Wind: 9 mph
By Kara Herlihy
The annual Warren Fourth of July was a celebration of the epic variety. A celebration of large crowds, sunblock, warm beverages and bluegrass jams. Sunny skies gave way to cotton-candy-covered faces and a YouTube-worthy adult-style potato sack race.
The parade floats, political and otherwise, made their way slowly through the crowded streets of Warren Village, narrated by Gerry Nooney, as onlookers thronged the streets and perched upon balconies and rooftops.
Before and after the parade, revelers celebrated in the streets and at lawn parties throughout the village, children bought and lost their helium balloons, the line at the porta-johns rivaled that of Studio 54 in its heyday, and vegan burritos practically shot out of the Michael's veggie-oil-fueled bus in a firework-like fashion.
A bouncer was stationed outside the Warren Store for the majority of the day -- preventing the place from practically collapsing due to incessant maximum capacity crowds.
The Steadfast Farm presented their "Yak to the Future" float proving that, in the Green Mountain State, furry baby farm animals are still chick magnets.
"Best Car" went to the 1961 Merceder-Benz 190SL owned by Gene Murphy of Warren. "Best Bike" went to Sean Linsky. Don Mayer's canine companion "Hammer" won "Best Dog," and the "Best Kids' Float" went to the Warren Church Deacon Dunk Tank.
Bourne's Energy earned "Best Truck," "Best Commercial" went to Waterbury, "Yak to the Future" won "Best in Theme," Sugarbush took "Best Musical," and of course Dr. Butsch took "Best in Show." Best Political Float? All hail the Prickly Mountain Humvee.
The Mad Mountain Scramblers serenaded the crowd at Brooks Field, while the kiddies cooled off via slip and slides and water-filled bouncy houses. Potato sack races provided thorough entertainment -- especially when the grown-ups took to the starting line.
The party continued at Sugarbush and other points throughout The Valley, ending with fireworks at dusk.
Those who were lucky to escape the Warren Fourth of July without skinned knees, second degree sunburn, or a painful junk food coma probably weren't really there. Warren truly knows how to celebrate the day of the nation's independence -- with the help of several dozen dedicated volunteers, vendors and musicians.
The question is, did anyone actually find their buddy?