Another successful Chester Festival on the Green

Chester Festival on the Green. Photo by Alex Remolador

CHESTER, Vt. – For 45 years, until a Covid cancellation in 2020, the Chester Festival on the Green has taken over the center of Chester, Vt. It has been known far and wide for its assembly of eclectic local and regional artisans, crafters, and artists. Last year, the Chester Community Events Committee, led by local merchant Scott Blair, created a new version of this quintessential small town Vermont attraction, expanded to include agricultural displays and attractions for kids, as well as increased band and performer presence, food vendors, and a beer garden; that is, “Something for everyone.” This year, a large crowd turned out once again on two picture perfect Vermont September days for all the vendors and events.

Blair said that last year the committee’s goal was to make the festival both “something different and the same.” This year, according to Blair, they “took what [they] had, and expanded a little capitalizing on the popularity of the agricultural aspect.” He recognized that the agricultural features were “a huge hit,” and, this year, the committee added things like “Cow plop bingo [and] pumpkin bowling.” Other agricultural events featured live animal shows, birds, a sheep dog demonstration, honeybees, hay wagon rides, and chainsaw carving. Performers included Dustin Marshall, Elizabeth Lahey, Brooks Hubbard, Chris Pallautto, Johnny O, and Jenny Porter. This year, performances were held in a food court featuring food trucks from all over Vermont.

Blair said that there were approximately 82 vendors this 2022 season, an increase of roughly 20 vendors compared to 2021. A youngster, Calan from New Hampshire, was present with his parents, who were running the Bavarian Beer Garden. Calan had his own table set up, and he was selling lemonade, sweetened by your choice of honey or maple syrup. Upon being asked who made the lemonade, he answered, “Grandpa and me.” In response to the question, “What do you think of the festival?” he said, “Great!” The couple who brought The Imagined Birdhouses and More

Calan, of New Hampshire, selling his own, homemade lemonade at the Chester Festival on the Green. Photo by Bill Lockwood

from Cornish, N.H. were presenting all kinds of re-purposed and reimagined objects, such as old spoons and wooden crafts, “Saving things from the landfill.” They said that this was their sixth year at the festival. They added, “We love it. That’s why we keep coming back.” They also noted that the festival was “well organized.” Another couple brought their Treasured Turnings from Laconia, N.H. Their booth featured handmade wooden bowls. This was their fourth festival. They said, “We enjoy the crowd. It’s usually good people.”

Jess, a Greenfield, Mass. resident who bought a house in Chester during Covid, said she came last year trying to find a way to get connected with local organizations. She said of this year’s festival, “It’s really nice. There’s a lot of great art and crafts here, and its great to see so many people out and about.” Nearby Springfield residents Alex and Mary Ann Remolador said that this was their first festival. Mary Ann said, “It’s just delightful. So many people out and about, and the food is great.” Alex said, “I’ve never seen such a long line of vendor tents at a festival in Vermont.”

WOOL Radio from Bellows Falls had a booth where they broadcasted music and interviews live on their station. There were also community organizations present, such as Senior Solutions. Jo Anne Erenhouse, Community Relations Director of The Council on Aging, was at the festival doing outreach, “Encouraging everybody to age successfully.”

Blair said that the committee will soon be back at work, planning for next year’s festival.

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