Bennington Battle Day 2012 events set for this weekend
By PATRICK MCARDLE
STAFF WRITER | August 14,2012
BENNINGTON — Bennington Battle Day is on Thursday but events celebrating the holiday will primarily take place this weekend, according to the parade chairman Richard “Ricky” Knapp.
On Thursday, admission to all state-owned historic sites will be free including Mount Independence in Orwell, the Hubbardton Battlefield in Hubbardton, the Chimney Point site in Addison, the President Calvin Coolidge site in Plymouth Notch and the Bennington Battle Monument, the tallest man-made structure in Vermont.
But Bennington largely celebrates its history from Friday thorough the annual parade on Sunday. Knapp said there would be 13 organizations providing music including a good variety of marching bands.
“It looks like we’re going to have nice weather. There’s going to a lot of nice floats and there’s going to be a lot of nice music. Yes, there’ll be a lot of firetrucks but there will be something there for the kids and something there for the adults,” he said.
Named for the Battle of Bennington, Vermont’s only unique statewide holiday commemorates a Revolutionary War battle fought on Aug. 16, 1777, in nearby New York. Colonial forces, led by General John Stark, whose wife, Molly, is the namesake of a mountain, state park and byway in Vermont, and supported by Col. Seth Warner and members of the Green Mountain Boys, protected a cache of supplies from British troops.
The Bennington Battle Monument was built on the site of the supply storehouse.
On Friday, a lunch where visitors can buy hot sausage, hamburgers and hot dogs will be available at the Bennington fire facility from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and a chicken barbecue will begin at the same site at 4 p.m.
Also at the fire facility on Friday will be an auction from 4 to 9 p.m., Las Vegas night from 6 to 10 p.m. and a car cruise from 6 to 8 p.m. The cars will parade through the downtown at 8:15 p.m.
Saturday’s events include a 5K road race that starts at the monument at 9:30 a.m. and activities for kids at the Bennington Recreation Center on Gage Street from 10 a.m. to noon.