Why not plan your Vermont vacation to coincide with one of the many exciting Vermont events at towns around the state? The year’s Vermont events begin with First Night Burlington, Vermont’s largest single-day arts festival. Each year on New Years Eve more than 24,000 residents and visitors view activities including theater, circus arts, puppetry, music, and comedy. Burlington also hosts an annual Jazz Festival at the beginning of June, named "one of the top ten festivals in the world" by The Music Festival Guide. Beer lovers should also head to Burlington for the annual Brewers Festival, when local craft brewers tout their best ales and beers, always guaranteed to be one of the most enjoyable Vermont summer festival. One of the biggest marathons in the country, the Vermont City Marathon, takes place in Burlington in late May and is an occasion for celebration and parties along the scenic route.
One popular Vermont summer festival has as its unlikely host Stoweflake Mountain Resort & Spa, in the ski resort of Stowe, Vermont. The Stoweflake Hot Air Balloon Festival in early July includes live music, a beer and wine garden, and balloon launch by some of the country’s most prominent balloon experts. This is one those Vermont events not to missed.
Several other great Vermont festivals also take place in Stowe. The Stowe Winter Carnival in mid-January has events for young and old designed to kick the midwinter blues. The ice carving competitions and nighttime block party are legendary. In fall, Stowe comes alive for Oktoberfest, a two-day festival in the height of foliage season.
Several Vermont festivals celebrate the history of the state. The Vermont History EXPO is a two-day Vermont summer festival with exhibits from over 150 local historical societies and museums. Takes place in Tunbridge in late June. The President Calvin Coolidge Birthday Celebration in Plymouth Notch one of the best events in Vermont on July 4th. Includes a large barbeque, a procession, and a special musical performance.
Perhaps the most unique Vermont summer festival is the Strolling of the Heifers, a Mardi Gras like celebration that occurs annually during the first weekend of June. Features a parade of animals and entertainers to the Brattleboro Retreat grounds, where there is a large marketplace with the best in Vermont shopping items.
Another good Vermont summer festival is the Vermont Festival of the Arts. This month-long celebration of Vermont’s artistic communities takes place in Mad River Valley.
Late March sees events in Vermont celebrating the official beginning of the maple sugaring season. Sugarhouses across the state open their doors to visitors to see hoe maple syrup is made and sample fresh maple products. Spring is also the time for the Vermont Flower Show, the biggest of all horticultural events in Vermont. About 100 exhibitors and a large central garden fill with flowers in the Essex Junction exhibition space.
Like in other rural states, one of the most important events in Vermont is the state fair. Usually the first week of September, the Vermont State Fair in Rutland dates back to 1846. Agricultural events still form the backbone of this venerable Vermont festival.
Other Vermont festivals also have a celebrated history. The Tunbridge World’s Fair has been going over 130 years. The fair celebrates Vermont’s erstwhile symbol, the dairy cow, shows, stall, and a parade of winning bovines.