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A VINTAGE POSTER for Monty Banks in “Flying Luck” (1927), which will be screened accompanied by live music on Saturday, July 17 at Brandon Town Hall.
BRANDON — After a year in virtual isolation it feels good to take part in an activity with a group. One activity that you could do alone is watch an old silent movie. But it is so much more fun to watch the black-and-white film spiel out in a theater with the shared reactions of others in the audience. Add live music to the experience and you are now talking about an evening of fun. The Brandon Town Hall and Community Center is offering the group watching experience this summer with the resumption of its annual silent film series. Classics from the silent film era are projected on a big...

BASIN HARBOR, THE renowned 700-acre resort and boat club on the shores of Lake Champlain in Ferrisburgh, is anticipating brisk business this summer and fall, following a disappointing 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Photo courtesy Basin Harbor
FERRISBURGH — Pennie Beach summed up the outlook for the summer of 2021 at Basin Harbor one word: “Gangbusters.” Thirty-two weddings are on the docket at the beautiful, 700-acre resort and boat club on the shores of Lake Champlain in Ferrisburgh. Beach, a fourth-generation host who with her brother Bob owns and operate Basin Harbor, anticipates one or two weddings almost every weekend into the fall. Customers — whether they are out-of-town, overnight guests or locals looking to dine out or play a round of golf — will be able to enjoy virtually all amenities without restrictions.  “We are...

A FAMILY ENJOYS a picnic-style dinner during a recent Fridays in the Park event in Bristol. During the weekly events on the town green this summer the Bobcat Café is selling delicious comestibles from a food truck while different local bands perform from the bandstand. Many Addison County restaurants are offering al fresco dining this summer. Independent photo/William Haig
ADDISON COUNTY — Dining al fresco has always been a highlight of summer in Vermont. But it took on new importance when the pandemic struck and made many folks wary of spending unmasked time indoors.  Even as vaccinated people return to dining indoors at restaurants, some would still prefer to stay outdoors, especially if they’re dining with unvaccinated children. So, here are some options — new and old — for enjoying a meal outside in Addison County. PIZZA BY THE POND The pandemic shifted Blueberry Hill Innkeeper Shari Brown’s focus from tending to guests visiting from afar to drawing the...

REVELERS TOAST WITH a selection of locally made drinks at the 2013 Midd Summer Fest, summer celebration of wine, beer and spirits made in Addison County. Independent file photo/Trent Campbell
ADDISON COUNTY — This part of the world has long been called the Land of Milk and Honey, but there’s a lot more going on with beverages locally than just moo-juice — and many of these drinks are for those who are 21 or older. In Addison County alone there are dozens of thirst-quenching, mouth-watering, intoxicating, health-promoting and sweetening beverages for the adult consumer. Some call Addison County the “adult beverages capital of the nation” and you can see why with so many local options to choose from. We first ran a version of this story almost a decade ago. Some things have evolved...

THE SALISBURY FISH Culture Station raises millions of trout eggs that are used at breeding stations around the state. Independent file photo/John S. McCright
SALISBURY — There have been occasional years when, for one reason or another, I didn’t make it down to the fish hatchery off Route 53 in Salisbury. But I try to make it an annual pilgrimage. The hatchery, more accurately known as a “fish culture station” and run by the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources, has become one of my favorite local attractions. Opened in 1931 (before my parents were born), it is listed in the National Register of Historic Sites. It’s also a vital part of the state’s hatchery program. Although you might not realize it from a casual look around, the biologists and...
BRISTOL — The 2021 Bristol Fourth of July parade may have been canceled because of COVID-19, but the town’s annual fireworks display will return this year, along with the ever popular Outhouse Race. The fireworks show will begin around 9:45 p.m. on Friday, July 2, at the usual spot, the Mount Abraham Union High School sports field off of Airport Drive. Spectators are encouraged to show up early. Parking will be provided by the Masons, and food and other vendors will be on hand next door at the Bristol Recreation Department field, according to a Front Porch Forum post last month by Bristol 4th...

Fort Ticonderoga Ferry. File photo/Trent Campbell
SHOREHAM — The Fort Ticonderoga Ferry, which provides 7-minute-long ferry rides across Lake Champlain from Shoreham, Vt., to Ticonderoga, N.Y., has not yet reopened this summer. Longtime ferry owners Michael and Alison Matot this past winter sold the ferry to Neil Genson. The cable-drawn ferry, which accommodates 18 vehicles per trip, normally begins running in April or May, but its start was delayed this year. A report by WCAX last month said that the new owner was being trained, and the ferry would be returning to business by Memorial Day weekend. But the ferry is not running, and Genson...

NUMEROUS LYMANTRIA DISPAR DISPAR (aka the gypsy moth) attack a tree in the Monkton woods last week. The exotic invasive species feeds on tree leaves and can defoliate entire forests. Most trees will survive the outbreak and grow a second set of leaves this summer, but those already suffering from environmental stress may die. Independent photo/William Haig
MONKTON — There’s a spot in Monkton’s Little Hogback Community Forest, about a quarter-mile up a logging trail, that last Friday felt like a dividing line between spring and fall. Downhill from the trail, maple, young ash and other trees provided the cool green shade typical of a Vermont June in the forest. Uphill, in a drier microclimate populated with oaks, beech and hardhack, it looked like November. Dead leaves on the ground, the sky visible through the branches. Gray and dreary. And then there was the sound. Like a gentle rain. Or morning dew dripping on your tent. But this was not water...

JOHN STROUP, LEFT, and Sheila Soule
ADDISON — With the town of Addison’s July 13 vote looming on whether to withdraw from the Addison Northwest School District, ANWSD board members and administrators say they are supportive of the town residents’ right to petition for the vote and take that first step toward separation. But they also raise questions about financial information proposed for an Addison selectboard flyer for residents, calling it misleading, and whether the town’s membership in ANWSD has really been the fiscal and educational burden that the flyer suggests. An ANWSD board statement, released by Chairman John...

CHILDREN ATTENDING MARY Hogan School last fall all wore masks because of COVID-19, but now with universal mask mandates gone, parents have to decide on masks for their children. Independent file photo/Megan James
ADDISON COUNTY — When Gov. Phil Scott last week announced that all state COVID-19 guidelines would be lifted since Vermont has vaccinated 80% of its eligible population, the recommendation that kids under 12 years old continue to wear masks indoors remained. What to do with that recommendation is entirely up to parents and guardians, and it isn’t necessarily an easy decision. Lauren Young, co-owner of Rainbow Pediatrics and a mother of two, said she had mixed feelings in response to Scott’s announcement. “It does feel a bit challenging with kids still being unvaccinated,” she said. Young...

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Addison County Independent