News

St. George Spring Town Meeting blossoms into community celebration

Inaugural ‘Dragon Day’ set for Saturday

By Jason Starr

Observer staff

Delaying Town Meeting Day in St. George until warmer weather as a Covid precaution has turned into an opportunity for a larger community gathering, with music, theater, food and free goodies in the town center.

St. George residents will gather under a tent Saturday morning to set the town’s annual budget and elect selectboard and school board members. The meeting was postponed from traditional Town Meeting Day on the first Tuesday in March so that it could be held outside. 

A party is planned after the meeting: Dragon Day, an inaugural event named after the fabled symbol of St. George lore. Festivities start at noon.

“I think it will be an amazing event,” said Judy Scott, who has penned an original play about the myth of St. George and the dragon — a story that goes back to the 18th-century days of King George III of England, after whom Vermont’s smallest (acreage-wise) town was named. 

St. George residents will act out the play after a friendly dragon (a resident in costume) leads kids on a parade. Live music, family-friendly games and food will also be part of the celebration, which has the potential to become an annual event, even if Town Meeting Day reverts to its traditional winter date. 

A new community organizing group going by the name “St. George Connect” formed over the winter to plan Dragon Day. The group’s aims, however, are more encompassing. Consisting of about a dozen core members, the group has formed to steer the town through some upcoming decisions. 

“How should we spend the Covid relief monies our town has received? How best should we put town land to use? How might we support our youth in overcoming educational and social challenges?” the group asks in an April 19 news release.

One of the town-owned parcels in question is 75 acres behind Town Hall. 

“There are some decisions coming down the pike that need to be made and we wanted to have a broad spectrum of the community involved in making those decisions,” Scott said, a member of the group.

More broadly, St. George Connect hopes to engage residents in conversations about what they value and prioritize, and communicate that to the town’s decision-making boards. 

“With such immediate as well as long-term planning needs, we are looking for everyone’s ideas,” group member Sarah Tischler said.

In addition to Scott and Tischler, other St. George Connect members are: Fran Stoddard, Chantal Beliveau, Jessica Brumsted, Joel Colf, Julie Parker, April Pillsbury and Abel Russ.

Those looking to get involved can email stgeorgeconnect@gmail.com.

Photo above: A sign announces Town Meeting and ‘Dragon Day’ this Saturday in St. George’s town center.

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