Burlington, VT — The City of Burlington is gearing up for its annual fireworks spectacular celebration, the state’s largest fireworks show. Thousands of people are expected to enjoy the show at the waterfront on Sunday night, and some are looking forward to the festivities, while others are wary about parking and traffic.

The fireworks on July 3rd has been an annual Burlington tradition. “We choose to have it on the third because it gives the smaller towns in the area the fourth to have their fireworks.” 

Eric Scheuch is getting married Sunday but thinks the fireworks may cap his big day. “After the reception, we might come down here. The fireworks are always beautiful with the Adirondacks as the background. So, we’re especially hoping for a clear night so we can see the stars and fireworks, and with the boats out in the bay, it’s really beautiful.” 

Another person shared their previous fireworks experience in Burlington. “It was fun, there was an insane amount of people, but parking was not great. I had to park on Pine Street, which is a far walk but maybe you can use Uber and buses.” 

There is a parking plan in place for Sunday. Gary Rogers, the Burlington Recreation Superintendent says people can park at the Gutterson Fieldhouse parking lots at the University of Vermont, where Green Mountain Transit buses will take people to the waterfront. “They’ll be operating 10 buses starting at 3:30pm3:30 pm at UVM Patrick Gym and transporting people to the waterfront all night long. The last bus leaves at 11:00 from the Waterfront.”

Rogers says the buses typically transport 5,000 to 6,000 people. The buses will be free of charge.

For those thinking about driving down to the waterfront, he warns drivers to be prepared to wait an hour and a half to leave after the fireworks. “The fastest way to get out of the fireworks is to take the shuttle back to UVM as opposed to waiting at the waterfront,” said Rogers.  

Before the fireworks, there will be musical performances down at the waterfront. “We have three really great acts. Sama Tutaka on the Boardwalk at 6 pm, and Adrian Surak opening for Kat Wright. So we set up a portable stage.”

Due to the pandemic, the fireworks did not happen two years ago, and last year, he says it wasn’t the usual crowd, but now believes that people are excited to come back down. “Now the Canadian border is open we have many visits from the Montreal area so we’re expecting the kind of crowd we have pre-Covid.” 

Fireworks will begin just after 9:30 pm. For those looking to watch on their boat, the coast guard is shutting down the entire harbor at 8 pm, and no boats will be allowed within 200 yards of the barge.