Burlington prepares for annual July 3 festivities
Thousands of people are expected to pour into the Queen City Wednesday night for the annual July 3rd firework celebration.
Festivities will start at 5 p.m. and the fireworks will start at 9:30 p.m.
Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger says he's excited for what he calls the city's biggest event of the summer, with 30,000 to 40,000 people expected to show up.
Burlington Police also expect it to be all-hands-on-deck for the festivities. Police Chief Brandon del Pozo says it is one of their biggest events of the year and that the public can expect to see a lot of officers out and about
"It's going to be a good, safe, well-policed event. People need to not drink too much. They need to not get into fights, they need to be aware of their surroundings and just come out and have a great time," del Pozo said.
High water on Lake Champlain nearly put a damper on the fireworks display. Northstar Fireworks officials say the breakwall, where many of the fireworks are launched, had been partially submerged in water until recently. They say the breakwall fireworks are lower to the water and create "the artistic part of the show."
City officials are reminding the public to not to bring pets, sparklers or fireworks of any kind, and as always, glass is not allowed in the parks.
And some reminders for people on the water -- always wear a life jacket, boat or paddle sober, and have a marine VHF radio on your boat.
For those on land, officials suggest parking at UVM. "That is the best place if you are coming from outside of Burlington to park. And then for many years now we have run a quite good shuttle service from the parking lots down to the waterfront," Mayor Weinberger said.
If you do park in a garage or lot near the waterfront, expect longer than normal exit times and only certain exit points may be allowed at garages during and after the event.
Weinberger also visitors to take a look around the northern waterfront, the skate park, the sailing center, and the new waterfront park while enjoying the festivities. "I do hope as people come down they take a look around at their surroundings and I think they'll get a sense for how much progress has been made on the waterfront in recent years," he said.
Weinberger says the fireworks themselves cost taxpayers nothing but that the city does have to pay for personnel like police, fire and public works.
As part of a long tradition, Weinberger says the city holds the fireworks on the third so that it will attract more visitors and they won't have to choose between the smaller town events and this one.