Burning Benedict Arnold Festival burns traitor, CT native

This Connecticut town never forgets a traitor.

Hundreds of people are expected to gather in New London on Saturday for the Benedict Arnold Burning Festival, during which a papier-mâché figure of the disgraced American revolutionary is burned to commemorate the anniversary of when Arnold led a group of more than 1,600 British soldiers to burn most of the city to the ground in September 1781.

“I like to jokingly refer to it as the original Burning Man festival,” said organizer Derron Wood.

For nearly a century, cities like New York, Boston, and Philadelphia held annual traitor-burning events, but they disappeared during the Civil War.

Wood, who also serves as artistic director of New London’s Flock Theatre, revived the festival in 2013.

It became part of the state’s Connecticut Maritime Heritage Festival and, after a hiatus due to the pandemic, returned last year.

An effigy of Arnold, who defected to the British during the American Revolution, is burned on the city’s waterfront. AP
burning of benedict arnoldThe Benedict Arnold Burning Festival is held annually in New London, Connecticut.AP

“This project and specifically the reaction, the kind of hunger for its return, has been enormous and the interest in it has been enormous,” said Victor Chiburis, co-organizer of the festival.

Participants, some dressed in period costume, march with a fife and drum down New London’s Bank Street to its Waterfront Park, where its mayor, Michael E. Passero, shouts, “Remember New London” and burns the effigy.

Arnold, a military officer, was appointed by then-General George Washington and given control of West Point, where Washington had his headquarters during the war.

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benedictine arnoldArnold, who died in 1801 aged 60, was a native of Norwich. Sepia Times/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

However, it was discovered that Arnold, a native of Norwich, was giving information to the British and planned to surrender West Point to enemy forces.

Arnold organized the attack on New London a month before British troops surrendered at Yorktown to end major fighting during the Revolution.

With pole cables

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Source: vtt.edu.vn

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