Prepping for Burlington’s Independence Day fireworks show

Published: Jul. 2, 2021 at 11:56 PM EDT
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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - After a year hiatus due to the pandemic, Burlington’s Independence Day celebration at the waterfront is back on!

Four-thousand fireworks will light up the sky over Lake Champlain Saturday night as the biggest fireworks show in Vermont returns.

Tom Swenson from Northstar Fireworks out of Montpelier is the head technician of the performance. He says they’ve been preparing for almost two months after getting word that the celebration would go on this year.

He says preparation wasn’t as easy as copying and pasting the format from 2019.

“The waterfront itself is different. An example would be that the Lake Champlain ferry docks is no more a ferry so we couldn’t just drive onto the barge,” Swenson said. “We actually had to crane everything from the shore onto the barges this year, so that’s a little different.”

Swenson says they’ve also made one big change to this year’s show. He says they’re planning to shoot the fireworks higher into the sky so that they can be seen from all across the city no matter where you’re watching.

“We’ve heard that a lot people aren’t comfortable going down to concert venues or being in large crowds so we wanted to make sure that those people that aren’t quite comfortable could still watch the show from elsewhere,” he said.

People planning to watch the show in person say they’re ready to be amazed.

“I’m excited. I hope it’s going to be like really big. Like huge! Double the fun!” said Ian Atkinson of Essex Junction.

“I don’t really know [what to expect]. I’m kind of expecting the unexpected,” said Brennan Fitzpatrick of Colchester.

“They’re pretty nice normally every year,” said Mary Littleton of Milton.

Stephen and Josh Chrysler, who are visiting from Long Island, N.Y., are looking forward to seeing the show for the first time.

“I’m expecting to see something really nice. A lot of nice color. A lot of celebration,” said Josh Chrysler.

And they say rain or shine — they’ll be there.

“We’re ready,” Stephen Chrysler said while popping open his umbrella. “We’re ready!”

The fireworks show kicks off at 9:30 p.m. on Saturday night at the Burlington waterfront.

Swenson says it does appear it will rain on Saturday but not enough to halt the show.

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