Chamber to host ‘Discover Dorset’ event
By Patrick McArdle
STAFF WRITER | September 12,2012
DORSET — The Dorset Chamber of Commerce is inviting people to “Discover Dorset” at the festival of the same name this weekend, with events ranging from live theater to tai chi to petting farm animals taking place throughout the town both Saturday and Sunday.
Lee Jones, co-owner of the Mettowee Mill Nursery, said the idea had been “tossed around” previously before Roger Squire and others made it a reality.
“Dorset is so unusual with its little niches in the arts, the theater, the different businesses, that when people would drive into town, they would drive onto the green and they would say, ‘Well, it’s a cute little green but what’s going on here?’ So what we’ve done is we have set it up so all the retailers, the inns, the theater, everyone is participating,” she said.
Squire, co-owner of the Squire House Bed and Breakfast and director of the chamber, and others have set up events like apple-picking at Mad Tom Orchard, a cheese-tasting at the Dorset Inn, an open studio at Dorset Custom Furniture, a chance to “meet the animals” at Someday Farm, and a tai chi demonstration at the Inn at West View Farm by chef and owner Ray Chen.
While this may be the first “Discover Dorset” festival, Jones said there are already plans to make it an annual event. The coming weekend was chosen because it’s between summer and foliage season, at a time when Jones said people might be willing to try “investigating a new area that’s close by.”
While stores will be selling their wares and restaurants will sell food, all of the events that are part of the festival will be free, Jones said. Some of the other activities will include the following:
The Dorset Players performing one-act plays on the town green;
Ten “geo-caching hunts,” in which participants use global positioning system technology to search for hidden items. Jones said members of a geo-caching society in the Troy, N.Y., area said they would attend the festival for this event alone;
The Dorset Theatre Festival will host readings of new plays by John Nassivera at 2 p.m. and Tajlei Levis at 7 p.m. on Saturday at the theater in Dorset;
The Dorset Historical Society will host a history walk in East Dorset on Sunday that will look at what made the rural area, locally known as “South Village,” a hub of activity in the mid-1800s, including mills, stores, a school and farms.
Jones said the point of the festival is to show visitors all the different things that are available in Dorset.
“There’s different things for everyone ... If you come for the day, you’ll have plenty to do,” she said.
According to Jones, the goal is to attract visitors to Vermont from nearby locations like Albany and Saratoga in New York to visit and return to Dorset “because it’s such a great little town.”
Jones’ nursery will host a presentation, “Bulbs for the Landscape,” by horticulturalist Charlie Nardozzi, host of Vermont Public Radio’s “Vermont Garden Journal,” on Saturday at 9:30 a.m.
“We’ve been in business for almost 40 years. He’s actually been here before about 25 years ago so it’s kind of a return of Charlie Nardozzi,” Jones said with a laugh.
Most events and activities will take place between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. More information about the festival is available online www.dorsetvt.com/discover_dorset.html.