Vermontville is a village known for many things. One of those things is its annual Syrup Festival, which attracts locals, as well as visitors from all over the state. The Syrup Festival is a classic Vermontville celebration and community get together, but some village residents were concerned there wasn’t enough community celebrating during the rest of the year. Three years ago a group from the Vermontville United Methodist Church came together to organize Visit Vermontville Day, a weekend dedicated to a summer celebration of the village. Since the recent closing of the church, the group of organizers has carried on, still committed to providing more opportunities for the community to come together.
The 2018 Visit Vermontville Day is set for Saturday, Aug. 4. The day will be filled with family friendly activities and events, according to event organizer Lois Hammonds. The day begins with a community breakfast at the First Congregational Church from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. The day unfolds from there with the Dennis Rodeman 5K Run at 10 a.m., the volunteer fire department waterball tournament at 10:30 a.m., a village meet and greet with free hotdogs from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., kids pedal tractor pull at 1 p.m., a cornhole tournament from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., and a car cruise in and street dance from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Those are only some of the events and opportunities. The day also has paint party options for people of all ages, and other athletic tournaments and games to participate in. The complete list of events can be found at the Visit Vermontville Day Facebook page.
As exciting and full as the Saturday will be, the purpose behind the events are deeper than games, craft vendors, and car shows. Proceeds from several of the event registration fees throughout the day will go directly to Gracie Williams, a fourth grade student from Vermontville who was unexpectedly diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia. More information about which events will directly benefit Gracie can be found throughout the day.
Benefitting Gracie is ultimately a testimony to the purpose of Visit Vermontville Day, according to Hammonds. The day is to celebrate Vermontville and its people, but also celebrate the importance of small, tight knit communities that come together around common causes and goals.
“It’s something simple we can do for the family, and that’s what this community is about,” said Hammonds.
It’s not lost on people like Hammonds that small villages and towns like Vermontville are suffering and shrinking around the state, and around the country. Even so, the shrinking communities, like Vermontville, still find the means to provide for families in need, and to even have fun and celebrating as well.