Here’s how the town plans to celebrate the 245th anniversary of the Battle of Ridgefield

Photo of Alyssa Seidman

RIDGEFIELD — Celebrations commemorating the 245th anniversary of the Battle of Ridgefield will take place from Friday, April 29 through Sunday, May 1.

The weekend will feature a live reenactment by the 5th Connecticut Regiment, a gala at Lounsbury House and a ceremonial burial honoring the discovery of skeletal remains believed to belong to four soldiers who fought in the 1777 engagement.

Here’s a full list of the weekend’s events:

245th Anniversary Weekend Kickoff

Friday, April 29

East Ridge Middle School Auditorium, 6-8 p.m.

First Selectman Rudy Marconi and the Ridgefield Historical Society will launch the anniversary weekend with a special event, featuring a performance by the Ridgefield High School Symphonic Orchestra. Following the concert will be a panel presentation unveiling the most recent Battle of Ridgefield findings based on the discovery of Revolutionary War skeletons found in Ridgefield in late 2019.

The orchestra, under the direction of Michael McNamara, will perform several period pieces, including: a transcription of William Byrd's “March to the Battle;” the first movement of Mozart's “40th Symphony in G minor;” a string quartet arrangement written by Benjamin Franklin; and “O'er the Hills” by Francis Hopkinson.

The panel will be moderated by state historian Walter Woodward. It includes state archeologists Sarah Sportman and Nick Bellantoni, David Naumec and Kevin McBride, of Heritage Consultants, and author Keith Marshall Jones III, the first president of the Ridgefield Historical Society.

The presentation will feature key learnings from the discovery of the historic skeletal remains and how they have altered and impacted what is already known about the battle.

Register at www.ridgefieldhistoricalsociety.org. Suggested donation: $10. Proceeds will support ongoing research of the skeletal remains.

Revolutionary War Reenactment Camps

Saturday, April 30 - Sunday, May 1

Ballard Park and Jesse Lee Methodist Church

Camp tours, demonstrations and drills for children will be offered at 9 a.m. and 2 p.m.

Battle of Ridgefield Walking Tours

Saturday, April 30

Tours (capped at 20 people) begin just north of Casagmo on Main Street at 9 a.m., 10 a.m., 2 p.m., 3 p.m. and 4 p.m.

Revolutionary War characters like Benedict Arnold, General Tryon and Anna Stebbins will be stationed at several stops beginning at the Battle of Ridgefield sign; tour ends at Keeler Tavern Museum. Each stop will feature a short, entertaining and informative script organized by Darla Shaw.

Register at www.ridgefieldhistoricalsociety.org. Suggested donation: $10.

Battle of Ridgefield Reenactment

Saturday, April 30

Casagmo to Jesse Lee, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Revolutionary War reenactors will re-stage the historic battle in the streets of town, with army formations at Jesse Lee Church and Ballard Park “campgrounds.”

The battle begins at Ballard with focal points at Main and Catoonah streets, Main and Governor streets and Main and Market streets.

Battlefield Archaeology Day

Saturday, April 30

Ridgefield Historical Society headquarters, 4 Sunset Lane, 2-5 p.m.

Meet the field historians and researchers who’ve been studying the Battle of Ridgefield and see the archaeological work that they do.

Watch soil screening and ground-penetrating radar demonstrations in action and do some metal detecting on the property — maybe you’ll find something!

See the Revolutionary War artifacts that have already been found in Ridgefield, including an authentic musket ball. Open to all ages.

Register at www.ridgefieldhistoricalsociety.org.

Tavern Tours

Saturday, April 30 (10 a.m. - 4 p.m.) and Sunday, May 1 (11 a.m. - 4 p.m.)

Keeler Tavern Museum & History Center, 152 Main St.

Keeler Tavern Museum is offering free specialty Battle of Ridgefield-themed tours. Tour the historic tavern museum and explore the complex history of what it means to live through war while at home.

By sharing experiences of former site residents, the tours complicate some of the Revolutionary War archetypes previously taught: the ardent patriot, the courageous housewife, the loyal Black servant.

Visitors can also head over to the carriage barn for exhibits and activities, including a History Detectives station for children.

Tours are free, go out every 20 minutes and are 45 minutes in length; advance registration is recommended. All visitors must check in at the Visitor Center first.

Register at ktmhc.ticketleap.com. For more information visit keelertavernmuseum.org.

The Musket Ball

Saturday, April 30

Lounsbury House, 316 Main St., 7-11 p.m.

Attendees are encouraged to attend, mingle with re-enactors and “party like it’s 1777.” Commanders and generals will attend for cocktails, and Revolutionary Guards will ensure safety.

Admission includes cocktails, dinner, dancing, magic, an art lounge and more. Donations provided by Nod Hill Brewery and Tuck Gin. Get tickets online.

Battle of Ridgefield Ceremonial Salute

Sunday, May 1

Ballard Park, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The 5th Connecticut Regiment and The Brigade of the American Revolution will conduct a funeral procession and ceremony for the Revolutionary War soldiers discovered in Ridgefield in 2019. While research continues on the actual remains, these young men died in battle and will receive formal recognition.

Join the community for a special tribute honoring their lives. Includes a horse-drawn carriage procession, period caskets, period music selection and a musket salute.

“The (Ridgefield) Graveyard Committee wants it to be known that spectators for the ... burial ceremony at Olde Town Cemetery should enter the grounds from the entrance at the corner of North Street and Mapleshade Road,” member George Hancock said in an email to Hearst Connecticut Media. “Entrances off North Salem Road will be reserved for the horses, wagons and ... reenactors.”

Lecture: A Well-Regulated Militia

Tuesday, April 26

Ridgefield Library, 472 Main St., 7 p.m.

Mark Albertson describes why the nation’s founders preferred a militia system controlled by the governors in lieu of a large standing army controlled by the Federal Government.

In 1796, George Washington warned about over-bloated militaries as being inauspicious to liberty. This talk will also include why, from 1780 to 1783, Washington had to put down numerous mutinies and revolts within the Continental Army.

Register at ridgefieldlibrary.org.