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Hogmanay Bonfire at 1761 Brearley House

Tuesday, December 31, 2019 at 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Create a list of all the bad things you want to forget about 2019 and bring it to the Hogmanay bonfire in the Great Meadow behind the 1761 Brearley House on New Year’s Eve. This Scottish celebration has its roots in Pagan tradition.  You’re invited to prepare a list in advance and bring it to the fire; the Lawrence Historical society will also have paper and pencils available if the spirit strikes you there.

Enjoy bagpipe music and tour the 1761 Brearley House while you’re there!

The most important aspect of any Hogmanay celebration is cleansing for the new year. Cleansing includes paying off old debts, washing the home, and banishing thoughts of bad happenings from the previous year.

Fire Master Tom Ledwith will light the fire promptly at 6:00 p.m., and it will be extinguished at 8:00 p.m. per state fire regulations. Please leave your pets at home. The crowds at the bonfire do tend to be large, making it difficult to control animals that get excited or frightened by the crowd.

The event and shuttle buses are provided for free by the Society, but you may make a donation in the house or online. Refreshments will be available for sale by Captain Paul’s Firehouse Dogs.

For more information, contact the Lawrence Historical Society via e-mail or call 609-895-1728.


The Hogmanay Bonfire has been a tradition for the Lawrence Historical Society since 1997. The bonfire began as a way to showcase the Brearley House while it was being renovated and proved to be so popular it has become an annual event.​

The first bonfire was suggested by Joe Logan, who recalled similar fires that took place in his childhood home of Savannah, Georgia. The bonfires of his boyhood were a New Year’s Eve community celebration to mark the end of the holiday season with the burning of the year’s Christmas trees.

LHS took Logan’s suggestion and combined it with Hogmanay, another festival that often includes bonfires and a large community gathering. It is their hope that you will enjoy their gift to the community by bringing along your family and friends to celebrate a new year and have a good time.


Please Note – LHS cannot accept donated wood or items to add to the bonfire. Federal and state regulations limit the size of the fire and the type of wood that can be burned. Items left at the site violate township dumping laws and have to be removed at a cost to the society. Violators are subject to a fine.

Parking Information – Parking will be offsite at the Vision Management complex on Lenox Drive. Visitors are asked to enter the lot at the light on Princeton Pike and Lenox Drive. Follow the road to the rear lots, where you can either walk a lighted trail to Brearley House or board a shuttle bus.


Tuesday, December 31, 2019
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm


Brearley House
100 Meadow Road
Lawrenceville, NJ 08648 United States
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