Arts, Dining & Entertainment

Brandon hosts 10th Moonlight in Vermont festival

Courtesy of Gerd Hirschmann

Fabian and Roxana Belmonte dance the forbidden dance with other  professional instructors during the 10th anniversary celebration of “Moonlight in Vermont,” Sept. 10.

Sept. 10-13 — BRANDON — From Sept. 10-13, the historic town of Brandon, Vt., turns into an international tango destination. The 10th anniversary celebration of the “Moonlight in Vermont” tango festival kicks off at 7 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 10 with a live performance by the Boston-based Orquesta Sin Trabajo, a tango orchestra with nationally acclaimed musicians Carlos Moreno, Tilly Kimm, Abigale Reisman, and Rob Flax, who bring early 20th century Buenos Aires tango music alive (violin, bandoneon, bass, piano) at the Brandon Town Hall. $15 tickets are available at Carr’s Florist, the Brandon Inn or at

The festival tango star dancers and teachers will give impromptu performances at the Brandon Town Hall concert and throughout the festival. From Argentina: Ariel Barrionuevo and Lorena Gasse, Fabian and Roxana Belmonte, Gustavo Benzecry-Sabá and María Olivera; from Texas: George and Jairelbhi Furlong; from San Francisco: Christy Cote; and from Boston: Mary Ellen and Thomas.

Mostly from Argentina, international tango instructors descend on Brandon annually for the weekend after Labor Day. They teach dancers from Vermont, Montreal, Boston, New York and beyond, how to perfect their tango moves and understanding of the music and history of tango. And according to tradition, the nightly dancing goes into the morning hours. The festival takes place at the Brandon Inn through Sunday afternoon.

Gerd Hirschmann from Chittenden, founder and organizer of the “Moonlight in Vermont” tango festival and a passionate tango dancer and instructor himself, said, “After ten years of organizing more of an insider festival, we want to celebrate the 10th Anniversary by pulling out all the stops and reaching out to everyone interested in dance throughout the state and the town of Brandon, which has been such a wonderful and picturesque venue for our international guests. I am particularly happy to collaborate with and support the historic Brandon Town Hall this year for the Orquesta Sin Trabajo performance. And the Brandon Inn has set this festival so apart from all other venues with its unique charm and celebrated ballroom.”

The international tango performers and instructors, who all have been teaching at the festival for years, plan their yearly travels around this weekend to be sure not to miss it. “The ‘Moonlight in Vermont’ tango festival is very special for us because it is such a unique setting, well organized and has great participants. It’s got character and soul,” remarked the Brandon Inn’s owner Sarah Pattis, adding “We are absolutely thrilled to have hosted the festival since the very beginning. We love that the Brandon Inn has become a center of the international tango world. Everybody has such a glow when leaving and almost all come back year after year.”

Mountain Times Newsletter

Sign up below to receive the weekly newsletter, which also includes top trending stories and what all the locals are talking about!