Summer Festivals and Fun in Manchester, Vermont
Summer is returning to Manchester, Vermont and so is a bit of normalcy. With many COVID=19 restrictions lifted, especially for those who have been fully vaccinated, we are excited to get back together with you! The sun has been shining brightly, flowers are in full bloom, and everything is beautifully green. Outdoor adventurists have been soaking it all in and barbecues are back. This summer will provide plenty of opportunities to make magical memories!
For those who have been missing live performing arts, get ready to be entertained because the local talents are preparing for an eventful summer. The Dorset Theatre Festival, with help from supporters, will be hosting open-air performance series at Southern Vermont Arts Center (SVAC). This summer will include Festival Main Stage productions Under the Stars throughout July and August with special performances, talks, and all of the fabulous amenities of SVAC, including world-class galleries, walking trails, the new curATE café, and performances presented by the Manchester Music Festival. The Festival’s 47th season will kick off on July 8, 2021, and features an impressive lineup of outstanding musicians and exciting performances. With protocols in place to protect the health and safety of patrons top of mind, the 2021 summer festival will have options to experience the joy of music together: in person, outdoors, and online.
Thursday Matinee Concerts, evening Mainstage concerts, and Music on the Arkell Lawn are sure to delight music and performance art lovers alike. You can bring your own chair or blanket and enjoy the outdoor beauty of Vermont. If you are unable to attend in person, not to worry, they will post video footage of all of the offerings making them available to live stream online.
And don’t miss out on Taconic Music’s Summer Festival! They will be performing Faculty Concerts, featuring chamber music performed by faculty and guest musicians, NextGen Concerts, where resident Chamber Music Intensive students perform masterworks for string quartet and piano quintet, and more! All of their concerts will be free, though they will happily receive donations.
Another local favorite that is returning this summer is the Concerts on the Green series! Four Seasons Sotheby’s International Realty the sponsor of the series, invites you to join us every Wednesday beginning July 7 through August 11. Concerts start at 6:00 PM and run until about 8:00 PM, weather permitting.
Looking to add some action to your day? Try out the Land Rover Experience and learn essential skills from expert instructors while taking in stunning views of the Green Mountains. You’re in the driver’s seat while navigating ascents, declines, water crossings, side tilts, and much more!
The sloping hills of the Green Mountains also provide some incredible rides for cyclists. Stop by Battenkill Bicycle to pick up a new set of wheels, get a tune-up, grab some accessories, or just to say hi! In town for just a short while? They offer rentals!
Another great shop to fuel your adrenaline is Arson Skate Shop. Arson is a boutique skateboard shop in Manchester Center, Vermont. Their motto is Apparel, Boards, Culture. They offer great gear and have been doing wonderful things to help teach a new wave of skateboarders with their Skate Clinics. If you have never stopped by to check out the Manchester Skate Park, be sure to do so soon. Located in Dana Thompson Memorial Park, the skatepark has completed their Phase 1 efforts and are now looking towards the next additions. In line with the tradition of the area, the skatepark features a few special Marble platforms that give the park a nice local touch.
Manchester also offers other, less accident-prone ways to enjoy the beautiful outdoors. Have you had the privilege to play at any of our area’s golf courses? Each unique course has one thing in common though, the beautiful backdrop of the Taconic Mountains. Manchester Country Club started on family farmland but was converted into a championship 18-hole golf course in 1972. It provides challenge and enjoyment for all skill levels with its many elevation changes and pesky bunkers. They also have tennis, and offer seasonal yoga and wellness classes!
Another golf course that you don’t want to miss out on is Equinox Golf Resort & Spa. This Par 71 course was originally designed in 1927 and offers stunning views of the area. If you are out of town and want to see what the hype is about, take advantage of their stay-and-play options to have you even closer to links!
One of the favorite pastimes of this area, thanks to the proximity of the Battenkill River, is fly fishing. Take in a bit of history at the American Museum of Fly Fishing. Their mantra is to be the steward of the history, traditions, and practices of the sport of fly fishing and promotes the conservation of its waters. The Museum was created to serve as an institution to research, preserve, and interpret the treasures of angling history.
If you’re in the mood to stroll down the streets of Manchester, stop into one of the area’s wonderful art galleries. A local artist collective, Epoch 18 Artisan Gallery, houses the work of a group of dedicated local artists who got together to offer a wide variety of beautiful pieces and products. You never know what uniquely beautiful object may catch your eye! On the other side of town is the elegant Tilting at Windmills Gallery. Tilting at Windmills features a broad selection of work by important regional, national, and international artists. While quality and visual appeal are paramount in choosing the artwork they offer, they also select with an eye towards investment and potential appreciation in value for our collectors.
Another stunning gallery, Helmholz Fine Art was launched in 2014 and offers works from all over the world. A wonderful initiative that they practice is the proceeds are channeled to a good cause, benefiting humanitarian issues and concerns around the world. Hunger Free Vermont is the first of many organizations to receive generous financial, PR, and press support from Helmholz Fine Art through their initiative, Global Reach.
Whether you are ready to heat things up and get active outdoors, or cool off with some indoor fun, Manchester, Vermont is the place to be for unforgettable summer experiences.