Popular Bristol Independence Day parade returns after COVID hiatus

Published: Jul. 4, 2022 at 4:45 PM EDT
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BRISTOL, Vt. (WCAX) - Bristol’s popular Fourth of July parade returned this year after a two-year hiatus due to COVID.

Freedom was ringing in Bristol on a picture-perfect Fourth of July as hundreds flocked to the center of town for the annual Independence Day parade.

“I’ve came here as long as I can remember, and I don’t think I’ve missed it since I was four or five,” said Dylan Roscoe of Bristol.

“It’s a great tradition that my whole family here does,” said Henry Kinlund of Hinesburg.

“It’s always fun to get out and see the people and see the kids playing,” said Bill Bowers of the Bristol Band.

Monday’s celebration is the oldest continuously run parade in the state. But this is the first year it returned after a two-year COVID hiatus.

On this Independence Day, Vermonters are acknowledging the birth of the country but are also thankful for the ability to gather together.

“It was an empty feeling you know but it’s great that it’s back,” said Sandra Sargent of Burlington.

“There was sort of a void of nothing happening,” Bowers said.

As the parade trucked through town, Vermonters got to lay their eyes on the historic Bristol Band, along with the tractors, clowns and horses.

“We are riding with my Grandpa Bill and the horses and having fun,” said Sophia Roleau of Bristol.

And always a highlight: the treats.

“Candy-- another main reason,” Kinlund said.

The parade also hosted dozens of campaigning politicians and advocacy groups for and against November ballot items.

And as another Independence Day comes and goes, Vermonters are reflecting on the annual events that make this state so unique.

“This is Vermont. Tradition is so important everywhere,” Susan Gordon said.

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