It's time to celebrate Vergennes watery side

When a few downtown Vergennes merchants and community boosters kicked around the idea of holding a fun event at the base of Otter Creek Falls, below the downtown bridge, it got a big thumbs up. The result of the brainstorming session turned into the upcoming first annual Otter Creek Basin Bash.

Vergennes is certainly no stranger to grand, annual outdoor events. Vergennes Days in August and Vergennes French Heritage Days in July are two yearly events that have taken off in recent years. And don't forget downtown Vergennes Strawberry Festival.

So, are we ready for another Vergennes annual event? Sure, why not. This new outing is set in the watery basin below the falls-near the site where Master Commandant/Commodore Thomas MacDonough's invincible fleet of sailing ships were built and later won the lakeside phase of the Battle of Plattsburgh during the War of 1812. MacDonough's big victory stopped the British offensive in its tracks.

This year's new festival is not totally about history. It's about doing fun things on or near the water-like learning about Vermontish folk craft, blacksmithing, Otter Creek's rascals and rogues, fishing, waterfowl, street dancing, ice cutting and ice houses, street theater, knives, boatbuilding, wildlife, jazz, and-did I leave anything out?-oh, yeah, getting out of your old rut to meet new friends or say howdy to friendly neighbors.

The big bash will be held at Falls Park at the Otter Creek Basin in Vergennes, Saturday, June 13, 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Public parking will be available at the Goodrich Corporation on West Street. Parking and a shuttle bus to the basin will be free to attendees. But there's more-

•Free admission to event site.

•Food provided by Mister Ed.

•50/50 raffle tickets on sale at VACC booth to help subsidize the event; winner drawn and announced during evening street dance.

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