Bennington Battle Day Events
The American Revolutionary War’s Battle of Bennington took place on August 16, 1777, as part of the Saratoga campaign in Walloomsac, N.Y. – about ten miles from its namesake in Bennington, Vermont, which has a full slate of activities planned for its annual Battle Day celebration.
During the battle, a rebel force of 2,000 men, primarily New Hampshire and Massachusetts militiamen led by General John Stark and reinforced by Vermont militiamen led by Colonel Seth Warner and members of the Green Mountain Boys, decisively defeated a detachment of General John Burgoyne’s army led by Lieutenant Colonel Friedrich Baum and supported by additional men under Lieutenant Colonel Heinrich von Breymann.
On the official Battle Day, Friday, August 16, Hot sausages, burgers and hot dogs will be served from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Bennington Fire Department (BFD) at 130 River Street; firefighters will also don their aprons starting at 4 p.m. to host a Chicken Barbecue at $10 per person. A fundraising Silent Auction will be held from 4 to 9. There will also be a car cruise from 6 to 8, with a parade down Main Street to begin around 8:15; and Las Vegas Night with DJ Ben Patten from 6 to 10. The BFD will battle the Bennington Rural Fire Department in a softball game at 6 p.m. at Willow Park.
Saturday, August 17, will include the Battle Day 5K Road Race at Bennington Monument, with registration beginning at 8 a.m. The run starts with the firing of a cannon or revolutionary war era rifle. Following the 5K is a half-mile kids’ fun run. The Bennington Recreation Center at 655 Gage Street will host Kids’ Day from 10 a.m. to 12 noon, sponsored by the Fire Department. The traditional memorial service and wreath laying ceremony at the USS Bennington’s bell, located at Bennington Town Office, 205 South Street, will be at 12 noon. Battle of the Pies will be held from 3 to 5 p.m. at 423 Main Street; pie slices will be available for purchase with proceeds to benefit the BFD and Daughters of the American Revolution, Ormsby Chapter.
On Sunday, August 18, the Bennington Battle Monument will be the site of a living history encampments from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Guided tours of the Bennington Battlefield in Walloomsac, N.Y. will also be held from 10 to 4. Pie slices from Saturday’s competition will continue to be sold from 11 to 3. The highlight will be the Battle Day Parade, stepping off Main Street at 12:30 p.m. The Bennington Battle Monument and the Friends of the Bennington Battle Monument will sponsor a historical review of woman’s fashions at the Old First Church Barn on Monument Circle from 3 to 4:30, with models showing off reproduction historic clothing dating from the late 1700s to the early 1900s. Admission is $10 for ages 15 and over and $2 for youth. Light refreshments will be served. The winner of the BFD Battle Day cash raffle will be drawn at the firehouse at 4 p.m. Basket Bingo concludes the day, also at the firehouse, from 6 to 10 p.m.