Each year, a panel of independent judges selects Vermont’s blue ribbon activities by season. Chosen for their creativity, diversity, and appeal, this year’s Vermont Chamber Top Ten Winter Events feature time-honored traditions as well as contemporary experiences.
Make sure you make Vermont’s legendary events part of your winter festivities. Here are some in the early part of winter.
Manchester Merriment in Dorset, Arlington and Manchester from November 30. 2013 to January 1, 2014 is a six-week-long holiday celebration where the entire region decks its halls. Tour inns and B&Bs adorned for the holidays, taste wine at restaurants, shop, and celebrate with children’s contests, storytelling, and art. Get decked out with a pooch for the Posh Pup Parade, march to a different drummer in a lighted holiday tractor parade, take a spin in an old-fashioned horse and wagon, or jump on the Elf Express.
Warm up to the holidays in Weston on December 7 from 10am to 5pm with traditional activities for all ages at Christmas in Weston. A portion of the event’s proceeds go to a non-profit dedicated to supplying firewood to neighbors. A community reading of Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, the Nordic Harmoni choir, and caroling are featured. Museum tours, a visit with Santa, horsedrawn wagon rides, puppet and magic shows, a scavenger hunt, and quilt show round out a busy day in this beautiful village.
The holidays are a festive time for village shopping; bargains, unique gifts, traditional crafts, and in-store refreshments abound. But the Country Christmas Open House & Holiday Paint-in in Mad River Valley (Waitsfield, Warren, Fayston, and Moretown) on December 7 and 8 from 10am to 6pm brings surprises too; imagine an unexpected artist in-store breathing life into browsing. The Valley Art Foundation places artists on display, allowing shoppers to connect with local crafters, peruse their creations, and purchase art on site. The weekend culminates with an art show in a pop-up gallery.
The town of Woodstock is the focus of Wassail Weekend (December 13 - 15), defined by twinkling lights and jingling sleigh bells, holiday stories, Yule logs, carols on The Green, luminaries, Santa’s Workshop, and house tours around the village green. Enjoy a spicy, warming Wassail beverage while shopping; experience the holidays in 19th century Vermont at Billings Farm & Museum.
And chill out with ice carving demonstrations and competitions, or jump into ski races, snow golf and snow volleyball, as a spectator or a challenger at Stowe Winter Carnival in Stowe from January 18 to February 2, 2014. Young smiles abound at the zany Kids Carnival Kaos; the evening brings Carnival “meltdown” parties for adults. More than 15 competitive sporting events dominate the snowscape as Stowe comes together to ride, glide, and putt the winter away. Free to the public; participant entry fee for sporting events.
For more information about top events in Vermont take a look at the Top Events USA selection of the annual main festivals and events in Vermont