Vergennes to fill up with third Eat on the Green


THE THIRD ANNUAL Eat on the Green Food and Music Festival will take place on the Vergennes City Green this Saturday, Sept. 21, from 3-9 p.m. Festival goers will enjoy food and drink from local vendors, local music and games. Proceeds benefit four Vergennes nonprofits.

VERGENNES — For the third year, the green in Vergennes will become a bustling hub of grub, games, music and more on Saturday, Sept. 21. From 3-9 p.m., the annual Eat on the Green Food and Music Festival will take over the Little City’s park with delicious dishes, desserts and brews served up by Vergennes-area eateries. 

“This event is so fun because you can literally eat your way through Vergennes,” said city resident Laura Mack, who’s also the owner of lu·lus ice cream on Main Street. 

lu.lus will have scoops available at Saturday’s event, plus Mack might throw in fantastic pastries for good measure. Other vendors include: Bar Antidote, Black Sheep Bistro, Park Squeeze, 3 Squares Cafe, Hired Hand Brewery, Daily Chocolate and Basin Harbor.

“You can definitely eat dinner and then some,” said Julie Nelson Basol, coordinator of marketing and development for the Vergennes Partnership.

Hanging out at the event and enjoying the music is free. Tickets will be sold for $2 each. Guest can then trade in tickets for food or drink offerings at the different vendor booths. 

“I don’t need anyone to convince me to eat anything anyway,” Mack joked, “but if you do need a reason… you’re eating for a cause at this event. Proceeds go to the four area non-profits who are doing things year round in Vergennes.”

Those local nonprofits are the Vergennes Partnership, Vergennes Opera House, Boys & Girls Club of Greater Vergennes, and Bixby Memorial Library.

Basol estimates that the event will draw around 2,500 people. And said she hopes they can raise between $10,000-$15,000 to give back to the community. 

“Eat on the Green is such a great community event,” said Andrea Cousineau, executive chef of the Black Sheep and Park Squeeze. “It’s almost like a block party, where we can highlight all the amazing food we have in town. There’s such an incredibly diverse culinary atmosphere here in Vergennes — we have so much talent in our Little City — this event is a way for us to show off a little bit.”

The culinary extravaganza will groove to the tunes of three local bands playing Saturday in the gazebo: unruly allies, The Good Parts, and Rehab Roadhouse with support from DJ Fattie B. Plus around the green grazers will also find hula hooping, face painting and more fun family activities.

Eat on the Green started in 2017 when Matt Birong of 3 Squares Cafe, Ian Huizenga of Hired Hand and Anitidote, and Cousineau of Black Sheep and Park Squeeze got together and started daydreaming. 

“Once we had a pretty solid idea, we got the Vergennes Partnership involved,” Cousineau remembered. “Now we have an amazing team of community members who help put together the festival each year.

“At the inception of this event we wanted it to have no entry fee, so everyone and anyone could come enjoy amazing food, music and games,” Cousineau added. “And it was a way for the restaurants to give back to our community.”

Now three years later, Cousineau still feels that sense of camaraderie with her fellow Vergennes restaurateurs. 

“We’re unique because even though we represent different companies; we all work so closely together,” she said. “We all have the mentality that if you need a cup of sugar you can go get some from your neighbor. Anything that helps one of us, helps all of us.”

Bring your appetite to Vergennes this Saturday and prepare to indulge in the Little City’s cuisine and kindness.

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