Valley Forge, Pa. - Their battle losses were crushing at Brandywine in the fall of 1777 and George Washington's tattered troops desperately needed shelter for the winter and a secure site for much-needed training. The General chose Valley Forge, 18 miles outside of Philadelphia, for its strategic location -- high ground above the frontal and side approach routes and bordered by the Schuylkill. The exhausted, beaten men trudged in on December 19.
Two hundred and thirty four years later, on Monday, December 19, Valley Forge National Historical Park will commemorate this epic March-in with Dean Malissa as George Washington, The Historical Harmonies - Colonial Revelers and costumed park rangers, historical interpreters and volunteers.
From 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., re-enactment soldiers will lead visitors on 20-minute, quarter-mile, candlelit walks from the Park's Theatre (adjacent to the Visitor Center) to the Muhlenberg Brigade area. Muhlenberg will be patrolled by Washington's Guards and occupied by soldiers and camp followers who'll tell attendees about hut construction and daily life at Valley Forge. Visitors may also "report for duty" at the regiment's headquarters and warm up around the campfire listening to soldiers' tales.
Inside the Visitor Center, General Washington will greet guests and speak on a variety of topics. The Historical Harmonies-Colonial Revelers will entertain with songs of the period and light refreshments will be served. The Encampment Store will also be open for unique holiday shopping.
For more information on this and a host of holiday-season events, such as Lunch with Santa at the Highlands Mansion and Gardens, and Illuminaire Nights in Skippack Village, visit www.valleyforge.org. You'll also learn about affordable hotel deals and the Valley Forge Value Pass, with revolutionary savings opportunities.
The Valley Forge Convention and Visitors Bureau, Ltd. is a nonprofit, membership-based sales and marketing organization that aggressively promotes the Valley Forge area and Montgomery County as a convention site and leisure visitor destination by encouraging patronage of its 300-plus member hotels, restaurants, attractions and services. The Bureau's Website, at www.valleyforge.org, serves visitors, meeting planners, tour operators and residents.