Vermont’s cultural and recreational attractions are rolling out the red carpet and inviting the public to experience everything the state has to offer and the best part—it won’t cost you anything.
Dubbed Vermont Days, all state-owned historic sites, museums, and state parks will be open to the public—free of charge—June 8 and 9. This offer extends to both residents and nonresidents.
The event, which is sponsored by the Departments of Forests, Park and Recreation, Fish and Wildlife, Tourism and Marketing, and the Division of Historic Preservation, is intended to promote interest in Vermont’s cultural and recreational attractions.
One of the weekend’s highlights is Saturday’s free fishing day, the one day during the year when residents and nonresidents may fish without a license. According to the Department of Fish and Wildlife, Vermont’s 284 lakes and 7,000 miles of streams and rivers offer the greatest variety of high quality fresh-water fishing in the Northeast.
The free fishing day conveniently coincides with the start of the largemouth and smallmouth bass season
Many of the sites participating in the weekend have organized special programming as added attraction for visitors.
For instance, Vermont historian and attorney Paul Gillies will speak on “Relics and Souvenirs: Lay Archeologists and the Uncovering of Vermont” at 2 p.m. at the Mount Independence Historic Site in Orwell.
Gillies will begin the program by discussing a broken spoon encased in a display case of souvenirs from a 19th century excursion and amateur excavation at Mount Independence, and then will being to burrow into the magic of subterranean discoveries over time, the urge to dig up treasure, the nostalgic worship of relics, the role of sacred places and their preservation and of their gift shops, the ratiocination or rationalization of booty, the spoils of war, the defacement of ancient structures, the discovery of the elephant skeleton in Mount Holly, the night gold-diggers of Fayston, what St. Clair meant when decided to evacuate the Fort in 1777, and before the ride is over, will with luck return to that spoon, to answer, simply and finally, why we care for historic places.
At the Hubbardton Battlefield, guests can learn how to make and fly their own kite from 1 to 4 p.m. on Saturday, June 8. Guests will also be able explore and immerse themselves in the battlefield, which is site of one of the most successful rear guard military action in the history of American armed conflict. Although American forces ultimately lost the battle, they gave their fellow compatriots enough time to get away the events of the day helped paved the way for the pivotal battle at Saratoga later that year.
Elsewhere in the Lakes Region, visitors can enjoy the day use facilities of the area’s state parks. Bomoseen and Lake St. Catherine state parks both offer boating, fishing, swimming and hiking opportunities. Each park features a concession stand and non-motorized boat rentals.
To learn more about Vermont Days, visit www.vermontdays.com.