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.
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.
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.
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."
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. Parade starts at 10:30 am.
Before the parade, at 9 am the Five Town GGG Club holds their traditional Outhouse Race! These outhouses are on wheels with one member of the team sitting on the seat inside while others pull it along the street, hoping it follows straight to the finish line! The winners enjoy a victory ride in the parade. Read more about the race or get a downloadable PDF of the race's rules and entry form.
Join in on the festivities the night before with fireworks at the Bristol Recreation Field. Cotton candy, vendors, hot dogs, crafts and games for the kids, while they are waiting for dark to bring the fireworks.
For further information on this event contact:
Bristol Harvest Festival and Better L8 Than Never Annual Car Show
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. The Car Show is held on the Bristol Recreation Field from 10 am to 4 pm.
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.
Town Clerk, Therese Kirby
Town Administrator, Bill Bryant
Chair, Selectboard, Sharon Compagna
P.O. Box 249
Bristol, VT 05443
Bristol Downtown Community Partnership
P.O. Box 413
Bristol, VT 05443
- Bristol 4th of July Outhouse Race Details
- Bristol: Small Town Living at its Best
- Churches of Addison County
- Middlebury: More Than a College Town
- Vergennes: The Little City with Big Appeal
Bristol is host to several cultural and community events throughout the year:
POCOCK ROCKS! Music & Street Festival
June 15‚ 2013
4th of July Parade & Outhouse Race
July 4‚ 2013
Bristol Harvest Festival & Better L8 Than Never Car Show
September 28‚ 2013