ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 17 * * All Arts News On the Web * * April 25, 2013


      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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      The Maple Festival this weekend is the 47th edition of Vermont's first (and sweetest) outdoor festival of the year. The theme is, "Life is Sweet with Vermont Maple." It happens in downtown St. Albans.
      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 Barbara Collins' tile painting; Cindy and Bob Davis' mystery novels; wooden bowls carved by Toby Fulwiler; Larry Langlais and Barb Langevin of Highgate with art from recycled items; wood items with hand painted designs by Bill and Jeanne Prue; and hand painted mats by Carolyn Utigard Thomas. Be sure to stop in for Vikki Machia's fudge and Evelyn Martin's Vermont Pure Maple Kisses for a taste of heaven.
      Windows of the downtown shops showcase maple scenes, "each trying to outdo the other to capture the honor of being named the business with the best maple display."
      The third annual Sappy Art Show at the Village Frame Shoppe includes works with a Vermont Maple Theme by artists from all over Vermont. Photographs by amateur Vermont photographers will also be displayed in the new gallery windows during the Maple Festival. Each photographer submitted photos in three categories: Product/Process, People and Scenic. This show was judged by a panel of professional photographers. The Main Street gallery has moved to right across the street from Taylor Park and is open Friday and Saturday 10-8, Sunday 10-3, during the Festival. Stop in by April 28 to enter a drawing for a custom frame.

      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 in the BFA Performing Arts Center. Visit and 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. Both shows usually sell out.
      The Main Street Stage begins a weekend of free entertainment tomorrow at 11 a.m. and runs through Sunday after the parade. The Main Street Stage is free! Visit for more info about the shows.
      The Friday entertainment lineup on the free Main Street stage begins with the Contois School Band. 1-2:30 p.m. Cheryl Ann Kelley's Electric Youth Dance Company kids will dance their way into your heart. 2:45 - 4 p.m.
      Dark Horse returns to the Maple Festival, bringing some of the best of country music the Main Street Stage with new songs and old classics 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. This informal group includes Mark Sustic, Jerry Faulkenberg, Ed Paquin, Matt Bean, Hannah Beth Crary, 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" and music besides. Mmmmm, maple.
      After breakfast, the Electric Youth Dance Company takes over Main Street again. This talented group of dancers in several age groups learn the fun and discipline of dance in St. Albans. 10 - 11 a.m.
      Next up, Aaron Flinn brings elements of folk, indie rock and classic pop combined with powerful vocals, poetic lyrics, and finger-picking guitar. He starts the day right on the Main Street Stage. 11:15 - 12:30 p.m.
      The extraordinary 6 piece A House on Fire will light the stage with two incredible female vocalists plus Jay Burwick, the lead vocalist/bass player from RAQ. 1 - 2:30 p.m.
      Winners from the Youth Talent Show will perform on the Main Street stage at 3 p.m.
      Quadra, Vermont's own rockers from the 70s through the today are back to the Main Street Stage with their tight harmonies, tight music, tight sets. When's the last time you heard Hocus Pocus by Focus anyway? 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 16-piece Joe Levesque Big Band has the band music of the 40s to the present on the stage to get you dancing up and down the street, thankfully before the horses parade. 11 a.m. - 12 noon.
      Carol Ann Jones & The Superchargers' take on rockabilly, country, rock, bluegrass, and contemporary originals will keep you on Main Street long after the snow melts. 2-4 p.m.
      Click here for more mapley info.


     The Opera House at Enosburg Falls presents Heather McKeown's Highbrow to Hoedown on Saturday. Take off is at 7 p.m. sharp.
      "Every year, we hope to sell all of our $10 tickets to the greatest show on Earth--I UNDERSTATE! We sure hope you can do it again this week so we sell out. It's a huge fundraiser for good and needy causes," Ms. McKeown said of the 24th annual fundraiser that helps underwrite the BFA Leadership course, MVU drama and music programs, Cold Hollow Career Center, the Enosburg branch of Future Farmers of America, and The Hungry Heart, 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 Jetblue crew members and Franklin County's favorite performers will fly another audience off to another night of rock 'n roll, blues, comedy, opera, classical, folk, and musical comedy destinations.
      The program includes blue grass, rock 'n roll, opera, folks, country, blues, dance, comedy, contemporary, oldies, comedy, and prizes. Expect classical guitar by a JetBlue captain, performers from New Brunswick, Canada, North Carolina, California, Oregon, Rochester, Buffalo, New York City, Vermont, and (maybe) just back from starring in Otello in Rome, a fabulous dancer, plus Ms. McKeown's Jetblue co-workers from Alabama, Jamaica, Florida, New Jersey, New York City, South Carolina, and beyond with long time emcee, Darryl Goodwin.
      "So many songs, so little time!" she said.
      But wait! There's more! There will be cake, a 50/50 raffle, a massage auction, art from Rock On Art Studio, a book about being a flight attendant, door prizes (round trip, confirmed space tickets to anywhere Jetblue flies), and much more.
      The Hoedown is underwritten by the Enosburg Lions Club and the Optimist Newspaper.
      Admission is about $10 or "more if you have it!" The box office opens at 6 p.m.


ENOSBURG FALLS--The Artist In Residence Gallery features different artists each month. This month, the spotlight is on Vermont Life photographer David Juaire, painter Genie Rybicki-Judkins, and quilter/weaver Susan Smolinsky.
      The A.I.R. gallery hosts a free meet-the-artists reception with refreshments on Sunday from 1 - 4 p.m. The exhibit continues through the end of May.
      The Artist in Residence art cooperative is owned and operated by the artists and sponsors. The gallery, located at 321 Main Street, is open Wednesday-Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. plus the first Sunday of each month, noon to 5 p.m.


MIDDLEBURY--Two Brothers Tavern presents Jimmy T & The Sleepy Hollow Boys tomorrow evening at 6 p.m. The rock n' roll outlaw has traveled from backwoods Vermont through the rock n' roll revolution at bars and honky-tonks across the country.

BURLINGTON--Sunday Night Folk Series hosts Young Tradition Vermont fiddlers in the New City Galerie on Sunday at 7 p.m.
      Admission is $5.

STOWE--Trapp Family Lodge presents Will Patton and John Cassel in the Lounge on Sunday at 5 p.m.

ST. ALBANS--The regular Chow Bella Open Mic Night repeats next Wednesday and on the first Wednesday of every month.
      Call 802.524.1405, email, or click here for more info or booking requests.


      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).
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