Vermont Business - Online
April 14, 2012

The festival will be a four-day celebration of Vermont food, farm and forest harvests, the Vermont brand, and Vermont's community values and traditions. It will run from mid-morning Thursday, August 23rd through Sunday, August 26th, taking place primarily at the Stowe Events Field after a kick-off parade through downtown Stowe Village Thursday morning. Forestry and logging events will take place at the Trapp Family Lodge forests and evening performances will be at the Spruce Peak Performing Arts Center at the Mountain.

The event will begin with a Noah's Ark Parade of farmers, children and their animals, floats, and antique tractors, through Stowe Village on Thursday the 23rd.

The site gates will open at 11 AM at the Stowe Events Field featuring multiple festive tents including a massive "Marketplace" tent, housing 25 specialty food booths, 50 juried craft booths, 25 juried artist booths, and 25 booths of products exemplifying Vermont "excellence." Events here will include tastings and pairings of VT artisan cheeses, beers and spirits and will be sponsored by the VT Culinary Tourism Council's Dig In VT program, The Vermont Cheese Council, Vermont Brewers Assoc., the Vermont Folklife Center, Vermont Arts Council and other partners.

Under the sponsorship of The Vermont Fresh Network, and modeled after the world famous artisanal marketplace at Terra Madre in Italy, the "Terroir Market" will house a regional marketplace offering tasting and products for sale. This waste-free market will offer ready-to-eat-and-drink Vermont produce, farm-raised meats, and artisan spirits. A DÉlÉgation QuÉbÉcoise will be invited to participate. Visitors can pause and enjoy themselves in the adjacent "Dining Tent." All leftovers will be composted on site and all food service products will be recyclable. Water bottles will be encouraged and water fountains plentiful. No bottled water will be available on site. Area restaurants will serve foods from the market in their menus the weekend of the festival.

The educational components of the festival will take place in the "Chautauqua Tent" where acknowledged experts in various aspects of animal husbandry, home gardening, small scale farming, orcharding, domestic energy conservation and generation, beekeeping, composting and woodlot & forest stewardship will hold forth during the festival in interactive sessions.

In an adjacent "Live Kitchen" tent, visitors will be able to watch and talk with chefs as they prepare delicious dishes and condiments from summer's cornucopia. Chefs from Vermont's newest communities, including Nepalese, Tibetan, Laotian, Somalian and Bosnian will also share their food traditions. Sponsors will include Northeast Organic Farmers, Center for Agricultural Studies, UVM Extension and Horticultural Farm, and the VT Folklife Center.

The forest segment of the festival will occur nearby at the Trapp Family Lodge with the participation of Vermont Woodlands Assoc. and VT Parks and Recreation. Sessions will include sustainable logging, hewing competitions, safe chainsaw felling, and wood carving.

Another tent will shelter domestic and working animals with an open petting zoo, daily working animal demonstrations, miniature horse rides, and an opportunity for visitors to milk cows, sheep and goats.

The "Buy Local" area adjacent to the exit gate will allow departing visitors to bring Vermont's bounty home with them. Farmers and their offerings will rotate during the four days to allow maximum diversity.

The Vermont Arts Council, The Vermont Humanities Council, and the Vermont Folklife Center will jointly sponsor the "Entertainment Stage" which will offer four afternoons of continuous music and performance from 11-4 PM. Shows will include music, magic, and Moth-style storytelling. Sunday will feature an afternoon of indigenous music and performance from Vermont's international community.

After six, area restaurants will present special fare, showcasing the wealth of Vermont produce from grain-fed beef to free-range poultry and aquaculture. Participating restaurants will agree to serve Vermont food largely at family prices for this event. After dinner, there will be additional performances at locations about town, including the Spruce Peak Performing Arts Center at Stowe Mountain Resort.

In 2013, the Festival will host a Vermont Life Dream Wedding. The wedding will be offered to the winning contestant through and a major market media sponsor. Everything need for a dream wedding in on site, including a diverse array of food vendors, a Camelot tent with stage, tables, and chairs. Various wedding vendors will participate to showcase their wares. During the day on Saturday, guests of the wedding party will have access to the entire event. There will be a bridal registry in the Vermont Art, Craft, and Specialty Food Tent. In the evening, the party will have full use of a 110 x 60 tent as well as luxurious portable toilets with running water. The wedding package will include a three bedroom condo for the weekend for the bride and her attendants. The theme will portray Vermont as an ideal an idyllic wedding destination.

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