RockFire, Barre's three-day celebration of local history and art, returns this weekend for its fourth year. If you're into live music, bonfires, abandoned quarries and/or discovering art in unexpected places, then this is the festival for you. If it's food festivals that light you up, then Waterbury is the place to be this weekend for the premier Vermont State BBQ Championship.
RockFire gets underway with Friday night hours at the Vermont Granite Museum in Barre, from 7 to 9 p.m. Then at 9 p.m. the festival's FireWalk steps into the woods on a path that winds through a dozen stages, each featuring a performer acting as an historical figure from Barre's granite industry past. Here's how the walk is described in the festival's schedule of events:
Activities will continue in and around the Granite Museum’s complex until 11 p.m., but as the sun sets the emphasis will shift to the Granite Museum’s new outdoor Nature Walk, which will be lit by luminaries and campfires creating a pathway leading to 12 stages. The Granite Heritage FireWalk will begin in the Museum complex with the showing of the “RockFire Video” illustrating the molten lava origins of Barre Granite. Attendees will then head outside to follow the pathway as it walks them through Barre’s amazing and colorful granite story from it’s original Abenaki origins to today’s revival. Meet William Barclay, E L Smith, Maria Corti, Carlo Abate and a host of colorful characters as they relate their powerful personal stories.
There is a repeat FireWalk performance Saturday night at 9. The Friday night walk is suggested for visitors ages seven and older. The suggested ages for the Saturday night walk is ten and up.
Other highlights of the weekend festival on Millstone Hill include a fiery molten metal performance from the Iron Guild, tractor-pulled wagon tours, a "glow round" of quarries, disc golf and a sky lantern sendoff. There is also live music and granite sculpting to discover.
If festival food is more your thing, then you'll want to be in Waterbury this weekend for the first Not Quite Independence Day BBQ Festival where organizers plan to crown the Vermont State BBQ Champion. Three barbecue World Champions will be there, as well as 25 other teams from around the Northeast.
"Besides the BBQ contest, the overall BBQ Festival also will include authentic barbecue vendors, food trucks, craft brews and hard ciders, fun family activities, fireworks, and a diversity of musical performers," an event press release states. "Long Trail Brewing, the official beer of the festival, is also creating two exclusive craft beers that will only be available at the event: one is a Smoked Jalapeno, and the other a Smoked Habanero."
Musical performers include Tammy Fletcher, Seth Yacavone Blues Trio, Grundlefunk, Jenni Johnson & The Junketeers, Still Kickin', Jamie Lee Thurston and Dark Horse. Attendees are encouraged to bring lawn chairs and blankets.