BENNINGTON >> Every spring, Mayfest comes to Bennington, and goes off without a hitch thanks to the tireless, and often thankless, work of dozens of volunteers.

One of those volunteers is NancyJean Steffen, who has been helping out with the event for about 25 years. Last week, she was at the Better Bennington Corporation, helping BBC employee Diane Perry nail down the final details for the event. Asked how the event has changed since she started volunteering, she said, "It's better organized. As we've gotten more and more people, it's had to be better organized."

Planning for the festival, which brings in vendors and food trucks from across the region, generally begins in January, and involves "about a million and a two hours," according to Steffen, with the last two weeks being the most hectic. Perry said that she and the volunteers start reaching out to vendors early, and always try to have as diverse of an event as possible.

At the event itself, about 25 volunteers start early in the morning on Saturday to make sure everyone is set up. That number doesn't include volunteers with Dollars for Scholars or the Interact Club.

"It all works out, after two hours of absolute craziness before it even happens," said Perry.


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The festival will run from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. this Saturday, and will feature over 125 vendors. There will be food and live music on five stages, as well as activities for children. Organizers expect the event to draw over 12,000 people to downtown Bennington. Main Street, from the Four Corners to Valentine Street, will be closed to motor vehicles from 4 a.m. to 6 p.m. on the day of the event.

If you'd like to volunteer for the day of the event, contact the BBC at 802-442-5758.

Derek Carson can be reached for comment at 802-447-7567, ext. 122.