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Fireworks, parades on tap for Fourth of July

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Posted on June 30, 2016 |
By Sam Hartley



UPDATE: The Sheldon Museum issued this announcement late Thursday: Due to the forecast on three different meteorological websites predicting rain, wind, and possible thunderstorms on Friday, July 1, afternoon and evening, the Pops Concert venue has been changed to the Kenyon Arena.

We suggest that you bring chairs and blankets with you so that you can sit close to the stage where the sound will be best. However, seating is available around the perimeter of the arena.

ADDISON COUNTY / BRANDON — Whether you’re a local resident who doesn’t feel like traveling for the holiday or an out-of-towner interested in local festivities, Addison County and Brandon in the coming days will offer lots of Independence Day fun, ranging from live music to parades and athletic events.

And four public fireworks displays will be offered over the course of the next four days.

Too much is happening to fit everything into a single day, so events will range from Friday, July 1, through Monday, July 4. 

Everything will kick off on Friday in Brandon with the Street Dance at 5 p.m. in Central Park. Music, provided by the DJ from Jam Man Entertainment, starts at 6 p.m.

Later that evening, Middlebury’s Sheldon Museum will hold its annual Pops Concert featuring the Vermont Philharmonic Orchestra and vocalist Antonette Knoedl at 7:30 p.m., followed by fireworks. The concert will be held in a lovely outdoor setting on the field behind the Mahaney Center for the Arts at Middlebury College. If it rains, it will be held in Kenyon Arena. The grounds open at 5:30 p.m. for picnics so bring chairs, blankets and flashlights. This is a fundraiser for the museum, and tickets are $25 for adults, $10 for youth and free for children under 12. Buy tickets by calling 388-2117, going online to www.henrysheldonmuseum.org or stopping in to the Sheldon in downtown Middlebury. 

As usual, the Independence Day events arrive early in Brandon and in force. On Saturday, Brandon will hold a number of pre-parade events from 10 a.m.-noon, including karaoke and a silent auction. The big parade begins at 1 p.m. at the intersection of Park, High and Marble streets, marches through downtown and ends at Brandon Lumber. After the parade, The Keating Five will play a concert in Central Park. This will be followed by a ball race over the falls at Green Park. More music will then be played at Park Village, followed by a fireworks show at dusk.

We hope you haven’t got enough fireworks because there is more on Sunday. 

The fun continues at the Bristol ballpark that day at 6 p.m. with music, food, games and a raffle. A fireworks display will be held at dusk.

Vergennes will hold all of its events on July 3. The Vergennes City Band, under the direction of Susan O’Daniel, will play music on the parade field. Fireworks will be displayed at approximately 9:30 p.m. While the fireworks will be visible throughout the city, they are best viewed behind the high school or at the elementary school.

Just as most fireworks shows have a grand finale, Independence Day activities will come a crescendo in Bristol on Monday morning, July 4. Beginning at 7:30 a.m. there will be a 5K race through the village beginning at Mount Abraham Union High School. 

The Great Bristol Outhouse Race — an event you will have to see to believe — will begin at 9 a.m. downtown. The race will feature teams with two sturdy members pulling a makeshift “outhouse” on wheels with a third team member sitting on the throne. The course runs on West Street from in front of St. Ambrose Catholic Church to Holley Hall.

This bit of silly fun will be followed by the big annual parade at 10:30 a.m. A festival will start at noon at the town park, featuring music by Mango Jam.

Hopefully you can find time to rest up after all these great local activities.

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