On June 23, 2021

Parade of heroes, whoopie pies featured in downtown street party

Rutland to celebrate reopening and honor its first responders

A street party, fireworks, and free whoopie pies will be part of a celebration of the end of Covid-19 regulations — highlighted by a parade of health care and other essential-worker heroes in downtown Rutland.

The Aug. 28 Parade of Heroes & Community Celebration, from 3:30-9:30 p.m., will celebrate all who helped the community get through the pandemic. Details on another celebration in the fall — the Rutland Whoopie Pie Festival — will be announced after the parade. Both events aim to bring the community safely together for celebration, connection and reflection after a long year, and to draw new visitors to experience Rutland’s historic downtown as it comes alive again.

The Parade of Heroes & Community Celebration along with Rutland Whoopie Pie Festival are presented by Heritage Family Credit Union (HFCU) in collaboration with Chamber & Economic Development of the Rutland Region (CEDRR) and the Paramount Theatre.

“Everyone is ready for some fun, and we’re all so appreciative of the hard work medical and other essential workers have done,” CEDDR Executive Director Lyle Jepson said. “We will celebrate the end of restrictions and honor the medical workers, emergency responders and everyone who helped protect and serve our communities during this unprecedented time.”

Eric Mallette, executive director of the Paramount, said the August event would include some special guests and surprises. “It will be a fun and exciting event for the whole family,” Mallette said. “It will be like a combination of the ‘Friday Night Live’ and a victory party.”

Matt Levandowski, president, and CEO of HFCU, said he looked forward to honoring workers who helped make Rutland County one of the safest places in the country during the pandemic. “From front-line medical workers and police, fire and rescue crews, teachers and tellers, to grocery store, utility and trucking workers, we owe a huge debt of gratitude, and we want to say thanks in a way the whole community can enjoy.”

Claudio Fort, president and CEO of Rutland Regional Medical Center, said he was amazed at the region’s collaboration in combatting Covid-19 and the support for the upcoming celebration.  “We are proud of our employees and the community at large,” Fort said. “Rutland Regional and Community Health Center employees were incredibly dedicated to the safety and health of our community, and the community’s support exceeded all of our expectations. Together, we helped save lives, and that is something to celebrate!”

The Parade of Heroes will line up at 3:30 p.m. at Grace Congregational Church and will be led, along with first responders and musicians, down Center Street by Heritage Family’s Captain Credit Union at 4 p.m. There will be remarks honoring community heroes, followed by a free concert by Enerjazz at 6 p.m., with fireworks at dusk.

Local restaurants will be open, and additional vendors will add to the celebration for other downtown festivities.

The Rutland Whoopie Pie Festival on Oct. 9, will be a daylong festival with events from 10 a.m. till past midnight. Details will be announced at the Aug. 28 celebration.

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