Toussaint and Preservation Hall Jazz Band October 21

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Allen Toussaint will perform with the Preservation Hall Jazz Band in St. Johnsbury on October 21.  Photo courtesy of Kingdom County Productions

Allen Toussaint will perform with the Preservation Hall Jazz Band in St. Johnsbury on October 21. Photo courtesy of Kingdom County Productions

Kingdom County Productions will present the exclusive northern New England production of “Legends of New Orleans Jazz” featuring rhythm-and-blues ace and six-time Grammy nominee Allen Toussaint joining forces with the Preservation Hall Jazz Band for the first time, on tour. Showtime is 7 p.m. on Tuesday, October 21, at Fuller Hall, at St. Johnsbury Academy. Tickets are on sale at kingdomcounty.org or by calling 748-2600.

The Preservation Hall Jazz Band has toured the world since its founding in the early 1960s, as the essential vehicle to keep traditional New Orleans jazz traditions alive. During recent years, the band has played 150 annual dates at venues ranging from Carnegie Hall to Lincoln Center and the Hollywood Bowl. And they have branched out to ensure a future as a living and breathing group driven by fresh influences and inspirations, adding a number of dynamic new musical directions to their rock-solid repertoire of the classic New Orleans style.

Preservation Hall has appeared on stage with artists ranging from Dr. John, Wynton Marsalis, and the Grateful Dead, to The Black Keys, Bonnie Raitt, and Tom Waits. In an Oval Office White House ceremony, the group was awarded the 2006 National Medal of Arts, the nation’s highest honor for artistic excellence. In 2010, the San Francisco Examiner called Preservation Hall, “the best jazz band in the land.”

Mr. Toussaint ranks as a key figure in the development of R&B, and his songs have been recorded by a staggering array of artists including Otis Redding, Phish, Boz Skaggs, The Who, The Rolling Stones, Aaron Neville, The Doors, Glenn Campbell, Warren Zevon, The Yardbirds, Jerry Garcia, Paul Butterfield, Derek Trucks Band, Ringo Starr, Trombone Shorty, Three Dog Night, and The Hollies. Other collaborations include The Band, Paul McCartney, Elvis Costello, Bo Diddley, Levon Helm, Robert Plant, and Alison Krauss. Mr. Toussaint’s many awards and recognitions include his 1998 induction into the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame.

“When I meet someone like Allen Toussaint — that for me is like meeting, you know, someone the equivalent of the Dalai Lama, because for me, he influenced the way I played the piano,” said Elton John. “He’s an historical part of rock-and-roll.”

For more information, visit kingdomcounty.org or contact series producer Jay Craven at jcraven@marlboro.edu. — from Kingdom County Productions.

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

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In Charleston: Sixty years of oysters

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Stewmaster Darald Moulton followed a tried and true recipe Saturday at the Charleston Fire Department’s sixtieth annual oyster stew supper.  Photo by Paul Lefebvre

Stewmaster Darald Moulton followed a tried and true recipe Saturday at the Charleston Fire Department’s sixtieth annual oyster stew supper. Photo by Paul Lefebvre

copyright the Chronicle October 8, 2014

by Paul Lefebvre

Sixty years ago a photograph was published of Marilyn Monroe standing over a New York City sidewalk register whose hot air lifted her skirt higher up her legs than anyone expected to see.

Sixty years ago Elvis the Pelvis recorded his first hit, “That’s all Right,” a song sung in such a seductive voice that it went beyond ballistic as soon as people saw him perform it.

And 60 years ago, the volunteer firemen of Charleston held their first fund-raiser, an oyster stew supper that has gone on to become an annual event in a region known for its chicken pie suppers and strawberry shortcake.

How to explain the popularity of oyster stew in landlocked country nearly half a day’s drive from the ocean?

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Old Stone House Cheese and Apple Tasting September 28

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Light hits the morning fog at Crystal Lake in Barton.      Photo by Bethany M. Dunbar

Light hits the morning fog at Crystal Lake in Barton.
Photo by Bethany M. Dunbar

Celebrate fall and food at the Old Stone House Museum’s annual Cheese and Apple Tasting on Sunday, September 28, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The event will be held in and around the Samuel Read Hall House, which is the big gold house on the corner of Old Stone House Road and the Hinman Settler Road in Brownington. Visitors will be able to taste and purchase locally produced cheeses and other dairy products, apples, maple products, honey, smoked meat, baked goods, spirits, wine and beers, and more.

There will be over 30 varieties of heirloom apples, sliced up on plates, to sample. The museum apple press will be grinding and pressing apples all day, and serving up cups of the sweet essence of the apple harvest. There will be a “Good Ole Apple Pie” contest at 2 p.m. Besides bragging rights, the winner will take home a hand forged pie spatula made by Courtney Mead at the Moffat Forge, the Old Stone House Museum’s teaching blacksmith shop. And there will be an apple chomp contest where kids are challenged to take a bite of an apple dangling from a string in mid-air, which is quite an amusing spectator sport.

The event also includes an heirloom vegetable exhibit. People are invited to bring in old varieties of vegetables they have grown from heirloom seeds, along with the name and story behind the variety. The museum will be selling raffle tickets for a cord of dry maple firewood, for $5 a ticket, with only 100 tickets sold per drawing, and a winner will be drawn during the afternoon. The Brownington Ladies Aid will serve a lunch of hot soup and bread, as well as hot coffee and rhubarb punch in the parlor of the Hall House.

Admission to the Cheese and Apple Tasting is $8, but free for those over 90, under 12, or for people who bring an apple pie for the contest or an heirloom vegetable, with the story behind it, for the exhibit. Admission includes a free self-guided tour of the first floor of the Old Stone House Museum, with the new special photography exhibit “Newport Now and Then.”

For more information, call the museum at 754-2022, or visit oldstonehousemuseum.org. — from the Old Stone House Museum.

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

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Compete in Newport’s Scarecrow Contest September 20

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The Brown Cow’s 2013 entry in the Scarecrow Contest to be held during Newport’s Fall Foliage Festival.

The Brown Cow’s 2013 entry in the Scarecrow Contest to be held during Newport’s Fall Foliage Festival.

The Newport Fall Foliage Festival Scarecrow Contest is expected to add a lot of fun to this year’s festival.  Families and businesses will make scarecrows and place them outside their homes, businesses and along Newport’s Main Street.

Prizes will be awarded for the Most Traditional, Most Creative, and Most Colorful in both the Business and Family categories.  Prizes have been donated by the Newport Daily Express and radio station Moo 92. Greens fees and golf passes at area golf courses will be given courtesy of the newspaper, and an advertising certificate will be given courtesy of the radio station, in the business category. Families will compete for the prize of a Moo 92 Pizza Party.

Contest rules and an entry form are available online at NewportFallFoliageFestival.com. Both businesses and families should pre-register to make sure their scarecrows are judged. Judging will take place Saturday, September 20, with the winners announced on Moo 92 during its broadcast from the festival and on Monday in the Newport Daily Express.

For more information on the Scarecrow Contest or the Newport Fall Foliage Festival schedule of events, go to NewportFallFoliageFestival.com, or write event coordinators at NewportLive@Live.com.  — from Newport Live.

For more things to do, see our Events page.

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Free screening of American Winter September 17

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WEB American WinterA free screening of the documentary American Winter will play at the Gateway Center in Newport on Wednesday, September 17, at 6 p.m.

American Winter presents an intimate snapshot of the state of the nation’s economy as it’s playing out in the lives of real American families.

Few people would argue that “the American dream” has changed and controversy swirls around why people end up homeless or in poverty and what they should or can do about their situations and what the government and fellow citizens should or can do. American Winter, by Emmy award-winning filmmakers Joe and Harry Gantz, highlights the work of “211 Info” in Portland, Oregon, a hotline connecting callers with community resources and social services. The film follows eight families who experience homelessness after loss of employment.

The film shows a lot of spirit and creativity, and a big change in attitudes in the people featured who once shared the idea that people became poor from being lazy, or that cutting social assistance was a good way to save money and better the nation. One woman in the film said that prior to her own need for assistance, she thought it was “easy for people who depended on government programs” and that “the system bred abuse.” Now she thinks that safety net programs “help keep families like [hers] just barely above water.”

A community discussion will follow the film.

The screening is sponsored by Rural Edge, the Newport Community Justice Center, HealthWorks ONE Coalition, and Northeast Kingdom Learning Services.

For more information, call Healthworks ONE at 334-6532, extension 8. — from Healthworks One.

For more things to do, see our Events page.

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Vermont Watercolor Society’s MAC show opens September 12

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“Breath Taking Ride” by Ann Lisner is one of the watercolors which is part of the Vermont Watercolor Society’s fall 2014 show at the MAC in Newport.  Image courtesy of Darlene Ratte

“Breath Taking Ride” by Ann Lisner is one of the watercolors which is part of the Vermont Watercolor Society’s fall 2014 show at the MAC in Newport. Image courtesy of Darlene Ratte

Opening day of the Vermont Watercolor Society’s fall 2014 watercolor show at the MAC Center for the Arts in Newport is Friday, September 12, with an opening reception that day from 5 to 7 p.m.

This year’s theme will be “It Happens In Vermont.”  There will be stunning works of art painted by over 20 very talented watercolor artists that live and create in Vermont and mostly in the Northeast Kingdom.

The show will be open daily, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and closed Sundays, through October 3.  The exhibit will be in the lower gallery at the MAC.  All work is for sale.

At the reception, the Wind Quintet of the Newport Area Community Orchestra will play music, and there will be light refreshments.  MAC writer-member Catherine Holm will read a short excerpt from her work at 6:15 p.m., after an awards ceremony to three of the artists, when prizes will be announced with a first prize of $75.  — from the MAC and Darlene Ratte.

For more things to do, see our Events page.

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Entrepreneurs pitch ideas in a Lowell barn

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Trish Sears is reflected in a mirror as entrepreneur Justin Larose presents his pitch.  Photos by Bethany M. Dunbar

Trish Sears is reflected in a mirror as entrepreneur Justin Larose presents his pitch. Photos by Bethany M. Dunbar

copyright the Chronicle August 13, 2014

by Bethany M. Dunbar

LOWELL — What do a doggie treat maker, someone who wants to make an alcoholic tea, and an online marketing consultant have in common? They were all gathered in a barn in Lowell last week to make business pitches to a group of people who have the wisdom and financial resources to help them make their small businesses grow into big ones.

It was the first annual Barn Pitch, held Thursday, August 7.

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At Newport Aquafest: A selfie with an iguana?

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Jeffrey Stuart of Manchester, Connecticut, gets a strong start for the ten-mile Kingdom Swim.  His butterfly stroke earned him first place in the annual open water race, which was held as part of Newport’s Aquafest, in Lake Memphremagog.  Mr. Stuart finished in four hours, 20 minutes, and 17 seconds, more than three minutes ahead of his closest competitor, Cole Gindhart, of Cibolo, Texas.  Photo by Joseph Gresser

Jeffrey Stuart of Manchester, Connecticut, gets a strong start for the ten-mile Kingdom Swim. His butterfly stroke earned him first place in the annual open water race, which was held as part of Newport’s Aquafest, in Lake Memphremagog. Mr. Stuart finished in four hours, 20 minutes, and 17 seconds, more than three minutes ahead of his closest competitor, Cole Gindhart, of Cibolo, Texas. Photo by Joseph Gresser

copyright the Chronicle July 16, 2014

by Joseph Gresser

NEWPORT — The weather was kind to Newport this weekend, and people enthusiastically turned out for the city’s Aquafest. A celebration of life on the shores of Lake Memphremagog, the event is in its fifth year since its revival in 2009.

The traditional events associated with the festival, such as the Kingdom Swim and the Swimmers and Pet Parade, were included in the festivities with a few tweaks to keep them fresh.

While Newport’s Main Street was closed off for the parade and a street dance Friday evening, the entire city was open for business Sunday.

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Dandelion Run was in memory of Terri Weed

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The Bag Ladies of Newfane and Townsend warmed up for their race.  They are:  Sandy Stark, Melanie Keiser, Penelope Monaney, Kimberly McCormack, and Kim Colligan.  Photo by Bethany M. Dunbar

The Bag Ladies of Newfane and Townsend warmed up for their race. They are: Sandy Stark, Melanie Keiser, Penelope Monaney, Kimberly McCormack, and Kim Colligan. Photo by Bethany M. Dunbar

copyright the Chronicle 5-21-2014

by Bethany M. Dunbar

DERBY — Pouring rain early Saturday morning let off in time for a few hundred runners to take to the roadsides at 9 a.m. in the sixth annual Dandelion Run.

One relay team was ready for the rain with a kind of team uniform — garbage bags with holes for heads and arms. The ladies called themselves the Bag Ladies of Newfane and did a dry dance to scare the rain away.  Valerie Dillon manned the staff parking area fully equipped with head-to-toe rain gear, a fisherman-type hat, and an umbrella.

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Rasputitsa cyclists brave chilly weather and mud season

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A mass start heralded the beginning of the 47-mile Rasputitsa cycling race.  More than 350 racers began and ended the 47 mile race in downtown Newport on a cool Saturday morning in support of the Mary E. Wright Halo Foundation.

A mass start heralded the beginning of the 47-mile Rasputitsa cycling race. More than 350 racers began and ended the 47 mile race in downtown Newport on a cool Saturday morning in support of the Mary E. Wright Halo Foundation.   Photo by Richard Creaser

copyright the Chronicle April 23, 2014

by Richard Creaser

NEWPORT — Mud season is typically a time of year that Vermont residents have come to dread. For the 350 riders in Saturday’s Rasputitsa cycling event, however, mud season represented a challenge that begged to be accepted.

The lure of the Rasputitsa is one that finds its roots in the European Spring Classic bicycle races, co-organizer Heidi Myers told the Chronicle on Friday. The growth of gravel road racing nationally, coupled with the success of Ms. Myers’ and fellow co-organizer Anthony Moccia’s Dirty 40 race last August, led them to attempt a second race in the Northeast Kingdom. The fact that so many cyclists braved a blustery April morning and 47 miles of often treacherous back roads appears to have confirmed their belief in the sport’s popularity.

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