What to do in Burlington this August

Jean MacBride, Assistant Summer Editor

The month of July might be over, but these events in August prove that summer is hardly over. 

The Festival of Fools, Champlain Valley Fair and the Leddy Park Beach Bites promise thrills for those who enjoyed July’s events and who are looking for a taste of adventure.

Festival of Fools

The Festival of Fools, an annual event celebrating the art of busking and street performances, will take place Aug. 2 to 4 in downtown Burlington. The performances will include music, acrobatics and magician acts. 

The term “busking” was coined  in Great Britain during the 1860s, but street performance has been an art form in almost every culture since antiquity. 

While most of the festival will occur on Church Street, entertainment will also occur in local bars and businesses. 

Over 100,000 visitors and Burlington residents are expected to watch the performers, making the festival one of the largest in New England, according to the event’s Facebook page. 

Be sure to check out singer-songwriter Mikaela Davis at 6 p.m. August 3 at in the Burlington City Arts alleyway, and the Last Laugh Variety Show at 6 p.m. August 4 on Church Street’s top block. 

The event is sponsored by Community Bank among others including Ben and Jerry’s and Dealer.com. 

The Festival of Fools is also produced by Burlington City Arts, a Burlington city department that promotes the arts while making them accessible to a broader audience, according to its website

This weekend, whether you are out shopping, walking to work, or looking for some live entertainment, be sure to take a moment and soak up the tunes. 

Leddy Park Beach Bites

The Leddy Park Beach Bites will take place from 5:30-8:30pm Aug. 7 at Leddy Park. 

Featuring local food trucks, a beer garden, and live entertainment Beach Bites is a delicious way to spend a summer evening. 

Leddy Park is located off of North Avenue in the heart of Burlington’s New North End. 

Avoid traffic and parking complications by riding your bike or walking along the bike path. Free bike valet will be offered by Local Motion, a local non-profit working to make biking more accessible in Vermont. 

Grab your friends and enjoy dinner outside while watching the sun set over Lake Champlain. 

Champlain Valley Fair

The Champlain Valley Fair will run from Aug. 23 to Sept. 1 at the Essex Expo in Essex Junction near St. Micheal’s College.

Boasting amusement park rides, food stands and a petting zoo, the fair will be fun for all ages. 

Concerts and performances will include a Beatles tribute performance on Aug. 26 and a demolition derby on Aug. 29 at the fairgrounds grandstand. A showcase of Vermont musicians will take place daily at 5:30 and 6:15 p.m.

There will also be numerous competitions to either compete in yourself or to watch. Test your culinary skills or submit your artwork for a chance to win prizes.

UVM students will get into the event for free on Thursday August 29th with a valid college ID.