BY DONNA ALLEN
SAXTONS RIVER, Vt. – Each year we think about what Independence Day means. On this day, the 4th of July, 240 years ago, our forefathers met in Philadelphia and pledged their lives, fortunes, and sacred honor to bring about the birth of a new nation based on the principle of freedom. Those who signed that document knew they were signing their death warrants if their struggle for freedom failed. The risk they took by pledging their lives, fortunes and sacred honor is one of the unmatched displays of bravery in history.
We celebrate their accomplishments on July 4th. Enjoy the freedoms we have as Americans and enjoy the greatest country on God’s green Earth, America.
Every year small towns, large cities and people across this great country celebrate our independence and freedom. One such town is Saxtons River, Vermont. Tucked in the Southeast corner of Vermont on Route 121 Saxtons River volunteers plan the festivities for all to enjoy.
This year festivities kicked off bright and early with the 5K Firecracker Road Race at 7:30 a.m. in the center of town. About an hour later they began arriving back to the middle of town: singles, children, Mom’s with baby carriages, and older runners too. some had costumes, some did not. Music from a man playing saxophone rang out through the crowded street to which folks were movin’ and groovin’ or singing along.
The crowds were lining Main Street awaiting the infamous Saxtons River 4th of July Parade! They were eating delicious food from Jamaica, Asia, and good old American hot dogs and French fries, lemonade, fried dough, pies, and cotton candy. Kids and some adults were decked out in their finery of red, white and blue.
First came the American Legion Color Guard, followed by Vinnie’s red 1960 Thunderbird convertible carrying Parade marshalls. Next came Cub Scout pack 268 from Springfield, VT, Hill’s Band Wagon, Singing River Farm, and the many, many bicycles! Then a gorgeous Packard followed by Main Street Arts float, “Long May You Reign.” Then a hay wagon pulled the Main Street Arts band.
Next the crowd enjoyed beach balls and candy from a float headed to the Rec area and their 50th celebration! And Alpine Glow was a crowd pleaser with their goats in red, white and blue skirts, getting watered from a bottle! A decorated buggy headed to the Rec beach came rollin’ along. Then the dancers in yellow white and blue and their band danced and skipped through town. Vicky Ball and her goat walked the parade route. The 2016 State Champion Little League Team from Bellows Falls showed off their trophy. A tractor pulled another float handing out candy to the children followed by the carrot-laden float handing out carrots as a healthy snack.
Then with sirens blaring, the fire and rescue trucks from Saxtons River, Rockingham, Grafton, Bellows Falls, Westminster went by. Hill’s Band Wagon, for the second time, brought up the rear playing our patriotic songs.
With the parade over folks headed to the vendors for food, drink, and memorabilia for souvenirs of the 2016 4th of July parade. Meanwhile the hula-hoops were spinning and the fire departments were getting ready for the ever-popular “Water Polo.”
The Water Polo games are a real crowd pleaser. Much of the crowd welcomed the water spray. It was a hot 91 degrees and being wet was not uncomfortable. Another year of great festivities Saxtons River!
Wishing you and your family the best on this Independence Day.