What a Wonderful Wardsboro

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Have you ever flipped through a magazine or watched a movie and the visions of “Small Town America” suck you in?  Think Chevy Chase’s Funny Farm.  When I see flicks like that I think, “Does anyone work in that town?”  I guess I am a little envious of the time they have to hang out on the front steps, paint fences and bake pies.  It is all a bit Hollywood but there is a REAL little town just down the road a bit from Mount Snow and every 4th of July it puts on an event that even the big time movie producers would have a hard time duplicating. 

If you have ever attended the Wardsboro Street Fair and 4th of July Parade, you know exactly what I am talking about.  https://sites.google.com/site/wardsboroparade/

I was talking to Rick, our Director of Sales and Wardsborian, and he explained to me that the parade is always on the 4th of July, unless the 4th falls on a Sunday.  I like that they have guidelines and stick to them and do not give into busy Americans and their schedules.  This is the 62nd year that Wardsboro is hosting the street fair and parade.  It started as a fundraiser for the Methodist Church and it has grown to exceed the expectations of those early planners.

The street fair is in full swing by 9 am and the parade starts at 10 am.  I would highly recommend that you park no later than 9:30 am.  As you drive into Wardsboro parking is available along the way.  Pay to park and walk in.  If you can’t walk long distances, go early (around 9 am) and take a left off RT 100 and drive down the Main St of Wardsboro.  There is paid parking right off Main St and you can bring a lawn chair and sit close to your parking lot. 

Expect lots of people dressed in red, white & blue.  The street vendors sell everything from homemade lemonade to jewelry.  I always try to make time for the quilt sale, art sale and plant sale.  The crowd anxiously queues up for the chicken BBQ, strawberry shortcake and homemade pies.  After the parade there is even a tag sale/BINGO.  Another Mount Snow staff member, Bob Leblond is a Wardsboro historian.  I would suggest you stop by and meet Bob and Danny Hescock, head of the Wardsboro Historical Society. They have been collecting photos of the history of Wardsboro for years and will make presentations in the Historical Society Building.

The main attraction is the parade and it is rumored that Wardsboro is the only parade that you get to see twice.  The parade proceeds south to north on Main St and then turns around and does it all again. The parade features marching bands and bands on floats, grandpas on lawnmowers, vintage vehicles, kids on decorated bikes and lots of VT ingenuity, humor and sentimental gestures.

Mount Snow tries to put together a float each year and I have many fond memories of building the floats, gathering the kids in their costumes and tossing out candy, stickers and toys.  We are pretty sure that this year will be one of our best floats (fingers crossed.)  I can’t tell you what our float will be but I can give you a clue…PATRIOTIC.

Every year I am amazed at the hospitality that the residents of Wardsboro show to all of us “tourists.”  They allow us to sit on their lawns, tramp down their grass and take over every square inch of their village.  It feels like everyone is involved and happy to put out their Welcome Mats.  Like any small town I expect there is a little drama behind the scenes but you would never know it.  I can’t think of a place I would rather celebrate our Independence than in Wardsboro, VT.   I hope to see you then.

P.S.  Please note that the Wilmington fireworks are on Friday, July 6.  http://www.visitvermont.com/do/annual-fireworks

Vintage photo of Wardsboro Library. There will be plenty of books on sale on the lawn.

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