Eighth Bennington Rhubarb Festival features food, music, hollering contest

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 6/3/2021 12:08:27 PM

Bennington’s Rhubarb Festival is back with in-person live music and events this Friday and Saturday at Sawyer Park.

The town celebration of all things rhubarb started in 2013 as a fundraiser for the library, and became a springtime tradition, according to organizers.

Dinner and music starts Friday night. Bennington local David Blanchard kicks off the night at 5 p.m. with original and classic folk, bluegrass, and blues songs, and singer/songwriter Wendy Keith and Her Alleged Band play from 6 to 8 p.m. Barbecue will be available for purchase. Visitors can enter some of Saturday’s contests, and drop off entries for longest rhubarb stalk or widest rhubarb leaf, grand and small rhubarb bouquets, decorated market baskets, and rhubarb-themed artwork and photos.

Saturday’s events kick off at 10 a.m. with the judging of the rhubarb pie contest. Vendor and concession stands, a children’s farm animal petting area, bake sale and book sale are ongoing throughout the day, along with a rhubarb beverage sampling stand featuring rhubarb wines, ciders, and juices. Rhubarb stalks, crowns, jams, jellies, relishes and other products are available at the event’s Rhubarb Store.

The festival’s inaugural hollering contest was held in 2019 and became an instant hit, particularly among children. This year’s contest starts at noon by the flagpole, and child and adult contestants will compete to make their voice, calling for rhubarb pie, carry the farthest. See all contest details in the 2021 festival exhibit book on the Bennington town website.

The Clavis Brudon Band plays from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., a high-energy blues band with a “blazing” harmonica player, organizer Tom James said, sure to wake up anyone who hasn’t had enough coffee yet. Dragon Bone Jam plays from 1:30 to the festival’s end at 4 p.m., featuring danceable Chicago and Texas blues and two new song releases.

“There will be much to amuse you at the Bennington Rhubarb Festival this year. Whether you enter a pie or enjoy a slice while you listen to the bands, whether you pet a sheep or you sell your crafts, whether you enter a rhubarb stalk or dress like one, be sure to be at the Rhubarb Festival,” organizers wrote.

The festival runs June 5 from 5 to 8 p.m. and June 6 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Bennington’s Sawyer Park, just off Route 202. Parking is available, but please leave your dogs at home.


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