Our favorite holiday lights photos around Burlington Vermont

20 PHOTOS

2:37 p.m. EST Dec. 20, 2019

A light-bedecked Eiffel Tower — approximately one meter tall — glows on Elm Terrace in Burlington on Dec. 18, 2019.

A light-bedecked Eiffel Tower — approximately one meter tall — glows on Elm Terrace in Burlington on Dec. 18, 2019.

JOEL BANNER BAIRD

Tree-mounted lights decorate the Slate shop window on Church Street in Burlington on Dec. 19, 2019.

Tree-mounted lights decorate the Slate shop window on Church Street in Burlington on Dec. 19, 2019.

JOEL BANNER BAIRD

Christmas lights adorn a home on Vermont 116 in St. George.

Christmas lights adorn a home on Vermont 116 in St. George.

BRENT HALLENBECK

An ornamental snowflake mounted within a bicycle wheel is illuminated by morning sunlight and display-window lights at North Star Sports in Burlington on Dec. 19, 2019.

An ornamental snowflake mounted within a bicycle wheel is illuminated by morning sunlight and display-window lights at North Star Sports in Burlington on Dec. 19, 2019.

JOEL BANNER BAIRD

The Pomerleau Real Estate building all lit up for the holiday. December 2019.

The Pomerleau Real Estate building all lit up for the holiday. December 2019.

APRIL BARTON

Pomerleau Real Estate building decorated for the holiday. December 2019.

Pomerleau Real Estate building decorated for the holiday. December 2019.

APRIL BARTON

Pedestrians enjoy holiday lights on Burlington's Church Street Marketplace on Dec. 4, 2019.


Pedestrians enjoy holiday lights on Burlington’s Church Street Marketplace on Dec. 4, 2019.

APRIL MCCULLUM

One of S.D. Ireland's cement mixer trucks glows with holiday cheer at Severance Corners in Colchester on Dec. 17, 2019.

One of S.D. Ireland’s cement mixer trucks glows with holiday cheer at Severance Corners in Colchester on Dec. 17, 2019.

APRIL MCCULLUM

Holiday lights beam from a home at Winooski Avenue and Howard Street in Burlington on Dec. 3, 2019.

Holiday lights beam from a home at Winooski Avenue and Howard Street in Burlington on Dec. 3, 2019.

JOEL BANNER BAIRD

An ice rink in the front yard reflects holiday lights at a home in South Burlington on Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2019.

An ice rink in the front yard reflects holiday lights at a home in South Burlington on Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2019.

AKI SOGA

The elaborate display of holiday lights up  the front yard of a home in South Burlington on Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2019.

The elaborate display of holiday lights up the front yard of a home in South Burlington on Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2019.

AKI SOGA

A Christmas wreath lights up the chimney of a home in South Burlington on Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2019.

A Christmas wreath lights up the chimney of a home in South Burlington on Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2019.

AKI SOGA

Festive lights adorn a house in South Burlington on Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2019.

Festive lights adorn a house in South Burlington on Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2019.

AKI SOGA

A house in South Burlington is decked out for the holidays on Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2019.

A house in South Burlington is decked out for the holidays on Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2019.

AKI SOGA

Williston's Maple Tree Place decorated for the holiday season. December 2019.

Williston’s Maple Tree Place decorated for the holiday season. December 2019.

APRIL BARTON

Apartments getting into the spirit in Williston. December 2019.

Apartments getting into the spirit in Williston. December 2019.

APRIL BARTON

Maple Tree Place in Williston lit up for the season. December 2019.

Maple Tree Place in Williston lit up for the season. December 2019.

APRIL BARTON

Footprints in the snow leading to the tree in the Maple Tree Place square in Williston. December 2019.


Footprints in the snow leading to the tree in the Maple Tree Place square in Williston. December 2019.

APRIL BARTON

Christ Memorial Church gets into the Christmas spirit by decorating their trees. December 2019

Christ Memorial Church gets into the Christmas spirit by decorating their trees. December 2019

APRIL BARTON

Homes in Williston getting into the Christmas spirit. December 2019.

Homes in Williston getting into the Christmas spirit. December 2019.

APRIL BARTON

Jimmy T Thurston, ‘Vermont’s Grandfather of Rock and Roll,’ Dies at 78

Jimmy T Thurston - COURTESY OF JAMIE LEE THURSTON

  • COURTESY OF JAMIE LEE THURSTON
  • Jimmy T Thurston

On Friday, December 6, Jimmy T Thurston played a show at the Old Post with his longtime band, the Cobras. In true Jimmy T style, it was a rowdy and raucous night at the South Burlington roadhouse.
“I heard it was crazy good,” said Thurston’s son, country singer Jamie Lee Thurston. “The whole place was standing up, guitar player ripping solos. I heard it was great.”
Though no one knew it at the time, it was also Jimmy T’s last show. The Vermont rocker, known to many as “Vermont’s Grandfather of Rock and Roll,” died on Sunday, December 15. He was 78.

Jimmy T Thurston - BRAD BOQUET

  • BRAD BOQUET
  • Jimmy T Thurston

“He lived like he wanted to live and went out six days after a gig,” said Jamie Lee. “With the exception of stepping off stage and dropping dead after a show like that, I think that’s a pretty darn good way to go.”
Jimmy T had been a fixture in Green Mountain rock and roll since the 1960s. Born in Waterbury, the 12th-generation Vermonter played nightclubs, dive bars, juke joints, VFWs and county fairs all over the state for 70 years. He played his first gigs when he was 8, according to a 2012 story in the Essex Reporter.
His bands included the Mustangs, the Jimmy “T” X-perience, the Jimmy T. Thurston Band, Boogy Beast and Jimmy T and the Cobras, the last two of which were perhaps his best known and most successful acts. He also played with a group called Rip Van Winkle and the Sleepy Hollow Boys, the name a not-so-subtle nod to his signature long white beard.
Jamie Lee is a noted country singer-songwriter who grew up performing with his dad in Vermont. He now lives in Nashville, where he’s enjoyed some commercial success, including penning tunes for the likes of Trace Adkins and Rodney Atkins. He’s performed with country stars such as the late Waylon Jennings, the Dixie Chicks, Jason Aldean and Charlie Daniels. On Saturday, December 14, the night before his father died, Jamie Lee played a show at the Rusty Nail in Stowe.

Jamie Lee Thurston, left, and Jimmy T Thurston - COURTESY OF JAMIE LEE THURSTON

  • COURTESY OF JAMIE LEE THURSTON
  • Jamie Lee Thurston, left, and Jimmy T Thurston

Jimmy T was supposed to attend his son’s homecoming gig, but a couple of days after the Old Post show, he’d begun feeling ill and was eventually diagnosed with a virus.
“I called him on the way to the show and he sounded sick, but he was still cracking jokes,” Jamie Lee said.
“It was one of those stellar nights,” said Jamie Lee of his Rusty Nail gig. “After the show, he said he and some friends got a couple rooms and got into some tequila. “Ironically, about the time I went to bed was about the time he had gotten up,” Jamie Lee said, “and then he passed away not long after that.”
Jamie Lee woke up that morning to a flood of messages from friends and family. He eventually called his mother, who told him the news.
“I felt like Mike Tyson gave me a left hook,” he said. “Like I got run over by a freight train.”
Jamie Lee said that he and his sisters, Debbie West and Vicky Cleland, hope to start a fund in their dad’s name, the proceeds of which would go to the music program at the Waterbury Elementary School.
Jimmy T was also nearing completion on a new record, a follow-up to his 2012 album Welcome to My Country and a 2016 EP, VT’s #1 Outlaw.
“We’ve talked about doing a record-release party later [next] year, in June or July,” said Jamie Lee.

Jamie Lee Thurston, left, and Jimmy T Thurston - ROSS NICKEL / BOOTLEGGER BEWARE PHOTOGRAPHY

  • ROSS NICKEL / BOOTLEGGER BEWARE PHOTOGRAPHY
  • Jamie Lee Thurston, left, and Jimmy T Thurston

A celebration of Jimmy T Thurston’s life is planned for January 5, in the afternoon, at the Ballroom of the Hilton Burlington Lake Champlain — the same room where Jamie Lee used to play New Year’s Eve shows with local country radio station WOKO. Specific details are still in the works and will be announced soon. But Jamie Lee said you can count on plenty of music.
“That’s a good assumption,” he said with a laugh.

https://youtu.be/pbKil9amqfs

Good Times Gallery owner will serve prison time for selling marijuana, witness tampering

Elizabeth Murray, Burlington Free Press Published 8:26 a.m. ET Dec. 18, 2019

The former owner of Church Street business Good Times Gallery arrested for selling marijuana out of his downtown shop will spend more than two years in federal prison.

Derek Spilman, 45, appeared in U.S. District Court in Burlington on Monday, where he was sentenced to 29 months in prison to be followed by three years of supervised release.

He had pleaded guilty in August to conspiring to distribute marijuana, being a drug user in possession of a firearm and witness tampering.

A screen shot of court papers filed with U.S. District Court shows a photo included as an exhibit by the U.S. Attorney's Office that depicts the distance between Good Times Gallery and Full Tank on Church Street.

A screen shot of court papers filed with U.S. District Court shows a photo included as an exhibit by the U.S. Attorney’s Office that depicts the distance between Good Times Gallery and Full Tank on Church Street. (Photo: Free Press)

Original arrest in January

Spilman, who was originally arrested in late January, has been detained in federal custody since March. His detention came after a judge found that Spilman violated conditions of release by attempting to intimidate a witness in the case.

Spilman’s nephew took responsibility for one of the intimidation tactics — smearing dog feces on the storefront window of the business next door — but was later found to have lied under oath.

Derek Aviles pleaded guilty to witness tampering in July, and he is scheduled to be sentenced in January.

A screenshot of federal court papers shows photos of Derek Spilman, the owner of Good Times Gallery, on the day of his arrest in late January 2019.

A screenshot of federal court papers shows photos of Derek Spilman, the owner of Good Times Gallery, on the day of his arrest in late January 2019. (Photo: Free Press)

Spilman’s mother Donna Mahar has also pleaded guilty to witness tampering for her role in pressuring Aviles to take credit for her son’s actions. She is scheduled to be sentenced in February.

Both Mahar and Aviles remain free on conditions while their cases are pending.

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