Arts, Dining & Entertainment

East Poultney Day celebrates 82 years

Saturday, Aug. 12, 9 a.m.—EAST POULTNEY—The Poultney Historical Society will hold the 82nd annual East Poultney Day on Saturday, Aug. 12, from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. on the East Poultney green.
Over 40 local vendors will include area farmers, artisans, and organizations, which will fill the green with unique products and collectibles, including antiques, handcrafted jewelry, artwork, woodcarvings, maple syrup, farm products and homemade foods. The Poultney Valley Snowmobile Devils will provide tasty grilled burgers and hotdogs, and other fresh food vendors will have snacks and beverages to enjoy as well.
Re-experience the past on the green with exhibits and demonstrations of traditional skills throughout the day including woodworking on a replica shaving horse workbench (also available as a raffle prize), wool spinning, loading and firing of a Civil War era historic musket, and old-fashioned silhouette portrait–making by flashlight or candlelight.
Daniel Lang will display his carpentry skills with his nearly completed tiny house temporarily re-located on the green for the day, and visitors can watch celebrated local artist Peter Huntoon paint one of his signature Vermont scenes.
All three of the Historical Society museums will be open during the entire event with exhibits or activities at each building. The East Poultney Schoolhouse will feature the original Poultney Ballot Box where you can cast your vote on a 1916 “Yellow Ballot” for or against “immediate alcohol prohibition.” Make your decision based on the arguments published back in that year’s Poultney Journal, and take a look at reproductions of news items from historic votes in town.
In the Melodeon Factory, view historic photographs with the new exhibit “The Lake: 1890-1910,” featuring prints of glass plate negatives with families enjoying Lake St. Catherine at the turn of the last century in elaborate summer clothing.
The 1791 Union Academy will be the center for children’s activities. At 9:30 a.m., there will be a morning story hour by Poultney Public Library director, Rebecca Cook. Horse-drawn wagon rides for families will circle around the green until mid-day with Addison County teamster Nick Hammond. Dancer Maya Kraus will offer lessons to children in early American dance on the lawn. In the afternoon, and kids can join the democratic process by getting involved in the Greatest American Ice Cream Vote (free tastings of course) with the winning flavor announced during the 3-4 p.m. raffle drawing.
There will be music in the main events tent in the center of the green featuring Extra Stout at 10 a.m.; Ben Grosscup at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m.; and Spruce Knob Uprising at 1:45 p.m.
The day ends with the annual Poultney Historical Society Raffle Drawing at 3 p.m. accompanied by Ben Grosscup’s music. Grand Prizes include an exquisitely-made Hubbardton Forge floor lamp, a locally built reproduction shaving horse, paintings by Peter Huntoon and Dick Weis, and $100 cash.
Plan to stay in East Poultney after the vendors pack up for a worship service in nearby St. John’s Episcopal Church at 4 p.m., which will feature music from the rare Nutting organ, played by James Cassarino. This antique church, built in 1832, has remained unchanged for almost 200 years. Worshippers, historians and the curious may sit in gated pews under globed kerosene lamps to hear a rare Vermont-made hand-pumped organ, still rich in sound. The Rev. John Miller of Fair Haven will conduct the Episcopal service and James Cassarino, professor of music at Green Mountain College, will bring the organ to life.
The United Baptist Church of Poultney will once again offer its church supper from 5-7 p.m., restoring a tradition that locals remember and anticipate.
Joining the activities on the green, non-profit organizations such as BROC, the Poultney-Mettowee Natural Resources Conservation District, Slate Valley Museum, Poultney Valley Snowmobile Devils, The Silent Friend Slate Project, and the Slate Quarry Park Group will represent their programs as well.
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