For the third year running, Brattleboro will be the site of a festival dedicated to tiny houses.
Lisa Kuneman, a co-founder of the event, said the idea for Tiny House Fest Vermont came partly from her own interest in dwellings that are generally 400-to-450 square feet, or smaller, in size.
Kuneman says 5,000 people attended the first festival in 2016.
“We were really surprised,” Kuneman said of the turnout. “We just did not see the degree of enthusiasm coming. We knew we were interested, and then we found out a lot of people are interested.”
This year’s event is scheduled for Saturday, June 23, and it will feature a village made up of 30 tiny houses.
There will also be a daylong series of presentations, ranging from the nuts-and-bolts of design and construction to the role of tiny homes in making communities more resilient.
While there are professionals in the field of tiny house manufacturing and design, the movement includes a large contingent of do-it-yourselfers — and the festival is also geared to help them.
“People can bring their designs and get some feedback from pros,” Kuneman said.
She said there's clearly a fascination with the small dwellings, and even for those who can't imagine living in one, there are ideas that can be adapted to any living situation.
“They make us think differently about the spaces we live in, and they make people think creatively,” Kuneman said.
In one sign of the interest in tiny houses, Kuneman said the Tiny House Fest has partnered with Yestermorrow Design/Build School in Waitsfield to create a tiny house certificate course, which launched this year. According to Yestermorrow’s website, the course is already full.