FIREWORKS EXPLODE OVER the Vermont Symphony Orchestra tent at the conclusion of last Thursday night’s annual Pops concert to benefit the Henry Sheldon Museum in Middlebury. The concert was the first of more than a week of special holiday events in the area.
Independent photo illustration/Trent Campbell
July 2, 2007
By MEGAN JAMES
BRISTOL — Along with the traditional parades, fireworks and ice cream, this year’s Independence Day will bring Addison County and Brandon residents a few unusual treats, from fire-eating Vaudeville performers to live music and convenient public transportation.
Holiday activities kicked off last Thursday with the 15th annual Henry Sheldon Museum Vermont Symphony Orchestra Pops concert at the Middlebury College stadium. Guest conductor Andrew Massey directed selections from “West Side Story,” “Gypsy” and Wagner’s “Siegfried’s Rhine Journey.” The evening closed with lots of ooh’s and aah’s over the fireworks.
In keeping with tradition, Bristol will celebrate the Fourth in “big small town style,” with non-stop action starting the day before.
Beginning at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, July 3, the recreation field will fill up with food and craft vendors, kids’ games, Bingo and live music. Music will include Mount Abraham Union High School’s SweeTransition, Fran Robideau and Friends, and Mark Lavoie. Fireworks will start at dusk.
But Bristol won’t waste any time getting into the spirit the following day. At 7:30 a.m. festivities will kick off with a 5-kilometer road race starting off from Mount Abraham Union High School. By 8 a.m. participants in the longest-running parade in all of Vermont, will begin their line-up. The theme of the parade this year is “Battle of the Bands.”
Before the parade starts the Bristol Rotary Club will hold their annual Outhouse Race in an event that always proves to be a crowd pleaser. Teams will set off at 9 a.m. pushing wheeled outhouses down Main Street while one team member sits on the seat inside. Winners of this race will enjoy a well-earned victory ride in the parade.
At 10:30 a.m. the parade will begin at the head of West Pleasant Street, snaking its way to Main Street and featuring fire trucks, floats, National Guard units, Scouts and marching bands. This will be followed by live music on the Green at noon, where food and craft vendors will complete the scene.
Bristol won’t be the only place to see fireworks on Tuesday. Vergennes will usher in Independence Day with fireworks that evening at the athletic field behind the Vergennes Union High School. The fireworks are made possible by the Vergennes American Legion and the Addison County Eagles.
The Vergennes City Band will be set up at the athletic field and will play from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. Band director Susan O’Daniel said the band would be playing a number of patriotic selections to blend in with the holiday spirit.
The fireworks are scheduled to begin at 9:30 p.m.
FUNNY HATS AT BASIN HARBOR, JULY 4
If you’re looking for spectacular fireworks with a backdrop of Lake Champlain, visit Basin Harbor Club on July 3 at 8:45 p.m. The fireworks will be launched from the club’s airstrip and accompanied by music from the Bristol Brass Band.
On the Fourth, staff members and visitors will get a little more creative, designing and decorating funny hats at 1:30 p.m. After a bike parade at 5:30 p.m., hat designers will don their creations at “the Fabulous Forced Hat Picnic” at 6 p.m. Last year a staff member built a head dressing out of an edible cake and picnic-goers could break morsels right off the hat.
Lake Champlain Maritime Museum’s Independence Day Celebration in Ferrisburgh will include a three-cannon salute and reading of the Declaration of Independence beginning at 1 p.m. at 7 p.m. on Thursday, LCMM Director Art Cohn will speak on “Independence Day Reflection on the Revolutionary War in the Champlain Valley” at 7 p.m.
For more information call 475-2022 or visit www.
IN SHOREHAM AND SALISBURY, JULY 4
The Shoreham Congregational Church will play host to its annual Fourth of July pancake breakfast on Wednesday, from 7-11 a.m. On the menu are pancakes, eggs, bacon, sausage, Vermont maple syrup and beverages. Money raised supports the lighted flag on the village green.
The Salisbury Congregational Church will host its 33rd annual Ice Cream Social, rain or shine, on July 4 from 2 to 5 p.m. For more information about this event, contact Glenn Andres at 352-6671.
LAKE DUNMORE BOAT PARADE, JULY 4
Kampersville in Salisbury will host its annual boat parade around Lake Dunmore on July 4 at 1:30 p.m. Interested entrants should sign up at the Kampersville Store. Owners of the best boats in the show will receive cash prizes, ranging from $25 for third place to $100 for first place.
VAUDEVILLE IN BRANDON, JULY 7
Brandon’s holiday festivities are scheduled for the weekend following Independence day. For those who want to avoid parking downtown, Marble Valley Regional Transit District will provide a bus to shuttle passengers back and forth from Otter Valley Union High School between noon and 4 p.m. Parking will be available at the school and the bus, which is handicapped accessible, will depart for the Brandon Free Public Library every 20 minutes.
For more information about Brandon’s events, call 247-6354.
On the Brandon Green on Saturday, July 7, physical comedian Stephen Gratto will present a variety show complete with juggling, unicycling, fire-eating, stilt-walking, tight-rope-walking, hatchet-throwing, balloon-sculpting and plenty of audience participation. Gratto performs fast-paced classic vaudeville and circus skills, “including many feats of daring, bravery and side-splitting foolishness.” His show will start at 11:30 a.m.
Look for the Uncle Sam Jam, a half-mile patriotic fun run for children 12 and under. The race begins at Brandon Town Hall at 12:30 p.m.
A parade kicks off downtown at 1 p.m.
From 4 p.m. until the grand finale, Park Village will bustle with Midway Amusements, offering food, novelties, musical entertainment and inflatable rides.
The day will end with, you guessed it, fireworks at dusk at Park Village.