October is chock-a-block with inviting events

Putting things into focus. David Lewis visiting from New York, focuses his camera on some autumn foliage on Saturday morning in Old Bennington. Photo credit: Bennington Banner.

October 1, 2023

The tang is back. Crisp, clear autumn air has arrived in Bennington as October begins, with cool mornings and pleasant, sunny afternoons in the forecast. Bennington escaped the floods of the past summer, but not the wildfire smoke; now, however, an AQI in the green zone lets you inhale the scent of ripe apples and fall leaves to your heart’s content.

Autumn Fest and Pig Roast at the Apple Barn

You can see why Vermonters call a truck like this a “beater.” Runs good, though.” Photo credit: Phil Holland.

Not to mention the aroma of cider donuts emanating from the Apple Barn and Country Bakehouse on Route 7 a mile south of town. In fact, that’s where the month kicks off, with an Autumn Fest and Pig Roast on the first of the month from 10 am to 6 pm. Feast on barbecue in their beer garden while a band plays on. Check their Facebook page for the full slate of the day’s activities, including plenty for kids.

Southern Vermont Homebrew Festival

Cut to Saturday, October 7th, and come to the 14th Southern Vermont Homebrew Festival, Fall Edition, at the Bennington Sports Center on Main Street downtown, noon to 4 pm. The Festival will feature 28 home brewers and more than 120 artisanal offerings. Brewers come from Vermont, New York and Massachusetts to showcase their creations and to compete in various categories. The public gets to enjoy unlimited sampling with a general admission ticket. Discounted designated driver tickets are also available, as are non-alcoholic drinks like freshly pressed apple cider. There’s music and food, too, and free parking, with downtown shops within walking distance.

Live Music in Bennington

The evenings of the 7th and 8th offer entertainment, too. The Soggy Po Boys are playing at The Little City Cider Company on the 7th at 7 pm (doors open at 6, advance tickets recommended), and on the 8th the Clements Brothers play The Coffee Bar downtown at 7 pm. The secret behind their uncanny vocal harmonies? They’re twins. 

Harvest Fest: Downtown Fun for All Ages

Can’t get enough of Fests? On the following Saturday (October 14, 10 am to 5 pm) Harvest Fest returns to the heart of downtown. It’s a fun, safe, family-oriented street festival (several streets are closed to traffic), with food, music, and all kinds of games and activities (25 of them, to be precise). There’s even a jousting demonstration by the local medieval community. Several shaded outdoor “adult beverage areas” enable you to enjoy beer or wine near the scene of the action. The Fest is free, and there’s plenty of parking nearby.

Explore ‘Haunted Vermont’ at Bennington Museum

Ready for something less – festive – but still fun? Besides its wonderful “For the Love of Vermont” show (see last month’s Vermont Begins Here post), the Bennington Museum has mounted a fascinating exhibition on the theme of “Haunted Vermont.” Books and memorabilia from novelist and former North Bennington resident Shirley Jackson (The Haunting of Hill House), spirit art and spirit photographs (a spirit mirror is ready for your spectral selfie), and the story behind the notorious Bennington Triangle are all on display. You can read all about it in Vermont Country Magazine.

Savor Local Cuisine in Bennington

Of course, you can just come to Bennington for food and drink. The popular Manchester eatery the Union Underground now has a Bennington location too (Union South) right in the center of town. It joins the Village Garage Distillery, Farm Road Brewery, and 421 among other new restaurants that have opened downtown in the last couple of years. Madison’s Brewing and Harvest Brewing remain downtown standbys. 

Whispering Bones: An Evening of Ghost Stories

As those colorful leaves you’ve been peeping at all month begin to fall, and the Hunter’s Moon rises over the Green Mountains, why not take in “Whispering Bones: An Evening of Ghost Stories” October 28th at 7 pm at the Bennington Theater downtown. It’s the last of a month-long series of entertainment offerings at the theater.

31st Annual North Bennington Halloween Parade

Village fun for everyone: The Vermont Arts Exchange’s 31st Annual North Bennington Halloween Parade, October 29, 3 pm to 5 pm, billed as “another wild and weirdly fun walk down Main Street and back to Lion’s Park.” Costume awards, bonfire, music and refreshments. “Hello Me” face-painting at the VAE begins at 2 pm before the parade.

Trunk or Treat: A Safe Halloween Celebration

Kai Piniero, Daniel Piniero, Heather Strain, and Julian Strain attended Trunk-or-Treat 2022.

“Spooky, not scary.” And safe for children (and adults). That would be the Bennington Banner and Coggins Autogroup 4th annual Halloween Celebration known as Trunk or Treat.  It takes place a couple of miles northwest of the town center at the Coggins Auto Group Dealerships at 751 N Bennington Road, October 28th, from 5:30 to 7:30 pm. Last year this event drew more than 1,300 kids! This year there’ll be food trucks and a dining area, a DJ spinning tunes on a dedicated dance floor, and – why not join in?

Pownal resident Phil Holland writes a monthly post for Vermont Begins Here.