Society & Culture

UPDATE: Montpelier passes on Independence Day celebration, offers West African festival instead

Organizers say pandemic uncertainty forestalled planning

UPDATE : Vermont Liberty will hold a traditional Independence Day celebration noon- 2 pm Saturday, July 3rd on the State House Lawn.

The traditional watching of Independence Day fireworks from the State House lawn won’t happen this year. In its place, several organizations will offer West African dance and music.

The following is printed verbatim from the Montpelier Alive website:

We have made the extremely difficult decision to once again cancel our regular July 3rd Independence Day Celebration in 2021. 

Though we are encouraged by the notes of optimism from the Governor and others, there is still great uncertainty regarding the pandemic. Events like July 3rd require many months of planning and careful coordination. Unfortunately, there is too much continued uncertainty for us to plan a safe and successful celebration this year. 

Please consider attending the Shidaa Projects July 3rd Celebration on the Statehouse Lawn instead!  Shidaa Projects Inc., a non-profit organization focused on sharing West African Culture through dance, drumming and cultural education, invite you to celebrate Independence Day, as the city of Montpelier returns from the past year of COVID seclusion and inactivity.  

Shidaa will take to the State House Lawn July 3rd from 5-8 pm., with a goal to promote diversity by mobilizing drummers, dancers, and performers across multi-racial lines who share a similar vision to celebrate diversity in our city.  

This evening of music and dancing will include performances by: Stuart Paton and the Burlington Taiko drummers, Akwaaba Dance Ensemble (Manchester, NH), Jeh Kulu Drum and Dance Theater (Burlington), Karl Miller and his group Z-Jaz team (Montpelier) and Other Local Solo performers, including: Sara Grace (Montpelier), Julia Rose Riback (Rutland) and Jason Mallery (Montpelier).   

Photo of Jeh Kelu African music and dance group

Categories: Society & Culture

42 replies »

  1. Gosh, that’s so inclusive and intersectional and alt-left and progressive, and so spiritually non-violent, unlike that Fourth of July, chauvinist, toxic masculinity based Republican holiday. Gee, is it FREE, like everything that our kinder, gentler president has for all the kids. Wow, as one-sided as All the books 📚 at Bear Pond beatnik Bookstore? Montpelier is almost as enlightened as Burlington now שמוכס

  2. Yeah, move it to Africa.

    These people are twisted, sick, malicious, communist traitors that know NO boundaries!!!

    Are people in Montpelier or middle VT REALLY going to put up with this?? The U.S. never existed & if it once did – it doesn’t now???

    The U.S.A. was founded by ENGLISH settlers & our rule of law is based upon God, morality, and the Ten Commandments.

    • Kathy,
      You are so right! Cancel that spiritually violent Fourth of July detailing those white slave owners who created the USA! And, instead, shove that West African music festival into our deplorable, racist faces, comrade! But what these smug white liberals, cultural commissars of a brave new socialist America, do not want people to know is the real history of slavery. For instance:
      The Arab Muslim slave trade also known as the trans-Saharan trade or Eastern slave trade is billed as the longest, having happened for more than 1300 years while taking millions of Africans away from their continent to work in foreign land in the most inhumane conditions. Scholars have christened it a veiled genocide, attributing the tag line … ” Geez, you probably will not a find a book about that in a patchouli scented Montpelier bookstore because it is against the rules to ell the truth. All kinds of pro Palestine books around here too, but no pro-Israel texts such as Alan Dershowitz’ The Case For Israel, From Time Immemorial, Joan Peters, or Noa Tishby’s A Guide to the Most Misunderstood Nation in the World, Israel. Inclusive bookstores, like BearPoop wouldn’t sell a book written by an Israeli soldier. She was in the IDF version of the USO. But she must be a facist-racist.

  3. Well said! As if the USA was never founded. These arrogant historical revisionists, educated white liberals, cannot suffer that some of our founding fathers owned slaves. Hence, the west African theme Of course, they conveniently cancel the facts that half of the slavers were black themselves, and Moslem Arab.

  4. The festival can celebrate all the contributions to our modern world that have sprung forth from that fountain of progress, West Africa…maybe it needs to be a month-long event?

  5. Oh yes, let’s celebrate our roots of black magic, voodoo and cannibalism…Hopefully there will be a few young virgins to sacrifice as well…Who’s on the menu?…I like the white meat, preferably breast meat…That’s not too racist is it?…Can I go black-face? Haven’t done that limbo stick in ages….Will there be any young brides to kidnap…My old lady is getting…Well…Old. Will there be any tents set up for lip stretching. I want my new young bride to have a nice big lip plate. It’s functional you know….Yes siree, nothing like getting back to our roots.

  6. Montpelier has officially declared “we hate America and will not celebrate or commemorate any American liberty or independence” Montpelier will instead spit on the American flag, veterans, and patriots alike. Our capitol is a pathetic, unAmerican embarrassment. Boycott Montpelier! Do not support any events or any businesses in the zip code 05602

  7. Can’t host or put together a celebration for the 4th of July on the State House Lawn? But a non-patriotic Shidaa Project which has ZERO to do with 4th of July will be the primary celebration? REALLY?! Unbelievable!

    Vermonters, make your Voices heard throughout the Whole State on July 3rd and July 4th, especially Montpelier! Gather together and Celebrate our Freedom of 4th of July, have picnics on your lawns, State Parks – everywhere, Fly the America Flag, Play Patriotic Music, Honor our Heritage of Independence from Tyrannical Rule! Recite the Declaration of Independence, the Bill of Rights, have sparklers, or fireworks, if you can! Stay Safe and Enjoy your Independence. Celebrate what our fore-fathers fought for, Freedom and Independence from Tyrannical Rule!

    Vermonters and many other Americans are currently experiencing tyrannical rule again by Left-wing, Progressive (Marxists). Let us all, The American Patriot, celebrate the 4th of July as the First Day to Break-Free from this tyrannical rule in Vermont!

    We will not be intimated, brainwashed or dictated to by a tyrannical Vermont Government and its minions. We are AMERICANS and WE WILL CELEBRATE 4th of July!

    Liberty is from God not men.

  8. Montpelier is so screwed up it’s pretty well a parody of itself. Sadly, those who believe the 4th of July should be marked by traditional all-American celebrations(and not West African drumming) will be vilified and mocked for not being sufficiently woke.

  9. Time to write Montpeculier off my list of businesses to support and places to go. This makes me sick and all true Vermonters should skip this slap in the face by American hating liberals. You get what you vote for!

  10. I love African percussive traditions, but holy cow! This is a level of tone deaf that could only have come from the same people who kneel for George Floyd.

    I seriously can’t wait to wake up from this fever dream.

  11. Chuck may have a point, but perhaps the better alternative is to remove those who now fill seats in our State Capital’s executive and legislative branches with people who believe in USA first; and doing the right thing for Vermonter’s. I have no problem with an African Celebration, HOWEVER to substitute that in place of honoring our history when we (13 colonies then) declared separation and Independence from the Crown of England. We were then all slaves to the Crown of England with no representation. Leading to a bloody war for that Liberty. The replacement of Montpelier’s Independence Day, more like a spit on the graves of the fallen heros of the Revolutionary War. Men and Women, White, Black and all died in that war. SHAME on our Vermont elected officials in Montpelier !

  12. So let me get this straight. This city wants all illegal citizens to vote fir now in their own cities elections. But they are NOT celebrating the independence of America? Really. I see a problem here. This South African festival should be done on another day. Like maybe Juneteenth. This is beginning to be like reverse discrimination.

  13. How about a GoFundMe page for the largest fireworks display the Montpelier statehouse lawn has ever seen!

  14. Don’t be too hard on the leftists. They have been in a state of depression ever since the Soviet Union collapsed.

  15. It is never easy to be certain if people are certifiably and dangerously insane or just trying out new ideas. The people behind this abomination of our AMERICAN FOURTH OF JULY, are definitely in my opinion and with out argument, the former. Funny that Vermont is one of the whitest states in the union.

  16. Seems demographically appropriate, perfectly fvckin logical.

  17. Are you kidding me ????? Its EMBRASSING ….. Its a SLAP in the face to every man and woman whos served in any capacity ……….. WTF over ????

  18. Vermont continues to screw its Military and all who serve …….. Embarrassed and ashamed …….

  19. The communists have taken over Vermont. Its really time to rebel.

  20. There is no day more special to our United States of America than The Fourth Of July! America’s Day. There is no excuse that a Celebration of Our Independence cannot be celebrated!

  21. Come to the Statehouse lawn at noon on July 3 for an Independence Day gathering and celebration. Bring flags(US).

  22. Soooooooo glad I left that liberal cesspool and moved to a state that loves America. Every time I even slightly start to miss my native home state, I read something like this and it absolutely affirms my decision to move away.

  23. Maybe they could throw phil scott in a boiling pot and cook his traitor his butt to the core..

    Vermont has been lost at the hands of these turncoats..

  24. This is what happens when you let out of state liberals into our government, let an coward RINO become governor , who is nothing but a puppet. Who calls other democRATS governors for advice and ask them ” How do you control the people in your state”. The RINO governor we have is a joke, he should be wearing a clown outfit. Not having a 4th of July Celebration but celebrate a African festival instead is a BIG SLAP IN THE FACE !!! The 4th of July was to celebrate our FREEDOM our Independence. Vermont was once a great Patriot state, now it’s been turned into an socialist state.

  25. Give us the name of what person is in charge of this decision of the the sponsoring organization. The web site refuses to respond to inquiries as they have inactivated their message line. Their opinion is this is a day to “celebrate diversity”. I personally believe that they had no intention of an Independence Day Celebration. They have groups coming from several cities to perform along with individual performers. You don’t need months to plan a community family celebration. This is a politically directed event organized by liberal activists not a Celebration of Our Independence. I suggest that in the future call it what it is and let patriotic organizations plan patriotic events. I wonder if any of the Veterans Groups, Reserve Units, Scouts, Genuine community organizations, musicians, churches, schools, clubs, entertainers were contacted to support a community event. Bet not!

  26. There will be a celebration earlier in the day for all who can attend. Let’s show them what Independence Day is really about !
    Come to the Statehouse lawn at noon on July 3 for an Independence Day gathering and celebration. Bring flags(US).

  27. This kind of unAmerican, liberal mindset is exactly why we have left Vermont.

  28. This obviously has nothing to do with concerns about the plandemic, but is rather a political statement. There is nothing wrong with a celebration of West African culture, on another day. It should not be used to replace the traditional celebration that is part of the history and culture of all of us.

    Attend John Klar’s Independence Day and Constitution Celebration event at noon, or organize your own.

  29. I wouldn’t be surprised if Montpelier Marxist/communists “planned” this to invite Antifa/BLM into the city by the dozens to cause a scene and blame patriots for any fights and/or vandalism. I support John Klar and his idea to show “them” we are not complying with garbage policies and garbage politics. However, the Prog-leftie-Commiecrats cannot be trusted as far as one spits. Appears to me this is an on-purpose set up to create a scene and WCAX will be there to spin it for the “cause”

    • So let’s make our own fun on July 3 at noon. Bring the family, food and flags. Bring a picnic blanket and have a picnic (ooops, “picnic” is now supposed to be a bad racist word). I’m sure there will be some good talks and we’ll have fun! We don’t need the left to be able to celebrate!

  30. This is an utter disgrace! Montpelier should be ashamed! West African Drumming has absolutely nothing to do with the Fourth of July.