ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 21 * * All Arts News On the Web * * April 27, 2017


      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.

     Franklin County's arts and music gatherings bring new opportunities, gossip, "show-and-tell" and occasional workshops. There are also booked and acoustic Open Mic Nights that feature music, readings, and more from the best new artists in Vermont.

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      The 51st edition of the Vermont Maple Festival this weekend brings a new schedule and a bucketful of events for the first (and sweetest) outdoor festival of the year. It happens in downtown St. Albans.

      The Maple Festival Parade -- the biggest in Vermont -- on Sunday, starting right at noon. The parade stretches for miles up Stebbins Street, over Main Street, and down Lower Newton Street 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.

      Famed Vermont artist Corliss Blakely will paint in the window at the Village Frame Shoppe on Saturday. "We will feature maple themed artwork all weekend," D.J. Pattullo said.
      Paint Nite? The new event at Twiggs on Friday at 7 p.m. is already sold out.
      The annual Crafts and Specialty Foods Show in BFA Auditorium has music this year! The show 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 popular 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 sampling of the exhibitors includes Katie Bushey with hand painted maple syrup buckets; Vermont photos from Chris Diegel; Larry Langlais and Barb Langevin of Highgate with art from recycled items; Carolyn Utigard Thomas's fanciful art work and water colors; and much more. Be sure to stop in for Vikki Machia's fudge.

      St. Albans Free Library has Yo Joe! What A Guy! on Friday at 1:30 p.m.
      The Kids' Center in BFAPAC has a line-up. It is Face Painting Central. No Strings Marionette Company, Handsome and Gretel, Yo Jo, and free face painting, all at the Kids' Center on Saturday from 10-4.
      The Crafts and Specialty Foods Show in BFA Auditorium is one of the Festival's three popular Face-Painting stops, and has music from Bob Young on Friday, Spider Roulette on Saturday, and Irish music by O'hAnleigh on Sunday.
      The Youth Talent Show returns to the BFA Performing Arts Center, tomorrow evening at 7 p.m. The Fiddlers Variety Show (fiddling is the Sound of Vermont) comes to the BFA PAC on Saturday at 7 p.m. Tickets will be available at the information booth in Taylor Park and the festival office at the exhibit hall in the BFA Cafeteria.

      "For 'Top 10' festival, we're fighting well above our weight-class in the entertainment department," Andre Maquera said. "On Friday we've got Pacific Records recording artist Chad Hollister who shared the stage with the likes of Bob Dylan, Paul Simon and Tom Petty to name a few. Saturday has up and coming Nashville star Morgan Myles and Sunday, it's a post parade party with a Celtic Rock band."
      Only three of the indoor entertainment events (and the banquet) charge admission. Everything else is free.
      The Main Street Stage begins a weekend of free entertainment tomorrow at noon and runs through Sunday after the parade. Look for live Music and Dance from noon - 6 p.m.
      The Main Street Stage is free! Visit for more info about the shows.
      And YoJo! What a Guy! will be around the entire festival with a puppet show, balloon art, circus musical show, and more.
      The Friday entertainment lineup on the free Main Street stage begins with Carol Ann Jones & Will Patton at 1 p.m. Famed band Coon Hill John takes over at 3 p.m. Then the Chad Hollister Band from Worcester puts Vermont on the map of roots rock. On the Main Street Stage. 6-8 p.m.
      Local favorite Bob Young brings the music of Classic Rock to the Friday Craft Show. 2-4 p.m.
      The Youth Talent Show will fill the BFA PAC 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.
      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 a.m.
      Next up, Rockin' Ron The Friendly Pirate leads a pirate music sing-along for kids and kids at heart in the Taylor Park Tent on Saturday. 11:45 and 3:15.
      Winners from the Youth Talent Show will perform on the Main Street stage at 11 a.m.
      Spider Roulette plays the music of blues, roots and Americana tunes at the Craft Show. 12:30 p.m.
      The Contois School of Music Band will light the street with a Beatles Tribute on the Main Street Stage 1-2:30 p.m.
      Nashville star Morgan Myles makes soulful country with warm echoes of rock and R&B on the Main Street Stage. 4-6 p.m.
      The Fiddlers' Variety Show, an annual sellout at BFA PAC, 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.
      After the Pancake breakfast, O'hAnleigh plays the music of Irish America at the Craft show. 11 a.m.-3 p.m.

      The Vermont Maple Beverage Tasting features libations made by Vermont beverage companies with pure Vermont maple syrup at 14th Star on Saturday at 1 - 5 p.m. There is a $5 cover charge.
      Click here for more info.


ST. ALBANS--The Grind Cafe hosts an Art Collaboration featuring Alex Foltz and Jon Young on Friday at 5 p.m.
      The two local artists will unveil new joint paintings along with more of their own works. Mr. Young is known for stencil, spray paints and acrylic work in bright colors and wide range of subject matter. Mr. Foltz is a young, up and coming realist using pencil, watercolors, and oils. The Artist in Residence member has his studio space at The Grind. This is their first collaborative work.


     The Young Tradition Touring Group Tour of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia concludes Sunday. This week they are visiting Halifax, Cape Breton, and New Brunswick.

MORRISBURG--River Arts and Sundog Poetry Center present AMP Nights, a new series of creative evenings which feature a special guest artist, musician, and poet on Thursdays at 6 p.m.
      This week, artist Clare Dolan will present one of her new cantastorias, Farm Song will play, and poet Kerrin McCadden, winner of the 2015 Vermont Book Award, will read new work. There will be authentic Argentinian fare by El Hornero.

ST. ALBANS--Twiggs presents the Troy Millette Duet on Friday and Daniel Rahilly and Ty Cicia on Saturday. Shows begin at 7 p.m.
      Call 802.524.1405 or click here for more info.

Saturday ESSEX JUNCTION--It's a busy Saturday as On Tap offers two Summer Sounds favorites tonight: Troy Millette & Dylan Gombas take the stage from 5-8 p.m. and then InCahoots blows out the windows from 9 p.m.-close.
      On Tap has music on Tuesday through Saturday nights. Call 802.878.3309 or email for more info.


      ArtBits features a quick weekly peek at library events in and around Franklin County. That popular feature has a page of its own at the Franklin County Bookshelf here on the AAC site at We also take an occasional peek at the bookshelf or night stand of the folks you know in and around Franklin County. Those reviews can be found on the ArtBits Bookshelf.

Good News!

There are so many events around the region that we miss some of them.
Be sure to check these calendars for what's happening near you ...
All Arts Council of Franklin County
Cambridge Arts Council
Chamber of Commerce
Island Arts
St Albans Community Arts
Swanton Arts Council
Young Tradition Vermont


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