ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 6 * * All Arts News On the Web * * May 30, 2002


      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.

      Stop in for the AAC CoffeeHouses at 7 p.m. on the second and fourth Wednesday of every month. These gatherings bring new opportunities, gossip, "show-and-tell" and workshops. We come together on the second Wednesday for a booked musical performance and an art exhibit at Simple Pleasures in St Albans. On the fourth Wednesday come to the Kept Writer in St Albans for acoustic Open Mike Night featuring music, readings, and more from the best new artists in Vermont.


      Artists have long been fascinated by the dichotomy of making war and bringing peace. That partnership of art with warriors can be tragic, but the art itself helps us mourn and helps us recover.
      Today is the traditional observance of Memorial Day.
      Originally called Decoration Day, Memorial Day is our day of remembrance for those who have died in our nation's service. The holiday was first proclaimed by General John Logan, commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, and was inaugurated May 30, 1868, at Arlington National Cemetery.
      To help us re-educate and remind ourselves of the true meaning of Memorial Day, the National Moment of Remembrance resolution suggests that all Americans "voluntarily and informally observe in their own way a moment of remembrance and respect" at 3 p.m. today.


      The 46th Annual Vermont Dairy Festival starts tonight with a weekend packed with family entertainment. The event celebrates "Milk ... is White Gold."
      "The Festival started four years after the inception of the Lions Club," said Enosburg Lions President Bob May. The Lions Club will celebrate its fiftieth anniversary at the Sheldon Casino, June 22.
      June is National Dairy Month, so a couple of historical (and artsy) facts are in order. In the thirteenth century, Genghis Khan's cavalry dried milk to preserve it. They reconstituted it into a thin porridge each day. Canvas for oil painting is generally made of linen or a linen-cotton blend. The canvas must first be prepared with a coating of size or casein mixed with plaster or carbonate of lime. The main protein in milk, casein is mixed often with lime or formaldehyde and used to make water-resistant glues, binders in paints, and tough, clear protective coatings for leathers, textiles, lithographic stones, and paper. It can form a plastic used to make buttons and costume jewelry.
      For the record, one third of all ice cream sold is vanilla and one cow can produce 200,000 glasses of milk in a lifetime.
      All music and entertainment will be on the bandstand this year.

THURSDAY--The Vermont Dairy Festival Scholarship Pageant completes a two-day competition tonight. All contestants are college bound seniors from Enosburg, Richford, and St Albans this year. The overall winner receives a $500 scholarship; the first runner up receives $300 and second runner up, $200. The first , second, and third place winners in creative and performing arts and in speech also receive $150, $75, and $50 scholarships each.
      The 18 girls finished the creative and performing arts and speech categories last week. In the Opera House at 7 p.m.

FRIDAY--Enosburg Falls High School Jazz Band plays songs from the Big Band classics to modern jazz at 6:30 p.m.
      Jim Daniels and Jim Mcginniss will playing their original and traditional old-time country and bluegrass music on the fretless clawhammer banjo fiddle and guitar. 8 p.m.

SATURDAY--Lindsay Larivee will sing the National Anthem at the Invocation on the bandstand at 10:30.
      The 46th annual Mooooving Parade starts promptly at 10:30. With marching bands and mobile murals, it is one of Vermont's largest parades.
      The Fernald Lumber Yankee Hitch is a restored 100-year-old delivery wagon of the type used by lumber companies, drawn by six matched Belgian draft horses. The horses stand more than six feet tall at the shoulder, weigh at least 2000 pounds, and meet a rigorous standard for color, size, style sprit, and action. Since last year's performance, the six horses have eaten more than 100,000 pounds of hay and grain, drunk about 65,000 gallons of water, and worn out more than 200 shoes hand-forged from heavy steel bar stock.
      The performance showcases the power, grace, and discipline of the animals in choreographed maneuvers on Enosburg's narrow Main Street. The grande finale includes a series of dazzling spins and runs. Driven by wagonmaster Tyke Frost, the Fernald Lumber Yankee Hitch is one of the last remaining big hitches. Saturday and Sunday at 12 noon.
      The 21st annual Colgate Country Showdown lineup includes Penny Bohannon of Alburg, Bonnie Drake of South Burlington, Amy Greenia of Enosburg, Skeeter Lee of Windsor, Samantha Madison and Wild Card of the New Hampshire Lakes Region, Renegade of St Albans, and Shayna Sherwood of Enosburg.
      "It shouldn't be surprising what a strong talent base we have locally, but this group of performers really blew us away," organizer Mike Kmack of WLFE said.
      The winner of this first step in the nation's largest country music talent search goes on to the State Finals. There is no age limit for contestants. State, Regional and National contests provide a back-up band for all contestants. State and Regional rules allow 7 minutes from the first musical note until the last note of the second song.
      Because the Showdown is a training and selection competition for up-and-coming performers and bands, Colgate encourages contestants to get their individual judging scores after the contest. The scores help performers see how they were judged in the different categories, and to fine tune their performances for the future.
      The Colgate Country Showdown is sponsored and operated by Jane Silk and WLFE-102.3 FM. Over 400 radio stations stage the local competitions for the nation's largest country talent search. Jennifer Horne won the 2001 national event.
      The country rock trio Borderline is the host band. They play a mix of classic to top-40 country plus 50s-60s rock music. Kevin Bockus, bass, Stanley Ring, drums, and Howard Ring on guitar show off strong lead and harmony vocals. They were featured at the Vermont Maple Festival and have regular Friday night gig at the Old Mill in Stanbridge East. 1:30-6 p.m. on the bandstand.
      The Fiddler's Variety Show Saturday evening is an assemblage of Canadian and American singers, dancers, pickers, comedians, cloggers, and fancy fiddlers. 6 p.m.
      Silverback headlines Saturday evening with a broad range of hits and original, funky tunes. Ben Weed, lead guitar, Dan Marcotte, bass, Mike Stebbins, vocals and trombone, Sarah Jo Willey, vocals, and Chad Sandvil, drums, bring gutsy vocals, blaring trombone, and jammin' guitar riffs to the music of Rolling Stones and Tracy Chapman and Phish. 8 p.m.

SUNDAY--Hypnotist Ron Cote offers a high energy hypnosis show with plenty of audience interaction. Participants will find themselves in comic and entertaining situations and the audience will roar with laughter. Mr. Cote has also performed for two decades as a celebrity interviewer, community theater actor, and disk jockey. He is a certified Hypnotherapist, Master Practitioner of Neurolinguistic Programming, and certified in stage and demonstrational hypnosis by the National Guild of Hypnotists. 12:30 and 2:30 p.m.

      The dedicated men and women of the Enosburg Lions volunteer their time to conduct service projects and raise funds for the local community. The Enosburg Lions work to help those in need, wherever the need exists. They contribute to area school projects, community health services, the Enosburg public library, family assistance and drug/alcohol programs, fire and ambulance services, other non-profit organizations, scholarships, senior citizen programs, as well as the Lions International sight and hearing programs. The Vermont Dairy Festival is the Lions' primary source of funding for these programs. The Lions health watch booth at the Dairy Festival features osteoporosis bone density screening. Call Jerry Charbonneau at (933-5241) or speak to any member of the club during the Dairy Festival for more information or to join the Lions Club.
      The Dairy Festival midway opens at 6 p.m. tonight. Continuous entertainment starts Friday evening at 5 p.m. and the weekend activities begin at 9 a.m. Saturday and Sunday in downtown Enosburg Falls. Admission to the grounds is free and most events are also free.


SHELDON--Summer at Grace begins the 2002 season tonight with Mark Sustic's Farewell Tour. The concert is one of over 30 Tour performances to celebrate Mr. Sustic's 20 years working with young children and their families in Franklin County as Coordinator of the Franklin County Early Childhood Programs. He will be joined on stage by David Carpenter, Michele Choiniere, Kathryn Kuba-Dandurand, Eric Drury, Gary Dulabaum, Gerry Faulkenberg, Sharon Gouveia, Franklin Heyburn, David Hoke, Michele Lajoie, Ed Paquin, Mary Ann Samuels, Chauncey Varney, and more. He will perform two or three numbers with each guest. The concert will also feature several large and small ensembles with the guests.
      This is the fifth season of the Summer Music at Grace series. The church is the home of the newly restored 1833 Erben pipe organ. Thursday May 30th at 7pm at Grace Church, 215 Pleasant Street, Sheldon Creek. Call 326-4603 for info.

FAIRFAX--Regular Music Session with acoustic instrumentalists playing traditional songs at the Foothills Bakery on Saturday, 1-4:30 p.m. Admission is free by donation.

HARDWICK--Mark Shelton is no stranger to Franklin County. He played the Vermont Dairy Festival last year, headlined at the AAC CoffeeHouse, and keeps company with some of our great local musicians.
      Mr. Shelton is releasing his new CD Radical as part of his ongoing ministry in a party at North Country Union High School, Friday at 7 p.m. Special guests include Larry Beaudry and the Eternity Project, Lori Jo Gardner, Dwayne Perry and Wayne Tate. Admission is $3 at the door and the music is guaranteed to be good.


      The website is a locus for information on the day, and an online community for people to share their feelings, pride, respect and honor for our ancestors, our family members, our loved ones, and for the strangers who have given the ultimate sacrifice. 1.8 million men, women, and children gave their lives for America since 1775.
      In addition to the history of the holiday, the site offers activities, e-cards, images, and poetry. The art includes public domain Flash and QuickTime movies with Memorial Day themes, photos, vintage postcards, and computer wallpapers.

      The complete Vermont Dairy Festival schedule along with all the "moos" can be found on the Vermont Festivals website.


      ArtBits features a quick weekly peek at the bookshelf or night stand of the folks you know in and around Franklin County. That popular feature has a page of its own at the Franklin County Bookshelf here on the AAC site.


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      This article was originally published in the St Albans Messenger and other traditional print media. It is Copyright © 2002 by Richard B. Harper. All rights reserved. Archival material is provided as-is. Links are not necessarily maintained (if a link in this article fails, try or your favorite search engine).
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