Get Dirty After Dark

Published: June 2, 2010

A New Evening Program at Valley Forge that's Dirt-Digging,
Sand-Sifting, History-Making, Hands-On Fun

KING OF PRUSSIA, Pa. - Beneath the rolling hills of Valley Forge National Historical Park (VFNHP) is a history mystery. More than 200 years ago, the Continental Army encamped in the area for only seven months, but today almost all the evidence of General Washington's legendary winter camp lies below the surface.

Can you dig it? Actually, yes, you can.

For several years, professional archaeologists and scores of volunteers have slowly and methodically uncovered the buried history of the Valley Forge encampment. They've found fragments of pottery and glass that reveal the social status of the soldiers. They've excavated pork and beef bones that help explain their meager diet. They've even uncovered cufflinks, gunflints, musket balls and military buttons in a remarkable state of preservation.

On Thursday, June 24, Valley Forge's current excavation will be open from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. for a special archaeological adventure called "Get Dirty After Dark." It is designed to introduce folks who can't participate in the daytime volunteer program to hands-on history. The event will take place in the area adjacent to the kitchen of Washington's Headquarters.

Costumed interpreters will explain the history and importance of archaeology at Valley Forge. Participants will be split into small groups and assist a team of VFNHP archaeologists by sifting through newly dug dirt for artifacts. A visit to the "garage" will educate visitors about the recovery and restoration process and display the fruits of previous excavations. A southern BBQ picnic dinner and a family-friendly silent auction complete the evening's activities. Advanced registration is required.

"Get Dirty After Dark" is presented by the newly created Young Friends of Valley Forge as a fundraiser. The Young Friends is a group of young adults and professionals (ages 21-35) who are interested in promoting the well being of the Park through volunteer projects, outdoor activities, educational programs and social events.

Details:

Get Dirty After Dark
Thursday, June 24, 2010 (rain or shine)
6:00-8:30 pm
To register call 610-783-1777.
The deadline for registration is June 21, 2010. Space is limited

Admission:

  Member $25 per person
  Young Friend $20 per person
  Non-member $35 per person
  Youth $5 person (ages 6-18)
  Children 5 years old and younger are free

Proceeds benefit Valley Forge National Historical Park
For more information and to register, please visit www.friendsofvalleyforge.org

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