BARRE — So, Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, and you still haven’t come up with a little something special to do for your special someone?

The Barre Tones have a sweet deal for you!

Vermont’s internationally ranked women’s a cappella barbershop chorus is accepting orders for delivery of “Singing Valentines.”

For $40 a women’s quartet will take their show on the road and sing a love song (or two) to your sweetheart while throwing in a rose or a bundle of Birnn chocolate (your choice) and a “be-ribboned scroll” with your personal message.

Telephone deliveries are available for $20 anywhere in the U.S., though they come without the rose, the chocolate and the “be-ribboned scroll” because while the Barre Tones are good, they aren’t that good!

If you want them to perform in person, they’ll travel to homes, hospitals and offices in a delivery area that includes most of central Vermont: Barre-Montpelier area, the Mad River Valley, Waterbury, Northfield and surrounding communities.

Other areas may be accommodated, but the sooner you order, the better. Net proceeds benefit the Barre Tones, a 501c3 nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering women through music.

A little ‘dabble’

BARRE — “Dabble Day” is almost here again and organizers expect the annual event will draw an under-aged crowd with parents in tow to Spaulding High School on Saturday.

The two-and-a-half-hour event, which targets kids 6 and under (infants are welcome) along with their families has been a huge hit since it was started more than 20 years ago.

Parents of first-time participants should seriously consider bringing a change of clothes for the children because kids tend to get a little messy on Dabble Day. Think homemade play-dough, “oobleck,” shaving cream and “slime.”

Or, if you’re like Ian Gauthier, children’s librarian at the Aldrich Public Library, think “glitter.”

In what has become his go-to contribution to an event that draws roughly a dozen area organizations, Gauthier comes prepared to with all the fixings for “glittery valentines.”

“We make all the messes we normally can’t make at the library,” says Gauthier, who’ll be bringing drop cloths with him to the family friendly event that will be held in the Spaulding cafeteria from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Saturday.

Mess aside, the price is right. As always the event, sponsored by Central Vermont Success By Six, is free, refreshments are provided, parents can learn about available resources and every youngster will leave with an age-appropriate book.

What’s cooking?

MONTPELIER — The folks at the Montpelier Senior Activity Center will be hosting a potluck featuring Brazilian cuisine on Friday evening.

Sure, not everyone has a Brazilian dish in their repertoire, but isn’t that what Google is for?

If you’re up for it, the potluck will be held at the senior center from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

Participants are asked to bring a Brazilian dish, or a dish from a neighboring country. Tupperware containers are recommended for those who want to take leftovers home, and cooks are asked to prepare a small card listing the ingredients of their dishes.

Cutlery and dishes will be provided, and a stove and microwave oven will be available for reheating. Remember, it is a potluck, so there will be no cooking on-site.

To register for the alcohol-free event, call Rod at 236-0893, email or visit

2020 vision?

BARRE — Two City Council members are inviting others interested in Barre’s future to join them at the Aldrich Public Library for an hour-long conversation on Monday evening.

Councilors Sue Higby and Rich Morey want to talk about a project they proposed in November in an effort to tackle issues associated with vacant, abandoned and blighted properties. They’ve dubbed the initiative “2020 Vision for Barre” and would like to share their ideas for making neighborhoods safer and targeting properties that are undermining Barre’s prosperity.

If you’d like to hear about their vision, or share your own thoughts and suggestions about how to handle problem properties, they’ll be in the Milne Community Room at the library on Monday from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.

Food for thought

BARRE TOWN — The Vermont Foodbank has invited federal employees affected by the recent partial government shutdown to join any of its free food distributions on Saturday.

That includes the one at the Foodbank’s headquarters in the Wilson Industrial Park.

Located at 33 Parker Road in the industrial park (it’s just across the road from Barre Town Middle and Elementary School) the Foodbank will be open Saturday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Red alert!

MONTPELIER — A last-minute reminder that the Red Cross will hold a blood drive at the Montpelier Senior Activity Center on Barre Street on Friday from 1 to 6 p.m.

There is a current shortage of blood plasma, hence the emergency appeal for blood, especially people with O-positive and O-negative blood which can be given to anyone.

Ice on Fire?

MONTPELIER — The annual Ice on Fire festival, a celebration of deep winter, will take place at North Branch Nature Center on Sunday.

The three-hour festival, which is set to start at 2 p.m., has been a tradition since 1996 and features a puppet parade, family activities, storytelling, theater and games, and ends with a giant bonfire.

Volunteers are needed between 1:30 and 4:30 p.m. and if you can spare the time contact Becky at

Let there be lights

MONTPELIER — The Capital City’s third Community Lantern Parade is still three weeks away, but, let’s face it, those lanterns don’t make themselves.

If you’re planning on participating in the Feb. 21 parade, you might want to join Saturday’s lantern-making workshop at the Montpelier Senior Activity Center.

The workshop will be held from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. with visual artist Kalie Schneider providing participants with pointers about how to make handheld luminaries from willow branches that are lit from within by battery-operated LED lights.

No experience is necessary, and all tools and materials needed will be provided, though, if you have a pair of handheld pruning shears, you’re asked to bring them along.

There is a cost — $35 for the general public and $10 for members of the senior center. Either way, preregistration is required by Friday. Just swing by the senior center office to sign up.

Art and Magic

MONTPELIER — Montpelier Alive has announced that Magic Hat Brewing has signed on as a presenting sponsor of this year’s Art Walk in the Capital City.

The quarterly event, now known as Montpelier Alive’s Art Walk, presented by Magic Hat, showcases the work of central Vermont artists at dozens of venues across the city. With Magic Hat’s support there are plans to expand Art Walk to five dates in 2019 to include more art and music planning.

Magic Hat was named one of the Ten Best Businesses Partnering with the Arts in 2017. Each Art Walk will feature a pop-up event hosted by Magic Hat.

On Friday, from 5 to 8 p.m., Magic Hat will host an event at 43 State St., the former home of Asiana House, when four artists will paint alongside music by Eric George and a Magic Hat bar featuring specialty brews. The artwork will be available for sale in a silent auction, with half the proceeds benefiting Montpelier Alive.

Many other venues will have an artist in attendance and refreshments for art viewers.

The other four dates for Art Walks this year are May 3, June 6, Sept. 6 and Dec. 6.

For more information, visit

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