ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 25 * * All Arts News On the Web * * August 5, 2021


      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.

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FRANKLIN COUNTY--The Big Music Weeks of Summer continue as some of our friends play multiple gigs. Summer Sounds takes the week off so you can visit Franklin County Field Days with live music every day in Highgate. There are shows in Essex and Essex Junction, Highgate, Jeffersonville, Milton, Morrisville, North Hero, Sheldon, South Hero, St. Albans City and Town, and Waterbury.


HIGHGATE--Save August 29 for the Summer Sounds surprise. We have a lot to celebrate and it's time to throw a party!
      The All Arts Council and the Town of Highgate will wrap the 30th year of Summer Sounds concerts at home in Highgate with a Summer Blowout Bash on the new stage on the Highgate Arena lawn on Sunday, August 29. Lots of continuous music from two great bands and a host of popular singers. Games. Fair food. More. It's going to be great!


HIGHGATE--Today through Sunday, Vermont's finest country fair takes to the fields of Highgate as the 45th annual Franklin County Field Days restarts with a lineup of the best music, arts and crafts (and weeds, of course) that Franklin County has to offer. The musical lineup includes great music every day. And it all begins today at noon.
      There will be ongoing demonstrations of woodworking, knitting, chair weaving, felting, and more in the Homemaker's Barn. The Arts and Crafts are bigger than ever. There are "Make and Take" projects every day. Events include rides, the horse and pony pull, ATV drag races, poker tournaments, tractor pulls and the demolition derby. There are exhibits galore. Field Days has also established a scholarship fund in memory of the past directors; they award at least one $500 scholarship each year.
      Field Days has headliners each day. Jamie Lee Thurston starts the shows with a bang in the saloon this evening at 8:30 p.m. and there will be fireworks at 9 p.m.
      Tomorrow, the Old Man Garage Band opens the Main Stage at 11 a.m. Rebecca Padulla builds up the stage at 3 p.m. and the B&B Music Factory will light some fires starting at 7:30 p.m.
      Keeghan Nolan starts the entertainment on the Main Stage on Saturday, starting at 1:30 p.m. Interstate Express takes the stage to the fast lane at 4 p.m. Friction is the showstopper at 7:30 p.m.
      Darcy Cahill lights up Sunday morning with a solo gig at 10 a.m., then the George Richard/Johnny Cash Tribute Show anchors the stage at 2 p.m.
      Field Days has "One Price" admission of $10 per day for all ages, every day of the fair. It includes all midway rides, the tractor pull exhibits, the track events, live entertainment, parking, and more. A limited number of rides may be available for small children.
      Email or click here for more info.


     Vermont reported 55 new COVID-19 cases last Friday, up from just three new cases a month ago. The seven-day average test positivity rate jumped again to 1.7%, higher it was six months ago. 83% of eligible Vermonters have received at least one shot giving us the highest vaccination rate in the nation. Still Delta is twice as contagious as the coronavirus subtype that drove the first wave of the pandemic. Vaccinations and masks will be required for all Broadway audience members when theaters reopen until at least the end of October.
      Here's my own current advice, updated to today. Get the shot(s) and take precautions. The vaccines are extraordinarily effective but nothing is 100% foolproof. Wash your hands. Wear a mask where you can't control the airflow around you until we reach the same herd immunity we have for smallpox and once had but lost for measles. Bonus: it will also help protect you from pollen, summer colds, and the winter flu.

      Broadway reopens, area restaurants and venues are offering live music, while other artists and venues continue live streaming online. Franklin County Field Days goes live starting today.


JEFFERSONVILLE--The Bryan Memorial Gallery's Made In Vermont continues with a month of harvest as gardens and farms mature. May All Be Fed III, a paper collage by Bonnie Acker, is accompanied by a bowl full of inspirational message hand designed and cut by Ms. Acker to share with visitors to take a little artful inspiration home.
      The gallery is open daily 11-5.

MORRISVILLE--River Arts hosts Self Reflection, works by James Rauchman, and Of Openness and Closeness, works by Nitya Brighenti in the Copley Common Room with an opening reception today at 5:30 p.m. The exhibit continues through October 29.
      Click here for more info.


MONTGOMERY--The Montgomery Center for the Arts takes us to the River for Exploring the Trout River Through the Arts: Pottery Making and Pit Firing over two days at River Walk Park beginning on Saturday at 10 a.m.
      Susan Delear of Heart of the Mountains Pottery will show how to create pottery from riverbed clay and will lead participants to create a piece to be fired in a pit along the Trout River. Find them on Facebook for the registration form and more info.


Thursday, August 5
ST. ALBANS TOWN--The St. Albans Bay Farmers Market offers Tim Brick live in the Town Bay Park this afternoon at 4:30 p.m. Find them on Facebook for more info.

SOUTH HERO--The Snow Farm Summer Concert Series has Pen Hits at the Snow Farm Vineyard & Winery this evening at 6:30 p.m. The six-piece band plays the Ron "Pig Pen" McKernon songs of Grateful Dead's early years.
      The live summer series offers a variety of music, from classical to jazz to swing to bluegrass to classic rock. Concerts are held every Thursday evening into September, weather permitting. Picnicking begins at 5 p.m. Wine and a local craft beer are available for purchase. Bring your own chairs and blankets. click here for more info.

Thursday-Sunday, August 5-8
HIGHGATE--Today through Sunday, the 45th annual Franklin County Field Days restarts with a lineup of the best music, arts and crafts that Franklin County has to offer. The musical lineup includes great music every day. And it all begins today at noon. Click here for more info.

ESSEX JUNCTION--On Tap is hopping in August. They offer Jesse Agan live on Thursday at 5:30 p.m. Two shows on Friday start with Chris & Erica on Friday at 5 p.m. and the Rough Suspects take over at 9 p.m. Come for two shows on Saturday night, too, with the Lebowski Trio at 5:30 p.m., and then Eleven at nine for late night music. Call 802.878.3309 or email for more info. And to confirm. Click here to reserve a table.

SOUTH HERO--The Blue Paddle on the Bay continues a summer of live music nights live music nights with George Murtie on the Bay this evening, Jeff & Gina on the Bay on Friday, Chris & Erica live on Saturday on the Bay, and the Soulo Davis Duo in the Bistro on Sunday. Music begins at 6 p.m. each evening.
      Call 802.372.4814 for reservations or find them on Facebook for more info.

Friday, August 6
MORRISVILLE--River Arts and Music on Main presents songwriter and Mud City Rambler Chris Lyon at the Union Bank gazebo on Friday at 5:30 p.m.       The downtown music series is a partnership of River Arts and the Morristown Alliance for Culture and Commerce (MACC). Bring a chair, get a bite to eat from a local restaurant, and enjoy the downtown while listening to local musicians. Admission is free. Click here for more info.

MILTON--The Friday Night Live Music and Buffet at Arrowhead Golf Course presents Carol Ann Jones and Will Patton on the deck on Friday at 6 p.m. The boneless spare ribs buffet starts around 7 p.m. Both run until 9 p.m.
      The buffet costs $12 per person ($5 for each child). You don't have to be a member; the public is welcome. Be sure to come early, usually around 6, to get a good seat.

ST. ALBANS--14th Star presents the acoustic duo of Raised By Hippies co-founder John Kitonis and special guest Sarah Karandy for a night of live music in The Room on Friday at 6 p.m. Find them on Facebook for more info.

SHELDON--The Abbey 2021 Summer Music series continues with John Gratton on the Back 40 Farm Wagon on Friday at 6:30 p.m., weather permitting or in the Pub if it rains. Find them on Facebook for more info.

ST. ALBANS--Get loud as Shooters Saloon welcomes Eleven on Friday at 8:30 p.m.

Friday-Saturday, August 6-7
ST. ALBANS--Twiggs hosts Trevor Contois on Friday and Jerborn's return visit on Saturday night. Music starts at 6:30 p.m.
      Call 802.524.1405, find them on Facebook, or click here for more info.

Saturday, August 7
ST. ALBANS--Music in the Biergarten presents Ron Gagnon at Mill River Brewing on Saturday at 5 p.m.
      Call to make a reservation (802.582.4182) or find them on Facebook for more info.

NORTH HERO--Elmore singer songwriter Christine Malcolm with Rudy Dauth play live in the Steamship Bar and Grill for an evening of selection of original music, sweet rock and blues and country at North Hero House on Saturday at 5:30 p.m. Find them on Facebook for more info. NHH has live music on Wednesday and Friday or Saturday evenings.

Sunday, August 8
WATERBURY--Fiddleheads with Joanne Garton perform at the Northeast Fiddlers Association event in Hope Davey Park on Sunday at 1 p.m. This marks the first in-person Fiddleheads performance since early 2020. Click here for more info.

Tuesday, August 10
MILTON--The Music in the Park Series presents Shake the Band in Bombardier Park on Tuesday at 6 p.m. The eight weeks musical series includes B&M's Famous Fry's, corn hole, and giant Jenga.

Wednesday, August 11
ESSEX--The Essex Experience presents Trucks Taps and Tunes with family-friendly live music, cold beer, and food on the Essex Green each Wednesday at 5 p.m. Find them on Facebook for more info.

MORRISVILLE--River Arts hosts Celebrate the Arts live in Oxbow park on Wednesday at 5:30 p.m.
      River Arts, Wednesday Night Live, and Lamoille Neighbors will celebrate all creative mediums with a collaborative evening featuring local musicians, poets, a ballet performance from Ballet Wolcott, and visual art demonstrations from local community groups. All ages are welcome to try their hand on a pottery wheel, create some art, and enjoy local music. Admission is free. click here for more info.

NORTH HERO--Bob Gagnon and Tony Petricola play jazz standards and modern compositions live in the Steamship Bar and Grill at North Hero House on Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. Find them on Facebook for more info. NHH has live music on Wednesday and Friday or Saturday evenings.

ST. ALBANS--Music in the Biergarten presents Alex Cohen playing acoustic live at Mill River Brewing on Wednesday at 5:30 p.m.
      Call to make a reservation (802.582.4182) or find them on Facebook for more info.

SOUTH HERO--The Blue Paddle Bistro continues their summer of live music with Carol Ann Jones and Jon Sochin on Wednesday at 6 p.m. They will play every other Wednesday evening this summer. No cover charge. Enjoy outdoor tent seating by reservation.
      Find them on Facebook for more info.

ST. ALBANS--The St. Albans Summer Concert Series presents the Citizens Concert Band in the E.A. Loomis Bandshell in Taylor Park on Wednesday at the special time of 7 p.m. There will be no food or beverage sales this summer.
      Admission is free.

ESSEX--The Hubcats continue their summer residency at the Tavern at the Essex Resort on Wednesdays at 6:30 p.m. "Folk music without borders," the local group plays covers and original music. The evenings continue through September 1.

ST. ALBANS--The monthly Blues Jam returns to Twiggs hosted by Vermont's leading blues man, Nobby Reed, and the House Band on Wednesday at 7 p.m. The Blues Jam blows out the speakers at Twiggs on the second Wednesday of each month. Find them on Facebook for more info.


JEFFERSONVILLE--Cambridge Historical Society and the Vermont Humanities Council present Linda Radtke, From the Parlor to Polling Place: Stories and Songs from the Suffragists, at the Historical Society on Wednesday at 7 p.m.
      In period costume and 'Votes for Women' sash, Ms. Radtke will offer the songs and stories of the women's suffrage movement and the fight for voting rights, accompanied by pianist Arthur Zorn. Limited public seating is available, so bring a blanket or chair and dress for the weather.
      Admission is free. Call Bob Devino (802.893.2765) or email for more info.


BENNINGTON--With books and maps and prints and postcards to paper of all kinds, the
31st annual Vermont Summer Book and Ephemera Fair takes over Grace Christian School on Sunday from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
      "For me, a book fair is a chance to meet a large number of fellow book lovers at once," Donna Howard of the Eloquent Page told the Reformer. "I meet booksellers, collectors, librarians and people who just love books." She will have a booth at the fair with Costume and Fashion, Vermontiana, and general stock.
      Dealers from Vermont and New England will have volumes from the 1800s, mysteries to metaphysics, history to horror, and Vermontiana. The fair will have a free appraisal table, an expert bookbinder, and Vermont mystery writer Jim Hudgins. Click here for more info.

      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


Links to the Summer Music series in Franklin County
Summer Sounds
Summer Music at Grace
Downtown Summer Concert Series
Summer Evenings with
Vermont Treasures
Citizens Band
Wednesday Night Live
Enosburg Town Band


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All Arts Council of Franklin County

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