ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 26 * * All Arts News On the Web * * August 4, 2022


      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 this week as some of our friends play multiple gigs. Summer Sounds takes the weekend off so you can enjoy Franklin County Field Days with live music every day in Highgate. There are live shows in Bakersfield, Enosburg Falls, Essex Junction, Georgia, Milton, Morrisville, North Hero, Sheldon, South Hero, and St. Albans City and Town.


HIGHGATE--Today through Sunday, Vermont's finest country fair takes to the fields of Highgate as the 46th Franklin County Field Days brings 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. The four best days of summer begin 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 train rides and mechanical bull rides every day. Events include rides, the horse and pony pull, ATV pulls, 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. Julia Parent hits the Main Stage at 6 p.m. and Jamie Lee Thurston takes over the saloon this evening at 8 p.m.
      Tomorrow, the Old Man Garage Band opens the Main Stage at 11 a.m. Chris & Erica build up the stage at 3 p.m. and Friction will slide onto stage at 7:30 p.m.
      Chris & Erica start the entertainment on the Main Stage on Saturday, starting at 1:30 p.m. Express Train rides the rails to the fast lane at 4 p.m. The Jolly Roger Band flies the skull and crossbones at 7:30 p.m.
      Darcy Cahill lights up Sunday morning with a solo gig at 11 a.m., then the George Richard/Johnny Cash Tribute Show anchors the stage at 2 p.m.
      Field Days has "One Price" admission of $15 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.


     The Vermont Department of Health reported last week that total COVID-19 cases for the week fell by more than 100 but hospitalizations saw a slight increase. There were nine deaths in July (compared to none in July, 2021) for a pandemic total of 693. BA.5 has become the dominant variant.
      Gov. Phil Scott announced the second wave of 12 approved grants to strengthen communities by reversing the harm caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Capital Investment Program grants will help businesses to recover and to retain existing jobs. None of the grants came to Franklin County.
      Vermont reported 377 new COVID-19 cases statewide last week (down from 494 last week and 470 the week before). Franklin County reported only 15 cases in the 14 days ending Saturday. Those statistics appear to err low.
      Vermont relies on self reporting. You can report self-test results by following instructions on your test kit to automatically provide your results to your local health department or with the Vermont COVID-19 Self-Test Result Reporting Form. If you test positive, stay home and isolate for five days. You can leave your home on day six if your symptoms have improved and you have had no fever for at least 24 hours without the use of medicine that reduces fevers.
      Every home in the U.S. is eligible to order a third round of free at-home tests from Need other tests? COVIDtests.govalso has for links for at-home tests at retailers and pharmacies, insurance reimbursement for at-home tests, and the 20,000 no-cost antigen and PCR COVID-19 test sites nationwide. Most major chains including Walgreens and Price Chopper locally should have free N95 masks for distribution.
      Whether you have contracted and recovered from this coronavirus or haven't yet received a booster or even if you have done it all, immunity has waned for many of us. That lowered resistance leads to infections and increased transmission of the virus. The fourth booster is available for those over 50. Here's my own advice. Get the COVID shot(s), get the booster(s), and take precautions, particularly if you are inside with other people--that means wearing a mask indoors. Statewide, about 324,500 Vermonters or 70% of the eligible population have completed vaccination and gotten a booster. Franklin County remains at about 65% of the people who have completed the vaccine and the additional dose. Only Essex County with 57% vaccinated and boosted, and Orleans County at 64% have lower rates.
      No vaccine is 100% foolproof. Wash your hands. Keep wearing an N95 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 because so many parents refused to vaccinate their kids. Bonus: it will also help protect you from pollen, summer colds, and the winter flu.
      Call 855.722.7878 or visit for more info about the first or second dose and for booster shots of the vaccine. You can also walk-in at Costco, CVS, Hannaford, Price Chopper/Market 32, Rite Aid, Shaw's, Walgreens, or Walmart, or get an appointment with CVS, Kinney Drugs, Walgreens, or UVMMC Outpatient Pharmacies. Providers and pharmacies must give vaccines at no cost to the patient.


ST. ALBANS--The Artist In Residence Gallery features different artists each month. This month, the spotlight is on fabric artist Donna Blatchly, printmaker and painter Kristina Bolduc, stained glass artist Lindsay DiDio, and sculptor and jeweler Longina Smolinski with a live reception at the gallery this evening at 4:30 - 6:30 p.m. A.I.R. celebrates the monthly Featured Artists in person and on online.
      The art and fine craft cooperative features paintings, fiber arts, stained glass, sculpture, lamps, pottery, folk art boxes, scarves, hats and more by 40 Franklin County and surrounding area artists. It is owned and operated by the artists and sponsors. The gallery on South Main Street is open Tuesday-Saturday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Click here or find them on Facebook for more info.


MORRISVILLE--River Arts offers a special end-of-the-season event for Wednesday Night Live in Oxbow Park on Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. The free art tent closes with a celebration of art in its many forms. The evening will include live music, skits, wheel throwing, figure drawing, and more. Click here for more info.


BOOKMARKS (August 6)--The Swanton Free Public Library wants original drawings or photographs for their new bookmarks. Multiple winners will be selected with over $100 in prizes awarded. Stop by the library or click here for the bookmark contest registration form.

2023 CALENDAR (August 23)--Bar Harbor Bank & Trust wants photographs that capture the beauty of Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont for the Bank's 2023 desk calendar. Each photo selected will earn the photographer a $150 gift card. Click here to enter and for more info.


ST. ALBANS--Registration and enrollment is now open at the Ballet School of Vermont and Northern Vermont Ballet. The performing arts school is celebrating 20 years of teaching. Click here for more info.


NORTH HERO--Island Arts presents Into the Woods, JR., a children's musical theater production by Full Circle Theater Collaborative in a four-day run at the Island Arts Center on Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. plus matinees on Saturday and Sunday at 2 p.m.
      The production features the favorite characters--Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Jack (and his beanstalk), and the Witch--in a lyrically rich retelling of classic Brothers Grimm fables.
      Admission is $8-10. Tickets are available only through Full Circle Theater. Click here for tickets and more info.


MILTON--Social Sundays continue at the Milton Artists' Guild Art Center with free weekly art classes for families at MAG on Sundays at 1 p.m.
      Each week offers a different project. Stay for 30 minutes or the whole two hours. Find them on Facebook for more info about "drop in attendance."

SOUTH HERO--Island Arts offers Group Singing Lessons with soprano Sarah Cullins at the South Hero Congregational Church beginning Monday at 5pm. and continuing for the next two Mondays at the same time. The vocal technique classes will focus on body and breathing coordination to enhance projection, clarity of tone, and more. The classes are suitable for both beginners and experienced singers.
      The cost is $40 for the set of three classes or $15 for one class. Click here to register and for more info.


     Here's my own plan as U.S. deaths top one million and our precautions wane. I got the COVID and Flu shots, and the first booster, and I take precautions because no vaccine is 100% foolproof. I wash my hands. I double mask with a genuine N95 mask (not a bandana and not a "chin strap") and a surgical mask where ever I can't control the airflow. It isn't much of a burden and it mostly protects me from all the people without masks I see in stores and concerts.

Thursday, August 4
ST ALBANS TOWN--The weekly St. Albans Bay Farmer's Market and Concert Series continues with the Smokey Newfield Project today from 4:30 - 7:30 p.m. They have live music every Thursday evening into September. Find them on Facebook for more info.

SOUTH HERO--The 2022 Snow Farm Summer Concert Series continues their 25th anniversary season with Barbie-n-Bones this evening. Music starts at 6:30 p.m. but "come as early as you would like." Click here for more info.

SOUTH HERO--The Blue Paddle Bistro hosts Sibling Reverie with their own "raw and stripped down versions of favorites" this evening at 5:30 - 8 p.m. Find them on Facebook for more info.

Thursday-Saturday, August 4-6
ESSEX JUNCTION--On Tap starts off another weekend of music with the musical debut of McMaple tonight at 6 p.m. two shows Friday night, Summer Sounds favorite John Geno of the Duel and IncaHoots solo at 5 p.m., and then the Phil Abair Band with Keeghan Nolan for late night music starting at 9 p.m., plus two more shows live on Saturday night with the dudes, the Lebowski Trio at 5 p.m., and the Free Range Band at 9 p.m. Call 802.878.3309 or email for more info. And to confirm. Click here to reserve a table.

Thursday-Sunday, August 4-7
HIGHGATE--Today through Sunday, it's the four best days of summer as the 46th Franklin County Field Days takes to the fields of Highgate with Julia Parent, Jamie Lee Thurston, the Old Man Garage Band, Chris & Erica, Friction, Express Train, the Jolly Roger Band, Darcy Cahill, and the Johnny Cash Tribute Show all performing live today through Sunday. Email or click here for more info.

Friday, August 5
MORRISVILLE--Music on Main continues with the Michelle Fay Band on Friday at 5:30 p.m. Bring a chair every Friday in July and August for free music at the gazebo. Music on Main is a collaboration between Morrisville Alliance for Culture and Commerce and River Arts. Click here for more info.

MILTON--The Friday Night Live Music and Buffet at Arrowhead Golf Course presents Carol Ann Jones 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 $13 per person ($7 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. Click here for more info.

MORRISVILLE--Moog's Joint presents Saints & Liars, "Vermontís Roadhouse Roots Band," on Saturday at 6 p.m. The five-piece Americana band from Southern Vermont blends their own variants of country, folk, bluegrass, and rock n roll. Find them on Facebook for more info.

ST. ALBANS--Music in the Biergarten presents Rockin' Ron Gagnon at Mill River Brewing on Friday at 6 p.m. Call to make a reservation (802.582.4182) or find them on Facebook for more info.

SHELDON--"Your favorite songs at the Abbey" means Laura Fedele-Rasco live in the Pub on Friday at 6:30 p.m. Find them on Facebook for more info.

ST. ALBANS--Twiggs often has shows on Friday and Saturday nights. This week they host Cooie and Adlai on Friday at 6:30 p.m. Call 802.524.1405 or find them on Facebook for more info. Click here to book a reservation or to visit the art on the walls.

Friday-Saturday, August 5-6
NORTH HERO--The Steamship Pier Bar and Grill at North Hero House presents Mad Mojo on Friday and Jeff and Gina live on Saturday night. Music starts about 5:30 p.m. The high energy blues, rock, and funk may burn the pier down on Friday while Saturday comes in with vocals, guitar, viola, flute, tenor guitar, mandolin and bass. Find them on Facebook for more info.

Saturday, August 6
ST. ALBANS--Michael Stridsberg returns to the Northwest Vermont Farmers Market in Taylor Park on Saturday from 10 a.m. - 1 p.m.

SOUTH HERO--Snow Farm celebrates "25 years of grape to glass" with Vermont grown experiences in a special 25th Anniversary Benefit Concert with Better Days, the Buck Hollers, Quadra, and the Nobby Reed Project on Saturday at 1-8:30 p.m. They are sharing the occasion with C.I.D.E.R., the local non profit organization that helps the community all year long. All of the Snow Farm Vineyard craft wines, Vermont brews from 14th Star and Zero Gravity, and favorite food trucks will be on hand.
      Admission is by a suggested $10 minimum donation. Click here for more info.

ST. ALBANS--Smokin' Gun rocks 14th Star for a night of live music in The Room on Saturday at 6 p.m. Find them on Facebook for more info.

Sunday, August 7
SOUTH HERO--The Blue Paddle Bistro has a double header on Sunday, starting with the chill acoustic tunes of Bettenroo at 3 p.m., then the Fabulous Wrecks at 5:30 - 8 p.m. Find them on Facebook for more info.

Tuesday, August 9
ENOSBURG FALLS--The Enosburg Town Band plays a Summer Concert in the Park at the Lincoln Park bandstand on Tuesday at 7 p.m. There will be music, friends and family, popcorn or ice cream sundaes, and a craft table for the "littles of all ages." Find them on Facebook for more info.

Wednesday, August 10
ST. ALBANS--The St. Albans Summer Concert Series presents Sister Speak in the E.A. Loomis Bandshell in Taylor Park on Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. El Gato Cantina food truck will be on site. Admission is free. The concerts will move to 14th Star Brewery if it rains. Click here for more info.

GEORGIA--Gatherings on the Green rock out with Eleven on the Georgia Town Commons on Wednesday at 6 p.m. The mid-week get togethers have food, drinks, live music, and the Farmers Market. Find them on Facebook for more info.

BAKERSFIELD--The Citizens Concert Band continues its summer series on the Town Green on Wednesday at 7 p.m. Admission is free. Click here for more info.


ST. ALBANS--The Eloquent Page hosts local writer DonnaRae Menard to discuss and celebrate her newest release, Murder on Eagle Drop Ridge, on Friday at 12 noon-2 p.m. A sequel to Murder in the Meadow, brings a new job, a roof, a new love, fourteen cats, and bodies. Find them on Facebook for more info.

ST. ALBANS--The Weekly Writer's Club gathers at 14th Star every Wednesday at 6 p.m. Writers of all skill levels are welcome to share, discuss, and work on skills. It's free.
      "If you're interested in doing some writing and meeting new people," Messenger staff reporter Josh Ellerbrock wrote, "it's a great avenue for all you creatives out there." Find them on Facebook 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
Music at the Meeting House
Citizens Concert Band
Enosburg Town Band


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All Arts Council of Franklin County

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