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MAC Center for the Arts leads children’s theatre workshop

in Arts and Entertainment/Newport/News

NEWPORT — The MAC Center for the Arts held a children’s theatre workshop for youngsters ages 5-8 years old.

The thematic workshop called Rodeo Roundup, covered script writing, costume construction, designing WANTED posters, and learning many western dances and songs.

After only 3 hours, the bronco busting buckaroos performed the original short musical The Legend of Cotton Eye Joe for friends and family.

Each member of the posse received an official recognition award and an ACT 1 tee-shirt.

Organizers say they thank community businesses Vista, Kingdom Market, Brighton Elementary School, Heron’s Path, and Linda Lee Monogram for supporting the event.


Back Row: Workshop Mentor, Sunny Naughton; Show Captain, Micaela Ortiz; Natalie Lawson, Avery Drown, Naomi Walsh, Natash Leonard; Show Captain, Abby Gonyaw; Workshop Mentors, Lynn Leimer and Judy Castonguay.

Middle Row: Ruthie Lawson, Jitter Niles, Bella Niles, Jenna Walsh, Meadow Clowery.

Front row kneeling: Penelope Longe, Amelia Drown, Jocelyn Gunther, Alice Loan.

Memphremagog Winter Swim Festival draws international crowd

NEWPORT — Winter swimmers gathered in Newport for a weekend of swimming in a 25-meter, two-lane pool cut in the ice of Lake Memphremagog.

They swam in a Hat Competition, 25 Meter freestyle, breaststroke, and butterfly, as well as the 50, 100, and 200-meter freestyle.

The ice was two feet thick, with water temperatures 30.8 F. Air temps were in the 30’s on Saturday and in the 20’s on Sunday. Many were new to the sport and had been training and acclimating to cold water swimming for months.

Conor Turner of Dublin, Ireland, set records in the 100-meter and 200-meter freestyle.

Craig Ross, of Guelph, Ontario, set pool records in the 25 freestyle, 25 butterfly, and 50-meter freestyle.

Perennial speedsters, Daina Bouquin, of Melrose, Mass, and Martha Woos, of Manchester, Mass, set records in the 25-meter butterfly and the 200-meter freestyle respectively.

Winners received Beef Jerky from Brault’s Market and maple syrup from Couture’s Maple Shop and B & B.

Winning the highly contested Best Hat Competition was Edwin Greenfield of Richmond Hil, Ontario, and, new this year, best team Hats, the New Mexico Dream Team, led by Erin Churchill, including, Amber Zimmerman, Terry Casey, and RuthAnn Goradia, all from Albuquerque.

The “most mature” winter swimmer was Ginny Peck, 72, from North Woodstock, NH.

The youngest winter swimmer was Vera Rivard, 14, of Springfield, NH.

Newport set to welcome 75 winter swimmers this weekend

in Arts and Entertainment/Newport/News/Outdoors

NEWPORT — Winter swimmers from all over North America, Ireland, and Scotland will be descending on Newport next weekend for the Fourth Annual Memphremagog Winter Swim Festival, hosted by Kingdom Games.

They will swim distances ranging from 25 meters to 200 meters in a two-lane 25-meter pool cut in the ice.
Crews will begin cutting the pool on Thursday.

Saturday kicks off at 10 a.m. with a 25-meter Hat Competition, the best hat winning a pound of Brault’s Beef Jerky. The swims continue until 4 p.m. on Saturday and resume again on Sunday at 10 a.m.

The public is welcome to come watch.

Event organizers say the number of swimmers has doubled from last year.

While many are veterans of this sport, many others are novices who have been training and qualifying all this past fall and winter. Twelve swimmers are traveling from Ontario, 12 from New York, and 12 from the Boston area.

Four swimmers are coming from Ireland, 4 more from New Mexico, 1 from Scotland, 1 from Alaska, as well as from Georgia, Tennessee. California, Oregon, Colorado, Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont.

The swims are also supported by over 25 volunteers, many local, but many also traveling from places like Quebec City and New York City to help out and enjoy the Festival.

For more information vist or contact Phil White, Director of Kingdom Games at

Guests of last year's Taste of the Kingdom enjoy the array of food, drinks, and fun at Jay Peak Resort.

Green Mountain Farm-to-School hosts 10th Annual Taste of the Kingdom

NEWPORT — The 10th Annual Taste of the Kingdom, a fundraising event held by Green Mountain Farm-to-School (GMFTS), will take place on February 28th from 6 to 8 p.m. at Jay Peak Resort’s Foeger Ballroom.

Tickets are on sale now and are available for purchase online at

The annual event draws a crowd of over 200 guests who gather to celebrate local food and drink producers in the Northeast Kingdom.

This year, guests can enjoy products from some of the regions most notable farmers, chefs and brewers including Butterworks Farm, Craftsbury General Store, Jasper Hill Farm and St. Johnsbury Distillery.

“This is an opportunity for us to gather with our neighbors and celebrate all of the amazing local producers in the region,” says James Hafferman, Executive Director of GMFTS. “We love connecting with people over local food and drink and providing a platform for businesses to showcase their products.”

Along with a silent auction and live music, this year’s event includes a raffle where anyone, regardless if they attend the event or not, can enter to win an exclusive Jay Peak Resort getaway for four people – lift tickets, water park access and climb time included.

Tickets are $5 each and directions on how to purchase them can be found at

All proceeds from the event and raffle will go to benefit Green Mountain Farm-to-School (GMFTS) and its programming.

Support from the community will ensure the Newport-based non-profit can continue providing quality programing to over half of the students in the Northeast Kingdom – planting school gardens, offering nutrition education, and serving free meals in the summer months from its Lunchbox food truck.

The event will also ensure GMFTS can continue its work connecting local farms with area schools, restaurants, and institutions through its regional food-hub, Green Mountain Farm Direct – increasing economic viability and opening new markets.

“You get to support Green Mountain Farm-to-School and the work they’re doing to connect communities through food and education all while enjoying some great local food and drinks from some of the region’s top producers,” says Caroline Paige, who has attended the Taste of the Kingdom the past two years. “What more could you ask for?”

For more information on the 10th Annual Taste of the Kingdom, to enter the raffle, or purchase tickets, visit

MAC announces first ACT 1 children’s workshop for 2018

in Arts and Entertainment/Newport/News

NEWPORT — The MAC Center for the Arts, in partnership with the Northeast Kingdom’s premier children’s theater academy ACT 1, is thrilled to announce plans for 2018.

Calling all cowboys and cowgirls, Saturday, March 3, 2018, ACT 1 will debut “Rodeo Roundup,” for 5 to 8-year-old participants. The event will be a half day of theater learning, songs and fun under the direction of Lynn Leimer and Sunny Naughton.

From 12:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. the young cowpokes will be led through exploratory activities to learn about all aspects of storytelling and songs of the old west, culminating in a short performance for family and friends at 4:00 p.m. 

Rodeo Roundup will teach participants about learning music and movement for the stage in addition to creating costume pieces and decorating the space to reflect the wild, wild west as they imagine it.

Character work will be a major theme throughout the afternoon as the students learn what it’s like to have some fun and bring their unique personalities to the performance as an ensemble.

Judy Castonguay will help the buckaroos design their costumes, while show captains, Micaela Ortiz and Abby Gonyaw, will choreograph and teach dance moves and lead the little ones through their bronco busting adventure. 

Cost for the afternoon is $25 for one participant and $40 for a pair. Scholarships are available upon request.

Registration includes water, materials and an ACT 1 t-shirt in addition to professional training. All are welcome, and no experience is required, just the love of creativity.

The registration deadline is February 26.

All questions regarding the day of the event should be directed to ACT 1, Lynn Leimer at

Space is limited to 20 participants.

For more information and registration, call 334-1966 or write  

Borderline Players to hold auditions for spring comedy

in Arts and Entertainment/Derby Line/Stanstead

DERBY LINE — Auditions for Borderline Players’ premiere production, Fuddy Meers, will take place on Saturday, January 27 from 1 to 4 p.m. in the First Universalist Parish Hall in Derby Line.

Performances are scheduled for May 4-6 and 11-13, 2018 at the Haskell Opera House.

Written by American playwright David Lindsay-Abaire, Fuddy Meers tells the story of an amnesiac, Claire, who starts each morning with no memory, her husband and teenage having to fill her in daily about her life.

When she is kidnapped, Claire–and the audience–must piece together the ensuing mayhem.

The Borderline Players’ production will be directed by Kim Prangley, a veteran of QNEK productions during the company’s 25-year run as the Haskell as the resident theater company, a tradition that continues in 2018 with the debut of the new community-based company.

Seven roles are available; 4 male and 3 female. They are Claire (about 40, generally sunny woman with amnesia); Richard (about 40, chatty, friendly, sometimes nervous man); Kenny (17, a troubled teen); limping man (about 40, a limping, lisping, half-blind, half-deaf man with secrets); Gertie (60s, a clear-headed lady who’s had a stroke); Millet (30s or 40s, an odd man with a puppet alter ego); and Heidi (30s or 40s, tough woman in a uniform).

No appointments are necessary for auditions, and scripts will be available at the hall.

For more information, contact Kim Prangley at

Auditions for the summer and fall productions will be announced at a late date.

MAC Center Special Edition Exhibition thru January 5

in Arts and Entertainment/Newport/Northeast Kingdom

NEWPORT — Just when you thought all the excitement from MAC’s Tenth Anniversary was over, there is a Special Edition Exhibition that will run through January 5, 2018. The exhibition spans two full rooms in the Lower Gallery of the MAC Center building.

The front room chronicles the journey of MAC from inception to fruition, highlighting the major milestones along the way. From ribbon cutting with the Governor to traveling exhibitions to unique vernissages and performances that have built the Memphremagog Arts Collaborative into the flagship venue that it is today.

Curated by MAC Founder, Jim McKimm, this archive was nurtured by Victoria Mathiesen and is a delightful diary of preserving the Arts in the Northeast Kingdom.

In the second room, the fashion-forward collection of QNEK Productions costumes is on exhibition.

The works of costume designers, Linda Bussiere, Carol Woodard, Lisa Foster, Susan-Lynn Johns, Carol Castle, Judy Castonguay, and Delia Leimer line the room with color, fabric, whimsey, imagination, and brilliance for the company that has become a local legend in the NEK.

After 25 years of stellar stagecraft, QNEK retired and while the costume exhibition is a mere thumbnail of the shows, many are unaware that a flood in August 2017 destroyed the entire 50 years of inventory amassed by Lynn Leimer’s company.

The few remaining items in the exhibition are all that is left.

So be sure to take time through the hustle and bustle of the holiday season to stop in and enjoy the history, the creativity and the significant landmarks in our community that herald the positivity of all that surrounds the ARTS.

This exhibition is free and open to the public.

For more information, please visit or call 802-334-1966.

Newport orchestra to play annual fall concert this Sunday

NEWPORT — This Sunday, the Newport Area Community Orchestra is presenting its 7th Annual Fall Concert at the United Church in Newport.

Daniel Johnstone will be featured as soloist opening the concert with “Il Meo Tesoro” from Mozart’s opera “Don Giovanni.”

The program will continue with “Nimrod” from the Enigma Variations by Sir Edward Elgar, “For the Beauty of the Earth” by John Rutter and Symphony No. 6 by Franz Schubert.

Admission for the concert will be a suggested donation of $5.

The Newport Area Community Orchestra is a community-based orchestra serving the Northeast Kingdom and surrounding communities.

The orchestra was founded by Ken Michelli in February of 2011.

Newport woman qualifies for the Memphremagog Winter Swim Festival

NEWPORT — Pam Ladds, 69, of Newport, qualified for the Memphremagog Winter Swim Festival today by spending 2 minutes and swimming 25 meters in water that was 38 F.

Air temp was in the high 40s. Ladds had to break through some thin ice to get to open water for her qualifying swim.

Seventy Swimmers and 25 Volunteers are heading to Newport in February for the 25, 50, 100, and 200 meter Winter Swim Festival in a two-lane, 25-meter pool to be cut in the ice on Lake Memphremagog.

Organizers remind everyone that the event is not a “plunge.” It is a swim competition and festival with experienced, trained, and qualified swimmers from around North America and Europe.

The Swim is hosted by Kingdom Games and Newport City Inn & Suites, who are also hosting the Memphremagog Women’s Pond Hockey Tournament earlier in February.

Local children’s book author celebrates new release by raising money for charity

in Arts and Entertainment/Newport/News

NEWPORT — Local children’s book author Lynda Graham-Barber has a new picture book out titled Cookie’s Fortune, which she hopes will benefit both people and animals in more ways than one.

Cookie’s Fortune was written to develop awareness and empathy for all living creatures, with a shared goal that the book raise money for a local charitable organization.

The story reflects on what it’s like for an abandoned dog named Cookie in a gritty urban setting, and how kindness and animal rescue make all the difference in what begins as a hard-luck and frightening life for Cookie.

“This book has taken me years to get right,” Graham-Barber said, “so I want to do as much good with it as I can.”

Larry Bradley, owner of Newport’s Nevermore Bookstore, agreed to offer his shop for the book’s official release party, on Saturday, Dec. 9, from noon – 2 p.m.

Those who buy a copy of the book, which the author will autograph, are then encouraged to enter the name of a favorite local charity into a drawing for a sizable cash donation to that nonprofit. The nonprofit’s efforts need not be dedicated to animal rescue.

“We want to shine light on the plight of all of those searching for a safe home,” the author explained.

Nevermore bookstore is located at 100 East Main Street in Newport, near the Eagles Club.

Among the afternoon’s free offerings will be a special Red Sky Trading carrot cake, liquid libations for kids of all ages, Ben Kinsley at guitar, face painting, gift wrapping, door prizes, and Bradleigh Stockwell’s “canine” humor.

Cookie’s Fortune, illustrated by Nancy Lane, was published by Gryphon Press.

Evergreen centerpiece family workshop at MAC Center for the Arts

in Arts and Entertainment/Newport/News

NEWPORT — Thinking about decorating for the holidays? Wondering how to make new memories and fun-lore to pass down to generations? The MAC Center for the Arts has the perfect experience to satisfy both.

On December 16 from 10:00 – 11:00 a.m. the MAC welcomes the community to celebrate the holidays by creating a beautiful seasonal centerpiece made of local evergreens and festive materials.

This is an activity for family members, friends and neighbors, so come with a parent or uncle, child or best friend.

Instructor, Annie Holdridge will be back again this year to conduct the workshop in the MAC lower gallery.

Last season the sold-out workshop was so successful that the MAC has decided to make it an annual holiday event.

The workshop is limited to 25 participants and has a nominal fee of $5.00 per participant, so register early and reserve your space soon.

After you have finished creating your masterpiece, take time to browse through the upstairs gallery and select from an astonishing array of extraordinary pieces of arts and crafts, music, books, jewelry, and furniture. Their distinctive collection is matchless and supports shopping local.

For more information, visit or call the MAC at 802-334-1966., or stop by the MAC and pick up a registration form. You can also email

MAC Center to celebrate 10 years with historic ceremony on December 2

in Arts and Entertainment/Newport

NEWPORT — On Saturday, December 2, the Memphremagog Arts Collaborative will be celebrating their 10th anniversary.

The event, titled Ten On Main, will take place from 5 to 7 p.m. Music will be provided by cellist Janice and Thurmond Knight, as well as Paula Graveline and Linda Schneck.

This elegant and historic ceremony will highlight the past ten years from concept to fruition. An exhibit in the downstairs gallery will chronicle the journey and will be on display in concert with the QNEK Costume Exhibit commemorating the theatre company’s 25th anniversary and final season.

The vision for the collaborative started with Jim McKimm. Soon to be retired organist at St Mark’s Episcopal Church, McKimm is a man of many talents. His quest to establish an arts organization in the Northeast Kingdom started in 2007 with GOT ART hosted at the Hebard Building.

The original charter group of trailblazers also included Ann Volatile, Betsy Sylvester, Tim Daley, Lynn Leimer, and Susan-Lynn Johns.

The initial ribbon cutting ceremony with Governor Jim Douglas and his wife was held November 17, 2007, along with a plethora of dignitaries and guests. The MAC has moved three times since conception and has settled into their present 2,000 square foot “home” at 158 Main Street next to Dusit Thai.

The MAC is the only non-profit art gallery with no employees and is totally run by volunteers. Their commitment, dedication, and talents are what keeps the Vermont arts economy thriving on rural Main Street for the past decade.

The MAC has seen many transitions over the years, as well as establishing signature events like Art in Bloom and scholarships for graduating seniors.

The present Board of Directors includes President Isobel Marks, Vice President Lynn Leimer-Flint, Secretary Janice Luce, Treasurer Jennifer Hopkins, and directors Patty Oliver-Smith, Manfred Rieder and Dr. Bill Peck.

So come on out for this truly extraordinary gala, wine and cheese, beautiful music and stellar silent auction.

Tickets are required and limited. For tickets and more information, please visit MAC at 158 Main Street, Newport, or call 802-334-1966, or visit the website

Orleans County Citizen Advocacy launches new arts-based initiative

in Arts and Entertainment/Newport

NEWPORT — Orleans County Citizen Advocacy (OCCA) announced the launch of a new arts-based initiative to enhance the social, emotional, physical, and spiritual wellness of their partners and advocates. The first stage of this initiative is now on display through the winter at The Tasting Center in Newport.

Facilitated by local artist and teacher, Natalie Gillette, the art was created using mixed media of acrylic, watercolor, and collage.

Visitors will find a vibrant and colorful gallery display of artwork created by OCCA partners and advocates. These original pieces are created by individuals of all ages and abilities.

OCCA is a local non-profit organization serving Orleans County for over 30 years. Their mission is to match volunteer advocates with community partners with unique developmental differences.

While small, this organization is vital in providing much needed social supports to important yet vulnerable members of our rural communities. 

If you might be interested in becoming involved in this organization, they are in need of advocates.

Advocates and partners are free to form unique relationships based on their individual needs. Even just a few hours a week can make a profound impact on another person’s life.

Dailey Christmas craft fair this Saturday

in Arts and Entertainment/Derby/Newport

DERBY — The Dailey Memorial Library is gearing up for its annual Christmas craft fair and Christmas café luncheon.

The event will take place this Saturday, November 11, at North Country Union Junior High School in Derby.

The fair will run from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. Lunch will be served between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.

Over 40 talented crafters from throughout the area will be set up throughout the day. There will also be several raffles, including a turkey basket door prize raffle, instant raffle, rug raffle, and crafter’s raffle.

The Christmas luncheon will feature soups, sandwiches, pastries, and beverages.

Get in the holiday spirit by shopping with seasonal music, the smells of evergreen, and delicious comfort food.

Call the library at 766-5063 for further information or questions.

Locals win at Fly to Pie marathon and bike race

in Arts and Entertainment/Brownington/coventry/Glover/Newport/News/Outdoors

GLOVER — A 52-year-old athlete from Canaan defended home turf and won the fourth annual Fly to Pie, Kingdom Marathon with a time of 3:05:11.

David Herr, 52, of Canaan, took home first this year. He has run in all four marathons and is a three-time winner.

Winning among the women was Karen Benway, 45, of Williston, with a time of 3:50:25.

The vista riddled course is run on dirt roads through “the gut” of the Northeast Kingdom, from the airport in Coventry through Brownington, over Barton Mountain, through Barton, over Burton Hill into Irasburg, and back to Parker Pie in West Glover.

It is described by many as the most beautiful and toughest road marathon in the east.

Winning the 26.2 mile bike race, Doin’ the Dirt, were locals Chad Harden, 42 of Newport Center, and Tamsin Durand, 40, of Derby.

The run, bike, walk, was held on Sunday, October 8. Fall foliage was at its peak. The weather was warm, and the mix of sun, rain, and wind added to the excitement of the day.

Runners, bikers, and walkers who participated in this year’s Fly to Pie ranged in age from 7-year-old Jonah Matte of Barton, to 75-year-old Newton Baker, of Montpelier, running the marathon for the fourth straight year.

Participants came from California, Virginia, Maryland, New York, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Vermont, Montreal, Magog, and Sherbrook, Quebec.

The event raised $815 for the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund.

Free Vermont Symphony Orchestra Halloween concert coming to Haskell Opera House

in Arts and Entertainment/Derby Line/Stanstead

DERBY LINE — The Haskell Opera House recently announced they will host a kid-friendly, free Halloween concert on Sunday, October 29, at 2:00 p.m.

The concert includes an introduction of the instruments and several seasonally spooky selections.

The highlight of the performance is a narration with music based on the book, “A Symphony of Whales,” by Steve Schuch, taking its inspiration from a true story about whales stranded in the Siberian Sea, and the heroic efforts by villagers and a Russian icebreaker to free them.

Music plays a key role in the heartwarming rescue, and audience members get to participate in a crucial decision.

Organizers are inviting everyone to wear Halloween costumes, join the parade of costumes and take home treats afterward.

Free tckets are available the MAC Center for the Arts in Newport and the Haskell Free Library, in Derby Line.

Seating is limited.

For more information, please contact,, or call 802-873-3022 (x205).

MAC Center for the Arts to host Halloween mask making workshop

in Arts and Entertainment/Newport

NEWPORT — The MAC Center for the Arts in Newport is inviting students ages 9 to 14-years-old, to come out and create wild, scary, gorgeous, funny, and all around wonderful Halloween masks this year.

The event will take place on Saturday, October 28, from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. in the downstairs gallery.

The workshop is limited to just 15 participants, so pre-registration is recommended.

Organizers say a fee of $2.00 per participant will be used to cover supplies.

For more information, visit or call 802-334-1966.

Wood and Belsher return to the Haskell Opera House this Sunday

in Arts and Entertainment/Derby Line/Stanstead

DERBY LINE — Fiddle and guitar duo Wood and Belsher will return to the Haskell Opera House in Derby Line on Sunday, October 8, for a 7:30 p.m. show.

Richard Wood, Prince Edward Island fiddler, artist, composer, and entertainer, has come full circle, not just in his musical career, but from the sheltered innocence as a child prodigy to learning life’s lessons the hard way.

Joining Wood on stage again this year is Gordon Belsher.

With a gentle charm that has become his trademark, Belsher’s versatility, engaging personality, and exceptional musicality have earned him the prestigious Music PEI 2014 Lifetime Achievement Award.

Whether playing before festival crowds or intimate folk settings, his talent is extraordinary.

New scholarship will honor iconic Irasburg writer

in Arts and Entertainment/Irasburg

IRASBURG — Vermont College of Fine Arts (VCFA) and Phoenix Books, a Vermont-based independent bookseller, announced the creation of a new VCFA scholarship that honors late author Howard Frank Mosher.

Called the Phoenix Books Howard Frank Mosher Scholarship, the $10,000 award will be merit-based and given annually to an emerging fiction writer from Vermont in his or her first year of VCFA’s MFA in Writing & Publishing residential program.

The first scholarship will be awarded in the 2018-2019 school year.

Mosher, who lived in Irasburg, was the award-winning author of 13 books that mostly took place in and around Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom. He passed away in January 2017 after a short illness. His last book, “Points North,” will be released this January.

“This scholarship is the perfect way to honor Howard’s memory,” said Mosher’s wife, Phillis Mosher. “He always tried to help new and upcoming writers by offering them advice, and often times encouraged them to pursue an MFA. He was also a champion of local bookstores. He used to say that independent booksellers were the ones that made him a success.”

Phoenix Books provided the gift and funding for the purpose of an annual MFA in Writing & Publishing scholarship, said VCFA President Thomas Christopher Greene.

“Howard was the first significant writer to support my own work many years ago and we became personal friends,” said Greene.No writer was better known in this state and among his peers for his generosity.”

Greene and poet Daniel Lusk, speaking on behalf of Phoenix Books, announced the scholarship’s creation during the third annual Vermont Book Award Gala held at VCFA on Sept. 23, 2017.

Mosher was a judge for the 2015 Vermont Book Award and this year’s gala was dedicated to him.

Jay gears up for second annual Oktoberfest celebration

in Arts and Entertainment/Jay/Outdoors

JAY — The town of Jay Community Recreational Centre and the Jay Focus Group are teaming up to bring on the fun at Jay Oktoberfest on Saturday, October 7.

Activities begin with a Pumpkin Pi(e) 3.14-kilometer race at the Jay Community Recreational Centre.

“This will be a wonderful celebration of fall,” said Peggy Loux, Jay Focus Group and select board member.

Registration is at 8:30 a.m., and the race start is at 9. Other activities include a pumpkin carving and decorating contest, as well as a chili-cooking contest.

From 9 a.m. until 4 p.m., kids and adults alike can play Oktoberfest games in downtown Jay, including pumpkin and gourd bowling, crabapple chip and putt, apple croquet, cornhole, candy corn toss, apple flingshot, small pumpkin launchers, and pumpkin trebuchet to name a few.

Lynx Mountain Guides will provide a Tyrolean adventure from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

All activities are in downtown Jay and games require tickets, which will be available for purchase at the event. There will also be over 20 vendors on site to show their wares.

The Jay Village Inn is hosting the band Neighbors Hate Us from 1 to 4 p.m. Oktoberfest food and drink specials will be on the menu.

Contest winners will be announced during the music in the afternoon.

Proceeds from the event go towards trail development and maintenance at the Jay Community Recreational Centre.

For more information, go to, or .

Fly to Pie and Kingdom Games to support American Red Cross disaster relief

in Arts and Entertainment/coventry/Glover/Outdoors

WEST GLOVER — On Sunday, October 8, Fly to Pie’s 6-mile run, bike, or hike from Irasburg to West Glover will be dedicated to supporting the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund.

The $25 fee for the walk, run, or bike will be dedicated in its entirety to the Red Cross.

Parker Pie is offering up all the pizza you can eat, with Hill Farmstead beer on tap. Music will be provided by Hardwick Granite.

Fly to Pie also offers 13.5, 17, and 26.2-mile distances for running and biking on dirt roads through “the gut” of the Northeast Kingdom, starting at Lakeview Aviation in Coventry and also ending at Parker Pie.

Normally, Kingdom Games donates a portion of its proceeds to local charities. However, organizers say this year it seems the right thing to do to support recovery efforts in Florida and Texas.

Runners and bikers are coming from California, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Virginia, and around Vermont to savor the fall foliage, fine pizza, excellent beer on tap, and great music.

Online registration for all courses is open at

MAC photography exhibit features people of Chhattisgarh, India

in Arts and Entertainment/Newport

NEWPORT — The MAC Center for the Arts in Newport will host a photography exhibit titled “The People of Chhattisgarh, India’s Crown Jewels.”

An opening reception will be held on Friday, October 6, from 5 to 7 p.m., in the downstairs gallery with a presentation by the photographer, Steve Malshuk, at 5:30 p.m.

The exhibit will run through November 4, and is free and open to the public.

Mr. Malshuk, a world-renowned photographer and native of Orleans, returns to the MAC after another photographic journey, this time to India, where he visited the state of Chhattisgarh.

The India photographic venture took Malshuk and seven other photographers to an area where there are no Taj Mahals or dramatic scenery. The local populace was the reason for the trip.

Hours were spent driving on dirt or incredibly crowded roads to walk, observe, and photograph four of the approximately 700 Indian tribes.

For more information, visit

Nunsense: QNEK’s last show starts September 15

in Arts and Entertainment/Derby Line/News/Stanstead

DERBY LINE — QNEK Productions will finish their final season with a production of their signature show, Dan Goggin’s Nunsense. The show will run September 15 – 17 at the Haskell Opera House on Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m., and Sundays at 2 p.m.

Near and dear to many in the area, this show is sure to bring on the laughs and will certainly be “habit forming!”

Lynn Leimer reprises her role as Mother Superior, a star turn that has long delighted audiences, as she hangs up the habit and retires her company after 25 years.

A local legend in her own right, Leimer is grateful for all of the support QNEK has received over the last two decades and looks forward to sharing this show that has meant so much to her and the community one more time.

Nunsense begins when the Little Sisters of Hoboken discover that their cook, Sister Julia, Child of God, has accidentally poisoned 52 of the sisters, and they are in dire need of funds for the burials. The sisters decide that the best way to raise the money is to put on a variety show, so they take over the school auditorium, which is currently set up for the eighth grade production of “Grease.”

Directed by and starring QNEK’s founder and Artistic Director, Lynn Leimer, the show features local favorites reprising their roles, such as Anita Mayhew, Sally Rivard, Ruth Ann Fletcher, Emily May, and Janice Luce on piano with Sean MacAllister playing drums.

Judy Castonguay is the Stage Manager with Dennis Ziegler serving as Tech Director and Brandon Alexandre running the lights.

You do not want to miss the finale of the company that has delighted, surprised, entertained, and brought the community together for 25 years.

Come celebrate and say goodbye to local legend QNEK Productions, and “your right Reverend Mother” Lynn Leimer in Nunsense.

Tickets are available by calling the QNEK Box Office at 802-334-2216, reserving by email at, by advance purchase online or by phone at and the Catamount Arts Box Office at 888-757-5559, and by advanced purchase at the MAC Center for the Arts in downtown Newport.

Plein Air Exhibit opens on September 9 at the MAC Center for the Arts

in Arts and Entertainment

NEWPORT — The MAC Center for the Arts and the Memphremagog Watershed Association will host an art exhibit featuring farms and waters of the Memphremagog Watershed.

Resident artists and visiting artists at all levels are painting at many sites around the Northeast Kingdom through the NEK Plein Air painting group to document today’s landscapes that contribute to tomorrow’s history.

The opening will take place Friday, September 9, from 5 – 7 p.m. The exhibit will run through the September 30. This is a free event and open to the public.

Painting sites include views of local waters and views of soil and water conservation practices at four farms that are working with the Orleans County Conservation District.

This exciting art project includes highlighting strip cropping and grassed waterway in corn fields, grazing and laneways in pastures, and Riparian Forest buffers conservation practices that reduce soil erosion by water; increase infiltration and available soil water; and improve habitat, water quality, visual quality of the landscape and farm community relations.

Strip cropping is arranged on cropland across the general slope so that equal widths of grass strips are alternated with annually tilled cropped strip. Grassed waterways are generally planted to perennial grass in annual crop fields and are constructed to convey runoff from low spots where concentrated flow areas where ephemeral and gully erosion control is needed.

Artists and community members will learn about these local field based conservation efforts and all the participating farmers will receive a framed print of one of the paintings.

To become a member, an artist simply needs to join their group at to receive notices of our planned paint-out meetups.

For more information about the exhibit, visit

Howard Frank Mosher tribute in Irasburg this Sunday, Derby Line Monday

in Arts and Entertainment/Derby Line/Irasburg

IRASBURG — Filmmaker Jay Craven has been touring Vermont this summer with a series of film screenings and personal reflections to pay tribute to his 30-year collaboration with Northeast Kingdom writer Howard Frank Mosher.

In addition to a previously scheduled stop at the Haskell Opera House in Derby Line on Monday, August 21, at 7 p.m., Craven will also speak and offer a screening of Where the Rivers Flow North at the Irasburg United Church on Sunday, August 20, at 7 p.m.

Craven will open each evening with prepared and off-the-cuff reflections, “My Life, So Far, With Howard,” that explores his long collaboration with Mosher.

He will then present a 25th Anniversary screening of his first Mosher feature film, “Where the Rivers Flow North,” starring Academy Award nominee Rip Torn, Native American actress Tantoo Cardinal, and Michael J. Fox.

Set in 1927 in Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom, “Where the Rivers Flow North” tells the story of an old logger, Noel Lord, and his Native American mate, Bangor, who face the extinction of their way of life when the local power company plans to build a giant hydro dam that will flood them off their land. Lord and Bangor face emotional and physical challenges as they struggle with the power company, Vermont’s unforgiving terrain, and their own thorny relationship.

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    Kathleen Saville, Guiness Book of World Record holder, will read from her book, “Rowing for My Life” and Phillip Fried, Editor of the Manhattan Review, will read poetry from his latest collection, “Squaring the Circle”. The event is free and will take place at Nevermore Bookstore in Newport on August 19th, 6:00 p.m.

Guinness World Record holder and Manhattan Review editor to read at Newport Bookstore

in Arts and Entertainment/Newport/News

NEWPORT — Guinness Book of World Record holder Kathleen Saville and Manhattan Review Editor Phillip Fried will read from their books, “Rowing for My Life,” and “Squaring the Circle,” at Nevermore Bookstore in Newport.

The event is free and will take place August 19, at 6:00 p.m.

Saville holds two Guinness World Records as the first woman to row across the North Atlantic and across two oceans.

After her husband’s death in a trekking mishap in the Egyptian desert, she earned a degree in creative writing. She teaches at the American University in Cairo, travels widely, publishes articles, and blogs about her adventures.

She lives in Cairo, Egypt and Derby Line, Vermont.

Fried has published six previous volumes of poetry, including “Early/Late: New & Selected Poems” (Salmon 2011) and “Interrogating Water and Other Poems” (Salmon 2014).

His seventh collection is “Squaring the Circle.”

His poems and reviews have appeared in numerous journals. In addition to writing poetry, he also edits The Manhattan Review, an international poetry review he founded in 1980.

He lives in New York City.

The event includes light refreshments, and all are welcome.

Anyone with questions should call Larry Bradley at Nevermore Bookstore: 802-334-3844.

[VIDEO] Art in Bloom at the MAC Center for the Arts in Newport

in Arts and Entertainment/Video

Art was in bloom over the weekend at the MAC Center for the Arts in Newport, as traditional visual art pieces were paired with corresponding flower arrangements made by members of the Four Seasons Garden Club.

In this Newport Dispatch video, Tanya Mueller visits this uniquely “perishable” exhibition. Enjoy.

Howard Mosher tribute tour coming to Derby Line

DERBY LINE — Vermont filmmaker Jay Craven will hit the road this summer for a series of film screenings and personal reflections to pay tribute to his 30-year collaborator, Northeast Kingdom writer, Howard Frank Mosher.

He will screen his film and present reflections on his work with Mosher on Monday, August 21, at 7 p.m. at the Haskell Opera House in Derby Line.

“Howard Mosher died pretty unexpectedly in late January,” Craven said. “And many Vermonters already miss him for his laugh-out-loud humor and fertile imagination of our place. Writers miss him, too, because no one was more generous with his time and support.”

Craven will open each evening with prepared and off-the-cuff reflections, “My Life, So Far, With Howard,” that explores his long collaboration with Mosher.

He will then present a 25th Anniversary screening of his first Mosher feature film, “Where the Rivers Flow North,” starring Academy Award nominee Rip Torn, Native American actress Tantoo Cardinal, and Michael J. Fox.

“Howard was much more than a source for our film stories and characters,” said Craven. “He was also a constant ally, a ready source of laughs, and a steadying influence in times of strain. This was especially crucial during our struggles with headstrong actor Rip Torn on the filming of Rivers. I will tell a few tales that have not been publically shared before—because they capture a rarely seen side of Howard and his work.”

Set in 1927 in Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom, “Where the Rivers Flow North” tells the story of an old logger, Noel Lord, and his Native American mate, Bangor, who face the extinction of their way of life when the local power company plans to build a giant hydro dam that will flood them off their land. Lord and Bangor face emotional and physical challenges as they struggle with the power company, Vermont’s unforgiving terrain, and their own thorny relationship.

“Where the Rivers Flow North” played more than thirty festival dates including Sundance, Seattle, Avignon, Vienna, and Vancouver.

Special screenings include The Smithsonian, Lincoln Center, and Harvard Film Archive. The picture was also one of three U.S. finalists for Critics Week, Cannes International Film Festival.

The Mosher Tribute tour is produced by Kingdom County Productions with sponsorship support from Vermont Public Radio.

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    Photo by Phil White.

Kingdom Swim 2017 welcomes swimmers from all over the Americas

in Arts and Entertainment/Newport/News/Northeast Kingdom/Outdoors/Vermont

NEWPORT — Over the weekend, Lake Memphremagog welcomed open water swimmers and “yackers” to the 9th Annual Kingdom Swim.

They came from 25 different states, two Canadian provinces, and Argentina, with ages ranging from 10 to 74.

This year’s swim was underwritten by North Country Hospital.

Sandra Frimerman-Berquist, age 34 of Excelsior, MN, smashed the record for the 25 km, Border Buster with a time of 5:49:55, leading a record number of 30 swimmers to complete the event.

Winning among the men was Stephen Rouch, 37, of Indianapolis, IN, who finished with a time of 6:25:48.

Stealing the show was 13-year-old, Vera Rivard, of Springfield, NH, who came in third among the females and fifth overall, with a time of 7:15:33. She is the youngest ever to complete the Border Buster.

The “most mature” to complete the Buster was Dan Shaub, 68, of Baltimore Maryland, with a time of 9:58:59. He and his local “yacker” Pam Ladds sported a combined age of 136.

The Busters headed out at 6:00 a.m. with mist rising from the lake after a cold night, but had the benefit of light tail winds from the south as they headed north and then from the north as they headed south back from Canada.

One of the purposes of this cross-border swim is to promote a more open border. This year everyone celebrated a change in Canadian rules that now coincides with US rules that you don’t need to report at the crossing if you don’t touch Canadian soil or a Canadian boat.

Taking home walking sticks, hand-carved by Bill Peck of Derby, in the WOWSA 10 Mile Championship were Anthony Szmul, 24, of Queensbury, NY (4:36:57) and Emily Boerger, 22 of Kingston, MA (4:47:54).

Margaret Rivard, age 10, of Springfield, NH, became the youngest to complete the 10-mile course which she did with a time of 5:50:12, placing her in the middle of the pack.

Eric Nilsson, 30, of Cambridge, MA, returned for another year, and claimed the crown as king of the 10 km with his blistering time of 2:03:34. Eric is one of the fastest swimmers to ply the waters of Lake Memphremagog .

Winning among the women was Rachel Horgan, 31, of Atkinson, NH, with a time of 2:23:56.

Kevin Jaubert, 45, of Towson, MD finished second. He’s one of two “lifers” who have swum in every single Kingdom Swim since it was started in 2009.

In the 5-km distance, it was a battle of east and west among the women, with Elizabeth Mancuso, 31, of Boston, MA, (1:09:49) fending off Ali Hall, 55, of San Francisco, CA (1:15:24).

Winning among the men was Lawton Harper, 50, of North Conway, NH, with a time of 1:23:13.

Laura Maliewski, 47, of Westmore, VT kept her streak alive as a “Lifer.”

In the 1-mile swim, Luke Nicholas, 14, of Mesa, AZ, gunned down Stephen Rouch, 37, of Indianapolis, IN, with a winning time of 0:19:28. But then, Stephen had just finished the Border Buster and was still hungry for one more mile in mighty Memphremagog before the day was done.

Luke’s dad, Kent Nicholas, narrowly missed the chance to swim the one-mile course with his son, completing the Border Buster in 8:25:15, just 25 minutes after the start of the 1 mile.

Among the females, Gayla Chalmers of Athens, GA, took first place with her time of 0:26:20.

Lilly Jaubert, 12, of Towson, MD won the miler among the female youth.

Winning in the ¼ was 10-year-old Claire Jaubert, of Towson, MD and Rex Lord, 11, of Bloomfield, NJ.

Prizes of Brault’s Beef Jerky and Couture’s Maple Syrup were offered up to the winners in each race, with jerky to the 2nd and third place finishers.

Music for the weekend was provided by Patti Casey and Tom Mackenzie on Friday evening, Kingdom Dixie and DJ Rena Demeo, during the swim, and by The Hitman at the Pig Roast and Party at Prouty after the swim.

[VIDEO] Welcome to the beautiful Newport Country Club

in Arts and Entertainment/Newport/Outdoors

The beautiful Newport Country Club features an 18-hole, par 72 golf course that overlooks Lake Memphremagog to its north, as well as scenic views of Jay Peak and Willoughby Gap to its west and south.

The course accomplishes the rare feat of challenging serious golfers while offering a relaxed atmosphere that
allows all skill levels the ability to learn this classic game.

MAC Center for the Arts presents seventh annual Art in Bloom

in Arts and Entertainment/Newport

NEWPORT — The seventh annual Art in Bloom will open on August 4, at the MAC Center for the Arts, located at 158 Main Street, in Newport. The reception will start at 5 p.m.

Working in concert are the members of the Four Seasons Garden Club and MAC Center for the Arts exquisitely tailoring the annual fundraiser where nature meets art.

August 4 is a ticketed event to benefit both organizations.

This year’s fabulous door prizes are certainly worth the price of admission.

A summertime favorite, Art In Bloom boasts over 20 floral arrangements that glean their inspiration from the magnificent artwork currently on display in the MAC Gallery.

Interpretation and unique creativity provide this festival of insouciant charm and patrons can enjoy these displays through Saturday, August 6, open to the public.

Come gaze upon the distinctive presentations on both levels of the gallery with the Art in Bloom in the main gallery, August 4-6, and the summer exhibition, Preserving the Beauty of Our Waters in the lower gallery, thru September 6.

For tickets or more information, please call 802-334-1966, or visit and/or

Summer Block Party in Newport kicks off summer and free lunches

in Arts and Entertainment/Newport/News/Northeast Kingdom

NEWPORT — The 4th Annual Summer Block Party will be held at Gardner Park in Newport, on Thursday, June 22 from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.

The afternoon will feature free food for all kids 18-years-old and younger from the Lunchbox food truck, family-friendly games and activities such as dancing and face painting, and a fun-run around the park.

The Summer Block Party is hosted by Green Mountain Farm-to-School and Newport Parks and Recreation.

“The Summer Block Party is an opportunity for us to say thank you to the community for all of their support while also letting them know that the Lunchbox will be serving free lunches to kids again this summer,” says James Hafferman, executive director of Green Mountain Farm-to-School.

The activities for the fun afternoon are organized by over a dozen community organizations that are participating in the event. United Church of Newport will be doing a sing-along and games, the Wellness Center of North Country Hospital will be doing dance and zumba, and Let’s Grow Kids will have life-sized Legos, to only name a few.

The event is also sponsored by various business throughout the region.

“The support of many different organizations and businesses make the Summer Block Party possible,” says Hafferman. “We are lucky to have such a caring community that comes together to make a fun, family-friendly event like this possible for everyone.”

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    Photo Copyright 2017 Karen Lippens – Lake Memphremagog

MAC Center teams up with Memphremagog Watershed Association in latest exhibition

in Arts and Entertainment/Newport

NEWPORT — The MAC Center for the Arts is presenting a collaborative exhibition to celebrate both the tenth anniversaries of the Memphremagog Watershed Association and the MAC Center for the Arts.

The exhibit, Memphremagog Watershed Association – Preserving the Beauty of Our Waters, will open on June 24 at 5 p.m. with a presentation by Louise Abbott, author and photographer whose second volume, Memphrémagog: An Illustrated History, vol. 2, will be published later this summer. All proceeds from this beautiful book will benefit the Watershed Association.

This unique exhibition on display in the Downstairs Gallery will run until September 5, and is free and open to the public.

Louise Abbott is a Canadian non-fiction writer, photographer, and filmmaker living in Quebec’s Eastern Townships. She graduated from McGill University in 1972, and is a featured writer and photographer, with works appearing in the Montreal Gazette, The Globe and Mail, The Canadian Encyclopedia, Canadian Heritage and Photo Life.

Abbott received the 2002 Canadian Journalism Foundation Greg Clark Internship Award, and in the same year the Professional Writers Association of Canada’s Norman Kucharsky Award for Cultural and Artistic Journalism. 

Her first book, The Coast Way: A Portrait of the English on the Lower North Shore of the St. Lawrence, was a finalist for the 1989 QSPELL Award.

In 2014, her documentary, Nunaaluk: A Forgotten Story, won the inaugural Jasper Short Film Festival Best Film by an Established Filmmaker award.

The Memphremagog Watershed Association (MWA) was formed in 2007 with a mission to promote public awareness of the Memphremagog Watershed and protect its unique ecosystem. They have worked closely with partners in the basin to implement many of the strategies laid out in the 2012 Basin 17 tactical basin plan, hosting watershed workshops, installing buffer plantings and rain gardens, selling rain barrels, lake and river clean-ups, hosting educational boat rides for adults and schools, providing scholarships for High School graduates who intend to study in an environmental field, and establishing a Vermont Invasive Species program for Lake Memphremagog. 

Members of MAC will exhibit new work in a variety of media using the lake and environment as inspiration in concert with informational materials and photographs on the important preservation work of the Watershed Association.

MAC Center for the Arts supports Vermont’s Creative Economy through the sale of its member’s work at the 4,000-square foot Main Street gallery.

In addition to our gallery store and seasonal opening receptions, they offer a full calendar of special events, performances, visiting and original exhibits, classes and workshops.

All are open to the public and most are free to attend.

For more information, visit or call 802-334-1966.

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