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A Rejuvenating Spring in Manchester

As the chill of winter subsides, Southern Vermont becomes home to new life that only the Green Mountains can deliver! The sights and sounds of nature coming out of hibernation, will be all around you. You’ll see budding trees, blooming flowers, and our majestic mountains coming alive again with their verdant greens. You’ll hear the sounds of babbly brooks, running rivers, and birds chirping from hidden nests.  Spring always brings bountiful changes to our area.

March Maple Madness is underway! As the days warm and night’s stay chilly, the sap within our many maple trees begins to flow, and our sugar houses come alive, boiling down that sap to make Vermont’s own “Liquid Gold”.  Maple syrup production, a.k.a. “Sugaring Season,” is a time-honored 4 to 6-week tradition that begins in late February when daytime temps are regularly above 32 degrees and ends when the warmer days of late spring cause the Maple Tree leaves to bud and unfold. Don’t miss our own special March Maple Madness offers and stock up on locally made pure maple crafted items or experience the sugaring process at a local Sugar Shack! Click here to learn more!

BUT WAIT – there is still plenty of snow on the mountains, especially after the 16-24 inches we received from our latest storm. It’s not too late to enjoy Spring skiing at any one of our nearby ski resorts, which typically stay open through the first two weekends in April. Click here to learn more!

In Manchester, while avid skiers, riders, and snow enthusiasts continue to enjoy the trails and experiences on the mountains, locals down in the valleys begin prepping their gardens and start batches of seedlings in preparation for the growing season.

Whether you’re a local or a visitor to our area, get yourself set up with everything you need for your upcoming gardening projects at r.k. MILES! They offer so much more than just lumber. From the tools to build raised beds, to garden tools for upkeep, to the seeds and the soil, they have it all! r.k. MILES has a long history in Vermont and is proud to be a third-generation family-owned business. Manchester, VT has been its home since 1886 when Frederick Miles first logged timber on the slopes of Red Mountain.

Surround yourself with the fragrance of fresh flowering plants, trees, and shrubs, and even damp soil, all experienced in our verdant natural valley setting. The Manchester, VT area offers some of the best gardens and nurseries in Southern Vermont.  Stop by Equinox Valley Nursery, Mettowee Mint, or Dutton Farmstand and get some inspiration for your next garden or landscaping project.

While you are in the mood to do some spring cleaning and “home-updating”, this is a great time of year to check on your home’s heating and cooling systems.  After all, Spring days fluctuate like New England weather, and as the old saying goes “if you don’t like the weather, wait 5 minutes”.  Thus, there will be days when your home calls for cooling in the daytime and heat in the evenings, so make sure your systems are up to date and ready for the call of duty this Spring.

Photo by Jimmy Ienner, Jr. Courtesy Old Mill Road Media

Get to know this hot (or cool), family-led company that has been keeping our community safe and warm since 1941: Cota & Cota. These heating, cooling, and plumbing professionals can help! From home heating oil, propane gas, kerosene, diesel fuel, and gasoline, they pride themselves on the quality of their products. They offer their fuel customers a full line of quality heating products and full plumbing services. According to Cota & Cota president, Casey Cota, “People often ask me what I attribute the company’s longevity to – and my answer is the highest quality service possible. Our highly trained service techs, delivery drivers, and customer service reps are the lifeblood of our company. We promise to give you the best possible service that you demand & deserve.”

Looking for an environmentally friendly and a slightly more cost-effective heating option?  Then reach out to Vermont Renewable Fuels, a local company keeping our community warm with wood pellet stoves and supplies. This company is working to offset the region’s dependence on imported fossil fuels with more affordable, locally abundant renewable ones. Their pellet deliveries from last heating season displaced about 220,000 gallons of oil, and their pellet system installations saved their customers over $500,000 in heating costs. They also offer ventilation and air conditioning services, and you can even get yourself a new pellet grill for your summer backyard BBQ!

So many choices! Wherever your hobbies or interests may steer you, Manchester, VT offers so many wonderful experiences, adventures, and ways to have fun. If you love to be immersed in nature, take the time to plan a few local springtime hikes. Manchester is home to the tallest cascading waterfall in the state, the second-highest peak in Southern VT, and those looking for a more leisurely stroll can find a historic path along the valley floor at the Hildene Farm and Grounds. Springtime hiking is just fabulous with longer days and milder temps – keep those boots walking! Click here to learn more about our favorite Manchester Springtime Hikes.

Fashion is at the forefront in Manchester! Spring is the perfect time to update your wardrobe for the quickly approaching warmer days! Manchester is home to so many fabulous places to shop. Make room in your closet for your Summer wardrobe and visit Manchester’s own fantastic consignment shop, Zippy Chicks. They have you in mind when being exceptionally selective, only accepting pieces that are of the highest quality and finest condition. The consignment boutique features some of your favorite brands, including Kate Spade, Chanel, Free People, and many more! From name-brand women’s clothing to gently used footwear, they have an array of options to suit your personal style.

Be sure to also stop in our world-famous, designer outlets, which offer something for everyone from Polo Ralph Lauren to Armani, and Vineyard Vines to Marimekko. Shoppers can find outfits for any occasion here in Manchester. Click here to learn more about the incredible places to shop.

Time is on our side! Make the most of your time in Manchester by staying with us for multiple nights! We are home to a variety of lodging options. You’ll find quaint motels, rustic B&Bs, historic inns, vacation rentals, and full-service hotels and resorts able to accommodate one person or a larger group or family.

Seated high up on a hill with magnificent, sweeping views of the historic Route 7A Valley, The Manchester View offers 36 guest rooms, tastefully appointed with attractive features like working gas or wood fireplaces, and deep-soaking spa tubs. Every accommodation has its own deck or patio from which the guests can bask in the beauty of the spectacular mountain views. No matter what the weather, the Manchester View is ready to welcome you when you arrive for your stay. During the day, take in breathtaking 360-degree views of the mountains. By night, the charming property is illuminated by white post lights and the stars.

 Find relaxation or get lost in the beauty of Vermont’s Green Mountains at Aspen at Manchester, where intimate, motel-style charm meets the delightful amenities of a family-friendly hotel. Sneak off to the Serenity Spa and Wellness Center for a little “me time” pampering. Strike up a fun game of shuffleboard or cornhole. You can even pedal off into downtown Manchester Center on one of their free house bicycles. Then again, contemplating a Green Mountain sunset from an Adirondack chair by the fire pit might be all the action you want for the evening.

Don’t wait, spring into action now as you don’t want to miss out on Manchester’s many wonderful EXPERIENCES. And be sure to check out our Events calendar for upcoming fun things to do in Manchester!

The post A Rejuvenating Spring in Manchester appeared first on Manchester Vermont.

Celebrate Maple Open House Weekend

Vermont leads the nation in maple syrup production, reporting a record-high 2.55 million gallons of pure VT maple syrup produced in 2022. Cold nights and warm days are the ideal weather conditions to get sap flowing from the maple trees. Syrup season is already underway here in Vermont, and it’s looking like another great year.

Maple is a big deal here in Vermont – in fact, we have two weekends during the height of sugaring season dedicated to all things maple! Tap into the sweetest time of year and plan a trip to experience Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom during Maple Open House Weekend, March 25 + 26 and April 1 + 2.

Check out our list below of Maple Open House Weekend celebrations taking place throughout the Kingdom this year.

16th Lunenburg Maple FestivalLunenburg (Eastern Trek)
March 25, 8am – 3pm
As spring approaches, Lunenburg is poised to celebrate its maple sugaring heritage. All the favorite activities will continue this year, spread out among three locations. Start your morning at the pancake breakfast before heading to one of the many hands-on learning opportunities. Visit their website for a schedule of events.

goodwin family mapleGoodwin Family Maple Open House  – St. Johnsbury (Eastern Trek)
March 25 + 26, 9am – 3pm

Head to Goodwin Family Maple for a unique Maple Open House experience. See how their pure maple products are made, enjoy free sugar on snow and syrup samples with their full product line and maple cotton candy available for sale. On Saturday, visit with the oxen on view, and on Sunday, they will have mini horses and cows for visitors to meet.

Burke Mountain Maple CompanyBurke (Eastern Trek)
March 25 + 26, April 1 + 2, 9am – 5pm
Burke Mountain Maple is a family owned and operated maple farm. Plan a trip during Maple Open House Weekend to enjoy sugar on snow, free maple samples, and tours of the sugaring operation.

Deer Ridge Maple Open HouseDerby (Eastern Trek)
March 25 + 26, 10am – 3pm
Savor sugar on snow and fresh maple products at Deer Ridge Maple, located just off Route 5 between Derby and Derby Line.  Tour the sugarhouse, take a walk through the woods and observe the tubing system, and discover the Judd family’s love for VT maple!

April’s Maple Open HouseCanaan (Eastern Trek)
March 25 + 26 and April 1 + 2, 10am – 3pm

April’s Maple is a year-round hot spot for pure VT maple. Visit their café where you can enjoy many maple-infused breakfast and lunch dishes. Shop their store for maple goodies and VT-made specialty products. During Open House Weekend, April’s Maple will be serving complimentary maple products and will also have a maple kids’ corner with crafts.

Fradette’s Maple SyrupHardwick (Farm & Field)
March 25 + April 1, 9am – 3pm, March 26 + 2, 10am – 3pm
Stop by for a tour of Fradette’s Maple Syrup during Open House Weekend. Tour the operations and walk the sugar woods, sample fresh crop, sugar on snow, and maple soda. Watch sap boil into syrup and smell the sweetness while warming up by the wood stove.

Jed’s Maple Open HouseDerby (Eastern Trek)
March 25 + 26, April 1 + 2, 10am – 4pm
Celebrate spring at Jed’s Maple! There are plenty of children’s activities and maple samplings in store. Learn about the work Jed’s Maple does with the Aududon’s Bird Friendly Maple Program, and visit with Auddie, their bird-friendly maple ambassador. Maple sugar donuts, maple bread, and many maple products available for sale in the gift shop. See website for details.

Covered Bridge Maple Sugaring Open HouseBarton (Farm & Field)
March 25 + April 1, 11am – 5pm, March 26 + April 2, 11am – 4pm
Covered Bridge Maple Sugaring is a classic Vermont sugarhouse with a modern twist. Stop by during Maple Open House Weekend to see how they use state-of-the-art equipment to increase energy efficiency and cut down on emissions. Enjoy sugar on snow and tours of the property.

Pure Gold Sugaring Maple Open House WeekendSutton (Farm & Field)
March 25 + April 1, 11am – 6pm, March 26 + April 2, 11am – 5pm
Visit Pure Gold Sugaring as they share their traditions, treats, and pure maple syrup with families and friends of all ages. Tour the sugarhouses and listen to generations of sugarmakers share their stories and histories of VT maple. Try “Great Grammies” dipping donuts and sugar on snow, with many other maple products available for purchase.

Sugar Shack Open House at Firefly FarmBurke Hollow (Eastern Trek)
April 2, 1 – 4pm
After a three-year hiatus, Firefly Farm is reopening the doors to their sugar shack this season! Make plans to visit on April 2 from 1 – 4pm to enjoy free samples with products available for purchase.

Maple Grove Farms of VTSt. Johnsbury (Eastern Trek)
Open Year-Round, Monday – Saturday 10am – 5pm
Visit the Sugar House Museum to learn about the entire sugaring process, and the history of the industry that made St. Johnsbury the “Maple Center of the World”. Then browse our spacious, red-roofed Cabin Gift Shop for maple keepsakes to take home or ship as gifts to family and friends.

/ Vermont

Spring in Vermont: 14 Fun Events in April and May

As the snow begins to melt and Vermont thaws out from a long, snowy winter, our thoughts quickly turn to spring. To farmers’ markets bursting with fresh veggies and colorful bouquets. To vibrant green forests and cocktails on outdoor patios. And to friendly faces smiling toward the spring sunshine.

beer festivals, baby animals, and food trucks in Vermont.
Celebrate spring in Vermont with these great festivals in April and May.

We celebrate spring in Vermont with a full calendar of special events, highlighting everything from maple syrup and fly fishing to farm animals and beer.

Ready to shake off those winter blues and celebrate spring in Vermont? Check out these fantastic events and festivals in April and May.

Vermont in April: 2023 Events and Festivals

Poem City in Montpelier, Vermont

Throughout the whole month of April

Celebrate National Poetry Month in April with a visit to Poem City, AKA Montpelier. Poem City celebrates Vermont poetry with a walkable anthology of poetry as well as a full schedule of readings, workshops, and discussions throughout April.

Presented by the Kellogg-Hubbard Library, this month-long event is an ideal way to immerse yourself in Vermont’s literary landscape while honoring outstanding Vermont poets. After all, we could all use more poetry in our lives!

Vermont Maple Open House Weekend 2023: Statewide

April 1-2, 2023

Kids peeking into maple sap buckets.
Iconic sap buckets on maple trees in the spring.

Pure liquid gold comes from trees in Vermont, and you can celebrate all things maple with a tour of a Vermont sugar house during Vermont Maple Open House Weekend.

For the past few years, there have been two Maple Open House Weekends in Vermont. In 2023, those weekends are March 25 & 26 and April 1 & 2. Sugar shacks all over the state will open their doors to the public and celebrate the season with samples, demonstrations, tours, and other goodies.

Believe me when I say that Maple Open House Weekend is not to be missed.

Stowe Sugar Slalom 2023

April 1-2, 2023

Most Vermonters know that spring skiing is one of the best ways to celebrate the change of seasons. Stowe Sugar Slalom at Stowe Mountain Resort is one of the most popular spring skiing events in the region, often attracting more than 1,000 racers and 600 spectators.

Because spring also means maple sugaring, Sugar Slalom always features sugar on snow, not to mention live music, great food, and donuts and pickles at the finish line.

Visit Mt. Mansfield Academy to learn more about Stowe Sugar Slalom 2023, and to sign up for the race.

Baby Farm Animal Celebration at Billings Farm & Museum in Woodstock, Vermont

April 7 & 8, 2023

A baby Jersey cow greets a toddler in Woodstock, Vermont.
Baby cow meets baby human. Photo credit: Billings Farm & Museum

Spring in Vermont means it’s time for the cutest event of the year — the Baby Farm Animal Celebration at Billings Farm & Museum in Woodstock. This year’s celebration takes place on Friday, April 7, and Saturday, April 8, from 10 am-5 pm.

Come out to welcome this year’s new babies, including chicks, ducklings, turkeys, woolly lambs, soft bunnies, boisterous goat kids, and the cutest Jersey calves. Learn about how animals are cared for at the farm, take a wagon ride through the fields, and plant heirloom seeds before grabbing lunch from the Wicked Awesome BBQ Food Truck.

If you’re a sucker for farm critters, this is the best way to celebrate spring in Vermont!

Kingdom Maple Festival 2023 in St. Johnsbury, Vermont

April 22.2023

Maple glazed donuts.
Maple glazed donuts at Kingdom Maple Festival. Photo credit: Eddie’s Bakery

Celebrate St. Johnsbury’s history as the “Maple Center of the World” on Saturday, April 22, 2023, with the Kingdom Maple Festival — a town-wide festival that draws more than 7,000 people each year.

This year’s sweetest festival will showcase local maple history and producers, along with delicious treats and fun activities, including a pancake breakfast, a festive street fair, and fantastic maple products.

Local restaurants will also be offering maple-themed menus all over town. There’s truly no such thing as too much maple during the Kingdom Maple Festival!

Battenkill Fly Fishing Festival in Arlington, Vermont

April 27-30.2023

Fly fishing under a covered bridge in Vermont.
An on-the-water casting demonstration at Battenkill Fly Fishing Festival. Photo credit:  Walker Creative Inc. & Trico Unlimited 

The Battenkill River has long been considered one of the best fly fishing rivers in the east. It’s got an abundance of trout, but also beautiful surroundings that make this area such a fun destination for anglers.

Experience this enchanting spot for yourself at the Battenkill Fly Fisihing Festival presented by Arlington Common in Arlington, Vermont. Festival highlights include indoor and outdoor workshops and demonstrations, live music, and delicious food.

Proceeds from this fun weekend event will go to protecting and enhancing the Battenkill River.

Vintage Market Days of Vermont in Rutland

April 28-30, 2023

Vintage Market Days of Vermont is an indoor/outdoor market showcasing vintage-inspired original art, antiques, clothing, jewelry, handmade treasures, home décor, outdoor furnishings, consumable yummies, seasonal plantings. This annual event celebrates spring in Vermont, upcycling, and repurposing at the Vermont State Fairgrounds.

Part flea market, part community gathering, welcome spring with three days of one-of-a-kind creations, vintage finds, and delicious food.

Southern Vermont HomeBrew Festival in Bennington, Vermont

April 29, 2023

People enjoying craft brews in Vermont.

For nearly a decade, the Southern Vermont HomeBrew Festivals in Bennington has showcased talented home brewers in the Northeast with two incredible events.

The winter edition takes place on April 29, 2023 from 12-4 pm, and it’s the perfect way to celebrate spring in Vermont — with food trucks, vendors, and of course the finest home brewed beverages in the Northeast!

This year’s festival features 30+ of the region’s best homebrews, unlimited beverage sampling, and delicious food from local food trucks. Not only will you have the chance to try a huge variety of home-brewed beverages (beer, cider, wine, and mead), but you’ll also have a chance to vote for your favorites.

This event is child and dog-friendly, and it will take place outdoors, rain or shine.

Read Next: The Best Things to do in Bennington, Vermont

Vermont in May: 2023 Events and Festivals

Green Up Vermont Day 2023: Throughout the State

Kids cleaning up trash during Green Up Day in Vermont.
Celebrating Green Up Day by cleaning up the woods!

Green Up Day is one of the most special days in Vermont. It’s an opportunity to gather with members of the community to clean up roadsides, rivers, and trails in preparation for spring in Vermont.

Vermont’s 53rd Green Up Day happens on May 6, 2023, and while cleaning up trash may not sound like the best way to celebrate spring, you may be surprised by how festive the atmosphere is throughout the state.

Each year, participants gather thousands of pounds of trash and bag them in bright green bags to be collected by local municipalities. Volunteers are the lifeblood of Green Up Day, and it’s a great way to give back to your community, preserve our beautiful landscapes, and protect wildlife.

Dairy Day at Shelburne Farms

May 7, 2023

Milking cows in vermont.

Dairy cows are a big part of Vermont’s ariculture and agritourism landscape. Get to know a few adoraable spring calves and the cows of the Brown Swiss herd at Dairy Day at Shelburne Farms on May 7, 2023.  

Take a wagon ride to see the pastures and then see the calves get their afternoon milk. Check out the big dairy machines, go on a dairy quest, and watch the cows as they come down the lane for afternoon milking in the parlor. A variety of family-friendly activities will be offered throughout the day.

This is a time to explore the beautiful barns and buildings at Shelburne Farms and learn how the milk goes from cows to award-winner cheddar cheese.

Shelburne Farms is also a great spot to wander. There are numerous trails and the views are spectacular! 

2nd Annual Kingman Fest in St. Albans, Vermont

May 13, 2023

Live music at the Kingman Fest in Vermont.
Live music at Kignman Fest. Photo credit: Perfectly Still Photography

Part block party, part rock concert, Kingman Fest in St. Albans is a high-energy festival designed to get people outside to celebrate spring in Vermont.

Located on Kingman Street in downtown St. Albans, this is a great veent to kick off festival season while catching up with locals and listening to great music.

Kingman Fest gets underway just as the sun is starting make it’s way below the horizon, and it’s entirely free for all ages. Festivities will include a Queen Tribute Concert, fabulous food and drink vendors, activities for kids, and the Kingman Stree Business Showcase.

All proceeds from this exciting street fair will benefit St. Albans For The Future.

Draft Animal Day at Billings Farm & Museum in Woodstock, Vermont

May 14, 2023

Draft horses, steers, and oxen steal the show at Draft Animal Day at Billings Farm & Museum in Woodstock on May 14th. Learn about the important role these animals play in both modern and historic agricultural practices.

A full day of demonstrations and activities include the Parade of Oxen and Working Steers, a harnessing demonstration, a plowing demonstration, and a children’s storytime.

The TRAIL BREAK Taps + Tacos Food Truck will be on site from 11 am – 4pm serving tacos, street corn, chips and salsa, and Jarritos Mexican sodas, and there’s no place like the Farmhouse Cafe for homemade ice cream and other goodies.

Stowe Craft Brew Race: 5K and Beer Festival in Stowe, Vermont

May 20, 2023

The only thing better than running through Stowe’s bucolic countryside is sharing a beer with friends afterward. That’s excactly what you can do at the Stowe Craft Brew Race on May 20th.

The 5k begins at the Stoweflake Mountain Resort & Spa, follows the Stowe Recreation Path and ends with a beer festival, featuring 45+ Vermont breweries, wineries and cideries.

Seems like the only way to run a race!

MayFest 2023 in Bennington, Vermont

May 27 & 28, 2023

Every Memorial Day Weekend, downtown Bennington closes Main Street to traffic and opens it to a huge variety of arts and craft vendors, food trucks, and musicians for two days of celebrating the end of May and the beginning of the sulmmer season.

Welcome to Mayfest! Last year’s event featured four stages of live entertainment, and a wonderful crowd of locals and visitors. We can’t wait to learn more about Mayfest 2023.

2023 BBQ & Brew Festival in Rutland, Vermont

May 27 & 28, 2023

BBQ on a large grill.

Love grilled meats and craft brews? The very first BBQ & Brew Festival will be held at the Vermont State Fairgrounds in Rutland on Memorial Day Weekend, and it’s shaping up to be a deliciously good time.

Spend a day (or two) sampling fantastic barbecue from reginonal restaurants, indulging in a variety of local craft brews, participating in a corn hole tournement and listening to live music. This may be the first BBQ & Brew Festival, but it surely won’t be thel ast.

Vermont City Marathon in Burlington, Vermont

May 28, 2023

A woman athlete crossing the finish line during Vermont City Marathon.
Photo credit: RunVermont

The annual Vermont City Marathon is has been welcoming runners to Burlington since 1989. the United States, first held on May 28, 1989. Produced by RunVermont, this beautiful road race attracts athletes from New England and beyond.

The race starts in Battery Park, overlooking Lake Champlain, and travels along Burlington’s hilly roads, residential streets, and along the Burlington Greenway, finally ending up at the Burlington Waterfront for a post-race celebration.

Visit RunVermont for 2023 race details.

As mud season in Vermont gives way to blue skies, mild temperatures, and new life, it’s time to celebrate spring in Vermont. These fantastic events in April and May are dedicated to Vermont’s most time-honored traditions, historic downtowns, and wonderful people.

Did we forget your favorite event? Send us an email and we’ll check it out!

More Things to do in Vermont

Grab our five-page printable bucket list that includes all the best things to do in Vermont!

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a collage of Vermont spring festivals and events.

Tara Schatz is a freelance writer and the founder and editor-in-chief of Vermont Explored and Back Road Ramblers, an American road trip blog. She is also the co-author of the 3rd edition of AMC’s Best Day Hikes in Vermont (pre-order your copy for the 2023 release date in May).

/ Burlington, Vermont

Mad Mingle at Emily’s Bar & Bistro

On Wednesday, April 19th beginning at 5:30, Emily’s Bar and Bistro will be hosting the next Mad Mingle chamber mixer. This will be a great opportunity to connect with your MRV business community colleagues, celebrate spring and unwind a bit after a long winter season. You will learn about the progress being made at the Chamber’s new Welcome Center and how the summer season is shaping up. Thanks to Emily Etesse, the owner of Emily’s Bar & Bistro for offering up her space for us.

The post Mad Mingle at Emily’s Bar & Bistro appeared first on Mad River Valley Chamber of Commerce.