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Fourth of July guide for Orleans County

in Arts and Entertainment/Barton/Island Pond/Newport/Westmore

Fireworks Newport, Vermont Orleans County Forth of July times

NEWPORT — The Fourth of July is just around the corner, and unless you’re planning to wow your neighbors with a massive display of sparklers and drop pops this year, you better have a permit. Just about all fireworks are illegal in Vermont. Don’t worry, snakes and sparklers are still okay, but, if you want to see some real fireworks, head out to one of the local displays.

First, if you plan to set off your own, here is a quick reference:

Illegal fireworks:

Toy cannons, toy canes, or toy guns in which explosives are used; balloons that are propelled by explosives; firecrackers; torpedoes; sky rockets; Roman candles; cherry bombs; or other fireworks of like construction are all prohibited in Vermont unless a permit has been obtained from the local municipality (Fire Chief, Police Chief, Select Board or City Council) depending on the governing body.

Legal fireworks:

Novelty items such as; sparklers, snakes, party poppers, glow worms, smoke devices, string poppers, snappers, or drop pops with no more than 0.25 grains of explosive mixture do not require a permit and can be purchased in many stores throughout the State.

snakes and sparklers newport vermont

If you want to see the real fireworks, head over to Newport, Barton, or Island Pond.


The Independence Day Celebration in Newport will feature an afternoon of music and fun competitions including the Bed Races and Hula Hoop competition. There will be tons of food and family fun. The fireworks will begin at 9:45 p.m.


The Barton fire Department and Orleans County Fair Association will bring the July 4th parade to Barton once again this year. The parade will start at 2 p.m. and will proceed from Main Street to Glover Street, Elm Street, Park Street, Roaring Brook Road, and end at the fairgrounds. The fireworks will be held at the fairgrounds at dusk.


The 4th of July Celebration in Island Pond will start Friday, Saturday and Sunday, July 4 – 6. The annual parade will be on Saturday at 11 a.m. with fireworks Saturday night at dusk. There will be events throughout the weekend.


Or, head over to Westmore for the annual 4th of July Boat Parade. There will be a line up off Crescent Beach at Lake Willoughby at 3:45 p.m.

Echo Lake Road Race and Lake Region Century Ride to continue

in Arts and Entertainment/Derby/News

Echo lake 4

DERBY — The Echo Lake Road Race and the (Claussen) Lake Region Century Ride, will continue thanks to an agreement between Orleans County Citizen Advocacy and Kingdom Games.

“We had had some operational issues, some decreasing participation, and shrinking revenues,” said Board President Ann Stannard of OCCA. “We had not planned to run these events this year. Then we decided to ask Phil White of Kingdom Games if he was interested in taking over these events and he agreed.”

Kingdom Games will be donating 20 percent of all registration fees related to these two events to OCCA and facilitating additional fundraising to support its mission.

“Connie Daigle is one of my heroes. She quietly, and without fanfare, helped start OCCA back in 1989,” Phil White said. “When I knew she was behind the request, there was no way I could say no.”

The Echo Lake Road Race will be run on Saturday August 23. The run and walk will be held in the morning. The double loop bike event will be held in the afternoon.

Plans are in the works for an all new swim on Echo Lake on Sunday, August 24, for the benefit of the Echo Lake Association. Taken altogether, participants will have the opportunity to enter just one event or do all three as a staged triathlon.

“One of the things that makes this weekend very exciting is the opportunity to partner with Tom Wagner and The Echo Lake Association on Sunday’s swim,” White added. “Echo is a great body of pristine water. Sunday’s Echo Lake Swim should be wonderful on its own. And, it means that the Northeast Kingdom Open Water Swimming Association is now able to offer fifteen swims in the legendary lakes of Northeast Kingdom of Vermont and the Eastern Townships of Quebec, over the course of the summer.”

Kingdom Triathlon is now able to expand its multi-sport offerings with this staged triathlon. They now include, The Willoughby Tri on July 26, Aquaman and Ollie Even-Up and Sprint on August 2, and Echo Lake Stage Tri on August 23-24.

As to the Lake Region Century Ride, it will be incorporated into the Tour de Kingdom’s five-day Fall Foliage Tour which will offer a Double Century Gran Fondo timed event on the weekend of September 27 and 28, as well as shorter, more leisurely options that are so well liked.

On line registration for Echo Lake Road Race and Swim will be open soon at

Online registration for the Tour de Kingdom Fall Foliage Tour, including the Lake Region Century Ride, is now open at

For more info contact or by phone at 802-249-9100.

Illustrated history of Lake Memphremagog coming soon

history of lake memphremagog

NEWPORT — Georgeville Press has announced the upcoming release of Memphrémagog: An Illustrated History / Une histoire illustrée, written by Louise Abbott.

The book will be the first landscape history of Lake Memphremagog and its surroundings. The book launch will take place August 9 in Newport.

Abbott spent three years doing meticulous archival research, on-site explorations, and oral history interviews, in order to trace the origins of the Memphremagog region and to examine the ways in which natural and man made forces have altered it.

This bilingual coffee table book will be 308 pages with 175 richly illustrated reproductions of historical photos, paintings, maps, as well as ninety contemporary photos by Louise Abbott and Niels Jensen.

The retail price is expected to be $49.95, with the Memphremagog Conservation Incorporated receiving a portion of the proceeds from sales.

Book launches will take place in various locations around the lake from late July to October, including July 20 in Georgeville, July 24 in Austin, August 2 in Mansonville, August 9 in Newport.

Ye Olde Blacksmith Art Gallery openes another summer season in Stanstead

in Arts and Entertainment/Eastern Townships/Stanstead
All photos by photographer Tanya Mueller.
All photos by photographer Tanya Mueller.

STANSTEAD — Ye Olde Blacksmith Art Gallery, the old blacksmith shop located in the heart of Stanstead, offers visitors the opportunity to view modern art, in a historic setting. The gallery, seeming to hang out over the Tomifobia River, is located just across the border at Derby Line on Route 5.

The gallery opened the summer season last Thursday with an exhibition of new work by Hatley artist Caroline George, and works on paper by Sebastien Leblanc from Georgeville. The vernissage was held last Friday, and the exhibition will be available for viewing until July 6.

In “The Centaurs,” George has used mixed drawing media to portray the image of this mythical creature, half horse and half human, a metaphor for thousands of years in Western art representing a struggle between two opposing forces. A series of large panels, the etheric quality of each textured piece reflects a time gone by.


Born in Montreal, Sebastien Leblanc has been exploring various creative outlets from an early age and is currently completing a diploma in welding. This most recent body of work was inspired by the necker cube, an optical illusion originating from crystallography, where the shape can be perceived as a cube represented in either of two possible orientations.

Sebastien Leblanc from Georgeville standing next to his work.
Sebastien Leblanc from Georgeville standing next to his work.

The ambiguous line drawing was then used in philosophy as a counter argument to naïve realism, where things are not necessarily as perceived by the senses.

The exhibition runs from June 19 through July 6. Gallery hours are Thursday to Sunday, 11 – 6, and the summer season runs until September 7.

If anyone would like more information or to be on their mailing list, call 819 876-2282.

stanstead quebec art gallery

stanstead art gallery

gallery art stanstead quebec 1

Catching up with Dany Flanders at the Place Del Monty

in Arts and Entertainment/Quebec/Stanstead
Dany Flanders stands with proud parents Sidney and Lise, Saturday night before his show at the Place Del Monty. All photos by Tanya Mueller.
Dany Flanders stands with proud parents Sidney and Lise, Saturday night before his show at the Place Del Monty. All photos by Tanya Mueller.

STANSTEAD, QC — “It’s like time stood still, but went a thousand miles per hour all at the same time,” Dany Flanders said before his gig at the newly renovated Place Del Monty on Saturday night.

Flanders, who has been in Florida for the past 25 years, has been coming back to the area every summer. Born in the United States, and raised in Stanstead, Saturday night was a homecoming for the talented singer.

“My wife is also from the area, so it’s important for us that our kids know where their parents come from. Also I can come up for three months and still keep working.”

Flanders is no stranger to the Del Monty venue. On Saturday night he played to a crowd of about 100 people, mostly friends and family. Although the new Place Del Monty is a much different place than it used to be, thanks to new owner Marcel Hauben, who has worked tirelessly to give new life to the Stanstead landmark, in many ways it still feels like the old Del.

“You walk in and everything looks different, but it still feels the same,” Flanders said. “The cars parked and lined up on the hill, people waiting to get in, it just brings back memories. I played here on this stage many times.”

Some of those memories Flanders has are from being a young musician, and getting the green light to play at the Del Bar, which, back then was a big deal.

“Every once in a while we would play a few weekends, and we felt like rock stars.”

Dany Flanders Place Del Monty Stanstead Quebec

Now, Flanders returns as much more than a rock star. Few rock stars have had as lasting and as successful of a career in the music business as he has. Working as a full time musician in Fort Lauderdale, Flanders is a one man band, playing cruise ships, restaurants, country clubs, concert venues, and still finding time to visit the recording studio.

One of the breakthroughs in his career came on a whim, when he traveled to Montreal to audition for the hit show La Voix, or The Voice, Quebec’s version of American Idol. Dany was a finalist in the show, earning himself many fans along the way. French Canadians visiting Florida often make their way to see Flanders play because of his popularity on La Voix.

It’s been a long road back to the area once again for another summer for Flanders, and his description of it moving fast is shared by his biggest fan, his mother Lise. She has watched as her son’s talent became his life’s journey.

“I found out he had talent at one year old, when we sang him Happy Birthday,” Lise said. “The next day driving to Sherbrooke, he was in the car singing the melody to the song, and I knew he had it in him.”

Flanders will be in the area throughout the summer. He will be at Cabaret de Eastman, in Eastman, Quebec, on Friday, and BorderFest in Stanstead, on July 5.

Marcel Hauben, new owner of the historic Place Del Monty, looks on Saturday night.
Marcel Hauben, new owner of the historic Place Del Monty, looks on Saturday night.
The Place Del Monty, old and new. Old owners and workers gather for a group photo Saturday night.
The Place Del Monty, old and new. Old owners and workers gather for a group photo Saturday night.
All photos courtesy of Phil White.

Open water swimming season started Saturday on Lake Memphremagog

in Arts and Entertainment/Newport/News
All photos courtesy of Phil White.
All photos courtesy of Phil White.

NEWPORT — Opening day of open water swimming season in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont and Eastern Townships of Quebec kicked off on Saturday. In all, eight swimmers from Massachusetts and Vermont took part in the first swim of the season.

The “Son of a Swim” courses offered 2, 4, and 6 miles of open water swimming on Lake Memphremagog. The course was set up to allow swimmers the chance to qualify for Kingdom Swim, which takes place in July.

Four swimmers completed their personal bests, swimming the chilly, 59 degree waters under a light drizzle for most of the morning.

open water swimming lake memphremagog vermont newport 1

Christina Carrier, 52, of Easthampton, Massachusetts, competed 2 miles without a wet suit and qualified for the 3 mile course at Kingdom Swim.

Sandra Alton, 39, also of Easthampton, completed 4 miles, qualifying for the six mile course.

Galen Broido, 19, of Hinesburg, completed 2 miles, qualifying for the 3 mile course.

Scott Traer, 33, of Woburn, Massachusetts, completed the 4 mile distance, his longest open water swim.

open water swimming lake memphremagog vermont newport 3

For Bethany Bosch, 29, of Wallingford, it was just a little training swim. Bethany has completed the ten mile course of Kingdom Swim, twice. Last year she completed the 25 mile, international swim between Newport, Vermont, and Magog, Quebec. And this year she is in training for an attempt to cross the English Channel.

Sue-Ellen Boorer, 60, of Warren, did the two mile swim without a wet suit. She is one of a growing group of NEKOWSA Season Pass Holders, taking advantage of the expanding offerings of lake swims throughout the summer.

Paula Yankouskas, 58, of Hyde Park, did four miles, without a wet suit. Paula is a long time, ten mile Kingdom Swimmer who has transitioned from swimming with a wet suit, to without. She also a NEKOWSA pass holder and is in training for this year’s 25 mile “Search” coming up in September.

Even Guri, a three-year-old chocolate lab from Wallingford, the first dog known to have swum the five mile length of Lake Willoughby last year, took part in the action.

Son of a Swim was limited to 10 swimmers and is offered especially to help those who need to complete a particular distance to qualify for Kingdom Swim in July. It is one of 15 days of open water swims hosted by Kingdom Games and the Northeast Kingdom Open Water Swimming Association in the legendary lakes of northern Vermont and the Eastern Townships of Quebec.

open water swimming lake memphremagog vermont newport 4

Tour de Kingdom finishes another five days of racing, good times, and charity

in Arts and Entertainment/Eastern Townships/Quebec/Vermont
All photos courtesy of Phil White.
All photos courtesy of Phil White.

NEWPORT — With perfect weather throughout the area, 62 cyclists took to the roads of the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont and The Eastern Townships of Quebec during this year’s five day Tour de Kingdom. Cyclists came from all over Vermont, New England, New York, and New Jersey. The event started June 4th, and finished on Sunday, June 8th.

The Tour also offered some challenging riding even for the best riders.

Ron Krom, 59, of Middletown, Connecticut, and Kim Breu, 45, of Vernon, Connecticut, were the first riders to complete the long courses of all five days with a grueling 440 miles and 25,000 feet of vertical climb. Both had been trying to achieve this goal for the past three years.

Steve Tibbitts, of Team Mohawk Valley, would have completed the 440 Challenge, but one wrong turn at mile 427 kept him from the goal. His disappointment was obvious, but his good grace was as inspiring as his riding.

Paul Zackin, 45, of Southbury, Connecticut, took the title of “King of the Tour,” with a combined two-day time of 12:31:31. The Challenge is a two day timed event totaling 209 miles with vertical ascents totaling 14,993 feet.

Following closely behind was Adrian Zahl, 54, of Ottawa, Ontario, with a time of 12:56:05. Zahl was last year’s winner.

Kim Breu repeated her 2013 win and also became the first female to complete Challenge 440.

tour de kingdom newport vermont 3

On the two day Team Challenge, The Connecticut People team of Paul Zackin, Kim Breu, and Ron Krom, posted the best combined time over the two century rides, winning a $500 donation to a charity of their choice.

The prize was made possible by the underwriting support of Community National Bank.

Jeff Manning of the Village Bike Shop provided mechanical support throughout the Tour.

Cyclists also enjoyed a “Shop Til U Drop” party at Louis Garneau on Thursday evening, with Louis offering up a welcoming set of discounts to the cyclists. Five percent of all money spent went to North Country Hospital’s Patient Care Initiative Fund.

tour de kingdom newport vermont 1

Mother-Drum Circle Solstice Performance at Stanstead Stone Circle

in Arts and Entertainment/Quebec
L’Esprit des Vents performing in Alabama.
L’Esprit des Vents performing in Alabama.

STANSTEAD, QC — L’Esprit des Vents, one of Canada’s few female-only Mother-Drum groups, will be celebrating the Summer Solstice at the Stanstead Stone Circle (Notre Dame Blvd, Stanstead, Quebec) on Sunday, June 22nd from 3 – 5 p.m.

Similar to a pow-wow drum, a mother drum is a single drum large enough to be played by many people at the same time.

In recent years they have become increasingly popular as an integral part of many communities and drum circles, often used as a gathering place or “centering” device for individuals, couples, or large groups.

Singing in Native dialects, French, and English, L’Esprit des Vents has been performing at festivals and pow-wows for ten years throughout Quebec, Vermont, Maine, New Hampshire, and New York. They have even traveled as far as Florida, Alabama, and Arkansas, delighting their audiences with authentic native chants as well as more modern, Native-inspired songs.

The music of L’Esprit des Vents shares a message filled with joy and hope, coming from their great love and reverence for Mother Nature in all her forms.

Please provide your own chair and water.You may also bring your own picnic supper and join everyone for the post-event bonfire to celebrate the longest day, and the shortest night, of the year.

The suggested donation is $10 per person, $25 per family with 3 or more.

The success of the event depends on the weather. Please consult for last minute updates such as uncertain weather and driving instructions.

For more information contact Kim at 819 876 7492.

Something for everyone at Aquafest this year

in Arts and Entertainment/Newport

Aquafest Newport Vermont

NEWPORT — Aquafest is making its splash on a new date and with a new challenge this year. Moving forward one week to July 11-13, Aquafest is calling all teams for its new amazing race, the VT 105 Challenge.

This fun and exciting new event will include challenges such as eating large amounts of food, counting a large number of items, finding a shop or location, carrying items long distances, assembling a difficult structure, or solving riddles in order to get to the next clue.

Family members, friends, and business colleagues can compete as teams in this wacky, fun event-filled race.

Also new in the line-up of this year’s festivities are:

• A Friday night Street Festival, following the Pet and Swimmers Parade. Be ready to strap on your blue suede shoes and boogie on Main Street to some of the Kingdom’s best entertainers, including DJ Double Trouble and ETA.

• Kid’s entertainment at the Waterfront Festival on Saturday will include Marko the Magician, Captain Radical and Dux the Balloon Man.

• Chowderfest will be making waves to its new location at the Gateway.

This summer celebration on the shores of Lake Memphremagog kicks off on July 11 at Prouty Beach with a 10 mile flatwater race and “expedition” for Kayaks and Stand Up Paddle Boards. The expedition will start from Prouty Beach at 1:00 p.m., head out of Newport Bay north to the Canadian Border, around Black Cove and Bell Islands and back to Prouty Beach.

The fun continues on Friday evening at 6:30 p.m. with the Pet and Swimmers Parade. Join in the fun and march in one of the craziest parades in the nation. Participants from all over the country march along side pets in costume and a host of floats and other participants. Build a float, march in costume and take a shot at winning this year’s John Belushi look-a-like contest. The parade will start at Gardner Park, march to the top of Main Street and end the evening with the new Street Festival on Main Street.

Saturday will bring a full range of events and activities, including the world-renowned open water Kingdom Swim on Lake Memphremagog. The Kingdom Swim is a competitive and recreational charity swim for all skill levels, young and old alike.

The family favorite Aqaufestival will commence at noon along the boardwalk of Lake Memphremagog. This year’s Aquafest family entertainment will feature signatures performances from Marko the Magician, Captain Radical, and Dux the Balloon Man, all live under the lakeside gazebos.

Moo92 will be broadcasting live at the Gateway from noon until 2:00 p.m. while locals compete in the annual Chowderfest competition. Buy a spoon for $5 and dig in to a variety of Chowders entered to win “Best Chowder!”

The Waterfront Festival closes with the new Vermont 105 Challenge starting at the Gateway and ending with the after race party.

Kingdom Aquafest will draw to a close on Sunday following the annual Aquafest Yacht Regatta and Lobster Bake. Watch the race, or join in on the fun with your sailing yacht. This short race, all taking place within view of the Newport Harbor, requires luck along with the technical skills. All is put on the line in this race for a year’s worth of bragging rights.

Aquafest is a collaborative effort of Kingdom Games, Newport Parks and Recreation, and Vermont’s North Country Chamber of Commerce. For a complete listing of Kingdom Aquafest events and activities, to include links to special event websites, please visit or contact Vermont’s North Country Chamber of Commerce at (802) 334-7782. Emails are invited to

Tour de Kingdom set to start

in Arts and Entertainment/News/Vermont

Tour de Kingdom Newport Vermont

NEWPORT — About 50 road cyclists from all over New England, New York, Ontario, Quebec, and as far away as Florida and California, are starting to pack their bags and make their way to join this year’s Eighth Annual Tour de Kingdom.

The event offers one to five days of cycling in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont and The Eastern Townships of Quebec. It will run from Wednesday, June 4th, through Sunday, June 8th.

This year’s Tour will raise money for North Country Hospital’s Patient Care Initiative Fund, which helps low-income Vermonters with unreimbursed expenses related to medical care, such as gas cards to help with travel expenses related to treatments for cancer patients.

Twenty percent of all U.S. registration fees go to the fund. Twenty percent of Canadian registration fees are donated to the Christian Vachon Foundation in Magog.

The Tour has evolved from a one day event when it started in 2007, to five days of guided and supported rides through some of the most beautiful countryside in North America. Each evening riders gather at what they call “The Long Tables of Newport, Coventry, and Derby,” with a different restaurant picked each night for a group dinner.

They will also have a “Shop Till You Drop” party at the all new Louis Garneau Factory Outlet. There is even an award for the most unique or fun thing purchased at Pick & Shovel.

Registration remains open on line at

Jay Peak chefs finish training at New England Culinary Institute

in Arts and Entertainment/Jay Peak

jay peak alice's table

JAY — Following the New England Culinary Institute’s model of hands-on learning, five members of the Jay Peak staff took part in a five day immersion program through the institute. Mostly set in a live production setting, the instructions focused on knife skills, cooking technique, proper sanitation, and station organization.

The classes also focused on Vermont’s food culture, which is centered around locally sourced and seasonal foods, often made from scratch. In the classroom, the cooks worked with New England Culinary (NECI) instructors on the theories behind cooking, and developing a strong sense of professionalism for themselves and their craft.

With over thirty years experience preparing professionals for the food service industry, NECI has built a reputation for producing cooks, bakers, and managers. However, many industry veterans have never received formal training at a culinary school, choosing to learn on the job instead. So instructors at NECI have decided to take their courses on the road.

“Over the years we have run training programs at Middlebury College, Harvard University, Boston College, and several other institutions with large-scale food production,” Lyndon Virkler, Dean of Education at NECI, said. “While we have entry-level cooks, many times the industry workers we train have years of experience, but not all of the foundational skills they need to be successful. The goal for each of these students is to take them to the next level of culinary knowledge and their careers.”

The culinary school plans to continue this type of training here in Vermont, including a trip to Rutland where NECI chef instructors will work with the staff from several local establishments and the Rutland Regional Medical Center. The training will take place at the Stafford Technical Center for eight weeks beginning July 8, covering much of the same fundamentals training the staff from Jay Peak received.

“Unlike Jay Peak, where staff came here for an intense five day training, this will be similar to an internship where staff spend one day each week in class, use that knowledge in their workplace, and return the following week,” said Virkler.

NECI is also developing a curriculum for staff in the front-of-house positions such as managers, servers and bartenders.

“Good service and consistency is important in both the kitchen and the dining room. When one is lacking, the other suffers.”

Newport Area Community Orchestra adds new chamber group

in Arts and Entertainment/Newport

newport vermont area community orchestra chamber group

The photo was taken by Lisa C. Erwin. The members are from left to right: Ken Michelli, Howie Arzt, and Lee Story.

NEWPORT — The Newport Area Community Orchestra has recently added a new chamber group. It is called the Newport Area Community Orchestra Piano Trio.

The standard piano trio consists of a piano, violin, and cello, so the group is somewhat non-traditional. Its members are Howie Arzt (clarinet), Lee Story (piano), and Ken Michelli (euphonium).

The group will rehearse every other Monday at the First Universalist Parish in Derby Line, at 10:00 am.

The first public performance will be on September 28, 2014 at 4:00 p.m. at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Newport, as part of the Now Playing Newport Concert Series.

For more information, visit the Newport Area Community Orchestra online.

Moose hunting application deadline June 10, hunters urged to apply online

in Arts and Entertainment/News/Vermont

Vermont Moose Hunting Season Online Lottery

NEWPORT — Vermont’s moose hunting permit lottery application deadline is June 10, and the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department is urging hunters who plan on entering to do so now online.

The application is quick and easy to fill out on the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department’s website

“It’s a really quick process that ensures your entry is immediately entered into the lottery,”said Director of Wildlife Mark Scott. “Plus, it saves postage. Printed moose applications are available at license agents, but we really encourage you to use the online application. It is more efficient for you and for us.”

Lottery applications are $10 for residents and $25 for nonresidents. Winners of the permit lottery must purchase resident hunting permits for $100 and nonresident hunting permits for $350.

Five moose hunting permits also are offered in an auction with a bidding deadline of August 15. Bids must be submitted on the department’s moose permit bid form available from Fish & Wildlife at 802-828-1190. Money received from the winning bids is used in the department’s conservation education programs.

A person may apply in the lottery and bid in the auction but can receive only one moose hunting permit. If a successful bidder receives a permit in the general lottery drawing, the person is no longer eligible in the auction.

The Fish and Wildlife Department is issuing 285 moose hunting permits by lottery for the regular October 18-23 moose season and 50 permits for an archery moose season October 1-7.

The 2013 Vermont Moose Harvest Report with details on last year’s hunt, including the towns where moose were taken, is on Fish & Wildlife’s website as well.

Da Birder Briefs by Paul Lake

in Arts and Entertainment

Picture 14

This Dispatch sent in from Paul Lake. Lake, aka Da Bird Man, is a native of Chicago. Don’t let his “dees, dems, and doos,” fool you. He might talk–and write–like he’s got the Windy City blowing through his ears–even though he’s been living in Vermont for more than six years–but in the world of bird watching literature, he’s da Hemingway of his generation. Follow Lake on Twitter @daddyoooooo

Picture 11

There is a sparrow dat comes on my deck every morning and sings his little heart out to me. I told him in plain English dat if he was lookin’ for a mate he was tweetin’ up the wrong tree…he immediately took off for greener pastures.

Only he come back da next day, and da next day and….could it be possible he just wants to be friends?

He’s da kinda bird dat just likes to pop in, chat a bit and fly off. My favorite kinda guest..da pop in, slip out.

I’m gonna have to give dis sparrow a name, if dat be da case….something like, hmmm, Tony. Then when he drops by in da morning, I’ll know exactly what to say. You guessed it….eh, Tony!

So my birdwatcher friends, there’s plenty of worms for da robbins and my neighbor seems to have claimed da yellow finches…plenty of insects out for da chicka dee dee deez.

Guess its time to sit back in the ol’ Adirondack chair, grab a cold one and soak up some of that natural vitamin D, which is so scarce in da kingdom….and do some serious bird watchin’.


Da Birdman

Peter Miller’s “Lifetime of Vermont People” recieves third gold medal

in Arts and Entertainment/Vermont

Photographer Peter Miller sat down with Newport Dispatch last month while visiting the Haskell Library. He was interviewed by Tanya Mueller. He just recently received his third gold medal for his book “Lifetime of Vermont People.” Below is a video from the interview. The story follows.


A Lifetime of Vermont People, written and photographed by Peter Miller of Colbyville, Vermont, has been awarded another honor. The Independent Publisher Association gave an IPPY gold medal to the collection as the best non-fiction book of 2013 written by an author living in the northeast.

The 208 page book has 60 profiles and black and white photo portraits of rural Vermonters. Lifetime of Vermont People may be viewed at

“It is a much deserved award, said Jim Barnes, Editor and Awards Director of the Independent Publisher association. “A Lifetime of Vermont People is one of my favorites of the year. Of course, the photography is amazing but the life stories of the Vermonters are what brings it all home.”

The New England Book Festival, held in Boston in January, awarded A Lifetime of Vermont People a gold medal as the best art/photograph book by a New England author.

This is the first time one of Mr. Miller’s books, best known for elegant black and white photography, has been recognized for the writing content.

Over 5,500 books were submitted for the IPPY awards. The award ceremony will be held in New York City on May 28th.

Peter Miller is the author of six documentary books of photographs and text. Four of them are collections of Vermont photographs and profiles. He also authored books on the Great Plains and Paris, France.

Austin Giroux, third place male overall and winner in the 12 and under category on the 10K course. All photos courtesy of Phil White.

Runners gather for the 6th annual Dandelion Run

in Arts and Entertainment/Derby/News
Austin Giroux, third place male overall and winner in the 12 and under category on the 10K course. All photos courtesy of Phil White.
Austin Giroux, third place male overall and winner in the 12 and under category on the 10K course. All photos courtesy of Phil White.

DERBY — With a tornado warning passing the night before, and rains letting up just one hour prior to the start, nothing was going to get in the way of another successful Dandelion Run. This year marked the 6th time the annual event has taken place.

On Saturday, runners from age 6 to 70 took to the back roads of Derby, Holland, and Morgan. This year the youth let their feet do the talking as they laid down some strong times. The two person Falcon relay team of Andrew Franklin, 17, of Newport, and Travers Parsons-Grayson, 17, of Lowell, set the fastest time of the day, finishing the half marathon course in a time of 1:22:56. 

Dandelion run derby vermont 1

This year’s solo winner was Chip Pierce, 53, of Newport. Pierce posted a winning time of 1:27:13.

The overall female winner was Janelle Ralph, 32 of Gold Hill, OR, with a time of 1:39:13. Vermont is the 43rd state in which she and her husband, Benjamin Ralph, have run a half marathon. She even wore bib number 43 as she posted her winning time.

Four youth took on the half marathon distance as solo runners, led by Sophia Webb, 16, of Hinesburg, with a time of 1:49:40. Sophia has been running the half marathon as a solo each year since she was 12. She says the Dandelion Run is her favorite course.  

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Leading the boys was Andreya Zvonar, 15, of Boston, MA, with a time of 1:50:58.  Andreya and his 23 year old brother, Ivan, ran solo as their parents teamed up for a two person relay.

Elena Doty, 16, of Westford, came in second among the girls and third among the youth with a time of 1:58:43. Rounding out the youth, Daniel Bevacqui, 14, of Fayston, posted a very respectable time of 2:09:06. 

The 10 K course was flooded with youth relay teams from Troy, Newport, Brighton, and Derby Elementary School, as well as relay teams posted by North Country Union Junior High, and Turning Points. 

All in all, there were 22 youth relay teams competing in the 10K course, with just about 100 youth running either solo, in relays, on both courses.


Music at each of the relay stations and throughout the weekend was made possible by the support of Newport City Renaissance Corporation.

Over $1,000 was raised to support Umbrella and $94 was raised for the Christian Vachon Foundation from Canadian registrations. 

Runners travelled from California, Oregon, Colorado, Minnesota, Illinois, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, and all over Vermont. International runners came down from Quebec City, Montreal, and the Eastern Townships.

Field Marshall Kristian Pearson and a core staff of Peter Channell, Faith Landry, Howie Lockamy, worked the event with the help of over 30 volunteers and 15 youth chaperones, who made this year’s Dandelion Run possible. 

dandelion run derby vermont 3

Fasten Your Seat Belts with QNEK’s Boeing Boeing

in Arts and Entertainment/Derby Line

All photos by Tanya Mueller

DERBY LINE — QNEK Productions, the International Theatre Company in Residence at the Haskell Opera House, kicked off the start of their 21st season on Friday, May 2. The first show, Boeing Boeing, ran through the weekend, and will finish up with shows this coming Friday and Saturday.

I’m no critic, so I don’t write reviews pretending to be one. I attended the Sunday performance of Boeing Boeing, and I thoroughly enjoyed the experience.
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Da Birder Briefs by Paul Lake

in Arts and Entertainment

This Dispatch sent in from Paul Lake. Lake, aka Da Bird Man, is a native of Chicago. Don’t let his “dees, dems, and doos,” fool you. He might talk–and write–like he’s got the Windy City blowing through his ears–even though he’s been living in Vermont for more than six years–but in the world of bird watching literature, he’s da Hemingway of his generation. Follow Lake on Twitter @daddyoooooo

Picture 11

Well folks it’s a great time for us backyard birders. It’s not only mud season, it’s migratory bird time.

As we all know, mud is da glue that holds the robin’s nest together…remember to empty out your shredders near some likely home building location, preferably by some bushes or trees. It’s kinda like having a home depot–oops–Pick-n-Shovel across da street.

Where ya gonna go for materials if you are a migratory bird coming back up north for the sole purpose of making babies? To da nearest, closest joint…da last thing you want to do is make umpteenth trips to the twig store for supplies….does anybody ever make only one trip to the hardware lumber store only once?

I look out my window and see I have plenty of mud, a ton of black sunflower seed shells–what do you do with dat stuff?

Well keep lookin’ for that red red robin to come bop bop boppin’ along…..I’m still waiting ….happy garden birding!

Da Bird Man

New Season at Shelburne Museum Starts in May

in Arts and Entertainment

SHELBURNE — Director Thomas Denenberg of Shelburne Museum announced that French Impressionism and American paintings highlight the new exhibitions opening in the upcoming season. Throughout May and June, four new exhibitions will open, including a solo exhibition of contemporary textile art and a collection of 19th century star quilts.

“The new season’s exhibitions at Shelburne Museum celebrate the best of the museum’s collections,” Denenberg said. “Works by Claude Monet, Edouard Manet, Edgar Degas, will come to life in a way that will captivate viewers anew.”

In a New Light: French Impressionism Arrives in America highlights Impressionist paintings from Shelburne’s collection. In a New Light pays homage to Monet’s Le Pont, Amsterdam (The Drawbridge, Amsterdam) (1874), a work collected by museum founder Electra Havemeyer Webb’s parents that was the first painting by Monet to become part of an American collection.

The exhibition includes works on loan from private collectors and the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. In a New Light is guest curated by scholar Margaret Burgess and opens on June 14.

Painting a Nation: American Art at Shelburne Museum showcases the best of the museum’s 19th century American paintings. The exhibition represents a renewed emphasis on American art at Shelburne and will focus on themes of the collection’s strengths, particularly the New England landscape, genre painting and portraiture.

Featured artists include John Singleton Copley, Thomas Cole, Asher Durand, Winslow Homer, William Mathew Prior, Martin Johnson Heade, Albert Bierstadt, Fitz Henry Lane, Eastman Johnson, Mary Cassatt, Grandma Moses and Andrew Wyeth. The exhibition opens on May 25.

An exhibition of contemporary quilts opens on May 11, which is also the season opening day for the museum’s main campus.

Nancy Crow, Seeking Beauty: Riffs on Repetition highlights recent works by the acclaimed contemporary textile artist who incorporates printmaking in her quilt making.

All Star Quilts: The John Wilmerding Collection
features more than 30 unique star-themed quilts, including Amish and Mennonite examples from Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Indiana will be on view starting June 27.

For more information visit ShelburneMuseum.Org for more information.

Most Iconic Dinosaur That Ever Lived to Visit Vermont

in Arts and Entertainment/Feature

NORWICH — The most iconic dinosaur that ever lived is on its way to the Montshire Museum of Science in Norwich. The exhibit, “A T. rex Named Sue,” scheduled to open May 17, features a cast of the most complete Tyrannosaurus rex ever discovered.

At 42-feet long, 3,500 pounds, and 12 feet tall at the hips, this fully articulated cast skeleton is the keystone piece of this traveling exhibition which also includes replicated dinosaur fossils, video footage, free-standing interactive exhibits and colorful graphics.

Sue is the largest and best preserved Tyrannosaurus rex ever unearthed, and is one of the most significant fossil finds to date. Fossil hunter Sue Hendrickson found the specimen in 1990 in the Hell Creek Formation near Faith, South Dakota. In 1997, the Field Museum in Chicago purchased the 67-million-year-old fossil at auction for $8.4 million, setting the world record for the highest price ever paid for a fossil.

Only four T. rex specimens containing more than 60 percent of their original skeleton have been found. Sue is at least 90 percent complete. Only a foot, one arm, and a few ribs and vertebrae are missing. Because of its near completeness, the specimen has presented the scientific community with a variety of new evidence, and with it Field Museum scientists made important new discoveries about the biology and evolution of Tyrannosaurus rex.

Sue will be assembled in Montshire’s Main gallery and offers visitors the chance to discover what these professionals have learned. The discovery of Sue ranks as one of the most important fossil finds ever, with tremendous educational value for scientists and the general public.

Tyrannosaurus rex is the most widely recognized dinosaur in the world. Although it was first named almost a century ago, much remains to be understood about this remarkable animal. Carnivorous dinosaurs recently described from the Southern Hemisphere are of similar, or perhaps slightly larger size, but T. rex remains one of the largest flesh-eaters to have ever inhabited the Earth. With its extraordinarily powerful jaws and massive serrated steak-knife teeth, T. rex still dominates popular perceptions of the Age of Dinosaurs.

The exhibit “A T. rex Named Sue” runs from May 17 through September 7, 2014 at the Montshire Museum of Science. It will be the first time the exhibition has been to northern new England.

This exhibit was created by the Field Museum, Chicago, and made possible through the generosity of McDonald’s Corporation. Local sponsorship is provided by Geokon, as well as Lake Sunapee Bank, and King Arthur Flour. Media sponsorship provided by WCAX and NHPR.

Admission to “A T. rex Named Sue” is free with Museum admission. $16 for adults, $14 for children 2-17, and free for Montshire members and children under 2 years of age.

The Montshire Museum will be closed May 12-14 during the installation of “A T. rex Named Sue.”

The Montshire Museum of Science is a hands-on science center located on 110 acres in Norwich, Vermont. Visitors will enjoy more than 100 interactive exhibits relating to the natural and physical sciences, technology, and more. The Montshire is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Jed’s Maple Hosts Sugar-On-Snow Party for 15th Year

in Arts and Entertainment/Feature

DERBY — Over the weekend sugarhouses across the state opened their doors for the 13th annual Vermont Maple Open House. For 15 years Jed’s Maple in Derby has been hosting a sugar-on-snow party to celebrate the statewide event. Saturday, visitors to Jed’s Maple were treated to sugar-on-snow, wood fired maple pizza, as well as other specialty maple treats.

All photos by Tanya Mueller.
All photos by Tanya Mueller.

It was a family event, with Steve Wheeler holding a storytime in the morning, and a junior sugarmaker class in the afternoon.

“When we started our business, we decided that we wanted to put something on for friends and family,” Steve Wheeler, who runs Jed’s Maple Products, said. “This event just keeps getting bigger and bigger, and now we use it also as a way to just say thank you to the community for supporting us. We want to show our appreciation to the community for their support of what we do.”


Maple is a Wheeler family tradition which goes back at least five generations. Now, Steve and Amy Wheeler run Jed’s Maple, producing quality food products.

“This is our whole life and our career. We make food, and maple is just one of the foods we make. But maple is special because traditionally this is where we started.”


Although the maple season this year has not really started yet, Wheeler is optimistic about the upcoming weeks.

“Looking at the forecast for next week, it looks like we’ll be starting early sugar season,” Wheeler said. “It might be a little too cold, but it warms up by day. We’ll probably get some sap, but not a ton next week. From then on it gets better and better each day.”


Wheeler explained how maple season always fluctuates, and is a season closely tied to Easter. With the timing of Easter following a lunar cycle, Wheeler sees that this year they are right on schedule.
“Most of the time our biggest week is the week before Easter, and then finishing up just after the holiday. With Easter four weeks away, we’re just about ready to roll.”

For more information on Jed’s Maple, visit them online at

Home Composting Workshop at the Haskell a Success

in Arts and Entertainment/Feature

DERBY LINE — According to Act 148, Vermont’s Universal Recycling Law, by July 2016, leaf, yard, and clean wood debris will be banned from landfills. By 2020, food scraps will be banned from the landfill.

On Saturday, The Haskell Free Library hosted “Rot On! An Extreme Home Composting Workshop.”

The workshop was led by Maia Hansen, who works with Highfields Center for Composting. Highfields, based out of Hardwick, has been touring the state giving this lecture as part of a USDA grant the group received. Saturday’s stop at the Haskell was the last in the series, however, there is still one more free webinar on March 27.

A group of around 30 attendees from both sides of the border learned the ins and outs of developing a home composting system. Home composting is not only a great way to get ready for the Universal Recycling Laws that are coming, it will benefit your garden and your overall well being.

According to Hansen, the improvement to the soil that composting provides is only one of the reasons to take part in the practice.

“Composting is a great way to incorporate natural processes into our daily lives,” Hansen said.

Maia Hansen posing with a smaller version of a traditional multi-bin composting system. All photos courtesy of Vchem Pierce.
Maia Hansen posing with a smaller version of a traditional multi-bin composting system. All photos courtesy of Vchem Pierce.
Although not excessively strenuous, composting does require some physical effort, depending on the type of system you develop. This physical effort, combined with just being outside and working in unison with the natural processes of decomposition, has been shown in studies to be good for your physical and mental health. There is even one study that shows that there are chemicals in compost that have medicinal effects.

M. vaccae, a living creature that resides in your backyard compost pile, acts like a mind-altering drug once it enters the human body, functioning like antidepressant pills to boost your mood.

The lecture on Saturday focused on the different methods of composting, from traditional backyard bins, to more advanced rotating drums. Worm composting systems, or vermiculture, was also discussed.

The message from Hansen was to find a system that works for you. This may include collecting your food scraps and taking them to a processing center, or giving them to your neighbor who composts. The key point is to keep as much as possible from ending up in the landfill.

“We need to get our food scraps out of the landfill,” Hansen said. “We can use those nutrients and harvest them to grow more food.”

Highfields Center for Composting has a wealth of information on the subject at their website. The information they provide will get anyone who is interested up and running in no time.

Below is a video that the group put out.

Newport Area Community Orchestra Adds 9 New Members

in Arts and Entertainment/Feature

NEWPORT — The Newport Area Community Orchestra is growing. Just this year, they have added nine new members to the orchestra.

The newest members of the orchestra are (left to right in photo) Momoko Takaoka, Bob Chen, Akimasa Takeda, Pengyi Huang, Morgan Ireland, Paul Teng, (not pictured) Sue Ireland, Judy Hurd, and Laura Barr.

The group is continuing to work toward two spring concerts to be held on May 3, at the Goodrich Memorial Library, and on May 11, at the Haskell Opera House. The program for the concerts include:

Spring Concert at the Goodrich Memorial Library – May 3, 2014

Concerto for Alto Saxophone by Binge (2nd Movement – Peter Storrings, Soloist)
Colorscape for Orchestra, Op. 3 by Ken Michelli (Julia Whitney, Solo, Howie Arzt, Solo)
Waltz No. 2 from Suite for Variety Stage Orchestra by Dmitri Shostakovich
Rhapsody in Blue for Orchestra arranged by Bob Cerulli (Paul Gavin, Solo)
Clarinet Concerto No. 1 by Carl Maria Von Weber (Howie Arzt, Soloist)

Quintessential Classical’s Concert at the Haskell Opera House – May 11, 2014

Concerto for Alto Saxophone by Binge (2nd Movement – Peter Storrings, Soloist)
Colorscape for Orchestra, Op. 3 by Ken Michelli (Julia Whitney, Solo, Howie Arzt, Solo)
Waltz No. 2 from Suite for Variety Stage Orchestra by Dmitri Shostakovich
Rhapsody in Blue for Orchestra arranged by Bob Cerulli (Paul Gavin, Solo)
Clarinet Concerto No. 1 by Carl Maria Von Weber (Howie Arzt, Soloist)

Be sure to mark your calendars for these upcoming performances.

QNEK Productions Ready for 21st Season

in Arts and Entertainment/Feature

DERBY LINE — Casting is complete for the 21st season at QNEK Productions. This year QNEK, the international theatre company in residence at the Haskell Opera House, will stage four shows, starting May 2 with the production of Boeing, Boeing. The season will conclude October 18 with Wait Until Dark, directed by Susan-Lynn Johns.

QNEK hosted their first ever Meet and Greet the Press Reception on Saturday evening at the United Universalist Church Hall in Derby Line. The event offered those in attendance the chance to meet the cast and crew who will be working to make the 2014 season its best yet.

This season will see some new faces, as well as some returning to the stage after taking a break for a few years. Kim Prangley, who will play Judith in Boeing, Boeing, is returning after a ten year hiatus. Ross Murray will be seen in his first acting role in 25 years, when he plays Roat, in Wait Until Dark.

The season will also consist of Oliver, starting July 25, and Suds, starting September 12.

QNEK Productions treated everyone on Saturday to a musical medley from Suds, the rocking 60’s musical soap opera. To hear the performance from Saturday, press play in the audio player below.

“The whole cast is awesome, and we’re really excited to have Kim Prangley back this year,” Jenny Dunne, director of Boeing, Boeing, said. “Boeing, Boeing, is a really funny and a really physical comedy, so it’s going to be great working with everyone.”

“The play is a farce, so there’s a lot of general mayhem, which is a role I’ve performed many times with QNEK as well as others,” Kim Prangley said. “It’s a very popular form of theatre.”

Prangley auditioned for the role over SKYPE while she was traveling in Vancouver.

Making his acting debut in May playing Robert in Boeing, Boeing, is Chris Planetta, a teacher at the Stanstead College.

“I’m a little nervous, but I keep telling myself, I’m not an idiot,” Planetta said. “I’m a fan of theatre, and I’ve gone to everything QNEK has put on for the last twelve years, so I’m excited.”

For a full 2014 show synopsis and character breakdown, click here.

Photos by Tanya Mueller

Cast of
Cast of Boeing, Boeing which starts May 2, 2014
Cast of "Oliver," starting July 25, 2014.
Cast of “Oliver,” starting July 25, 2014.
Cast of "Suds," starting September 12, 2014.
Cast of “Suds,” starting September 12, 2014.
Cast of "Wait Until Dark," starting October 10, 2014.
Cast of “Wait Until Dark,” starting October 10, 2014.

[AUDIO] Discovering the Beauty of Sacred Harp Singing in Derby Line

in Arts and Entertainment/Feature

Sacred Harp singing is a tradition of sacred choral music. It is part of the larger tradition of shape note music. Sacred Harp music is performed a cappella (voice only, without instruments) and originated as Protestant Christian music.

A group of shape note singers gathered at the First Universalist Parish in Derby Line, Sunday afternoon for their annual “Decadent Dessert Shape Note Sing.” Newport Dispatch came out to capture the beauty of the music, and to talk with group members to discover more about this form of music.

To listen to the story, press play in the media player below.

All photos by Tanya Mueller.











Sound Bites: Newport’s Third Thursday Open Mic Night at Montgomery Cafe [AUDIO]

in Arts and Entertainment/Feature/Newport

Newport Dispatch visited the Third Thursday Open Mic Series at Montgomery Cafe in Newport. Thursday’s event brought together local poets and musicians. Started by Beth Barnes three months ago, word of Newport’s open mic has quickly spread, with musicians coming out from Lyndonville just to participate.

Please press play below to hear some of the music, and to be introduced to some of the musicians who are coming to Newport once a month for the event.







[AUDIO STORY] Discovering Mary Cofran with the Derby Historical Society Museum

in Arts and Entertainment/Derby/Feature

Newport Dispatch came out to the old-fashioned Christmas celebration at the Derby Historical Society Museum, and put together this audio story, where we learn about a resident of Derby who in 1940 drew a series of prints on muslin cloth of local buildings. It was like stepping back into 1940. To listen, press play below.

Please enjoy the photography below while you listen. All photos by Tanya Mueller.











Les Terrasses Dufferin: Fine Dining at a Reasonable Price, Just Across the Border

in Arts and Entertainment/Derby Line/Feature/Stanstead

STANSTEAD, QC — You can sometimes tolerate mediocre food if a restaurant has other things going for it. You can even tolerate a wonderful meal, if the dining room is less than spectacular. In both cases, you may find a restaurant you will visit from time to time, but it will never make your personal favorites list. It will never be the kind of place that you rave to your friends and family about.

However, when an exciting chef works in a location that is just as exciting, you have the type of restaurant that not only makes the list, but climbs to the top. Such is the case with Les Terrasses Dufferin, located in Stanstead, Quebec.

There are many reason to be excited about Les Terrasses Dufferin. First of all, there are few places anywhere that have such an interesting location. Located inside the old Stanstead customs building, it is literally just across the border from Derby Line on Route 5. The building is as beautiful as it is historic. The dining room mixes modern and classical styles, creating a comfortable and elegant ambience.

Chef Roland Troadec and Line Vallieres Thériault enjoy a quiet moment after a busy lunch hour Wednesday afternoon. All photos by Tanya Mueller.
Chef Roland Troadec and Line Vallieres Thériault enjoy a quiet moment after a busy lunch hour Wednesday afternoon. All photos by Tanya Mueller.

The co-owner and chef of Les Terrasses Dufferin is Roland Troadec. Originally from France, he comes to Stanstead with 35 years of experience, having worked the last ten in Montreal and Quebec City. He brings with him not only the experience and reputation of a world-class chef, but also a respect for keeping dining prices within reason.

This brings us to another key reason to be excited about Les Terrasses Dufferin. They offer an elegant menu at a price that matches what most people are willing to pay. It is fine dining in every sense, but for a price matching the economic situation of the area. The menu has something for everyone.

“Because the chef is French, we have a little bit of a French flavor, but, we have adapted our menu to please everyone,” co-owner Line Vallieres Thériault said. “We want to give our customers a variety.”

Originally from Sherbrook, Line lived most of her life in Montreal. She came to the Eastern Townships five years ago. When she found out that the old customs building, which used to be a restaurant called La Vieille Douane, had closed at the end of August, she approached the owners and asked if it would be possible to rent the space to start her own restaurant.

When they agreed, she contacted Roland to see if he was interested in becoming a partner in the business. He came down from Quebec City, and they did some minor renovations over the next two months. Les Terrasses Dufferin opened last Thursday, a completely different restaurant than La Vieille Douane.

Les Terrasses Dufferin is named after the beautiful terrace along Rue Dufferin that sits out front of the restaurant. During the warmer months, visitors can eat outside on the terrace. There is also a terrace located in the back of the building, facing the Tomifobia River, where tables will be set as well.

Fondue, steak, and pasta are some of the staples of the menu, with daily lunch specials also offered. They are equipped to handle groups, rent the space out for parties and events, and offer a catering service if needed. There is even a café set up separately from the dining room, which offers wifi.


When I asked Ms. Thériault what she feels customers will remember most after a visit, she paused for a moment, and then smiled.

“That we have the best food,” she said, breaking out in laughter.

Although only half -joking, it is a claim Les Terrasses Dufferin is certainly working to back up.

Having tasted the spaghetti, as well as an amazing couscous salad, Les Terrasses Dufferin will be a place I will frequent when the terraces are open.

They have a brunch on Sunday, which starts at 9 a.m. and runs until 2 p.m. It is all you can eat, and would make the perfect start to a day spent on the other side of the border, visiting the beautiful Eastern Townships of Quebec.

For more information, call Les Terrasses Dufferin at: 819-704-3330

United Church of Newport’s Handbell Choir at the Goodrich Memorial Library (with audio)

in Arts and Entertainment/Feature

All photos by Tanya Mueller

The only way to experience the elegance of the United Church of Newport’s Handbell Choir is to hear them for yourself. Newport Dispatch is proud to have captured some of the sounds of Saturday’s concert, and uploaded them here for our readers. Click play wherever you see the audio player throughout this article to hear audio clips taken from Saturday’s concert at the Goodrich Memorial Library.

NEWPORT — The Goodrich Memorial Library hosted their 9th Annual Tree Lighting and Open House event at 2 p.m. on Saturday, followed by a concert by the United Church of Newport’s Handbell Choir and Chorus.


Christmas tree lights and decorations were turned on throughout the building. Each room in the library features its own tree, complete with unique decorations that have been passed down throughout the years.

newport vermont news

The sounds of the season rang out from the Assembly Room upstairs as the handbell choir started the show. Ruth Marquette, the director of the choir, introduced some of the techniques used by the musicians between songs.

Newport Vermont news 1

A reception was held after the concert.

Divas Use Laughter to Raise Money for NEKCA at Jay Peak’s Foeger Ballroom

in Arts and Entertainment/Jay

All photos by Tanya Mueller

JAY — The Vermont Comedy Divas kept the Foeger Ballroom at Jay Peak filled with laughter Friday night. The one night only benefit was organized to raise money for Northeast Kingdom Community Action.

Started in 2006, the Vermont Comedy Divas are the only all-female touring standup comedy troupe in the country. The Divas include Josie Leavitt, Sue Schmidt, Carmen Legala, Autumn Spencer, and Tracie Spencer. The show Friday night was part of their Divas Do Good charity series, where the group seeks to give back to the community by raising money for organizations with a social mission.


“There is only one guy in here not an open target to be used as material during the show, and that’s the guy serving my drinks,” Sue Schmidt said during the opening of the show.

Although the men in the room were warned beforehand that they might be used as a punchline for the Divas, it was a group from the Memphremagog Press, who came out Friday night for their Christmas party, that took most of the ribbing.

“Sir…are you okay,” Josie Leavitt asked one of the men from Memphremagog Press after a particularly shocking set of jokes.


Autumn Spencer started the night off, setting the stage for the acts that followed. Each Diva had their own style, making for an interesting mix of delivery, as well as material.

“The Divas are starting to drink…that’s always a bad sign,” Ms. Schmidt said halfway through the night.

The crowd seemed equally entertained by each comedian, which is part of the reason that the Divas work so well together as a group. They function as a whole, without any one comedian feeling like an opening act for the other. This balance leaves the group able to switch lineups each night.

“We usually pick the lineup just before the show,” Autumn Spencer said after the show. “It can be tough to go first because right from the start people are expecting to laugh. They are expecting you to be funny, and they want to see what you’ve got.”


“We’ve really been trying to raise money for the community because we’ve had so many federal and state cuts,” Joe Patrissi, the Executive Director of NEKCA said. “We’ve had to do some significant fundraising.”

NEKCA is preparing for another fundraising event coming up on January 18, again at Jay Peak, with a show by the Dave Keller Blues Band. Proceeds for that event will go toward the Head Start program.

“The Divas were really great tonight, and we were thrilled that they agreed to do this for us,” Mr. Patrissi said.

For more information about the Vermont Comedy Divas visit them online at

For more information about NEKCA visit them online at


Music Series Returns to St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Newport

in Arts and Entertainment/Newport/News

NEWPORT — After a five year hiatus, music will again fill the historic St. Mark’s Episcopal Church on Second Street, Newport, with “Now Playing Newport – A Vermont Music Series.” It will be the only year-round music series in the Newport area, taking place on a monthly basis.

Jim McKimm, who for five years directed the former “Music For A Sunday Afternoon Series,” is returning to his musical roots after being a founding member of the MAC Center for the Arts, and serving as its president for five years. Mr. McKimm, who moved to Vermont in 1997, has served as Director of Music at St. Mark’s for the last twelve years, having served several churches in both New York City and New Jersey throughout his career.

Lynn Perry, member of the Newport Area Community Orchestra, and Jim McKimm, Series Director, look over the poster for the first concert in the “Now Playing Newport” music series which will begin on December 15th, at St. Mark's Episcopal Church.
Lynn Perry, member of the Newport Area Community Orchestra, and Jim McKimm, Series Director, look over the poster for the first concert in the “Now Playing Newport” music series which will begin on December 15th, at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church.
Joining as local music partners in the series will be Dr. Sara Doncaster, the Music Department Head at Lake Region High School, and Ken Michelli, founder and director of the Newport Area Community Orchestra.

New to the program will be a series of free youth concerts, starting with the Lake Region High School Select Chorus, who will present their holiday program on Sunday, December 15, at 4 p.m., under the direction of Dr. Doncaster. Their repertoire will include sacred music of various types.

The series will be reaching out to the other schools and youth groups in the area for the 2014 season.

The series is administered separately from the church and will be administered strictly by grants, sponsors, donations, and ticket sales. Receptions will follow most programs in the church’s Parish House.

St. Mark’s, completed in 1883, has changed little since it was built. The building’s vaulted wooden ceiling makes for wonderful room acoustics. The small venue will allow for an intimate experience for both the audience, as well as the musicians.

For complete details on the series and programs, visit them at

If you know of anyone who may be interested in taking part in the series, please contact

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