Benedict Arnold having his day, thanks to Norwich pubs

Norwich - Sunday afternoons can be a bit too quiet for businesses in downtown Norwich, so a few restaurants hope to generate some activity this Sunday by declaring it to be Benedict Arnold Day with a pub tour, trivia contests, giveaways and perhaps some lively discussion on whether Norwich's infamous native son should be recognized at all.

The pub tour will run from noon to 6 p.m., starting at Chacer's Bar & Grill at 78 Franklin St., progressing at 2 p.m. to Billy Wilson's Ageing Still at 57 Broadway and ending at Harp & Dragon Irish Pub at 4 p.m.

The pub tour is designed to recognize Arnold's contributions, both good and bad, to the American Revolution, first as one of the greatest American generals and later as its most notorious traitor and British general.

Participants are invited to get into the spirit of the event, wearing red or blue to denote their positions on Arnold and the Revolution: "A Patriot or a Loyalist? Which are you?" the promotional flier said.

Jason Vincent, senior economic development associate at the Norwich Community Development Corp., said the agency didn't create the event but has joined the effort started by the three restaurants.

The restaurants will offer signature drinks for the event. NCDC will run trivia contests with the city's Benedict Arnold mugs as prizes. NCDC also will give away Colonial-style hats at the three venues.

The Spirit of Broadway Theater, which is planning to stage a musical about Arnold later this year, donated some of its store of Colonial hats to the cause, Vincent said.

"It's just a way to get people to come out on a Sunday afternoon," Vincent said. "Talking to the (bar owners), they want to do more Sunday events."

c.bessette@theday.com

DOWNTOWN NORWICH BENEDICT ARNOLD PUB TOUR

Noon: Chacer's Bar & Grill, 78 Franklin St.

2 p.m.: Billy Wilson's Ageing Still, 57 Broadway.

4 p.m.: Harp & Dragon Irish Pub, 130 Main St.

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