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Red, white and blue are most generally associated with Independence Day, but at the Fourth of July parade in Warren this year all the colors of the rainbow were well represented. This year's parade theme, Bridging the Gap, allowed for equal parts patriotism and gay pride, as Valley residents celebrated the U.S. Supreme Court striking down the Defense of Marriage Act.
This year, Best in Show went to the Warren Village People's float, "Rainbow Umbrella Dance," which featured a giant storm cloud and a crowd carrying umbrellas to represent the state's nonstop rainy streak. As the float moved down the line, however, a sun emerged from the cloud and a rainbow came out.
While the "Rainbow Umbrella Dance" could be construed as a less literal celebration of same-sex marriage, Prickly Mountain won Most Inclusive Float for their rainbowrific entry, "Bridging the Gap For All Married Couples," which featured Bert and Ernie lookalikes atop a giant wedding cake.
In another interpretation of the parade's theme, Sugarbush and Mad River Glen united this year for the first time ever to make a joint float, "Bridging the Gap Between the Mountains," for which they won Best Commercial.
Best Musical went to Interfaith Council for their float, "Bridging the Gap within the Community," and Best Decorated went to LaRock Property Maintenance for their float, "Original Kingsbury Bridge: The Gateway."
Best Political went to Campaign for Vermont's float, "Transparency and Economic Security," and Most Enduring Politicians went to U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders and Vermont Senator Bill Doyle. Best Veteran went to Chuck Allen and Best Promotional went to SunCommon for their float, "Solar Power to the People."
Best Newcomer/Magic Bus went to Tweed River Music Festival and funniest went to Dr. Butch & Gange, "Love Bridges all Gaps." Best Fundraiser went to Hannah's House's float, "Bridging the Gap to Emotional Health," and Biggest Bridge went to Afri-VT's float, "Africa to Vermont through Music and Dance."
Best Kids' Float went to David and North Hodgson's "Go Cart and Dirt Bike" and Best Family Float went to the Braun family's "Kids Bridge the Generations." Best Antique Car went to WDEV and Ken Squier in a 1931 Model A Ford and Best One-Person Float went to Tim Seniff's "50 Years since JFK." Most Appropriate for the Wet Weather float award went to the Mad River Rotary.
This year, the Most Exposure award went to John Crump, who appeared in four different floats. Best Birthday Boy went to Peter Oliver, who celebrated his 60th, and Most Missed went to Tiger Baird, who celebrated his 50th. Hardest Worker at the Parade went to Susan Klein.
This year's judges included Karen Anderson, Doug Bergstein, Donja Esperanza Castro, Dave Dion, Alison Duckworth, Audrey Mosley and Peter Oliver.
Following the parade, revelers danced in the streets and headed up to Brooks Field for post- parade celebrations. Sugarbush hosted fireworks at dusk for an appreciative crowd.
Click the image below for gallery of Fourth photos