Updates from the Bennington Young Professionals Group: Don’t forget about the networking event tonight on Monday, August 4, at the Wilburton Inn. This is really coming together nicely, and I have a feeling could turn into a marquee event if we have a critical mass of people join us. The flyer is on the chamber’s Facebook page, but more importantly you need to RSVP so we can make sure there is enough food to send you home full (go to www.wilburtoninn.com/roadpitch). The event has numerous sponsors, so there’s no cost to attend. There will also be a cash bar for those who are interested. Make sure you touch base with Mike Nigro for his trip to the Saratoga Race Track on August 10: mnigro@bayada.com.

August Mixer Alert for Chamber Members: August 6 at Mt. Anthony Country Club. To attend you need to RSVP to Marie at 802-447-3311. Come between 5:30 and 7 p.m.

Billy T’s Northside Dairy Bar is celebrating 20 years of operation at their Northside Drive location on Saturday, August 9. Come enjoy the steamers, T-shirts, music, beer and wine garden all from 4-10 p.m.

The Clark Art Institute’s Clark Center Terrace will be transformed into a traditional izakaya, a type of Japanese eating and drinking establishment, every Friday night in August from 5-7 p.m. starting Friday, August 8. Izakaya is a compound word combining i (to stay) and sakaya (sake shop).


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Typically characterized by relaxed and casual dining, an izakaya is sometimes called akachochin (red lantern) because paper lanterns are traditionally found in front of an izakaya. Food and drink, priced for individual sale, will be prepared by Stephen STARR Events, the Clark’s new culinary partner.

The Shires of Vermont Regional Marketing Organization met last week to develop the Work Plan for the coming fiscal 2015 marketing plan for Bennington County. This all volunteer group typically goes to trade shows, partners with VDTM and others, sends e-blasts, hosts a website, places co-op ads in Vermont Vacation and Winter Guides, engages in social media, promotes events within the county through a variety of print and non-print media, and this year plan to investigate Google ads.

The group also participates in Shires Byway interpretive signage development, itinerary development for the State Byway website, kiosk development and distribution. As the only surviving regional marketing organization in the state of Vermont we have received support through the efforts of Sen. Dick Sears. We work together to form the Work Plan from which I can write the grant to VDTM through whom the funding flows. The team is very dedicated to the Bennington/Manchester Shires and strives to showcase our many attributes to continue to bring tourist dollars to our region.

On August 15 Oldcastle Theatre Company presents the opening of "My Fair Lady" from 7:30-9:30 p.m. at Oldcastle Theatre on Main Street. A Classic Musical with glorious songs, memorable characters and enchanting romance all in a miraculous, wise, witty and winning show that is not to be missed.

The Clark Art Institute marks the opening of the exhibition "Make It New: Abstract Painting from the National Gallery of Art, 1950-1975" with an opening celebration on Saturday, August 2, at 5 p.m. in the Clark Center. Tickets are $100 ($75 members) and can be purchased online at clarkart.edu/events or by calling 413-458-0425. Tickets may also be purchased at the door.

"Make It New" examines the different paths taken by abstract painters in the first quarter century of the postwar period. Masterworks such as Jackson Pollock’s "Number 1, 1950 (Lavender Mist)," Mark Rothko’s "No. 1," and Lee Bontecou’s "Untitled" reveal how artists in America and Europe experimented with color, geometry, and material to expand the definition of painting.

The Southern Vermont Garlic and Herb Festival is less than a month away! August 30 and 31 will find Camelot Village out on West Route 9 here in Bennington full to overflowing with garlic growers, garlic and herb product vendors, live music, a refreshing beer tent, demonstration and information tent, and food of all kinds including garlic ice cream. There is free parking, kids’ activities, and access to all Camelot Village Shops.

Admission is still only $5 for adults and $1 for kids. No pets allowed except service animals. Check out the various types of fresh garlic, chutney, pickles, honey, candies, etc. to tickle your taste buds and for unusual gifts. The festival is considered one of the Top Ten Garlic Festivals in the World. Look closely and you will see Vermont’s 2014 Outstanding Teen working the Main Gate, Information Booth and chatting with the vendors. Alexina Federhen is from Bennington and we could not be prouder of her. She represents our youth community as do many of our Interact Club and Dollars for Scholars Volunteers.

So from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. both Saturday and Sunday come and bring your out-of-town guests, friends, and family members and enjoy great entertainment and delicious food. This is one experience you don’t want to miss!

Plus, I will see you all at the 50th Anniversary Bennington Battle Day Parade on August 17.

Joann Erenhouse is executive director of the Bennington Area Chamber of Commerce. Her column appears weekly in the Banner.