Bennington Battle Day: A Guide to Celebrate Vermont's History

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Bennington Battle Day is a state holiday in Vermont that commemorates the victory of the American forces over the British in the Battle of Bennington on August 16, 1777. This battle was a turning point in the Revolutionary War and helped secure the independence of the United States.

In this article, we will tell you more about the history and importance of Bennington Battle Day, as well as how you can celebrate it with Whether you are a history buff, a patriot, or just looking for some fun activities, you will find something to enjoy on this special day.

1. What is Bennington Battle Day?

Bennington Battle Day is a state holiday that celebrates the anniversary of the Battle of Bennington, a decisive victory for the American forces during the Revolutionary War. The battle took place on August 16th, 1777, near Bennington, Vermont, which was then part of New York. The British army, led by General John Burgoyne, was marching south from Canada to capture Albany and cut off New England from the rest of the colonies.

Along the way, they encountered a shortage of supplies and decided to raid a colonial depot in Bennington. However, they were met by a militia of about 2,000 men from Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and New York, led by General John Stark. The Americans repelled two attacks by the British and their German allies, killing or capturing over 900 enemy soldiers. The battle was a major setback for Burgoyne's campaign, which ended with his surrender at Saratoga in October.

2. When is Bennington Battle Day in 2023?

Bennington Battle Day 2023 will be celebrated on Wednesday, August 16th. This date marks the 246th anniversary of the Battle of Bennington.

3. Does Bennington Battle Day change every year?

No. Bennington Battle Day is always observed on August 16th, regardless of the day of the week. However, some events and activities may take place on the weekend before or after the actual date.

4. History of Bennington Battle Day

The history of Bennington Battle Day dates back to the American Revolution when the thirteen colonies declared independence from Great Britain in 1776. One of the important campaigns during the war was the Saratoga campaign of 1777, led by General John Burgoyne, aimed at isolating New England and ending the rebellion. The Battle of Bennington, which took place on August 16th near Bennington, Vermont, was a key battle in this campaign.

The battle was triggered when Burgoyne's army needed provisions and horses. He sent a detachment of about 800 men, mostly German mercenaries known as Hessians, under Lieutenant Colonel Friedrich Baum, to raid a colonial depot in Bennington. However, the Americans, led by General John Stark, were prepared to defend their supplies. Stark gathered a force of about 2,000 men and attacked Baum's troops.

The battle began in the afternoon with the Americans attacking from three sides. Stark's men overwhelmed Baum's position, capturing him and most of his troops. A few escaped to inform Burgoyne of their defeat. Burgoyne sent a reinforcement of 500 men, but they arrived too late and faced another attack by Stark's men and Colonel Seth Warner's militia. The second battle lasted until dusk, resulting in heavy losses for the British troops, and they eventually retreated.

The Battle of Bennington was a significant victory for the Americans. It boosted their morale, deprived Burgoyne of resources and men, and prevented him from reaching Albany. The battle also influenced France to enter the war as an ally of the United States after hearing of the American success at Saratoga. This battle is considered a turning point in the Revolutionary War and holds historical significance for Vermont.

5. What Do People Do on Bennington Battle Day?

Bennington Battle Day is a state holiday in Vermont that commemorates the victory of American forces over British troops at the Battle of Bennington during the American Revolutionary War in 1777. The battle was a significant strategic success for the Americans, as it prevented the British from dividing New England and capturing supplies stored at Bennington. The holiday is celebrated on August 16, the anniversary of the battle, or on the preceding Friday if it falls on a weekend.

On Bennington Battle Day, many Vermonters attend local parades, ceremonies, and reenactments of the historic event. Some of the activities include flag raising, speeches, music, cannon firing, and wreath laying. The largest celebration takes place at the Bennington Battle Monument, a 306-foot stone obelisk that stands on the site of an American supply depot that was the target of the British attack. Visitors can climb to the top of the monument and enjoy a panoramic view of the surrounding area. Other attractions include the Bennington Museum, which houses artifacts and exhibits related to the battle and Vermont's history, and the Old First Church, where some of the American soldiers are buried.

6. Best Gift Ideas for Bennington Battle Day

If you are looking for some gift ideas to celebrate Bennington Battle Day, here are some suggestions that might interest you:

A replica of the Bennington flag

Consider acquiring a replica of the Bennington flag, one of the earliest flags of the United States. This flag features 13 stars and stripes, along with the number 76 in the canton, representing the year 1776. Displaying this flag can serve as a patriotic and historical reminder of the significance of the Battle of Bennington and the American Revolutionary War.

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Books about the Battle of Bennington or the American Revolution

Explore literature that delves into the historical significance of the Battle of Bennington or provides a comprehensive overview of the American Revolution. Examples include "The Road to Bennington: The Story of the Green Mountain Boys" by John J. Duffy or "1776" by David McCullough. These books offer valuable insights into the events, people, and broader context of the battle and the war, allowing the reader to deepen their understanding of this crucial period in American history.

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Vermont maple syrup

As a specialty of Vermont, a bottle of authentic maple syrup can be a fitting gift. This natural delicacy not only symbolizes the state's resources but also reflects its rich cultural heritage. Vermont maple syrup is renowned for its exceptional quality and distinct flavor, making it a delightful addition to breakfasts, desserts, or as a sweetener in various recipes.

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Bennington pottery

Consider gifting a handcrafted mug, bowl, or plate from Bennington pottery. Established in 1948, this Vermont-based pottery brand is renowned for its distinctive colors and unique shapes. Each piece is meticulously crafted, showcasing the skill and artistry of Vermont artisans. A Bennington pottery item can be a functional and aesthetically pleasing gift, adding a touch of elegance to any home.

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Tickets to the Bennington Battle Monument

Offer the gift of an experience by providing tickets to the Bennington Battle Monument. This impressive 306-foot stone obelisk stands on the site of a Continental Army supply depot, which played a vital role during the battle. Visitors can ascend to the top of the monument for panoramic views of the surrounding area, gaining a deeper appreciation for the historical significance of the Battle of Bennington.


Membership to the Bennington Museum

Consider gifting a membership to the Bennington Museum, which showcases an extensive collection of art, history, and cultural artifacts related to Vermont and the surrounding region. Notably, it houses the largest public collection of Grandma Moses paintings. A museum membership grants access to exhibitions, special events, and educational programs, allowing the recipient to immerse themselves in the rich heritage and artistic treasures of Vermont.


Donation to the Bennington Battlefield State Historic Site

Show support for historical preservation by making a donation to the Bennington Battlefield State Historic Site. This site preserves and interprets the main engagement location of the battle, offering guided tours and hosting special events. By contributing to the preservation and maintenance of this important historic site, you are helping to ensure that future generations can learn about and appreciate the bravery and sacrifice of those involved in the Battle of Bennington.


Personalized engraved plaque, medal, or trophy

Honor a friend or family member who shares a name or birthday with one of the heroes of the Battle of Bennington, such as John Stark, Seth Warner, or Ethan Allen. Consider gifting a personalized engraved plaque, medal, or trophy to commemorate their connection to this historic event. This thoughtful gift allows them to have a tangible reminder of their namesake's bravery and the enduring legacy of the battle.


Vermont cheese, crackers, and jam

Craft a delightful gift basket comprising Vermont cheese, crackers, and jam. These delectable treats are made with local ingredients, showcasing the state's agricultural tradition and diverse culinary offerings. Vermont is renowned for its artisanal cheeses, and pairing them with locally produced crackers and flavorful jams creates a delicious combination that represents the unique flavors of the region.

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Subscription to the Bennington Banner

Support local journalism by gifting a subscription to the Bennington Banner. This daily newspaper covers news, sports, and entertainment in Bennington County and the surrounding areas. Subscribing to a local newspaper helps to stay informed about current events, community news, and developments in the region. It also contributes to the sustainability of local journalism, an essential pillar of democracy and community engagement.


Vermont-themed apparel

Surprise your loved one with Vermont-themed T-shirts, hats, or hoodies. Look for items featuring catchy slogans or funny jokes about Vermont or the Battle of Bennington, such as "I'm not from Vermont, but I got here as fast as I could" or "Don't mess with Vermonters. We have cannons." These apparel items allow the wearer to showcase their pride for Vermont and its historical significance in a lighthearted and fun way.


Gift card to local establishments

Consider a versatile gift card to a local restaurant, shop, or attraction in Bennington or nearby towns. This allows the recipient to explore and enjoy venues such as The Publyk House, The Apple Barn, or The Park-McCullough House, immersing themselves in the local culture and supporting the local economy. Whether it's a delicious meal, unique shopping experience, or a visit to a historic site, a gift card provides the flexibility for them to choose an experience they would enjoy.



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FAQs about Bennington Battle Day

Here are some common questions and answers about Bennington Battle Day that you might find helpful:

Is Bennington Battle Day a federal holiday?

No. Bennington Battle Day is a state holiday in Vermont only. It is not observed by the federal government or other states.

Are banks and schools closed on Bennington Battle Day?

It depends. Some banks and schools may choose to close on Bennington Battle Day, while others may remain open. It is best to check with your local branch or institution before planning your activities.

What are some events and activities that take place on Bennington Battle Day?

There are many events and activities that take place on Bennington Battle Day across Vermont, such as:

  • Parades featuring marching bands, floats, veterans, and historical reenactors
  • Ceremonies honoring the fallen soldiers and heroes of the battle
  • Reenactments of the battle by actors dressed in period costumes and using authentic weapons
  • Fireworks displays lighting up the night sky
  • Concerts featuring local musicians and singers
  • Picnics, barbecues, and festivals with food, games, and crafts
  • Museum tours and exhibits showcasing artifacts and stories from the battle
  • Hikes and walks along the historic sites and trails related to the battle

Where can I learn more about the Battle of Bennington and its history?

There are many resources online and offline that can help you learn more about the Battle of Bennington and its history, such as:

  • The official website of the Vermont Division for Historic Preservation, which provides information on the battle, its monuments, and its events
  • The website of the Bennington Museum, which houses a collection of paintings, artifacts, and documents related to the battle
  • The website of the Bennington Battlefield State Historic Site, which preserves the location where the battle took place
  • The website of the Walloomsac Inn & Tavern, which served as a hospital for wounded soldiers after the battle
  • The website of (domain), which offers more articles and guides on Vermont's history and culture.

How can I celebrate Bennington Battle Day if I am not in Vermont?

If you are not in Vermont but still want to celebrate Bennington Battle Day, you can do so by:

  • Watching a documentary or a movie about the battle or the Saratoga campaign
  • Reading a book or an article about the battle or its heroes
  • Listening to a podcast or an audiobook about the battle or its significance
  • Wearing something green or displaying a Vermont flag or sticker
  • Cooking or ordering some Vermont specialties such as maple syrup, cheese, or apple pie
  • Donating to a charity or an organization that supports veterans or historical preservation
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Jennifer Hunter
Jennifer Hunter
Jennifer Hunter is a senior editor for covering deals, coupons, apparel, accessories, and pets.