BENNINGTON >> Bennington Arts Weekend returns this year Aug. 5 to Aug. 7, offering more variety and venues for arts and entertainment. The Bennington Area Chamber of Commerce, Better Bennington Corporation (BBC), 4Corners North, Homebrew Festival, Cultural Bennington Arts Council (CBAC), and the Craftproducers of the Southern Vermont Art and Craft Festival have come together to further enrich and expand Bennington Arts Weekend into one town-wide event that is sure to wow the masses.
"I think with the new momentum at the Chamber, the growth of the Arts Council, the commitment of the 4Corners North partnership, as well as the ongoing success of Better Bennington and the Craftproducers, it made sense to come together to create real synergy around the weekend," said Matt Harrington, executive director of the Bennington Chamber. "The meetings had one consistent thread: How do we package and market this as a whole weekend of events in Bennington? This approach is especially helpful as we talk to visitors and tourists who want a full weekend of things to do when visiting Bennington and the region."
Bennington Arts Weekend has been growing since it began in 2008. This year, the organizers are excited to present more events, more performances, and more art all over town. Lindy Lynch, Events Committee Chair of the Bennington Chamber adds, "We have 4 billboards promoting the event throughout the region, flyers, sandwich boards, and banners throughout town, thousands of rack cards have been distributed at travel shows and other expos, display ads are running in regional magazines and newspapers, including 80,000 Bennington Chamber Area Guides, posts on Facebook, websites, and more to get the word out."
The Southern Vermont Art and Craft Festival kicks off the weekend: Friday Aug. 5 and Saturday Aug. 6, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.,Sunday, Aug. 7, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. There are 125 art and craft exhibitors ranging from fine art painting, photography, and sculpture to quality leather, textile, glass, ceramic, and woodcrafters to furniture makers and jewelers. There will be a large food market, as well as the Art Bus. Light fare lunch and snacks, beer, wine and soft drink vendors will be set up in the shaded picnic area with plenty of seating. Stop at the Visitor Information Welcome Tent for local weekend art and entertainment events. Free round trip shuttle service will be provided to the 4 Corners Home Brew Fest, noon to 4 p.m. Adult admission into the festival is $8, kids are free and there is plenty of free parking. For more details on Southern Vermont Art and Craft Festival, visit www.craftproducers.com.
Downtown is the place to be on First Friday, August 5th, during Bennington Arts Weekend. Most downtown businesses will be open until 8:00pm. There will be music, theatre, and cinema events along Main Street including an art gallery walk, live entertainment at certain downtown locations, Vermont Arts Exchange Jazz Concert, Chocolate Bowl Sculpture at the Village Chocolate Shoppe, opening night of "The City of Conversation" at Oldcastle Theatre, and Outdoor Family Movie Night at Merchants Park. All are sure to find something enjoyable to do.
The 2nd Annual Homebrew Festival is Saturday, Aug. 6 noon to 4 p.m. It's a block festival on County Street in Bennington, VT between North Street (Rte 7) and School Street. Expect a vibrant street fair atmosphere with live music, a variety of delicious food from area vendors, and of course, the best home brewed beer in the region! Sales booths will fill the block, so you can shop, sample beer, and enjoy all that 4 Corners North has to offer. There will be homemade root beer and free factory tours at Bennington Potters and Catamount Glass. This is a hometown family friendly event. Free round trip shuttle service is provided to the Arts and Crafts Festival at Camelot Village, noon to 4 p.m.
For the area-wide listing of events guide visit either the Better Bennington Welcome Center located at 215 South Street or the Bennington Area Chamber of Commerce offices on Veterans Memorial Drive.