Thursday, July 02, 2009

Dateline Woodstock
With the Independence Day holiday upon us this coming Saturday, July 4th, the Town of Woodstock is preparing its traditional celebration with parades, concerts, and a massive (by Vermont standards) fireworks display down at the Football Field. Again this year, the local arts council is sponsoring the Woodstock Patriotic Tableau. Those who remember this news item from last year, will know that Woodstock town residents are invited to assemble in the Football Field to form a giant American flag tableau, each person holding a card over his/her head while standing on a specifically marked "X" on the field. (You can imagine this as being similar to the opening ceremonies of the Beijing Olympics, but not quite as spectacular.) One by one, participants are allowed to leave the display and hike up nearby Mount Tom (named after Aubrey Mount, one of the early settlers of Woodstock, and his son Tom). From that vantage point far above the Woodstock Football Field, an impressive view of the giant flag can be had. According to tradition (which is an important part of the Vermont culture), after viewing the flag tableau from the top of Mount Tom, one is required to holler out to those below "Hey -- cool!" before heading down the mountain and replacing someone else eager for the trip up. As you can imagine this event takes most of the day, but after 28 years, has become a permanent part of Woodstock's 4th of July celebration. New this year (but highly anticipated) is the Hey Cow event co-sponsored by the Woodstock Farmer's Market and Jim's Small Engine Repair. Jim, a full time dairy farmer and part time engine tinkerer, has lent his herd of Holsteins and the Market has organized 10 teams of elementary, middle school, and high school students who, one by one, will be required to yell "Hey cow!" at the top of their collective lungs. According to the somewhat complex rules, the team that gets the largest number of Holsteins to look up from what Holsteins normally do on the 4th of July, wins the prize: a $100 gift certificate for the local Ben & Jerry's ice cream store.
Have a great holiday!

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