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Chittenden County Arts Excursions | Fall 2020

A nighttime concert at Nectar's in Burlington.

Bands play on a stage atop a rooftop deck behind the restaurant at Nectar's.

Begin with Burlington City Arts. On Saturdays through October, from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., BCA hosts an Artist Market at 339 Pine Street in Burlington's historic arts district. Covid-19 safety precautions are in place to keep shoppers, vendors, and the broader community healthy.

Burlington celebrates the reopening of City Hall Park with weekend of entertainment on Oct. 16-17. Music, movies and tours of the renovated space along Main, St. Paul and College streets are on tap. The park has been closed for renovations for more than a year. Burlington City Arts has the full schedule, which includes a show at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday from 2020 Vermont Arts Council Award winner Ray Vega. Visitors are required to use hand sanitizer at stations at the park entrances; wear a mask at all times; keep six feet away from people not in their group; stay home if they don’t feel well; and stay off the grass. Access to the park may be restricted if the park becomes overcrowded.

Also at BCA this fall and through Jan. 23 is new work by EveNSteve called “The Home of My Choice,” to honor Alexander Twilight, America’s first Black college graduate and state legislator who taught and served as minister in Brownington, VT. The artwork consists of nine photographic panels depicting the Brownington Village historic district and surrounding landscape, including the Old Stone Museum, which was originally built as a dormitory for Twilight’s students. Hand-inscribed over and around the imagery are dates and descriptions of notable facts and events from Twilight’s life and legacy.

On your itinerary, you’ll also want to include Soapbox Arts gallery at 266 Pine St., Burlington. The gallery is currently showing the work of Mary Lacy, one of the Art Council’s Creation Grantees. Lacy’s exhibit, “Dishes,” features mosaics from smashed dishes and explores the dualities and conflicts bound in one's ever evolving relationship with the body. Visitors are limited to 30 per on hour block, with no more than eight guests in the gallery at one time. Masks required at all times. Gallery hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays. The exhibit runs through Nov. 21.

Oakledge Park in Burlington.

Picnic Pairing: Oakledge Park, Burlington. A waterfront park nestled along the shores of Lake Champlain, with unmatched views and plenty of trails. Two shelters will keep you dry if it rains.

In the mood for music? South Burlington’s Higher Ground offers a series of drive-in concerts at the Champlain Valley Exposition in Essex Junction.

The vast green expanse of the fairgrounds there can accommodate up to 250 vehicles. Tickets are only available online and are sold per carload up to five passengers permitted. If the weather allows, you can bring your lawn chairs and sit outside next to your vehicle with your picnic supper. A giant video screen near the stage helps with visibility. All proceeds support the Vermont Arts Council.

In downtown Burlington, Nectar's restaurant and bar at 188 Main Street has reimagined live music with its Backyard music series, where bands play on a stage atop a rooftop deck behind the restaurant. Limited indoor sitting is also available. Tickets must be purchased in advance.

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Last updated October 14, 2020.