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    Susan Granfors in Farce of Nature.

Farce of Nature, QNEK’s final mainstage show of the season starts September 9

in Arts and Entertainment/Derby Line/Newport/Stanstead

DERBY LINE — QNEK Productions is rounding out its season with the comedy “Farce of Nature,” by Jessie Jones, Nicholas Hope, and Jamie Wooten.

The non-stop hilarity of this southern-fried farce highlights a day in the life of the Wilburn family of Mayhew, Arkansas. D. Gene Wilburn is taking desperate measures to save his fishing lodge the Reel ‘Em Inn, while his wife Wanelle is taking equally desperate measures to save their marriage.

Add in a wacky sister, a mobster in protective custody, the guy he ratted out, a lovelorn couple, and a pack of wild animals, and you begin to see the wild and wonderful world of the Wilburns come to life.

The show stars Judy Castonguay, Lisa Foster, Stephen Gonyaw, Phil Gosselin, Susan Granfors, Deborah Mackay, Brian McCrae, Andrea Webster, and John Young.

Jenny Dunne directs with Elisabeth Barnes-Flint as the stage manager, along with scenic designer Bradleigh Stockwell, set engineer Rick Gosselin, and light and sound board operator Benjamin Barrup.

You don’t want to miss this ridiculous southern romp and QNEK’s final Mainstage show of the 24th Season.

Farce of Nature plays at the Haskell Opera House September 9th – 18th, Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m., Sundays at 2 p.m.

Tickets are available by calling the QNEK Box Office at 802-334-2216, reserving online 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.

The Rescignos return to the Haskell on August 13

in Arts and Entertainment/Derby Line

DERBY LINE — The Rescignos will return to the Haskell stage for a night of uproarious comedy, on Saturday, August 13.

After a fantastic show last year, this twin act is headed back to town with new material and native musician Adam Podd on the piano.

Donning sweater vests and each armed with a razor-sharp wit, Paul and Robbie Rescigno star in this comedy show that hearkens back to an old-school vaudeville act, mixing contemporary material and new music.

The show features musical parody, satire, original comedic music, and the funniest banter around.

Come see The Rescignos appearing at the Haskell Opera House on August 13 at 7:30 p.m.

Tickets are available for advance purchase at, by calling the box office at 802.334.2216, by visiting, or at the MAC Center in Downtown Newport.

While all in good fun, this show should be considered PG-13 for some adult humor.

NEKHO Kingdom Brewfest this Saturday at Kingdom Brewing in Newport

in Arts and Entertainment/Newport

NEWPORT — The biggest beer festival around is coming to Newport this Saturday, July 23, as Dr. Les Lockridge and the Northeast Kingdom Hematology Oncology (NEKHO) gear up for the Second Annual NEKHO Kingdom Brewfest, taking place at Kingdom Brewing in Newport.

The event will feature brew, food, live music and fun as NEKHO celebrate and work to replenish their Patient Caring Fund, which helps to fill in the healthcare gaps faced by their patients.

Last year the event raised $14,000, and this year the goal is to add $30,000 to the fund.

All money stays local to help local cancer patients with their living expenses during treatment. Proceeds go directly to patients who need it the most, whether that is a food card, a gas card, or medication and treatment co-pays.

The cost is $20 for one person, $35 for two people, which includes a full BBQ dinner, live music, beer tasting and a special event glass.

Festivities start at 1 p.m. and continue until 6 p.m.

Additional beer will be available for purchase from the event sponsors at Kingdom Brewing, which is located at 353 Coburn Hill Road, in Newport.

All are welcome, with plenty of fun scheduled for kids as well, so come on down.

QNEK Productions Presents SEUSSICAL starting July 21

in Arts and Entertainment/Derby Line/Stanstead

DERBY LINE — QNEK Productions, the award winning international theatre company in residence at the historic Haskell Opera House, continues their 24th season with the perfect show for the entire family, SEUSSICAL.

QNEK’s production of SEUSSICAL will run July 21 – 31, at 7:30 p.m. on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, and Sundays at 2 p.m.

Tony winning writers, Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty, have brought to life all of our favorite Dr. Seuss characters in a musical caper for all ages.

The Cat in the Hat serves as our guide through the wonderful world of Seuss. We enter the story of Horton Hears a Who and soon find ourselves meeting any and every kind of character from the Seuss universe including Horton the Elephant, Gertrude McFuzz, lazy Mayzie, and Jojo the Who.

SEUSSICAL has an incredible cast featuring actors from both sides of the border.

Lynn Leimer, QNEK’s Founder and Artistic Director, stars as the mischievous Cat in the Hat along with Steve Gonyaw, Charli Kellaway, Josie Pearson, Ruth Ann Fletcher, Jessi Sackett, Suzanne Norwood, Tiffany Quinn, John Young and more.

Jenny Dunne directs with choreography by Phil Gosselin and costume design by Lisa Foster.

The production also has benefit performances for two local nonprofits. Come and enjoy a wonderful show while supporting local businesses.

The first is for the MAC Center on Friday, July 29, and the second is for the First Universalist Parish of Derby Line on Sunday, July 31.

There will also be a talkback with the cast and creative team on Sunday July 24. Any and all ticket holders are welcome to come for this questions and answer session following the show.

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.

MAC Center for the Arts presents sixth annual Art in Bloom

in Arts and Entertainment/Newport

NEWPORT — The Sixth Annual Art in Bloom will open on July 21 at the MAC Center for the Arts, with a reception beginning at 5 p.m.

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.

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.

July 21 is a ticketed event to benefit both organizations.

Interpretation and unique creativity provide this festival of insouciant charm and patrons can enjoy these displays through Saturday, July 23.

Come gaze upon the distinctive presentations on both levels of the gallery with the Art in Bloom in the main gallery, and the summer exhibition, Phyllis J Hammond – A Retrospective, in the lower gallery.

The Hammond exhibition will be running through September 10.

For tickets or more information, please call 802-334-1966 or visit them online at or

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Upcoming MAC Center exhibition honors Newport artist Phyllis J. Hammond

in Arts and Entertainment/Newport

NEWPORT — The MAC Center for the Arts is proud to present Phyllis J. Hammond – A Retrospective. An opening Reception and Vernissage will be held Friday, July 1, from 5-7 p.m. at the MAC Center for the Arts, 158 Main Street, in Newport.

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The exhibit continues through September 10, 2016.

Phyllis Joy Hammond, a longtime resident of Newport Center, Vermont, died on February 3, 2016 at the age of 88.

A prolific artist working primarily in watercolors and acrylics, Hammond operated from her tiny PJ Hammond Art Gallery on the Lake Road, which was the former barn of her beloved Morgan horse, Smoky.

Her work was highlighted at the MAC Center for the Arts along with her three books that captured her love of wildflowers, northern landscapes and sharing art with children.

Phyllis was born in July 4, 1927, the daughter of Gordon Crothers Sleeper and Martha Moler Sleeper in Long Island, New York. As a youngster she studied watercolor with Elsa Bley. She attended Wellesley College and later studied with Hyman Bloom and took courses at the New York Botanical Gardens, presaging her life-long love of flowers.

Hammond began traveling to Lake Memphremagog as a child, where her parents owned summer homes and in 1957 she married Milton Dale Hammond. Phyllis and Milton were married for 54 years until Milton’s death in 2012.

Hammond had a long love affair with northern landscapes, she lived several miles from the Canadian border.
Underlying themes of her work were wildflowers, forest foliage, mountains and seeing more spiritually.

In 1998, at the age of 71, her life took a decidedly entrepreneurial turn with the writing and publication of “Traveling with Wildflowers: from Newfoundland to Alaska.” As a result of the book’s publication, Hammond was invited to speak in Denali National Park, Alaska, St John’s Botanical Garden in Newfoundland and at many flower shows.

An article featuring her and her book appeared in Vermont Magazine. Along with book sales, she sold thousands of lithographs, prints, postcards, and bookmarks base on the artwork in Traveling with Wildflowers.

The family of Phyllis Hammond have provided a philanthropic caveat for the exhibit, that all books and prints sold will be a 100% benefit to the MAC Scholarship fund.

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

Island Pond Friday Night Live concert series set to kick off tomorrow night

in Arts and Entertainment/Island Pond

ISLAND POND — The Island Pond Friday Night Live music series is back again this summer, featuring a variety of local and regional bands every Friday night all summer long.

The concert series starts this Friday, June 17, featuring Evansville Transit Authority performing from 6 p.m. – 10 p.m.

There will be food and craft vendors on hand with something for everyone.

The season continues on June 24, featuring Mark Shelton, July 1, with The Atlantic Effect and a bonus edition on July 2, with Dark Horse followed by the spectacular Fireworks Extravaganza on the lake.

The season resumes on Friday July 8, featuring the music of the Beatles with Studio Two, July 15, with local favorite Rock On, July 22, with The Hitmen, and July ends with Classic Rewind on July 29.

August heats up with The Party Crashers on August 5, Without Ray on August 12, and The Adams Band on August 19.

The season ends like it started with a party on the lake featuring Evansville Transit Authority.

The entire Island Pond Summer Events schedule can be found at, including a full listing of all Fourth of July weekend activities.

Free Summer Block Party on Thursday at Gardner Park

in Arts and Entertainment/Newport

NEWPORT — The 3rd Annual Summer Block Party in the Kingdom, a free community-wide event, will be held June 16 from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. at Gardner Park in Newport.

Kids 18-years-old and younger will be treated to a free meal from the Lunchbox food truck as Green Mountain Farm-to-School officially kicks off its summer meal program, which will be serving free meals to kids in the NEK the rest of the summer.

There will also be over 15 community partners with booths, live music, and a family fun-run that begins at Gardner Park.

“We’re love kicking off our summer meal program with the Summer Block Party because it’s one of our ways of saying thank you to the community who continues to support Green Mountain Farm-to-School each year,” said Becca Mitchell, consumer education coordinator with GMFTS, “It also gives us an opportunity to showcase the important work we continue to do even when school isn’t in session.”

The family-fun run, which will be a free, one-mile run or walk for all members of the family beginning and ending in Gardner Park at 3 p.m., will be hosted by Kingdom Games, a local group that organizes and promotes outdoor activities in the Northeast Kingdom. All ages are encouraged to bring their sneakers and run or walk.

Games and activities for families will include a petting zoo, free ice cream from Kingdom Creamery, a climbing wall from the Vermont National Guard, and a selection of food for adults that are available for purchase from the Lunchbox food truck.

“We hope to see the whole community come out and enjoy a fun afternoon,” said Katherine Sims, executive director, GMFTS.

The event is free and open to the public thanks to local businesses like Community National Bank.

NACO gearing up for 5th annual Spring Concert

in Arts and Entertainment/Newport

NEWPORT — The Newport Area Community Orchestra is presenting its 5th Annual Spring Concert on Sunday, June 5th at 3:00 p.m. at the United Church in Newport.

This year, the orchestra will be featuring its largest ensemble to date, now totaling 45 members. The orchestra has established itself as an international ensemble, with members from the Northeast Kingdom, Maine, Japan, Taiwan, China, Canada, New Hampshire and Massachusetts.

They will be featuring Bob Smith, trumpet, Howie Arzt, clarinet, and Peter Storrings, tenor saxophone, as soloists for the concert.

Also featured will be Molly Kelly as the orchestra’s first assistant conductor who will be conducting “The Prayer of St. Gregory,” for solo trumpet and strings by Alan Hovhaness.

The program will include music by Hovhaness, Prokofiev, Verdi, Von Weber and Bizet.

This concert promises to be one of the orchestras best, so mark the date on your calendars.

Admission will be a donation of $5 at the door.

MAC Center for the Arts to present evening of music and prose

in Arts and Entertainment/Newport

NEWPORT — The MAC Center for the Arts is presenting a presentation of authors and musicians called “LUNARt MADNESS,” crafting words and song in celebration of the full moon and spring.

The event will take place Saturday, May 21, from 7 to 9 p.m. at the MAC Center for the Arts, located at 158 Main Street, in Newport. The event is open to the public, and all are invited to attend.

The exclusive lineup of MAC writers includes Jerry Johnson, Lisa Foster, Mary Brenner, Dianne LaPlante and Mary Liz Riddle.

MAC musicians include Nate Sargent, Janice and Ben Luce, Brian McCrae, John Selmer with Emcees Susan-Lynn Johns and Lynn Leimer.

Original prose, original songs, classic music and audience participation sing-alongs will embellish the enchantment of seasonal equinox.

Seating will be limited, but if you buy your tickets in advance, you can enjoy a 10 percent discount at either Newport Ciderhouse or Dusit Thai.

LUNARt Madness is a benefit for the MAC Center and general admission is $7.00.

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

MAC Center photography exhibit “Far and Wide, Near and Dear” opens May 6

in Arts and Entertainment

NEWPORT — MAC Center for the Arts hails a new photography exhibit opening Friday, May 6, running through Saturday, June 11, 2016.

The exhibit, “Far and Wide, Near and Dear,” by photographer and MAC member, Cindy Smith, display her myriad of luscious images gleaned from her vast travels.

“My wife, Gerry Cahill, and I both retired from Lake Region Union High School in 2010,” Smith said. “I had been teaching there for 26 years. She for 42 years. Rolling many factors together, I decided to begin the second phase of my life.”

Her choice of medium during her teaching days had been sculptural, using wood, clay, and glass. Retirement opened a new realm for her as an artist, which quickly became photography.

“This was an art form that I could take with me anywhere,” Smith said. “The world is my studio. As luck would have it, photography is a perfect marriage of many of my interests. The love of travel, the outdoors, being in wild and pristine places and seeing some of these places before climate change affects them forever. We live on an amazing planet. I cherish her.”

There will be an Opening Reception, Friday, May 6, from 5-7 p.m.

The exhibit can be seen during regular business hours: Tues-Sat 10-5 until June 6, when summer hours begin, which means the MAC will be open on Mondays as well.

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

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    All photos by Tanya Mueller.
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“Rumors” keeps audiences laughing during QNEK’s opening weekend at the Haskell

in Arts and Entertainment/Derby Line/Stanstead

DERBY LINE — QNEK Productions, the award-winning international theatre company in residence at the historic Haskell Opera House, opened its 24th season over the weekend with the uproarious Neil Simon farce, “Rumors.”

The show features a stellar cast from both sides of the border.

Mike Desjardins, Alan Franklin, Kim Gannon, Phil Gosselin, Mary Hoadley, Sue Kuzma, Audrey Langlois, Rhonda Lucas, Ross Murray, and Chris Planetta make up the ensemble cast that kept audiences laughing at every turn.

The show is Directed by Jenny Dunne.

If you missed opening weekend, be sure to catch one of the upcoming shows taking place this Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

Friday and Saturday shows start at 7:30 p.m. Sunday will be the final performance at 2 p.m.

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.

Please note that this play contains adult language.

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    Top Row L - R: Mary Hoadley, Chris Planetta, Phil Gosselin Middle Row L - R: Rhonda Lucas, Mike Desjardins, Audrey Hamilton Bottom Row L - R: Alan Franklin, Sue Kuzma, Kim Gannon, Ross Murray.
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    Clockwise from top L: ​Mary Hoadley, Chris Planetta, Rhonda Lucas, Phil Gosselin.

QNEK kicking off 24th season with Rumors opening April 22 at the Haskell

in Arts and Entertainment/Derby Line

DERBY LINE — QNEK Productions, the award winning international theatre company in residence at the historic Haskell Opera House, is opening its 24th season with the uproarious Neil Simon farce, Rumors, opening April 22.

The show will feature a stellar cast from both sides of the border. Mike Desjardins, Alan Franklin, Kim Gannon, Phil Gosselin, Mary Hoadley, Sue Kuzma, Audrey Langlois, Rhonda Lucas, Ross Murray, and Chris Planetta make up the ensemble cast that will keep you laughing at every turn.

Deputy Mayor of New York City, Charley Brock, and his wife, Myra, are throwing a fabulous fête to celebrate their ten year anniversary, with their best friends in attendance. The problem? Charley’s had a mysterious accident and Myra is missing in action. His lawyer, Ken and wife Chris have to get their story straight before the others arrive and start asking questions. But, it seems time has run out just as the play begins and the evening quickly spins off into farcical hilarity.

The show is Directed by Jenny Dunne.

The production is underwritten by North Country Hospital and Lynda Graham Barber, in Memory of Ray C. Barber. Additional support comes from Community National Bank and Community Circle.

Don’t miss this hilarious start to QNEK Productions 24th season at the historic Haskell Opera House.

Rumors by Neil Simon runs April 22 – May 1.
Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30, Sundays at 2 p.m.

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.

Please note that this play contains adult language.

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    Andy Titus age 5. All photos by Diana Poulin.
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    Brianna and Kailee Herman with mom, Melissa Herman.
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    Carter Vallieres age 3.
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    Bianca Davis.

MAC Center for the Arts works with local school

in Arts and Entertainment/coventry

COVENTRY — The Memphremagog Arts Collaborative recently participated in the creative adventures at Coventry Elementary School called “Dabble Day,” sponsored by Building Bright Futures with the support of area businesses and organizations.

Children up to the second grade and their favorite adult companions were invited to enjoy a day filled with activites. Many youngsters “dabbled” with Diana Poulin and Patty Oliver-Smith from the MAC to make unique, colorful and imaginative fish puppets.

These puppets were made to tie in with the presentation of “Swimmy,” based on the book by Leo Lionni, a story about a little fish who shows his friends, with ingenuity and teamwork, how to overcome danger.
NEKPA and Community National Bank presented a puppet show by PuppeTree, an Artist-in-Residency program through the Vermont Arts Council.

PuppeTree is a nontraditional puppet theater company that was created by Ann Legunn in which various community venues, from school to senior centers, become active participants in all aspects of theatre arts.

PuppeTree is unique in that the participants not only build the puppets, but are encouraged to handle those made by Ann Legunn, the way you would handle props, costumes and scenery.

For more information about MAC Center for the Arts, a local non-profit, visit or call 802-334-1966.

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    Photo: 2015 Season Highlights. Top, L-R: Ruth Ann Fletcher, Mike Desjardins, Brian McCrae, Tim Daley. Bottom, L-R: Jenny Dunne, Robbie Rescigno, Mary Hoadley.

QNEK announces 2016 season

in Arts and Entertainment

DERBY LINE — QNEK Productions, the award winning International theatre company in residence at the historic Haskell Opera House, is proud to present their 24th season lineup.

QNEK will kick off its season with the raucous Neil Simon comedy Rumors, directed by Jenny Dunne and featuring QNEK Producer Phil Gosselin. Four couples find themselves in a bind when they show up for a dinner party where the hosts are indisposed to say the least.

Up next is a journey into your imagination with Seussical by Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens, based on the works of Dr. Seuss. Adults and children alike will love this musical for all ages. This unforgettable musical caper will star QNEK’s Founder Lynn Leimer as the Cat in the Hat.

Rounding out the season is an uproarious comedy Farce of Nature, directed by Phil Gosselin. What happens when a mobster in protective custody, the guy he ratted out, a desperate housewife, and a pack of wild animals descend on a fishing lodge in the Ozarks? Hilarity ensues.

Check out or call 802.334.2216 for more information on all of the plays this season, and to take advantage of the special pricing for 2016 Season Passes which will only last until March 11.

QNEK continues to celebrate quality and community in it’s 24th season, so don’t miss it.

Island Pond Winter Carnival this weekend

in Arts and Entertainment/Island Pond

ISLAND POND — The Island Pond Chamber of Commerce is inviting everybody to attend their Winter Carnival this Saturday and Sunday February 13th and 14th.

The event will feature many perennial favorites including hay rides by Narrow Gate Farm, pastries and hot chocolate by Bob the Baker, sugar on snow by the Osborne Family, pond golf-in and the bonfire provided by the Twelve Tribes.

New this year is their first annual Chili Cook Off.

Due to the lack of snow this year a couple events have been canceled including the open house at the Northwoods Stewardship Center, the cardboard sled race and the snow sculpture contest.

They have however added two new events in their place including making natural bird feeders at the Welcome Center and the coloring contest held at and sponsored by The Pond’s Edge Pub & Brewery.

You can view the complete up to date schedule on the events page of their website at

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Upcoming exhibition at the MAC will take viewers on a photographic journey to ANTARCTICA

in Arts and Entertainment/Newport/Orleans

NEWPORT — While the Northeast Kingdom has been experiencing an unusually warm winter, replete with green grass and significant absence of snow and ice; there is one spot in Newport that you can glance the glaciers and feel the chill.

The MAC Center for the Arts is proud to announce the exclusive exhibit, opening February 20 in the downstairs gallery: ANTARCTICA – a Photographic Journey, by photographer, Stephen K. Malshuk.

Malshuk was born in Newport, Vermont in 1952. He holds a B.S. in Secondary Education, University of Vermont, 1974 and J.D., University of Puget Sound, 1985.

Steve spent his formative years in Orleans before going to Burlington, Vermont to attend college. To keep him from being too bored growing up; he spent lots of time at the Jones Memorial Library. While there, he found his favorite magazines contained the most photographs. What Orleans lacked for excitement, the photos in those publications compensated for.

He tends to favor photographing landscape since a landscape subject has never made a comment on what he could do to make it look “better.”

The photos in this exhibit are part of his “bucket” list of visiting all seven continents. Recently, he visited Asia. His remaining two continents are Africa and Australia.

Malshuk’s photographs have appeared in “California”, 1980, (Polaroid Type 52), Camera Arts Magazine, April, 1983; “Mt. Rainier”, 1986, Seattle P-I, June 17, 1999; “Self Portrait – watching my children at the beach”, 2001, (quad-black digital print) Seattle .

Fundraising event this Saturday to help library pay for smoke damage cleanup

in Arts and Entertainment/Newport

NEWPORT — After a furnace malfunctioned and blew sooty smoke throughout the Goodrich Memorial Library last month, the library is now open and having a fundraising event this weekend to help pay for the damages.

After a month-long cleaning, all traces of the smoke damage are gone. Restoration Unlimited and the staff of the Goodrich have done a fantastic job restoring the library to its former glory, with new displays as well as offering regular services.

The library’s insurance will cover most of the restoration costs, but are still left with a $5,000 deductible payment.

If you would like to help, come out this Saturday to the library from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., for a special day filled with activities. All events are free and open to the public with the hope that donations will be generous.

Activities will include:

10:00 a.m. – Special story time featuring “SkippyJon Jones,” and other stories, a variety of crafts for kids with a chance to win SkippyJon Jones stuffed animal.

11:00 a.m. – Music by Nate Sargent and his guitar.

1:00 p.m. – We’ll be showing a brand new movie based on the bestselling novel about an astronaut who is presumed dead, after being left behind on a journey to Mars! Starring Jeff Daniels, Matt Damon, Michael Pena.

All Day – “Know Your Library Better Challenge.”

All Day – Bake Sale.

Raffle tickets on sale, and prizes include: 3 month Wellness Center membership, PumpHouse tickets for 4, Greens fee at Orleans Country Club, and more.

[VIDEO] Local Music Director Ken Michelli featured as WCAX “Super Senior”

in Arts and Entertainment

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