July 2, 2022

A Full Day of Burning of the Fleet Day Events Scheduled for May 14 in Essex

Colonial re-enactors will take part in the Burning of the Fleet Day festivities planned for Saturday, May 14 from 11 am to 2 pm at the Connecticut River Museum. Photo courtesy of Victor Gonzalez Photography.

Essex, CT – On Saturday, May 14, the historic British Raid on Essex will come to life with a variety of spectator and participant activities for people of all ages and interests.  The festivities will begin at 11 a.m. on the waterfront lawn of the Connecticut River Museum, located at 67 Main Street, with re-enactors, colonial weaponry demonstrations and children’s activities all telling the story of the 1814 attack that destroyed 27 privateer ships.  

Concurrently, community rowboat races will be held off the Museum’s docks with 5-person teams competing in timed heats using 19’ boats on loan from the Maritime Education Network.  Area organizations and businesses are encouraged to field a team and join in the competitive fun.  Race team entry is free but pre-registration before the day of the event is required. Those interested should contact Jennifer White-Dobbs at 860.767.8269 ext. 13 or jwhitedobbs@ctrivermuseum.org.

At 2 p.m., all lawn activities and rowboat races will conclude for the start of the annual Burning of the Fleet Commemoration Parade presented by the Sailing Masters of 1812 Fife & Drums Corps.  The parade kicks off at Essex Town Hall where the Sailing Masters will be joined by other regional fife and drums corps.  From there, they will march down Main Street to perform a small “muster” and commemoration ceremony at water’s edge before heading back up Main Street to begin preparations for the Sailing Masters’ Annual Regency Ball to be held at Essex Town Hall at 8 p.m. 

For more information on Connecticut River Museum events, call 860-767-8269 or go to www.ctrivermuseum.org.  For information on the Sailing Masters of 1812 Parade and Regency Ball, go to www.sailingmasters.org