BRATTLEBORO — Organizers of Brattleboro's Independence Day celebration are launching several public fundraising efforts to help pay for the town's 43rd annual free family event.
The "By the People: Brattleboro Goes Fourth" citizens committee will mark July 4 with a morning parade downtown and afternoon and evening of sports, concerts and fireworks at Living Memorial Park.
Brattleboro's Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, known for leading the annual march with its giant American flag, is kicking off the fundraising by contributing enough money to cover all parade costs.
"They've been able to step up, for which we're grateful, so we can continue to do what we do," said Recreation and Parks Director Carol Lolatte.
The Elks donation is allowing the all-volunteer effort to team with two other local organizations to raise the rest of the money for fireworks and other free park activities.
On Saturday, May 14, from noon to 4 p.m., the committee will accept donations from patrons at the Brattleboro Brewers Festival, with more information available at the website www.brattleborobrewersfestival.com.
Then on Friday, May 20, volunteers will seek contributions at WTSA-FM's annual radiothon from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Brattleboro Savings & Loan, which is serving as the effort's official bank.
"We think it's important to have a community event that's meant for every member of the community," Savings & Loan representative Brandie Starr says of her association's involvement.
People also can give through a link on the Brattleboro Savings & Loan Facebook page or by mailing donations to "Brattleboro Goes Fourth," P.O. Box 1112, Brattleboro, VT 05302.
Marching units lined up for the parade include the Brattleboro American Legion and Brattleboro Union High School bands, as well as veterans and civic and youth groups. Festivities will kick off July 4 at 10 a.m. with the parade along Canal and Main streets to the town Common.
After, the town Recreation & Parks Department will offer a series of public concerts, sporting events and family activities at Living Memorial Park throughout the afternoon and evening until the start of fireworks (by Northstar, a Vermont-owned company) at 9:30 p.m.
All programs are free thanks to citizen, civic and corporate donations. People wanting more information can log onto the Brattleboro Goes Fourth Facebook page —www.facebook.com/BrattleboroGoesFourth — or email firstname.lastname@example.org.