Market’s winter launch

MONTPELIER — The growing season might be over, but this weekend marks the start of the winter season at Montpelier Farmers’ Market.

The popular central Vermont market will move to the Caledonia Spirits’ distillery on Barre Street for the winter season, beginning Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Two more weekly markets will be held on Dec. 14 and 21, and the market will resume Jan. 4 in the new year to operate biweekly through April.

Officials involved in the move to Caledonia Spirits said it is hoped to accommodate 30 to 35 vendors, some of whom will rotate from week to week to allow all market members to participate.

Adding prepared food service at the market will be Jimmy Kennedy, who runs JDK BBQ (and formerly River Run in Plainfield), who will offer pancakes and biscuits and fillings of Greenfield Highland Beef in Plainfield as well as charcuterie from Vermont Salumi in Barre. Kennedy is talking about dishing up eggs and ratatouille.

In May, the market will move to the state parking lot at 2 Taylor St., across from the new Montpelier Transit Center. It will be open between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m.

Lighting up holidays

MONTPELIER — A heads up that there will be two lighting events to celebrate the holiday season in the Capital City.

Today at 4:30 p.m., Gov. Phil Scott will preside over Montpelier Alive’s tree-lighting ceremony on the steps of the State House.

Following the ceremony, light refreshments will be served, and the governor will read a holiday story to children in attendance.

At 5:30 p.m. Dec. 11, Vermont College of Fine Arts’ Illumination Night will be held on the college green with holiday songs, hot cocoa and treats.

Lights 2.0

WATERBURY — Speaking of lights, Saturday marks the 10th anniversary of Waterbury’s River of Lights Lantern Parade.

This year’s theme is “REinventions! What will you REmake? Something REmarkable!”

Beginning at 5 p.m., the parade will leave Thatcher Brook Primary School on Stowe Street and make its way to Main Street before turning north to the finale at Dac Rowe Park, near the roundabout, for bonfires, hot chocolate and a special presentation by Jericho’s fire performance troupe Cirque de Fuego.

The parade will include music heavy on percussion from Burlington’s Afro-Brazilian marching band Sambatucada, and Crossett Brook Middle School’s junk band and drummers.

Parade participants will include pre-K through fourth-grade students who made lanterns in art classes led by parade coordinator and school art teacher MK Monley.

In keeping with the theme of the parade, students fashioned lanterns from recycled empty milk jugs and soft-drink bottles. Also, they repurposed lanterns from previous parades.

Visitors to the event are invited to bring a lantern or illuminated object and join the parade, or watch along the route. Parade organizers will have LED lights for sale in the Thatcher Brook School.

Visit for more information.

Helping hands

MONTPELIER — The Montpelier Homelessness Task Force has launched an appeal for donations of “survival-based needs,” including cash and goods — such as sleeping bags, tarpaulins, large and extra-large underlayers, heavy winter jackets, warm socks, gloves, flashlights and other needs — that would help the homeless bear the brunt of the cold.

Cash donations should be sent to the Homelessness Task Force Committee at Montpelier City Hall, 39 Main St., Montpelier, VT 05602.

Donations of goods should be coordinated by calling street outreach worker Dawn Little at 595-9084.

Sourdough starter

BARRE — Our sub-title is also the most important ingredient in making the best bread, pancakes, waffles, buns and other delicious recipes that call for it.

The key, we’re told, is to create and maintain your live sourdough yeast starter so that it’s “healthy, happy and ready to go” when needed.

The recently resurrected brick oven-fired Rise Up Bakery in Barre is offering a workshop next weekend, from 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 15, to learn how to make and maintain a sourdough starter, under the expert direction of head baker Jim Haas.

You can also learn the difference between various types of flour, how to make your own wheat sourdough, troubleshooting baking problems, learn the “baker’s math” for sourdough ingredients, and forming and baking sourdough loaves.

Every participant will leave with a small wheat sourdough and a sourdough starter (upon request).

The early warning about the class, which costs $80 per person (prepayment required), is necessary because the class is limited to only 12 participants.

Visit for more information including hours the bakery is open during the week to buy bread.

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