At this time of year the region becomes an historical time capsule as hundreds of re-enactors bring history alive. The reason, of course, is George Washington’s Christmas Day crossing of the Delaware River and the Continental Army’s victories at Trenton and Princeton.
This “Turning Point of the American Revolution” is part of our national and regional heritage and something worth celebrating — and everyone is invited to join through numerous area activities.
The Johnson Ferry House at New Jersey’s Washington Crossing State Park in Titusville presents its annual lantern walking tour on Friday, December 22. Two one-hour plus tours are scheduled to start at 7 and 7:30 p.m.
This event takes visitors by lantern light from the spot where Washington’s army landed to the 18th-century home of the farmers and ferry operators who welcomed them. Tours begin at the Nelson House and include the Ferry Landing site and ferry boat, a stone barn, and the historic Johnson Ferry House. Hearth-baked refreshments are included.
Washington Crossing State Park, 355 Washington Crossing Pennington Road, Titusville. $5 to $10, reservations required, rain or shine. 609-737-2515 or www.state.nj.us/dep/parksandforests/parks/washcros.html.
The annual recreation of George Washington’s Christmas Day crossing of the Delaware River to take Trenton — at the very location the major historical event occurred — draws thousands of visitors. And well it should: It’s a one-of-a-kind free event. While the actual reenactment is at 1 p.m., arrive early to march with the troops, tour buildings, and join fellow countrymen and visitors waiting for the cannon shot that signals the boats to carry General Washington and troops across the water. An early arrival also helps secure a parking place and a good viewing spot.
Washington Crossing Historic Park, Routes 32 and 532, Washington Crossing, Pennsylvania. 215-493-4076 or www.ushistory.org/washingtoncrossing/index.htm.
Patriots Week returns to downtown Trenton on Tuesday, December 26, and continues through Sunday, December 31, with the biggest Revolutionary War re-enactment event anywhere.
Songs of the Revolutionary Era, First Presbyterian Church, 120 East State Street. Folk singers Stacy Flora Roth and Bob Dupre explore the Yankees’ side of the American Revolution through songs, ballads, and hymns of the day. Tuesday, December 26, 2 p.m.
A Musical Celebration of the Year of Miracles, Old Barracks Museum, 101 Barrack Street. The Practitioners of Musick perform a selection of music written to celebrate the victories of the French and Indian War and the Revolutionary War with a focus on Trenton’s involvement in each. Register. Tuesday, December 26, 7 p.m.
Music for the Two Georges, Trenton Friends Meeting, 142 East Hanover Street. Music reflecting the musical world of King George III and President George Washington. Wednesday, December 27, 2 p.m.
18th Century British and American Music, Trenton Friends Meeting. Hopewell Hall presents an a cappella performance of 18th century British and American music. Thursday, December 28, 3 p.m.
Shapenote Singing, Trenton Friends Meeting. Learn about Shapenote Singing, a musical practice from Shakespearean England. Friday, December 29, 10:30 a.m.
Capital Singers of Trenton, The Corner Historic, 1 West State Street. A selection of choral songs. Saturday, December 30, 2 p.m.
1776 Interactive Screening, New Jersey State Museum, 205 West State Street. Join a play-along screening of “1776” where you can sing songs, sign the Declaration of Independence, and more. Register. Tuesday, December 26, Noon to 4 p.m.
John Hart: Portrait of a Patriot, State Museum. Screening of “John Hart: Portrait of a Patriot, a documentary on the Hopewell farmer who was a signer of the Declaration of Independence. Thursday, December 28, 7 p.m.
Food & Dining
Revolutionary Pub Crawl, Checkers, 14 South Warren Street. A period pub crawl of downtown Trenton watering holes and restaurants. Mention “Passcode: Washington” to receive souvenir beads and ticket at the door for a special giveaway. Come in your best period costume. Wednesday, December 27, 6 p.m.
Colonial Ball, Historic Trenton Masonic Temple, 100 Barrack Street. Mingle with the soldiers of the Battle of Trenton and learn their dance moves. $17.76. Friday, December 29, 7 to 10 p.m.
George Washington Storytime, Trenton Public Library, 120 Academy Street. Crafts and stories for children ages 5 to 12. Wednesday, December 27, 1 p.m.
Games Galore, Trenton Public Library. Play games children played during colonial times, and make a craft to take home. For children ages 5 to 12. Thursday, December 28, 1 p.m.
Puppet Show: The Trouble with Trenton, Warren Street Plaza. Historical puppet show. Saturday, December 30, noon and 2 p.m.
History & Lectures
John Honeyman, Washington’s Spy: Unsung Hero or Urban Legend?, First Presbyterian Church. Hear the story of John Honeyman, the Griggstown, New Jersey butcher and cattle dealer who, according to legend, became a spy for General George Washington in the months leading up to the First Battle of Trenton. Tuesday, December 26, 11 a.m.
Who Lies There?, First Presbyterian Church. Tour the final resting place of some of Trenton’s notable Revolutionary War figures. Tuesday, December 26, 3 p.m.
Trenton’s People at the Crossroads of the Revolution, Trenton Public Library. Presented by historian Larry Kidder. Tuesday, December 26, 5:30 p.m.
Battles of Trenton Walking Tour, Sunrise Luncheonette, 26 South Warren Street. Ralph Siegel of Trenton Battlefield Tours leads this 10-block interpretive walk that narrates the events of the Battles of Trenton. Wednesday, December 27, 10 a.m.
State House Annex Tour, New Jersey State House, 125 West State Street. Register. Wednesday, December 27, 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.
New Jersey Hessians — Truth and Lore in the American Revolution, New Jersey State Library, 185 West State Street. Learn about the German troops hired by Great Britain to fight rebellious colonists marched across New Jersey. Register. Wednesday, December 27, noon.
Don N. Hagist: The Revolution’s Last Men, Trenton Public Library. Don N. Hagist, an editor for Journal of the American Revolution, discusses his most recent book. Wednesday, December 27, 5:30 p.m.
A Proud Legacy: The Story of an African-American Soldier, Trenton Friends Meeting. The story of an African-American soldier who crossed the Delaware with General Washington and later founded a community at Sourland. Thursday, December 28, 1 p.m.
The Bell Rings Again!, First Presbyterian Church. Learn about the church’s historic 1807 bell. See how the ringing mechanism of the bell was repaired and hear the bell ring again after 20+ years. Thursday, December 28, noon.
Mill Hill Park Historical Walking Tour, Mill Hill Park, 165 East Front Street. 45-minute walking tour of Mill Hill Park, highlighting the new historical signage. Thursday, December 28, 2 p.m.
Charting an American Republic, Trenton Public Library. Jude M. Pfister of Morristown National Historical Park presents. Thursday, December 28, 5:30 p.m.
The Distaff Muse, First Presbyterian Church. Historical interpreter Stacy F. Roth explores the private thoughts and popular image of women of the 18th century through songs, quotations, poetry, and prose. Friday, December 29, noon.
Alexander Hamilton and the 24 Cannons at the Battle of Trenton, Trenton City Museum at Ellarslie. Follow the movements of all 24 of the cannons on the streets of Trenton during the Battle of Trenton. Friday, December 29, 12:30 p.m.
Revolutionary Music: The Signals, Calls, and Camp Duties, Historic Trenton Masonic Temple. Lecture and musical demonstration comparing the fife and drum calls and camp duties used by the New Jersey Regiments and Philadelphia Battalions. $5. Friday, December 29, 1 p.m.
Rescuing the Revolution, Trenton Public Library. Historian David Price presents “Unsung Patriot Heroes and the Ten Crucial Days of America’s War for Independence.” Friday, December 29, 2 p.m.
Masonic Museum Exhibition and Discussion, Historic Trenton Masonic Temple. View a variety of Masonic symbols, attire, documents, artifacts, and esoterica. Friday, December 29, 4 to 8 p.m.
Brother David Brearley, Historic Trenton Masonic Temple. Learn about “the most important Founding Father we don’t know.” Friday, December 29, 4 p.m.
First Battle Reenactment, Old Barracks Museum. Follow the Battle of Trenton from the Battle Monument to Mill Hill Park. Free. Saturday, December 30, 11 a.m.
Musket Demonstrations, Old Barracks Museum. Soldiers of the 17th Regiment of Infantry drill and fire their muskets. Included with $5 museum admission. Saturday, December 30, noon.
Hogmanay!, 1719 William Trent House Museum, 15 Market Street. Celebrate the Scottish New Year with hot mulled cider, Scottish sausage rolls, shortbread, and other light refreshments while listening to bagpipers. Saturday, December 30, 1 p.m.
Civil War Flag Unveiling, State Museum. Gallery talk and ceremony unveiling the latest rotation of historic flags. 2 p.m.
Second Battle Reenactment, Mill Hill Park. See the action of the Battle of the Assunpink. Saturday, December 30, 3 p.m.
For the full Patriots Week schedule, go to www.patriotsweek.com.