It’s no wonder that Church Street in Burlington is one of the “must see” Vermont tourist destinations
If you’re bored and tired of looking at gorgeous Lake Champlain or shopping, then Church St is a sideshow of all things weird, wonderful and bizarre!
You just never know who (or what) you will encounter on Church St. If there were ever an award given to a place with eclectic, odd and amazing people, Church St in Burlington, would certainly get a nomination.
Bangkok, Thailand’s infamous Khao San Road has nothing over Burlington, Vermont’s quirky tourist mecca. On any given day, you can see some unique and unusual people and things in the area. From the legendary street performers and musicians of the past to some of the wack and unusual characters that tend to haunt Church St and pass like ships in the night, all have left indelible marks upon the culture of the city.
There is no shortage of street performers, some of which come and go rather quickly at Church St., Burlington, VT. You never know what you’ll see (or hear) on Church Street, which probably accounts for it’s popularity with tourists and locals alike. Check out this particularly odd street performance:
There are a LOT of great and diverse restaurants, all within walking distance. Many of them have outdoor patios where you can watch street jugglers, acrobats and daredevils busking their talents for well received gratuities.
Acrobats, Juggling and Daredevil Stunts
Church Street Local Personalities
There have also been many local Church Street “personalities”. Unfortunately, most have long since passed away, such as the “Hot Dog Lady”, who was a 36 year veteran among Church St vendors. Lois Bodoky was well recognized, with her pouffy hair, and pointy glasses. Her sage advice was generously shared, along with chopped onions and relish at her hot dog cart. The “Hot Dog Lady” is remembered in a plaque on Church Street and in a mural. See one of her final moments on video.
Things tend to become a bit more traditional during the winter months:
During the winter months, Church Street is also a huge attraction to both locals and tourists from around the world. Although some of the “weirder” elements diminish a tad during the colder months, the lights and Christmas tree at the head of Church Street are always quite spectacular to see.
Beggars Day on Church St
One of the more annoying aspects of Church Street are the people begging for money. Some are young and perfectly capable of finding work but instead, choose to loiter about the streets looking for a hand out. Fortunately, they are not as aggressive or forward as their counterparts in areas such as Portland, Maine. With the exception of this furry fellow below, Church St used to be a lot nicer place before the beggars and drug addicts came to town. Many of the stores and restaurants on Church Street limit access to their rest rooms because of ongoing issues of finding needles in the toilets.