Okemo Valley Events

Previews and Reviews of events in the Okemo Valley Region.


Southern Vermont Events: November – December 2014

Let’s look ahead to what’s in store for November and December of 2014.  Check out the Okemo Valley Chamber of Commerce’s complete calendar for more information on Southern Vermont events.

 

Okemo Valley Events: November 2014 

Hear notable Vermont authors speak at the First Universalist Parish in Chester, VT.  This event takes place every Sunday in November at 2 pm!  For more information, visit Misty Valley Books’ website

On November 7th, see Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame singer Mavis Staples at Bellows Falls Opera House!  Enjoy a rockin’ night of music, and perhaps stop at a restaurant along the way.

Movie night!  Watch UP in Ludlow, VT on November 8th.  Fun for the whole family!

On November 15th (and 22nd), taste Plymouth Cheese at the Vermont Country Store in Rockingham from 12-3 pm. That same evening, enjoy Celtic music in Ludlow’s Town Hall Auditorium ($15).

Jenni Johnson and the Jazz Junketeers raise the roof on November 16th at the Gethsemane Church in Proctorsville – walking distance from Golden Stage Inn.  Bed and breakfast guests can enjoy this blend of blues, soul and funk for $10.

It’s time to look forward to ski trips in Vermont!  OMS Ski Swap takes place November 21-23 at the Clocktower Base of Okemo Mountain Ski Resort.  Buy and sell new and used ski gear.

On November 23rd, Vermont is the place for holiday travels!  The Santa Express leaves from Bellows Falls to “The North Pole” at 9:30 am, 1:15 pm and 5 pm.  Great fun for the family, and to get in the Christmas spirit.  There are other ways to celebrate the season as well – Billings Farm in Woodstock, VT offers Wagon Rides every weekend in November ($14 for adults, $8 for kids 5-15).  Thanksgiving weekend happens at Billings Farm the following weekend, on November 29th.

 

Okemo Valley Events: December 2014

Think snow, skiing, and holiday season!  Lots of Christmas events, holiday shopping, and getting ready for the upcoming winter snow…

December 6th – Coolidge Holiday Open House from 10-4 in Plymouth, VT.  Enjoy sleigh rides, crafts, lunch, music and more at this historic site.  On the same day, check out Christmas in Weston, VT!  Voted a top ten winter event by the Vermont Chamber of Commerce.  That evening, enjoy colonial cocktails and food with Corin Hirsh at the Inn at Weathersfield.

On December 13th, two authors will talk about their books at the Vermont Country Stores in both Weston and Rockingham.  Later on, celebrate Christmas in Mount Holly with a visit from Santa, refreshments, Christmas carols and plays.

New Years Eve on Star Lake is a wonderful event happening not far from Golden Stage Inn.  Every year, people gather at Star Lake for skating, a bonfire, and fireworks.

 

We hope this brief calendar of events helps as you plan your holiday travels, your ski trips, and your Vermont vacation!  If you plan to visit Vermont in November or December, don’t forget to check out our discounted rates with the “I Hate Malls!” package from November 4th through December 15th.

Mushroom Hunting in Vermont

Mushroom hunting in Vermont proves fruitful!

Chanterelles (left) and lobsters (right) are just two of the delicious mushrooms found in the woods of Vermont.

Are you a fan of fungi?  Then Vermont’s the place to be this summer.

With one of the wettest Julys on record, Vermont’s mushrooms are fruiting to the fullest this summer!  Before you read on, please note that this blog post is not a mushrooming guide!  Eat and identify wild mushrooms at your own risk.

Lobster mushrooms are easy to spot when foraging.  Not only are they a similar color to a cooked lobster - but they also have a seafood aroma when cooked.

Lobster mushrooms are easy to spot when foraging. Not only are they a similar color to a cooked lobster – but they also have a seafood aroma when cooked.

Happy mushroom hunters are finding edible mushrooms such as chanterelles, oysters, lobster mushrooms, chicken-of-the-woods, and even the prized black trumpet.  Medicinal mushrooms can be found in Vermont as well, and include chaga, turkey tail, and reishi.

Can you spot the prized black trumpet amongst the leaves? Black trumpets are easy to miss - luckily grow in large numbers.  My favorite wild mushroom in Vermont!

Can you spot the prized black trumpet mushrooms amongst the leaves? Black trumpets are easy to miss – luckily, they grow in large numbers. By far my favorite wild mushroom in Vermont!

Love to eat mushrooms, but not a mushroom hunter yourself?

You don’t have to brave the woods (and that first-time-mushrooming fear).  Two grocery stores near Golden Stage Inn sell local mushrooms when available: The Jersey Girls’ Cafe & Market and the Springfield Co-Op.  You can also get your mushroom fix at a farm-to-table restaurant in the area, such as The Downtown Grocery, SoLo, or the Inn at Weathersfield.

Want to learn to identify wild mushrooms?

The Grafton Nature Museum is hosting a Mushroom Walk on the weekend of August 22nd!  The Grafton Nature Museum is about a half hour drive from Golden Stage Inn, and also puts on a fairy house exhibit with local artists on the last weekend of September.  But back to the ‘shrooms…

You can register to be on the waiting list for The Wild World of Mushrooms at the Grafton Nature Museum here.  Unfortunately both walks are already full, but hey, you never know!  Here’s a quick description of the event from the Grafton Nature Museum’s website:

“Ari Rockland-Miller will introduce participants to the Northeast’s safest and most distinctive gourmet and medicinal fungi, emphasizing his “ForageCast” strategy. Workshop participants will also discover how to best cook these fruits of the forest and will get a taste when our wild finds are served up right on the spot following our foray. Once you put on your forager’s eyes, your hikes will never be the same again!”

If you’re up for a further drive, check out more mushrooming workshops in Vermont from the Mushroom Forager here.  In addition to foraging, you can learn about growing mushrooms yourself!

 

Oyster mushrooms are one of the edible fungi you can cultivate yourself.

Oyster mushrooms are one of the edible fungi you can learn to cultivate yourself.

And just for fun(gi)…

What room has no doors, no walls, no floors, and no ceilings?

A mushroom!

 

What’s Going on In the Okemo Valley – July & August 2014

July and August are packed with fun summer activities, festivals, concerts around the Okemo Valley.  In this entry, you’ll find upcoming events close by the Golden Stage Inn B&B.  Some highlights are Hops in the Hills beer & wine fest at Okemo Mountain Resort, an outdoor concert by Sensible Shoes (sponsored by Golden Stage Inn!), and varied arts & entertainment at Next Stage Arts Project, in conjunction with Apron Strings Theatre Co. and Twilight Music.

2014 Cavendish Concerts on the Proctorsville Green

Hosted by the Cavendish Community Conservation Association, this concert series is a well-loved summer event.  Join picnickers on the lawn by the gazebo and enjoy a peaceful Vermont evening with homegrown tunes.  Concerts are Wednesdays throughout the summer; upcoming concerts listed below:

July 23 – Sensible Shoes – playing a funky mix of original music and cover tunes (sponsored by Golden Stage Inn and Old Cavendish Products!

July 30 – Chris Kleeman – rolling from stinging slide guitar to deft rag-time; from the Southern styles of Mississippi John Hurt, Robert Johnson, Blind Willie McTell all the way up that big river to the Blues of Chicago.

August 6 – Yankee Chank – Featuring Cavendish’s own Bob Naess on fiddle, this Cajun/Zydeco band will have you dancing in the street.

August 13 – Voodoo Alien Blues Band – The Rutland based all star rhythm and blues band is led by local blues legend Steve Audsley and appears regularly at a variety of Vermont venues.

Hops in the Hills Beer and Wine Festival in Ludlow, VT

Put on by Okemo Mountain Resort, this is the 6th annual Hops in the Hills Festival.  Jackson Gore, the location of the event, is in Ludlow – a quick 15 minute drive from our B&B.  Admission is free and Hops in the Hills beer and wine festival Vermontyou can purchase sample combinations.  There are over 50 craft beers from regional brewers to try – and this year, Okemo is adding wine to the festival!

This year’s festival is 3 days long instead of 2, and will feature live music, craft vendors, and delicious things to eat.  Friday evening, enjoy live music by Cold Chocolate.

On Saturday, local restaurants will vie for the title of Okemo Valley Chicken Wing Champion, with live music by CK3.

Sunday’s festivities include a live performance by Phish tribute band Uncle Ebenezer.

 

 What’s going on at Next Stage in Putney, VT

July 24th:  The Stray Birds with Mike and Ruthy: acoustic folk and indie roots music.  Check out their style:

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YouTube Preview Image

July 27th: Dinner and a movie – enjoy a locally sourced gourmet meal at the Gleanery, and then kick back for a screening of Chocolat (for dessert, haha!)  Tickets are $23.00.

August 7-16: AFTER THE REVOLUTION – a bold and moving portrait of an American family, thrown into an intergenerational tailspin, forced to reconcile a thorny and delicate legacy.  This play was written by Amy Herzog and the production is directed by Karla Baldwin.  

August 22: TONY TRISCHKA w/ HOT MUSTARD –  Tony Trischka was the International Bluegrass Music Association’s Banjo Player of the Year and received a Grammy nomination.  He will play with his band and the well-known traditional bluegrass quartet Hot Mustard.  These bands feature double banjos, saucy vocals and Merlefest banjo contest winner Bruce Stockwell. 7:30 pm

Twilight Music’s Tavern Lawn Series, Putney, VT

All concerts start at 6 pm on Sundays and are free.  In case of rain, concerts are held at Next Stage at 15 Kimball Hill.

July 27  PLANET ZYDECO – High Energy accordion/guitar driven dance music of Louisiana


August 10  THE STOCKWELL BROTHERS – Newgrass and contemporary folk music with brothers Bruce, Barry and Alan

August 24  THE SNAZ – Original, indie rock band featuring four Vermont teenagers

PlanetZydeco at Putney Tavern Lawn concert series

Planet Zydeco gets ready to play!

Happy Independence Day from Golden Stage Inn

From all of us at the Golden Stage Inn B&B, Happy Independence Day!

Well, technically the 4th of July just passed, but the weekend has just begun and the festivities aren’t over.  Vermont is the perfect place to spend Independence Day, and while yesterday (the real 4th of July) was a bit rainy, there is a bluebird sky today with clear breezes and temperatures in the 70s.  Vermont vacation-ers certainly won’t have to worry about ‘beating the heat’ this weekend!!

 

Image courtesy Celebration Fireworks of Vermont

Image courtesy Celebration Fireworks of Vermont

 

Spending the 4th of July in Southern Vermont

Last night, I’d planned to see fireworks in Ludlow, VT but was thwarted by the rain!  Luckily, Saxton’s River still had fireworks going off and the drizzle stopped just in time.  I stood in line for cotton candy, watched glowsticks being catapulted through the air by excited children, and enjoyed the fireworks.  It was a spectacular show.  If the day hadn’t been so grey, I may have spent my entire 4th of July in Saxton’s River -watching the morning parade, eating a lunch of Thai or Middle Eastern cuisine, and then dancing to fiddler’s tunes at the Rec Area in the evening.

If you’re thinking of spending next 4th of July in Vermont, consider visiting the Calvin Coolidge historic site or Billings Farm, which both have historical Independence Day events and activities.  Far from being antiquated, these events appeal to all ages and there is something for everyone.  Billings Farm & Museum hosts ‘An Old Vermont 4th‘ every year from 10 am – 5 pm in Woodstock VT.  The organization puts on historic orations and music all day long, hosts old time-y crafts, and serves up some farmhouse fare including homemade ice cream.  Kids (and adults!) can participate in a gunny sack race, spelling bees and  visits to the farm animals.

Calvin Coolidge was the only American president born on July 4th, and is one of two presidents born in Vermont.  The Calvin Coolidge Presidential Foundation always puts on a great celebration for Independence Day to commemorate the birth of the USA and of President Coolidge.  This year’s diverse events all sounded like a lot of fun.  History buffs enjoyed attending a group reading of Coolidge’s autobiography and seeing the recent reproduction of the Coolidge family’s woolen blanket.  Foodies munched on chicken BBQ at the Wilder House restaurant and sampled wine and cheese at the Plymouth Artisan Cheese Factory.  Kids and families took a ride on horse-drawn wagons.  Don’t miss this event next year, and remember that you can tour the Coolidge homestead and historic site year-round.  After all, the site is just a short drive away from the Golden Stage Inn, and makes a great day trip!

parade

 

(Image courtesy coolidgefoundation.org)

Extending your Freedom – July 5th Events

The fun doesn’t stop today, and there are tons of events happening within driving distance from Golden Stage Bed and Breakfast.  If you’re looking for the excitement of fireworks tonight, look no further than Magic Mountain or Stratton Mountain, both in Londonderry, VT.  At 6 pm, Magic Mountain will proudly introduce The Butties, Vermont’s premier Beatles cover band.  Stratton Mountain will have activities all afternoon long into the evening including face painting, dance demonstrations, live music, caricatures, hay rides, eating contests, and gondola rides.  See the full schedule of events here, and don’t miss the grand opening of Green Apron, a brand new VT farm-to-table restaurant near the golf course.

Want to stay a little closer to your home away from home? (Golden Stage Inn, that is!)  Check out Fletcher Farm’s Annual Arts and Crafts Festival, today from 10 am – 4 pm.  Over 90 artisans from across New England will have their high quality, original work on display.  Stop by to check out everything from paintings to dolls clothes, dried flowers to wood carving, glasswork to food…

Okemo Mountain hosts the Great American Party today, and while there are no fireworks here, you’ll certainly have plenty of other things to keep you busy from 1-8 pm.  Barbeque, two free concerts, a waterslide, dunk tank, eating contest, midway games, and adventure zone will fill your day with fun.

Don’t let the fire die…Fireworks in Ludlow on July 6th!

Although the rain last night caused the Ludlow fireworks to be cancelled, never fear because they have been rescheduled for Sunday, July 6th.  Fireworks are sponsored by Ludlow Streetscapes at West Hill Park.  The Chris Kleeman Band will entertain Vermonters and vacation-ers alike with fantastic rhythm and blues music, with fireworks slated to go off at dark around 9 pm.  You can stop for dinner first at one of Ludlow’s many restaurants – Mr. Darcy’s, the Killarney, Sam’s Steakhouse, the Stemwinder, Downtown Grocery or DJ’s.  If you want to enjoy Chris Kleeman’s music, create yourself a picnic basket with treats from Wine & Cheese Depot and Singleton’s General Store.  You might also ask Julie about Rex’s Outrageous Road Crew Crunch available at Golden Stage Inn…

Road-Crew-Crunch-mud-local-VT-snack

Reasons to Love Vermont in May

It’s a hidden secret that Ludlow, Proctorsville, Cavendish, and other nearby towns in Southern Vermont are great places to spend a bit of springtime.

Vermont Snowdrops, Ludlow VTThat could mean a road trip, a getaway, or a family vacation during spring break.  New England is known for its muddy spring season, which can sometimes be cold… But Southern Vermont is beating mud season with improved roads and cars.  The forsythia, crocuses and daffodils are blooming as robins search the ground for worms.  Fresh spring breezes and blue skies remind us summer is just around the corner.  Behind the occasional dirt and rain, there are tons of reasons to love Vermont in the spring….especially if you are a guest of Golden Stage Inn!

  1. Honey Bee Installation at Golden Stage Inn B&B

  2. See The Spitfire Grill at Northern Stage

  3. Build a Living Willow Structure at Fletcher Farm School for the Arts

  4. Billings Farm & Museums Opens May 1st

  5. “Get the most from your garden” talk with Evening Song Farm

  6. May 24th is Opening Day at President Calvin Coolidge State Historic Site

  7. Girls and Guns Weekend at Golden Stage Inn!

 

  • honeybee hive swarm july 2013Honey Bee Installation: the date is not exact, but if you’re interested in seeing honey bees introduced to their new homes, contact the innkeepers for more info!  The honey bees will arrive around the second week of May.  Once the flowers start to open up, you’ll be able to tour the hives (or watch a hive tour from indoors!).  We can’t wait for this year’s honey harvest and another season of backyard beekeeping adventures.
  • The Spitfire Grill is a new musical at Northern Stage, and will be running through May 4th.  Based on a movie and book, the Spitfire Grill tells the uplifting story of small town camaraderie through song and drama.  The musical won the Richard Rogers Award.  Check out the preview below!
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  • Living Willow Structure Class will be taught by Bonnie Gale, who appeared on Martha Stewart in 2010 for the Cultivating Life Show.  The class goes from 9-4 on May 24th and 25th at the Fletcher Farm School for the Arts and Crafts.  Students will practice making a joint structure on a living fence.  Then, they will make an individual living willow arch to take home!
  • Billings Farm & Museum opens up again in May!  Watch sheep-shearing and herding with Border Collies on May 3 & 4.  Celebrate VT dairy on Memorial Day Weekend, May 24th and 25th.  You’ll sample delicious Vermont cheeses, learn to make ice cream, churn butter, and meet local cheese makers.  Billings Farm is located in Woodstock and is about a half hour drive from our Bed and Breakfast in Ludlow, VT.
  • Gardening Talk with Evening Song Farm will be useful and interesting.  Held at Cavendish Fletcher Community Library, within walking distance of Golden Stage Inn B&B.  Evening Song Farm is a successful CSA operation located near Rutland VT.
  • Explore President Calvin Coolidge Historic Site, opening on Memorial Day weekend!  The Killington Stage Race will be fun to watch, and you can see the new exhibit “The Coolidges, Plymouth, and the Civil War.”
  • And last but not least, experience Girls & Guns Weekend at Golden Stage Inn!  You’ll get two night’s lodging for two people (including delicious breakfasts and treats of course).  Plus, we’ll provide one fully paid for admission the the Women on the Range course, hosted by Black River Valley Rod and Gun Club.  Learn to shoot rifles, shotguns, pistols and bows and arrows with other women.  All adventure-seekers, outdoors enthusiasts, and wannabe hunters will love this unique Vermont Inn special.  See our Girls & Guns Specials Page for further info!
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