Celebrating Champlain

Celebrating Champlain (HM1Q37)

Location: Burlington, VT 05401 Chittenden County
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Country: United States of America
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N 44° 28.615', W 73° 13.194'

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Parades and Pagentry

In July 1609, Samuel de Champlain became the first European to set eyes on Lake Champlain. Three hundred years later, in July of 1909, communities around Lake Champlain celebrated the tercentenial of Champlain's expedition. Burlington marked the event in grand style. President Taft arrived on the steamship Ticonderoga and spoke to a crowd of tens of thousands at City Hall Park. Weeklong festivities included a parade, semi-pro baseball game, sailing regatta, motorboat race, fireworks, and Burlington's first marathon. An eye-popping historical pageant capped the celebrations. At the foot of College Street, thousands of spectators packed a lakefront grandstand. Offshore- on a 300-foot-long floating stage bedecked with tepees, longhouse, and living trees- more than 175 Iroquois descendants reenacted the formation of the Iroquois confederacy and the battle with some sixty of their native opponents with whom Champlain and his two men were allied. In 1959, a dramatic "canoecade" formed the centerpiece of the 350th anniversary celebrations. Traveling in hand-crafted birch bark canoes, performers reenacted Champlain's historic voyage with his two compatriots and some 60 Huron, Algonquin, and Montagnais Indian allies. Each anniversary celebration has offered its own interpretation of Champlain's legacy. The 1909 events highlighted heroism and battle conquests. In 2009, festivities celebrated the Lake Champlain region's natural and cultural diversity. How will we celebrate in 2019? "The next day we entered the lake, which is of great extent, say eighty or a hundred leagues long.... There are also many rivers falling into the Lake, bordered by many fine trees of the same kind as those we have in France, with many vines finer than any I have seen in any other place; also many chestnut-trees on the border of this lake, which I had not seen before." The Voyages of Sieur de Champlain. Published 1613, translated by Charles Pomeroy Otis, 1878. In 1959, spectators crowded North Beach to witness a "canoecade" that reenacted Samuel de Champlain's voyage on Lake Champlain. Costumed children joined in the post-performance activities. In July 1909, this floating stage formed the set for an elaborate historical play. When the play was complete, a tugboat hauled the stage and performers to their next venue, in Isle La Motte. Decorated with electric lights and banners, Church Street welcomed festival goers to the 1909 celebrations. Some 25,000 electric bulbs were strung over Burlington's streets for the event. [marker is also in French]
HM NumberHM1Q37
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Thursday, December 17th, 2015 at 9:03am PST -08:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18T E 641570 N 4926386
Decimal Degrees44.47691667, -73.21990000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 44° 28.615', W 73° 13.194'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds44° 28' 36.9" N, 73° 13' 11.64" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)802
Which side of the road?Marker is on the right when traveling West
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 4 College St, Burlington VT 05401, US
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