Fireworks, barbecue and patriotic displays — these are the hallmarks of any Independence Day celebration, even in the face of a COVID-19 pandemic, albeit in sometimes different ways.
“In any activity you’re doing, think about the interactions you’re going to have and to do it respectfully,” said Nate Formalarie, communications director for the Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development. “Even if it’s a backyard barbecue, it would be good to wear a mask and to keep the party outside.”
And if you’re looking to entertain but don’t want to cook, “it is safe to order up food from your local restaurant,” Formalarie said. “With so few people coming into the state, now is the time to support your local businesses.”
In truth, Independence Day celebrations have always come with warnings, from the proper handling of small fireworks to either laying off the booze or designating a sober driver.
Here is a rundown of activities in the area:
Fireworks will be shot from the Mayo Farm fields after dark on Saturday, July 4, but finding a place to park will be a challenge.
Stowe’s Fourth of July celebration usually draws more than 2,000 people to daylong activities that lead up to the fireworks. However, in the interest of stemming the tide of visitors this year — and reduce the risk of spreading and contracting the COVID-19 virus — there will be no public parking.
Instead, viewers will have to take in the fireworks either from their homes or on private property with the permission of the landowner. To make sure people can see the show, Northstar Fireworks will use high-yield, high-altitude rockets that ensure the fireworks will be visible from farther away than usual.
As of now, Stowe is the only town in the area holding the annual fireworks show. With other local fireworks shows canceled, town officials worry the crowd could be a problem.
The Friends of Lake Eden will host a boat parade on Saturday, July 4, at 11 a.m.
This year’s theme is “Let’s go to the movies,” and participants are invited to decorate their boats using movie themes.
Awards will be presented in many categories, including most entertaining, most original and best representation of a theme.
The Morristown Afterschool Program is offering 12 hours’ worth of games, food and patriotic displays on the Fourth, with an emphasis toward keeping people safe.
“We really hope that people join in the fun because it’s the best way to offer activities for the whole family while staying socially distant,” said Kathy Cookson, program administer for the Morristown Afterschool Program.
The day will begin with a live-action game of the Parker Brothers board game “Clue.” From 10 a.m. to noon, participants can gather in one of six locations around town — Peoples Academy bandshell, Oxbow Park band shell, Deb’s Place, Morristown Centennial Library, Hoagie’s Pizza & Pasta, and Clubhouse Kids, located at 1092 Park St. — with the winning team receiving a prize package that includes a $50 gift certificate to Deb’s, a $25 gift certificate to Bijou Cineplex 4 and a gallon of maple syrup.
At noon, Morrisville VFW Post 9653 will host a barbecue chicken dinner. To-go orders will be available.
From 1 to 3 p.m., a panel of judges will decide which town residents have decorated their lawn the best. Members of the Morrisville Alliance for Culture and Commerce will do the judging. To sign up, visit bit.ly/morristownfourth. Prizes will include gift certificates and syrup.
From 3 to 5 p.m., there will be a townwide scavenger hunt, with the list available online and at Clubhouse Kids at 2:50 p.m. The winning team will receive a $100 gift certificate.
From 6 to 8 p.m., aspiring filmmakers are challenged to upload a patriotic music video to the event’s Facebook page. The winner will be chosen at 9 p.m.
Also at 9 p.m., the Bijou will offer a drive-in movie in the field behind Dunkin’ Donuts. The evening’s offering will be the 1993 family film “The Sandlot.” Gates open at 8:15 p.m.; the entrance is just off the Route 100 bypass near Manufacturing Solutions Inc.
Stop by the Gihon Valley Hall in North Hyde Park, which will show its Independence Day pride when it displays an antique, two-story tall American flag that will be hung outside the building. The flag dates from the early 1900s.
The hall will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. for small groups to tour the building and see another vintage display — a stage curtain that was hand-painted in 1911. Wear a face mask if you attend. Parking available by the North Hyde Park Post Office.
Jeffersonville & Cambridge
All 4th of July festivities have been canceled, but Stowe fireworks might be visible over the mountains.