Culture mavens curate 3 days of delicious fun, experiences for you and yours with Gallery Walk, Food Truck Roundup and Bandwagon Summer Series
By Noah Hoffenberg, Vermont Country Magazine
BRATTLEBORO — There’s something special happening in Brattleboro. Those in the know seek out this creative town every summer because the arts and culture scene is bananas. If you’re looking for international cuisine, world class music and visual stimulation on every corner — this is it.
Here’s the inside scoop on three back-to-back events that will take you from our best-in-class downtown to our natural green spaces, which will make for an interstellar weekend to remember.
Thursdays: Retreat Farm offers bucolic views, tasty treats
Do yourself a favor and make landfall in Brattleboro on any Thursday afternoon this summer. Follow your nose and you’ll soon find yourself off Route 30, surrounded by the smoking and sizzling of tasty food trucks and live music, at Retreat Farm’s Food Truck Roundup.
The farm — which includes nine historic barns on 500 picturesque acres — is on a mission to connect people to the land and each other. You can roll or stroll on the ample trails that start and end at Retreat Farm.
Pro tip: Plan ahead, hit the trails early and finish at the roundup, which runs from 5 to 8 p.m. There will be shuttle buses, too, to help with any parking overflow, so no need to worry about that.
The fare will be all about international flavors again this year: Mach’s Mobile Kitchen’s Wood Fired Pizza, Anon’s Thai Cuisine, Jamaican Jewelz and the HAngry Traveler, to name a few of rolling kitchens to expect.
Farm staples will also be there — Vermont Gelato and the Thirsty Goat — featuring the best of the region’s creamy goodness and Vermont craft brews, cider and wine. Children can get the ice cream and dance, while couples can sip and schmooze.
First Fridays: Downtown Brattleboro is THE destination for Gallery Walk
Jugglers tossing glowing batons. Faux archeologists digging for UFO remnants. Kids and grownups dancing in the streets to some of the best live music around. Brattleboro Flea — an uber-hip flea market featuring 30-plus local artisans. Nearly 20 art galleries with new exhibits.
This much buzz in Brattleboro can only mean one thing: Gallery Walk is back. And that means the downtown is bursting with art in every nook and cranny.
This monthly extravaganza celebrating art and community in the heart of downtown Brattleboro runs from May to December from 5 to 9 p.m. on the first Fridays of the month and truly has something for everyone. Join a queer square dance in May or the youth rock festival in June. Check out a food court packed with local food trucks slinging the dreamiest fare, or sip away in an outdoor Vermont beer garden … what’s not to love?
Pro tip: This year jump on the Brattleboro History Tour that highlights unique points of interest, departing from the Brattleboro Museum & Art Center at 5:30 p.m.
Ready for the kicker? This event is free. The music, the galleries, the activities, free!
Saturdays: Next Stage’s eclectic, pop-up food and performances delight
Simply put, the Bandwagon Summer Series offers the very best of summer in the Green Mountain State — live music with family and friends, Vermont cocktails in hand, while soaking up the good life in Southeastern Vermont.
The series touts an eclectic mix of culturally diverse concerts, dance, puppetry and more, from a stage that rolls from venue to venue, all over Windham County.
This ongoing event (like all of these described herewith) is all about access, too, for youngsters and oldsters. If you bring the little ones, they can enjoy a full children’s play zone. Vermont food and drinks are served for everyone, and the dance floor is always beckoning.
Pro tip: Organizers have budget friendly ticket bundles and season passes, because you’ll want to go more than once! Bonus pro tip: The series rolls out on other days, too, besides Saturdays!
These three curated events are timed perfectly to complement each other for spring, summer and fall. Make like the locals, and experience them all.
Noah Hoffenberg is a word-peddling mountain biker who spends all his time in the hills of Western Massachusetts, grousing among the porcupine and woodchucks.