Lights Out Vermont: a celebration of family and a tribute to nature

By Geeda Searfoorce | The Charlotte News

Dorilee LeBlanc and her family. Photo: Courtesy

Dorilee LeBlanc and her family. Photo: Courtesy

October ushers in the season of busy days and shorter nights. On Saturday, October 17, the Ethan Allen Homestead Museum and Dorilee LeBlanc of Shelburne—Mrs. Vermont America 2015—will encourage everyone in the state to slow down a little and remember what’s important. Lights Out Vermont is an initiative to turn off the lights, television, video games and computers and return to a time before electricity.


“This is one of the issues that is really important as part of my platform,” LeBlanc said. “Pausing in our immersion in technology is essential, nowadays especially. It’s healthy for us to spend less time in front of a screen or to take a break from artificial light to connect us in a different way. We can all benefit from spending more time with each other and nature.”

The initiative, LeBlanc says, has a practical benefit too: saving money. Collectively, Vermonters can save thousands of dollars in electricity by unplugging for just one night. In lieu of 21st century watt-generating diversions, Lights Out Vermont families can enjoy a night of good, old-time family entertainment. They will gather in candlelight to play cards, dominoes, checkers, board games and charades, and to share stories and check out the night stars.

By pledging to be a Lights Out Vermont Family, you can receive an official Lights Out Vermont family sticker to post on a door, window or car. Contact the Ethan Allen Homestead for more information on pledge stickers. And join others at the Ethan Allen Homestead Museum in Burlington from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, October 17, to discover and play numerous non-electrical games and learn the constellations of the night sky. Visitors are encouraged to pack a picnic and walk through the beautiful gardens.

Ethan Allen Homestead Museum and Dorilee LeBlanc, Mrs. Vermont America, look forward to hearing all about the ways you connected without technology during the first annual Lights Out Vermont initiative. When you plug back in, drop them a line at

A truncated version this story was published in The Charlotte News on October 8, 2015.