ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 16 * * All Arts News On the Web * * April 26, 2012


      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 live music and more at the Fairfax Music Sessions at the Foothills Bakery in Fairfax most Saturday afternoons at 1 p.m., at various restaurants around Franklin County throughout the week, at the Bayside in St Albans Town most Sunday afternoons, and the Cambridge CoffeeHouses at 7 p.m. on the first and third Wednesday of every month.
     These gatherings bring new opportunities, gossip, "show-and-tell" and occasional workshops. The booked performances and acoustic Open Mike Nights feature music, readings, and more from the best new artists in Vermont.

      Find links to these events and more in our Spotlight!

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      You don't need to choose. You can do it all from the Maple Festival to the Hoedown to downtown restaurants to concert halls!


      The Maple Festival this weekend is the 46th running of Vermont's first (and sweetest) outdoor festival of the year. The theme is, "Pure Vermont Maple -- Naturally for the Health of It."
      And a free shuttle bus will run every 15 minutes from the Collins-Perley parking lot to the Antique show, Craft Show, Exhibit Hall, and Taylor Park on Saturday only.

      The Maple Festival Parade -- the biggest in Vermont -- starts on Lake Street on Sunday at 1 p.m. sharp. The parade stretches for miles with over 100 marching bands, fancy floats, bag pipers, clowns, dancers, fire trucks horses and tractors new and old, musicians, neat cars, probably the odd politician or two, scouts, and the ever-popular pooper scooper will walk up Lake Street, over Main Street, and down Lower Newton Street.

      The annual Crafts and Specialty Foods Show in BFA Auditorium offers artwork and fine photographs, glittery bling, classy clothing, wooden sculptures, traditional and nouveau crafts, and fine Vermont specialty foods. More than 60 vendors will have traditional as well as craft innovations. This Show is one of the Festival's three face-painting locations. Admission is free. Friday noon - 5 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. - 5 p.m., and Sunday 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. A free shuttle bus on Saturday makes deliveries right to the door.
      A sampling of the exhibitors includes John Cort-Desrochers' books; paintings and landscapes by Kimberlee Forney, Barbara Hubbard, and Karen Day Vath; Toby Fulwiler, wooden bowls; and the Moose Man's Wildlife Photography. And be sure to stop in for Vikki Machia's fudge and Evelyn Martin's Vermont Pure Maple Kisses for a taste of heaven.
      Downtown St. Albans offers several other shows this weekend.
      St. Luke's Episcopal Church will host a Bishop Street Artists' art sale, including small paintings, and prints, note cards, jewelry, and slates, plus a plant and shrub sale and homemade baked goods sale in the Parish Hall on Saturday at 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. and Sunday at 9 a.m. - 1 p.m.
      Call Jane Bower (802.524.3149) or email for more info. "Come see the wide variety of items for sale just in time for Spring," she said.
      St. Paul’s United Methodist Church hosts a Maple Festival Vendor and Craft Show with soup & sandwich luncheon in Fellowship Hall on Saturday. Crafters will offer maple products, Mayan hands, photographs, and more. The show will be open 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. and the lunch of homemade soup and a variety of sandwiches and beverages served 11 - 2. A portion of the day’s sales will go to UMCOR’s Midwest Tornado Disaster Relief.
      The second annual Sappy Art Show at the Village Frame Shoppe includes works with a Vermont Maple Theme by artists from all over Vermont. The Main Street gallery is open Friday and Saturday 10-8, Sunday 10-3, during the Festival.

      Only two of the indoor entertainment events (and the banquet) charge admission. Everything else is free. The Youth Talent Show will take place tomorrow evening at 7 p.m. The Fiddlers Variety Show (fiddling is the Sound of Vermont) on Saturday at 7 p.m. Both are back in the new BFA Performing Arts Center. click here to buy advance sale tickets online for each. Tickets will also be available at the information booth in Taylor Park and the festival office at the exhibit hall in the BFA Cafeteria.
      The St. Albans Historical Society Museum opens its doors tomorrow at 12 noon - 4 p.m. and again on Saturday, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
      The Main Street Stage begins a weekend of free entertainment tomorrow at 11 a.m. That runs through Sunday after the parade.
      Did I mention that the Main Street Stage is free?
      The Friday entertainment lineup on the free Main Street stage begins with Marko the Magician as he performs magic, hypnosis, and comedy and will perform two different shows, one of magic and a second of hypnotic skills. 1-3 p.m.
      Dark Horse makes its first appearance at the Maple Festival, bringing some of the best of country music the Main Street Stage. Look for new songs by Dierks Bentley, Lady Antebellum, Thompson Square, George Strait, Alan Jackson, and a Charlie Daniels classic by Bob Corbiere, Bob Berger, Dan Cox, George Seymour, and Ron Hall. 4-6 p.m.
      The Youth Talent Show will fill the BFA Performing Arts Center on Friday evening at 7 p.m. This annual favorite brings together some of the most talented children in the County competing for scholarship prizes. Talent show admission is $7 for adults and $5 for students.
      Saturday and Sunday morning should bring the famed Foothills Fogies to the pancake breakfast at St. Albans City Elementary School. Mark Sustic describes the Fogies as the "group of people who play informally at the Foothills Bakery," including Mr. Sustic, Jerry Faulkenberg and several other fiddlers young and old. Tickets, available at the door, are $8 for adults and $4 for kids for "all you care to eat." Mmmmm, maple.
      After breakfast, the Electric Youth Dance Company takes over the Main Street Stage This talented group of dancers in several age groups learn the fun and discipline of dance. Cheryl Ann Kelly directs. 10 - 11:30 a.m.
      Next up, famed children's storyteller and family musician Bill Shontz, an entertainer who has wowed generations of children and adults from Rosenshontz on PBS to Summer Sounds with his one man band and vocals. He starts the day right on the Main Street Stage. 11:30 - 12:30 p.m.
      The danceable jazz of the Joe Levesque Big Band is the band music of the 40s to the present on the stage and up and down the street. 1 - 2:30 p.m.
      Winners from the Youth Talent Show will perform on the Main Street stage at 3 p.m.
      Prydelin, Vermont's own original Scottish rock band, returns to the Main Street Stage with their original interpretations of rock and Celtic music. 4-6 p.m.
      The Fiddlers' Variety Show, now an annual sellout at BFA, has hours and hours and hours (and hours) of Canadian and American singers, dancers, pickers, comedy, and clogging all starting at 7 p.m. Fiddlers' show admission is $7 (or less than two pennies per minute of music). Get your tickets in advance at the information booth on Main Street, at the festival office, and online.
      Sunday morning, bright and early returns the Foothills Fogies to pancake breakfast duties at St. Albans City Elementary School.
      After breakfast, the Smokey Newfield Project, a new band with over 18 years on the local music scene has a new repertoire of classic rock, folk, and adult alternative music. 11 a.m. - 12 noon.
      The acoustic quartet Michele Fay Band brings original and roots music and heartfelt lyrics to the stage after the parade. 2-4 p.m.
      Click here for more info.


ENOSBURG--The Opera House at Enosburg Falls presents Heather McKeown's Highbrow to Hoedown on Saturday. Take off is at 7 p.m. sharp.
      "This is the 23rd year," Ms. McKeown said, for a fundraiser that will underwrite school programs and new the documentary about local prescription drug abuse in Franklin County being made by Bess O'Brien, Dr. Fred Holmes and Loli Berard. "We hope to raise a lot of money for the worthy!"
      Fasten your seatbelts. The cast of inflight Jetblue crew members and Franklin County's favorite performers are ready to fly another audience off to another night of rock 'n roll, blues, comedy, opera, classical, folk, and musical comedy destinations.
      The cast includes Vermont singers Kathleen Hoffman Ansari and Soukaina Ansari; Jackson and Sarah Boutin; Chasing 440; Jetblue courting jester Jodi Herstein; recording artists Carol Ann Jones and Will Patton; the Lady Supreme, a famous Motown act now living in Burlington; Jay Leslie; Boston singer Liam; The Missisquoi River Band; Captain Lincoln Reeves; Jetblue actress/singer/girl from Boston Candice Skingley; Patience Willey; Sarah Jo, little baby Bean Willey; Selena and Leilah James from New Brunswick, Canada; and Placebo Domingo, "an untrained operatic voice" just back from a trip to Richford where she visited the Pink Lady -- Placebo may decide to become Mick Jagger; plus the cast of the Wizard of Oz; and Jetblue talent from Alabama, Jamaica, Florida, New Jersey, New York City, South Carolina, and beyond with long time emcee, JetBlue's Darryl Goodwin. So many songs, so little time!
      But wait! There's more! The Hoedown hopes to entice opera singer Joseph Brophey performed for the Pope then moved to Bakersfield; Margie Cain; long-time participant Betty Curboy if someone can take over her pizza and sub shop; Little Miss Newton; and more.
      There will be cake, a 50/50 raffle, a massage auction, door prizes, and much more.
      The Hoedown is underwritten by the Enosburg Lions Club and the Optimist Newspaper and sponsored by Margo Sherwood Real Estate, the Pink Lady, Blouin Bros. Fuels, TD Bank, Sandi Murphy Real Estate, the Crossing Restaurant, The Myo Clinic, Rock On Art Studio, Kittell, Branagan, Sargent, the St. Albans Messenger, and more.
      Admission is about $10 or "more if you have it!" The box office opens at 6 p.m.

ST. ALBANS--Cosmic Bakery & Café presents Carol Ann Jones Solo at The Cosmic this evening at 6:30 p.m.

ST. ALBANS--Chow Bella presents Marko The Master Magician this evening at the restaurant. Marko will perform walk around table magic from 7 - 8 p.m. and a full hour long show at 8 p.m. in the banquet and performance room. The show is free but reservations are recommended as dinner guests will be given table preference.
      Call 802.524.1405, email, or click here for more info.

JOHNSON--Johnson State College presents the Will Patton Quintet at the Coffee House in Stearns Hall Performance Space this evening at 9 p.m.

S. BURLINGTON--Young Tradition Vermont presents singer-songwriter Greg Brown at Higher Ground on Saturday at 8 p.m. His songs have been covered by Willie Nelson, Carlos Santana, Michael Johnson, Shawn Colvin, and Mary Chapin Carpenter and more.
      The concert benefits the Tom Sustic Fund. Admission is $28 in advance or $31 at the door. Click here for tickets and more info.


     The Vermont Maple Festival site, of course.


      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 © 2012 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).
      Thanks to recent misuse of copyright material on the Internet by individuals and archival firms alike, we emphasize that your rights to this article are limited to viewing it and printing it for personal use only. You must receive explicit permission from the All Arts Council and the author before reprinting or redistributing this article in any medium.