BRATTLEBORO -- Local businesswoman Kelli Corbeil - daughter-in-law of the lead founder of Brattleboro's July 4 celebration - has been named grand marshal of the town's 40th annual Independence Day parade.
Corbeil, owner of WTSA radio and co-chairwoman of the Project Feed the Thousands food drive, will represent the next generation of locals to participate in a day of free family activities launched in 1973 under the guidance of the late J. Wayne Corbeil.
Kelli Corbeil, the mother of school-age sons Connor and Zachary, is known locally for honoring both her father-in-law and late husband, Bill, by raising money for the Jimmy Fund supporting Boston's Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.
Corbeil and family will lead the 10 a.m. parade along Canal and Main streets to the town Common. Some 50 entries - including the Brattleboro American Legion and Brattleboro Union High School bands, veterans and civic and youth groups - will appear in divisions that "Honor the Past," "Celebrate the Community" and "Welcome the Future."
The march will be capped by an "Alfred Saves the World" finale featuring local personality Alfred Hughes Jr. in his annual top-secret gown surrounded by youth bearing flags and messages mirroring the 1973 parade's tribute to Brattleboro immigrants and their native countries.
After, the town Recreation & Parks Department will offer a series of public concerts, sporting events and family activities at Living Memorial Park - just off Western Avenue and Interstate 91 Exit 2 - from 1:30 p.m. to the start of fireworks (by Northstar, a Vermont-owned company) at 9:30 p.m.
Highlights include the Santa Croce family band from 5:30 to 7:15 p.m.; children's entertainers Vic and Sticks at 6:30 p.m.; and New England native Peter Miles and his rock, funk, blues and jazz band from 7:45 to 9:30 p.m.
A full listing of events is available on the website www.brattleborogoesfourth.com.
All programs are free thanks to citizen, civic and corporate donations, including fireworks sponsor Entergy Nuclear Vermont Yankee, parade sponsor C&S Wholesale Grocers and major supporters the Brattleboro Savings & Loan, Holstein Association USA and the Richards Group.
Parade participants must register to march by Monday, June 24. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also, an all-volunteer citizens committee is working to close a $2,000 budget gap to pay for local bands, fireworks and appropriate liability insurance and security. People can mail contributions to "By the People: Brattleboro Goes Fourth," P.O. Box 1112, Brattleboro, VT 05302.