Join your neighbors at Charlotte’s annual Town Party

By Beth Merritt | Contributor

The Charlotte town green will be covered with tents for Town Party July 11. Photo: Alex Bunten

The Charlotte town green will be covered with tents for Town Party July 11. Photo: Alex Bunten

It’s hard to believe that what began as an effort by the Friends of the Library to showcase the library building project over 20 years ago has grown into such a full-scale town event. This year’s party, again organized by the Friends of the Library, is on Saturday, July 11, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the Town Green. Highlights include a great book sale, community organization displays, Quinlan School and Charlotte Children’s Center activities, and lunch at the fire station.

Be ready at ll a.m. sharp for the opening of the well-loved book sale, an annual crowd pleaser. Great summer reads await you in what promises to be a large selection of gently used materials. Donations of books in good condition can be dropped off at the library during library hours through Thursday, July 9. Donation guidelines are available at the library and on the library website ( Proceeds from the book sale help stretch the library’s annual book budget.

The library is collecting information from townspeople as part of its strategic planning process, so be sure to complete the short questionnaire found at the book-sale check-out stations as well as in the big tent.

Local organizations take over the big tent on the green to display materials and talk about current projects. Here you’ll discover how the Hands to Honduras group is constructing a neonatal intensive care unit at Tela Hospital; the projects the Charlotte Land Trust has undertaken in its mission to protect special lands in town; the activities the Lewis Creek Association is focusing on in protecting the Lewis Creek watershed and beyond; and the details of the Charlotte Congregational Church’s solar energy project.

Be sure to check out tables of other local groups, including the Grange, the Selectboard, the Conservation Commission, the Trails Committee, the Planning Commission, the Charlotte Historical Society, Charlotte Recreation, the Charlotte Democrats and Transition Town Charlotte. Check out the recycling information at the CSWD and CCS Green Team table and information on the CCS PTO and CCS Connecting Youth mentoring program.

This year the Charlotte Children’s Center staff will be face painting under the library trees on the green. Don’t forget to stop in at the Quinlan School where you can take a step back in time to when Charlotte’s children attended one-room schools. While you’re there, create a pencil holder using town history materials, enjoy some lemonade and listen to stories from the past. Unfortunately, due to traffic issues and dwindling participation, there will not be a parade this year.

You’ll find The Charlotte News display in a separate tent again this year. Fill out the short questionnaire, sign up to volunteer or make a donation and you’ll come away with a treat from Champlain Chocolates. Donate $100 or more and take home a great new Charlotte News hat. And the winning photos from the 10th annual Peter Coleman photo contest are always a must-see.

The aroma of grilling hamburgers and hot dogs will draw you across Ferry Road to the fire station where the Fire & Rescue crew will be hard at work preparing a great lunch. Again under the able direction of Rita St. George, the menu will feature hamburgers, hot dogs, drinks and accompaniments, locally baked desserts and popcorn. Fire & Rescue thanks our own Fat Cow Farm along with Shelburne Supermarket, Shelburne Meat Market, Lantman’s, Creed Ice Company, and the Coke and Pepsi distributors for their generous donations to the meal. Take a break, relax and visit over lunch, and also enjoy checking out the fire trucks and fire-fighting gear on display.

Next door the Senior Center will be open with coffee available. Be sure to take a look at the photographs of Rachel Doran whose work will be on view there through the month of July.

And last, but definitely not least, a huge thank you goes to the Vermont Tent Company for its continuing support of our Town Party.

You won’t want to miss this special all-town event: the Town Party, Saturday, July 11, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the Town Green.