The “By the People: Brattleboro Goes Fourth” citizens committee invites the public to the town’s 46th annual Independence Day celebration, set for Thursday, July 4, with a morning parade downtown and an afternoon and evening program of family activities and fireworks at Living Memorial Park.
More than 30 marching units — including the Brattleboro American Legion and Brattleboro Union High School bands, veterans, civic, and youth groups — will kick off the festivities at 10 a.m. with a parade along Canal and Main streets to the town Common.
Brattleboro’s Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, which is sponsoring the parade for a fourth year, will lead the march with its giant American flag, while local personality Alfred Hughes Jr. will conclude the event by debuting his annual top-secret ensemble.
BCTV will air the parade live on local cable television channel 8 and online on its Facebook and YouTube pages with commentary by longtime broadcaster Tim Johnson. More information is available at www.brattleborotv.org.
Just before the march, the Community Equity Collaborative and Brooks Memorial Library will present a public reading of Frederick Douglass’ 1852 Fourth of July speech at 9:30 a.m. at downtown’s Pliny Park.
Following the march, the town Recreation & Parks Department will offer a series of public concerts, sporting events, and family activities at Living Memorial Park — just off Western Avenue and Interstate 91 Exit 2 — from 2 p.m. to the start of fireworks at 9:30 p.m.
Highlights include a New England Center for Circus Arts performance at 5:45 p.m., children’s concert by T-Bone at 6:30 p.m., and the Miles Band at 7 p.m.
All programs are free thanks to citizen, civic, and corporate donations, starting with the celebration’s main sponsors: Brattleboro’s Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, C&S Wholesale Grocers, G.S Precision, and the Richards Group.
Nine other institutions — Against the Grain Gourmet, Brattleboro Kiwanis Club, Brattleboro Savings & Loan, Dead River Company, Sam’s Outdoor Outfitters, Triple T Trucking, Trust Company of Vermont, Vermont Country Deli, and the Windham Foundation — also have contributed significantly.