Take two tremendous events, combine them into a single fabulous festival, July 26-28 at the Shelburne Museum, and the result is the Vermont Balloon and Craft Festival. Featuring an amazing array of artists and artisans (potters, jewelers, weavers, graphic artists, painters, photographers, wood workers, metal smiths, sculptors, leather designers, and specialty food makers to mention a few), the Vermont Balloon and Craft Festival is like taking a vacation, at least for a weekend.
There is much more than buying arts and crafts, and watching and riding in hot air balloons. Let’s start with the kids. The Shelburne Craft School will offer kids (and adults) craft-making projects; there will be a musical petting zoo, with instruments available for playing for musicians of all ages; a face painter will be on hand to decorate faces, arms, and legs; and various craft demos will be happening intermittently all day.
There are activities especially for kids, but people of all ages like to eat. The food court will feature local restaurants, caterers, specialty food producers, wine makers, and spirits makers. Throughout the festival the menu will include organic pizza; grass-fed beef burgers; grilled Vermont cheese sandwiches; dumplings, cold sesame noodles; salads; crepes; tacos; grilled corn; sweet and savory waffles; sweet and savory crepes; homemade Vermont ice cream; espressos and lattes; and Fiddlehead beers just to name a few.
On Saturday there will be a dinner special before the launches and a Balloon Glow inside the Museum. At dusk, approximately 20 hot air balloons will be illuminated so that they appear to be “glowing.” With the Ticonderoga and the carousel as a backdrop, this is one of the best balloon glows in the country. Tickets are limited to 2,500. Admission to the Balloon Glow is free with entrance to the festival. Interested readers may purchase tickets online or at the gate.
On Sunday Taste of Shelburne will be held from 11:30 am to about 2:30 pm as a benefit to the Shelburne Craft School. This gourmet gathering consist of a dozen area restaurants. Each will serve items from their menus in sample size portions. Attendees are encouraged to try many tastes. It’s a great way to meet local chefs and enjoy their creations.
The festival will provide entertainment for the whole family. Admission is only $8 for adults while kids 12 and under are free and so is the parking. For information about booking a balloon ride or complete festival details visit www.vtfest.com.