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Join us for our July 3rd Independence Day Celebration in Downtown Montpelier!

Today in Montpelier

Special Thanks to Botanica Florals

Jun 10 2024

Botanica Florals is a highly-regarded local retail florist that sources flowers from local growers along with hand-picked selections from around the world. With the goal of enhancing connection in the community for special occasions, Botanica Florals allows its customers to express sentiments through the sharing of beauty and nature. 

Last winter, Botanica Florals greatly supported Montpelier Alive by contributing to the downtown’s lighting, holiday lights and decor... 

Montpelier's Race Against Racism

May 24 2024

Montpelier’s Race Against Racism 

Almost every year for the past decade, Montpelier-area high schoolers organize a phenomenal event that supports and fosters local student activism. According to Heather McLane, Community Based Learning Advisor at Montpelier High School, what began as the humble idea of freshman Hope Petraro and adult activist Henry Harris has evolved into an annual staple for the local community and even state-wide. The goal of Race Against Racism is to strengthen and amplify the crucial conversation surrounding racial justice in Vermont, and to strengthen the idea that change is now. It strives to provide an opportunity for the community to come together to listen to the voices of people of color in our state, in order to learn, grow, and support one another.

A Bright Winter for Montpelier

May 20 2024

A Bright Winter for Montpelier

By: Sheena Khan (Marketing & Communications Manager for Montpelier Alive)

Montpelier Alive has big plans this winter! Thanks to some successful grant writing and crowdfunding, we will be able to complete Phase 1 of our ambitious Bridge Illumination Project. The Bridge Illumination Project will artfully light up to seven of Montpelier’s downtown bridges, connecting neighborhoods to each other and the commercial center. Montpelier Alive is currently installing the necessary electric infrastructure on seven historic bridges and this winter will light the School Street, Langdon Street, Bailey Avenue and Rialto Bridges!



Lighting Up Montpelier!

Apr 10 2024

Thanks to extraordinary community effort, Downtown Montpelier has largely recovered from
the devastating flood this summer. Its commercial center remains fragile, however, and needs
your help.
To attract residents and tourists downtown, make walking in the city safer during the winter
months, and to celebrate the resilience and recovery of the capital city, Montpelier Alive is
working to illuminate up to seven historic bridges along the Winooski River and its North
Branch.
In the winter of 2023, as part of a pilot project, Montpelier Alive, Montpelier’s downtown
revitalization non-profit organization, lit up the Langdon Street bridge. Twinkling lights wrapped
around the steel trusses illuminated the center of town and reflected off the river. What was
once a dark side street became a magnet for holiday shoppers, evening dining and a vibrant
music scene. The sparkling bridge declared that Montpelier was open for business and
welcomed all to the party!

Montpelier Alive is collaborating with local historians and naturalists to use Montpelier’s unique
history to inform each bridge’s illumination design. For instance, the Rialto bridge will be
underlit to highlight the North Branch River that runs beneath two lanes of traffic, two
sidewalks and an entire building on State Street! The trusses of the Granite Street bridge will be
lined with large white bulbs, to highlight the engineering of the structure and mimic the rivets
holding the steel beams together. The impact of seven bridges, each uniquely lit, will transfer
Montpelier’s cityscape this winter.
Katie Trautz, Executive Director of Montpelier Alive, believes "Illuminating Montpelier's Bridges
will not only be impactful for our downtown economy as visitors from near and far come to
witness the lights, but the project will act as a metaphor for community resiliency, bringing our
town together for a better future."
This initiative will not require Montpelier tax dollars. Donations and grants will provide the
funds necessary for building the electric infrastructure, the services of the New England Holiday
Lighting Company, the professionals responsible for the magnificent Shelburne Museum Winter
Lights display, and the modest amount of electricity required for the energy efficient LED lights.
Lighting will be limited to times when downtown restaurants and theaters are open to allow
dark skies for sleeping and enjoying the night stars.
Help Montpelier Alive light up the capital city this winter! If the campaign reaches its $13,350
goal by May 31, 2024 the Montpelier Bridge Illumination Project will receive a matching grant of
$26,650 from DHCD’s Better Places program. Click HERE for project details and to DONATE.
The focus of the Better Places grant is on the three bridges that illuminate downtown: the
Rialto, Langdon and School Street bridges. Any remaining funds will help build the
infrastructure to also light the Bailey Avenue, Taylor Street, and Main Street bridges that cross
the Winooski River. Montpelier Alive plans to continue raising funds for all seven bridges over
the next year. For more information on the Bridge project, visit Montpelier Alive’s webpage:
montpelieralive.com/bridges

Montpelier’s BIPOC female-led small businesses

Mar 29 2024

There is so much that can be highlighted about Montpelier’s female community leaders and small business owners that one can create a whole series on the topic (and we just may do so!).    By providing opportunities for wealth creation and economic advancement in minority communities, BIPOC businesses play a critical role in bridging the economic divide which in the long-term, contributes to a more equitable and just society. There are a plethora of amazing female-owned or led businesses in Montpelier to choose from, but to wrap up this Woman’s History Month, we are proud to feature a few of the BIPOC

Why Post Offices are crucial to the landscape of a healthy downtown

Feb 16 2024

On January 8th, 2024, Ben Doyle, chair of the Montpelier flood of 2023 Commission and Montpelier’s congressional delegation called for a rally to restore its downtown post office, after the building which housed it was devastated during last summer’s historic flooding. Community members spanning all ages demonstrated their needs and frustrations in order to bring federal attention to the impact of this essential, yet missing public service. Montpelier’s downtown - being the downtown of the State’s Capital - is the economic, cultural, and civic center of Vermont. The lack of convenient access to a post office has far-reaching implications on a myriad of levels which

Montpelier Commission for Recovery and Resilience works to create a more resilient community for all

Feb 08 2024

Washington County’s July flood impacted much of the Winooski River Watershed (This watershed begins in the town of Cabot and flows 90 miles to Lake Champlain in Colchester.) The watershed drains approximately 1,080 square miles in central Vermont, encompassing all of Washington County, along with other Vermont counties and is the largest tributary watershed to Lake Champlain. It includes almost 10% of the land area of Vermont. In addition, the river has seven major tributaries, most of them, North Branch, Dog River,  Stevens Branch, Little River and Mad River are located in Washington county (source from Friends of the Winooski

Celebrate the season in Downtown Montpelier!

Dec 02 2023

No matter how you celebrate the holiday season, downtown Montpelier offers something for everyone throughout December, culminating in a “uniquely Montpelier” New Year’s Eve celebration. During the darkest month of the year, downtown lights up the evening (or afternoon, at 4pm!), with holiday lights, greens, and festive window displays. Local artists display their artwork in storefronts yet to open from the summer floods, as part of  the City’s Renewal Project.

Flannel Friday 2023

Nov 10 2023

Show a little love to downtown Montpelier, shop local! Flannel Friday starts off the holiday season on Friday, November 24th, the day after Thanksgiving. Montpelier's unique and locally-owned businesses offer a wide variety of unique gifts and they could all use extra love after recovering or still recovering from the July flood.  Come downtown in your flannel attire on Flannel Friday because if you're spotted by the Flannel Fairy, you can win prizes and gift cards from downtown businesses!  On November 25th, Small Business Saturday, is a day to celebrate and support our downtown businesses and all they do for our community. It's

The Taste of Montpelier Food Festival Returns to the Capital City October 7th

Sep 27 2023

  The Taste of Montpelier Food Festival, presented by Hunger Mountain Co-op, returns for its third year. This year it’s the main event of Montpelier’s Reopening Celebration! Taste features food trucks, vendors and artisans, chef demos, beer and cocktail gardens and street performers - this year’s Taste of Montpelier has it all!    The main attraction, The Great Taste runs from 1-5pm on Saturday, October 7th on Langdon Street and State Street from Main to Elm. It features over 20 food trucks and artisan foods. The demo tent features four different presentations ranging from a high school student teaching how to make tamales,

Free and Local Outdoor Summer Music in Montpelier

Jun 22 2023

Summer officially kicked off last week and we’re incredibly lucky to have a vibrant music scene throughout Central Vermont... and so much of it is free! This article focuses on music in Montpelier, but to learn what’s happening throughout Central Vermont, check out the free music series in surrounding towns over the summer in the text box.

What's Make Music Day all About?

Jun 16 2023

We interviewed Jolynda Burton, Music Education Director at the Monteverdi Music School about the first upcoming coordinated Make Music Day in Montpelier.   What is Make Music Day and how did it get started:  Make Music Day began back in 1982. The first World Music Day was organized by the French Minister of Culture as a celebration of the joy of music. The story goes that a cultural study showed that roughly half of French citizens played a musical instrument. This inspired Monsieur Lang to create an event where people would share their music with the world. Thus, Fêtes de la Musique (“Festival

Montpelier's Inspiring Women

Mar 17 2023

March means Women’s History Month, a time to celebrate women and the myriad contributions they make to society. Montpelier’s woman-owned small businesses run the gamut from Althea’s Attic Boutique to Zutano. There are also Montpelier mavens breaking barriers in traditionally male-dominated industries. Show your support for all women by giving them your business this month—and every month.

Reuse, Recycle and Repair

Mar 13 2023

When I first moved to Montpelier 30 years ago, I repaired my shoes at the Cobbler's Leather Shoppe, at 67 Main Street, where Splash is currently located.  When the store closed a few years later, I remember the owner, Charlie Baril, telling me no one repairs shoes anymore. I was disheartened, but in researching this blog, I learned many downtown businesses still repair and refurbish. With only one landfill in Vermont, and all the benefits of keeping items in circulation as long as possible, Montpelier Alive wanted to feature these diverse shops in town, helping us to Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle!

Sledding in Montpelier

Jan 19 2023

The city of Montpelier was built in a valley surrounded by the Green Mountains. The various hills and slopes that make up the valley provide locals and visitors alike an opportunity to experience some of the best sledding in Vermont. From the trails of Hubbard Park to the newly opened slopes of the Elks Club, to the warm delicious food and beverage served downtown, Montpelier offers people of all ages a fun sledding experience.


Why Shop Local?

Dec 22 2022

I especially enjoy our downtown during the holiday season - the beautifully decorated historic buildings, the diversity of our downtown stores, the unique products they offer, and the delicious foods at cafes, restaurants, and bakeries to stay warm and visit with friends. Additionally just outside downtown, shoppers can enjoy skiing, sledding, hiking… in our incredible parks and outdoor spaces. Topping off this season, parking is FREE, up to two hours, through Christmas eve!

Halloween in Montpelier

Oct 27 2022

The fall season in Montpelier is full of things to do and see. The turning of the leaves paired with the brisk Autumn weather brings in many new people. The month of October in Montpelier is a combination of Foliage festivities, later being outnumbered by Halloween-themed events. Halloween is a favorite holiday locally, but some events tend to fall under the radar. You may ask yourself, what kinds of Halloween celebrations happen in Montpelier that are so special?


Learn from the experts: Chefs share their secrets!

Sep 08 2022

The Taste of Montpelier Food Festival is unlike any food festival you've been to before. Forget about those stuffy events with $100 tickets off in the middle of a hot field. Join us in the heart of Montpelier's downtown to get a true taste of what we're all about. Fun, approachable, delicious.

Vermont Mountaineers: Community Summer Baseball at its Finest

Aug 02 2022

Montpelier is unique for so many reasons, including the endless recreation opportunities in and around the city. One of the many hidden gems in this town includes the historic grandstand and baseball field at the recreation area on Elm Street. The Mountaineers are proof that small towns can dream big!


High Summer: Upcoming Events in Montpelier

Jul 22 2022

Summertime in Montpelier is always very eventful, and we are certainly in full swing! The next two weeks are especially packed with fun and unique events. Here is a summary of what lies ahead...


Do Good Fest: Doing Good For the Community and Beyond…

Jul 14 2022

Do Good Fest has been one of the most successful music festival ventures in the state of Vermont. For eight years, the festival has been rocking Central Vermont with popular music for a good cause. We found out a little more from Beth Rusnock, President of the National Life Group Foundation, about this fabulous upcoming event.


July 3rd Independence Day Celebration in Montpelier is Back!

Jun 09 2022

The streets of Montpelier have been pretty quiet on Independence Day over the past couple of years. We know the community has been eager to come together to celebrate, and the parade and fireworks have been greatly missed. We’re happy to say that the Montpelier Alive team has been hard at work to bring back the Capital City’s largest festival of the year!

Creative Aging Takes the Stage at June's Art Walk

May 25 2022

“Creative aging is an important component of healthy aging, empowering older adults to reflect on life experiences through artistic skills and share their imaginations and ideas with friends, family, and the community" Central Vermont Council on Aging is hosting a celebration of creative aging on Friday, June 3rd from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at Vermont College of Fine Arts.

Beautiful Montpelier: A Conversation with Linn Syz about Downtown Flowers

May 19 2022

We recently sat down with Linn Syz, former board member at Montpelier Alive, to discuss her efforts to keep Montpelier’s downtown streets beautiful and full of colorful flowers. Linn has volunteered for years to maintain and expand the plantings across Montpelier. Her efforts are key part of Montpelier Alive’s broader commitment to downtown beautification, including holiday decorations, the procurement of benches and trash cans, public art, and more. We asked Linn about the history and the behind-the-scenes efforts that go into the downtown flowers.

Summer Events in Central Vermont

May 11 2022

Some would say that summer is the best season in Vermont. Even though we can make the case for every season, it's hard to argue with gorgeous weather (escape the humidity and visit our magical land where the average high in July is just 83!), long summer evenings, front porch living, and dips in the swimming hole. But summer in Vermont also means fun, festive, and unique events throughout central Vermont!

Green Up Day: Making Montpelier Sparkle!

May 06 2022

Each spring, after the last snowfall, when the smallest patch of snow melts from the shadiest corner of the lawn, we begin the process of cleaning up the yard. Somehow, everything from a toy truck, to gardening tools, and even a half filled can of beer, begin to appear randomly scattered across the brown patchy grass. We can’t quite recall how it got there, and why we forgot to pick them up last fall, but nevertheless, it isn’t pretty! By May, the work weekends begin and the grass turns greener. After Green Up Day, on May 7th, our lawn as well as everyone else’s in Vermont, begins to sparkle!

Enjoying Spring in Montpelier

Apr 14 2022

This is spring here, tumultuous and dramatic, and full of wonder. It’s as if we forget every year, and are taken by surprise as the sun sets and the evening wood frogs chime in. 

March for Meals: The 50th anniversary and celebration of the Meals on Wheels program, A lifeline for many Vermonters

Mar 03 2022

According to the Vermont Foodbank, one in seven Vermonters are struggling with food insecurity. The rugged rural beauty that defines Vermont can make it a challenging place to live for older adults, who often struggle with transportation. The isolating nature of rural living can make it hard to even determine who is in need. Meals on Wheels is a lifeline for these home-bound seniors.