Festival of Fools
Burlington City Arts has proudly produced the Festival of Fools since 2002. The festival is a curated celebration of street performance devoted to community engagement through the celebration of circus arts, music, and comedy for family audiences. We have had terrific support from presenting sponsor Community Bank, N.A. since 2016.
From July 30 to August 1, 2021 the Festival lands on the Church Street Marketplace for up to 30 hours of free, accessible, and hilarious performances. While in normal years we would bring in artists from all around the world, this year we are focusing on Vermont-based performers presenting to smaller audiences. Visit www.vermontfestivaloffools.com for more information.
Highlight New Year's Eve Celebration
BCA and Signal Kitchen partnered in 2018 to produce a new New Year’s Eve celebration for the City of Burlington following 35 successful years for First Night. Each December 31, hundreds of Vermont artists perform in unique events across the City for thousands of celebrating community members. Each year we are pleased to support Vermont artists by celebrating our community while welcoming in the new year.
The Bright Idea Project, powered by our sponsor VSECU, gives direct grants to artists that realize their creations as part of Highlight. Past recipients have included the Illuminated Collective, Maiz Vargas Sandoval, Nightshade Kitchen, Cirque de Fuego, Scrag Mountain Music, Jake Blend, and many others.
Check out Highlight.Community for more information.
The recently renovated City Hall Park features a splash pad fountain that is thirsty to be danced in! To that end, Splash Dance is a weekly dance party with a Vermont DJ performing each Friday at 4:00 pm, June through August. Visit the City Calendar to see the weekly DJ lineup for each Splash Dance.
Splash Dance! is supported by MVP Healthcare, New York Life (Vermont General Office, 802.654.1101), and The WaterWheel Foundation. In partnership with the Friends for A_Dog Foundation
Summer Concert Series
The BCA Summer Concert Series is an annual celebration of Vermont's incredible roster of local talent. Every Wednesday and Friday throughout the summer, the Summer Concert Series provides a lunchtime concert in City Hall Park, energizing the downtown district with vibrancy while supporting local musicians. Visit the calendar to see the weekly lineup for each Summer Concert.
Since 2012, audiences have enjoyed these intimate, free performances, and musicians love connecting directly with local audiences to expand their fanbases. In 2020, to support musicians during the pandemic, we launched a Summer Concert Video Series, in collaboration with the City’s office of Racial Equity, Inclusion and Belonging, to produce high-quality videos for each performer. And now audiences can relive the magic of our 2020 and 2021 performances all year round!
2021 City Hall Park programming is presented by Pomerleau Real Estate.
All Heart in the Park
Ferene Paris Meyer of All Heart Inspirations hosts a safe, enthralling, community storytelling session. Share your true stories with friends, neighbors, and total strangers!
All Heart in the Park is supported by The WaterWheel Foundation and is funded in part by a grant from NEFA (New England Foundation for the Arts). 2021 park programming is underwritten by Northfield Savings Bank and Pomerleau Real Estate.
Catch a concert on the lawn as the sun sets on City Hall Park, every alternating Friday and Saturday. The inaugural lineup includes regional luminaries spanning the full spectrum of genres. Visit the calendar to see the bi-weekly lineup for each Twilight Series Concert.
Join hosts Gina Stevensen and Quinn Rol every Monday through August in this inspiring speaker series with amazing community heroes. Talk topics range from education and business to science, tech, and creativity. This series starts Monday, July 5.