COVID-19 Update: Most July 4th celebrations in Vermont have been canceled for 2020. Read my recent post about Vermont Independence Day celebrations in 2020.
Vermont July 4th celebrations range from funky parades to outdoor concerts to festivities on Main Street and the town green. If you’re planning on being in Vermont on Independence Day, here are some of the best places to celebrate.
Here are 10 of the best Vermont July 4th Festivities
Along Route 100 is the small town of Wardsboro, which hosts Southern Vermont’s oldest Independence Day celebration. The day’s festivities start with a street fair on July 4 at 9 a.m., followed by a lively parade at 10 a.m. Other activities include a duck race, face painting, quilt show, fishing derby, and more. For more information, visit 4thofjulywardsboro.com.
The town of Stowe hosts a day-long celebration on July 4 with two parades, a village festival, and fireworks. The Moscow Parade at 10 a.m. is known for its charm and small-town spirit. All floats are put together the morning of the parade, and participants are required to spend no more than $10 on their decorations. If you aren’t much of an early bird, try the Old Fashioned Village Parade in the afternoon, followed by the village festival in the heart of Stowe. Fireworks can be enjoyed at The Mayo Farm. For more information, visit www.gostowe.com.
Visit the Orleans County Fairgrounds on July 4 in the Northeast Kingdom for a day of tractor pulling, horseshoes, corn hole, a lumberjack event, face painting, bouncy house, and more. A parade along Main Street starts at 2 p.m. and the truck pulling event will be at 5 p.m. before fireworks at dusk at the fairgrounds. For more information, visit www.orleanscountyfair.net
The little town of Warren draws a big crowd on July 4. The annual Warren Fourth of July Parade is one of the most legendary Vermont July 4th celebrations around. In addition to the classic cars, lively performers, and creative floats, the Warren parade always includes a healthy dose of political satire, addressing everything from climate change to elections to health care. The parade starts at 10 a.m. on Main Street, followed by a celebration at Brooks Field. For more information, visit www.madrivervalley.com/4th.
The annual Vermont Symphony Orchestra & Fireworks Under the Stars returns to beautiful Grafton Ponds Outdoor Center on July 3. This year’s program, “Strike Up the Orchestra!” was crafted by guest conductor Sharon Lavery, making her VSO debut. The orchestra showcases the composers who set America to music: Gershwin, Joplin, Bernstein, Copland, and the foremost film composer of our generation, John Williams. Tickets at gate are $28 adults, $10 kids, kids 5 and under free. Gates open at 5:30 p.m. for picnicking. For more information, visit www.vso.org.
Celebrate Independence Day in Vermont’s Capital City on July 3. Enjoy the Family Olympics on the State House Lawn, which features Olympic-themed activities for everyone and visits from Vermont Olympic athletes. The highlight of the event is the city’s renowned parade, and around town kids and families will enjoy face painting, hula hoops, musical guests, and a dunking booth. Be sure to stay for the fireworks. For more information, visit www.montpelieralive.com.
Island Pond is a local favorite for places to celebrate Independence Day. This Northeast Kingdom community puts on a festive parade on July 6 at 11 a.m. and fireworks that evening on the lake. The multiway celebration between July 5-7 includes musical performances, a chicken barbecue, duck race, cardboard boat race, and more. For more information, visit www.visitislandpond.com.
Bristol has one of the most family-friendly July 4th celebrations around. Enjoy one of the longest-running parades in Vermont, as well as the town’s famous Outhouse Race, music, pony rides, and more. The Outhouse Race starts at 9 a.m., followed by the parade through the center of town at 10:30 a.m. At noon, the town green is packed with locals and visitors enjoying live music, food, crafts, games, and more. Fireworks are the night before on July 3. For more information, visit www.bristol4th.com.
Spend July 4 at Hartland Old Home Day starting with a tractor pull at 8 a.m. followed by a superheroes-themed parade at 10 a.m. Enjoy food, entertainment, kids’ games, displays, raffles, and more. Swing to the Moonlighters Big Band at 7 p.m. , followed by fireworks at 9 p.m. For more information, visit the Hartland Recreation Department’s Facebook page.
An old-fashioned celebration in Jeffersonville starts with a festive parade on July 4 at 10 a.m., followed by a carnival with food, kids’ games, live entertainment, and even a frog jumping contest. At 5 p.m., head up to Smugglers’ Notch Resort for a barbecue, music, and fireworks at dusk. For more information, visit www.smuggs.com.