SHORTAGES OF PLASMA and blood have worsened during the COVID-19 pandemic. You can help by donating blood at the Brandon American Legion on Monday, Aug. 7, from noon to 5 p.m.

VISUALIZE VERMONT is an art contest for youth ages 8 to 17 created by the Vermont Natural Resources Council. Tap into your creativity and make your submission by Aug. 30.

What’s Vermont to you? The Vermont Natural Resources Council has organized Visualize Vermont, an art contest for kids and teens. VNRC invites Vermont youth to submit original artwork for a chance to win prizes and appear in their 2020 year-end brochure. Age categories: 8 and under, 9-12, 13-17. Deadline is Aug. 30, 2020. More info and submission form at or contact Colin Keegan at


It’s barbecue season. Two area Fire departments, Cornwall and Ferrisburgh are upholding their summer barbecue traditions with a twist. Both events will be set up as drive-through pickup rather than a sit-down meal. 

The Cornwall Volunteer Fire Department will hold its annual chicken barbecue on Sunday, Aug. 9, from noon to 2 p.m. (or until the chicken runs out). The drive-through pickup will take place at the Cornwall Elementary School parking lot rather than the fire station. Payment will be by donation — take what you want, pay what you can. A department member will take your cash or check made out to CVFD (there will be no change available) and then direct your car to a line where you can order and receive your chicken dinners (including baked beans, salad, a roll and a cookie) or plain half-chickens.

There will be limited parking at the school for those who would like to bring a blanket or lawn chairs to eat on the school grounds (note that there will be no access to the building or restrooms, however). People should observe physical-distancing recommendations if eating at the school.

The Ferrisburgh Fire Department will offer its Chicken BBQ Dinner complete with Jerry’s Famous Sauce (the recipe being a carefully guarded secret) at 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 22, and will close only after all the chicken is devoured. As with Cornwall, the food service will be by drive through only — the meal will be brought to your car while you wait. Drive on in, enjoy the scrumptious eats and support the critical services of Ferrisburgh Volunteer Fire Department.


Keeping time. Chimney Point State Historic Site in Addison will host their annual historic watch and clock afternoon on Sunday, Aug. 9, at 1 p.m. Several members of the Green Mountain Timekeepers will be on the porch at the site in Addison to talk with visitors about historic timepieces.

Pre-registration is required. Call 802-759-2412 to reserve your place. Facial masks and social distancing also are required. The Society invites people to bring their old pocket watches and clocks, or photographs of them, to show the experts on hand. Ask questions about the history of your timepieces, how they work and how they can be repaired. This program is included in the admission to the site ($5.00 for adults, free for children under 15).

The Chimney Point State Historic Site is located at 8149 Route 17 in Addison. More info at the number above or at


Make it together: Marshmallow shooter


plastic cups or toilet paper tubes



mini marshmallows (or small pompoms)

rubber bands (optional)

Directions: Take an un-inflated balloon and tie a knot in the end. Then cut the bottom half (rounded part) of the balloon off. If you’re using a plastic cup, cut the base off so it becomes just a plastic tube. Fit the opening of the balloon onto one opening of the plastic cup or toilet paper tube. Load your marshmallows or pompoms into the shooter. Now you’re ready to play.

If you have energetic shooters, you may want to use a rubber band to reinforce the balloon. It will help it stay on no matter how hard you pull. Experiment to see how changing the amount of marshmallows or force used changes the outcome. It’s a great way to get kids thinking critically and having fun.


Donate blood. The American Red Cross is experiencing shortages in blood supplies and plasma. You can help by donating at its blood drive at the Brandon American Legion, 550 Franklin St., Brandon, on Monday, Aug. 17, from noon to 5 p.m. Masks are required, and strict safety protocols will be in place.  


Join the discussion on race. The next Voices in the Park will take place at Vergennes City Park, on Saturday, Aug. 8, from 4 to 5 p.m. Rose Archer, Emily Rooney, Una Fonte, Rory Patch and Marlie Hunt will lead the discussion. Wear a mask. Socially distance. Bring a chair for comfort.Join a digital book discussion. The Vermont Humanities Council continues its digital offerings with a book discussion of “Refugees,” by Viet Thanh Nguyen on Friday, July 31, at 4:30 p.m.

Part of the Border Crossing series. “Refugees” is a book of short stories, a memoir, and two novels bringing us to a present-day consideration of migration, immigration and refuge. For information, contact Kimberly Hotelling at


Attend a digital art lecture.  Thanks to the Vermont Humanities Council, “Bearing Witness and Endurance of Voice: The Legacy of Lucy Terry Prince” will be presented on Wednesday, Aug. 5, at 7 p.m., via Zoom. The program will also be available for viewing after the live Zoom event.

Lucy Terry Prince was born in Africa, where she was kidnapped by slave traders and transported to Rhode Island. While still enslaved in 1746, she wrote “Bars Fight,” the oldest known poem in the United States written by an African American. Prince later regained her freedom and moved to Vermont with her husband, Abijah Prince, and fought for her family’s land rights all the way to the highest court in Vermont.

In this presentation, Shanta Lee Gander illustrates Prince’s importance as a poet and orator, and as one unafraid to fight for her rights within the landscape of early Vermont, New England, and America. Gander will also perform Lucy’s only surviving poem, “Bars Fight.”

For event details contact


Make It Together: Three-Card Theater

Materials: Index cards or slips of paper or cardboard (cut-up cereal boxes work well), writing tools.

Use your imagination to brainstorm lots of those “ing” action words: running, jumping, sliding, walking, hopping, yawning, sleeping — you can see where this is going. Write one on each of your slips of paper. Turn them over, face down, and scramble or shuffle them. Pick three cards. After reading them, and putting them in the order you wish, make a very short play doing these actions as the basic story line. This can be done by yourself, or with others. For a fun challenge, try doing it without talking.


Help make back-to-school masks at the Makery. The United Way of Addison County has requested fabric face masks for their Back-to-School Backpack Program that distributes hundreds of backpacks stuffed with school supplies to our school age community. Faith Daya and Wendy Shook are excited to welcome you to the socially distanced Sewing Lab on Aug. 6 and Aug. 13 to make masks for two enjoyable evenings. The Makery will provide the sewing machines, materials and patterns.

Due to COVID-19 social distancing, registration is required. Simple instructions for arriving and working safely at The Makery are included in your confirmation email. Free. Limited to 4 participants per evening. Registration at for workshop 1, Aug. 6, and for workshop 2, on Aug. 13.


Run a race for voting rights. Central Vermont Runners and the Vermont Suffrage Centennial Alliance have organized the Virtual Suffrage Scramble 5k to take place the week of Aug. 8-15, primary week in Vermont. The race marks the 100th anniversary of women’s right to vote. Organizers note that although women got the vote in 1920, Black women were frequently denied the right to vote until the Voting Rights Act of 1965. People of color, people with disabilities and people of modest incomes had to fight for their right to vote free from legal restrictions, intimidation and threats of violence, a struggle that continues to this day. Suffrage Scramble 5K proceeds and extra donations go to the Rutland chapter of the NAACP to expand voter registration, education and access for communities of color.

Participants will choose their own course, pace and start time and run, walk or stroll the 5k during primary week. Registration is $20. Learn more and register now at


The VSO comes to Vergennes. Thursday, Aug. 6 at 6:30 p.m., Sue O’Daniel bandstand on the City Green. The Vermont Symphony Orchestra (VSO) is embarking on a small format statewide tour this summer — hosting free concerts designed for passersby in outdoor areas in each county across the state. Together with Vergennes Opera House, Vergennes Partnership will host a string trio at the Sue O’Daniel bandstand. This project — kick-started by a collection of recent performances at assisted living facilities in Burlington, Middlebury and Bristol — will continue throughout the summer and reach all 14 Vermont counties.


Visit your local galleries. Both Edgewater Gallery locations in Middlebury will have new shows up for the months of August and September. “Cut It Out!” at Edgewater Gallery at the Falls, One Mill Street, is a solo exhibition featuring collage artist Betsy Silverman. Silverman works in what she calls “Fragmented realism” and presents familiar Vermont scenes and still life pieces made entirely of recycled paper.

“Elements: Constructed/Deconstructed,” a group show featuring Jonathan Ebinger, Duncan Johnson and Jim Westphalen will be on view at Edgewater Gallery on the Green, 6 Merchants Row.

In addition, Edgewater will host “A Celebration of Plein Air Painting” on Friday, Aug. 21, and Saturday, Aug. 22, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Five of Edgewater’s Plein Air artists will practice their craft in various locations around town. Meet the artists, observe them working and have the opportunity to purchase work “off the easel.” A cocktail reception and “wet paint sale” will close out the event from 4 to 6 p.m. on the 22nd. All events will follow all Vermont state and CDC guidelines. More info at 802-458-0098 or

Northern Daughters Gallery in Vergennes also has a new show up. “Betrays the Solitude” is an exhibit of new work by painter Julia Jensen. The show went up July 23 and runs through Aug. 29. The exhibition is on view by appointment at the gallery’s 221 Main St. location in Vergennes. NoDa also offers multifaceted digital tours so you can have a personalized gallery viewing experience from home. Northern Daughters is open by appointment. Contact them at or 802-877-2173 to schedule a visit or for more information.


Hike into history at Mount Independence. Mount Independence State Historic Site in Orwell will hold its first special event at the site this year on Sunday, Aug. 2, 1-3 p.m. Two experts on the history of Mount Independence and the American Revolution will be stationed at two locations on the Baldwin Trail to talk to hikers. Pre-registration is required. Call 802-948-2000 to register.

Leaders of this different type of guided hike are Stephen Zeoli, president of the Mount Independence Coalition and former site caretaker, and Michael Barbieri, Coalition board member, historian, and longtime re-enactor. They are known for their storytelling and special knowledge. The program is included in regular site admission of $5.00 for adults and free for those under 15. Wear sturdy shoes, bring water and dress for the weather.


Portrait Collage for kids. Local artist Rebecca Kinkead will host this 45-minute workshop on Sunday, Aug. 9, at 2 p.m. Rebecca will guide participants in creating their own portraits in collage. Parents are encouraged to help/participate. The workshop will take place on ZOOM and required materials are things you already have at home. For this project, all you need to do is show up with an open mind, playfulness, willingness to unwind and a few materials from around your house: Any medium you can draw or paint on (paper, toilet paper, etc.); a magazine or something you can cut up; scissors (optional); pen, paint, marker, crayon, colored pencil, or other tool for coloring (if you have it); glue (if you have it); mirror, front-facing phone camera, or your video on Zoom. The fee for the workshop is $5. To register and for the Zoom link go to


Play with Your Food contest. University of Vermont Extension 4-H is sponsoring a free Edible Art Contest this summer to inspire kids, 8 to 18, to get creative with their food. There are five categories in the competition:

•  Food on the Vine (or Shelf): Take a photo of vegetables or fruits that are either still growing in a garden, field or orchard, or that have been harvested but not yet prepared for serving.

•  Silly/Fun Food: Decorate a ready-to-eat food, such as a rice cake or waffle, with other foods or alternatively, use food to create a picture or work of art.

•  Cake Decorating: Any size or type of cake may be decorated.

•  Main Course or Dessert Plating: Submit a photo of a meal or dessert artistically arranged on a plate. Everything (except the plate) must be edible. The presentation should take color, texture and patterns of different foods and sauces into consideration to create a visually pleasing arrangement.

•  Food Prints or Tie Dye: Use fruits and vegetables to make either prints or dyes to decorate a sheet of paper, a T-shirt or other item.

Participants may enter all five categories although only one entry is permitted per category. Entries will be evaluated on artistry, individuality and creativity with feedback provided. Participants must take a photo of their entry and email it to by 11:59 p.m. on Aug. 10. Each entry must be submitted in a separate email and include name, age and hometown in the body of the email. More info at To request a disability-related accommodation to participate, contact Rose Garritano at or 802-651-834, ext. 505, by July 31.


Connect with a hunting mentor. The Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department is offering a new way for Vermonters to get started hunting through its recently established mentorship program, “Learn to Hunt: Mentor Meet-Ups.”

The free, interactive, two-part program is designed for hunters over the age of 16 to pair with experienced mentors at a meet-and-greet this summer followed by a guided hunt this fall. Objectives are for new hunters to learn safe hunting practices, hunting strategies, hunting regulations and season dates. They will be able to apply what they have learned in a mentored hunt. The goal is to eliminate the barrier to entry many new hunters face.

Interested hunters and mentors can attend one of the two meet-up sessions scheduled for Thursday Aug. 6, from 5-8 p.m. at Kehoe Conservation Camp or Saturday Aug. 8, from 9 a.m. to noon at Buck Lake Conservation Camp.

Sign up at For more information email

To protect the health and safety of all participants, physical distancing requirements will be in place.  All participants must also wear a face covering at all times.  Masks will not be provided, and participants should bring their own.  Limited spaces are available, and registration is required.  The deadline to enroll is a week prior to the scheduled session.


Make a portrait collage. The Sheldon Museum will offer a live Portrait Collage Workshop for adults on Thursday, July 30, at 6 p.m. Participants will join local artist Rebecca Kinkead who will guide them in creating their own portraits in collage. The workshop will take place on Zoom and required materials are things you already have at home. Another collage workshop for kids is planned for August. The fee for the workshop is $10/person. To register online and for further information, go to or email


Make It Together: Square-foot Safari. Take a close-up look at what’s right nearby in a new way with this simple project.


Four strips of 1-inch by 12-inch paper or cardboard (a collapsed cereal box or file folder would do)

Glue stick

Magnifying glass (optional)

Drawing paper/pad and pencil (optional)

Steps: Lay the strips out to form a square. Glue the corners for stability. Find a comfortable section of lawn and put the square down to frame a spot to get down and closely observe what’s in the square. What’s going on there? Take your time, really look under the layers, and imagine living in that world. Use a magnifying glass, if you have one, or just use your imagination. If you like to draw and sketch, try capturing all the new things you see by looking in a new and focused way.


Take in a concert and some strawberry shortcake. The Shoreham Congregational Church will hold an outdoor concert and strawberry mini-festival on Saturday, July 25, from 6-8 p.m. at the Gazebo at the Town Green in Shoreham. The concert will feature Romy and Ben Munkres of Cornwall. A free-will offering to support their musical endeavors will be accepted. The strawberry mini-festival, held at the same time, will be take-out only and feature only the church’s famous strawberry shortcake with Vermont strawberries and real whipped cream for $6, and bottled water will be available for an extra $1.  Patrons will follow one-way traffic through the lower floor of the church to pick up their shortcake, and bring it outside to eat as they enjoy the music.

Patrons should wear facemasks and bring picnic blankets or lawn chairs to arrange for socially distant seating on the lawn near the gazebo or sit in their cars nearby to enjoy the music.


See your community virtually. The Henry Sheldon Museum is offering a new virtual exhibit, “A Neighbor Project: The Downtown Middlebury Portrait” by local artist Rebecca Kinkead. The exhibit includes over a hundred 7- x 5-inch oil portraits of local community members created in the spring of 2020 during 20-minute portrait sessions throughout the town. The works are exhibited together in the Sheldon Museum to form a singular portrait of the downtown Middlebury community. Go to to see the exhibit.


BBQ takeout. The New Haven Volunteer Fire Dept. will hold it’s annual Chicken BBQ, albeit take-out only, on Saturday, July 25. Volunteers will start serving at 5 p.m.. The menu includes 1/2 BBQ Misty Knoll chicken, potato salad, baked beans, and  rolls for $12 per serving. This event will be at the New Haven Town Hall. For more info call 802-377-0475


Watch some local music. Northeast Addison Television is hosting a weekly music series from their Studio 2 in Bristol. Nate Gusakov will be playing a solo set of new and old music on acoustic and electric banjos on Friday, July 17. It will be live-streamed and also available to watch on demand from NEAT’s website,,


Bumble Bee history and more. The Salisbury Conservation Commission will present a Zoom webinar on “Vermont Bumble Bees: Natural History and Conservation” on July 29 at 7 p.m. Wild bees pollinate wildflowers and most crops in Vermont, including blueberries, tomatoes, squash, and one of the state’s essential commodities: apples. But about half of Vermont’s bumble bee species have either vanished or are in serious decline. After conducting the state’s most extensive search for bumble bees, and combing through historical records from museum collections, the Vermont Bumble Bee Atlas concluded that four of Vermont’s 17 bumble bee species appear to have gone extinct. While the researchers cannot pinpoint what may have caused these sudden bumble bee population declines, habitat loss, parasites, pesticides and climate change have all been implicated by recent bee studies in North America. Join Vermont Center for Ecostudies biologist and Outdoor Radio co-host Kent McFarland as he shares the amazing world of Bumble Bees and their conservation. Register in advance at After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.


Virtual Wellness forum for Seniors. Via Zoom, hear relevant updates and current recommendations about COVID-19. Learn about resources for seniors to stay safe and maintain physical and emotional wellness moving forward. The forum happens Wednesday, July 29, 1-2:30 p.m. Panelists include Rhonda Williams, VT Dept. of Health; Amber Snow, MSN, APRN, AGPCNP-C; Mohamed Basha, RN, CEO TLC Home Care; and Emily Vivyan, LMSW, Alzheimer’s Association. For more info and to register contact or 802-377-3393.


Make your bids in Brandon. The Great Brandon Auction has reorganized its annual event to be COVID-19-friendly this year. Rather than a large outdoor event, the auction has moved into an auction center at 6 Park St. With social distancing measures in place, folks can visit the auction center, bid on silent auction items, or walk out the door with some “buy it now” deals and steals. The auction center will be open Aug. 1-15 at the following times: Monday-Wednesday 11 a.m.-6 p.m.; Thursday and Friday, 11 a.m.-8 p.m.; Saturday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.; and Sunday 11 a.m.-4 p.m. The auction ends at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 15.


Go to Rokeby Museum. Now open for the season, Rokeby Museum has opened a new exhibit, “Mending Fences: New Work by Carol MacDonald.” McDonald proposed the exhibit based on what she learned about Rokeby when she attended a four-day artist lab there last fall. She was inspired by Robinson family members, for whom both simple and profound acts of repair were part of their lives. The exhibit features and beautiful new monotypes of historic textiles and clothing. Artistically rendered repairs of broken objects are displayed throughout. Label copy includes writing by McDonald, in which she looks at the ways in which society needs repair, and what it means to repair personal brokenness.


Take in some Opera. BARN OPERA will present a live performance, in accordance with Vermont safety guidelines, on Sept. 12 at 7:30 p.m. in Brandon’s Estabrook Park. The company will offer an evening of arias, duets and scenes from opera and musical theatre. The repertoire will span centuries from Mozart to Gounod, Rossini to Puccini, with recognizable tunes, and virtuosic vocalism. Held outdoors in a socially distant manner, the performance will allow 150 people, who will sit in designated marked-off, 10-foot squares.

This event features a principal cast of professional singing-actors who live in Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine. All the artists who will perform in “Under the Stars” understand the gravity of the situation we are all in, and are willing to self-quarantine for two weeks prior to arrival in Vermont, or provide negative test results for Covid-19. BARN OPERA will take great pains to ensure the safety of not only the artists who will perform, but also the audience. Visit​for more complete information. Facial coverings are non-negotiable for both artist and audience, and disposable masks and hand sanitizer stations at the entrance will be provided.


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Addison County Independent

58 Maple Street
Middlebury, VT 05753

Phone: 802.388.4944
Fax: 802.388.3100