Vergennes to hold first annual Eat on the Green this Saturday

VERGENNES — It should be no surprise that the close-knit little foodie city of Vergennes has been organizing an unprecedented event that is inspiring its restaurant owners to work together for the benefit of the community. They will be doing just that on Saturday, Sept. 30, from 3-9 p.m. on the Vergennes City Green.
The mission of the first annual Eat on the Green is to gather and give back to the people of greater Vergennes by providing a venue to enjoy local food, music, games and neighbors while raising funds for four non-profits.
The idea was hatched by three Vergennes chefs, Ian Huizenga, Andrea Cousineau, and Matt Birong, who are also friends, despite owning different restaurants in the same town. “What makes us unique is that we collaborate versus compete with each other, which is uncommon in our industry,” said Birong, owner of 3 Squares Café.
Anyone attending Eat on the Green will benefit from the three chefs’ culinary collaboration. Eleven local eateries will serve what Birong calls “creative, approachable food that highlights each chef’s unique talents.” For Cousineau, who runs Park Squeeze and Black Sheep Bistro, the goal was to “create an event that was welcoming to everyone in the community, regardless of age or income.”
Kids are encouraged to attend Eat on the Green and enjoy a variety of events and activities designed just for them — including face painting, a hula hooping contest and a meet-and-greet with the famous human/canine duo, Bruce & Hobbes. Games including corn hole, plinko, and giant Jenga will assure boredom is not an issue. Prizes are included, as well.
Huizenga, owner of Bar Antidote and Hired Hand, recruited the three bands — The Good Parts, The High Breaks and Rehab Roadhouse — and will serve craft brews, hard cider and local wines in the beer garden.
There is no fee to enter the park and listen to live music from 3-9 p.m. Food, beverages and kids’ activities will require tickets. Purchase one ticket for $1 or 12 tickets for $10. Proceeds will benefit The Bixby Library, Vergennes Opera House, Vergennes Partnership and Boys and Girls Club of Greater Vergennes.
Huizenga’s patience has paid off; “This is an idea we’ve been kicking around for about four years now,” he says, “To see it come to light with the help of so many people who have Vergennes’ best interest at heart is really exciting.” For more information visit vergennesdowntown.org/eatongreen/.

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