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  • Writer's pictureThe Featherbed Inn

July 4th Parade, Mad River Valley Style

The first time we ever laid eyes on the Mad River Valley was Wednesday, July 3rd 2019. We drove into Waitsfield, and the first thing we saw was the Round Up by the River, a weekly party by the covered bridge, with live music, food trucks, and hundreds of happy people dancing and schmoozing and jumping off the bridge into the river. We decided then and there that we would move to Waitsfield. Next we arrived at the Featherbed Inn, and decided before we even reached the parking lot that we would buy the inn. The next day, July 4th, sealed the deal.

The Fourth of July in the Mad River Valley is celebrated like nowhere else. Thousands of people line Main Street in Warren for a parade and dance party that could happen only here, with a quirkiness and irreverence (and appropriate reverence) that is Vermont at its best. It is said that this is the #1 parade on the planet, by unanimous vote. Neighborhood friends assemble floats that both celebrate America and poke fun at her flaws. Librarians dance with book carts adorned with sharply political messaging. Bands perform songs that call for freeing the nipple (!). For $1, you can buy a Buddy Badge, then wander through the crowd searching for someone who has the same badge then claim prizes for finding your match. At the end of the parade, live music blares from the balcony of the Warren Store, and a street party erupts and lasts the rest of the afternoon. There's also music, supervised kids’ fun, and a Lawson's Finest beer garden at Brooks Field. Up at Sugarbush, family-friendly activities (including a dog parade!) and fireworks round out the festivities. This is a day not to be missed.

This year, July 4th falls inconveniently smack-dab in the middle of the week. There's nothing we can do about that, but we can offer you an awfully nice place to stay (just ask Trip Advisor, which named the Featherbed Inn as one of the 25 Best of the Best Inns/B&Bs in the country). Join us for an Independence Day celebration you'll never forget. But be careful. You might just end up buying an inn in the Mad River Valley.

Happy Summer!

Karen and Mick

Blind Justice float, Warren July 4th parade
Blind Justice float, Warren July 4th parade

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