A fine day for a parade

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BENNINGTON — Bennington commenced its 53rd Battle Day celebration this weekend, culminating in the massive annual parade winding through the downtown area.

The celebrations, organized largely by the Bennington Fire Department under the leadership of Chief Steve Crawford, commemorates the 240th anniversary of the Battle of Bennington.

"For the town, it's a great weekend," said Crawford. "We've gotten great support from the community, and everything was excellent."

Community members turned out in droves for the celebration, lining the sunny sidewalks of the parade route along Main Street.

Following a singing of the national anthem by the Bennington County Choral Society, the parade's Grand Marshall Charlie Becker was honored alongside this year's Battle Day Parade honoree Alex E. Mahar of Mahar and Son Funeral home.

Governor Phil Scott then took the stage to commemorate the occasion.

"It's always great to be back here in Bennington for the Bennington Battle Day parade," said Scott. "I've made it down here for the past several years, and it's always an event I look forward to."

Scott provided a brief history of the Battle of Bennington, fought in the midst of the revolutionary war, and recognized the importance of the celebration as Vermont's only state holiday.

"It's a holiday worth celebrating, because it represents a turning point in our nation's history," said Scott. "It's important for us to remember this event in American history, because it helped to shape our nation."

The lengthy parade celebrated many prominent institutions and organizations within the Bennington community, as well as service members from local military units, police stations, and fire departments.

In bringing so many members of the community together in a celebration of local history and heritage, the annual event also serves as a touchstone of Bennington's culture.

"We got a really great turnout," said Crawford. "Everything went great."

Reach Cherise Madigan at 802-490-6471.

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