BELLOWS FALLS — Celebrate fall in your favorite flannel this weekend at Rockingham Hill Farm, for the second-ever Southern Vermont Flannel festival. The party returns Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. with a two-day schedule packed full of fun for the whole family.
Why a whole festival dedicated to flannel? Great Falls Regional Chamber of Commerce director Deb Collier explains.
“It’s durable, soft and comfortable, keeps you warm and comes in a wide variety of patterns and colors. It just screams casual, in a soft kind of way. We think life is just better in flannel!”
The late start to the foliage season bodes well for the coming festival, and organizers hope warm weather will hold out for the weekend.
“Our first year, we were blown away from the attendance of nearly 2,000 folks in one five-hour day,” Collier said. “It was an absolutely gorgeous sunny warm October day, and we are hoping for that weather again for our expanded weekend experience this year.”
Rockingham Hill farm, 34 Meeting House Road, Bellows Falls, is a stunning venue with its own natural amphitheater, where music lovers can enjoy tunes all weekend by local acts including the Stockwell Brothers, Low Lily, The Breakmaids and Debbie and the Downers.
“The outside stage is near the rustic barn, with a grassy hill opposite the stage where music lovers can sit, look down and listen to their favorite bluegrass bands,” Collier said. “It’s like an all-natural amphitheater created just for our festival. There’s a field that wraps around the barn and flattens out for a fabulous setting for crafts and food. We hope to, at the very least, double our numbers, since we’ve gone from one day to two days. But the more the merrier. There’s plenty of room to spread out and to easily accommodate lots of parking.”
In addition to live music, attendees will enjoy craft beers, local treats such as cider donut sundaes and homemade pies (in entirety or by the slice), plus flannel-themed arts and crafts. On Saturday, the public is invited to compete in a pie baking contest, featuring prizes from King Arthur Gifts, as well as a cornhole tournament where backyard enthusiasts can show off their skills. Details for both events can be found at gfrcc.org/events or by visiting facebook.com/gfrcc.org.
While wearing flannel is not required, it is encouraged and the classic plaid patterns will be featured extensively.
“Our craft vendors have incorporated flannel into some of their various products,” Collier said. “And The Vermont Flannel Company, one of our sponsors, will be there offering their quality items. We hope to have a few flannel surprises this year as well.”
Admission is $6 per person, with children under 12 free. Receive $1 off admission if you wear flannel.
Organizers ask that you leave your dogs at home (with the exception of service dogs), and follow safe practices. Masks and hand sanitizer will be available, and there is plenty of room to spread out at this outdoor event.