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  • Writer's pictureStephen D'Agostino

The Last Show in the Winter Concert Series is Saturday

I went to a meeting at Vermont Public Radio in Colchester last week. Seeing the Green Mountains as I drove, I was reminded that Vermont, topographically and geographically, is a diverse place. What I came to realize—as I do every spring—is that it is also diverse when it comes to the seasons. It was a chilly day, but in Colchester, with as few patches of snow on the ground as we have patches of visible grass, it felt like spring.

On Facebook, I’ve seen posts that explain what micro-season we find ourselves in—false spring, second winter, mud season, etc. For the sake of simplicity, I’m going to say we are in two seasons: winter and mud. By the time you read this, I hope I can say we are in spring, like other parts of Vermont, and mud season.

Sugaring seems to be going well. From my office window, I see Jason Dow of Hi-Hollow Maples going back and forth throughout the day towing huge tanks of sap, Twice, I drove by the sugar houses on my road at night, a rare occurrence, and both seemed busy.

At the Maple Cook-Off last weekend, Sue and Jim Mulder told me that they’ve made over 70 gallons of syrup so far. They noted that sugaring season seems late. Jim said that he had used up all his wood last year before he burned a single piece this year.

Speaking of the Maple Cook-Off, a huge thank you to everyone who attended! The event was a fundraiser for the Reading Green Spaces Committee as we work to beautify Puddledock Park. With your help, we did, in fact, raise funds. The side benefit of the event—and I guess this the case for all such events in small towns—was it doubled as a community gathering. And who doesn’t need a bit of community during this never-ending winter? I saw some familiar faces there. I also met a lot of people I didn’t know or who don’t live in Reading. Jeannie Lindheim, for example, who lives in Perkinsville, told me she read about the event in my column (thank you, Jeannie), and decided that this would be the perfect event to kick of a three-day celebration with her husband for his birthday.

The Maple Cook-Off was a competition, so there were winners! Four of them, actually. The maple entry that received the most votes was maple ice cream topped with candied bacon. Congratulations to Aubrey Seman and Maya Sluka for whipping up the winner! The second most popular entry was Sue Mulder’s pot roast. Third place went to Sabrina Westney’s pulled pork sliders.

The prize for the winners was, not surprisingly, maple syrup. Since the Mulders, as noted, have plenty, Sue gave her prize to the person who made the fourth most popular dish, cupcakes with maple frosting topped with smoked bacon. That was Evie Jenne. As a side note, that combination of sweet and smoky was a revelation!

It was nice to see the kids participating. Actually, it was nice to see everyone participating, both as contestants and as judges. I can’t see the future, but I would put money on this event happening again next year!

Keeping with the themes of community and food, mark your calendars for the spring luncheon. That happens on April 25 at noon at Reading Town Hall. On the menu is pork roast, mashed potatoes, green beans, apple sauce, and dessert. If you are interested in attending, please let Tom and Calista Brennan know. You can reach them by phone at 484-0276 or by email at

More community events. Saturday night is the last of the shows in the technically-though-not-actually-misnamed Winter Concert Series. The first half of the evening will feature Monkey Pudding Face, an alt/indie rock duo, half of whom is Recreation Commissioner Gerry Marletta. The second part of the event will be dancing. People created an impromptu dance floor at the last concert and had a blast. Since dancing will be planned this time, I have a feeling there will be even more folks hitting the floor.

The concert/dance is this Saturday, April 13, from 7pm to 9pm. The venue is Robinson Hall at Reading Town Hall. Admission is $10 for adults. Children 15 and under are free. Please remember to bring non-perishable food items, which will be donated to the Reading-West Windsor Food Shelf. That night, the Reading Recreation Commission will announce how much money they raised to benefit the Food Shelf, the Reading Green Spaces Committee, the PTO, and Upper Valley WISE. It’s the last chance to make that number as big can be, so why not come by and enjoy the last hurrah of what has been a tremendous cold-weather event?

Don’t forget the Reading Bunny Hop happens Saturday, April 20, at 10AM, at Bartley Field. We’ll have an Easter egg hunt, games, and a visit from Peter Cotton Tail. The rain/mud/snow location will be the school. Despite the slow crawl towards spring, I am hopeful we’ll be able to have the Bunny Hop at the field.

The very next day, Easter services will be held at the Old Stone Church (aka my favorite building in Reading). They begin at 11:45 and will be conducted by Reverend Christian Huebner with music provided by the Bowen family.

By then, it will be spring. Rght?

Happy birthday to Scott Harkins (April 13), Rudy Lucier (April 13), Beth Thresher (April 14), and Alexander Charles Reichert (April 17). Happy anniversary to Kevin & Jennifer Nunan (April 17).

That’s the news from Reading! See you next week!

This column originally appeared in The Vermont Standard on April 11, 2019.

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