Area Events Commemorate Battle of Bennington
Thursday, August 16, is the official Bennington Battle Day. Entry to all state historic sites is free! A Vermont state holiday, it commemorates the American victory over British forces at the Battle of Bennington on August 16, 1777 during the American Revolutionary War.
The Battle took place in New York State, but got its name from the fact that the British were planning to capture weapons and military supplies that were being held in what is now know as Old Bennington. Construction of a monument at the site was completed, and the structure dedicated, in 1891. The 306-foot monument offers views of three states from its observation deck. More information about the Bennington Battle Monument can be found at benningtonbattlemonument.com.
Bennington Battlefield State Historic Site, Route 67, Hoosick, N.Y., will host a ceremony on Thursday at 7 p.m. to mark the 241st anniversary of this pivotal conflict. Representatives from the Second Continental Artillery Regiment, the Battle Monument in Vermont, as well as SAR and DAR chapters will be there, as well as local students participating in the Hoosick Falls Summer History Institute. Visitors can tour the students’ encampment on the hilltop beginning at 5:30 p.m. The program is free and open to the public. Tours will be held at the State Historic Site from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, August 19.
The Bennington Battle Monument, 15 Monument Circle, Bennington, will be celebrating the weekend of Bennington Battle Day with several events. On Saturday, August 18, the day begins with the 14th annual Battle Day 5k Road Race. Pre-registration forms are available at the Monument Gift shop and online at benningtonbattlemonument.com. Registration starts at 8 a.m.; the race starts with musket fire at 9:30. The children’s quarter-mile fun race around the circle will follow.
The Moodus Fife and Drum Corps of Moodus, Connecticut, will perform starting at 3 p.m. (The last time the Corps played in Bennington was 1891 at the dedication of the Monument!)
There will be a Colonial encampment on the Monument grounds both Saturday and Sunday, where re-enactors will demonstrate artillery drills, camp life and tell the story of the Battle of Bennington.
At 3 p.m. on Sunday, August 19, the Vintage Visitors ‘Fashionable Times, a Historical Review of Women’s Fashion,’ at the Old First Church Barn on Monument Circle will feature hand-made clothing for men, women and children dating from the late 1700s to the 1890s. There is a $10 charge for adults 15 and over or $2 for ages 6 to 14. Tickets may be purchased at the Gift Shop, and include admission to the Monument. Light refreshments will be available. Reproductions of a Victorian mourning ensemble, evening gowns, wedding gowns, children’s clothing and a wide variety of outfits will be modeled with music and entertaining stories, making this event more than just a fashion show. For details, call 802-447-0550 or visit historicsites.vermont.org.
A number of events will also be taking place throughout the town of Bennington.
On Friday, August 17, members of the Bennington Fire Department (BFD), located at 130 River Street, will be cooking up lunch from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., featuring hot sausage, burgers and hot dogs. Later on, they’ll be preparing a chicken barbecue, accompanied by a fundraising silent auction, beginning at 4 p.m. At 6 p.m., the BFD Car Cruise will offer enthusiasts a chance to show off their vehicles, and conclude when they parade down Main Street at 8:15.
On Saturday, August 18, the Bennington Recreation Center at 655 Gage Street will be hosting a myriad of kids’ activities from 10 a.m. to 12 noon, also sponsored by the BFD.
There will be a memorial service and wreath laying ceremony at 12 noon at the bell once belonging to the USS Bennington, located at Bennington Town Office, 205 South Street.
The Battle of the Pies commences from 3:30 to 6 p.m. at 423 Main Street. Prizes will be awarded for the best apple pie; call 802-442-1050 to sign up. Judging begins at 5. Pie slices will be available for purchase, with all proceeds going towards the BFD and DAR Ormsby chapter.
On Sunday, August 19, the Battle Day Parade lines up at 12:30 p.m. to travel from Main and Safford Streets to Depot Street, north on Depot Street to River Street and the Fire Station, where the winning name will be drawn for BFD’s $3,000 First Prize Battle Day cash raffle at 4 p.m. For further information on any of these events, visit