Social Capital: Fourth of July, Jeffersonville, VT

One of the biggest events of the year in Jeffersonville is the Fourth of July parade and activities, put on by the Cambridge Arts Council. It includes many organizations from around town, like non-profits, sports teams, and community organizations. This events draws people from surrounding towns, as well as the town of Jeffersonville. This allows for bridging between groups that may not normally interact as much, such as young families, and older people in town. This event is an excellent way to bring the community together around a common value.

These interactions are important for getting community involvement. The activities after the parade, and the parade itself often involve local community organizations, that are fundraising or trying to increase membership. The organizations often sell fried dough or have a dunking booth, which means that people are interacting with people they may not know as well.

This past year when I was at the activities after the parade I met someone who was on the board of a local organization, and we got to talking about what I was doing in school. He was able to put me in contact with someone he knew that he thought might be helpful for me to know once I graduated since he was working in my desired field. This is an example of how this parade increases the bridging social capital within a community, and brings together people that may otherwise not interact as often. In addition, for the community members that come together to run a booth or create a float it is also increasing bonding capital.