As the school year winds down and summer is soon set to officially arrive, you may find yourself (or your kids) asking ‘What is there to do around here in the summer?'
Hopefully Saturday's successful Mayfest began to field that question. The 29th annual Mayfest downtown art/craft sale and entertainment venue drew more then 12,000 visitors to Bennington. Every parking spot was filled, every downtown shop and eatery busy for the family-friendly event put on by the Better Bennington Corporation.
In Bennington on weekends, it's rare when there are not several events going on at once. Sometimes it's tough to choose which event to go to.
Other upcoming events in the area include the Cupcake Crusade held by the Cancer Center Community Crusaders from 2 p.m. to dark on the grounds of Southwestern Vermont Health Care on May 31. Buy a sweet treat and support local cancer research. All proceeds go to support the Southwestern Vermont Regional Cancer Center.
Along those lines, a lung-busting competition will be held June 7 will be the American Lung Association Climb fundraiser at the Bennington Battle Monument.
If you're a car buff, mark June 22 on your calendar. That day Bennington will be a stop in The Great Race which runs from Maine to Florida, thanks to sponsors Hemmings Motor News and Carbone Auto Group. The first of more than 100 antique automobiles will arrive starting at noon at Bennington Station where each car will be on display for one hour. The first car will arrive at noon and leave at 1 p.m. Each minute a new car will arrive. So car 100 will arrive at 1:40 p.m. and leave at 2:40 p.m.
A Midsummer Night's Prowl & Auction will be held in Colgate Park on July 19. If you've been enjoying seeing the catamount statues reappear all over town, this event, held by the Bennington Area Chamber of Commerce as a fundraiser, is your chance to bid on one to bring to your home or business.
The Southern Vermont Art & Craft Festival is set for Aug. 1 - 3 at Camelot Village. The annual event brings artists and crafters and entertainment together in a fun venue.
Battle Day festivities including a parade will be held in mid-August.
On Aug. 30 and 31, Camelot Village will again host the Southern Vermont Garlic & Herb Festival. If you like garlic, you'll love this festival, now in its 19th year, which has the pungent spice in every form imaginable: Garlic lemonade, garlic ice cream, garlic fudge, garlic crepes ... the list goes on. And, of course, you can buy Vermont-grown garlic of many types. But even if you're not a garlic lover this event has music, food, art, crafts and children's fun.
Wrapping up area summer events will be the Bennington Car Show on Sept. 12-14 at Willow Park. Now in its 48th year, this event is a crowd-pleaser. Learn more about these events and others at www.bennington.com.
For those who like to make art, The Vermont Arts Exchange has summer arts camps for kids. Visit www.vtartxchange.org for more information.
Oldcastle Theatre in downtown Bennington also has some lively entertainment planned for the summer. "Doubt" debuts on June 6 and runs through June 22.
For sportier types, there are not one, but two croquet leagues in town, just now kicking off for the summer. They are at Park McCullough House (sign-ups may be made during the historic site's season kickoff from 5 to 7 p.m. on May 29) and at Mt. Anthony Golf Club (registration is today at 6 at the club). There are also numerous summer golf leagues getting ready to start, including a couple at Mt. Anthony.
Free entertainment includes fishing in the newly-stocked with trout Walloomsac River, and hiking on the Long Trail or Appalachian Trail. For a small charge, you can take in the view at the top of the Bennington Battle Monument or enjoy a day of swimming at the beach in Lake Paran or Lake Shaftsbury.
Summer is a great time to be in Bennington, whether at an event or just hanging out downtown.
This is just a sampling of things going on in the area this summer. If your favorite summer event or activity isn't listed here, let us know in the comments section of the online version of this editorial or post it on our Facebook page. We want to know about it!
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