By the way for Jun. 20

Summer must really be here, the Vergennes City Band will open its season of Monday evening concerts this coming Monday, June 24. Not only will VUHS band director Sue O’Daniel begin her 37th year leading the orchestra, but City Park will, at the same time, host the 45th Annual Strawberry Festival with homemade strawberry shortcake and a beverage for $6. The concert is free. The berry sales begin at run from 6 to 8 p.m. and the concert begins at 7 p.m.
Gov. Phil Scott early this week signed Bill S.40, a new law calling for testing and remediation of lead in drinking water at schools and childcare facilities. The bill benefitted from the support and testimony of several Addison County lawmakers and citizens, including Middlebury College Prof. Molly Costanza-Robinson. A professor of chemistry and biochemistry, Costanza-Robinson provided key testimony at the Vermont Statehouse this past winter on her experiences testing water at Middlebury-area schools and on the importance of preventing people — especially children — from ingesting lead. Sen. Ruth Hardy, D-Middlebury, was also a champion of the bill.
City residents on Wednesday, June 26, will be offered an informal look at recent Vergennes City Hall renovations — including the new conference room — and a chance to chat with city officials. The Vergennes Partnership is organizing the event, which will run from 5 to 7 p.m. It’s being described as the “Summer in the Little City Blender.” According to leaders of the partnership — the group charged with enhancing the city’s downtown and economy — the event is a chance to “network, brainstorm, meet and mingle with city leaders, business owners and more in a casual, open-house setting.” And see the Vergennes Partnership office, too, of course.
Attention Lincoln residents: You’re invited to pull poison parsnip along Lincoln’s roadsides from 9 a.m. to noon this Saturday, June 22. This non-native plant doesn’t just squeeze out native plants, it also produces a nasty rash if you’re unfortunate enough to make contact with its sap when the sun is shining (the burning reaction is activated by sunlight). There’s not much in Lincoln yet, so there’s good chance of keeping it at bay with a regular pulling process for the next few years. The group will meet at the sports pavilion behind the firehouse. Bring a shovel and gloves, and be sure to stay for lunch (noon-1) and giveaways.
The Henry Sheldon Museum invites you to celebrate Independence Day at its annual Pops Concert featuring the Vermont Philharmonic. This popular family event takes place on the spacious, manicured grounds of the Middlebury College athletic fields, behind the Mahaney Arts Center, nestled between and with views of the Adirondack and Green mountains. The grounds open at 5:30 p.m. for picnics, and the concert begins at 7:30. Fireworks at dusk. Bring your blankets, lawn chairs, flashlights, and picnic dinners. Plenty of free, convenient parking. Rain site: The college’s Kenyon Arena. Adult tickets are $25 (after June 25, $30), Youth ages 12 – 18 only $10, and Children under 12 free thanks to our business and individual sponsors. 

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