Each year New Jersey’s Capital City provides the unique opportunity for local residents and tourists to experience the war that shaped our nation during Patriots Week December 26-31, 2016 (patriotsweek.com). From battle reenactments, planetarium shows and lectures to historic tours, Trenton landmarks will spend the week showcasing its colonial roots. Trenton, a Crossroads of the American Revolution National Heritage Area, is located in the I-95 corridor between Philadelphia and New York. The activities are supported in part by the Trenton Downtown Association (trenton-downtown.com ) whose charge is to promote economic growth, arts, history and development in Trenton.
Trenton was Pivotal in the American Revolutionary War
It’s been 240 years since the Battle of Trenton saved the cause of the Continental Army and the American Revolution in 1776. On a frigid Christmas Day, George Washington gathered his men, crossed the ice-choked Delaware River and surprised a force of Hessian mercenaries who were encamped in Trenton. In the second battle, the army was also victorious. The two Battles of Trenton are considered among the most decisive battles in the Revolutionary war.
Use Your Holiday Break for a Fun & History-Filled Family Staycation!
According to a 2016 Harris Poll, more than 42% of adults surveyed are turning towards a new trend and prefer to vacation at or near home, on a ‘staycation’ rather than travel elsewhere. “For many the last time they visited Trenton’s Old Barracks or the State House was during a grammar school field trip,” said Tom Gilmour, Executive Director of the Trenton Downtown Association. “Trenton’s history comes to life during Patriots Week with free and affordable events. It’s an opportune time for everyone to learn more about local history and to experience what it may have been like back in 1776 in the Garden State.”
9 Reasons to Participate in Patriots Week
With over 35 events taking place during the six-day period it’s easy for families and history aficionados to spend a few days in Central New Jersey. Here are nine reasons you should visit Central Jersey for Patriots Week:
- Historic Tours – Many of Trenton’s historic locations and buildings will be open for tours throughout Patriots Week, including the State House, Old Barracks Museum and the 1719 William Trent House Museum (the domicile of the man the City was named for.) Ralph Siegel, of Trenton Battlefield Tours, will also lead a 10-block interpretive walk that narrates the minute-by-minute events of the Battles of Trenton. Check for schedule, location and fees at barracks.org, www.williamtrenthouse.org and for State House tours (609) 847-3150.
- Battle Reenactments – See history unfold during the reenactment of the Battle of Trenton on Saturday, Dec. 31 at 11am. Follow the soldiers from the Battle monument down Warren Street to Mill Hill Park. Then at 3pm see the battle of the Assunpink in Mill Hill Park. Cost. $0.barracks.org.
- Old Barracks Story Telling – On Dec. 26 at 2pm, visit The Old Barracks Museum and learn the story of John Honeyman, the New Jersey butcher and cattle dealer who-according to legend-became a spy for George Washington leading up to the game-changing victory in the First Battle of Trenton. Cost $0 Museum tours are also available, $8 adults, $6 students and seniors.
- See the Sky in 1776! – The New Jersey State Museum will celebrate the city’s history by hosting holiday planetarium shows featuring constellations and planets that occupied the sky when George Washington crossed the Delaware. Cost: $7 adult, $5 child. Visit njstatemuseum.nj.gov for dates and times.
- Insightful Lectures – The Trenton Free Library presents Larry Kidder author and historian lecturing on “Ten Crucial Days” in 1776 Trenton on Dec. 27, 5:30pm, Dave Hart, trustee of Trenton Historical Society will deliver “John Hart: Portrait of Patriot” lecture on Dec. 28, 5:30pm and uncover the role that African Americans in Trenton played during the war with Dr. Jack Washington on Dec. 30 at 2pm. Visit trentonlib.org.
- Revolutionary Pub Crawl – Presented by Trenton Downtown Association on Dec. 29 a period pub crawl of downtown Trenton watering holes and restaurants. Colonial dress welcome. Check patriotsweek.com for the schedule. No charge to attend; buy your own drinks and food.
- Dance Like Colonial Elite – Learn to dance like the founding fathers during The Colonial Ball, held Dec. 30 at 7pm at the Historic Trenton Masonic Temple. Wear your period attire. For tickets visit barracks.org
- Hamilton in Trenton – On Dec. 31 at 12:30pm, follow the movements of all 24 of the cannons on the streets of Trenton during the Battle of Trenton in this explosive lecture that will demonstrate why 18 American cannons (including those commanded by Alexander Hamilton) were decisive in the victory over the Hessians. Trenton Friends Meeting, 142 E. Hanover St, Trenton. Visit ellarslie.org for details.
- New Years Eve Concert – The Jersey Capital Philharmonic Orchestra closes out the week with a New Years Eve concert at Patriots Theater. Pianist Leon Bates will be joining the orchestra for a performance of Rhapsody in Blue.
OTHER NEARBY EVENTS
Washington’s Crossing Reenactments – Thousands gather at the banks of the Delaware River in Washington Crossing, Pennsylvania to watch the reenactment of George Washington’s daring Christmas Day river crossing. Sunday, Dec. 25 at 1pm. Cost $0 washingtoncrossingpark.org
Battle of Princeton – On Jan. 8, 2017 catch a real time historical tour of the Battle of Princeton, including reenactors of various Continental and Congressional regiments, as well as the famed British 17th Regiment of Foot demonstrate exactly where, when and why events unfolded that chilly morning in 1777. www.pbs1777.org
For the full list of events, to ask questions, as well as parking and ticket information, call Trenton Downtown Association 609-393-8998, Mon-Fri 9am-5pm or visit patriotsweek.com While visiting, don’t forget to grab a bite to eat at some of the area restaurants learn more: http://destinationtrenton.com/visit-trenton/restaurants/
About Trenton Downtown Association
The Trenton Downtown Association (trenton-downtown.com) is a non-profit
organization that manages the Special Improvement District in downtown Trenton, New Jersey. TDA has offered programs and services to promote economic growth and development in the capital city since 1986, including ombudsman services, financing information, referrals, public relations consulting, event planning, and marketing assistance for Trenton businesses. Through maintenance of a clean and safe commercial district, support for the arts and cultural heritage, and public policy planning and advocacy, TDA supports Trenton’s resurgence as a leading city for commerce and tourism.