READSBORO - The town of Readsboro is kicking off its Fourth of July celebration on Friday night, but instead of a demolition derby, a semi-revival of the “dawn dance” will take its place. “They used to have a dawn dance years ago, but instead of an all-night dance, this one will stop at midnight,” said event organizer Charlotte Clark.
The dance, with the band “Shut Up and Dance” performing, will begin Friday night at 8 pm and end at midnight at the Readsboro Lions Park. The admission to the event is $5, and there will be food and soft drinks available for purchase throughout the night.
Clark said this year marks the eighth year the town has celebrated the occasion one week earlier than most towns. She said, “All of the money for the event is raised through fundraisers, street fairs, and raffles. In order to keep from having to raise like a $1 million, we do it early because it’s cheaper. The fireworks company charges about half of the price for the weekend before the fourth.”
On Saturday at 12 pm, the parade will travel up Main Street and end at the band stand. For those wishing to participate, the meeting place and sign up will be at 11 am at Mack Bros. garage. Directly after the parade, the celebration will move down to the ball field on Harriman Road. “In previous years we went to the Lions Park, but this year we decided to have everything in one place at the ball field,” said Clark. Once down there, the Brattleboro American Legion band will perform, and the Lions Club chicken barbecue will get underway.
There is a $12 charge for the barbecue, and tickets can be purchased at the Readsboro Store, the Lions Club, or by calling Clark at (802) 423-7080. Admission is $2 for all of Saturday’s events.
“It was more last year,” said Clark, “but we decided that because of the economy the way it is, we wanted to make it affordable for families.” A wrist band will be given so that people can come and go throughout the day. Clark added that all of the money collected will go directly towards paying the cost of the fireworks.
Some of the day’s activities include kid’s games, a dunking booth, a bounce house, a tie-die table, a watermelon crawl, a pie-eating contest, a tug-of-war, a children’s tractor pull at 2 pm, and the newly-introduced tough truck obstacle course, also at 2 pm. “I think that’s a fancy name for ‘mud bogg,’” said Clark of the new event.
Mike Boisvert, who will supply towing service for the tough truck obstacle course, described it as a combination obstacle course with separate mud and water aspects. “It starts out with two big obstacles, which I won’t call them jumps, but they’re big. Then there’s some off-set obstacles, and it ends with a three-foot deep by 40-foot long water hole,” said Boisvert.
At 4 pm there will be a lumber jack competition, which is also new this year. Competitors will demonstrate their chopping and chainsaw skills.
In the late afternoon, DJ “D” (Clint Birch) will be providing entertainment. “All of this goes on all day, and then the fireworks start at 9 pm,” said Clark.
The Deerfield Valley Transit Association’s MOOver will be transporting people all day between the ball field and the band stand on Main Street. Clark said that there is free parking at the Readsboro Central School, which is just a short walk from the band stand on Phelps Lane.
In case of rain, which Clark said usually happens at about mid-day, there will be two large tents set up offering shelter. No rain date has been scheduled.