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It’s fall, and we’re falling in love with Montpelier all over again. As I write, I’m looking out on a sunny warm autumn day and can’t help but wonder at the foliage and the beauty all around us. I’m also giddy about what’s to come: some of my favorite holidays, one of the prettiest times of year in Montpelier, and, of course, holiday shopping!

Speaking of holiday shopping, I’d encourage you to get it done early this year. I’m hearing from a lot of local stores that they are worried about supply chain and keeping products in stock through the holidays. There’s no better opportunity than our annual Moonlight Madness event, powered by VSECU, on Friday, Oct. 22. More than two dozen Montpelier businesses are offering incredible deals (lots of 20% off storewide deals to be had!), plus extended shopping hours. You’ll also find fun street performers downtown between 5 and 9 p.m., including headlining shows in City Hall Plaza by Magicians Without Borders, Her Majesty’s Secret Circus and Brass Balagan. Masks are required for all event attendees, both indoors and out. You can visit to learn more about Moonlight Madness.

You don’t have to take our word for it when we say Montpelier is the perfect place to do all your holiday shopping. We’ve been nominated for the third straight year as one of America’s “Best Small Towns for Shopping” by USA Today. You can help us claim the title by voting daily online at through October 24.

Halloween is another favorite holiday in Montpelier. We’re taking our usual tradition of downtown trick-or-treating to the next level and we’re throwing a whole Halloween festival. The Montpelier Fall Festival, organized by Montpelier Alive and Montpelier Roxbury Public Schools Partners in Education, will be on Sunday, Oct. 31 from 1 to 5:30 p.m. Start on the State House Lawn from 1 to 4 p.m. and enjoy carnival games, a dunk tank, the Kellogg-Hubbard Library BOOooOOooK Nook, yummy food trucks, and lots of spooky fun. At 1:30, wear your best costume for the Trick-or-Trot Fun Run, a one-mile race through town presented by Hunger Mountain Co-op and hosted by Onion River Outdoors. From 2 to 4 p.m., enjoy free live entertainment by No Strings Marionette Company and a Tibetan Youth Dance Troupe on the VSECU Stage. Then, at 4pm, a costume parade will process from the State House to Downtown for you to load up on candy at all your favorite downtown stores. And watch out for a Thriller Flash Mob. Thank you to our platinum sponsors, Hunger Mountain Co-op, VSECU, NBC 5, Union Mutual, Consolidated Communications, Capital Community Church, and Onion River Outdoors. Visit to learn more about the spooky fun.

Last but not least, if you’re an entrepreneur who wants to join the amazing Montpelier community, there’s an amazing grant opportunity that you should know about. The Montpelier Development Corporation just announced the Montpelier Grows Grant for entrepreneurial or current businesses that will impact the spirit and economy for the Capital City and beyond. The grant will support new or expanding businesses that drive economic growth, stimulate commerce and enhance employment opportunities in Montpelier. Grants up to $100,000 are available. Visit to learn more and apply.

Vvsit for all the latest information on Montpelier.

Dan Groberg is the executive director of Montpelier Alive.

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