Burlington’s annual July 3rd fireworks celebration. Photo courtesy of Parks and Recreation Department

Burlington’s Independence Day festivities are back on for the summer of 2021. 

After last year’s July 3 fireworks celebration was canceled to limit congregation and Covid-19 spread, this year’s event is back on, Mayor Miro Weinberger announced Friday afternoon. 

Dubbed the “biggest fireworks show in Vermont,” in a press release from the mayor’s office, it stated that the decadeslong tradition will mark the beginning of the city’s return to normalcy after a grueling pandemic drove residents into isolation for more than a year. 

“This is what we have been working toward,” Weinberger wrote. Chittenden County has recorded only a smattering of new cases over the past few weeks as vaccinations have risen. Its seven-day case average is currently 1.4 a day. 

“I invite Burlingtonians, Vermonters, and visitors to join us on July 3rd to recognize and celebrate the incredible resilience of our community as we look forward to a vibrant summer season in a fully reopened city,” he said. “I am confident this will be a celebration to remember.”

The event is scheduled to kick off at 5 p.m. July 3 at the Waterfront Park, beginning with a ceremony to honor those affected by Covid-19 and to celebrate the “resilience of the Burlington community.” The fireworks are scheduled to begin at 9:30 p.m. More details about the event can be found online

Last summer, large outdoor events were not allowed in the state. Gov. Phil Scott required that county fairs and outdoor festivals be canceled to control the spread of Covid-19. This summer, fairs around the region are also planning their comeback. 

Cindi Wight, Burlington’s Parks, Recreation and Waterfront director, said in the release that her staff is thrilled to be bringing this event back to Burlington. 

“After a year plus of restricted activity, it’s time to come together for Burlington’s biggest waterfront party of the year,” Wright wrote. “We hope that residents and visitors will join in the fun as we celebrate with music, food, activities and, of course, the best fireworks show in the state!”

Kara Alnasrawi, Burlington’s director of Economic Recovery, said the event will provide a much needed rebound for Burlington’s businesses after a year of economic uncertainty. 

“July 3rd celebrations are always so important to our community and to our local businesses, and this year’s events may be the most significant we have ever organized,” she said. “Our businesses are eager for visitors to come back to Burlington, and our neighbors want and need a community scale celebration.”

Grace Elletson is VTDigger's government accountability reporter, covering politics, state agencies and the Legislature. She is part of the BOLD Women's Leadership Network and a recent graduate of Ithaca...