News Releases

June 02, 2009

Vermont Hosts Champlain Celebrations This Summer

MONTPELIER, Vt. – Vermont is celebrating the 400th anniversary of Samuel de Champlain’s exploration of the lake that bears his name with a variety of special events, programs and exhibits this summer.

Summer events commemorating the 400th anniversary of Champlain’s visit will be held in Burlington, Bristol, Isle La Motte, Plymouth, St. Albans, Shoreham, South Hero, Vergennes, Winooski, and many other communities throughout the state.

“The Lake Champlain Quadricentennial is an exciting opportunity for visitors and Vermonters to celebrate, learn and deepen our appreciation of Vermont’s fascinating history, rich culture and scenic landscape,” said Vermont’s Tourism and Marketing Commissioner Bruce Hyde and chair of the Lake Champlain Quadricentennial Commission. “Vermont is looking forward to hosting thousands of visitors from around the world for this historic event.”

Champlain, a French explorer from Brouage, France, was also the founder of Quebec City. Arriving at Lake Champlain from the north in early July 1609, Champlain and his guides entered the lake in a fleet of 24 canoes. Champlain’s founding of Quebec City and subsequent exploration of Lake Champlain was the starting point of a permanent French presence in North America. The 400th anniversary commemorates this important historical moment in the region’s history – the first contact between European and Native American cultures in Vermont’s Champlain Valley – and the cultural contributions of the people living in Vermont today.

Events taking place this summer include a variety of French heritage festivals, art exhibits, bike and paddling tours, culinary events, history and natural history tours, interactive activities, cultural demonstrations and community fairs.

Signature events include:

St. Albans Franco-American Heritage Festival

St. Albans, VT

June 18-20, 2009

Discover the long, rich cultural heritage of Franco-Americans and the natural history of Lake Champlain.

Burlington International Waterfront Festival

Burlington, VT

July 2-14, 2009

Vermont’s largest city will host an unforgettable festival of music, comedy, theater and film.

Vermont Indigenous Celebration

Burlington, VT

July 9-12, 2009

The Vermont Abenaki invite you to join in a celebration of their deep-rooted history, culture and traditions with a variety of enriching programs.

Vergennes French Heritage Days

Vergennes, VT

July 17-18, 2009

Enjoy Franco-American music, re-enactments, dancing, French food, genealogy, exhibits, crafts and more.

Festival of Nations

Chimney Point, VT and Crown Point, NY

Sept. 18-20, 2009

Join an intercultural, international and many-nations celebration taking place on both sides of the lake in Vermont and New York.

For more information, visit

Source: Department of Tourism and Marketing
Last Updated at: June 02, 2009 09:53:54