On August 18, 2021

Taste of Woodstock brings the whole village together

By Virginia Dean

Last Saturday was an unusually busy day for the village of Woodstock, with hundreds of visitors and locals descending on Elm Street to enjoy the 11th annual Taste of Woodstock — a festival of food, drink, live music, kids activities, dancing and shopping.

Sponsored by Bar Harbor Bank & Trust, The Daily Catch, and the Woodstock Chamber of Commerce in partnership with Artistree/Purple Crayon Productions, the event offers a “taste” of everything the Woodstock community is known for.

By Glen Weinstein
Both locals and tourists flocked to Saturday’s taste of Woodstock on Elm Street.

“It was a great success,” said Chamber of Commerce Assistant Director Kathy Avellino, “especially after taking last year off.”

Elm Street, in the center of the village, was closed to traffic and filled with over 40 vendors. The Daily Catch restaurant, for example, served its famous seafood and beverages at the south end of the street. Owner Maria Freddura said she was extremely pleased with the 2021 fête.

“It was a little quiet in the afternoon, but it was a really successful event,” she said. “There was a mix of people from out of state as well as locals, and they were all buying.”

Freddura said she could not have prepared her restaurant last weekend without the help of at least a half dozen volunteers, including the Woodstock Chamber of Commerce and the Woodstock Rotary, whose members assisted in setting up and closing. She brought her first-time head chef, Bernardo Coelho, who will begin his employment at the Catch next month, along with a qualified, enthusiastic staff. Serving New England’s Sicilian-style seafood and pasta, this smaller 35-seat restaurant will be open nights and weekends and will offer diners the same great flavors and quality as its Boston-based counterpart.

Fresh, delicious eats from Trail Break, Taps and Tacos, The Prince and Pauper, Village Butcher Shop, Dr. Coburn’s Tonic, and many others were available for patrons to sample in addition to award-winning jams from Blake Hill Preserves and all-natural cookies from Lark Fine Foods.

The Vermont Farmstead Cheese Company — Woodstock’s only cheesemaker — sold and offered tastes of its cheeses and even brought two young calves for petting.

“I had the best grilled cheese sandwich I’ve ever had,” said Avellino.

There were over 375 of said sandwiches on local King Arthur Bakery bread, which included over 85 pounds of cheese — the equivalent of milk from 15 of its cows for the day, explained Kent Underwood, president and chief operating worker of Vermont Farmstead.

“Our team at Vermont Farmstead has enjoyed participating in Taste of Woodstock every year it has been held,” said Underwood. “It is a great way to connect with our community and visitors to the area.“

While adults enjoyed the taste of Vermont-made wine and spirits, children enjoyed the kids’ activity tent with games, a drumming circle, street chalk and crafts throughout the day sponsored by Purple Crayon Productions. Booths with Vermont brands including Anna’s Empanadas, Eat More Pie, The Mansion’s Pantry, Silo Distillery, Caledonia Spirits, Mettowee Maple Valley and St. Johnsbury Distillery filled the street.

Local resident Kit Mead, owner of Crickit Cottage, said the event was a hit.

“It was a well-attended event,” Mead noted. “The numbers might have been a bit lower, but the town was still quite busy, and the people were out to enjoy the food, music, and festive atmosphere.”

Crickit Cottage is a new, home-based business established by Mead, who related that she has recently rediscovered her love of color, painting, and simply being creative. A fine arts major in college, Mead began her new endeavor by painting mailboxes and other craft pieces, and her house filled up fast. She sent them off to consignment, and, much to her surprise, they all sold. Her future business of hand painted treasures was soon realized.

Located at the south end of Elm Street, a stage was set up by musician Jim Yeager. The music began at 10 a.m. and featured such Vermont bands as Jack Snyder, Ella Atkinson, Still Hill, The Milhouse Heaters, Rick Redington and the Luv, and Adam McMahon.

Laura White of home-based Laura White Pottery said the Taste of Woodstock was a “great event.”

“I was happy to send pots to new homes,” she said. “It was fun to meet new people in the area and listen to live music. It felt especially good to be able to do a live event like this after so many cancellations last year.”

“I love my community and how pottery connects me to it in a really meaningful way,” said White. “I think it’s an honor to make things for people’s homes and businesses, and that keeps me striving to make the best pots I can.”

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