Because of concerns about large group gatherings in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, many Fourth of July events have been canceled throughout the area this year. Some standouts, however, are a concert and fireworks in Granville, fireworks in Rutland, the Lake St. Catherine boat parade, an FFA barbecue in Salem and the yearly reading of the Declaration of Independence in Bennington. Take a look at the list below and choose your fun this year. Happy Fourth!
Parade and barbecue canceled this year
The J. A. Barkley Hose Co. Auxiliary has canceled its annual parade and barbecue for this year.
Concert and fireworks will enliven Granville’s celebration
Granville will celebrate the Fourth of July with several fun events.
Granville will kick off its summer concert season and the July 4th weekend on Thursday, July 2 with a crowd-pleasing performance by Whiskey River in Veterans Memorial Park
The four-person classic country band will be the first to play in Granville’s annual summer concert series this year.
Lead singer Joe Gero has a voice as smooth as Tennessee whiskey and has opened shows for many major country artists in his career. Lead guitar player Fred Hurley plays note for note what the original recordings sound like with a clean, classic guitar sound, and he sings lead on many songs as well. Multi-instrumentalist George Schacher gives the band that true country sound with his pedal steel guitar and plays fiddle, guitar and harmonica. He also sings lead and harmony. Driving the band with a solid, toe-tapping beat is drummer (and local resident) Bob Tressler.
Everyone will enjoy a strawberry social, and at 9:30 p.m., there will be a spectacular fireworks display in Granville’s Little League Park that will be visible from many places throughout the village.
The summer concert series is made possible, in part, with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts Decentralization Program, administered locally by the Lower Adirondack Regional Arts Council and title sponsor Great Meadow Federal Credit Union.
Looking forward to fireworks in 2021
Because of concerns around COVID-19, the Washington County Fairgrounds made the difficult decision to cancel its fireworks display this year.
Live music, fireworks, chairlift rides and more
West Mountain in Queensbury will host its Fire on the Mountain Summer Edition on Friday, July 3, with live music, fireworks, chairlift rides and more.
The mountain is kicking off its Phase 4 summer opening with its first “Music with a View” concert series on Friday, July 3. Entertainment One will present ACDC tribute band Back in Black and Beatles tribute band Across the Pond.
The mountain notes that the event will sell out. These are unprecedented times, and West Mountain requests the public’s help to make the event a success and adhere to safety protocols.
For more information, visit https://www.facebook.com/193979154012511
Although Salem’s popular annual Art & Plow Fest and Fourth of July parade will not be a part of the town’s celebration this year, the Future Farmers of America will host a drive-thru, pick-up-only barbecue on Saturday, July 4, from noon to 1:30 p.m. at the Salem Fire Department.
This event is pre-sale only, with tickets available at Salem Hardware, Agway or by contacting Diane Jilek through Facebook.
Dinners will be $12 and will include barbecued chicken or ribs, baked potato, coleslaw, roll and a dessert.
Salem Fire Department is located at 57 S. Main St., Salem, New York.
All-American Celebration canceled for this year
Citizenship ceremony and reenactment canceled this year
Saratoga National Historical Park has canceled this year’s Naturalization Ceremony in consultation with United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
The event typically draws hundreds of visitors and participants to witness the moving ceremony of citizens taking the oath of allegiance for the first time. Officials say the size of the crowd and nature of the seated event make it unsafe to carry out during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Visit Fort Ticonderoga for a history-filled weekend; Best Fourth in the North still being planned
Fort Ticonderoga will celebrate Independence Day with special events and programming during an exciting holiday weekend on Friday and Saturday, July 4-5.
Experience the American Revolution on the very ground on which the fight for liberty occurred, with museum staff and costumed interpreters recreating and exploring the events of the year 1777. Guests will follow the footsteps of the Continental Army and see first-hand the struggle for freedom.
This year, until otherwise announced, general admission capacity will be capped at 400 visitors per day, and advance on-line ticketing is required by visiting www.fortticonderoga.org.
During the initial open phase beginning Tuesday, June 30, exterior spaces and Mount Defiance will be open to visitors Tuesday-Sunday from 9:30 a.m. until 5 p.m. (last ticket sold at 4:30 p.m.).
Numerous measures are in place to ensure staff and visitor safety and reflect guidance from appropriate government agencies and health authorities, such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, including physical distancing, new signage to manage visitor flow and expectations and required face coverings when physical distancing is not possible.
In a time with so much uncertainty, the 1777 defense of Ticonderoga stands as a reminder that hope lives on in the face of adversity. One year to the day after the Declaration of Independence, Continental Army soldiers were fighting for their lives against a British Army and fleet nearly three times their size. With the odds stacked against them, American soldiers held their ground to the last possible moment, before escaping and living to fight another day.
Daily activities during Fort Ticonderoga’s Independence Day weekend included with admission include a hike on the Carillon Battlefield Trail, Key to the Continent guided tours, musket demonstrations, guided tours of military garrison gardens and a secluded colonial revival commemorative spectacle of color and light, bateau maintenance demonstrations where fort staff will show how these wooden boats were sealed each campaign season, cannon demonstrations and a Witness to History guided tour to Mount Defiance, where visitors will learn about the mountain overlooking Fort Ticonderoga in the story of a decisive campaign fought for our nation’s independence.
For more information and the full event schedule, visit www.fortticonderoga.org.
Ticonderoga’s annual Best 4th in the North is still in the planning stages. While there will not be a carnival in the park this year, organizers are working on a traveling motorcade parade, other special events and the possibility of fireworks. Check the Best 4th in the North Facebook page for more information.
Annual Canal Festival canceled this year
Reading of the Declaration of Independence
On Saturday, July 4, at the Bennington Battle Monument, the site’s annual reading of the Declaration of Independence is slated to take place.
Because of COVID-19 precautions 25 chairs are expected to be set up to accommodate the audience.
A replica declaration will be available for all to sign. This is an annual tradition on the grounds of the monument.
As this event is still being planned, for more information, call 802-447-0550 or visit www.benningtonbattlemonument.com to confirm that it will take place.
Brandon’s Fourth of July celebration is canceled for this year
Castleton’s town-wide celebration has been canceled for this year
Battlefield to open Thursday, July 3, though no special events are planned for Independence Day
Boat parade canceled for this year
Lake St. Catherine
Boat parade will go on
The Lake St. Catherine Association will celebrate Independence Day with its eighth annual boat parade on Saturday, July 4, beginning at 1 p.m. in Forest House Bay.
Because of the current COVID-19 situation, there will be some changes.
The boat parade will award no prizes this year. With local businesses working as hard as they can to stay open, the association will not be asking for prize donations and sponsors this year. Instead, they ask that residents do their best to support last year’s sponsors, including Lake St. Catherine Country Club; Full Belly Deli; New England Lakeside Realty Inc.; Edwards Market; The Wells Country Store; Otto’s Cones Point General Store; The Gold Trout; Pine Grove Diner; The Barn Restaurant & Tavern; The Pawlet Station; Village Yarn Shop; Rebecca J. Thomas, Inc. dba Country Horizon Realty; MacDaddy’s Car Hop; Stewart’s Shops; Williams Hardware; Wellsmere Farm; CBH Business Services; and Everyday Flowers.
Winners will, of course, receive bragging rights for the rest of the season.
Because of safety reasons, there will be no judging stations; however, event organizers will take photos of every boat and will post them online for the entire lake to vote on in an easy-to-use voting survey. A time range will be set to cast votes, and the association will announce the winners for each category that evening.
The association is looking for a volunteer who can take photos of all the boats as they start their course around the lake and be able to quickly send so they can be posted online for voting. Anyone interested in assisting with this should email [email protected]
To register a boat, email [email protected] and provide name and phone number. The association will reply with a boat number for the parade.
Categories this year will include Most Original, Most Patriotic, Funniest and Best Overall
New parade format this year
Poultney will celebrate the Fourth of July in grand style with a new socially distanced reverse parade on Friday evening, July 3, beginning at 6 p.m.
Want to participate? In the weeks leading up to July 4, decorate your home, business or property in honor of Independence Day. Fly the flag, light your essential worker’s hope star, display your heart or create your own display.
The town will have hand flags available at the town office on a first-come, first-serve basis on Wednesday, July 1, from 9 a.m. to noon.
Then on the evening of July 3, join a socially distanced reverse parade. In your favorite form of street-legal transportation – car, truck, motorcycle or bike – join the Poultney American Legion Riders who will lead a procession from the East Poultney Green down through to the end of Poultney’s Main Street.
Feel free to explore the side streets and back roads on your own. And please remember to follow the rules of the road!
Fireworks extravaganza and drive-in movies
Look to the sky over The Vermont State Fairgrounds on the evening of Saturday, July 4, and join a celebration of our nation’s birthday with a fireworks show that will leave spectators oohing and aahing.
In recognition of social distancing guidelines, The Vermont State Fairgrounds will remain closed to parking. Attendees are invited to watch this fireworks spectacle from a vantage point of their choosing.
Organizers remind attendees to adhere to responsible social distancing methods wherever it is they enjoy the show. Please do not congregate in gatherings of larger numbers than are allowed by the current executive order.
The fireworks display is generously made possible by a donation from the descendants of Philip M. Allen in celebration of his centennial July 4, 1920. Additional sponsors include Betsy and Jack Jesser, McDonald’ and Four Seasons Sotheby’s International Realty
For more information, call 802-775-5200 or visit www.vermontstatefair.org.
The Paramount Theatre and The Vermont State Fair have announced that they are partnering on two new initiatives with the goal of offering the community safe, fun, value-filled entertainment and dining options.
The two groups are teaming up to create a drive-in movie theater located on the westernmost lawn of the fairgrounds.
This new venue will feature 17 summer classics on a 32’ by 18’ screen beginning with “Grease” at 8:45 p.m. on Friday, July 3, and continuing through the last weekend of August every Friday and Saturday night, weather dependent, with another 16 summer blockbusters.
Tickets for these screenings will be available on The Paramount Theatre’s website at www.ParamountVT.org beginning on Friday, June 19, at noon. Cost will be $25 per carload with ticket sales limited to 80 cars.
To satisfy fairgoers with fair food cravings during a year when fairs are prohibited due to COVID-19 concerns, an outdoor food park will be created on the northern border of the parking area at the drive-in movie theater. The food park will be open Wednesdays through Sundays. Interested vendors may make their interest known by visiting www.VermontStateFair.org for an application.
The entrance for both the outdoor food park and the drive-in theater will be located off Park Street just east of the railroad crossing. Both the drive-in theater and the food park will abide by social distancing guidelines, including one-way foot traffic and take-out service only (no seating options for those dining).