Editorial: Chili Fest is out, what’s next?

In a letter elsewhere on this page, Cornwall resident Bill Bierderman laments the cancellation of the Chili Festival, usually held in March in Middlebury’s downtown. Folks from all over have gathered for a mid-winter chance to congregate, chat and interact in what has been a truly fun event.
But all things run their course and with railroad construction looming, perhaps it’s time to consider new ideas. First, let’s note that the Better Middlebury Partnership is replacing the Chili Fest with Winter Fest, a family- oriented event at the town Rec Center this winter. The BMP is also working to host more smaller events, rather than a few big ones like the Wine, Beer and Cheese Festival, which require a lot of labor and money to host. Also MiddleburyUndergrounD, or MUD, continues to sponsor various events downtown and elsewhere, like Foodaroo, and dances at the Marquis Theater.
Could there be more? Absolutely. And here’s an idea: Encourage a different town or college association to run one event downtown per year, maximum of four, and let them reap the bene ts and bear the burden. Coordination with others, of course, is essential, but certainly manageable.
We agree that Middlebury needs more folks having a good time downtown — and more frequent smaller events, may be one way to do that on a consistent basis.
Angelo Lynn

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