ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 23 * * All Arts News On the Web * * April 25, 2019


      ArtBits always features a calendar of the goings on of Franklin County artists. Check out these events around Franklin County. Each issue includes the entire text of our weekly newspaper column.

     Franklin County's arts and music gatherings bring new opportunities, gossip, "show-and-tell" and occasional workshops. There are also booked and acoustic Open Mic Nights that feature music, readings, and more from the best new artists in Vermont.

E-Mail Delivery
Sign up to receive the free weekly ArtBits
newsletter by e-mail
or by RSS feed.

Search ArtBits


      The 53rd edition of the Vermont Maple Festival this weekend brings a new schedule and a bucketful of events for the first (and sweetest) outdoor festival of the year. It happens in downtown St. Albans.
      A friend here in the Keys commissions me to bring him a gallon or two of syrup; he drinks some and the rest gets served up at the local Disabled American Veterans. He's from New Hampshire.
      The Maple Festival Parade -- the biggest in Vermont -- on Sunday, starts right at noon. The parade stretches for miles with the BFA Marching Band and over 100 marching bands, fancy floats, bag pipers, clowns, dancers, fire trucks horses and tractors new and old, musicians, neat cars, probably the odd politician or two, scouts, and the ever-popular pooper scooper. Remember that the route has changed. The parade will march up Stebbins Street, over Main Street, past the Main Street Stage and Judging Stand, and down Lower Newton Street.

      The Village Frame Shoppe hosts a Sappy Art Show with the annual Maple Festival Amateur Photo Contest in the window all weekend. The theme is maple sugaring. Judges check on a variety of criteria and pick a winner for each of the four categories (maple processing, people, scenery, and maple syrup being loved). "We will also have Vermont art and artisan items with new pottery just arrived from Blue Moon Pottery. Several pieces are maple themed," D.J. Pattullo said. They will be open Friday 10-5 and Saturday 10-3.
      Paint and Pint at 14th Star is led by Claire Payne on Friday at 6 p.m. Paint an old-fashioned maple sugaring scene on canvas. The $40 price includes instruction, all necessary painting material, a pint/glass of beer, wine, cider or soda to enjoy while painting, and the final masterpiece to take home. The session is limited to 30 participants. Click here to register and reserve your seat.
      Paint and Sap at St. Albans City Hall is led by Jon Young for painters of all ages on Saturday at 10 a.m. Instead of painting on a traditional canvas, this paint event will create a work of art on a decorative metal sap bucket or sap bucket lid. All buckets will be pre-stenciled with the Maple leaf, but are fully customizable. The session is limited to 30 participants. Click here for tickets.
      The annual Crafts and Specialty Foods Show in BFA Auditorium has music, face painting, Pipsqueak, and more. The show offers artwork and fine photographs, books, glittery bling, classy clothing, wooden sculptures, traditional and nouveau crafts, and fine Vermont specialty foods. More than 60 vendors will have traditional as well as craft innovations. This Show is one of the Festival's three popular face-painting locations. Admission is free. Friday noon - 5 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. - 5 p.m., and Sunday 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
      A sampling of the exhibitors includes Vermont suspense novelist J. P. Choquette, sculptor Christian Schoenig, fabric artist Jes Stolpp, watercolor artist Carolyn Utigard Thomas, and much more. Be sure to stop in for Vikki Machia's fudge.
      St. Albans Museum has special free admission just for the Maple Festival with its
annual open house, season preview, and special maple history display. Open Friday, 1 - 4 p.m., and Saturday, 11 a.m. - 4 p.m.       Windows of downtown St. Albans shops are decorated with maple scenes, each trying to out do the other to capture the honor of being named the business with the best maple display. Judging takes place on this year's theme, Vermont Maple Reason for the Season.

INDOOR LOCATIONS       St. Albans Free Library has Joe Howard and his Magic of America Show on Friday at 1:30 p.m.
      The doors of the First Congregational Church will be open for Maple Music with Stephan Conrady at the Organ and a Silent Auction on Saturday. The church historian will discuss the Hook & Hastings Tracker Organ installed in the church in 1892, the beautiful Tiffany and Lamb stained glass windows, the hand carved wooden angels, and the iconic clock tower. The auction and tours begin at 1 p.m. with the concert at 3.
      The Kids' Center in BFA PAC has a line-up. It is Face Painting Central plus No Strings Marionette Company, Yo Joe, and more, all at the Kids' Center on Saturday from 10-4.
      The Taylor Park Tent is also packed with events from Yo Joe and more.
      The Crafts and Specialty Foods Show in BFA Auditorium is one of the Festival's three popular Face-Painting stops, and has music from Spider Roulette on Saturday, and O'hAnleigh on Sunday.
      The Youth Talent Show returns to the BFA Performing Arts Center, tomorrow evening at 7 p.m. The Fiddlers Variety Show (fiddling is the Sound of Vermont) comes to the BFA PAC on Saturday at 7 p.m. Tickets will be available at the information booth in Taylor Park and the festival office at the exhibit hall in the BFA Cafeteria.

      "We have fabulous entertainment for free on the Main Stage," Andre Maquera said. "On Friday we kick off the festivities with Sean Ashby. He was Sarah McLachlan's guitarist. He has two 4x platinum US discs and one diamond Canadian disc for his studio and live CDs. And he's performed on the Grammies, Letterman, SNL, and the Tonight Show many times."
      Only three of the indoor entertainment events (and the banquet) charge admission. Everything else is free.
      The Main Street Stage begins a weekend of free entertainment tomorrow at noon and runs through Sunday after the parade. Look for live Music and Dance from noon - 6 p.m. The stage is free! click here for more info about the shows.
      The Friday entertainment lineup on the free Main Street stage begins with an eight-guitar set by Sean Ashby. On the Main Street Stage. 1 p.m.
      JoePetto's Magic Toy Shop opens at the St. Albans Free Library. 1:30 p.m.
      Shake the Band takes over the Main Street Stage. 3 p.m.
      The BFA Comedy Improv Team slams the Taylor Park Tent. 3 p.m.
      Then the Phil Abair Band puts Vermont on the dance floor. On the Main Street Stage. 6-8 p.m.
      The Youth Talent Show will fill the BFA PAC on Friday evening at 7 p.m. This annual favorite brings together some of the most talented children in the County competing for scholarship prizes. Talent show admission is $7 for adults and $5 for students.
      After breakfast, the Electric Youth Dance Company takes over Main Street again. This talented group of dancers in several age groups learn the fun and discipline of dance in St. Albans. On the Main Street Stage. 10 a.m.
      Pipsqueak the Clown will entertain with puppets and will have free balloons at the Craft Show from 10:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.
      No String Marionette Company presents The Treasure Hunt, a swashbuckling hunt for maple treasure under the sea, in the Kids' Center at BFA Performing Arts Center on Saturday at 10:15 a.m., 12:45 p.m., and 2:45 p.m.
      The Talent Show Winners strut their stuff on the Main Street Stage. 11:30 a.m.
      Yo Joe What A Guy! brings his variety magic show to the Kids' Center at BFA PAC at 11:45 a.m., 1:45 p.m. and 3:30 p.m.
      Spider Roulette plays the music of blues, roots and Americana tunes at the Craft Show. 12:30 p.m.
      Comedy juggler Bryson Lang offers The Cure for the Common Show in a new family show in the Taylor Park Tent at 1 and 3 p.m. with a Learn to Juggle lesson at 1:30 and 3:30 p.m.
      The Jay Taylor Band will countrify the Main Street Stage. 1:30 p.m. Mr. Taylor and Morgan Myles will lead the 14th Star after-party after the festival.
      JoePetto's Magic Toy Shop returns to the St. Albans Free Library. 1:30 p.m.
      Back by popular demand, powerhouse singer-songwriter Morgan Myles keeps the country going on the Main Street Stage. 4-6 p.m.
      Yo Joe What A Guy! Creates balloon art in the Taylor Park tent at 4 p.m.
      The Fiddlers' Variety Show, an annual sellout at BFA PAC, has hours and hours and hours (and hours) of Canadian and American singers, dancers, pickers, comedy, and clogging all starting at 7 p.m. Fiddlers' show admission is $7 (or less than two pennies per minute of music). Get your tickets in advance at the information booth on Main Street, at the festival office, and online.
      Sweet on Nashville, the Vermont Maple Festival Afterparty, takes over the Taproom at 14th Star Brewing with Nashville performing artists Jay Taylor and Morgan Myles. 7 p.m.
      After the Pancake breakfast, O'hAnleigh plays the music of Irish America at the Craft show. 11 a.m. - 3 p.m.
      Modern Country with a kick, Dark Horse will start on the Main Street Stage immediately after the parade. 2-4 p.m.
      Curley the Clown brings his Show in a new family show to the Taylor Park Tent. 2 p.m.
      click here for more info.


ST. ALBANS--Twiggs hosts Sweet Maple Sugaring with Paint Nite and artist Diane Kingston on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m.
      $35 per person includes "everything you need to get up, get out, and get making" for a souvenir of the season. Click here for tickets. Use the code YAYfbVT10off for $10 off tickets.


ST. ALBANS--Electric Youth Dance presents a Year End Showcase at the BFA Performing Arts Center on Wednesday at 6:30 p.m.
      The annual show will feature the Electric Youth Competition and Yellow and Red Company teams. The company has been awarded the Studio of Excellence Award in 2018 and 2019 by the Association of Dance Conventions and Competitions.
      Find them on Facebook for more info and tickets.


NEW YORK CITY--The Young Tradition Touring Group continues its week on tour in metro New York and New Jersey, today through Sunday. Click here for their schedule.

ST. ALBANS--Twiggs presents Elmore singer-songwriter Christine Malcolm Trio on Friday and Vermont singer-songwriter Bethany Conner on Saturday. Shows begin at 7 p.m.
      Ms. Malcolm's recording, Crickets, Coyotes and the Big Yellow Moon, won 2015 Tammie Award for Best Country Record. Ms. Conner was the 2015 Vermont Has Talent Grand Champion.
      Call 802.524.1405 or click here for more info.

ST. ALBANS--S.A.S. debuts at Nellys on Friday at 6 p.m. to kick off a weekend full of festivities during the Maple Festival. Local favorite Barbie-N-Bones take over on Saturday at 9:30 p.m.

SHELDON--The Abbey concludes the Spring Music in the Pub series with the Old Man Garage Band in a Maple Festival evening on Friday at 7 p.m. The eight-or-more piece group -- Alan Grandshaw, Gary Jacobs, Todd LaForce, Lenny Larose, Phil Lovelette, and Jim Week -- hails from Franklin and Enosburg,

April 28 - The Plainfield Opera House Series hosts the Will Patton Ensemble for a Sunday afternoon concert at 4 p.m.
      Combine Mr. Patton's jazz/choro mandolin with a symphony violinist who also plays bluegrass and hot swing, add a string bass player who came of age working the Chicago blues clubs with the likes of Howlin' Wolf and Buddy Guy, a lifelong guitarist equally at home with flatpicking fiddle tunes and fiery Gypsy jazz solos. Spice it all up with a with a first call jazz/Brazilian percussionist and stir in a little rock & roll attitude and that's a hint about the music.
      Admission is $15 or $10 for seniors and $5 for students. Click here for tickets and more info.

BURLINGTON--The 2019 Young Tradition Festival begins Monday and continues through Saturday, May 4. There will be five early evening acoustic concerts at the BCA Center each evening this week. Beaton-Plasse fuses music from Quebec and Cape Breton on Monday at 6 p.m. Allison de Groot and Tatiana Hargreaves bring their unusual repertoire on Tuesday at 6 p.m. The leading force in Quebec’s progressive francophone folk movement, Le Vent du Nord appears on Wednesday at 6 p.m.       After each concert (starting about 8 p.m.) and after the mentor-student showcase on Saturday there will a Festival Club at Half Lounge, across the street from BCA Center, featuring Pete's Posse, the 2019 Festival Host Band.
      Click here for tickets to the evening concerts.

ST. ALBANS--14th Star Brewing Company concludes Tuesday Nights with Troy on the taproom stage on Tuesday at 6 p.m.
      Fairfield singer-songwriter Troy Millette is on stage for a musical journey of imaginative covers and original songs from his latest album, Living With A Ghost.


ST. ALBANS--Jennifer Cyr returns to the Eloquent Page for a book signing for Honu Meets Kiyaya on Friday and Saturday afternoons at 2:30 p.m.
      The Middlebury writer's debut children's picture book follows the unlikely but charming friendship between a wolf and a sea turtle. The characters learn about each other and forge a special bond. It is illustrated by Jess Marony. Ms. Cyr is an early educator with a background in Psychology and Human Services.

      ArtBits features a quick weekly peek at library events in and around Franklin County. That popular feature has a page of its own at the Franklin County Bookshelf here on the AAC site at We also take an occasional peek at the bookshelf or night stand of the folks you know in and around Franklin County. Those reviews can be found on the ArtBits Bookshelf.

Good News!

There are so many events around the region that we miss some of them.
Be sure to check these calendars for what's happening near you ...
All Arts Council of Franklin County
Cambridge Arts Council
Franklin County Regional
Chamber of Commerce
Island Arts
St Albans Community Arts
Swanton Arts Council
Young Tradition Vermont


AAC dancing logo

All Arts Council of Franklin County

Support Free Speech on the Internet
Dick Harper, Chair
P.O. Box 1
Highgate Springs, VT 05460
email us

Go to [ Dick Harper | All Arts Index | ArtBits Archive ]

      This article may also have originally been published in the traditional print media. It is Copyright © 2019 by Richard B. Harper. All rights reserved. Archival material is provided as-is. Links are not necessarily maintained (if a link in this article fails, try or your favorite search engine).
      Thanks to recent misuse of copyright material on the Internet by individuals and archival firms alike, we emphasize that your rights to this article are limited to viewing it and printing it for personal use only. You must receive explicit permission from the All Arts Council and the author before reprinting or redistributing this article in any medium. Visit our Trademarks and Copyright page for more information.