The annual Patriots Week kicks off on Friday, December 26, with a series of events that commemorate the Turning Point of the American Revolution: George Washington’s decision to lead the Continental army across the Delaware River on Christmas night, 1776, and confront the British forces on the streets of Trenton.
While the ambitious project — coordinated by the Trenton Downtown Association — spans five days filled with reenactments, participatory programs, concerts, and lectures, here are some highlights:
Friday, December 26
10 a.m. The Fifes and Drums of the Old Barracks performing Revolutionary War-era music, Wyndham Garden Hotel, Lobby, 1 West Lafayette Street, free.
Noon. “Being George Washington,” panel discussion with five men who have portrayed Washington, Wyndham Garden Hotel, 1 West Lafayette Street, free.
2 p.m. Stacy Roth’s dramatic presentation of Molly Pitcher and other women of the American Revolution, Masonic Temple Library, 100 Barrack Street, free.
4 p.m. Noah Lewis as Ned Hector, a free African-American Colonial soldier, and respected Patriot, Masonic Temple Library, 100 Barrack Street, free.
7 p.m. Colonial Ball with period dancing and music, Wyndham Garden Hotel, 1 West Lafayette Street, Trenton. Advanced tickets, $17.76 (call 609-396-1776), at the door tickets, $25.
Saturday, December 27
The main battle reenactments:
11 a.m. First Battle of Trenton, gathering on Warren Street near the Trenton Battle Monument where the Alexander Hamilton ordered the first cannon shot in the fight. Free.
3 p.m. Second Battle of Trenton starts at the first Presbyterian Church, 120 East State Street, and follows the battle trail to Mill Hill Park, free.
Also that day:
Noon and 2 p.m. Tuckers Tales Puppet, theater presents “The Trouble with Trenton” or “How the Battle of Trenton was Won,” Warren Street Plaza at North Warren and West Hanover streets. Free.
12:30 p.m. Hogmanay (or Scottish New Year) Celebration with carol singing with the Trenton Capital Singers, Patty Downey’s bagpipe music, and hot mulled cider and cookies. No reservations required, free, but donations accepted, William Trent House, 15 Market Street.
1 p.m. Larry Kidder, historian and author of the book “A People Harassed and Exhausted: The Story of a Regiment of New Jersey Militiamen in the American Revolution,” leads audiences through the times and lives of December 1776 Masonic Temple Library, 100 Barrack Street, free.
Sunday, December 28
Noon to 2 p.m. Cannon Firing by the Coryell’s Ferry Militia, Capitol Green next to the Old Barracks, free.
3 p.m. Capital Singers of Trenton in Concert present songs of the American Revolution and season favorites, Masonic Temple Hall, 100 Barrack Street, free.
4 p.m. Tuckers’ Tales Puppet Theater Presents “Punch and Judy,” Masonic Temple Hall, 100 Barrack Street, free.
Monday, December 29
9 a.m. to noon. Bus Tour: Washington Crossing Historic Park, with tour guide and writer Ralph Siegel. Includes both the New Jersey and Pennsylvania sides of the park, where the historic buildings of Taylorsville and natural geography of the Delaware River set the scene for the start of the 10 Crucial Days. Dress appropriately for walking weather. Reservation Required. Purchase tickets at www.eventbrite.com, $20.
Noon. Showing of the movie “The Crossing,” the dramatic depiction of Washington’s historic crossing, featuring Jeff Daniels as General Washington, Masonic Temple Library, 100 Barrack Street, free.
Tuesday, December 30
9 a.m. to noon. Walking Tour: Battles of Trenton, led by historian, reporter, and member of the Trenton Battlefield Tours Ralph Siegel, meet at E. Front Cafe, 13 East Front Street, 9 a.m. includes gathering and discussion, the tour begins at 10 a.m., free.
For more events and details, visit www.destinationtrenton.com.
#b#Patriots In Princeton#/b#
A real-time tour of the Battle of Princeton at the actual battlefield — Princeton Battlefield State Park — is set for Saturday, January 3.
The event celebrates the 238th Anniversary of the Battle of Princeton and is a part of Patriots Week and the New Jersey First Day Hikes Program.
It also marks the first of the Princeton Battlefield Society’s 2015 events.
The two-hour program begins at 7 a.m. at the battlefield’s Clarke House.
British Army historian, re-enactor, and a former Princeton Battlefield Society’s trustee William P. Tatum III will trace the steps of American and British units at the same time of day as the original battle.
The real time and place experience will be enhanced when reenactors of Charles Willson Peale’s military unit arrives at Princeton Battlefield.
The reenactors will relive the unit’s march from the Old Barracks in Trenton to Princeton, leaving at midnight on January 2.
The Battle of Princeton, which took place on January 3, 1777, was the first battle won by the Continental Army against the professional British Army and a crucial turning point in the American Revolution.
Free-will donation to the Princeton Battlefield Society for the renovation of the Thomas Clarke House where General Mercer died.
Princeton Battlefield State Park is located at 500 Mercer Street, Princeton.
Attendees should wear warm clothes and stout shoes or boots.
For more information about the Princeton Battlefield Society, visit www.theprincetonbattlefieldsociety.com.