Bennington Battle Day is a unique state holiday in Vermont that celebrates a pivotal battle in the Revolutionary War. Celebrated every year on August 16, City of Burlington services are closed and municipal parking is free at meters and in the three garages – Lakeview, College and Marketplace. Because it falls on a Sunday this year, it will be observed on August 17.
Often criticized because the battle actually took place in New York, the reason for the battle was located in Vermont. In early August, 1777, General John Burgoyne was leading two detachments of British troops to Bennington to raid food and ammunitions when they were intercepted and defeated by General John Stark and 1,400 American troops.
The battle was a major strategic success for the American cause and is considered part of the turning point of the Revolutionary War; routing the British Loyalists from their northern campaign and speeding the eventual American victory in Saratoga; bringing the French into the war with money and naval power, thereby all but guaranteeing America’s path toward nationhood.
A 306-foot stone obelisk commemorates the victory in Bennington, Vermont, and every year there are events and re-enactments planned.
More information can be found on Bennington’s website here.