Chester Fall Fest shines under two sunny days

Suzanne Lawler of Six Loose Ladies, far left, attracts attention on the converted stationery bike, which now aids in spinning wool, if not exercise.

Suzanne Lawler of Six Loose Ladies, far left, attracts attention on the converted stationary bike, which now aids in spinning wool, if not exercise. CLICK photo to launch gallery. All photos by The Chester Telegraph unless otherwise noted.

©2015 Telegraph Publishing LLC

Two sun-filled days and the Green filled with vendors and visitors.

It’s no wonder that Nancy Davis, one of the organizers of the Chester Rotary Club’s annual Chester Fall Festival, declared the event a success. (To launch photo gallery, click any photo)

“Vendors were happy with the event and with their sales,” said Davis. “And businesses on the Green had excellent sales as well,” added Davis, who dropped in on several of the shops to inquire about their weekend.

Saturday's musical opening was Ernie Belmond, center, and his band.

Saturday’s musical opening was Ernie Belmond, center, and his band.

About 60 vendors paid a fee to Rotary to set up on the Green and in front of the cemetery during the festival. All proceeds go towards the Rotary’s charitable work, much of which comes back into the community including its local college scholarship fund. Davis added that local businesses and people also contribute to the Fall Festival by making soups and coffee for sale and donating supplies, security and promotional support.

Davis said that the Rotary raises $15,000 to $16,000 annually and that $8,000 to $10,000 of that is dedicated to the scholarship fund.

New this year were four one-hour musical performances by Ernie Belmond & Friends, a funk and jazz group who hail from all over the area, Weston Playhouse talent performing Broadway songs, the a cappella group Root 7 from Burlington; and blues guitartist Chris Kleeman of Chester.

From left, Rotary members Rich Stocker, Malcolm Summers, Ann Summer and

From left, Rotary members Rich Stocker, Malcolm Summers, Ann Summers and Dave Nanfeldt.

Asked if there is anything Rotary would do different next year, Davis said, “The Fall Festival Committee will review the  feedback and vendor evaluations to see what can be improved for next year.”

For the past four years, she said, “we’ve focused on increasing signage and promotion and those efforts will continue. We are also looking at ways to make the music fill the entire space without spots that are too loud and to provide more kid friendly activities to draw in more families.”

Webster's House attracted plenty of visitors with kittens.

Webster’s House attracted plenty of visitors with kittens.

For those wishing to sign up the 2016 Fall Festival — Sept. 16 and 17 — Davis said the application will be available on its website by Feb. 1, 2016, and the application deadline is April 1. Returning vendors will receive an application by mail by the end of January.

 

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Filed Under: ChesterCommunity and Arts LifeLatest News

About the Author: Cynthia Prairie has been a newspaper editor for 30 years, having worked at such publications as the Raleigh Times, the Baltimore News American, the Buffalo Courier Express, the Chicago Sun-Times and the Patuxent Publishing chain of community newspapers in Maryland. She and her family moved to Chester, Vermont in 2004.

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