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The Valley Reporter
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Waitsfield, VT 05673
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For what it's worth

12/06/2007

To The Editor:

Well, here's my comment a day late and a dollar short. I was away this week and just saw the newspaper with the suggestion that the Warren Fourth of July celebration move to Sugarbush.

If the town wants to give the mountain its signature Fourth of July celebration, so be it. I've been here 10 years, but I haven't made my presence known or become an active member of the community, so what I say about community culture shouldn't carry all that much weight. But I rather like the idea of the Warren Village and Brooks Field event, though I don't have to cope with the inconvenience, so maybe folks who live in the area have a different take on it.

Clearly, though, if the event moves up the mountain it will become Sugarbush's Fourth of July celebration no matter how anyone tries to keep that from happening. It's impossible to separate that location from tourists' and locals' perceptions.

I have no bad feelings toward Sugarbush. To the contrary, from what I know of them, the mountain and the owners are great citizens and good neighbors (and the mountain's owners hold a lot of the properties in the Village, too, don't they?). But if Fourth of July goes up there, it will be sucked into the "great mountain maw" and become another Valley tourist attraction (not necessarily a bad thing), instead of a local community celebrating the country's birthday (usually a good thing). It will lose its local flavor and take on a bit of glitz.

Before any other costs and benefits are considered, I personally think the town needs to decide if it wants to give this one away. If yes, then the answer is easy. If no, then all other decisions about changes or accommodations for Fourth of July events can be made with that in mind.

For what it's worth.

Pat Goudy O'Brien

Warren

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