A flag hangs off a ladder truck in St. Albans Town, continuing the 33-year-old area tradition of celebrating independence on the first Sunday of July.
The day features tunes, vendors, and fun under the sun. Organizers say big crowds mean big business for the area.
"We're thrilled that we have such a great day and at the same time we're able to introduce our facility here to a bunch of people who may not normally come up here," says Jim Walsh from the Chamber of Commerce.
The right to hoist the "great race" hardware is one of the day's biggest draws.
"We have some serious athletes but a lot of times it's mostly families that put together teams last minute," says Walsh.
180 teams composed of more than 400 athletes, including twins Will and Whitney Hanson, squared off in the day's run, bike, paddle event. The duo first competed as last-minute additions 15 years ago, they haven't let time or distance prevent them from returning every year since.
"It's just a family event and anyone can come out here and have a great time, St. Albans is beautiful and the lake is beautiful and it's just sweet," says Will Hanson, a competitor in the Great Race.
Since 2003, Will and his family have driven from Cleveland to St. Albans to make it back for Bay Day. Whitney made the return trip from Wisconsin a couple of times before moving back home to Northern Vermont. The pair says they can't imagine spending the beginning of July any other way.
"Brothers, brothers man, it's like, let's do this until we're 80 years old and they're dragging us off the course," says Hanson.
After the race, the family held a picnic. They'll have another week or so together before going their separate ways. But they'll be together again, the next time July rolls around.