers. Luckily, there are also many opportunities to help first-time home buyers settle in the state.

With all of these opportunities at an arm's-length away, what young person wouldn't want to make a home in Vermont?

Please contact us for more information on buying a home in Vermont or consult the following information meant to educate first-time home buyers.

Further information for first-time home buyers:

"First-timers now represent nearly 30 percent of all existing home purchasers," said Ray Brousseau, executive vice president of a nationwide lender. "That's a big percentage, but it could be a lot higher because there are many ways first-time purchasers can finance with little down and little hassle."

The big barrier for many first-time buyers is cash. It takes cash for a down payment, and it takes cash to close. Lenders are generally looking for buyers with 20 percent down, but given that the typical home sells for more than $200,000, there are a lot of first-time homebuyers who have not accumulated the $40,000 or more that lenders prefer. The good news: There are many ways around the 20 percent requirement with traditional loan options. "It doesn't take a lot of up-front cash to buy a home today," said Brousseau. "FHA and conventional financing are all available with little down, while VA borrowers can qualify for mortgages that require no down payment." The way such programs work is that they substitute insurance for the 20 percent down that lenders would otherwise want.

Mortgage Assistance Plans

According to DownPaymentResource.com, there are more than 1,500 assistance plans administered by more than 1,000 agencies nationwide for would-be buyers, many aimed specifically at first-time purchasers. In looking at these programs it's important to understand what the term "first-time buyer" means. It typically does not mean someone who has never owned a home; instead the usual definition for program qualification purposes is someone who has not had title to a home during the past three years. This definition is important because it provides a way for people to re-enter the housing marketplace.

"Another important point about mortgage assistance programs is that many are specifically designed to encourage local home purchases by public-sector employees such as teachers, police, firefighters, nurses, and corrections workers," said Brousseau. "There are millions of people who qualify for such assistance."

The benefits available through mortgage assistance plans vary. For instance, borrowers may be able to get financing at below-market interest rates. Down payment grants may be available, essentially meaning that little or nothing down will be required. Another approach includes programs that offer tax credits. Mortgage interest is generally deductible, but a "tax credit" is arguably more valuable. With what are called "mortgage credit certificates" or MCCs, borrowers can deduct directly from their actual tax bill. For instance, if you have $8,000 in mortgage interest you might be able to directly reduce your taxes by $1,600 while the remaining $6,400 can be treated as an itemized deduction.

"Given low interest rates and a firming housing sector, this is a terrific time to consider entering the real estate market," said Brousseau. "With today's financing choices, many buyers can own their own home a lot quicker than they might have thought."

Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2013. All rights reserved. {C} {C}

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