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The Barre Beat

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by Emily Kaminsky
There is so much happening in Barre that The Bridge has decided to devote a column every issue just to Barre. What better way to launch the “Barre Beat” than with community gatherings and celebrations!
Celebrations start on Friday, June 27 with the Capstone Community Action Block Party from 3:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Formerly known as Central Vermont Community Action Council, Capstone invites the community to celebrate its renaming and the completion of a successful capital campaign that brought them to downtown Barre. What’s in store? Information on programs and services, activities for kids, free food (hotdogs, hamburgers, veggie burgers) including Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, special guest speaker Senator Leahy, music by local Barre band Cruise Control, and the unveiling of a donor wall made by local Vermont artist Homer Wells and Stowe Craft & Design.
On Saturday, June 28, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Barre Elks Lodge, join the Barre Partnership and TD Bank Barre for a family-friendly community event launching the “Barre Community Ambassadors” program, a volunteer outreach program that will “provide the shot in the arm that our downtown needs to build on its current momentum,” according to Barre Partnership executive director Dan Jones. The event will feature live music by Native Tongue, food available from local Barre restaurants, drawings for gift certificates from local Barre shops and restaurants, and information on how to get involved in building a vibrant downtown Barre community.
The night of the 28th, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., the Old Labor Hall is hosting a special event honoring former Governor Phil Hoff and his wife Joan. The celebration will feature hors d’oeuvres and light fare by Bon Temps Gourmet. There will be a short program at 6 p.m. The event is open to everyone. There is no admission charge and no reservation requirement, but a $20 donation is recommended. Proceeds will benefit the Old Labor Hall. For more information, visit http://oldlaborhall.com/.
Friday and Saturday, June 27–28 is also the the third annual RockFire event, which combines art, music and fire on a monumental scale in the evocative setting of granite industry ruins known to locals as Millstone Hill. On Friday evening there is a mountain bike ride, a bonfire and after-dark disc golf. During the day Saturday there are various tours and tractor rides throughout the historic quarries. Then, at 7 p.m., there is a concert featuring local artist Bow Thayer and his band. RockFire kicks into high gear between 9:30 p.m. and midnight with an opening bagpipe fanfare and a two-mile-long “fire walk” around water-filled abandoned quarries and evocative quarry ruins. The pathway is lit with thousands of candles and luminaries and dozens of bonfires. Participants experience a variety of fire-lit art installations, as well as six live performance stages creating a moving audio-visual experience that culminates with a visit to the “Grand Lookout.” For the full schedule of RockFire events, visit www.rockfirevt.com. Advance tickets are available for purchase at the Millstone Hill Touring Center in Websterville and the Barre Opera House at 802-476-8188.
Nature walks at the Barre Town Forest are now in full swing. Every Tuesday and Sunday at 9 a.m., join Marianne Kotch and other volunteers for free guided nature walks. Meet at the 44 Brook Street parking area at 9:00 a.m. The walks are one and a half to two hours. On Tuesdays there are two guides, and each one will lead a group. There will be one group for fast walkers, and one group for leisurely walkers and walkers with children.
Monday, June 30, Barre City voters will be asked to vote for the fourth time regarding Barre City Elementary & Middle School’s revised budget proposal. Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Barre Auditorium. Information on the budget proposal is available at www.bcemsvt.org.
Certified Kripalu yoga instructor Brandy Kolling is starting up a Sunset Yoga at Bear Roots Farm in South Barre on Tuesday and Thursday evenings, starting July 1st from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Classes are by donation, and half of the proceeds go to Granite City Grocery’s efforts to organize a co-op grocery store for downtown Barre. Beginners and all levels are welcome. Bring your own mat or towel. And, come pick up veggies at the market stand too! Bear Roots Farm is located at 175 Snowbridge Road in South Barre. For more information, visit www.bearrootsfarm.com.
Barre has a great lineup of recurring events as well. On Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., visit the newly relocated Barre Farmers’ Market at the Vermont Granite Museum off of the Barre-Montpelier Road. Nearly two dozen vendors offer homemade goods, produce, herbs, maple syrup, local meats and other products. And, on Wednesdays in Barre, meet and learn from authors at Aldrich Public Library’s “Authors at the Aldrich” series at 6 pm. Then, head over to Currier Park for the Barre Partnership’s “Concerts in the Park” series from to 7 p.m. to 8 p.m.
There’s so much going on in Barre. Do you have news that’s fit to print for the Barre Beat? If so, contact us!

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