Wind: 9 mph
Bridge Street is buzzing with energy as WaitsfieldVillage prepares for this Saturday’s Bridge Street Block Party on September 8. This year’s event, which builds on the spontaneous party organized by the Gulisano family last year after volunteers had worked for a week on flood cleanup, is titled “Vermont Strong: Celebrating Resiliency.”
The event will take place from 3 to 10 p.m. and will feature local food and music and highlight local work towards building sustainable/resilient communities.
“Marking a year since local communities were devastated by Tropical Storm Irene, the event seeks to:
● celebrate how far we've come and the hard work of so many people,
● shine the light on the continued need for recovery aid across the state,
● put forth a voice globally calling for solutions/action, as we have seen that what happens globally does affect us locally,” said one organizer, Peter Nielsen.
At 6 p.m., there will be a presentation with speakers representing the Gulisano family, the Mad River Valley Rotary and MRV Long Term Flood Recovery. Gwendolyn Hallsmith will speak about the Earth Charter, which will be signed by event attendees and presented to legislative delegation by local children. Anthony Pollina will speak in response to accepting the Earth Charter.
The Masonic Lodge is also joining in this community celebration. The representatives of Grand Lodge will attend and conduct a ceremony to lay the cornerstone for the renovation of the two-story front porch of the Main Street building that has served for the past year as Flood Recovery Headquarters. There will be guided tours of the upstairs of the Lodge, which has not been opened to the public for generations. The Masons will also be giving out door prizes, sponsoring a time capsule kids’ activity and will be showing the movie National Treasure at 7:30 p.m. with free admission.
From 3 to 5 p.m., there will be activities for children such as face painting, circus arts demonstrations and a cider pressing activity.
The street will be rocking all afternoon and evening with live music provided by
White Zinfandel, Last October, The Gulch Band, Tim Holter and friends, Phineas Gage Project and Sugar Shack. Community-focused nonprofits and displays will focus on flood recovery and ongoing community projects.
Peasant and Mint restaurants and The Sweet Spot will all be open and will be serving their patrons as usual. Party-goers are encouraged to make reservations at Peasant and Mint in advance.
Several local vendors will be set up along Bridge Street serving a menu comprised nearly entirely of locally grown food. Kingsbury Market Garden will be serving Seymour Farm burgers with their own tomatoes, greens and red onion on levain and farmstead with watermelon soda! Open Hearth Oven will have their wood-fired oven on site and will be tossing pizzas with fresh spinach and tomatoes from Gaylord and Hartshorn farms on an olive oil and garlic base topped with Maplebrook ricotta.
Michaels Good-to-Go will be celebrating the season with corn fritters, corn chowder and black bean chili, all made with local ingredients. Lisa Curtis of The Sweet Spot will be serving Gulisano-style homemade stromboli with sausage and mixed veggies from local farms.
Localfolk Smokhouse is dishing out their classic fare with Gaylord Farms smoked BBQ pulled pork, smoked BBQ chicken, smoked BBQ Saint Louis ribs, coleslaw and baked beans. Beer and wine will be served in a beer garden hosted by Quench Artspace.
The event is sponsored by 1% for the Planet, the MRV Rotary Club, HigherMind Mediaworks, MRV Business Builders, Sperry Tents, Hartigan Septic, Deerfield Designs, SunCommon and Waitsfield’s Masonic Lodge, along with dozens of volunteers working to organize logistics and entertainment donated by local musicians.