Music, Meals and More to Celebrate the Fourth of July
By Phoebe Driscoll
From Woodstock to West Windsor, almost every town offers a series of festive events and activities to commemorate the nation’s birth. Whether it is a pie-eating contest or a parade, you are bound to find fun in one or more of the following towns:
Beginning at 10 a.m. and ending at 5 p.m., visitors to Woodstock’s Billings Farm and Museum can experience an Old Vermont 4th. Children and parents alike can try their hand at making ice cream, crafting 43-star flags or competing in sack races. The festivities also feature traditional music, horse-drawn wagon rides and a documentary on the creation of the Statue of Liberty. At 11 a.m., debates and speeches regarding Independence Day will begin.
On July 7, Barnard residents can partake in a pre-Fourth of July celebration hosted by the Barnard Volunteer Fire Department. The day will include a flea market at 10 a.m. and a chicken barbecue at 11 a.m.
Reading celebrates in a similar fashion: On July 1, visitors can enjoy a parade beginning at 11 a.m., followed by a chicken barbecue to benefit the Volunteer Fire Department. Also in Reading on July 1, the sixth annual Ducky Derby is at 2 p.m.
At the Calvin Coolidge State Historic Site in Plymouth, a July Fourth celebration — combined with a celebration of the life of Coolidge — will commence at noon. Beginning with a village green march and ending with a chicken barbecue at the Wilder House Restaurant, the parade is co-sponsored by the Calvin Coolidge Memorial Foundation and the Vermont National Guard.
July Fourth marks the celebration the 250th anniversary of Hartland’s charter; the town and the Hartland Historical Society have planned a series of events to observe Old Home Day. From 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., a parade will take place, followed by food, games and music; artists include the Hartland Drummers, the Blues Band and The Moonlighters. At dusk, spectators can gather to watch fireworks at Foster’s Meadow.
The town of Killington offers several festivities to kick off Independence Day. The day begins with a 10 a.m. parade along River Road to the Johnson Recreation Center. There, parade-goers can cool off with free swimming beginning at 11 a.m. The Fireman’s BBQ begins at the same time, followed by a silent auction, field games, live music and fireworks; all of the aforementioned events take place at the Johnson Recreation Center.
Located in the heart of the Upper Valley, Hartford offers an annual fireworks display at Kilowatt Park on July Fourth. Events begin at 6 p.m. and include live music, food, drink and activities. Fireworks, sponsored by North Star, will start at dusk and end at 11 p.m.
On July 3, the town of Brownsville will be hosting Fireworks, Food & Music at Ascutney Mountain. The following morning, on July Fourth, festivities will include a pancake breakfast, a flea market, crafts, a parade and a pie-eating contest. West Windsor begin its Independence Day festivities with fireworks at dusk on July 3. The Brownsville July 4th Committee has announced that the theme for the annual Fourth of July parade will be “Vermont Strong.” Prizes will be awarded to those with the most patriotic and creative floats or vehicles.