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Ferrisburgh news for Aug. 5

FERRISBURGH — August is here and the Ferrisburgh Fire Department is holding its Chicken BBQ Dinner, complete with Jerry’s Famous Sauce (the recipe being a carefully guarded secret.) This long-time summer tradition opens at 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 21, and will close only after all the chicken is devoured. This year the meals will be available by take-out only, but you can still enjoy the scrumptious eats and support the critical services of our Ferrisburgh volunteer fire department.

Our area schools are actively preparing for fall 2021 with plans for recovery from the effects of COVID on the 2020-2021 school year. The first day of school is Wednesday, Aug. 25. Ferrisburgh families and residents are encouraged to keep updated on plans for recovery and other improvements designed to create a solid learning environment for our students. Community input is sought on the use of the federal Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund (ESSER) funds. Information on these plans, in addition to a slide presentation and a community survey, can be found at www.anwsd.org/esser-recovery-php. The Addison Northwest School District Board will be meeting in August to review the survey results and plan for the use of these funds.

There is a lot of activity at the Ferrisburgh Union Meeting. The Friends of the Union Meeting Hall and the board have been raising funds and plan for the restoration of the building in phased projects. Recent projects involve upgrading the building’s rest rooms so as to be ADA compliant and repairing and painting the steeple. The Friends of the Union Meeting Hall, formed in December 2019 to maintain and protect the building as an architectural and historical treasure. Revitalizing the hall will create a gathering space for an array of community events and programs and serve as an anchor for our town center. In alliance with the Ferrisburgh Historical Society, the Town Hall, and the Rokeby Museum, the Union Meeting Hall will help create a historic corridor in our town that celebrates the unique cultural identity of Ferrisburgh. Please consider supporting this important effort to restore one of our town’s major historic community buildings. More information on the restoration and how you can assist is unionmeetinghall.org.

Rokeby visitors can explore the Museum’s grounds, hiking trails and the permanent exhibition of “Free and Safe: The Underground Railroad in Vermont.” The Museum’s exhibits, nine historic farm outbuildings, and trails are open daily from 10 a.m.-5 p.m., from mid-May to late October. In addition, Rokeby will hold several ongoing special museum days.

The museum’s most well-known event, the Pie and Ice Cream Social, will be held on Sunday, Aug.15, from 1-4 p.m.. Come enjoy home-baked pies, ice-cream, raffle baskets, and fun for all ages. Pies have been made at Rokeby since 1793, so we can continue with this tradition all while enjoying live bluegrass music from the Shelburne band, the Meat Packers. 

Noted artists EveNSteve will share their award-winning short film “Rokeby” with the public at a screening and artists’ talk on Sunday, Aug. 8, at 1 p.m. In 2019, EveNSteve were commissioned to make artwork for Rokeby. The resulting 30-foot monumental artwork forms the basis of the film “Rokeby.” In the artwork, Stephen Schaub employs a 140-degree Noblex panning-lens camera, which creates individual panoramas that mimic human vision. The resulting in-camera college on film expresses a total combined reality of 840 degrees — a scene rooted in reality, yet which does not actually exist. The short film has been named a winner in the History/Biographical category of the IndieFEST Film Awards and is an Official Selection of the Montreal Independent Film Festival. This is not to be missed! 

Rokeby will hold another summer storytime and activity on Tuesday, Aug. 17, from 3:30-4:30 p.m., in collaboration with the Bixby Library in Vergennes. Books will be geared to elementary-aged children but all are welcome to join. Weather permitting, the stories will be read outside among the historic farm buildings. It is suggested that families bring blankets and/or chairs. No pre-registration is required.

Ferrisburgh Day is back after a break of several years. The event celebrates our town’s history, culture, local talent, rural life and landscapes. The celebration will take place Sunday, Sept. 26, with events scheduled to take place all over town between the hours of 10 a.m. and 8 p.m. A few of the organizations working to make Ferrisburgh Day a great celebration of our town with open houses, workshops, crafts for sale, food to eat and live music include: Ferrisburgh Central School, Selectboard and Town Offices/Community Center, Ferrisburgh Volunteer Fire Department, Town Highway Department, Friends of the Union Meeting Hall, Ferrisburgh Historical Society, The Rokeby Museum and the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum. Fun activities in the works are an arts and crafts exhibition at the Town Community Center, a farmers’ market, a walk through the town forest led by Craig Heindel of the Conservation Committee, live music at the Union Meeting Hall, and free ice cream by Cookie Love for kids who visit at least four of the day’s events. Businesses and other groups can choose to participate on a level that works for their organization, whether special offers or an open house. The Planning Committee is also seeking donors to support marketing expenses. Donors will be listed on the Ferrisburgh Day participant list, which will be available to the public. Please contact the planners for more information on how to participate: Gail Blasius, [email protected]; or Ashley LaFlam, [email protected].

The Lake Champlain Maritime Museum is open and has eliminated museum admission fees for the 2021 season. The museum will be open through Oct. 17 every day from 10 a.m.-4  p.m. offering select indoor exhibits along with the extensive outdoor activities on its three-acre campus. Visit www.lcmm.org for more information.

The museum has lots of activities this summer. Visitors can participate in the rowing programs and events, dive under and explore a shipwreck, or step aboard the canal schooner The Lois McClure. The museum now offers weekly open-water rowing through the fall in both Vergennes and Burlington for adults of all ages and abilities. Also available are custom small group rowing tours this summer with the Museum’s experienced open-water rowing staff and fleet of traditional wooden rowing gigs. Families are urged to consider signing up for one of the many youth summer camps, such as the underwater archeology camp Aug. 23-27. 

The Bixby Library is in full swing for the summer and ready to provide a wide range of services for our community. Visit the Bixby website to learn of the many August events such as book clubs for adults and the children’s story times: www.bixbylibrary.org. This month’s Bixby Book Club for adults meets Monday, Aug. 9, at 7 p.m., to discuss “The Ten Thousand Doors of January” by Alix E. Harrow, about a woman’s journey of self-discovery after finding a mysterious book in a sprawling mansion filled with curious treasures. The children’s story time at the Vergennes Bandstand will be held on Wednesday, Aug. 11, 10:30-11 a.m. The Friends of the Bixby summer book sale (one of six book sales this summer) will be held on Saturday, Aug. 14, from 9 a.m.-noon.

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