Toy Run

MONTPELIER — If you like the sight of motorcyclists parading around with silly soft toys strapped to their bikes, then this one’s for you.

The 33rd annual Toy Run on Saturday will be a sight to behold as more than 1,000 motorcyclists thunder their way through central Vermont to raise funds and deliver toys for kids at Shriners Hospitals.

The event is organized by United Motorcyclists of Vermont, which is dedicated to motorcycle safety, education, awareness, pro-motorcyclist legislation and individual freedom. Over the years, the event has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for Shriners Hospitals for Children, organizers said.

Every year, motorcyclists from across the region and the country converge on central Vermont for a rally between Berlin and Montpelier, via Barre, culminating at the State House where toys and cash donations are collected. There will be speeches, music, raffle drawings and the chance to meet and greet Danielle Trottier, of Barre, who is Miss Vermont Outstanding Teen 2019.

Participation in the rally is free and there will be the chance to sign up for a year’s free membership of United Motorcyclists of Vermont at the parking lot of Blue Cross Blue Shield in Berlin, where the rally begins. Regular membership costs $15 for a single member and $25 for a couple and includes a T-shirt, pin, patch, pen and the club’s “undying gratitude,” according the club’s promo materials. Also, the club will raffle off four $50 gas cards, but you must be present at the State House drawing to claim them.

Frank 107.1 FM, the official radio station of the rally, will broadcast live from BCBS and at the State House.

The rally gets underway at noon and will make a circuitous route through Barre to Montpelier, arriving about 1 p.m. at the State House.

A recent fuss about not being able to travel down State Street because Capital City Montpelier Farmers Market has moved onto the street during the summer was resolved when market organizers agreed to close early.

Several other local motorcycle chapters or groups of riders will leave other parts of the state — such as Essex, Morrisville, Newport and St. Johnsbury — earlier in the day to arrive in time for the start of the Berlin rally.

For more information, visit

Summer of ‘69 redux

MONTPELIER — Where were you during the summer of 1969?

It was an iconic year for America, marking the start of the counterculture nation for many young people who were a part of major events of the times, most notably the Apollo 11 moon landing and the Woodstock music festival across the lake in Bethel, New York.

There were, of course, infamous events, such as Ted Kennedy’s Chappaquiddick, Charles Manson and rise of the cult and the Stonewall riots in New York City that led to the birth of the LGBT movement. Part of the mix, on the music and film culture side, were the release of the movie, “Easy Rider,” and the Atlantic City Pop Festival — the forgotten prelude to Woodstock, two weeks before, with many of the same artists.

So in honor of this momentous anniversary, you’re invited to bring your memories and memorabilia to a one-time participatory workshop at the Montpelier Senior Activity Center on Barre Street from 1 to 3:15 p.m. Thursday — the 50th anniversary of Woodstock, to the day.

“The Summer of 1969: From Easy Rider to Woodstock” will be a special workshop by Allan Mackey, of Montpelier.

Mackey is an authority on the subject: He taught a course at the Community College of Vermont from 1973 to 1981 and is considered an aficionado of the era.

Mackey still remembers his excitement when he first heard Little Richard belt out “Long Tall Sally” at the first rock ‘n’ roll show in Philadelphia in 1956. Ever since, he’s called himself a “Prisoner of Rock ‘n’ Roll.”

In 2017, Mackey presented a program at MSAC celebrating the 50th anniversary release of The Beatles’ “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts’ Club Band” album, the Haight-Ashbury scene and the “Summer of Love 1967.”

Participants will be encouraged to share their reminiscences with those who missed that summer.

A donation of $5 for MSAC members and $10 for the public is suggested, but no one will be turned away for lack of payment. For more info, call 223-2518 or visit

Chainsaw class for women

WOODBURY — Since we wrote about a chainsaw class for women in June, we’re told that interest has continued, with more courses planned.

Local resident Katherine Cole Scoville has since been signing up women interested in learning the skills of wielding a chainsaw, how to maintain equipment and the necessary precautions needed to avoid injury.

Scoville quickly piqued the interest of locals when she advertised the course on the Calais Front Porch Forum website. There is no charge for the two-day course at the Woodbury Community Room and at her home in Woodbury.

Scoville, by all accounts, is a capable, resourceful women who enjoys being energetic and engaged in her professional and personal life. She works part-time as a server at the Hardwick Street Café at the Highland Center for the Arts in Greensboro, as a department buyer at the Buffalo Mountain Co-op in Hardwick, and as a bus driver with Wild Cat Busing in Hardwick. She is the single mother of two children, Karria, 18, and Cyrus, 14 — both of whom can use a chainsaw, she said.

Scoville bases her skills as a teacher of chainsaw lessons on years of experience. She took a forestry course in high school in her senior year and learned how to operate a chainsaw. She started cutting her own wood when she was in her 20s and has used a chainsaw ever since.

Scoville realized there was a real lack of education on how to use a chainsaw. She said women, in particular, were fearful of chainsaws. So when local women found out that she cut her own wood, they were intrigued, she said.

Scoville spent last winter working on a plan for a class and received a prompt response when she reached out the community for students.

Scoville said the class is deliberately for women only to allow them to feel comfortable without having to be competitive with men.

Scoville’s lessons consist of a two-hour morning class at the Woodbury Community Room to learn the basic mechanics of a chainsaw and necessary safety clothing and equipment, followed by a two-hour class on handling the chainsaw and cutting wood at Scoville’s nearby home. The second day of classes is a two-hour session on maintenance of the chainsaw and more wood cutting.

There is no charge for the course, but participants can share a “gift of appreciation.”

For more information and to sign up for the course, email Scoville at

Makeover invite

NORTHFIELD — A demonstration project to focus on pedestrian access and Dog Park revitalization will be the theme of temporary makeover of the downtown Northfield corridor on Saturday.

The placemaking demonstration project along Wall Street to Water Street will include a celebration in Dog River Park.

Walkers, bikers, scooter riders and users of other non-motorized wheels of choice are welcome. Participants will meet at 12:15 p.m. for a 12:30 p.m. parade down the newly painted multi-use path to the park.

In the park, between 1 to 3 p.m., there will be a variety of activities, games and live music. The Happy Cow Truck will be hand out free frozen treats to the first 200 lucky recipients.

The placemaking project is supported by a grant by AARP Vermont.

Drive jive

MONTPELIER — If you’re looking to go green, Green Mountain Power is partnering with local car dealerships that sell electrical vehicles in August.

You’ll have the chance to ask questions, check out a range of vehicles and take test drives at GMP offices at 163 Acorn Lane in Colchester on Wednesday (Aug. 14); at 2154 Post Road in Rutland on Aug. 21; and at 7 Green Mountain Drive in Montpelier on Aug. 28. All events will take place between 3:30 to 6:30 p.m.

“EVs are less expensive to “fuel up” and require less maintenance, so you save thousands of dollars over the life of the vehicle,” read a GMP statement. . “Plus, you’re reducing carbon emissions by making the switch.”

GMP customers can qualify for up to $2,500 in rebates. To learn more, visit

When you switch to an EV, GMP will give you a Level-2 charger, a $600 value, to allow you to charge at home in just a few hours. For more details, visit

For more information, call Jenn Cortez at 888-835-4672 or email

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