Vermont’s Cultural Heritage Days Begin May 27

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Major annual celebration of Vermont's culture and heritage, featuring signature, special events and ongoing experiences.

Vermont will celebrate ‘Cultural Heritage Days’ from May 27 to July 4, and state tourism officials say they hope it will help raise the profile of the wide range of events and experiences that Vermont has to offer that illustrate the state’s unique cultural heritage.

“When people think of Vermont, it is often in terms of our scenic landscape, our fall foliage, or a particular recreational activity,” said Governor Jim Douglas. “The idea behind Cultural Heritage Days is to go beyond the scenery to get people to experience the cultural traditions that have shaped, and continue to shape, Vermont’s landscape and its society.”

“Through Cultural Heritage Days, our goal is to connect visitors and Vermonters alike to the state’s rich cultural heritage through an event or experience that is individually meaningful for them,” said Vermont Tourism and Marketing Commissioner Bruce Hyde. “We hope this will then inspire them to explore other aspects of Vermont’s heritage in the future.”

The theme of Cultural Heritage Days is ‘Living The Traditions’ and the goal is to provide a window into the vast array of Vermont traditions, old and evolving, that can be discovered during a visit to Vermont. Vermont Cultural Heritage Days is divided into three main categories which include Signature Events (events that occur statewide or are statewide in focus), Special Events and Ongoing Experiences.

Signature Events:

Open Studio Weekend, May 27 – 28, (Statewide)

Vermont Open Studio Weekend is a celebration of the visual arts and the creative process held in more than 265 Vermont studio and gallery locations during Memorial Day Weekend. Visitors can tour historic villages and town centers or travel up mountains and down back roads to visit artists and craftspeople at work in their studios. Everywhere, they will find the natural beauty of Vermont and the artwork created in response to it. Visitors can plan their tour using the Vermont Studio Tour Map available from the Vermont Crafts Council at http://www.vermontcrafts.com.

Vermont Days, June 10 – 11 (Statewide)

Vermont Days offers visitors the opportunity to hike, paddle, climb, fish or just relax in beautiful and unusual settings in any or all Vermont state parks. They can also relive history and learn about historic contributions by Vermonters at Vermont’s state-owned historic sites. Vermont Days includes free day-use admission to state parks and state historic sites on Saturday and Sunday. On Free Fishing Day, Saturday, June 10, the whole family can fish statewide without a license or learn how to fish at free clinics. You can find out more about Vermont state parks at http://www.vtstateparks.com and Vermont historic sites at http://www.historicvermont.org.

Vermont History Expo, June 24-25,

(Tunbridge World's Fair Grounds, Tunbridge)

Visitors can experience Vermont’s living history in this event that spans generations. The Vermont History Expo, presented by the Vermont Historical Society, features distinctive exhibits from the collections of 150 local historical societies, museums, and heritage attractions. It also includes music and dance performances, traditional craft and historic preservation demonstrations, quilt and antique appraisals, children’s games, heirloom animals, historical talks and book signings, a parade, a genealogy resource center, and much more. For more information about the event, visit http://www.vermonthistory.org/expo.

In addition to the signature events, Cultural Heritage Days features a number of ‘Special Events.’ Among these are: Palettes of Vermont, a statewide community arts exhibition, the Vermont Dairy Festival, the Vermont Quilt Festival, the LCI Father’s Day Fishing Derby, the Strolling of the Heifers, Vermont Outdoor Woman’s ‘Doe Camp’, Burlington’s Discover Jazz Festival, Roots on the River Music Festival, Ethan Allen Days, Independence Day celebrations across the state, and many more.

Part of Cultural Heritage Days also includes shining a light on some of the ‘Ongoing Experiences’ that Vermont has to offer. The ongoing experiences are non event-based attractions that can be experienced during Cultural Heritage Days or throughout the year. Among the ongoing experiences are some of Vermont’s best-known treasures including the Green Mountain National Forest, the Vermont State House, Vermont state parks, Vermont historic sites and trails, a wide variety of museums and art galleries, country stores, farmer’s markets and historic community theaters, many with Vaudeville-era painted curtains.

Additional information about Vermont Cultural Heritage Days is available online at the official Vermont tourism Web site http://www.VermontVacation.com.

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