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The sun is shining again in Montpelier! As vaccination rates rise and COVID counts fall in turn, we can begin to look forward to a summer together again in community. After months apart, we can’t wait to come together and enjoy an incredible lineup of fun events.

Here’s some of what you can expect in the months to come:

Montpelier Alive’s Art Walk, supported by Northfield Savings Bank, will take place on June 4, Aug. 6 and Oct. 1. Art Walk provides a fun and casual way to experience art, meet local artists, and explore downtown Montpelier shops, restaurants and galleries. You can pick up an Art Walk guidebook and begin your walk at any of the presenting venues (look for the Art Walk balloons!). June’s Art Walk will feature 19 venues, a COVID-era high, including two new venues. The event features a variety of art, ranging from vinyl art by Matt Denton on display on Rebel Heart to pandemic inspired collage by Sally Smith on display at Jumping Raindrops. Several venues will reopen to the public for the first time since the pandemic began. The walk begins on Friday, June 4, and viewing times vary by venue. Visit www.montpelieralive.org/artwalk for more information, .

June and July bring two opportunities to celebrate the incredible diversity of our community from 5 to 8 p.m. Saturday, June 19. There will be a commemoration of Juneteenth with a celebratory evening on the State House Lawn. The celebration and reflections will be focused on the word ‘Liberation’ as organizers share Black History in Vermont and make space to discuss the continued impacts of systemic racism in our state. This community event will include food available for pre-order from Black businesses and home cooks and a slate of speakers and performers from across the state. On Saturday, July 3 from 5 to 8 p.m. on the State House Lawn, Shidaa Cultural Education and Exchange will host an evening of music and dance celebrating community and diversity. Enjoy an array of performances and delicious food from local vendors.

August and September bring events for the whole family.

On six Thursdays at noon starting August Thursday, August 5, Montpelier Alive will host the Hunger Mountain Co-op Brown Bag Summer Concert Series. This free lunchtime concert series in Christ Church Courtyard will feature local and regional acts like Sabouyouma, Them Boys, and A2VT.

On Saturday, Sept. 4, caterpillars take over City Hall. North Branch Nature Center brings The Caterpillar Lab to downtown Montpelier for a journey into the incredible world of New England’s native caterpillars and their habitats. This hands-on, over-the-top exhibition features open-air displays for people of all ages. All part of a five-day caterpillar residency at the Nature Center.

On Saturday, Sept. 11, enjoy the inaugural Taste of Montpelier Festival. The Taste of Montpelier will bring the best of Vermont’s culinary scene to the heart of its capital city and feature events that appeal to foodies and families alike with world-class entertainment paired with world-class food. Proceeds benefit the Vermont Food Bank and Montpelier Alive.

Finally, September will be capped off with the One-World Festival of Arts and Imagination from Sept. 24-26. The One World Festival will showcase murals created by 10 teams from across Vermont.

October promises even more fun. Mid-October will feature Moonlight Madness, powered by VSECU, with street performances and late night shopping hours at downtown businesses. On Halloween, the Montpelier Fall Festival returns with a spooky carnival on the State House Lawn, a costume parade, downtown trick-or-treating and more.

Visit www.montpelieralive.com to learn more about all the upcoming events in Montpelier.

Dan Groberg is executive director of Montpelier Alive.

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