On the first Tuesday of every March, Vermont observes Town Meeting Day, a day on which the people of Vermont gather in public forums all over the state to “speak their mind” to their government officials, hold local elections, approve budgets, and conduct other town business.
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The majority of organised towns have one of these meetings annually on this specific day, unless voters choose to hold it earlier.
The date of Town Meeting Day was chosen because it was the day in 1791 when Vermont was admitted to the Union as the fourteenth state. Vermont had declared its independence during the American Revolution, but it was only years later that its status as an equal US state was recognized due to its territory being claimed by neighboring New York.
On Town Meeting Day, the people choose their local officials and vote on local budgets. The floor is open for debate, and it’s also a time to socialize. A warning is given 30 days or more before a meeting will be held in any of 40 towns all across Vermont, and people look forward to this event for both political and non-political reasons.
Town hall meetings have been going on in Vermont since 1762, and the rural nature of the state continues to make them practical. So there’s no reason to think 250 years of tradition are going away any time soon, if ever.