Families and friends, kids of all ages – join us at the new FamilyFest at this year’s July 3rd Independence Day Celebration! Montpelier Alive hopes to reignite the flame for family fun by offering an eclectic variety of performances this year on the Main Stage on the State House Lawn from 2-5pm.
While we’re sad to say farewell to the Family Olympics, we are excited to maintain a kid-friendly atmosphere while accounting for COVID-related concerns and expanding family-oriented entertainment.
FamilyFest kicks off at 2pm with Jon Gailmor, local songwriting star from Elmore, VT. Humor and audience involvement are integral parts of any Jon Gailmor performance. He is known for his “original, relevant, irreverent, children’s, American, international, and totally absurd tunes.” Gailmor has performed for audiences “prenatal through prehistoric” in a diverse collection of settings nationwide. He performed as Vermont’s representative at the 25th Anniversary of the Kennedy Center in Washington and in 1996 carried the Olympic Torch through Brattleboro, on its way to Atlanta. Gailmor has toured with the Vermont Symphony Orchestra and has released seven albums. He is passionately committed to the power of music, emotions and laughter, and boy do we need all of them, now!
Following Gailmor’s set, KeruBo takes the stage at 3pm. KeruBo is a singer/song-writer and Afro-Jazz artist. Born in Kenya, KeruBo now lives in the Burlington area. KeruBo sings African folk music, Afro Pop, and Afro jazz — from African laments to more modern arrangements. KeruBo’s music is about healing, preserving African culture and heritage, while highlighting social issues affecting vulnerable minorities such as women and children. Montpelier community members enjoyed Kerubo’s performance at the Brown Bag Concert Series last August, and Montpelier Alive couldn’t wait for the opportunity to get the band back downtown for more high quality music.
Last but most certainly not least, Big Nazo and Providence Drum Troupe will join forces for an out-of-this-world spectacle at 4pm! Big Nazo features go-go dancing monsters, mischievous mountain trolls, bizarre extra-terrestrials, and hilarious human-animal hybrids who “take turns invading stages and street corners while Intergalactic Zoo-Keepers and Mad Scientists weave cosmic tales of ridiculous wonder.” The puppet troupe hails from Providence, Rhode Island. Their work has appeared on stages, streets, and schools throughout New England as well as in independent films, TV projects, and festive extravaganzas throughout Asia, Europe and North America. You might have spotted these inter-galactic performers at the Festival of Fools in Burlington a few years ago. The giant puppets return to Vermont to grace the stages of our Capital City.
The Big Nazo experience will be elevated at Montpelier’s July 3rd Celebration by the addition of the Providence Drum Troupe. The Troupe is composed of musicians, acrobats, hoopers, lasers and dancers from near and far who create funky beats with positive interactive energy. Be ready to dance, and mingle with creatures from outer space at this fantastical performance experience on the State House Lawn. After their stage performance, Big Nazo and Providence Drum Troupe will also participate in the parade lineup.
The July 3rd festivities are generously supported by lead sponsors National Life Group, Union Mutual, Community National Bank, and NorthCountry Federal Credit Union. Additional sponsors include The City of Montpelier, Cody Chevrolet/Cadillac, Denis, Ricker, and Brown, Central Vermont Medical Center, Green Light Real Estate, Washington Electric Co-op, Casella, and media sponsor ORCA Media.