GFRCC hosts Southern Vermont Flannel Festival

Attendees at the 2022 Southern Vermont Flannel Festival sport their flannel. Photo by Debra Collier

ROCKINGHAM, Vt. – On Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 15 and 16, Rockingham Hill Farm was bathed in sunshine and stunning fall colors, welcoming a record number of attendees to the third annual Southern Vermont Flannel Festival.

Visitors paid $7 for admission with $1 off for wearing flannel, and were treated to musical performances, a variety of food and craft vendors, as well as cocktails, craft beer, cider, homemade pies, and a pie contest sponsored by King Arthur Baking Company.

On Saturday, the Brattleboro based folk trio Low Lily began the day of live music at noon with their world-class string and vocal talents. They were followed by Cold Chocolate, a Boston group that fuses folk, funk, and bluegrass to create their own genre-bending sound.

Sunday’s entertainment included The Break Maids, described as “rock n’ roll with a twist of folk punk,” progressive bluegrass group The Stockwell Brothers, and A Company of Witches, who showcased their witchy costumes and dance moves in two performances.

There were a variety of food trucks, including Smokin’ Bowls from Rockingham, who served hot and hearty soup and chili, Jamaican Jewelz, doling out spicy, authentic fare, Sunnyside Tacos, and Rescue Dawgs BBQ. Among the sweeter choices were AJ’s Fried Dough, or apple cider donuts from the Bellows Falls Rotary Club. Short n’ Sweet Fudge and Confections sold out completely around 2:40 p.m. on Sunday, and reported reviews ranged from kids spontaneously happy dancing to a woman almost tearing up over a sample of their lime fudge.

The Flannel Festival had a number of delicious food vendors. Photo by Debra Collier

The festival had too many vendors to name, with booths selling handcrafted jewelry from Coyote Moon, BADMamaBear, and Paparazzi, among others. Boccaccio’s & Cason’s Corner salon in Bellows Falls ran a pop-up shop offering product bundles, tinsel hair accessories, ear piercings, and chair massages. Rockingham’s Vermont Vines wines were on display, along with spirits from Appalachian Distillery, and craft brew from Mount Holly Beer. Soaps, candles, art, candy, honey, and so much more helped some visitors get ahead of their Christmas shopping.

A few notable people in attendance were Miss Vermont Alexina Federhen, Candidate for Lt. Governor David Zuckerman, and Springfield, Vt. artist Mona Frye, who was painting colorful, creative designs on lots of smiling faces.

Debra Collier, Executive Director for the Greater Falls Regional Chamber of Commerce (GFRCC), said the board had been brainstorming ideas when they came up with the Flannel Festival in 2019. “What could be more Vermont and New Hampshire than flannel in the fall?” said Collier, continuing, “The idea was to offer what folks want the most; like homemade pie, craft beer, great live music, and lots of local area crafters to showcase their wares and delicious local foods all in a casual atmosphere.”

The first year the festival ran only one day, then in 2020 it didn’t run at all. Back for the second year in 2021, the event established itself as a community building GFRCC fundraiser. When Charlie Jarras, the owner of Rockingham Hill Farm and a big Chamber supporter, offered his farm as a venue for the event, Collier and the GFRCC were excited and grateful.

Collier mentioned that she’d especially like to thank the Chamber board, all this year’s sponsors, vendors, the many volunteers and all the folks that came to enjoy the weekend and support the event and the Chamber. She said she looks forward to doing it all again in 2023.


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