‘Taste of Montpelier’
MONTPELIER — The buzz is still building about the second annual “Taste of Montpelier,” and organizers are confident it will make the inaugural version seem like, well, an appetizer.
Don’t take our word for it. Just ask Dan Groberg, executive director of Montpelier Alive.
“It was a big hit last year and we’re excited to continue to grow it,” says Groberg, who noted the recipe will include a few new ingredients.
Sure they’ll be food (lots of it) and live entertainment (lots of that, too) during a State Street-closing Saturday afternoon.
But the “Taste of Montpelier” is a three-day affair (unless you count the Montpelier Burger Battle, which is still a work in progress and, if all goes well, will stretch into October.
Saturday is the big day and last year’s “Feast of Fools” has been replaced by “The Great Taste.”
The latter is a much more robust edition of last year’s test run, which was held amid pandemic-related uncertainty.
Groberg says he is confident “The Great Taste” will taste great and, in addition to an impressive collection of some of Vermont’s best foods, will feature live entertainment in two locations and a series of chef demonstrations.
The last of them is BYOB (bring your own bread) because the “Bread Doctor” Martin Philip, the award-winning baker and author, as well as baking ambassador at the King Arthur Baking Company, will be diagnosing what ails your baked goods in real time at 3 p.m. on Saturday.
Most of the demos will be under the tent on State Street, though there is one planned at the Capital City Farmers Market earlier in the day, and another competing with the bread doctor at the Barr Hill Cocktail Garden.
There is an awful lot going on and because mentioning it all just isn’t practical, we are encouraging you to check out /montpelieralive.com/taste to find out what’s happening where and when is the next best thing.
BARRE — How did more than 250 letters written during the U.S. Civil War by a pair of paper-saving soldiers who were born and raised in Williamstown wind up in a wooden box in the attic of a Pittsburgh home?
That head-scratcher has long since been solved by Carleton Young, who said he won’t be bringing the box, or the letters he discovered in his parents’ attic more than 15 years ago, with him to central Vermont this weekend.
There is no need, according to Young, who said the letters and, to a lesser extent the box, figure prominently in a PowerPoint presentation the retired high school history teacher will be giving at the Barre Elks Lodge on Saturday afternoon and the Williamstown Historical Society on Sunday.
Both events are free and are far from the first time Young has traveled to Vermont since he came across the letters written by Williamstown residents Henry and Francis Martin in 2006.
Both Martins were members of the First Vermont Brigade. Henry was a casualty of war, losing his life in the Battle of the Wilderness. Francis lost his leg due to an injury he suffered in the Battle of Cedar Creek. He eventually returned home to Williamstown, which is where the letters were until they weren’t.
Here’s where Young had to do some sleuthing, because while his father, William, grew up in Barre and was the valedictorian of Spaulding High School’s Class of 1937 and his grandfather — also William — worked in the local granite quarries and eventually married his grandmother, Ada, who taught at Spaulding, there was no obvious connection the sprawling Martin clan from Williamstown.
Not until Young discovered his grandfather was briefly married to Bernice Sibley, who died in 1915, and was a granddaughter of the brothers’ father, Chester Martin through his second marriage.
Piecing that together wasn’t easy, but it explains how the box of letters landed in the family and how, when Young’s father moved to Pittsburgh in during World War II, it ended up in his attic.
The rest, as they say, is history — both literally and figuratively.
The letters themselves have now all been transcribed, though that was trickier than it sounds because the Martin boys were fans of the paper-saving technique known as “cross-writing.” There are several examples in Young’s presentation of letters that were written, turned sideways and then written over to share stories from the war that were well-preserved in a wooden box.
Saturday’s free presentation at the Elks Lodge will start at 1:30 p.m. Those who are interested can make reservations for a luncheon that will be served at 12:30 p.m. by calling 802-479-9522.
Sunday’s 4 p.m. presentation will be at the Williamstown Historical Society. That is a repeat performance for Young, who was last in Williamstown in 2019 talking about the letters written the Martin boys wrote during the Civil War.
BARRE — Spaulding High School’s homecoming parade isn’t ready yet, and this year’s organizers are hoping to make it a much bigger deal than the four floats — one for each class — that have typically been featured in the annual procession.
Growing the parade into the “huge community celebration” are Pam Smith and Danielle Brizzolara, co-advisers of Spaulding’s National Honor Society. What they have in mind likely will be a years-long enterprise, but they’re hoping to start building this year.
Perhaps you can help.
They’ve lined up the high school’s marching band and a contingent from Spaulding’s J-ROTC program, but that was low-hanging fruit. So are the four floats that students in each class create in a competition that is a Spaulding tradition.
That’s a solid foundation, but Smith believes bigger is better, and would happily accept offers from folks who want to participate in a parade that will be held a week from Saturday (that’s Sept. 17, if you don’t have a calendar handy).
The time is still a moving target, but it likely will be mid-afternoon and conclude at Spaulding before the kickoff of this year’s homecoming game.
Classes past are encouraged to think about entering; so are local businesses, scout troops, dance schools and the like.
Everything is possible and the bigger the better, according to Smith.
“We’d like homecoming to be a huge community fun time,” she says.
So how do you sign up, or inquire about signing up for this year’s homecoming parade?
Just shoot an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and Smith says she or Brizzolara will get right back to you.
MARSHFIELD — Tonight is movie night in Marshfield, where the folks at the Jaquith Public Library will end their recent run of outdoor movies with one they went out of their way not to advertise.
Not because they don’t want to spread the word, but due to licensing arrangements because they can’t. In order to know what show’s going on in Marshfield, you need to poke around.
The series started with “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle” a few Thursdays ago, followed by “Black Panther” on Aug. 25 and “Galaxy Quest” a week ago.
Tonight “The Muppets” will take over the outdoor screen at the Old Schoolhouse Common at 8:15 p.m., and if you bring your family, and a blanket, some lawn chairs or even your vehicle, you can enjoy the last movie of the season courtesy of a local library that is recruiting both vendors and volunteers for their “Harvest Festival,” which is set for Sept. 25.
Have something you want to contribute to Talk of the Town? Email it to email@example.com. Be sure to put Talk of the Town in the subject line.