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Getaway For Independence Day; Head For Your Favorite Eastern Ski Resort

Vermont's Billings Farm & Museum

There’s nothing like that familiar heat and humidity to dampen your holiday spirits. So, cool off at your favorite ski resort in the mountains of the Northeast and Middle Atlantic regions. Here are some suggestions.

Ski Butternut in the Massachusetts’ Berkshires is hosting its 11th annual Summer Arts Festival July 6-8. The juried show features more than 200 artists displaying their creativity and original works in ceramics, glass, wood, fashion, photography, and other mediums. Haul out the credit card as temptation lies around every booth. 

Enjoy live musical performances, demonstrations, children’s activities and lots of food options. Admission is $12 for adults; $10 for seniors; $5 for students; free for kids under 10. Or buy a 3-day pass for $13. The producers plan on another show Aug. 24-26 at Ski Butternut; and one on the Shakespeare campus in Lenox as a fundraiser for the nonprofit theatre Sept. 28-30.

The Billings Farm & Museum in Woodstock, Vt., near Suicide Six Ski Area, lets you experience what an old-time 4th of July celebration was like. Events run from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. July 4th and include activities such as the making of a 43-star flag (the flag of 1890), hand cranked strawberry ice cream, horse-drawn wagon rides, the reading of the Declaration of Independence at noon, adult and children’s spelling bees, and traditional music. 

Nineteenth century topics will be debated first by the men at 11 a.m.: “Is An Income Tax Commendable”; followed by the women at 1:30 debating “Which Has Been The Greater Curse to Mankind: War or Drunkeness?” Don’t forget to watch the continuous showing of the documentary “The Making of Liberty,” which tells the story of the Statue of Liberty from her conception in 1868 to her restoration/rededication in 1986. Admission for adults $12.

Vermont’s Okemo Mountain Resort celebrates the Fourth for an entire week with events and activities for the whole family. It kicks off with the Wunderle’s Big Top Adventure Circus Sunday, July 1, a one-hour performance by aerial acts, acrobatics, and comedy starting at 4 p.m. Tickets are available online for $12 for ages 13 and up; $9 for kids under 12. The price goes to $15 and $12 respectively if purchased at the door. 

The fun continues with the 7th annual Jackson Gore Outdoor Music Series Friday, July 6 at 6 p.m., with Erin Harpe and the Delta Swingers who combine soul with blues.

The annual Red, White & Blues Festival follows Sat., July 7, with a number of blues artists, including Lydia Warren from 1:30-3 p.m. and the Dave Keller Band, 5:30-7 p.m. Admission to the festival is free and begins at noon on the lawn of the Jackson Gore Inn courtyard. Bring lawn chairs or picnic baskets. 

Another Vermont area, Sugarbush, hosts its 64th consecutive 4th of July Celebration with day-long activities. It starts at 10 a.m. with (according to their definition) “a wild, wacky, and wickedly fun parade,” followed by a street dance and family festivities. Check out the All American BBQ after the parade at Lincoln Peak. Live entertainment by Jimmy Yozell from 5-8:30 p.m. Fireworks begin at dark.

Virginia’s Homestead Resort is expanding the Fourth of July to include an entire week, starting June 29 with a family cookout on the Casino Lawn from 6-9 p.m. The cookout also includes regional wine tastings and craft beers. Enjoy live music by the eclectic KOS Band.

Other weeklong activities include swimming, movies, bingo, magic shows, balloon art, canoeing, horseback riding and more. July 4th features the music of the Adrian Duke Project with their mix of soul, jazz, swing, Motown, and rock ‘n’ roll. The day wraps up with fireworks. 

Photo: Billings Farm & Museum 

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