Vergennes may be known as Vermont's littlest city, but its activities, events and historical significance of the city are the exact opposite of meager.
Vergennes is the oldest chartered city in the state. The moment you arrive, you’ll be amazed by its natural beauty, rich history and fun activities. In and around the town you’ll find a lush environment that is waiting to be explored. The outdoors are great for a host of fun activities, that includeincluding everything from hiking to boating. Parks for you to check out include Button Bay State Park and Vergennes Falls Park for plenty of green space. If you're not up for athletic endeavors, Vergennes has several great resuturants and a beautiful Main Street, filled with unique shops and galleries. Adding to the beauty and depth of the city are the tours of the local historic buildings and museums. The Vergennes Opera House is a prime example. This building was built in 1897 and has been beautifully restored. Currently the theater features a long list of live shows and performances for you to enjoy. The Lake Champlain Maritime Museum offers a fun and educational experience for all family members. The museum highlights everything about the Lake Champlain, from its history, to the fish that inhabit it. To complete the Vergennes experience, you should visit in late summer for a great community event known as Vergennes Day.
Vergennes Day is a community staple that has been running strong for 35 years. This is family friendly festival that is free to enter. The event includes activities such as a 5K/10K run, plenty of live music, vendor booths and more. If you’re traveling with the family then this event is definitely for you. Your kids will have a blast with activities such as face painting, wagon rides and playing in a bubble pit. Don’t miss out on this one-of-a-kind community and its unique celebration and make your way to Vergennes Day. ResortsandLodges.com got the opportunity to interview Sue Hoxie, President of the Addison County Chamber of Commerce, to talk about this great family event.
RAL: How long has the event been running?
SH: This is Vergennes Day’s 35th year!
RAL: How many annual participants do you draw?
SH: This is a non-ticketed event, so it’s hard to be entirely accurate, but safe to say the event draws about 1,000 attendees, assuming good weather.
RAL: What is the typical demographic makeup of the event? Children? Families? Couples?
SH: Yes, we see everyone you mentioned. This is a multi-generational event with activities for every age group.
RAL: What makes this event unique?
SH: It’s a great community centered event for Vermont’s Littlest City. The beauty and shade of Vergennes City Park makes for a relaxing atmosphere.
RAL: What can people expect for activities at the event?
SH: The Festival kicks off with an Arts Walk and Street Dance on the Friday evening prior (8/25). On Saturday, the fun begins with 5K & 10K road races in the morning, live music all day on the bandstand, activities for kids such as a bubble pit, horse & wagon rides, face painting, chicken BBQ, sidewalk sales, and 65+ vendor/crafter booths.
RAL: What dining options will there be?
SH: There will be at least a half dozen food vendors with fare ranging from maple products and handmade crepes, to the more traditional burgers and dogs
RAL: What can an attendee expect to find for local lodging?
SH: There are two small B&Bs in Vergennes, a cabin/RV park and Basin Harbor Resort in the immediate vicinity. Additional lodging is available in Bristol and Middlebury, both are about 25 minutes from Vergennes.
RAL: Does this drive business to your local economy?
SH: Yes, even if attendees don’t stay overnight, they eat at our great restaurants, shop on main street and fill their gas tanks. The extra business across the board provides a nice boost to the local economy.
RAL: Does the event support a special cause in the community? (School funds, etc.)
SH: The Chicken BBQ benefits the Lions Club, the 5K/10K road race benefits Sweet Charity, a local non-profit organization, and the crafter/vendor booths benefit the Addison County Chamber of Commerce, also a non-profit.
RAL: Why should people come to your event?
SH: Vergennes is Vermont’s littlest city. It has lovely shops on Main Street, many great restaurants, the Otter Creek tumbles over falls just outside of the downtown, and Vergennes Day offers activities for any age group.
For more information about Vergennes Day, please visit their website.