“This is the launch into the Fourth of July week,” said Wilmington merchant Lisa Sullivan. “Hopefully people are planning for the whole week.”
The fun starts with two signature events, the annual Readsboro Independence Day celebration and a Village Stroll in Wilmington.
Readsboro will be celebrating Independence Day on Saturday, June 30 with a parade, family activities, and fireworks.
The day will begin with the parade at 11 am on Main Street. The theme for this year’s parade is “Show Your American Pride.” Floats of all types can register the day of the event at 10 am at Mack Brothers on Main Street.
The events will continue at the Readsboro ballfield and will include a tough truck and ATV obstacle course, a lumberjack competition, a horseshoe tournament, music, and other family activities. The Readsboro Lions Club will be serving their world-famous chicken barbecue at 1 pm.
The day will finish with a fireworks display at 9 pm. Admission is $5 for the entire day of festivities at the ballfield. For information visit www.facebook.com/readsboro4th.
Also on Saturday, June 30, the village of Wilmington will host another of the popular Village Strolls. Organized by the Mount Snow Valley Chamber of Commerce and downtown merchants, the event is spread throughout the village and features a number of activities.
The theme of the stroll is “Make It in the Village” and will highlight locally-made art, crafts, and foods.
“The coolest thing that’s different is that Jr. Iron Chef teams will be doing samples,” said Sullivan, one of the many volunteer organizers of the Village Stroll. “There will be several teams spread out through the village, and if the weather is so-so they’ll be under tents or moved into businesses.”
The Jr. Iron Chef teams are made up of local teens who compete in a statewide cooking competition. Twin Valley middle and high schools have consistently developed winning teams in the event, and many of those local youth will be displaying their culinary skills at Saturday’s Village Stroll.
Sullivan also noted that retail businesses will stay open late that evening, and that a new boardwalk to the parking area behind the south side of West Main Street is being completed in time for the stroll. “The work has been done as an all-volunteer project,” she said. “It’s a wooden walkway going into the back parking lot.”
Other stroll activities include magician Jay McMahon performing tricks, a variety of musicians, circus-style activities for kids of all ages, artists displaying their techniques, a “Where’s Waldo?” 25th anniversary celebration, and the kickoff to the summer geo-caching challenge.
The Village Stroll runs from 5 to 8 pm and is free. For more information call the Mount Snow Valley Chamber of Commerce at (802) 464-8092.
The region’s longest-running event takes place on Wednesday, July 4. It’s Wardsboro’s 63rd annual Independence Day Celebration.
According to committee chair Nancy Perkins, this year will include the usual parade, barbecue, art shows, and street fair, and some new wrinkles as well.
“Ted Lawrence is an international one-man circus,” said Perkins. “He will be performing at the skateboard park sometime after the parade.” The time is yet to be finalized, but Perkins promises the South Wardsboro homeowner will put on quite a show.
Also new this year will be a pirate ship crewed by some suspicious characters. Perkins promises “lots of activities involving pirates and probably passersby.”
She also was appreciative of the volunteers who make up the organizing committee. “It’s been a dream,” said Perkins. “Everyone has returned this year. People who are experienced, they know what to expect. It’s been wonderful. It’s been a big help to me. I’m officially the chairman, but the committee does all the work.”
The festivities kick off around 9 am in Wardsboro. The parade will roll out about 10 am, and the festivities and food will continue throughout the day. There is no admission charge. For more information visit sites.google.com/site/wardsboroparade.
On Friday, the night sky over Wilmington will be ablaze with color. It’s the annual Independence Day celebration at Baker Field.
The festivities get started at 6 pm. There will be vendors of all variety, live entertainment featuring the Jacksonville Blues Band, games for the kids, bouncy houses, and tons of fun. According to chamber of commerce director Adam Grinold, the number of glow-in-the-dark items available will be even greater than in previous years. Sixth-grader Deserae Boos will sing the national anthem just before the first rocket is fired.
The fireworks will launch at approximately 9:15 pm. The event is free. Rain date is July 7.
The fireworks are sponsored by the Mount Snow Valley Chamber of Commerce, and the towns of Dover and Wilmington. MOOver buses will be available for free park and ride from a number of locations on Route 100 and Route 9. For information go to visitvermont.com.