Vermont Maple FestivalSt. Albans, April 27 to 29, 9 am - 5 pm with some evening eventsAs winter ends, it’s time to celebrate Vermont’s signature product: pure Vermont maple! Three exciting days with something for everyone! Enjoy Main Street entertainment, maple exhibits and education, antiques, crafts, food, youth talent, and fiddlers’ shows. Check out the cooking demos, sugarhouse tours, maple buffet, pancake breakfasts, carnival, Sap Run, museum, shops, maple treats, and of course, the Grand Parade. Free for most events. www.vtmaplefestival.org, 802-524-5800.
Strolling of the HeifersBrattleboro, June 1 to 3, Fri. 5-10 pm, Sat. 7:30 am - 6 pm, Sun. 7 am - 3 pmThis family-friendly celebration of farmers and local food is built around a unique parade that features beautifully groomed heifer calves led by future farmers and followed by other farm animals, tractors, bands and floats. The Live Green Expo follows the parade, and the weekend includes many events ranging from a Friday evening street fair to Sunday cycling tours and farm visits. Free. www.strollingoftheheifers.com, 802-258-9177.
Burlington Discover Jazz FestivalBurlington, June 1 to 10Celebrating its 29th year with the sounds of jazz, blues, funk, and Latin music. For 10 days over 50,000 people enjoy a mix of concerts, street parties, Lake Champlain cruises, and workshops. Meet the artists and experience live recording sessions and fantastic music all around Burlington. Past headliners include Sonny Rollins, Diana Krall, and countless other artists. See website for schedule and fees. www.discoverjazz.com, 802-863-7992. Tickets: 802-86-FLYNN.
Vermont History ExpoTunbridge, June 16 and 17, 10 am - 5 pmA two-day summer festival where Vermonters and visitors experience the state’s living history. The Expo features distinctive exhibits from the collections of 150 local historical societies, museums and heritage attractions in a country fair setting. Visitors will be immersed in Vermont history in the spirit of fun and discovery. History Expo 2012 will also focus on Vermont’s role in the Civil War. Adults $8 for both days, students under 18 years $4 for both days, children 5 years and under free. Weekend family pass $20. www.vermonthistory.org/expo, 802-479-8500.
Vermont Summer Festival Horse ShowEast Dorset, July 4 to August 12, Wednesdays through Sundays, 8 am - 4 pmThe best show jumping athletes, including Olympic medalists, from across the country and around the world. Show jumping is spectator-friendly, easy to understand and exciting to watch! Enjoy food and shopping concessions on the show grounds. Wed.–Fri. Adults $5, children $3; Sat.–Sun. Adults $7, children $5. www.vt-summerfestival.com, 802-496-9667.
Stoweflake Annual Hot Air Balloon FestivalStowe, July 6 to 8, Fri. 4 - 9 pm, Sat. (launch only 6:30 am), 4 - 9 pm, Sun. 6:30 am launch onlyThe Festival is held at the Stoweflake Mountain Resort and Spa. This popular summer celebration includes a children’s corner, live music, great food, a beer and wine garden, and of course, balloon launches and tethers! Twenty-eight of the country’s most prominent balloon experts. Adults $10, children under 12 years free. www.stoweflake.com/balloon, 800-253-2232 or 802-253-7355.
Vermont Festival of the ArtsMad River Valley: Waitsfield, Warren, Fayston, Moretown, Middlesex, Granville, and Rochester, August 1 to Labor Day WeekendA month-long celebration of the arts occurs at various locations throughout the Mad River Valley. The Festival is comprised of more than 125 different events; from exhibits and performances to lectures, tours, a full moon celebration, and culinary extravaganzas! The center of the state is the center for the arts in Vermont. August is Art in the Mad River Valley! Fees vary. www.vermontartfest.com, 802-496-6682.
Lake Champlain Maritime FestivalBurlington, August 9 to 12, Thurs. 6 - 10 pm, Fri. & Sat. 11 am - 11 pm, Sun. 11 am - 10 pmFeaturing hundreds of exhibits at various venues on the Burlington Waterfront and musical performances on three separate stages! Activities include local and regional live music, national and international artists, free sailboat, canoe, and paddleboard rides, an Antique Boat Show, ALS Silent Auction, a Showcase of Vermont Wineries and Food, and craft and international food vendors. Check out the interactive childrens’ activities and and the Eco-Zone with ecological/environmental exhibits. Admission for select events. www.lcmfestival.com, 802-482-3313.
Summer Art in the Park FestivalRutland, August 11 and 12, 10 am - 5 pmA fine art and craft festival featuring 100 juried artists and artisans. The Festival includes demonstrations, food, childrens’ activities and musical entertainment. Art in the Park draws artisans from all across the northeast and beyond who ply their craft in wood, stone, clay, fiber, metal, glass, with cameras, or on canvas. Vermont’s oldest continuing arts tradition. Free admission; donations appreciated. www.chaffeeartcenter.org, 802-775-0356.
Champlain Valley FairEssex Junction, August 25 to September 3, 10 am - midnightThe Fair has delivered fun, food and entertainment to families for nearly 90 years. The Fair combines Vermont’s agricultural roots with educational exhibits and some of the biggest names in entertainment. Topped off by more than 40 carnival rides, free shows and some of the best fair food in the northeast, Vermonters and visitors alike celebrate a summer of fun for ten days! Adults $10, children ages 5 -12 years $5, kids 4 years and under free. www.cvexpo.org, 802-878-5545.