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Bristol: Small Town Living at its Best

Nestled at the foot of the Green Mountains‚ Bristol is a quaint village of about 3‚800 residents. Main Street is lined with friendly village shops that satisfy every interest: antiques‚ gifts‚ home accessories‚ Vermont-made products‚ handmade beeswax candles‚ clothing and shoes. Dine at restaurants with menu selections offering everything from pizza to champagne. Bristol is surrounded by serene woodlands‚ crystal clear streams and rivers and delightful mountain scenery. Four season natural beauty is within easy reach by car bike foot or fishing pole.

See a video featuring Bristol, its scenery, people and town band. 

Bristol Attractions

Lord's Prayer Rock

When Joseph C. Greene was a boy and lived in South Starksboro one of his tasks was to take the logs from the mountaintop to the sawmill in Bristol. The 9 Bridges Road or the Drake Woods Road in those days was a terrifying ride. Not only were there 9 bridges to cross‚ but also the logs were big and apt to slide off the load. When he arrived at the "Big Rock" he knew his problems were over‚ so he said a little prayer and breathed a sigh of relief knowing he would once more get his load to the mill safely. Years later when he was a practicing physician in Buffalo‚ New York‚ he and his brother took a trip around the world and after seeing the hieroglyphics in Egypt‚ he decided to come home and have the Lord's Prayer chiseled on the rock that had given him peace of mind and a feeling of security when he was a boy.

Bristol Green

Our town green has been a central part of our village throughout its history. The Bristol Band has presented outdoor summer band concerts in the gazebo on the town green every Wednesday from June through August since shortly after the Civil War. Folks bring their lawn chairs‚ visit with their neighbors and enjoy the music. The green also hosts 4th of July events‚ the Farmers’ Market‚ Movies in the Park‚ BBQs the Harvest Festival and many other activities.

Historical Note

The following is from the Bristol Land Record: "...in consideration of the friendship love, esteem and good will we have for the town of Bristol we quit claim a certain piece of land about 1-1/2 acres of land for the express purpose of a public common and green and it is particularly understood that the selectmen of the town or any person shall not be at liberty to erect or build any house, shop or any building or fence the same up, or encumber in any wise by rolling logs or packing lumber, stone, brick, lime, clay, earth or dig up the earth. It shall be and remain as a public common without anything being built or laid there on. Signed Luman Munson, George C. Dayfoot. Dated April 21, 1827."

Annual Events

4th of July

Bristol celebrates the 4th of July in a big‚ small town way with fireworks, a parade, an Outhouse Race, music, vendors, crafts, food, horses, and flags. The Bristol parade is the longest-running parade in the State of Vermont with fire trucks, floats, National Guard units, Scouts and marching bands with some traveling from Canada. For more information, visit their website.

Better L8 Than Never Annual Car Show

The Car Show is held on the Bristol Recreation Field from 9 am to 4 pm featuring more than 100 vehicles and trophies for many. Get more information.

Bristol Harvest Festival

A day of crafts, entertainment, food, games held on the village green, held on the last Saturday in September from 10 am to 4 pm. Enjoy a taste of autumn in beautiful downtown Bristol and help celebrate the five-town communities of Bristol, Lincoln, New Haven, Monkton and Starksboro.  Get more information.

Cool Yule

During the month of December, family activities for all ages are planned in Bristol. They include: bazaars, concerts, refreshments and shopping experiences, a Chocolate Walk, open houses, extended hours and more! Share the spirit of the holiday season. And don't miss out on Bristol Best Night - New Year's Eve festivities.

More about Bristol

Bristol was chartered in 1762 and originally named Pocock, in honor of a distinguished English admiral of that name. The name was changed to Bristol in 1789.

Bristol is located in Addison County, 30 miles south of Burlington; 12 miles north of Middlebury on Routes 116 and 17. Montpelier, the capital of Vermont‚ is a 50-minute drive; Montreal is 2.5 hours, Boston approximately 4 hours. It covers 26,880 acres with a geographic location of 70 degrees 04'W, 44 degrees 08'N; and is located 520 ft. altitude above sea level.

Bristol is home to approximately 3,887 people and is the second largest community in Addison County.


Bristol Events

Bristol is host to several cultural and community events throughout the year:

POCOCK ROCKS! Music & Street Festival
June 21‚ 2014

4th of July Parade & Outhouse Race
July 4‚ 2014

Better L8 Than Never Car Show
September 14‚ 2014

Bristol Harvest Festival
September 27, 2014


More Information

Town Government

Town Clerk, Therese Kirby
Town Administrator, Bill Bryant
Chair, Selectboard, John "Peeker" Heffernan
P.O. Box 249
Bristol, VT 05443
P: 802-453-2486
F: 802-453-5188

Office is open Monday-Friday 8:00-4:30
E: bristoltown@gmavt.net
W: www.bristolvt.net 

Bristol Downtown Community Partnership
P.O. Box 413
Bristol, VT  05443
P: 802-453-7378
W: www.discoverbristrolvt.com