“We the People” was the theme for this year’s Warren Fourth of July Parade, but while the parade did showcase the requisite amount of red, white and blue, it could perhaps more appropriately be called “We the People (of Vermont),” as the costumes and floats demonstrated a pride more specific to the Green Mountain State.
Only at a parade in Vermont could you stand in the crowd and catch a slice of Cabot cheese, instead of the regular tootsie roll. Only at a parade in Vermont could you lose count of the number of tractors towing floats or the number of men with white beards, straw hats and red plastic-rimmed glasses driving them. Okay, there was only one. But he was awesome.
This year’s Warren Fourth of July Parade featured a number of fiercely political floats representing the state’s left-leaning population, ranging from a larger-than-life, literal interpretation of kangaroo court to a string of “Valley Champs for Obama” members holding signs like: “D’ you like Mitt’s flip-flops?”
While floats like these could be construed as ironically unpatriotic on the anniversary of the nation’s creation, their criticism of the United States’ government was coupled by an intense optimism that the country can create positive change and the crowd responded with cheers of enthusiasm.
Mad River Long Term Flood Recovery represented positive change on a more local level, and its float, led by the parade’s grand marshals Asah Rowles and Liz Harris, won the prize for Best on Theme. Best in Show went to “We the People of Dr. Sicky's” by Dr. Butsch and crew.
The prize for Best Antique Truck went to John and Judy Phelon in a 1947 Chevy Thrift Master, Best Antique Car went to Dick Moser with his 1960 TR3A, Best Antique Farm & Family Vehicle went to the Viens family in their 1929 Model A Ford, and Don and Grace Mayer on the first electric Victory motorcycle won the prize for Best Motorcycle.
The prize for Most Political Float went to Prickly Mountain’s “Kangaroo Court,” Best Commercial Float went to Sugarbush Resort’s “We the People of Sugarbush” with a spoof on The Wizard of Oz. “Valley Champs for Obama” won Best Politician and Best One Person Float went to Tim Seniff’s “Take a Look in the Mirror.”
MRV Interfaith Council Food Shelf won Best Promotional Float, Best Decorated Float went to LaRock Property Maintenance along with Cabot, Green Mountain Coffee and VT Pure, Best Musical Float went to Afri-VT on the drums and the Warren Afterschool Program’s “Gingerbread Contest” won for Best Kids’ Float.
Best Patriotic Float went to Warren Village Design Wackos’ “iCloud Captures All and Everything,” Best Bribe went to Dexter, Best Nonprofit Float went to Hannah's House’s “Mad Marathon Run for the Funds.”
Bill Doyle and Bernie Sanders received the Most Durable Politicians prize, Mad River Valley Rotary won Best Recycled Float with “Feed the Ducks with Bucks,” Barbara and Malcolm Appleton won Best Married Couple with “29 Years and Holding,” and the Warren Historical Society won for The Dinosaur Float.
Best Veteran Float went to Chuck Allen, Most Supportive of the Arts went to Vermont Festival of the Arts, Most Environmentally Conscious went to SunCommon: Solar Power for the Present, Best Squirt of the Judges went to Moretown Fire Department and Mad River Glen won for Biggest No-Show.
Last but not least, Susan Klein won Hardest Worker at the Parade.
The parade’s judges included Doug Bergstein, Alison Duckworth, Peter Oliver, Eric Friedman, Karen Anderson and David Dion. And the prize for Most Missed Judge went to Audrey Mosley.
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