Morning Briefing


Editor's note: This article has been updated to reflect the postponement of the Bennington fireworks display until Sunday night.

Fourth of July Sidewalk March to the Monument

OLD BENNINGTON -- The Friends of the Monument, along with partners Vermont Confectionery, The Bennington Tennis Center and The Bennington Battle Monument are now on a mission to bring back/and or create a new tradition in our area by staging the first ever "Fourth Of July Sidewalk March To The Monument" which will take place on Independence Day at noon in Historic Bennington.

This family-oriented walking parade that begins at the Catamount Tavern statue and ends at the Bennington Battle Monument is the brainchild of local video/social marketing expert and member of The Friends Of The Monument, Jeff Grimshaw. "What better way to honor Independence Day and Historic Bennington than staging this ‘March To The Monument.' Our intent is for this event to become a unique and time honored area tradition," he said.

"Our hope is that the ‘Fourth of July Sidewalk March To The Monument' will deliver a significantly greater number of people to the Monument for our annual reading of the Declaration of Independence by local actor, Willy Jones," said Marylou Chicote, curator of the Bennington Battle Monument. The annual reading will take place at 1 p.m. on July Fourth and should coincide with the conclusion of the March To The Monument.

The Fourth of July Sidewalk March To The Monument is open to anyone and everyone. Marchers are encouraged to wear America's colors -- red, white and blue, carry flags, play instruments and come prepared to have fun.

The sponsors of the event will be giving away plenty of goodies to young participants. Kids will receive certificates for a free kiddie cones at the Vermont Confectionery, a free tennis clinic at the Bennington Tennis Center/ Bennington College Tennis Complex, plus two-for-one passes to the top of the Bennington Battle Monument.

All those who wish to March To The Monument should gather at the Catamount Tavern statue at noon on the Fourth of July.

Bennington 4th of July celebration

BENNINGTON -- UPDATED JULY 4: The Town of Bennington has POSTPONED the fireworks planned for today. The rain date is Sunday night at Willow Park, at about 8:45 p.m .Bennington's Hometown 4th of July celebration will be held in Willow Park from 3 to 9:30 p.m. There will be food, drink, and craft vendors. Live music entertainment will be provided from 6 to 9 p.m. Event sponsors include the Town of Bennington, Price Chopper, Casella Waste Systems and Walmart.

Williamstown Fourth of July celebration

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. -- Williamstown will host its annual Hometown Fourth of July Celebration beginning at 10 a.m. on the lawn of the Williams College Museum of Art. Visiting actors to the Williamstown Theatre Festival will make the founding documents come to life as they read the original Founding Documents and the British reply. Following the reading, the festive parade will kick-off promptly at 11 a.m. and travel Route 2 to Spring Street. The parade will end at the base of Spring Street. The barbecue will happen immediately following the parade on the front lawn of The Clark. Parade goers are encouraged to make their way to The Clark for complimentary hotdogs, chips, watermelon, cookies and beverages. A walking route through The Knolls will be lined with balloons and Solider On will be on-site with vans to shuttle attendees from Spring Street to The Clark for the barbecue. This is an opportunity to be on the grounds of The Clark for their ribbon cutting and official kick-off, set to take place at 1 p.m.

The local celebration will continue into the evening. The Clark will host a concert on the lawn at 7:30 p.m. A grand fireworks display will blast off at 9 p.m. from the Stone Hill Center at The Clark.

The Fourth of July parade is sponsored by the Williamstown Chamber of Commerce, MountainOne, The Clark and Williams College.

Grafton, N.Y., Fourth of July events

GRAFTON, N.Y. -- Grafton Lakes State Park and Cherry Plain State Park will offer diverse public programming over Fourth of July Weekend. On Friday, July 4, come to Grafton Lakes State Park for the annual Sand Sculpture Contest. All participants receive a prize, and grand prizes are awarded to the most original creation for children, family, teen and adult categories. Registration is at noon at Long Pond Beach and judging begins by 2 p.m. The weekly Fresh Air Yoga series continues on Saturday, July 5, with a class on Long Pond Beach from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. Come stretch, relax and breathe in the fresh mountain air.

The Beach Nature Center will be open throughout the weekend from noon to 2 p.m. each day. Stop by to meet local critters, peer through microscopes at wonders of nature, and play with our animal tracking activities.

On Saturday, July 5, the park is offering an Introduction to Geocaching at 3 p.m. at the Grafton Lakes State Park Office. Geocaching is a treasure hunt using a hand-held GPS or Smart phone app, with over two million geocaches hidden throughout the world. Both Grafton Lakes and Cherry Plain State Park are part of the Saratoga-Capital Region Geocaching Challenge, which boasts 52 geocaches located in your neighboring state parks and historic sites.

Join us to learn about this fun, family-friendly outdoor activity. The program will include some hiking.

At Cherry Plain State Park, a Park Naturalist will lead the "Time Travel Hike" on Saturday, July 5, at 4 p.m. Discover waterfalls at a former mill site, an old homestead, and meet the rocks of ages along the way during this two-mile hike. This program is free to the public as well as Cherry Plain campers. Grafton Lakes State Park is open for swimming daily from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Cherry Plain State Park is currently open on weekends only, but will expand to offer swimming and camping daily starting July 4 through Labor Day. To make reservations, visit Both parks open at 8 a.m. for picnicking and all other day use activities and close at dusk. Parking fees are $8 per car at Grafton Lakes State Park and $7 per car at Cherry Plain State Park.

For more information about these and our other summer program offerings, contact the Park Naturalist at 518-279-1155 or visit

Manchester Fourth of July celebration

MANCHESTER -- The Town of Manchester's annual Fourth of July celebration will be held on Friday, July 4.

The highlight of the day is the fireworks presentation, which is scheduled to begin at 9:30 p.m. at the Dana L. Thompson Memorial Park, located at 340 Recreation Park Road in Manchester Center. Recreation Park Road is located off of Bonnet Street (Route 30). Note that parking is limited at Dana L. Thompson Memorial Park; additional parking is available downtown and at the Manchester Elementary Middle School parking lot on Memorial Avenue, and Riley Rink. Before the fireworks, the town will unveil its inspiring tribute to the Equinox Guards, Manchester's Civil War Company. The presentation includes three original musical performances by local artists. Funding for the presentation came from an Education and Outreach grant from the Champlain Valley National Heritage Partnership. After the presentation the fireworks will be choreographed to music using the powerful sound system at Applejack Field.

This year's music includes songs from U2, Queen, Dire Straits, Katy Perry, The Boston Pops and Pink Floyd. The grand finale erupts to the classic The Overture of 1812. In order to experience the full effect of the fireworks and music the public is encouraged to view the fireworks from Dana L. Thompson Memorial Park.

The Manchester Lions Club will be vending food and beverages from 5 to 9 p.m. The Town swimming pool will be open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and is also free and open to the public. Gina Coleman and Misty Blues Band will play on Applejack Field from 6 to 9 p.m.

From noon to 4 p.m., come to the Dana L. Thompson Memorial Park for the first Manchester Rotary Club Cow Plop Bingo. Grand prize is $1,000. Earlier in the day, starting at 9 a.m., Riley Rink, located at 410 Hunter Park Road will be hosting at the "Four on the Fourth" 4-mile road race. For more details visit or call 802-362-0150.

A rain date for the fireworks presentation is scheduled for Saturday, July 5. For more information about the Fourth of July celebration, including up-to-date information about the schedule, visit the Town of Manchester's Facebook page at or call the Parks and Recreation Department at 802-362-1439.

Fourth of July festivities at Stratton

STRATTON MOUNTAIN -- This Fourth of July weekend, celebrate once more at the Mountain Friends and Freedom celebration at Stratton. Featuring fireworks, live music, barbecues, sales in Village shops, games and festivities for the whole family, July 4-6.

Relax in the grass to live music, or climb higher to enjoy the scenery from the summit. This is the last weekend to say goodbye to the old gondola cabins. Installation of the new cable and cabins begins the following week.

Weekend highlights include: Gondola rides Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

Saturday, July 5:

Kayak Meet Up with Lole Ambassador Lisa Kelly at the Village Lole Store 9:30 a.m.; free live music in the Village from 1-4 p.m.; caricaturist, facepainting and more in the Village from 3-6 p.m.; Green Apron Restaurant's Grand Opening featuring complimentary samples from the restaurant and local farms, new menu items and live music.

At the Stratton Golf Course: Barbecue and Pig Roast featuring all-local meat and produce from 4-8 p.m.; Hayrides from 2-8 p.m.; Hot Dog Eating contest at 6:30 p.m.; Pie Eating contest at 7:30 p.m.; Free Summer Concert Series kick off featuring Jeff Tuohy in the Main Base from 4-9 p.m.; Firework Gala at 9 p.m.

Get outside on Sunday, July 6, on a standup paddleboard (available from First Run) or at the Hike Meet Up with Lole Ambassador Lisa Kelly. Meet at the Lole store at 10 a.m. to hike.

Visit for more details and information.

North Adams firework display

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. -- For an evening of all-American fun, grab some tickets to the annual Fourth of July SteepleCats game, and stick around for the fireworks, which start immediately afterward, around 9:30 p.m.

In the case of rain the fireworks will be held on Saturday, July 5.

A special thanks to our sponsors.

Bennington Free Library closed July 4

BENNINGTON -- The Bennington Free Library will be closed today.

Senior Center closed July 4

BENNINGTON -- The Bennington Senior Center will be closed today for the holiday.


Playgroup for toddlers and parents

BENNINGTON -- The Bennington County Child Advocacy Center is sponsoring a play and education group for 2 to 5 year olds and their parent/guardian. The activities include: fine motor skill activities, music, story time, social skills activities, snack time, and free play. We meet each Tuesday morning 9:30-11 a.m. at the Schools Out Children's Center at 901 Main St.

Call 802-442-5107 for more information.


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