Not Quite Independence Day celebration

Send in the clowns.

On Saturday, the Waterbury Rotary Club again hosts Not Quite Independence Day, and this year’s theme mirrors what’s happening downtown.

“We thought that since the Main Street construction project is a bit of circus, we would have a circus theme this year,” said Tami Bass, president of Waterbury Rotary. “So, obviously, we’ll have lots of clowns, but also acrobats, jugglers and animals.”

• At noon, the gates will open at Rusty Parker Park for a slate of family-friendly activities aimed toward the young and the young at heart, with sing-alongs and dancing. For the adults, there will be beer for sale from event sponsor von Trapp Brewery.

• At 3:45 p.m., runners of all ages will gather at the Ice Center for the Green Mountain Mile; registration closes at 3:30 p.m. The race starts promptly at 3:45, so all the runners will be off Main Street before the NQID parade begins. The 1-mile course starts on the access road to the Ice Center in Waterbury, then follows Main Street to the intersection with Stowe Street.

Runners can register and pick up bibs on Friday, June 28, between 5 and 7 p.m. at Thatcher Brook Primary School, 47 Stowe St.

Race-day registration is available from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. at the Ice Center. Entry fees are $5 for kids 14 and under, $10 for adults.

There will be prizes for overall winners, and medals for kids. Proceeds benefit the recreation fund at Thatcher Brook Primary School.

• At 4 p.m., the parade steps off, beginning at the State Office Complex and heading north on Main Street to Dac Rowe Field. Participants are asked to gather no later than 3 p.m. at the north entrance to the State Office Complex off Park Row.

Gary and Sally Dillon organize the order of the parade floats. Exactly how many floats, and what they’ll consist of, remains up in the air.

“We’ve only gotten a few calls,” Gary Dillon said in an interview on Monday. “The calls will start coming in Wednesday. It takes a lot of last-minute work.”

Dillon said it would be nice to have participants confirm their attendance a week or two before the event, but that is not the Waterbury way.

“I’ll bet you lunch at McGillicuddy's that people will be showing up at the last minute,” said Dillon, while asking participants to call him and Sally before the parade at 244-5729.

• At 5 p.m., Burlington-based rockers the Hitmen will take the stage, offering a catalog of songs that ranges from Santana and the Doobie Brothers to Bruno Mars and One Direction. At 7:30 p.m. the Brattleboro-based band Wyld Nightz will keep the crowd boogying until dusk.

“Wyld Nightz is a band I’ve been trying to get for fundraisers for a long time,” Bass said. “They have a great horn section and a great rhythm section and are great for dancing.”

• At around 9 p.m., the event will conclude with fireworks paid for by the town of Waterbury.

Admission is free.

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