BRATTLEBORO >> The public is invited to Brattleboro's 43rd annual Independence Day celebration, set for Monday, July 4, with a morning parade downtown and afternoon and evening programs of family activities and fireworks at Living Memorial Park.
Some 50 marching units — including the Brattleboro American Legion and Brattleboro Union High School bands, veterans, civic and youth groups — will kick off the festivities at 10 a.m. with a parade along Canal and Main streets to the town Common.
But first, kids may bring their bikes and helmets to the Vermont Inn Pizza parking lot on Canal Street at 9 a.m. Join Rec & Parks staff as they get festive with a variety of decorations for the parade. Rec & Parks will provide the decorations, tattoos, face painting and ribbons for the participants.
Brattleboro's Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, which is sponsoring the parade for a second year, will lead the parade with its giant American flag, while local personality Alfred Hughes Jr. will conclude the event by debuting his annual top-secret ensemble.
BCTV will air the parade live on local cable television channel 8 and online at brattleborotv.org, with commentary by longtime broadcasters Tim Johnson and Larry Smith.
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 2 p.m. to the start of fireworks (by Northstar, a Vermont-owned company) at 9:30 p.m.
Highlights include a New England Center for Circus Arts performance at 5:45 p.m., children's concert by Vic and Sticks at 6:30 p.m., and the Wyld Nightz Band playing classic rock and roll at 7 p.m.
All programs are free thanks to citizen, civic and corporate donations, including major supporters at the Brattleboro Brewers Festival, Brattleboro Reformer, C&S Wholesale Grocers, G.S. Precision Inc., Holstein Association, The Richards Group and Sovernet Communications.
The event also is supported by fireworks fundraising partner Brattleboro Savings & Loan and sponsors at the American Legion Brattleboro Post 5, Brown and Roberts Hardware, Dead River Company, Mondo Mediaworks, Sam's Outdoor Outfitters and Vermont Country Deli.
The schedule for Monday morning activities in Brattleboro is as follows:
• 9:30 a.m.: Bill Powers Memorial Firecracker 4-Miler. For more information, log onto https://runsignup.com/Race/VT/Brattleboro/BillPowersMemorialFirecracker4Miler
• 10 a.m.: Parade, Canal to Main Street to the Common.
Living Memorial Park
• 2-9:30 p.m.: Food and family activities
• 2-3:30 p.m.: Children's penny carnival with face painting and games
• 2:30 p.m.: Small Fry baseball all-star game
• 3 p.m.: Swim races
• 5:45 p.m.: New England Center for Circus Arts performance. For more, log onto necenterforcircusarts.org
• 6:30 p.m.: Children's concert by Vic and Sticks. For more, log onto www.vicandsticks.com
• 7-9:30 p.m.: Wyld Nightz Band playing classic rock and roll. For more, log onto www.wyldnightzband.com
• 9:30 p.m.: Fireworks by Northstar, a Vermont-owned company based in Montpelier
With a theme of "50 Years of Fun at the Rec," Saxtons River will kick off its annual Independence Day celebration Monday, July 4, with a 5K Firecracker road race at 8:30 a.m., followed by a parade at 9:30 a.m. In addition to the race sponsored by Pleasant Valley Brew Pub, the day's activities include a street fair highlighted by the firefighters' water polo, a hula hoop contest and music on the bandstand. Miniature golf, an egg toss, a pie contest, face painting, a bouncy slide and food vendors are also on the schedule. Afternoon activities move to the Saxtons River Rec Area and include swimming, square dancing, a cornhole game and old-time fiddling with Andy, Laurie, Jill and Friends, and music for dancing with the Old School band, all topped off with fireworks at dusk. There will also be cotton candy and Glo-stix on sale. The Saxtons River Rec will be selling food and hosting a chuck-a-duck game. This year's T-shirt features a drawing by local artist Daze Mortensen with the Rec theme. T-shirts will be on sale in front of the market Saturday, July 2 and on the Fourth.
Ladies Rummage Sale
Saxtons River: The Worn Again Thrift Shop on Main Street in Saxtons River is having a Ladies Rummage Sale on Monday, July 4th, from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. The sale includes a variety of clothing including sweaters, blouses, skirts, pants, jackets, coats and footwear such as shoes and boots and belts, hats, underwear and gloves. For those wishing to donate items, the shop is in need of infants and children's clothing, queen and king sized sheets, and ladies and men's jeans. The Thrift Shop is also collecting personal care items for residents of the Bennington Veterans Home. Donated items can be dropped off during shop hours. The Worn Again Thrift Shop is run by volunteers and is sponsored by the West River Missions with local catholic churches Our Lady of Mercy in Putney, Our Lady of the Valley in Townshend and Chapel of the Snows on Stratton Mountain.