NORTH BENNINGTON -- Paran Recreations is preparing for an Independence Day fireworks display for the second year, stocked with $1,000 worth of mortars. Launched from Welling Field, the fireworks will start at 9 p.m. on Saturday, July 5, and are expected to go for roughly 45 minutes.

"The fireworks will illuminate the lake: It will look great," said Marlene Driscoll, director for Paran Recreations.

Paran Lake will be open for its regular staffed hours from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. However, the concession stand, kayak and canoe rentals will be open through the end of the fireworks display. Activities will start at 6 p.m. with a band performance by the Buzzsaw Boys. Patrons will be allowed to carry in food and drink.

"Last year, the (Buzzsaw Boys) played until the fireworks started, and they started up again (after): They played until midnight because everyone hung out and kept dancing," Driscoll said.

The event is free for park members. Lake staff will otherwise charge $5 per person for entrance to the pavilion at the north end of the lake. Entrance to the south end of the lake will cost $5 per vehicle.

"I know it's always free in town because the town pays for it," Driscoll said. "We're a nonprofit so that's the difference ... We have to pay for our own fireworks. The Village of North Bennington does not pay for it."

Driscoll said the fireworks are good for augmenting activity at Lake Paran.


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"This is our second year doing this so I feel like last year a lot of people came that had never come to the lake before. They came because there were fireworks."

Lake Paran's next scheduled summer event is Desert Cabaret, held at the pavilion on Aug. 2 from 6 to 9 p.m. For more on Lake Paran membership or other activities, visit www.facebook.com/lakeparan.

The Town of Bennington will hold its Independence Day celebration on Friday, July 4 beginning with a reading of the Declaration of Independence at the lawn of the Bennington Battle Monument at 1 p.m. There will be vendors, activities and live music in upper Willow Park from 3 to 9:30 p.m. The town fireworks will conclude the day's events.

Contact Tom Momberg at tmomberg@benningtonbanner.com. Follow him on Twitter @TomMomberg