Pocock Rocks… and rolls into Bristol

BRISTOL — The air was cool, Main Street was cleared of cars and the town of Bristol was thumping with the beat of local bands. It was Saturday, June 20, 2009, and the beautiful little town at the foot of the Green Mountains was hosting its first Pocock Rocks festival.
The festival that year had the tagline “Bristol’s Previously Pocock Street Fair,” and it showcased local music, food and businesses in a celebration of the town and its history.
A week from Saturday, on June 15, 2019, Bristol will be rockin’ again for the 10th time (the festival took one year off) for the Annual Pocock Rocks Music Festival and Street Fair!
The events take place between 3 and 8 p.m.
In addition to back-to-back musical performances on two stages (one at each end of Main Street), visitors to this free, rain-or-shine community event can enjoy SunCommon’s bouncy house and Vermont National Guard activities (they brought a really tall climbing wall in past years), as well as shop the street for jewelry, crafts, clothing, books and more. Bites and beverages provided by more than 25 Vermont specialty food and drink purveyors will fuel the day.
The event is organized by Bristol CORE, the downtown organization whose mission and passion is to bring people together, rally the resources to keep Bristol strong, celebrate its history and to plan for its future.
Back when the event started more than a decade ago, the organizing group was known as the Bristol Downtown Community Partnership. They estimated the turnout at Pocock I was between 1,500 and 2,000 people. The Partnership had spent 12 to16 months planning the festival, whose name gives a not to Bristol’s origins. The town was originally founded as Pocock on June 2, 1762, in honor of distinguished English Admiral George Pocock. The town’s name was changed, for unknown reasons, to Bristol about 25 years later in 1789.
Carol Wells, who headed up the BDCP during the first Pocock Rocks, said back in 2009 that the group wanted to start a “signature event.”
“Since we’re an organization that supports the downtown businesses, we wanted to have it in the heart of downtown,” Wells told the Independent at that time. “We can bring people into Bristol, let them know (about) all the great shops and businesses. Hopefully they’ll decide to come back.”
In addition to the music, the first Pocock Rocks included a blacksmith demonstration by Lee Beckwith. Mark Magiera, the brewmaster at Bobcat Café at the time, recreated one of his older brews, the Pocock Pilsner, for the occasion.
Following the large amount of planning for the first event, Wells hoped that it would become an annual event dedicated to supporting and celebrating the health of downtown Bristol.
“It’s always easier the second time around,” she said.
Eleven years later Bristol downtown and it’s supporters can certainly count the festival a success.
With Pocock Rocks 10 just about ready to lift off, Bristol CORE has magnificently carried the torch from that first festival. On the 15th, Bristol’s Main Street will be hopping with performances by six regional bands, food and beverage service from local eateries, brewers, and distillers, plus a street full of vendors, and family activities. The town’s restaurants and shops will also be open for business for the official kickoff of summer in Addison County’s Five Towns.
At the event’s core is an all-star lineup of well-known musical acts including: Big Night, Cookie’s Hot Club, The Aerolites, John Smyth, Rick Redington, and The Balladeer & The Bluesman. An after party at Hatch 31 will feature a performance by The Big Pick All Stars.
Plan to make a day of it. And if you like what you see, don’t wait until next year’s Pocock Rocks to return to Bristol. There’s a lot to enjoy there all year round.
Look who’s rockin’ Pocock in 2019
Big Night
Cookie’s Hot Club
The Aerolites
John Smyth
Rick Redington
The Balladeer & The Bluesman
The Big Pick All Stars

Share this story:

More News
Sports Uncategorized

MAV girls’ lax nets two triumphs

The Mount Abraham-Vergennes cooperative girls’ lacrosse team moved over .500 with a pair o … (read more)

Op/Ed Uncategorized

Hector Vila: The boundaries of education

There is a wide boundary between the teacher and the student, found most profoundly in col … (read more)

Naylor & Breen Uncategorized

Naylor & Breen Request for Proposals

Naylor and Breen 042524 2×4.5 OCCC RFP

Share this story: