Bennington Arts Weekend Returns
Bennington Arts Weekend returns this year, Friday through Sunday, August 5 to 7. The Bennington Area Chamber of Commerce, Better Bennington Corporation, 4Corners North, Homebrew Festival, Cultural Bennington Arts Council 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, offering more variety and venues for arts and entertainment than ever before.
“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. Organizers are excited to present more events, more performances and more art all over town this year. Lindy Lynch, events committee chair of the Bennington Chamber added, “We have four billboards promoting the event throughout the region, flyers, sandwich boards and banners in town, (and) 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, taking place Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. There will be 125 art and craft exhibitors, ranging from fine art painting, photography and sculpture, to leather, textile, glass, ceramic and woodcrafts, furniture and jewelery. There will be a large food market offering light fare for lunch and snacks; beer, wine and soft drink vendors will be set up in the shaded picnic area. 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. There is plenty of free parking. For details, visit craftproducers.com.
Downtown is the place to be on First Friday, August 5, during Bennington Arts Weekend. Most downtown businesses will be open until 8 p.m. There will be music, theatre and cinema events along Main Street, including an art gallery walk, live entertainment at certain locations, a jazz concert, at Vermont Arts Exchange, 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.
The 2nd Annual Homebrew Festival is planned for Saturday, from 12 noon to 4 p.m. This block festival is held on County Street between North Street/Route 7 and School Street in Bennington. Expect a vibrant street fair atmosphere with live music, a variety of food from area vendors, and 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. Free round trip shuttle service is provided to the Arts and Crafts Festival at Camelot Village, 12 noon to 4 p.m.
For the area-wide listing of events, visit the Better Bennington Welcome Center located at 215 South Street or the Bennington Area Chamber of Commerce offices on Veterans Memorial Drive.