Winter carnivals, a magical Mardi Gras weekend, hot chilis and the non-stop 24 Hours of Stratton bring to an exciting head the Vermont Chamber of Commerce’s Top Ten Winter Events.
Celebrate in Stowe with the 40th annual Winter Carnival from January 18 to February 2, 2014. Chill out with ice carving demonstrations and competitions, or jump into to ski races, snow golf and snow volleyball, as a spectator or a challenger. Young smiles abound at the zany Kids Carnival Kaos; the evening brings Carnival “meltdown” parties for adults. More than 15 competitive sporting events dominate the snowscape. Free to the public; participant entry fee for sporting events.
The town of Chester opens its heart in mid February. True community spirit in classic Vermont plays out with sled races, dog sled rides, outdoor skating, broom hockey, and more at the Chester Winter Carnival on February 15 and 16, 2014. A biathlon sled race and laser shooting match is followed by a bonfire to light up Saturday, and Sunday’s highlight is the snowmobile club poker run and a broom hockey tournament. Free.
The 18TH annual Magic Hat Mardi Gras Weekend in Burlington on Friday February 28 and Saturday March 1, 2014 thaws the icy spirits of the Northeast with a unique celebration that could be dubbed New Orleans North. Friday night, kick up your feet and boogie down at Higher Ground. On Saturday, downtown Burlington turns up the heat with pre-parade musical performances, a costume contest, and family-friendly activities. Join the inspired audience; grab your share of beads, MoonPies, and Lake Champlain Chocolates as the parade kicks off with dozens of floats in grand style. Enjoy live and local music on the Church Street Stage after the parade.
Warm up with the 6th annual Vermont Chili Festival in Middlebury on March 8 from 1.30-8pm. Taste the best of the best from over 50 restaurants and caterers around the state, flocking to historic downtown Middlebury. Check out this beautiful downtown, home of Middlebury College, and cast your vote for the award-winning chilis! The event includes entertainment for all ages, face painting, street performers, live music and a beverage tent with local cider and brews. Admission $5.
The chair lifts run through the night on Stratton Mountain’s 24 Hours of Stratton on March 15-16, 2014 noon to noon with hundreds of skiers and riders passing the bib to teammates as they rack up runs in an event with a heart for the Stratton Foundation, helping families and supporting programs providing food, housing, and heat. Live music, games, a midnight NASTAR race and more keep the party going, building to a noon finish line frenzy on Sunday.
See more at www.VermontVacation.com.
For more information about top events in Vermont take a look at the Top Events USA selection of the annual main festivals and events in Vermont