St. J Sparkles Celebration Returns This Weekend

ST. JOHNSBURY - St. Johnsbury once again is getting festive for its annual St. J Sparkles celebration! Lights and decorations have been strung up downtown and various storefronts have added to the displays. Discover St. Johnsbury's Director, Gillian Sewake, says it's time for "St. Johnsbury's signature celebration of everything holidays."


The weekend events kick off Thursday night with KCP Presents: Soweto Gospel Choir at 7:00 pm at St. J Academy's Fuller Hall. This is one of the few events that are not free to the community; tickets start at $15 on Catamount Arts' website.

Friday's events start at 5:00 pm all across St. Johnsbury. Sewake says there are over 24 activities planned, ranging from horse-drawn wagon rides to fire pits to free cocoa! "We have so many events on Saturday, but folks know what to expect... Friday night is really when this particular event shines." She, herself, is most excited for Friday night's fireworks display put on by Northstar Fireworks. "We have the backdrop here of [the Welcome Center], and it's just so amazing to see that sparkle and have so much joy from all of the spectators."

Saturday is packed with activities all day. "I've actually lost count," Sewake admitted with a smile. Although most events are held around the Welcome Center and downtown St. J area, Sewake said that businesses all across town are getting involved. "It's really amazing to gather together so many activities. We have folks coming out from so many businesses, so many organizations. They're putting a lot of work and effort into pulling off all of the different activities."

And that includes new businesses! Four businesses will be holding grand or soft openings this Friday, including Northeast Kannabis, which will open at 4:20 pm; St. J Spins, a record store; Salicrow, Psychic Medium; and Fire on the Hill, a new consignment shop.

Sewake says that more than a dozen businesses have opened in the area since 2020. "If you haven't been to downtown St. Johnsbury, this is a great time to come and scope it out if you're looking to shop local this year."

Although the St. J Sparkles celebration returned last year, many events were still distanced and businesses around the community were still requiring masks due to the pandemic. "Everyone's really ready to gather together again. People are really excited to come out," Sewake said.

She shared with News7 that the community really came together during the summer's Final Fridays programming and showed how much they missed these types of gatherings. "I think it's going to be a really special time this winter."

Printed copies of this weekend's festivities are available at the St. Johnsbury Welcome Center. A complete schedule can also be found online at