Vergennes has lots of holiday spirit

REMEMBER WHAT IT felt like to meet Santa? Kids have a chance to do that on Dec. 3 at the Bixby Memorial Library in the morning, and at the Vergennes Opera House in the afternoon.

VERGENNES — Tradition returns to the Little City as Vergennes readies to kick off the holiday season.

Before we get into the madness that we call December, the Vergennes Partnership is looking to light a little fire with a Small Business Saturday promotion this Saturday, Nov. 26. Vergennes area merchants are encouraging people to shop locally and build up our local capital. It’s great to shop in-person — to see and interact with others face to face — but lots of Vergennes businesses also have online site where you can shop if you are more comfortable that way. Enjoy the hometown atmosphere that warms the heart from 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Look for special opportunities to win throughout the day.

If you are out in West Addison that day — or if you just like hyper-local shopping — head to a vendor/craft fair from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. at the West Addison Community House on Church St. The event is organized by Better Days 4-H Club to raise funds for the club.

The following Saturday, Dec. 3, will see Santa and all his friends and associates peak in to Vergennes in what is this year being called “Ho Ho Ho Holiday Stroll.” As is often the case, a lot of the activity will take place at Bixby Memorial Library, which will host an open house from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. And — tradition again — Santa himself will be on hand to read Clement Moore’s “’Twas the Night Before Christmas” to the little tykes at around 10:30 a.m. It’s great to see their eyes light up and their mouths go quiet as they settle in to listen to the Holiday Eminence.

Singer-songwriter Jon Gailmor will entertain the jolly makers at the library with holiday favorites around 11 a.m. Gailmor travels down from his northern Vermont home to spend this special Saturday morning with the Vergennes community. Come and sing along and lift your spirit.

After some holiday refreshments compliments of the Women’s Forum, the wonderful Addison County women’s barbershop chorus Maiden Vermont will serenade Holiday Strollers at the Bixby from 12-12:30 p.m. If you didn’t get a chance to check out the Friends of the Bixby used book sale, then now is the time to do it. The sale continues until 1 p.m. (By the way, if you wish to donate books to the sale, do so on Thursday, Dec. 1, 3-6 p.m. in the back parking lot at the 258 Main St. library. Holiday books would be especially welcomed; organizers ask that fiction titles should be published after 2010 or by a popular author, and non-fiction should be current and saleable.)

Throughout the day there will be a puzzle swap at the Bixby — bring a puzzle, take a puzzle — and holiday cardmaking; create a beautiful holiday card with themed supplies that will be on hand.

If your kids (or anyone) doesn’t get enough crafting in with those cards or time with Santa, head over to the Vergennes Opera House. Santa will be headed that way, too, where he will sit down to talk with children about their holiday wish lists from 1-3 p.m. Kids can get their pictures taken with Santa and a creative local artist will be providing a holiday craft for children to do while waiting. 

Night falls early in December and people in Vergennes will gather to mark the coming of the darkness with celebrations in City Park from 4 to 6 p.m. There will be fire pits, marshmallow and more. Get into the holiday mood with a singalong at the Vergennes Congregational Church beginning at 4:30 p.m. Maybe the singing will carry on out to the green, where revelers will be waiting for the 5 p.m. lighting of the park. The arrival of the dazzling SD Ireland Holiday cement truck, which will be bedecked with thousands of Christmas lights, ends the evening with a breathtaking display.

As the nights continue to lengthen, there is all the more reason to take part in the Little City Light Tour on Thursday, Dec. 8, from dusk until 8 p.m. Take a self-guided light tour throughout the Little City with more details coming from the Vergennes Partnership. A great place to end up is in the heart of downtown for the merchants’ Magic on Main promotion that evening. Feel the magic and keep it local this holiday season with unique gifts in a no-rush setting, up-down-and-around Main Street, Vergennes. The Partnership is working on special surprises throughout the night. So far two dozen businesses have pledged to take part in Magic on Main.

There’s nothing quite like a Broadway show. They are simply magical. People scurry out of the chilly city air and into ornate theaters to take their seats, the orchestra is tuned and sets are in place, the velvet curtains go up and the show begins! No matter how many times a performance is played, the audience is treated to an otherworldly experience. 

Lucky for us, we don’t have to travel to New York City to get a taste of Broadway’s magic. Vergennes resident and owner of the Emerson Guest House on Main Street Bill Carmichael is a Broadway veteran, and he’s been bringing a show he calls “Broadway Direct” to the Vergennes Opera House stage for the past 16 years. Carmichael and several of his Broadway friends are once again going to bring the sounds of Broadway to Vergennes for one spectacular evening on Friday, Dec. 9.

This year’s show features not only Carmichael and a returning pro Elisa Van Duyne, but also new to the VOH stage will be David L. Murray Jr. (most recently seen locally in St. Michael’s Playhouse summer performance of “The Mountaintop”) and Madison Claire Parks (seen in St. Michael’s “Desperate Measures”). Joining them will be local high school talents, Lilly James Roberts, who played the title role in Mount Abraham Union High School’s “Hello, Dolly” this month, and Asa Barker-Rouse straight from Middlebury Union High School’s “Music Man” earlier this month. 

All will be accompanied by the talented pianist Scott Nicholas. 

The program for this year’s Broadway Direct features musical numbers from “Guys and Dolls,” “Ragtime,” “Hairspray” and a special tribute to Stephen Sondheim. 

Doors and cash bar open at 6:30 p.m. — curtain rises at 7:30.

If that doesn’t get you ready for the holiday, there is still Champlain Valley Christian Reformed Church Christmas cookie sale the following day — Saturday, Dec. 10 — from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Look for a large selection of Dutch specialties, fancy homemade cookies, and treats for sale. Enjoy hot cider and festive music while you shop. 

To top it off, take the kids to a seasonal movie at the opera house. “The 12 Dogs of Christmas” will be screened at 4 p.m.

Share this story:

More News
Homepage Featured News

More free meals for kids offered this summer

Local youth will have more opportunities to access free meals this summer, after several f … (read more)

Education News

New book: CCV instills hope in higher ed

Many young people today are deterred from higher education by the rising cost of college, … (read more)


Historic Monkton church reviving as a community hub

A local cultural hub has come full circle over the past 157 years. In its early decades, t … (read more)

Share this story: