July 4th in the Mad River Valley

Have you heard? Frendly Gathering is coming to Fayston – Mt. Ellen at Sugarbush to be exact, from June 29-July 1st. You know what that means right? There’s an opening act for Warren’s Fourth of July celebration! Buy your tickets early – they have weekend car camping passes, day passes for the music, weekend long passes for music only! It’s great to have summer music back at Mt Ellen, and it’s sure to be a great time. After the Frendly Gathering you then have two days to rest and recharge for the 4th of July celebration in Warren. This years theme is “Stars & Stripes”. I’m thinking there will be more than one float with an orange face on it. AND then, the Circus is coming to town (Waitsfield) July 5th & 6th. So, really you need to make a full week for this years visit for the celebration of independence day. Here is a YUGE list of other haps in and around the Mad River Valley here in Central Vermont. Here’s a short list to get you started: Rock of Ages at the Valley Players – runs Thursday thru Saturday from June 29th to July 15th General Stark’s Pub – Dinners Thursday to Saturday Waitsfield Farmers Market – Saturday July 1st Warren 4th of July Parade Circus Smirkus at Kenyons Field – July 5th & 6th Round up on the River – Happening down by the ‘S turn’ on the Mad River (Bridge Stree) every Wednesday from 5 til dark until September...

Almost There: The Mad River Valley (video)

“An unscripted film about the community we call Vermont’s Mad River Valley. We like to say ‘they come for the mountains, but they stay for the valley.’ In this video you will see local farmers, business people, tourists, barns, markets, craft beer, music festivals, skiing, kayaking, running, biking, swimming, golfing and more. Basically everything that steers our community toward the relaxing and enjoyable place it is. We hope you enjoy it as much as we enjoy living, working and playing here in the Mad River Valley.” Mad River Valley Chamber of...

Celebrating the 4th in the Mad River Valley

It’s almost time to get your Red, White and Blue on, and the 4th of July in the Mad River Valley is worth the price of admission. The parade in Warren is not your typical parade – there may be some emergency vehicles and fast cars in there, but you won’t find any Marching Bands or Shriners driving itty-bitty cars (what’s that all about anyway?). You will find political statements coming out the wahzoo, you might find some African dancing, you will definitely see an intricate float display from one of our iconic communities, yes, there will be candy, and probably a giant soaking gun and maybe, just maybe there will be Presidential Candidate Bernie Sanders. In the past, he’s been a staple of the Warren Parade, and there’s a bit of chatter going on around this year: will he be there or won’t he? My prediction is: Yes, he will be there. Oh and there will be what is my wife’s favorite part of the Parade: a fly by from our Vermont Air National Guard. Once the parade has passed – make your way up to the Brooks Field at the Warren Elementary School for food, music and kid friendly festivities. Since the 4th is on a Saturday, don’t forget to visit the Waitsfield Farmer’s Market. If you’re here Friday night getting ready to wave your flag on the 4th, I highly recommend having dinner at Mad River Glen’s General Stark’s Pub (or any summer weekend evening for that matter)  – that deck is just as awesome in the summer as it is in the winter And as...

Vermont Hilaria

While I was thinking about writing today, I got to wondering what the history was behind April Fool’s Day. I found that it actually goes back to ancient Greek and Roman times. Now you’re thinking “Alright Cliff Claven, what more useless information do you have?”. But seriously, how much more appropriate this year is the description of the ancient version of April Fool’s day – then known as Hilaria – than this: “its celebration was the first after the vernal equinox, or the first day of the year which was longer than the night. The winter with its gloom had died, and the first day of a better season was spent in rejoicings.” Say goodbye to winter cold, bring on the warm laughs. In previous years, local businesses have gotten involved in some great pranks: there was this one about traffic lights being installed in our non-light town. Or this one about Mad River Glen purchasing Mt Ellen. My personal favorite was a sign in the field of the iconic barn at the corner of German Flats and Route 17 owned by long time Fayston legend Arthur Williams declaring the site as a “Future home of McDonalds”. Now what better year than this cold one we’ve had in the Mad River Valley to celebrate Hilaria. I’m not wishing the snow away, oh no. But I am wishing for some corn snow to soften the turns, sunny skies to bring on the goggle tan and warm temps so we can shed the layers. And more specifically I’m ready to enjoy a cold beer on one of our iconic ski area...

Luck o’ the Vermont Irish

$17 dollar ticket to ski Mount Ellen. Mad River Glen is offering the same shamrock deal, but they’re making you work for it a wee bit – you have to flaunt the color; the “wearing of the green”. I have no doubt there will be beer flowing of the green variety and music to boot so get out your stomping shoes. That’s what I call lucky in the Mad River Valley....

Taking a Tumble at Mount Ellen

For some reason people always ask me what my favorite ski trail is. I dont really know why. After all, it is a very subjective question, and we all find pleasure in nature in very different ways. But I ran into a client at the ski area the other day and I found myself asking, “what was your favorite run (of the day)”. I couldn’t stop myself. It just popped out. And I wasn’t just making conversation. I have NO TROUBLE there. But then I had this epiphany. I realized I was asking because I wanted to know more about them. I knew who they were, I’d gotten to know them quite well during the process of researching real estate, and later constructing an offer and purchasing a home for them in the Mad River Valley. But there is a difference between developing a professional relationship and skiing with someone.  And what I learned is that there is a whole lot more to learn about people when you take a few turns with them on the mountain. You learn something about their personality, what gives them joy, how they handle adversity; you learn how they manage the challenge of staring down that which intimidates or scares them. Their skiers acumen, if there is such a thing. We skiers ALL have a favorite trail and I had never really thought about why my favorite trail was my favorite trail. Until that moment. When Sugarbush Resort’s Mount Ellen opened in 1963 as Glen Ellen, the trails were named to honor the Scottish heritage the resorts moniker suggested – Highlander, Royal Tartan, Brambles and...

It’s going to be a Sweetheart of a week in the Mad River Valley

  So the start of a holiday week is nearly upon us. Here’s hoping you have been lucky enough to get lots of skiing in already, and you’ve got rock solid skier legs so can happily take run after run, after run, after run and never tire out. In case you need a moment to let your legs recover, let’s look at what else the Mad River Valley has to offer; or even, if your legs aren’t whipped – you still have to get out and see all that there is do in Warren, Waitsfield, Fayston and surrounding towns! Start your weekend off by watching (or participating if you are reading this and you are 15 years old or younger) the Jr. Mogul Challenge, how about you take part in the Women’s only Telemark Clinic, support the MRG Freeski Team at the their Lasagna Dinner by eating and watching a screening of the latest Meathead Film all at Mad River Glen (check the full line up events at MRG here). Weekend events at Sugarbush: Torch Light Parade and Fireworks, live music all over the mountain, Local Artisan Market at Lincoln Peak in Warren (2/14-2/16). During the week – take your kids to see some awesome birds of prey, or talk yummy Cider with the brewers at Citizen Cider. And don’t forget – we have two great Nordic centers. Ole’s Cross Country Center is offering up some sweet Valentines love; bring your sweetie in for a ski on their gorgeous trails, give him or her a smooch in the shop and there will be some extra treats in store for you...
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