In Trenton, the American Revolution isn't some abstract concept from the dusty past, it is a living breathing part of the city, which has shaped its streets and buildings, and how people live even today. Recognizing this, the Trenton Downtown Association commemorates Trenton's unique and pivotal role in the American Revolution with Patriots Week, its comprehensive celebration of the life and times of Revolutionary War-era Trenton. Patriots Week is held annually during the week between Christmas and New Year's, and attracts thousands of visitors to the city to enjoy art music, literature, battlefield re-enactments, and living history events.
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:
1. 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.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. 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 www.statemuseum.nj.gov for dates and times.
5. 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.
6. 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.
7. 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. Or groove to the Songs of the Revolutionary Era on Dec 28 at 12pm. Bombardments! Battles! Patriotism! Soldiers and Sailors! Brave Lasses! Sheep! (Yes, an occasional sheep!) Folk singers Stacy Flora Roth and Bob Dupre of History on the Hoof explore the Yankees' side of the American Revolution through songs, ballads, odes and hymns of the day at the New Jersey State Library. www.njstatelib.org
8. 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.
9. 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. Purchase tickets at www.capitalphilharmonic.org.
OF COURSE THERE'S MORE TO DO..... For a complete schedule of events download the 2016 Patriots Week booklet or click on each date tab on the top left of this page. Also be sure to check out our Facebook page for ALL updates!