Joann Erenhouse

The Southern Vermont Garlic & Herb Festival 2014 on Aug. 30 and Aug. 31 is introducing some new vendors along with the many favorites. We will be offering venison, ostrich eggs, bird house condos, new local garlic growers, more games and entertainment for the kids, and all the usual returning vendors, plus two days of music from 10-5, so bring a folding chair. There will be only one designated smoking area, so look for the sign. Parking is free. Admission is still $5 per person and $1 per child. No pets allowed, so don’t bring them or leave them in a hot car. Service animals will be issued a badge at the Main Gate.

Our Special Garlic Fest Sponsors include the Shops at Camelot Village, Donny Wassick, MAPS, Peter Geanellis, Nemer, Bayada, Donny Dorr, Whitmans, and the Bennington County Sheriff’s Department. Other Chamber 2014 Signature Sponsors include: SVHC, Carbone, Goodwill, Bank of Bennington, Cabot, Long Trail, Kevin’s, Main Care and GVH Studio. Many "Thanks" to all of them.

In case you missed this in last week’s column:

GARLIC FEST MUSIC LINE UP:

Saturday, August 30

10-11:30 a.m.: JEFF McRAE BAND

11:30-1 p.m.: HILL HOLLOW

1-3 p.m.: FUNK IN THE TRUNK

3-5 p.m.: BLUES SANCTUARY

Sunday, August 31

10-11:30 a.m.: RAY GIFFORD

11:30-1 p.m.: CARMA

1-3 p.


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m.: ROAD HOUSE

3-5 p.m.: JULIE SHEA

Many of our area restaurants will be offering special garlic enhanced menu items. There is also a Ball Drop at Willow Park on Garlic Fest Weekend sponsored by the Catamount Rotary. It includes the $1,000,000.00 Hole-In-One Contest. There will be thousands of people coming into town on Aug. 30 and Aug. 31. Plan accordingly. If you have a restaurant -- offer a special Garlic Enhanced Menu and make sure you have enough help. Jensen’s has already planned a sign outside of their building welcoming visitors coming in for Garlic Fest.

I want to "Thank" Nemer Automotive for supplying several convertibles for the Bennington Battle Day Parade. I can’t believe the summer is going by so fast. In a week it will be September.

One sad note was the passing of our long time Vermont Senator Jim Jeffords. A complete gentleman and independent thinker -- he was a true friend and was as honest as they come. Vermonters will truly miss him.

"My Fair Lady" is being performed at the Oldcastle Theatre Company on Main Street.

The Bennington Tennis Center and the Bennington Sports Center have opportunities to sign up for skills, leagues, lessons, etc. so you can maintain your level of play throughout the year. Lake Paran, Lake Shaftsbury and Willow Park are great places to visit before the season closes. Enjoy the water and sports.

A special shout out "Thank you" to all the wonderful volunteers who will make the garlic festival so much fun. It could never happen without you! The Chamber Board Members serve as most of our Committee Chairs and depend on all the time put in by the other volunteers to make the event run smoothly. So it is going to be a week of set-up, actual festival, and then clean up so we will need all hands on deck. John Cook and his team will be working along with us to make sure the fences are up, the stakes are pounded into the ground, the tents are raised, and all the rest of the preparations are done.

Another big "Thank you" has to go to John Shannahan and the BBC for all the work they do to make these huge events successful. Also a "Thank you" to all the merchants and businesses who have contributed items and coupons to the vendor gift bags. If you offered to help and haven’t heard from us, call 802-447-3311 and let us know what time we can schedule you to help at Garlic Fest. Our over all Events Chair, Lindy Lynch, has her plate full this year and we want to make sure she gets enough help. Her work throughout the year is non-stop for our community and we want the community to respond by pitching in to help her through this wonderful event that brings so much to Bennington.

See you at the Shops at Camelot Village lawns for Garlic Festival this Saturday and Sunday. Gates open at 10 a.m.

Joann Erenhouse is Executive Director of the Bennington Area Chamber of Commerce.