Home Bristol Times 45th Historic Bristol Day is set for Oct. 16

45th Historic Bristol Day is set for Oct. 16

After going virtual in 2020 due to the pandemic, this local tradition is returning in-person this year


The 45th annual Historic Bristol Day is taking place Saturday, Oct. 16 (rain or shine), from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Last year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Bristol Cultural and Historical Foundation was forced to present the event virtually. But this year, it’s back to being in-person. The event will be dedicated to the memory of three members of the HBD committee – Carol Mitchener, Mary McIlvain and Sheree Napoli – who passed away during the year. It will also honor first responders, including military, police, firefighters, EMTs and frontline workers. Free COVID-19 vaccinations will be offered by AMI Health and complimentary masks will be available.

Highlights of the day include:

9:45 a.m. – Dedication ceremony at the Lions Park Gazebo on the Bristol riverfront

10 a.m. – Keynote speaker Capt. David Christian Esq. at the Gazebo (he’s the youngest, most decorated officer of the Vietnam War). Christian’s speech is entitled “Honoring the Rich History of Bristol and the Significant Role of Volunteerism in the Community.” It will be followed by the presentation of colors by the U.S. Paratrooper 82nd Airborne Honor Guard.

10 a.m. to 4 p.m. – 10th annual Bristol Day Car Show, at the Snyder-Girotti School, 450 Beaver St. This year, the show will honor first responders. A First Responder Display Field will feature emergency vehicles, the military vehicles of the 304th Civil Affairs Brigade, and the Armed Forces Heritage Museum’s mobile museum. At noon, car engines will rev and sirens will blast for two minutes to honor those who lost their lives to COVID-19, the three Historic Bristol Day volunteers who passed, and the 13 Marines who recently lost their lives in Afghanistan. This will be followed by a presentation of colors by the U.S. Paratrooper 82nd Airborne Honor Guard and remarks by Christian.

10 a.m. to 4 p.m. – Boat Show by the Mid-Atlantic Chapter of Antique & Classic Boat Security, at the Bristol Wharf

10 a.m. to 4 p.m. – House & Garden Tour

10 a.m. to 4 p.m. – Tours of the recently-renovated Margaret R. Grundy Museum, 610 Radcliffe St. (masks required)

11 a.m. to 3 p.m. – Riverfront Tea, featuring harpist Gloria Galante

11 a.m. to 1 p.m. – Guided Walking Tours by the Bristol Cultural and Historical Foundation, along tree-lined Radcliffe St., known as the King’s Highway in Colonial days

11 a.m. to 2 p.m. – Children’s Corner on the grounds of the Margaret R. Grundy Library, 680 Radcliffe St. This includes a “Living Wax Museum: Past, Present & Future” by the gifted and enriched students of Snyder-Girotti Elementary School, from 11 a.m. to noon; a display of Bristol archeological artifacts; Cops ‘n Kids book giveaway; and a display of student art contest entries.

11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. – Concert by the Bracken Cavaliers Drum & Bugle Corps Alumni Corps of Bristol. Bracken was the first junior and bugle corps to be organized in the U.S. and was a 12-time PA State American Legion Champion and three-time runner up for the national title.

Noon to 2 p.m. – Tours of Dad’s Hat Rye Whiskey Distillery, 925 Canal St.

1 to 2:30 p.m. – Sailboat Regatta on the Delaware River, beginning in the area of the Bristol Wharf

The event will also include entertainment in the Lions Park Gazebo and along the 200 and 300 blocks of Radcliffe St., a food court, bake table, art exhibition, vendors and crafters, and special exhibits. Various public buildings and houses of worship will be open for touring. Free parking in the Bristol Borough municipal lot behind Mill St. and in the Lenox parking lot at 1414 Radcliffe St., as well as free shuttle service, will be available.

Wristbands are required for the House & Garden Tour and the Riverfront Tea. A minimum donation of $5 per person is requested. Wristbands and event programs will be available in advance at the Bristol Borough Tax Office, 250 Pond St.; Mignoni Jewelry, 200 Mill St.; and Great IDs, 257 Radcliffe St. On the day of the event, they will be available at the HBD Info Tables at the corner of Radcliffe and Market sts. and Radcliffe and Walnut sts., and at the Riverfront Tea.

Visit bristolhistory.org for more information.

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