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BENNINGTON — I didn’t have to look far Friday morning, but it was quite a view from the Bennington Banner’s offices at 423 Main St.

Right next door, in fact.

News10 and Fox 23 arrived around 4 a.m. from Albany, New York, to set up their lights, cameras and backdrop on the patio at 421 Craft Bar and Kitchen restaurant in downtown Bennington, and devoted nearly four hours of their morning show to highlighting the best of this town.

On scene were News10 morning anchor Ryan Peterson, reporter Cassie Hudson and meteorologist Jill Szwed, who did her weather broadcasts from the Four Corners, with shots of Bennington’s core downtown in the background. Car horns honked as they passed, and passersby stopped to take in the fun.

“I just wanted to watch,” said Carol Harper of Bennington, who stood outside the filming area throughout the morning to listen to the interviews between Peterson and local business owners, town officials and others.

Bennington resident Sam Restino, who arrived before the television crew in the wee morning hours to welcome them, said the morning show was a great way of “spotlighting our town.”

And spotlighting our businesses, as well, including the Apple Barn Country Bake Shop at 604 Route 7, the Village Chocolate Shop at 471 Main St., Madison’s Brewing at 428 Main St., and more.

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“Any free advertising is great,” said Steve Hodgin, owner of the Avocado Pit restaurant on South Street after spending time talking on-camera about the importance of local community and the privilege of serving that community. When the show contacted him about being featured, that decision was a quick one. “Of course. It was super easy.”

Even one Manchester business — and dog — got into the action.

Jay Sheldon, general manager of the Equinox Golf Resort and Spa, brought his “Chief Happiness Officer” (his 7-year-old golden retriever named Cooper) to the show to promote the resort’s upcoming Golden Hike. Cooper, who guides guests and others on the hike along some of the 11 miles of trails behind the resort, stole the show. The hikes are held every Saturday from 10 a.m. to noon from May 27 to Nov. 4.

The News10 live programing was interspersed with film clips of tourist attractions around the Bennington area, including the Bennington Battle Monument at 15 Monument Circle, and the Robert Frost Stone House at 121 Vermont Route 7A.

“Bennington was spectacular! We were all blown away by how supportive the downtown businesses are of one another. We love being able to visit our viewing area and interact with you all in person,” said Peterson after the event. “It’s a joy, and a time of year the entire News 10 morning team looks forward to. Highlighting the good news, personal stories, and accomplishments of our local communities is the best part of the job!”

In recent years, the News10 ABC morning team has spent one day a week throughout May highlighting “a different part of the Capitol Region.” They were in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., recently, broadcasting from the Adelphi Hotel. Among their stops has been Glenville, Troy, and Johnstown, N.Y., and Williamstown, Mass.

But on Friday it was Bennington’s turn in the spotlight — and our town glowed.

Susan Allen is managing editor of the Bennington Banner, located at 423 Main St. “View from 423 Main” is an occasional column.


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