Vergennes Day is happening this summer

VERGENNES — Vergennes Day will return this year to the city’s downtown green at the end of the summer.
On Tuesday the Vergennes City Council approved a plan proposed by Addison County Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Rob Carter for a COVID-friendly event for Saturday, Aug. 28. The chamber has taken the lead in recent years in organizing the annual city celebration.
City officials welcomed Carter’s plan, which includes a reduction in vendors from 60 to 45; a guided traffic flow around the city green; a closed North Green street for food trucks; music on the city bandstand, but with fewer musicians per ensemble; and no bounce house for children.
Plans also call for roping off the green and the Commodore Thomas Macdonough monument to help ensure pedestrian traffic will flow as planned, according to a handout provided to councilors on Tuesday.
Carter told councilors the chamber would provide a staff member to act as a “safety officer” to help ensure compliance with guidelines adopted by the council and any that are in place per the state at the time.
According to the handout, visitors and vendors would be required to wear masks, and chamber volunteers will provide masks to those who show up without one, as well as hand sanitizer. Vendors would also be required to supply hand sanitizer. The chamber will also collect names and emails of visitors.
Carter added, according to the handout, that the chamber “would encourage other organizations to hold events around town to spread people out, and work with Vergennes Partnership Core to encourage merchants to have sidewalk sales to draw people onto the Main Street.”
And, yes, he said, organizers of the annual Little City road race and the Rotary Rubber Duck Race have said they are on board.
City officials praised Carter’s proposal, and said they welcomed the return of Vergennes Day after it was one of the many annual events canceled due to the pandemic in 2020.
“We think he’s put together a good, solid plan,” said City Manager Ron Redmond on Wednesday. “We’re excited to move forward with this.”
Mayor Matt Chabot said Carter was wise to make plans with precautions in place, but hopes some of the restrictions can be eased by late August.
He said that, along with the Vergennes Farmers Market a go for this summer, having Vergennes Day back is a big step for the city and its residents in feeling a return to pre-pandemic status quo.
“Vergennes Day is pivotal to summer … for the sense we can all return to normalcy,” Chabot said.

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