Oh, the charm of a small-town life. If you have visited Middlebury previously, you might not have been too impressed with the little town that surrounds our campus. Granted, it’s not exactly a bustling Metropolis, but Middlebury has its selection of lovely restaurants (American, Vietnamese, Italian, etc) and adorable shops. This isn’t all though. If you thought Middlebury was a boring middle-of-nowhere town, think again!
There are many ways you can get involved with the town. One way you can give back to the community is through the numerous community service opportunities. For example, my friends really love volunteering at local schools and day care centers. You can also volunteer at the Charter House, a housing facility which provides emergency housing for those in need. There are volunteer opportunities at WomenSafe, if you are passionate about the elimination of physical, sexual and emotional violence against women. I know a couple of friends who have worked on the 24-hour hotline service.
If you are musically inclined, every J-Term, Middlebury, in conjunction with the Town Hall Theater, puts on a musical production. You can audition for a role at the end of Fall semester. You can take it as a class, and the performances are extremely popular. This year, the musical of choice was Into the Woods, and last year’s performance was Hairspray. You need to purchase the tickets on the day they go on sale to have a chance at a seat!
The town has fun events going on throughout year . Better Middlebury Partnership organizes these events. For Halloween, we have our Middlebury Spooktacular; they have a hay bale! For Christmas, we have Very Merry Middlebury. You can go on horse-drawn wagon rides, make your own gingerbread house, enjoy a free gift-wrapping service, participate in Lessons and Carols, and join a Hanukkah celebration. Of course, Santa makes an appearance! Vermont Chili Festival happens this Saturday. You can taste over 40+ types of chili and vote for your favorite one! There were 5000 people attending last year. Who knows how many will show up this year, especially with the NCAA Skiing Championships being held at the Snow Bowl this year. I am planning going on the Ben & Jerry’s Factory tour Saturday morning and attending the Chili Festival in the afternoon. I have a feeling my stomach is going to hate me by the end of the day.