The VFW Color Guard heading up the annual Warren Fourth of July Parade with special guest Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders. Photo: Jeff Knight

People began arriving as early as 8 a.m. before they closed down Main Street for Warren’s annual Fourth of July parade, celebration and street dance. From that hour the crowd consistently grew. Parade grand marshal Claudia Becker and friends led the way when the parade began. And just after 10 a.m. everyone got what they had been waiting for when Vermont Senator (and 2016 Democratic presidential candidate) Bernie Sanders led the parade through Main Street waving and hugging children who ran up to him in the street.

Not long after that around a dozen Bernie Sanders impersonators walked by, along with President Trump, Vladimir Putin and the cast of Fox News. Children sat atop most floats, spraying water and throwing candy into the crowd as they drove by.

After the last fire truck made its way down Main Street, a wave of celebrators marched behind it into the town center. Music quickly started blaring from The Warren Store’s porch and the usual shenanigans ensued.

Below is the list of superlatives given to each float in this year’s parade:

  • Best in Show: Zeno Mountain Farm.
  • Best in Theme: Cornerstone Pub & Kitchen’s “Stars In Stripes.”
  • Best Antique Farm Vehicle: Fred and Eli Viens’ 1940 REO Speed Wagon.
  • Best Bernie Lookalike: Bernie Sanders.
  • Best Children’s Message: Carter and Alex Simko.
  • Best Decorated Car: The Art of Persistence – The Quilted Car.
  • Best Four-footed Participant: Bruno the Alpaca of the Wayfarer Farm.
  • Best Kids: Brody and Daisy Neal’s Soapbox Fire Truck.
  • Best Lesson Learned: Village Grocery.
  • Best Newcomer: Mountain Creek Horse Farm.
  • Best Political Jab: Tim Seniff.
  • Best Promotional: Circus Smirkus and The Waitsfield Children’s Center.
  • Best Slogan: Hap’s Service Station – Haulin’ the Fallen.
  • Best Stunt: Mad River Riders.
  • Community Involvement: Sugarbush.
  • Community Love: Phelon Truck Tribute.
  • Longest Standing Family Float: The Korn Family.
  • Most Accepting: Harwood Union’s Queer-Straight Alliance.
  • Most Creative: Prickly Mountain.
  • Most Environmentally Friendly: Tiny House of Vermont.
  • Most Festive: Sicky and Friends.
  • Most Impactful: Vermont Cares.
  • Most Free Range, Organic and Family Friendly: Mad River Glen.
  • Most Musical: Afri-VT.
  • Noisiest: Fayston NIMBYs.
  • Oldest Vehicle: David Keith’s 1936 Model C Tractor.
  • Wisdom of the Soul: Veterans of Peace.