About three days at the end of April, sugar house tours and sap runs celebrate the glories of maple syrup. The carnival, arts and crafts, food, entertainment, contests and antique show lure visitors, and the art exhibit, grand parade and youth talent show keep them here. Naturally, there is a pancake breakfast, but the 5K and 10K runs work off the calories. Oh wait, maple syrup has no calories during this festival, does it?

Battery Park, Waterfront Park, Main Street and a few other places are sites for fun events to celebrate the young people of the city. Since 1986, this tradition has hosted a parade, art exhibits, music, drama, a home-run derby and train rides for kids of all ages as 20 other American cities have done. Kids are encouraged to decorate a bike or wagon and be in the parade along with the giant helium balloon. Craft activities and various demonstrations add interest to have something for everyone. This community-wide effort is supported by businesses, service organizations, schools, families, volunteers and performers to honor children and all of their differences and abilities.

Arts and crafts combine with food and entertainment to take over the downtown as 75 or so vendors display their wares over the Memorial Day weekend. Items made from fabric, glass, metal and wood, along with pottery and jewelry, will line the way. Ethnic foods of Germany, India and Italy and American favorites dominate School Street like it's a food-fest. Eat gourmet seafood, wood-fired pizza, fried dough and ice cream, among other things.

Around the first weekend of June, just under a hundred heifers are doused in flowers and paraded down Main Street, all clean and pretty, to highlight the festival and its important aspects. This is the polar opposite of the Running of the Bulls in Pamplona, Spain but makes a good point: eat local and encourage local family farms to keep producing food for "locavores." The requisite performers, music, dance, food, balloon artists and face painters are all present along with demonstrations, exhibits and "The Hammys." Over 40,000 visitors enjoy a farm tour, food market, farm summit, dairy princess pageant and top-shelf entertainment. Can you really pass this up?

Around the end of May and the first week of June, Burlington puts on a 10-day jazz extravaganza that celebrates local talent and world-class jazz performers so that "civilians" and musicians can enjoy various forms of live jazz. Stages indoors and out are filled with talent from around the globe during this 30-year tradition, and many events are free. From the Church Street Marketplace to the Flynn Center, live jazz fills the air, reflecting Vermont's active jazz community.

Main cities in Vermont