Activities abound for July 4

ADDISON COUNTY — “Independence Day” will take on new meaning on July 4, with the resurrection of some traditional holiday favorites following a 15-month moratorium on public celebrations due to COVID-19.

One of the state’s largest July 4 parades, in Bristol, has already been canceled out of an abundance of precaution, but the fireworks will again light up the skies for 5-Town folks at around 9:45 p.m. on Friday, July 2. They’ll be set off at the usual spot — the Mount Abraham Union High School sports field off of Airport Drive.

Spectators are encouraged to show up early.

Parking will be provided by the Masons, and food and other vendors will be on hand next door at the Bristol Recreation Department field.

If it rains too hard Friday evening to put on the show, organizers will reschedule the event for Monday, July 5, at dusk–same place.

If you don’t get enough fireworks on Friday, there will be more sparkling boomers on Saturday, July 3. The Little City will fete the Fourth, starting with a chicken barbecue on Saturday, noon-2 p.m., at American Legion Post 14, 100 Armory Lane. Menu includes barbecued chicken half, potato salad, dill pickle and a roll and costs $13 per meal. Both drive-up and dine-in service available. There will be a concurrent open house in the lower buffet room of the Legion. Staff to direct traffic, and cash or checks will be accepted.

Vergennes will host a fireworks display that evening starting at dusk, at the Vergennes Union High School athletic field. Post 14 and Addison County Eagles Aerie 3801 are co-sponsoring the fireworks. More info can be found on the Post 14 Facebook page.

Brandon also will hold its Fourth of July Celebration on Saturday, July 3. The parade kicks off the day at 10 a.m., followed by activities throughout the day. Street dance at Central Park starts at 6:30 p.m. and fireworks at Mill Lane launch at dusk. More info at

Also on Saturday, there’s a town hall open house in Conant Square, Brandon, from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Come in and visit the town hall, and learn about upcoming events. Cold drinks and snacks will be available for sale. Bathrooms will also be available while the building is open.

On Sunday, July 4, the Bristol Outhouse Race will take place on Elm Street (as opposed to the usual West Street location) at noon. If possible, competitors should contact Cam Perta at [email protected] to register their team beforehand, but organizers will happily accept teams who show up the day of, Perta said.

A few teams have already signed up, Perta added, and organizers would love to have more.

Spectators are not just welcome but encouraged. Come out and see this beloved annual Bristol tradition and cheer on your favorite team.

Looking for something a little more low-key? Salisbury’s Ice Cream Social is back for the 46th year with this annual Fourth of July tradition. The social will be held at the Salisbury Church from 2 to 4 p.m. on Sunday. Enjoy generous servings of ice cream and toppings for sundaes and cones under festive holiday decorations, and the opportunities to eat, meet and visit with friends. Pay what you can with proceeds to benefit the Vermont Food Bank.

Wrap up the holiday weekend on Monday with a community reading of “What to the Slave is the 4th of July.” The famous speech by 19th century Abolitionist and former slaver Frederick Douglass will take place on July 5 at 1 p.m., outside the Rokeby Museum at 4334 Route 7 in Ferrisburgh.

Rokeby Museum and the Ferrisburgh Historical Society are collaborating to host this public reading. Community members are asked to join and read a section of the former slave’s speech. Text of the speech will be broken into manageable readings for all participants. The reading will begin at 1 p.m. and will last until the speech is completed. For more information, call 877-3406, or visit

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