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Fourth of July is staying put

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04/24/2008

By Kara Herlihy

The Warren Select Board approved a festival permit for the 60th annual Warren Fourth of July Celebration at their April 22 meeting. Chamber of Commerce Director Susan Roy presented her plans for the festivities, which fall on a Friday this year.

In November, Roy appeared before the select board to discuss the possibility of moving some of the festivities to Lincoln Peak, while the parade and street dance would continue at their current location.

Following a strong community reaction, the festivities will not change and will continue as they usually do at Brooks Field and in Warren Village. At the April 22 meeting Roy said she'd like to "use the reaction in the press" and "really challenge people to step up" to plan and execute events.

STEP UP TO PLAN

"What about a real marching band?" Roy said. She also mentioned the possibility of pony rides, tug of war, and new and interesting floats -- with the help of community participation and volunteers.

Select board chair Burt Bauchner said that he met with Roy, Win Smith and Jason Lisai on Monday morning to discuss the Independence Day celebration.

Sugarbush will host "family-oriented activities" as well, according to Roy, which include the zip line, nature walks, Frisbee golf and a barbecue.

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WARREN'S SIGNATURE EVENT

"Win is excited to work synergistically," Bauchner said. He added, "This is really a Valleywide event" and "certainly Warren's signature event."

Bauchner also said, "Recreation and tourism drive the economic engine" in The Valley.

Since the Fourth falls on a Friday this year, Roy said they'd really like to "squeeze every ounce of fun" out of the weekend and draw the celebration out over the three-day weekend.

FRIENDS OF THE FOURTH

Roy also discussed forming the "Friends of the Fourth" to help finance the day's festivities and help "grow the event." The event's website www.warrenfourthofjuly.com has a place where donations can be made through PayPal.

The Warren Fourth of July celebration usually draws, according to Roy, around 6,500 to 7,000 people. This year, she thinks they might see 9,000 to 10,000 in total. The Mad Bus will run all day starting at 8 a.m. and continue through the evening. Last year the Mad Bus gave 1,400 rides on Independence Day.

Those interested in volunteering for the Fourth of July celebration should contact the chamber of commerce: 496-3409, www.madrivervalley.com .

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