A community group needs the strong support of the community to stage an event like Railroad Days. We had that.
Artrain USA, with the 80 piece Artistry of Space exhibit, was Franklin County's most ambitious gallery show yet. The Festival also included our own major Vermont art exhibit, the NASA Mobile Aeronautics Education Lab, and community wide special events such as the St Albans Diorama, a movie, two Gate Players plays, and train and model train memorabilia. We reenacted a Civil War Days bank robbery and a train robbery. Thanks to our sponsors and volunteers, most of the events were free.
Dick Harper and Heather Streeter co-chaired the event. Railroad Days simply would not have happened without them.
The City of St Albans provided exceptional services, facilities, and support: the City Council and Mayor Peter Deslauriers, Chief Demag, Mike Boulerice, and almost everyone else in the City made sure St Albans was welcoming, organized, and spotless for our visitors.
Our media sponsors, Jeremy Read and the St Albans Messenger team and Suzi Chagnon, Matt Henry and the WWSR/WLFE team, did a super job advertising and covering the events.
Railroad Days was an expensive production. The Vermont Department of Marketing and Tourism and the City of St Albans offered grants. Local businesses and organizations made the Festival possible. Blouin's IGA, Ben & Jerry's Homemade, Clarence Brown, Buyer's Digest, S. B. Collins, Comfort Inn and Suites, Drummac Septic Service of Vermont, Franklin Lamoille Bank, New England Central Railroad, Northwestern Medical Center, Ponchos, Price Chopper, St Albans Area Chamber of Commerce, St Albans Historical Museum, Subway, the Vermont National Guard, and Ultramar generously offered cash or donations of materials, supplies, and assistance. Charles Munson, Jr., lent us the former Sherwin Williams building; it's a great place to stage an art exhibit and is now available for rent.
Volunteers from the Arts Council, Garden Club, Modern Woodmen, Moose Lodge, NMC Auxilliary, Rotary Club, and St Albans CAN were your guides in each gallery car. The Gate Players staged two huge productions in a week. The Northwest Vermont Model Railroaders brought a major exhibit to our Armory.
The steering committee included volunteers from area schools, the Arts Council, Channel 10, New England Central Railroad, St Albans CAN, the St Albans Chamber, and the Vermont National Guard. Ed Astleford, Mike Biggie, Corliss Blakely, Gail Breslauer (Vermont's Teacher in Space), Suzi Chagnon, Dottie Danforth, Melissa Haberman, Anne Harper, Dick Harper, Matt Henry, Dave and Kheya Kiefner, Sally Larner, Natalie LaRocque-Bouchard, Paul Legacy and Channel 10, Jan Johnson, Jim Murphy, Thomas Palermo, James Pelkey, Jeremy Read, BiliJean Smith, and Heather Streeter all worked overtime to make the Festival a success. Gail Breslauer, working under trying circumstances from out of state, brought our schedule together and made the NASA exhibit possible.
We are continuing our fundraising effort to help pay for the Artrain visit.
Thank you all.
Dick Harper, Chair
P.O. Box 1
Highgate Springs, VT 05460
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