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Bennington’s First Fridays back on track for July


BENNINGTON -- Throughout the summer season and into October, Downtown Bennington will hold "First Friday" celebrations on the first Friday of every month.

The concept for Bennington’s First Fridays stemmed from a Vermont Council on Rural Development Town-wide Meeting, during which time a "Downtown as a Destination" committee was formed in an effort to attract tourists to the Bennington area.

During these celebrations, a wide array of family-friendly activities will take place, ranging from art walks and gallery tours, to community art projects.

"We have activities planned that will appeal to everyone," said Better Bennington Corporation Director John Shannahan. "The best part is that many of the shops in Downtown Bennington will be open until eight on those nights."

Although June’s outdoor First Friday events were cancelled due to inclement weather, Shannahan noted that the indoor art venues drew large crowds nonetheless.

"We are hoping for the same on July fifth and every month thereafter," said Shannahan. This Friday, The Chris Dukes Band will perform at 6 p.m. on the lawn of the Town Offices. The Jazz Trio and Ben Mackin will perform at 7 p.m. at Madison’s Brew Pub, and at 5 p.m. at Evans’ News, respectively.

In addition to live music, Lively’s Livery will offer rides through Putnam Square in a restored wedding carriage, and the Vermont Arts Exchange and Second Chance Animal Shelter will host interactive art projects for all ages, including a chalk art contest.

First Fridays will also be held July 5, Aug. 2, Sept. 6, and Oct. 4.

For more information on First Fridays, visit or call the Better Bennington Corporation at 802-442-5758.

Contact Elizabeth Conkey at Follow her on Twitter @bethconkey.