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Burlington’s Independence Day celebration is first major event to return

Published: Jul. 4, 2021 at 4:03 AM EDT
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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - For the first time in 16 months, Burlington hosted its first major event: the Independence Day celebration at the waterfront.

It was canceled last year due to the pandemic but it returned this year with a bang!

Thousands of Vermonters refused to miss the return of the Independence Day celebration and the fireworks show. They say it felt great to celebrate as a community for the first time in more than a year.

“Absolutely incredible. It’s great to be out and enjoying the waterfront and being around people,” said Marie Gaudette of Waterbury Center.

“It’s been nice. It’s nice to be able to get back out and start doing things again,” said Kimberly Morse of Winooski.

“I like that we’re all here and out and seeing all these people... it’s great,” said Michele Longe. “And everyone seems to be in a good mood,” Michele’s husband, Sam Longe, chimed in.

It was a smaller crowd than usual. About 30,000-40,000 people showed up in 2019, the most recent year the city hosted the event. Because of COVID and Saturday’s rainy weather, more people stayed home. But those who came out say it felt good to get back to some sense of normalcy and indulge in all of their July 4th favorites.

“We wanted to take the lake ride to Lake Champlain and get my creemees ice cream,” said Evelyn Wynn who is visiting from Raleigh, North Carolina.

And of course, they all couldn’t wait to see the fireworks.

“I’m hoping it’s going to be bigger and better because they didn’t do it last year,” said Gaudette. Her girlfriend, Laurie Lawrence-Pepin, agreed. “That’s a good point. Yep, never thought about that,” she said.

“I’m waiting to see it. I want the noise. I want the fun. I love seeing it,” Michele Longe said. “She’s like a child when it comes for fireworks!” Sam Longe joked.

There are plenty more Independence Day events kicking off across Vermont on Sunday, July 4th.

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