Once upon a time, the Paramount Theatre (30 Center St., 802/775-0570, www.paramountvt.org , ticket prices vary) drew top names such as Harry Houdini, Groucho Marx, and Sarah Bernhardt. Recently restored to its 19th-century splendor, the theater now hosts musical performers such as Branford Marsalis, as well as classical music concerts and youth theater performances.
For 10 days every September, the Vermont State Fair (175 S. Main St., 802/775-5200, www.vermontstatefair.net , $6–10 adults, $5 seniors, $3–4 children 6–12, children under 6 free) lights up the Vermont  sky with a Ferris wheel and other nausea-inducing midway rides, along with the state’s premier agricultural competitions. One recent fair included the state championship demolition derby, equestrian harness races, and musical performances by country legends Randy Travis and Charlie Daniels. Throughout the year, the fairgrounds play host to other agricultural and musical events.