On Saturday, October 7, the Revolutionary Germantown Festival will celebrate the 240th anniversary of the Battle of Germantown! The signature, neighborhood-wide event in Northwest Philadelphia, the festival engages thousands of families each year for a full day of fun and educational activities, including 400 reenactors on Cliveden's grounds in two reenactments of the Battle of Germantown. Admission is free.
The Revolutionary Germantown Festival is a tradition that dates back to 1927 and commemorates this historic battle, which took place on October 4, 1777, and was the first planned attack of the Revolutionary War by the American forces. Although the Continental Army lost the battle and was unable to remove the British from Cliveden, the festival celebrates the fight for independence with interpreters and reenactors from around the country. In addition to the reenactments, families can engage in other activities (subject to change) on Cliveden's grounds as well as visit other sites in Historic Germantown, eleven of which were standing and involved in the battle.
This year, Cliveden is partnering with PhilaLandmarks and the Museum of the American Revolution to offer expanded programs and share more diverse stories about the people who experienced Revolutionary Germantown from different perspectives-including General George Washington, American and British soldiers, women and children encamped with them, the wealthy families who resided at and around Cliveden, slaves and servants, and Quaker abolitionists.
At Grumblethorpe and Cliveden (subject to change)
- 8:30 AM Muster, followed by 9 AM March: The British 43rd Regiment of Foot, along with other units of the Crown Forces as well as the Continental Line, will perform a muster on the grounds of Grumblethorpe (5267 Germantown Avenue) followed by a march up the avenue to Cliveden (6401 Germantown Avenue) to begin the battle!
- 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM: Encampment and Sutlers, Hands On Activities with Philadelphia Guild of Hand Weavers, Ned Hector, African-American Soldier & Teamster, Mini-Museum presented by Noah Lewis, Food on Germantown Avenue, Beer Garden at Upsala with beer by Victory Brewing Company, Children's activities with the sites of Historic Germantown at Upsala
- 10:00 AM: Meet George Washington
- 10:00 AM – 11:30 AM: Cliveden museum open for tours
- 10:45 AM: Surprise of Germantown narrated by Tom McGuire at Cliveden
- 11:00 AM : Presentation by George Washington at Upsala
- 11:30 AM: Performance by MacGregor Pipe Band
- 12:00 PM: Battle of Germantown reenactment
- 1:30 PM – 2:30 PM: Cliveden museum open for tours
- 1:30 PM – 2:30 PM: Children's Muster at Upsala
- 1:45 PM: Surprise of Germantown narrated by Tom McGuire at Cliveden
- 2:30 PM: Presentation by Ned Hector, African American Revolutionary War soldier at Upsala
- 2:30 PM: Performance by MacGregor Pipe Band
- 3:00 PM: Battle of Germantown reenactment
- 3:45 PM: Flag Folding Ceremony with Saving Hallowed Ground
- 4:00 PM-8:00 PM: The "Battle Bash" at Grumblethorpe, 5267 Germantown Avenue. Join the British troops as they celebrate their victory with music, food, beer, and plenty of family-friendly activities. Patriots welcome!
- 5:00 PM: Reenactment of the death of British Brigadier-General James Agnew who was returned to Grumblethorpe after being mortally wounded during the Battle of Germantown.
Festivities Around Historic Germantown (subject to change)
- 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM: Visit the Germantown White House (Deshler-Morris House, 5442 Germantown Avenue; enter at 5448 Germantown Avenue), the house that British General Howe occupied after the battle. General Washington stayed here in the 1790's when he was President. Admission is free.
- 10:30 AM: Rededication of Monument at the Site of the Continental Army Encampment of 1777 by Pennsylvania Society of the Sons of the Revolution and its Color Guard (Queen Lane and Fox Streets)
- 12:00 PM – 4:00 PM: Visit Germantown Mennonite Meeting House, 6133 Germantown Avenue, the 1770 meeting house offers free tours.
- 12:00 PM – 4:00 PM: Visit the Johnson House, 6306 Germantown Avenue, a home that was a station on the Underground Railroad.
- 12:00 PM – 4:00 PM: Visit Wyck, 6026 Germantown Avenue. Built in 1690, this home was used as a hospital during the Battle of Germantown.
- 2:00 PM – 2:30 PM: Graveside ceremony at Concord School and Upper Burying Ground, 6309 Germantown Avenue. Listen to the ringing of the Concord School bell.
(Photos courtesy of Cliveden of the National Trust, Inc.)
Revolutionary Germantown Festival
- 6401 Germantwon Ave
- Philadelphia, PA 19144