April 27 2020

Burlington 4th of July Parade Cancelled but Event Later in Year Discussed

By: Rich Hosford

Burlington 4th of July parade has been cancelled but there are the start of talks about holding an event later in the summer or fall if the situation changes. 

“It is with heavy hearts to tell you all that the Burlington Fourth of July Parade is canceled for 2020,” an email from Terri Tarpey Clement, Co-Chair of the Burlington Fourth of July Committee, states. “We thought long and hard about it, and unfortunately with such uncertain times the decision had to be made.  We hope you all will see us in 2021.” 

“Thank you all for understanding this very hard decision,” Tarpey Clement added. 

The cancellation was also discussed at Monday night’s Board of Selectmen meeting when they were going over Town Meeting warrant articles. When they looked at a line item for $20,000 for the parade Selectman Mike Runyan, also a member of the committee, said they were withdrawing it due to the parade cancellation and because they are trying to reduce spending in town due to a forecasted lack of normal tax income from meals and hospitality taxes. 

“We are pulling our request as there will not be a parade I regret to announce,” Runyan said. “However, later in the summer we may want to have an opportunity to recognize people who have stood out - grocery store workers, People Helping People, a whole host of people.”

Other members of the board agreed it was the right decision and that some event to recognize essential workers, medical professionals and those who volunteered their time to help others could work. There was also talk about having a town-wide event, when it was safe to do so, to recognize the graduating seniors of the Class of 2020. 

“I think it’s terrible we can’t have it,” Selectman Bob Hogan said. “I understand Mike’s concerns on that but maybe we could have a Memorial Day parade to recognize a lot of people.” 


Selectman Jim Tigges said he agreed an event at a later time would be appropriate and floated the idea of including the $20,000 in the warrant to help pay for it. 


“I think it’s a wonderful idea to acknowledge all the people who kept us fed,” he said. “Should we appropriate the funds now?”


However, Runyan said the committee had some funds set aside and he felt the better way would be to reach out to residents and businesses later in the summer if it appeared such an event would be possible. 


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