St. George Day in the offing? (9/17/09)

Event would raise money for schoolhouse

Sept. 17, 2009

By Greg Elias

Observer staff

A St. George resident is organizing an event that would celebrate civic togetherness and raise money for the community’s historic schoolhouse.

“St. George Day” would allow residents of the tiny town to emulate the festivities of its big-town neighbors, said organizer Lori Ring. After all, Williston and other municipalities have Independence Day or similar events where all residents gather — why not St. George?

“Most towns have things like that,” she said. “We don’t do anything over here. We’d be happy to start a new tradition.”

Ring said she has yet to determine exactly what form the celebration would take, what activities would take place or even the date it would be held. She does think it would be held on municipal land next to St. George Town Center.

She hopes to have more answers after an organizational meeting scheduled for Tuesday, Sept. 29. The session, which takes place at Town Center, starts at 6:30 p.m.

Ring is hoping the meeting will draw volunteers who would offer suggestions and help organize the event, which she said could be held in early May and include a barbecue, games and perhaps even a parade.

The idea was first suggested by Les Parker, a South Burlington resident who is originally from England, where St. George’s Day is celebrated each April 23.

Parker said he has celebrated the day with neighbors and wanted to expand the festivities beyond his backyard. St. George seemed an obvious venue, even if the town is named in honor of King George instead of the patron saint of England and other countries, who died in A.D. 303.

Parker said money for the schoolhouse could be raised by selling donated food. A group of residents led by Ring is trying to restore and relocate the schoolhouse, but funding is needed for the project, which will cost an estimated $247,000.

Phil Gingrow, a member of the St. George Selectboard, said he liked the idea of a town-wide gathering. St. George residents must travel to other towns’ Independence Day activities to participate in a civic event.

“Right now, I think the only time people in this community get together is at Town Meeting,” Gingrow said. “It would be great have something like this where people in the community could meet in a more cordial environment than where we discuss agendas and budgets.”

For more information about volunteering to help organize the St. George Day fund-raiser, call Lori Ring at 482-3747 or send an e-mail to