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Out & About: Lebanon cancels Fourth of July fireworks

  • Billings Farm & Museum in Woodstock will reopen to the public on Saturday, June 27. Visitors will be required to wear masks and socially distance. (Billings Farm & Museum photograph)

Valley News Staff Writer
Published: 6/5/2020 9:42:37 PM
Modified: 6/5/2020 9:42:25 PM

LEBANON — After a lot of deliberation, Lebanon has canceled its annual Fourth of July fireworks display.

The city, which made the announcement on Friday, was among the last in the Upper Valley community to cancel its celebration.

“We were trying to do an event at the airport because we felt like there is enough space up there to park cars and for folks to socially distance, but at the end of the day the FAA was not willing to allow us to shut down both runways so that kind of put the squash on that,” said Rick Desharnais, interim director of the Lebanon Parks and Recreation Department.

The decision came after discussions with city officials, including members of the police and fire departments.

“We know that with everything else being canceled around us, by holding the fireworks here in Lebanon, we really could have been a big draw and we weren’t convinced we could safely bring that many people into Lebanon for fireworks,” Desharnais said. “We recognize that a Fourth of July without fireworks, nobody wants that. We don’t want that. But we also have to take public safety into consideration.”

In years past, Lebanon has also held a fireworks display at Storrs Hill as part of its End of Summer Celebration.

“We’re not going to make a definitive choice on that right now and hope that perhaps we can still do something later in the year,” Desharnais said.

Norwich Five Churches Rummage Sale canceled

For the first time in its decades-long history, the Five Churches Rummage Sale in Norwich has been canceled.

The annual sale has been taking place every year since at least 1964, said Linda Cook, who organizes the sale along with Ray and Anna Royce and representatives from each of the town’s five churches that participate.

“It is a disappointment to the community I know that,” Cook said.

Like many other community rummage sales, the event was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The future of the sale, and whether it will return next year, has yet to be determined.

“We’ve been very fortunate with the donations,” Cook said. “We’ve been very thankful to the community and others. Everyone has had a ton of fun and we all learn something new every year.”

UVAC, Woodstock Rec Center to reopen Monday

The Upper Valley Aquatic Center will reopen at 5 a.m. on Monday at 25% capacity, according to a news release from the White River Junction-based nonprofit organization.

Members will be required to wear face masks in common areas. Both staff and visitors will have their temperatures taken before entering UVAC and anyone with a temperature above 100 degrees will not be allowed in. People are required to make reservations for lap swimming, masters lanes and group fitness classes, according to the release. Showers, the sauna and the Kid Zone will remain closed.

For more information, visit

The Woodstock Recreation Center is also set to reopen on Monday.

According to an email from the town’s recreation department, 11 people will be allowed in the gym at one time and must sign up for 30-minute time slots between 6 a.m.-7:30 p.m. ahead of time by emailing People are also asked to indicate what equipment they plan on using. Masks should be worn while outside the gym and all equipment must be wiped down after it is used. Those who want to restart their gym memberships should email

VeggieVanGo to come to Windsor on Tuesday

The Vermont Food Bank’s VeggieVanGo program will take place from 10-11 a.m. at Windsor High School on Tuesday. Recipients are asked to stay in their vehicles and volunteers will distribute food to them.

Woodstock’s Market on the Green begins

Woodstock’s Market on the Green is kicking off its season on Wednesday. The farmers market, which takes place on the Woodstock Village Green, will run from 3-6 p.m. Vendors will be wearing masks and patrons are asked to do so as well.

For more information, contact

VINS, Billings Farm & Museum announce plans to reopen

Two popular Upper Valley institutions will be reopening in the coming weeks.

The Vermont Institute of Natural Science will reopen its outdoor spaces — including the Forest Canopy Walk, trails, raptor enclosures and songbird exhibit — on Monday, June 15, according to the Quechee-based nonprofit organization’s June newsletter. VINS will be open daily from 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

People are asked to socially distance and wear masks. For more information, visit

Billings Farm & Museum will reopen on Saturday, June 27. The Woodstock nonprofit organization will be open from 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Thursday-Monday. Visitors — excluding children under 2 — are required to wear face masks and practice social distancing. For more information, visit

Fairlee Community Arts expands remote concerts

After a successful May, Fairlee Community Arts’ “COVID Concerts” will continue into June.

The concerts take place at 7 p.m. on Friday nights and can be streamed via the nonprofit organization’s website, Past performances can also be viewed on the website. While the concerts are free, donations are accepted during the performances. Classicopia’s Daniel Weiser, along with Emmanual and Frances Borowsky, performed the first show on Friday. The Rough and Tumble will play on June 12, Bob Amos will perform on June 19 and Kali Stoddard-Imari will finish out the month on June 26.

Strafford cancels Fourth of July celebration

The Newton School PTA announced that Strafford’s Fourth of July festivities have been canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This decision was thought through very thoroughly and leaves us all with heavy hearts,” the organization wrote in a post on the town listserv. “However, in light of the current health crisis, and in keeping with Governor Scott’s recommendations, we feel this is the safest decision for us all.”

Etna Library hosts online alpaca program

John Chickering, of Alpaca East in Etna, will give a virtual tour of the farm from 10-11 a.m. Wednesday as part of the Etna Library’s online programming series. Chickering will discuss how he came to be an alpaca farmer, how to care for the animals and what can be made from their fleeces.

For more information and the Zoom link, email

Mascoma River Greenway asks for feedback

Those who use the Mascoma River Greenway — a 4-mile trail that runs from Lebanon to West Lebanon — are being asked to take a survey to help volunteers improve the recreation trail. Visit to participate.

Editor’s note: Please email community news items to Liz Sauchelli can be reached at

Valley News

24 Interchange Drive
West Lebanon, NH 03784


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