City Hall Park Reopening Celebration

The City of Burlington, including the departments of Burlington City Arts and Burlington Parks, Recreation, and Waterfront, welcomes the community to the newly revived City Hall Park in downtown Burlington during a two-day celebration on Friday, October 16 and Saturday, October 17.

After years of work to restore the park’s ecology, accessibility, and cultural identity, the park is now re-opening for all to enjoy. The kick-off weekend features terrific local music, tours of the park’s plantings and design, art activities, movies, and more. We’ve programmed multiple events throughout the two days to enable people to choose the event that works best for them, visit the park at different times, and avoid crowding in order to ensure Covid-19 safety.

Concerts throughout the weekend include performances by Vermont bands and musicians such as Sabouyouma, Barbacoa, DJ Craig Mitchell, The Jesse Taylor Band, Ray Vega, and Red Hot Juba.

Events also include Vermont International Film Festival’s Shelter in Place Showcase, which was a film competition that invited Vermont filmmakers to submit films they made while sheltering in place this past spring. Eleven short films were selected, including four prize-winners. Award winners will be announced at the screenings.

Tours include guided walks through the park’s new stormwater and rain gardens, a public art tour from the watershed to the lake, the garden and tree tour, and the design and construction tour.

Art activities include an Art Make & Take session on Saturday. Volunteers will supply paper and colored pencils for park visitors to draw an aspect of the park that they’re excited about. These images will be displayed in the park.

Closing out the weekend is a 6:30 pm screening of the film Knives Out, a whodunnit with an all-star ensemble cast. 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)

Guests are asked to observe the following safety guidelines throughout the festivities:

  • Please use hand sanitizer at the stations located at the park 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, as 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, [email protected].

Full schedule:

Friday, October 16

1 pm: Sabouyouma
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
3 pm: Splash Dance with DJ Craig Mitchell
5 pm: The Jesse Taylor Band
5:30pm: Design and Construction Tour
6:30 pm: VTIFF’s Shelter In Place Showcase

Saturday, October 17

1 pm: Barbacoa
1:30 & 3:30 pm: Design and Construction Tour
2 pm: Great Streets St. Paul Street Tour
2:30 & 4:30 pm: Garden and Tree Tour
2:30 pm: Art Take & Make 3:30 pm: Ray Vega’s Latin Jazz Quintet
5 pm: Stormwater and Rain Garden Tour
5 pm: Red Hot Juba
6:30 pm: Screening of Knives Out