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June 18, 2015

On Independence Day, Vermont Marches to a Different Drummer

Vermonters have always been an independent people. While the rest of the country is celebrating July 4 with parades and fireworks, the Green Mountain State has some typically quirky and engaging ways to commemorate our independence. You can find these events and more at

Celebrate Early

Why wait? The tradition in the town of Waterbury is to celebrate the Saturday before the fourth. Catch Not Quite Independence Day on June 27. Music, parade, fireworks and BBQ fest.

Start Your Engines

Experience the thrill of Barre's Thunder Road Speedbowl and cap off the night with fireworks. July 2.

All Aboard

Revelers can avoid back-ups and parking hassles by taking a train to the Burlington waterfront to see the fireworks on July 3. Trains run between Charlotte and Burlington, with stops in Shelburne and South Burlington.

Shopper's Delight

Stowe's Seven Miles of Sales is Vermont's largest town-wide sale. More than 60 independent, locally-owned boutiques and shops participate in this annual event. July 3-5.

Happy Birthday, President Coolidge

Silent Cal was the only U.S. President born on Independence Day. A naturalization ceremony is followed by a wreath-laying at the President's gravesite. Afternoon activities include BBQ and wagon rides. Plymouth, July 4.

Not your Typical Parade

The Warren Fourth of July Parade is a perennial favorite in the Mad River Valley. It's revered for its witty skits and floats, costumes and political satire. July 4.

Giddy Up

While others are riding on floats and tractors in parades, some choose to ride in the Vermont Summer Festival Horse Show in Dorset. Hundreds of equestrians and spectators gather for the Vermont Summer Special, July 1-5.

Do Some Demo

"Summer Smash" is another name for the Stoney Roberts Demolition Derby in Rutland. Last one running wins! Derby at 6:30, fireworks at 9:45. July 4, Vermont State Fairgrounds.

Downhill Derby

A different kind of derby. This race dares engineers to build a car that will make it all the way down Copley Avenue by the force gravity alone. July 4, Morrisville.

Zip on Down

Okemo Mountain Resort throws open the Adventure Zone for an all-American backyard BBQ. Zip line tours, miniature golf, Segway PT tours, a treetop challenge course and mountain coaster will all be available for free. July 4, 11 am-6pm.

A Really Old-Fashioned Celebration

See how they partied down in 1890. The Billings Farm & Museum holds an Old Vermont Fourth, complete with a reading of the Declaration of Independence, historic debate, wagon rides, spelling bees, egg tosses, sack races and more. July 4, Woodstock.

Fresh Food for the Fourth

Vermont has more farmers markets per capita than any other state, and a few of them are open on Independence Day. Grab some fresh strawberries for your shortcake at Depot Park in Rutland, or in Pittsford on the village green. July 4.

Family Fireworks

If you want to celebrate the traditional way, find fireworks in towns and villages throughout Vermont including Bakersfield, Barton, Brandon, Bristol, Burke, Burlington, Colchester, East Corinth, Essex Junction, Greensboro, Hinesburg, Island Pond, Jeffersonville, Milton, Montpelier, Morristown, North Hero, Poultney, Richmond, Rutland, St. Albans, Stowe, Stratton, and Williston. Many of Vermont's ski resorts also put on a big showócheck out www.SkiVermont for details.

Contact: Laura Peterson, Vermont Dept. of Tourism & Marketing,, 802.522.7323

Source: Department of Tourism and Marketing
Last Updated at: June 18, 2015 13:27:51