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Central Vermont Independence Day Celebrations Rev Up

Montpelier’s largest annual festival celebrates the United States declaring independence from Great Britain and is just around the corner. Organized and promoted by Montpelier Alive, the action-packed afternoon and evening is scheduled to begin Monday, July 3 at 3 p.m. This year’s theme is “resilience.” 

Family-friendly activities such as FamilyFest begin on the Statehouse lawn at 3 p.m. and will include dance, movement, face painting, and henna tattoos. Other activities will be music and bouncy houses. Also on hand will be Big Nazo and the Providence Drum Troupe. Big Nazo has dancing monsters, a three-eyed robot percussionist, mountain trolls, and more, according to bignazo.com. 

And, food trucks will line State Street, including The Blooming Onion, Woodbelly Pizza, and Mo’s Backyard BBQ. Also serving food will be Butler Baked Potatoes, Dougy Fresh Gyro, Fried Dough, Gracie’s Tamales, and The Skinny Pancake. To cool you off, Sisters of Anarchy and Kingdom Creamery are scheduled to sell ice cream, while lemonade can be obtained from Joan Peter’s Lemonade Stand. Also for sale will be glow sticks and gifts. In all, 30 vendors are set to offer eatables and other items from 3 to 10 p.m.

The downtown Montpelier Mile road race will begin at 6 p.m. followed by the parade at 6:15 p.m.

Joining in the parade is an array of musical, theatrical, and otherwise entertaining participants. Included are the award-winning Catamount Pipe Band (which won a first place trophy at the 2022 Glasgow Lands Scottish Festival), All Together Now puppets, and Emily Lanxner’s Honeybee Steelband of Hardwick. The “Honeybee’ performers are made up of activist performers seeking to protect pollinators, according to their Facebook page. “Our work highlights the problem of toxic pesticides and other poisons that threaten the survival of bees and other pollinators worldwide — without bees, we will perish as well!”

Additionally, at the parade will be Hannaford’s Fife and Drum Corps, the Mt. Sinai Go-Karts, and two West African music and dance performers: Jen Kulo and Shidaa Projects, according to Montpelier Alive.

After the parade, revelers are invited to attend a performance by Chad Hollister at 7 p.m. And U-32’s Julia Fortin will sing “The Star-Spangled Banner” at 9:20 p.m. prior to the fireworks display at 9:30 p.m..

Questions about volunteering? Contact the volunteer coordinator Yasi Zeichner at volunteer@montpelieralive.org. Find out everything you need to know about attending Montpelier’s Independence Day Celebration at montpelieralive.com/july3-2023. Lead sponsors include Union Mutual Insurance, Community National Bank, and the National Life Group. Additional sponsors include North Country Federal Credit Union; Cody Chevrolet; UVM Health Network; Capital Community Church; The City of Montpelier; Casella; and Denis, Ricker, and Brown. 

Montpelier’s first Independence Day celebration was held July 4, 1807, according to Daniel P. Thompson’s “History of the town of Montpelier from the time it was first chartered in 1781 to the year 1860.” That year people gave speeches on the foundation of the first Statehouse followed by a procession through town. State Street had been marked and surveyed, but not yet open to horse traffic. Nor was there a bridge across the North Branch, so people had to cross from what is now Main Street to the Statehouse by wading across the river.

Other area Independence Day festivities include:


A July 4 “Freedom Ride” will start at Wilkins Harley Davidson at 10 a.m., 663 South Barre Road, Barre, Vt. Safety briefing at 9:45 a.m. All makes and models of motorcycles welcome. Complimentary lunch upon return.


July 4 parade at 11 a.m. The parade, organized by the Cabot Fire Department, will award parade participants “The Cheesiest,” “Most Patriotic,” and best “Get Outside” theme. Pre-registration is not necessary. There will also be a rummage sale from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Cabot School gym, music, and a farm market after the parade. On the rec field will be food vendors, bouncy houses, and field games.


July 4 parade and festivities to include activities beginning at 8:30 a.m. The parade starts at 10 a.m. with the theme “Sounds of Freedom.” No need to register for the parade, just begin to assemble on Main Street by 9 a.m. (enter south of Main Street by the covered bridge). Fireworks at 9:15 p.m. at Sugarbush’s Lincoln Peak. Sponsors are Waitsfield Champlain Valley Telecom, Lawson’s Finest Liquids, WDEV Radio, rk Miles Lumber & Building, Mad River Glen, Sugarbush Resort, and A&J Recycling.


July 4 parade at 11 a.m. Participants line up at 10:30 a.m. Worcester Historical Society Open House, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. (closed during parade). Food is available at 11:30 a.m. Food and activities including Woodbelly Pizza, Fred’s Ice Cream Truck, and Fried Dough. Also, from the community are sausage grinders, fruit cups, lemonade, and more. Games, races, and activities including a song circle begin at 12:15 p.m. A raffle will be held at 1 p.m., and at 1:15 p.m. there will be the dedication of a historical marker recognizing the White School. Then, at 1:30, “Reading Frederick Douglass” and more. Food and entertainment will go on into the evening to be capped off by fireworks at 9:15 p.m.