Eighth fiddlers’ contest at Sheffield Field Day

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When Patrick Ross, now of Newbury, walks into a fiddler’s competition, the outcome is usually a foregone conclusion. Once again, the Canaan native took top honors at the Sheffield Field Day Fiddler’s Contest in 2014. Photo by Joseph Gresser

On Labor Day, Monday, September 7, Sheffield Field Day will host its annual Pat O’Hagan Memorial Fiddlers’ Contest in the gym at Miller’s Run School, at 3249 Vermont Route 122, at 2 p.m. Registration for fiddlers will begin at 1:30 p.m.

Participants are asked to perform three pieces: a waltz, a hoedown, and a tune of their choice, such as a jig or strathspey.

The Fiddlers’ Contest at Sheffield Field Day was founded in 2007 by Malcolm Goldstein, a violinist and composer who has spent his summers in Sheffield since the 1960s. In 2011, the Fiddlers’ Contest was renamed in honor of Pat O’Hagan, who ran the contest for several years until her death in 2010.

Since its early years, the contest has been a beloved and popular event at Sheffield Field Day, drawing participants from as far away as Maine and Stanstead, Québec.

The contest is free and open to all ages, with competitive categories for youngsters (under 12), juniors (12 to 18), adults (over 18), and seniors (over 60). The prize money for first and second place winners is $40 and $25 respectively in the youngster category, $100 and $70 respectively in the junior category, and $200 and $150 respectively in both the adult and senior categories.

For questions, call Bobbie Bristol at (802) 626-8293 or e-mail at bbkinnell@aol.com. — submitted by Bobbie Bristol.

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Overtakelessness Circus and Pageant at Bread and Puppet

Pictured here is Peter Schumann directing.

Pictured here is Peter Schumann directing.

The Bread and Puppet Theater on Route 122 in Glover presents Overtakelessness Circus and Pageant on Sunday, August 30, at 3 p.m.  Museum tour at 1 p.m. and ding dongs at 2 p.m.  Following the circus and pageant, Great Small Works will perform in the cathedral.  Suggested donation is $10.  For more information, call 525-3031 or visit www.breadandpuppet.org

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Orleans County Fair in Barton

Mike Myers reassures his daughter Abigail as the two spin in a teacup on the midway at the Orleans County Fair in 2014.  The family hails from Winooski, but spends summers at their camp in Sheffield.  Photo by Joseph Gresser

Mike Myers reassures his daughter Abigail as the two spin in a teacup on the midway at the Orleans County Fair in 2014. The family hails from Winooski, but spends summers at their camp in Sheffield. Photo by Joseph Gresser

The 148th Orleans County Fair will be held Wednesday through Sunday, August 19 through 23, at the Orleans County Fairgrounds in Barton. Rides, animals, horse shows, food vendors, races, demo derby, floral hall vendors, and so much more! Too much information to list! See the ad in this week’s issue. For more information, visit www.orleanscountyfair.net or call (802) 525-3555

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Glover talent show and silent auction

As Lila Winstead and Rose Friedman favored the crowd at the 2014 edition of the Glover Talent Show with their rendition of the “Log Driver’s Waltz,” a masked logger made his appearance from the back of the hall.  After presenting the evening’s object of his affections with gifts, including a chicken hat, the logger persuaded Lucy Smith to take to the floor for a few elegant steps.  Reliable sources hint the logger was, in reality, Maura Gahan.  The annual talent show is a benefit for the Glover Public Library.  Photo by Joseph Gresser

As Lila Winstead and Rose Friedman favored the crowd at the 2014 edition of the Glover Talent Show with their rendition of the “Log Driver’s Waltz,” a masked logger made his appearance from the back of the hall. After presenting the evening’s object of his affections with gifts, including a chicken hat, the logger persuaded Lucy Smith to take to the floor for a few elegant steps. Reliable sources hint the logger was, in reality, Maura Gahan. The annual talent show is a benefit for the Glover Public Library. Photo by Joseph Gresser

The Glover Public Library announces its annual summer Talent Show and Silent Auction on Saturday, August 8, at 7:30 p.m. at the Glover Town Hall, featuring young and old performers, music, storytelling, humor, and other fun surprises. During the show, a silent auction will take place featuring many goods and services donated by area businesses. Snacks will be available. All money raised benefits the Glover Public Library. For more information, call the library at 525-4365

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Aquafest in Newport

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Soldiers Anthony DeGreenia and Justin Roy (left to right) of the Vermont National Guard, had special permission to appear in less than regulation uniform when they competed in the VT105 Challenge race at the 2014 edition of the Aquafest.  As part of the race, they took a selfie at Pick and Shovel in Newport, with an iguana in the background.  Photo by Joseph Gresser

Soldiers Anthony DeGreenia and Justin Roy (left to right) of the Vermont National Guard, had special permission to appear in less than regulation uniform when they competed in the VT105 Challenge race at the 2014 edition of the Aquafest. As part of the race, they took a selfie at Pick and Shovel in Newport, with an iguana in the background. Photo by Joseph Gresser

Newport’s Aquafest 2015, sponsored by Vermont’s North Country Chamber of Commerce and NorthCountry Federal Credit Union, will take place on Saturday, August 1, in Newport.

Events include the Waterfront Festival commencing at 11 a.m. along the boardwalk of Lake Memphremagog. Vendors, family entertainment, and live entertainment.

Chowderfest will be held at the Gateway Center in Newport from noon to 2 p.m. where locals compete in the chowder competition. Buy a spoon for $5 and dig into a variety of chowders entered to win. The VT 105 Amazing Race Challenge is a fun and exciting race that includes challenges such as eating large amounts of food, counting a large number of items, finding an item/items or people, finding a shop or location, carrying items long distances, assembling a difficult structure, or solving riddles in order to get the next clue and protect your balloon at all costs!

A Plein Air Event (French for “open air”) will be presented by the Wooden Horse Arts Guild and artists from anywhere are invited to “paint outdoors in natural light” in and around Newport during Aquafest.

For more information about Aquafest activities, visit www.northcountry.org or call Lynne Bertrand at (802) 334-7782.

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Alan Greenleaf and the Doctor July 18

Alan Greenleaf (right) and the Doctor, Jonathan Kaplan (left), will play at the Music Box in Craftsbury on July 18.  Photo courtesy of the Music Box

Alan Greenleaf (right) and the Doctor, Jonathan Kaplan (left), will play at the Music Box in Craftsbury on July 18. Photo courtesy of the Music Box

A bit of farm life and life in the Northeast Kingdom in song will be heard at the Music Box in Craftsbury on Saturday, July 18 at 8 p.m., with Alan Greenleaf and the Doctor.

Mr. Greenleaf lives on the farm he has worked for a good part of his life in northern Vermont. His songs are inspired by his life on his farm and the people and countryside around him. They are a report of events, people, feelings, and observations of his life experiences, with a great deal of poetic license. Living in Vermont, the weather and seasons play a significant part in his stories. Musically, he draws on many American traditions, including country, Appalachian, blues and jazz. His newest CD, Songs from Lost Mountain, is now available.

Mr. Greenleaf is joined by “the Doctor,” piano player Jonathan Kaplan. The two have been playing together for over a dozen years. Mr. Kaplan is a classically trained pianist who fell in love with the blues and old-time traditional music. Together they bring a wide variety of original ballads, rhythm and blues with moving melodies. Listen to some of their tunes at alangreenleaf.com.

For more information, call 586-7533 or themusicboxvt.org. — from the Music Box.

For more things to do, see Things to Do in the Northeast Kingdom.

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Buy fresh produce this fall through SNAP

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Photo by Joseph Gresser

Photo by Joseph Gresser

Vermont Harvest, a new program piloted by Green Mountain Farm-to-School (GMFTS), will allow families receiving federal SNAP benefits, known in Vermont as 3SquaresVT, to purchase $75 worth of fresh fruits and vegetables at local Northeast Kingdom grocery stores.

The primary goal of the program is to increase the purchase of fresh fruits and vegetables by low-income consumers participating in SNAP by providing incentives at the following retail locations: C&C Supermarket in Barton, Ray’s Market in Irasburg, Craftsbury General Store in Craftsbury, and Vista Foods in Newport.

Beginning in August, SNAP participant households in Orleans and Essex counties will receive information about the program and instructions for redeeming their coupons, which will arrive beginning in September and remain valid through February 2016.

Continue reading

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North Branch Trail now open to public

Pictured, from back to front, are:  Kyle Bunnell, Ethan Vaniere, Maylynda Fairgrieve, and Eric Howarth.  Photo courtesy of the Silvio O. Conte National Fish and Wildlife Refuge — Nulhegan Basin Division

Pictured, from back to front, are: Kyle Bunnell, Ethan Vaniere, Maylynda Fairgrieve, and Eric Howarth. Photo courtesy of the Silvio O. Conte National Fish and Wildlife Refuge — Nulhegan Basin Division

The Silvio O. Conte National Fish and Wildlife Refuge — Nulhegan Basin Division announces that the North Branch Trail has been completed and is now available for public use.

The four-mile loop trail is accessed from a parking area along Route 105 in Ferdinand, approximately one-half mile west of the railroad crossing.  It’s expected that the trail will enhance opportunities for bird watching, environmental education outings by school children, and especially fishing — with improved access to the North Branch of the Nulhegan River, a high quality cold-water stream.  In addition, the parking area will be plowed during winter to allow access for snowshoeing and cross-country skiing, opportunities that are currently lacking on the refuge due to the limited number of access points available to pedestrians during winter.

The rustic trail was constructed during the past two summers by the Nulhegan Basin Division’s Youth Conservation Corps crew, with special assistance from Conservation Corps staff from NorthWoods Stewardship Center in East Charleston.

The new trail and all the division’s lands are open to the public year-round.  Maps and other orientation materials are available at entry kiosks and at the visitor contact station in Brunswick.  — from the United States Department of the Interior.

For more things to do, check out our events section.

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Rifle season for white-tailed deer opens November 16

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The weekend before rifle season is set aside for youth hunters. Noah Menard of Barton poses proudly with the spikehorn he shot Sunday, November 10, in Barton. He and his father, Nathan, stopped by the Chronicle for a photo before having the deer weighed, but his first buck, taken at a distance of 55 yards, was big enough to put a smile on the eight-year-old’s face. Photo by Joseph Gresser

by Paul Lefebvre

copyright the Chronicle 11-13-2013

Why do deer hunters enjoy less success in the Northeast Kingdom than they do elsewhere?

The 2013 deer rifle season opens Saturday, and the Department of Fish and Wildlife is projecting a harvest similar to 2012 when rifle hunters took 6,159 buck over the 16-day season.

Adam Murkowski, the department’s top deer biologist, said he expects that 16 percent of the state’s deer population will be harvested.  He estimated the herd’s present population at roughly 130,000, and noted that the harvest rate has been stable for the last few years. Continue reading

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Memphremagog Ski Touring Foundation trails

The Memphremagog Ski Touring Foundation is a nonprofit corporation with a mission to create and promote a system of high quality ski and snowshoe trails in the Derby-Newport area.

MSTF trails vary from railroad flat to precipitous, with skate and classic machine grooming on the core network.

MSTF is made possible by volunteer efforts, many generous landowners, and contributions from users. We hope to see you out on the snow and hope you will support MSTF with your membership!

Tickets and maps are available at IROC, at the MSTF Barn, and at the Southern Trail entrance off the Derby Recreation Path.  Trailhead parking includes MSTF lot near the Barn, IROC, the North Country Union High School land lab on the Quarry Rd, North Country Hospital and along Lakemont Rd adjacent to the bike path. After school hours, Derby Elementary also has a trailhead.

The cost is not expensive. An individual daypass is just $5 and a family season pass is just $35.  For more information, see www.mstf.net/ find the group on facebook,or e-mail Peter Harris at: PLHarris969@comcast.net.

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