Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Bennington Pride Picnic and Community Celebration July 19th

Lake Shaftsbury is a picture perfect setting.

They're having a Pride Picnic and we're all invited. Members of the Berkshire LGBTQ community are invited to join their neighbors to the north in Bennington and Southern Vermont for a picnic and fun outdoors on Saturday, July 18, 2009 (Rain date 19th).

Starting at about 11 AM, with games and socializing, then a potluck lunch at noon (everyone bring a dish!) the location is the beautiful Lake Shaftsbury State Park, just ten miles or so north of Bennington. Berkshire folks would take Route 7 north into Vermont, and after riding through Bennnington take 7A north through Shaftsbury. After you pass the Clear Brook Farm on the right, and the Chocolate House on the left it is a little further to the park entrance on your right. If you come to Route 313 you have gone too far.

Cost to get into the park is $3.00 for adults ages 14 and older. For children ages 4-13, cost is $2.00. Under age 4 is free

There is a designated group picnic area and once you find that, just look for the rainbow flag, walk up and introduce yourself.

The Bennington Pride Coalition is playing host with hamburgers and hot dogs, but it is hoped everyone will chip in by bringing vegetarian dishes, sides, some desserts,and nibbles.

The organizers ask just one thing: "Please RSVP to bennpride@gmail.com so we know how many to expect at this fun event. We look forward to a day of meeting old friends and making lots of new friends, too."

Rent a canoe for two?

Lake Shaftsbury State Park is on an 84-acre parcel surrounding a beautiful lake. It is a popular park facility in southwestern Vermont.

There is a developed beach, play area, and picnic area. There is an open picnic shelter/pavilion available for large group gatherings. The snack bar concession has rental canoes, kayaks, rowboats, and pedal boats. The "Healing Springs Nature Trail" around the lake is also a popular spot.

Clear Brook Farm - a nice detour.

During the summer I make almost weekly trips to Shaftsbury just to pickup fresh veggies at Clear Brook Farms which is right on Route 7A. It is incomparable in quality and taste. They also have local cheeses, including a sensational mozzarella, and other local dairy and bakery products. Try this place out and you may find yourself addicted, too.

Some days I can't even look at a painting
without thinking of the Farmer's Market

There is also the sensational Walloomsac Farmers Market on Saturday mornings in Bennington which is worth a special trip by itself.

Another great spot is The Market Wagon, also on Route 7A at 1896 Harwood Hill close to the Bennington/Shaftsbury line. On your way to the picnic, take exit 2 off Route 7 and turn right onto 7A. They are on the left This is a Penn Dutch run operation with bulk basics and a delightfully large variety of hand made jams, baked goods, noodles etc. at prices that make Big Y, Aldi's and Price Rite look like thieves.

Want to make a full day of it? Area attractions include the Bennington Monument and Museum, Bennington itself, the Mount Equinox Skyline Drive, Robert Frost House, Southern Vermont Arts Center, Manchester.

GPS: N43 01.106 W73 11.223

Take Route 7 North crossing into Vermont through Pownal and Bennington: Take Exit 2 off the Highway into Shaftsbury, and drive north about ten miles on Route 7A to the Lake Shaftsbury State Park. The entrance will be on your right. Look for the group picnic area and rainbow flag.

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