2023 Best of Vermont Summer Festival a success

Troy Wunderle on stilts. Photo by Paula Benson

LUDLOW, Vt. – For the third consecutive year, the Best of Vermont Summer Festival, hosted by the Okemo Valley Chamber of Commerce, was held at the Okemo Field in Ludlow, over the weekend of Aug. 26-27. Presented with sponsorship from William Raveis Real Estate, and lead sponsors Okemo Mountain Resort, Mary W. Davis Realtor & Associates, Meiomi Wines, M&T Bank, Engel & Volkers, and Diamond Realty, over 100 vendors were set up across the field. Food from the Hangry Hog, Mach’s Mobile Wood Fired Pizza, Smokin’ Bowls, and more, a display of antique tractors, demonstrations, activities for children, and a bandstand featuring live music throughout the day, gave visitors a lot to be excited about.

Antique tractors on display. Photo by Paula Benson

It was just over a month ago that the town of Ludlow, and many communities in and around the Okemo Valley, experienced severe storms and flooding, and many homes and businesses are still recovering. Thankfully, the rain predicted for much of the weekend held off for the most part. The bright blue skies were a cheery sight, with big, puffy clouds that resembled the maple cotton candy made by Papa John’s Sugar Shack out of Mount Holly.

Antique cars at Benson’s Cruise-In. Photo by Paula Benson

A returning festival favorite, Troy Wunderle from Wunderle’s Big Top Adventures, had his head in the clouds, literally, towering above the crowd on stilts. He exchanged high-fives with the kids, juggled pins, and offered instruction on circus performance art.

An alpaca at the petting zoo. Photo by Paula Benson.

Two adorable alpacas from Stonewall Fields Alpaca Farm calmly chewed hay and agreed to an occasional pat on the head from a festival visitor.

Artists from Vermont and New England showcased their unique creations, such as handmade jewelry, pottery, woodworking, art, crafts, and specialty foods from local makers like Ted’s Wicked BBQ Sauces, 802 Heat Hot Sauce Co., Crowley Cheese, Salsa Sisters, and Stewart’s Maple. Beer was on tap at the Mount Holly Beer stand, and Meiomi Wines hosted wine tastings.

This year, the proceeds from the gate donations and raffle will go to support the Okemo Valley Disaster Relief Program.

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