Summer may quickly be disappearing; however, before autumn begins there is still time to squeeze in a bit more outdoor family fun and activities. Beginning on Friday, September 20, and continuing through Sunday, September 22, the annual Barns and Bridges Festival, sponsored by Valley Arts and Jamieson Insurance Agency, celebrates the official end of summer and the start of autumn in the Mad River Valley.
The Valleywide festival, Moretown to Warren, offers the opportunity to experience the arts and the rich history of the area’s farms and covered bridges. The weekend begins Friday evening with the annual Green Mountain Photo Show (4 to 9 p.m.) in the Red Barn Galleries at Lareau Farm/American Flatbread, Route 100 in Waitsfield. Portions of the barn date to the 1800s and have been restored and repurposed to house major art exhibitions and activities.
New for the 2019 festival is the Historic Bridge and Barn Tour sponsored by Yestermorrow and Valley Arts. This docent-led tour allows visitors to tour interiors of barns with views and experiences rarely offered to the public. The tour starts Saturday morning, September 21, at 9 a.m. at Yestermorrow and concludes about 1 p.m. at the restored and repurposed barns at Mad River Distillery. The tour includes lunch. Reservations can be made through Yestermorrow at https://yestermorrow.org/events. An alternate tour of gardens, horse enclosures and hydroponics is planned by Amy Todisco.
Two events not to be missed on Saturday are the chain saw carving demonstration and the Waitsfield Farmers’ Market. The art of chain saw carving can be found on Bridge Street in Waitsfield from noon to 3:30 p.m. Watch as wooden sculptures emerge from wood.
Sunday’s opportunities include a number of family-friendly events. In the morning and early afternoon feel free to visit farms and the historic bridges in The Valley. Everyone knows the three iconic covered bridges; however, there are two relatively new bridges in The Valley worth visiting – find one at Sugarbush Village and one at the Battleground Condominiums. Numerous farms will be welcoming guests throughout the day providing outstanding photo opportunities. A map with the locations and visitor times will be available throughout The Valley starting Thursday, September 19.
Salt and Sand welcomes adults and children to its grounds and studio-barn for its free Glasstastic Celebration on Sunday afternoon from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. Located south of Warren on Route 100, the grounds are the location of an old barn restored and repurposed as a glass studio. While there, watch glass-blowing demonstrations, make a glass pumpkin souvenir, join a free yoga experience and partake of food by Mad River Taste Place.
Not to be missed on Saturday and Sunday are two major art exhibitions, “Human Nature/Nature Human” at the Bundy Modern (noon to 5 p.m.) and the Green Mountain Photo Show at Lareau Farm/American Flatbread (noon to 9 p.m.). Valley galleries and studios with more great art experiences are generally open until 6 p.m. on both days.
The weekend concludes Sunday afternoon and evening with music by The Grift at Worthy Burger Too in the Mad River Green Shops, Route 100, Waitsfield, from 4 to 7 p.m.