About Anna Rubin

Anna is the Vice President of the St. Johnsbury Chamber of Commerce and leads the marketing and promotions committee. She is director of external relations at the Fairbanks Museum & Planetarium.

Working Lands Survey

We’re listening.

This corner of the world is a special place, and made so by its people and its landscape, both natural and built.  With reverence for our past and an eye toward its future, we can set a path to growth and wellness for our populous and our settled and wild lands in concert.
 
The St. Johnsbury Chamber of Commerce is spearheading a WORKING LANDS NEEDS ASSESSMENT.  A needs assessment is a systematic process for determining and addressing needs, or “gaps”, between current conditions and desired conditions, or “wants”.   It involves both collecting data on what is true for you right now, and visioning where you want yourself, and your sector, to be in the future.
 
Please take the time to complete our brief survey.  Your input is valuable to help us direct our energies accessing resources to meet our collective goals.

Survey closes December 21, 2017.

Click here to complete the survey.

Victorian Holiday

Saturday, December 9

Ring in the holiday season with Victorian charm as St. Johnsbury celebrates our 19th Century traditions with contemporary twists. We love the look of our elegant architecture — the swirls and scrolls and fine attention to detail — and we like to reflect this craft and attention to detail in our every day. During the Victorian Holiday Celebration, past and present come together for an all-day community-wide event that mixes music, crafts, sweets, and holiday cheer … with plenty of spirit in the air!

Festivities at the Welcome Center (51 Depot Square)

Santa arrives by horse drawn carriage to greet children of all ages and inspire the spirit of giving this holiday season. Have your photo taken with Santa beside the lit tree in the Welcome Center.

Simple Gifts – Students, teachers, and parents from the Thaddeus Stevens School provide materials to make gifts for the holiday season.  Stations are set up with the materials so you can make bird feeders, jewelry, paper decorations, or other simple gifts. Children move from one station to another accompanied by a Thaddeus Stevens School student and finish at the wrapping table.

Cookies and Cocoa (10:00 AM – 2:00 PM) Learn about how local families can help local kids through their fostering program, compliments of the Department of Children and Families.

Hanukkah Crafts and Games  – Create and learn fascinating and fun holiday traditions with members of our local Beth El Synagogue community.

St. Johsbury Brass Band will perform from 11:30-12:30

Don’t forget to take a stroll down Railroad Street to shop for something special for friends and family on your holiday shopping list.  Follow the scent of hot roasted chestnuts to warm you up!

Horse Drawn Wagon Rides – Hop on the charming wagon led by two horses for a spin through downtown St. Johnsbury.  These free rides are sponsored by Discover St. Johnsbury.

Good Shepherd Catholic School  (121 Maple Street)

9:00 AM – 2:00 PM Good Shepherd Christmas Bazaar

You are welcome to come experience our amazing cookie walk, choose your freshly cut tree, bid on one of our incredible gift baskets and other raffles, find the perfect gift from 30 vendors and enjoy lunch and a warm drink at our Food cafe!

Catamount Arts  (115 Eastern Ave)

10:00 AM to 1:00 PM Family Make and Take Workshop
Come and make traditional Victorian-style golden stars and folded round fans. Your decorations after folding make them unique. Great for trees, hanging in windows, and topping packages any time of year.

St. Johnsbury House  (1207 Main Street)

10:00 AM to 1:00 PM Cookie Walk

Great selection of seasonal sweets to benefit the Good Living Senior Center.

St. Johnsbury Athenaeum  (1171 Main Street)

  • 11:00 AM: A Reading of the Polar Express in the Gallery, followed by Holiday Crafts in the Youth Room
  • 1:00 PM:  Music by area schools, Bill Tobin, and the acapela group, Cantate!
  • Director Bob Joly will conclude the program with a Christmas Reading.
    Refreshments will be served.

Hosted by the Friends of the Athenaeum

St. Johnsbury History & Heritage Center (421 Summer Street)

1:00 – 4:00 PM Holiday Open House

Don’t miss the St. Johnsbury Players in costume at the History & Heritage Center, highlighting the current display celebrating the group’s 80th anniversary of entertaining the town. Children will enjoy a special holiday craft, and everyone can compete to identify the strange tools and objects from the past on the What’s It table. The Carriage Barn will be open, with sleds and sleighs of yesteryear, ice cutting tools, and, of course, the Fairbanks Scale display. Refreshments will be served.

Fairbanks Museum & Planetarium (1302 Main Street)

1:30 – 4:00 PM Victorian Holiday

Crafts for giving and decorating herald the holidays in this Victorian gem, at the heart of St. Johnsbury’s historic Main Street District. Music, stars, and sweet treats invite the joy of the season with the warmth of good friends. This is the Museum’s “Thank you” to our neighbors for your support!

 

Celebrating StJ’s Food

St. Johnsbury is home to a mix of eateries that can satisfy your flavor cravings with refreshing new approaches. The mix of local producers and home-grown culinary talent infused with international palettes produces a variety that’s hard to beat. If you haven’t tried a meal at in St. Johnsbury recently, you’re in for a treat.

Two new eateries have opened recently. Bread&Butter transforms the Eastern Ave. space where Dylan’s restaurant served meals for many years. Classic and creative Filipino cuisine is the fare at Pica-Pica on Main Street. Both restaurants contribute to revitalizing our downtown with innovative approaches and expertise … plus a little culinary magic.

Recently reopened with the start of the school year, the Hilltopper Restaurant on Main Street brings you into a St. Johnsbury Academy learning lab, where students prepare and serve amazing meals from their seasonal menu.

As the days get cooler and nights get longer, it’s time to revisit St. Johnsbury’s welcoming spaces for a nutritious and delicious fare. Many of our restaurants showcase local produce and seasonal menus. You’ll find a range of choices to meet your mood. Let us know what you like most …

For a complete list of choices in St. Johnsbury, check our directory.

 

Halloween Haunts

Halloween in St. Johnsbury is a celebration of creativity and color! Calling all ghouls and goblins, pirates and princesses, ninjas and knights … Halloween in St. Johnsbury is a community-wide celebration! We come out in costumes that are scary, sweet, cuddly, and cute to mash along Main Street. We’re young and old, from near and far … this is when we get to dress up with friends and family, just for fun.

We get excited about this season that brings us pumpkins, apples, and corn stalks … along with treats! We start getting crafty in advance with a jack-o-lantern contest at the St. Johnsbury Athenaeum on October 27 and a pumpkin walk around Fred Mold Park and Haunted House at the Pavilion by the Town Forest on October 28. It’s capped by the grand Halloween Parade on Main Street on October 31.

Summer Music

Levitt AMP St. Johnsbury Music Series –

Sundays through the summer!

Catamount Arts and Dog Mountain have partnered with the Levitt Foundation to bring live music to this unforgettable site all summer long! Concerts are every Sunday from now through September 10. Bring a blanket and be ready for a glorious Northeast Kingdom evening. Local eats are available, and a wine and beer bar is presented by the Kingdom Taproom. Click here for a schedule and more about the Levitt AMP St. Johnsbury Music Series.

St. Johnsbury Band –

Mondays in Courthouse Park!

The St. Johnsbury Band was founded in 1830 and has been making music continuously ever since. Free concerts and ice cream are every Monday through the summer at the St. Johnsbury Courthouse bandstand, 7:30 – 8:30PM.

Peacham Acoustic Music Festival –

August 18 & 19 in Peacham!

The Peacham Acoustic Music Festival transforms this quiet community into a hive of acoustic fun! Come to dance or play or soak it all in … PAMFest is a fantastic celebration of this musical tradition.

 

Summer Concert Series

Dog Mountain Concert Series To Kick-Off In July

by Todd Wellington (published in the Caledonian-Record, Apr 29, 2017; Updated Apr 30, 2017)

There’s a new concert series coming to town this year and it promises to be no ordinary event.

Catamount Arts, in partnership with the non-profit Levitt Foundation of Los Angeles, California, is producing 12 weeks of concerts at Dog Mountain on Spaulding Road from July 16 to mid-September. All the shows are free, dog friendly and open to the public.

“The whole idea of theses concerts is to build community,” said Catamount Arts Executive Director Jody Fried at a meeting of the St. Johnsbury Select Board Monday. Fried was at the meeting requesting approval to contract with St. Johnsbury Police for security at the shows. The request was granted and while he was there Fried briefed the board about the series.

“They’re free and we’re gonna have a shuttle running up there and so we’re hoping that we’ll have lots of residents partaking in it,” said Fried. “We’ll be happy if this first year we have 300-500 people at these concerts. We could have a lot more than that. We’re doing a lot of work to promote it.”

The artist line-up has not been announced yet but Fried said it would include “Grammy nominated” acts. The concerts will be held on the new portable main stage unit Catamount just purchased. There will also be a beer tent on site.

Fried said the Levitt Foundation has a long history of producing similar concerts across the country.

“This is what they do,” said Fried. “They run six permanent venues that are 10,000 person-plus venues and then they have 15 locations across the country that are in rural areas.”

Fried qualified that statement by noting that St. Johnsbury may be the only actual “rural” community hosting Levitt concerts this summer which were chosen by public voting.

“I would say St. Johnsbury is an anomaly,” said Fried. “The next closest in terms of size is 80 thousand people in population and they go up to 400,000 in population.”

“The first step in this was public voting. There were 50 applications submitted and we came in 2nd place in the country out of those 50 applications in terms of the votes for – so we really mobilized and it had to be unique votes so they actually checked to make sure that the same person wasn’t voting more than once,” said Fried.

“It was funny, when we went out to Los Angeles and met with all these folks the first thing they asked was how the heck did you do it with the population that you have? And we responded when it comes to these arts and culture events we have major support. So I think we ended up with over 3,000 votes who’s pretty significant if you consider our population.

St. Johnsbury Selectman Jamie Murphy said he thought the concert series at Dog Mountain was an great idea.

“I think it’s a great event for St. Johnsbury and I think the town should support it any way we can,” said Murphy. Murphy abstained from voting on the police request because the Kingdom Tap Room – of which he is part owner – hopes to provide the beer for the event.

Selectman Jeff Jeff Moore also spoke in favor of the concerts.

“I think it’s a good idea and a good opportunity to promote our town,” said Moore.

Fried said other communities across the country have used the Levitt concerts to boost their local economies long term.

“We would certainly like the town to be involved and to leverage this,” said Fried. “This is something that will hopefully bring some positive energy to the whole community.”

“When we went out there and we met with these towns – the ones that have done it multiple years that are in like year 2, 3 or 4 – what’s happened in terms of their towns and the transformation that’s taken place has been pretty remarkable. Private investment has come in, there’s been housing in some of the locations. I can really see this having a catalytic effect if we can get behind it.

“You know, we sit through meetings and we talk about how do you get the young professionals to come into to town. This is the kind of stuff they want to come to and bring their families to,” said Fried.

Road Pitch 2017

Road Pitch Finalists Announced!

On August 4th four local entrepreneurs will “pitch” their creative ideas for an innovative product or unique business concept to an audience of business experts who will be riding into St. Johnsbury for Road Pitch 2017.  The public is invited to observe the competition at Catamount Arts Center at 10:00 am.  The four finalists seeking potential investors for their creative work are:  Jason Shafer, Northwind Weather Technologies; Donna & Roger Pion, Biochar Waste Management; Andrea Kane, Shamdanna, Eco Bandana; and Regan Pride, The Freezer Butler.

Road Pitch is a statewide event and St. Johnsbury is one of ten host locations. A local committee was formed in April to encourage entrepreneurs to step forward and participate. Free business training with individual coaching was offered.  For an emerging business or an existing business looking to grow, the training component provided a valuable opportunity to reach a business milestone.  Polishing and refining a 5-7 minute presentation for Road Pitch is giving local entrepreneurs access to professional advice, networking, cash prizes and the possibility of capital investment.

Northeastern Vermont Development Association (NVDA), Northern Counties Investment Corporation (NCIC,)  Vermont Small Business Development Corporation (VtSBDC), St J Chamber of Commerce, the Town of St. Johnsbury, and Catamount Arts have all donated staff time to host the event.  Major sponsors are Passumpsic Savings Bank, Northeastern VT Regional Hospital, and St. J Auto Group.  Special recognition goes out to Quest Transportation and The Frame Dames for their local business support.

Road Pitch was created in 2014 by Cairn Cross, co-founder of Fresh Tracks Capital. The annual event gathers a group of motorcyclists with expertise in investing, business consulting, and entrepreneurship for a week-long ride around Vermont to support existing small businesses and promising start-ups. There will be a final event in October at Champlain College for the winners from each of the ten host towns to compete for a grand prize and extensive mentoring from the Road Pitch Riders.  ##

(Questions?  Lorna Higgs, NVDA (802) 424-1421 lhiggs@nvda.net)

Road Pitch 2017 is an opportunity for Entrepreneurs to win cash prizes, receive helpful feedback from experts, and seek investors and funding.  A team of savvy business bikers will be traveling across Vermont in August looking for investment opportunities. For more about the 2017 Road Pitch team, click here.

 

Business MicroGrants

Grants for Small Businesses!

Do you own or manage a small, emerging, or seasonal business that is based in St. Johnsbury? Do you need some support to help your business become established or grow?

The St. Johnsbury Chamber of Commerce now offers Business MicroGrants of $1,000 to help your business thrive.

Business MicroGrants can be used to pay for web and graphic design, photography, a marketing plan, lawyer’s fees, or building enhancement design (such as interior, window, or façade improvement design).

Applications are due on May 1, 2017, and projects must be completed by July 31, 2017.

“Small investments can have enormous payoffs,” says Tara Holt, director of the St. Johnsbury Chamber of Commerce. “These Business MicroGrants emerged as a priority for businesses.” Applications will be reviewed by a committee established to support small and emerging businesses in St. J. “This is something real that we can offer to entrepreneurs who are getting started or seeking to grow their business.”

The St. Johnsbury Chamber of Commerce received support for this initiative from the US Department of Agriculture – Rural Development to jump-start our local economy. “We’ve collected a list of advisors who specialize in the services small businesses need to succeed,” says Holt.

Click below for your Business MicroGrant application.

Click here more about the St. Johnsbury MicroGrant program.

World Maple Festival

Saturday, April 29, 2017!

The sweetest festival comes to St. J, a longtime sugaring center in New England. According to Scott Beck, the Festival organizer, “The St. Johnsbury World Maple Festival celebrates the history and heritage of the Maple Syrup Industry, and St. Johnsbury’s status as the Maple Center of the World.”

What that means for thousands of us who enjoy the music, food, and local crafts is a chance to sample some of the finest syrup in New England and reconnect with friends and neighbors in our lovely downtown. There’s something for everyone, starting with a 5k Sap Lap and pancake breakfast at the Welcome Center and continuing with craft and food vendors along Railroad Street through 4PM. Music fills the air, along with the unmistakable sweetness of our very own taste sensation. For more about the Festival and how to get involved, click here.

The Maple Festival features Maple Grove Farms of Vermont, the largest packer of Pure Maple Syrup in the USA and one of the largest manufacturers of Maple Candies in the world. Maple Grove Farms has been perfecting maple confections in St. J since 1915!

There’s a lot to celebrate.

 

 

Community Report

2016 Yearbook Published!

St. Johnsbury has a lot going on. Thanks to active and engaged neighbors and friends, our community continues to show strength. The trends might not fit the mold of what you’d expect — most rural communities of 7,600 people are experiencing stress as we adjust to increasing pressure from online shopping and demographic shifts. However, St. Johnsbury’s high points are its close-knit neighborhoods, where people come together and host incredible events; healthy lifestyle and access to recreation; and our home-grown entrepreneurial spirit. St. Johnsbury is rich with traditions that are celebrated on our Arts & Culture Campus.

This 2016 Community Report tells our story.

You can download this report here: Community Report2016FINAL.

Please keep the conversation going by letting us know what you think.