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City Hall Park Grand Re-Opening Celebration

October 16, 2020 @ 8:00 am - October 17, 2020 @ 5:00 pm



We are thrilled to welcome the community to the newly revived City Hall Park in downtown Burlington! After years of work to restore the park’s ecology, accessibility, and cultural identity, the park is now re-opening for all to enjoy. Join us for this kick-off weekend with terrific local music, tours of the park’s plantings and design, art activities, movies, and more. Thanks to BCA for organizing this event!

Friday, October 16

1 pm: Sabouyouma

Kicking off the festivities as the park opens, Sabouyouma is a high energy six-piece polyrhythmic groove machine that formed through ongoing musical relationships in Burlington’s vibrant West-African dance and drumming scene. Sabouyouma is led by Guinean-born Ousmane Camara, the band’s composer and master Balafonist. We know they’ll get things off on the right foot!


3 pm: Splash Dance with DJ Craig Mitchell

Feel the beats of Burlington’s own dance machine, Craig Mitchell, as the new fountain displays its interactive awesomeness. This Splash Dance is the first of a forthcoming series that brings a lineup of DJs to the splash pad each Friday in summer 2021. But let’s start in 2020 and get the park moving.


5 pm: The Jesse Taylor Band

Falling somewhere between brutal honesty and folk/rock, Jesse pours her heart into each lyric. Hailing from Maine, Jesse moved to Burlington to pursue music, drawing inspiration from long days at the bakery and life with anxiety. Taking notes from artists like Ingrid Michaelson, Regina Spektor, and Courtney Barnett, Jesse writes songs that mirror those artists’ passionate vocals and unapologetic style. Reluctant to identify herself with one genre, Jesse Taylor enjoys mixing musical influences. Join Jesse and the band for an intimate show on the park’s new site at the base of the City Hall steps.


6:30 pm: VTIFF’s Shelter In Place Showcase

The Shelter in Place Showcase was a film competition launched by Vermont International Film Foundation, inviting Vermont filmmakers to submit films they made while sheltering in place this past spring. Eleven short films were selected, including four prize-winners. The screening time is approximately 72 minutes and the award winners will be announced at the screenings!


Friday’s Park Tours:

1:30 & 3:30pm: Stormwater and Rain Garden Tour

2 pm: Watersheds to the Lake public art tour

2:30 & 4:30pm: Garden and Tree Tour

5:30pm: Design and Construction Tour

Saturday, October 17

1 pm: Barbacoa

Surfs up! With the fountain splashing nearby, take in the beachy vibes of Burlington’s original surf outfit, Barbacoa. These rockers bring their big twang sound to the center plaza, getting our Saturday rolling while providing a laid back soundtrack as you experience the new park.


2:30 pm: Art Make & Take

In this socially distant era, we’ll help you find a corner of the park in which to make some art. We’ll supply paper and colored pencils for you to draw an aspect of the park that you’re excited about. When you bring it back, we’ll display it in the park.


3:30 pm: Ray Vega’s Latin Jazz Quintet

Ray Vega has played at the hottest places in the world, and we’re thrilled to welcome him (… and his trumpet) to center stage in the new City Hall Park. He’ll lead some of Vermont’s top musicians in an outstanding display of Afro-Caribbean jazz. Don’t miss Ray hitting all the right notes.


5 pm: Red Hot Juba

It’s Juba time! Join local favorites Red Hot Juba as they get swinging on the steps of City Hall. Red Hot Juba are Burlington’s own purveyors of live, blisterin’ hot countrified jazz and blues. With their recent time in captivity, they are ready to get out and play.


6:30 pm: Screening of Knives Out

Let’s wrap this weekend up with a whodunnit! When renowned crime novelist Harlan Thrombey (Christopher Plummer) is found dead at his estate just after his 85th birthday, the inquisitive and debonair Detective Benoit Blanc (Daniel Craig) is mysteriously enlisted to investigate. From Harlan’s dysfunctional family to his devoted staff, Blanc sifts through a web of red herrings and self-serving lies to uncover the truth behind Harland’s untimely death. (PG-13)


Saturday’s Park Tours

1:30 & 3:30 pm: Design and Construction Tour

2 pm: Great Streets tour of St. Paul Street

2:30 & 4:30 pm: Garden and Tree Tour

5 pm: Stormwater and Rain Garden Tour


While enjoying City Hall Park please observe the following safety guidelines:

  • Please use hand sanitizer at the stations located at the park’s entrances.
  • Please wear a mask at all times.
  • Please maintain a safe 6’ distance from people who aren’t in your group.
  • If you don’t feel well, please stay home and visit the park another time.
  • If the park becomes overcrowded, we may need to restrict access until there is room for everyone to be safe.
  • Please stay off the grass while it is still young and growing.
  • Please place all waste in the proper receptacles and work to keep our new park beautiful.

Questions about this kick-off weekend? Contact Zach Williamson, zwilliamson@burlingtoncityarts.org.


October 16, 2020 @ 8:00 am
October 17, 2020 @ 5:00 pm
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City Hall Park
149 College St.
Burlington, VT 05401 United States
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