Dance, Flow, and Play!

Samantha Grout brings yoga, fun, adventure, and transformation to Southern Vermont with the OM Festival for a second year



From July 24 – July 28, at the West Mountain Inn, the spirit of togetherness, transformation, balance, and positive energy will flow as freely as the waters of the nearby Battenkill River at the second annual OM Festival. Founded and organized by entrepreneur, yoga enthusiast, and native Vermonter, Samantha Grout, the OM Festival will bring yoga instructors, wellness experts, renowned musicians, local vendors, performers, and yogis of all experience levels together for a five-day celebration of life, wellness, and the beauty of the Green Mountain State.

Drawing on years of experience as the organizer and founder of the popular, nationwide yoga event series, Yoga Fun Day, Grout’s journey of personal and entrepreneurial growth has now come full circle. After partnering with childhood friend, fellow Vermonter, and OM Festival Co-Founder, Sarah Barendse-Elrod, and Amie Emmons, owner of the West Mountain Inn, Grout has doubled down on her efforts to promote and elevate the OM festival in its second year. In doing so, she is channeling the same spirit of love and connection that flowed freely at previous Vermont yoga festivals. Grout has built a festival that will strongly support the local business community, bringing new visitors to Vermont while showcasing the vibrancy and beauty of the state. As the festival expands in scope and ambition, Grout is actualizing her vision of a welcoming sanctuary where people can unplug, unwind, and reconnect with the natural world. “We’re creating a space where people can come together and experience the magic of Vermont’s mountains,” she concludes. “That’s what the OM Festival is all about.”

Born and raised in Arlington, Grout is a proud, sixth-generation Vermonter. Her family’s name and legacy springs eternally through the waters of Grout Pond, which lies in the enchanting forests just off of Kelley Stand Road in East Arlington. “My ties to the land run deep,” says Grout. “We’ve always been connected to the earth, trees, and mountains.” Grout’s childhood days were spent hiking through the woods, exploring the forests, and skiing at Southern Vermont resorts, including Stratton. “I just fell in love with being outside,” says Grout. In her early twenties, Grout discovered the healing power of yoga while recovering from an injury. “It became my lifeline. I found relief from my back pain and got certified as a yoga instructor. It was a calling I couldn’t ignore.”

Following a transcendental experience at a yoga festival in California in 2012, Grout’s first foray into organizing yoga-centric events took flight with Yoga Fun Day, a series of one-day festivals that took root in locations across the country. “Putting on multi-day events is both very challenging and very rewarding,” acknowledges Grout. “I started with one-day events, which laid the groundwork for something bigger.” With a professional background in recreation management and hospitality, including several years at Stratton Mountain Resort, Grout seamlessly blended her love for yoga with her multidisciplinary skill set. Her hard work culminated in successful and well-attended yoga events. “I’ve always loved combining technology and online promotion with wellness,” she notes. “There are so many innovative ways to enhance people’s well-being and bring people together.”

After bringing thousands of yoga-lovers together through Yoga Fun Day, Grout was beckoned back to Vermont by the allure of her hometown. Once settled, she set her sights on creating something truly special: the OM Festival in West Arlington. “I saw incredible potential, and wanted to create something authentic and meaningful.” As the OM Festival enters its second year, Grout’s dreams continue to take shape, fueled by the collective energy of those who share her passion for wellness and adventure.

The venue for the OM Festival, West Mountain Inn, is described by Grout as “absolutely breathtaking.” Set on a 150-acre hillside surrounded by trees, this gem of Southern Vermont hospitality provides wonderful opportunities for festivalgoers to commune with nature. “There’s fantastic hiking, kayaking, and canoeing down the Battenkill,” shares Grout. “We had 17 guided hikes last year, ranging from mushroom walks to meditative strolls.”

The historic barn at West Mountain Inn adds to the festival’s charm, offering a picturesque backdrop for yoga sessions and musical performances. “We have eight musical acts lined up, including world-renowned performers like Dixon’s Violin and Cornflower,” shares Grout. “It’s not just about entertainment—it’s about creating connections and sharing experiences.” And it’s not just about yoga and music—the OM Festival aims to create a holistic experience that nourishes the mind, body, and soul. “We’re adding paddleboarding this year, tapping into the river’s energy,” says Grout. “We’re embracing all that Vermont has to offer.”

Grout is passionate about supporting local businesses and artisans, recognizing the vital role they play in the local Southern Vermont community. “We want to showcase the best of Vermont, so we’re partnering with farms for our farm- to-table dinners and local vendors for our OM Market.” As the festival continues to grow, Grout’s vision expands beyond the festival itself. “I think the OM Market has the potential to become its own stand-alone event. We’re offering day passes for local residents at affordable prices so local businesses can thrive and the community can come together in celebration.” For Grout, the OM Festival is more than just an unforgettable getaway—it’s a testament to Vermont’s beauty and community spirit. “I’m excited to see how the festival evolves and grows. It’s a journey that we’re all on together, and I can’t wait to see where it takes us.”

The OM Festival: