Last year, we highlighted more than 200 Montpelier events in our “Vermont, Served Daily” newsletter, and we didn’t even scratch the surface.

We are so lucky to live in such a vibrant and active community. It’s not just the quantity of events but also the diversity that astounds. Last week, we featured a family holiday opera, the winter farmers market, an interactive workshop where you can learn to perform Shakespeare, an art gallery opening, a nature lecture, and a Cajun music festival.

When you come downtown and take in a concert, enjoy a festival, or browse the Art Walk venues, it’s likely that Montpelier Alive played a role.

Each year, we put on more than a dozen of our own events. More than 20,000 people attended Montpelier Alive events in 2019, including Art Walk, ArtsFest, the July 3 Independence Day Celebration, the Brown Bag summer concert series, Moonlight Madness, and more.

We also support many other community events through our Downtown Event Grants program, Downtown Events guide, and promotional support.

In 2019, we provided more than $7,000 in funding to eight downtown events.

As winter sinks in, and we all need an excuse to get out of the house, we’re so excited about the upcoming slate of fun events in Montpelier.

Spicing things up in January is the Spice on Snow Winter Music Festival. Spice on Snow is a four-day celebration of roots and folk music, Jan, 23-26. The festival features outstanding Cajun and Old-Time musicians from Louisiana and Southern Appalachia, together with premier touring folk musicians and regional performers. There are concerts, dances, workshops, family events, jam sessions and performances city-wide in Montpelier, Vermont. There will be 40 musicians performing 30 events at 14 venues throughout downtown. Learn more at www.summit-school.org

Keeping things hot is Ice on Fire, central Vermont’s winter festival on Feb. 2. Bundle up and come out to North Branch Nature Center for this snowy celebration of community. Huddle into a snow den, warm up with hot food and drink to help us celebrate the warmth of community in the depths of winter. Ice on Fire is an outdoor winter festival with storytelling, music and dance performances, winter games and community activities for all ages.

Art Walk, supported by Northfield Savings Bank, is a fun and casual way to experience art, meet local artists, and explore downtown shops, restaurants and galleries. We’ll have six great Art Walks this year, which means more opportunities to discover the amazing arts scene in Montpelier.

Last but certainly not least, Tropical Weekend hits downtown Montpelier on Feb 7-9. Building on Birchgrove Baking’s tropical weekend tradition, we’re bringing some tropical flavor to Montpelier to help you get through the cold. Enjoy Tiki drink specials, tropical decorations all over town, island music, and a taste of the tropics right here in Montpelier.

Sign up for our weekly newsletter, and stay up to date on Montpelier events by visiting montpelieralive.org.

Dan Groberg is executive director of Montpelier Alive.

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