Sounds of Vermont: Nightlife

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(Host) Evenings in Vermont are celebrated in postcards and song as a peaceful time, when the sun goes down and the day’s work is over. It’s a time to sit back on the porch and listen to the crickets. But for many Vermonters the best part of the day is just beginning.

VPR’s Susan Keese tunes in to the night in our series “Sounds of Vermont.”

(Sound of seagulls in the park, blast of a foghorn, crowd at Breakwaters, loud laughing.)

(Keese) In Burlington, the last ferry of the day leaves in time for a sunset over Lake Champlain. On a weekend evening, couples and families stroll in Waterfront Park, or linger over a lakeside picnic. At Breakwaters, a popular dockside bar, the night seems young and full of promise.

(Man in the crowded bar) “Nightlife in Burlington is wonderful!”

(Keese) Burlington is Vermont’s nightlife epicenter. At Nectar’s on Main Street, where it’s dark even in the daytime, you can order dinner from a sidewalk window until 2:00 a.m. Or, if you’ve got the coins, you can escape into a video game fantasy.

(Sound of video game: Beep! Boing! “Congratulations!” Merk, moink, sound of more coins dropping into the game machine.)

(Keese) Church Street Marketplace is a mecca for fun-seekers from the hinterlands.

(Street noise, people chatting) “Where you goin’?” “I’m up for the weekend.” (Sound of techno beat in background.) We’re from Johnson. There’s no nightlife in Johnson.” “Sometimes in Rutland, and Brattleboro if you’re lucky. But in Burlington, stuff’s always going on. It’s great.”

(Keese) There’s much to do in Vermont’s smaller towns and cities too. Outside the Yellow Barn Music Festival in Putney, Charlene Ellis waits to hear a chamber ensemble.

(Sound of Chamber music coming up as Ellis speaks.) “Classical music is just wonderful!”

(Keese) And there’s the old standby, the movie theater.

(Sound of ticket taker at movie theater.) “Fifteen and twenty. May I help the next person please?” “Greek wedding, one senior, one adult… twelve dollars.” (Sound of popping popcorn.) “Do you want butter on your popcorn?”

(Keese) At the firehouse in Newfane, Bingo is a Saturday Night staple.

(Sound caller pulling Bingo balls.) “B-seven, B-seven.” “B-four, B-four….” “Bingo! Look at, what’s the number again?” “Forty-six!”

(Keese) But for some people, nightlife means staying home on the back porch. (Sound of frogs, crickets.)

For Vermont Public Radio, I’m Susan Keese.

(Host) The VPR Series, “Sounds of Vermont” explores everyday sounds and what they mean to us.

Tell us your favorite sound of Vermont!

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