Washingtons Birthday

Published: February 3, 2010

On Washington's Birthday, Party Like it's 1778!
Free events mark Presidents Day weekend at Valley Forge National Historical Park

KING OF PRUSSIA, Pa. - Valley Forge National Historical Park will celebrate George Washington's 278th birthday with an array of free activities this Presidents Day weekend, February 13-15.

Members of the Cradle of Liberty Council of the Boy Scouts of America will kick off the commemoration on Saturday, February 13, with the 98th Washington's Birthday Encampment and Pilgrimage - the oldest continuous annual scouting event in the world.

On Sunday, February 14, Continental Army re-enactors from the 2nd Pennsylvania Regiment will encamp from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Park's Muhlenberg Brigade area. Three living history programs, at 11:30 a.m., 1:00 p.m., and 3:00 p.m., will be preceded by ranger-led walks at 10:50 a.m., 12:20 p.m., and 2:20 p.m. The re-enactors will demonstrate and discuss muskets, artillery, colonial cooking, and army life.

Kids can design birthday cards for General Washington, learn to weave, play with colonial toys and make tri-cornered hats at the Visitor Center on Monday, February 15, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Outside, they'll learn the same drills and maneuvers taught by General Baron Von Steuben at Valley Forge in 1778. After their rigorous training, General Washington will inspect the erstwhile troops.

No birthday celebration's complete without cake, so at noon, back inside the Visitor Center, guests will enjoy free slices of a cake baked from Martha Washington's own recipe.

Local author Nancy Loane will also sign copies of her new book, Following the Drum: Women at the Valley Forge Encampment, from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. The former seasonal park ranger studied more than 500 Revolutionary War era-documents and presented more than 50 lectures about these often forgotten contributors to the effort.

Washington marked his 46th birthday at Valley Forge, an event noted with a serenade by his officers and his wife, Martha, during the otherwise sobering encampment. Valley Forge National Historical Park has celebrated the day with canon firings, camp life demonstrations and cake for 30 years. 

For more information about Presidents Day events at Valley Forge National Historical Park, please visit www.nps.gov/vafo or contact the Visitor Center at 610-783-1099. For information on Presidents Day weekend getaways, visit www.valleyforge.org to learn about affordable hotel packages and area attractions, shopping and dining.


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