#FeatureFriday: America’s Hometown Thanksgiving Celebration
America’s Hometown Thanksgiving Celebration is self-proclaimed as “a weekend long celebration of our nation’s heritage.” Each year this festival is held on the weekend prior to Thanksgiving. The festival’s mission is to “educate the public while preserving our country’s important history, starting with the Pilgrim legacy and Thanksgiving story while recognizing all those who have fought to protect the American way of life.” During the week before the celebration and on the Friday of that weekend, historic tours of Plymouth are offered free of charge by Education Director, Dr. Paul Jehle for the public to enjoy.
To kick off the celebration on Friday, November 18 the annual patriotic concert will be held. The concert honors those who have served in the United States military. It is free for all to attend and includes entertainment, drama, music, and special recognition for all veterans.
On Saturday, November 19 there is plenty to do for everyone. To begin the day, be sure to check out the parade. It is one you don’t want to miss as it is ranked the #1 Thanksgiving parade in the nation by AOL. Opening ceremonies commence at 10:30 A.M. at DCR Pilgrim Memorial Park. The parade steps off at Benny’s Plaza Court Street at 11:00 A.M. This parade is said to be one of the only historically accurate chronological parades in America. It brings the heritage of America to life from the 17th to the 21st century. The parade features handmade floats, the nationally recognized Drum and Bugle Corps, vintage American cars, reenactment units from every period of American history and military marching units.
Interested in attending the celebration for the parade? Make sure you bring some nonperishable food items for the America’s Hometown Express! This is sponsored by Marty’s Buick GMC Isuzu and the food will be distributed by the Greater Plymouth Food Warehouse.
Following the parade, check out the New England Food Festival from 11:00 A.M. to 4:00 P.M. The cost to get into the festival is $12 for adults, $7 for children under 12 and free for children under 5. You can try out some great soups, chowders, desserts, party foods, and entrees. Celebrity judges and attendees vote on which entry is the best in a variety of categories. Winning a title comes with valuable prizes and prestige.
Also, from 11:00 A.M. to 4:00 P.M. on the 19th is the Portal to the Past Historic Village. This event will be held at Brewster Gardens. The area will transform into a Historic Village filled with authentic camps and scenarios of historical eras. Attendees will experience American history by joining living historians from four centuries of American history. Also, visitors can observe or even participate in the many military, civilian and children’s demonstrations that will be held throughout the day. Past Historic Village participants have included the New Plimmoth Gard, the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry, the Commission Commonwealth Vintage Dancers, etc.
Another fun thing to do from 11:00 A.M. to 4:00 P.M. on the 19th is the Wampanoag Educational Pavilion in DCR Pilgrim Memorial Park. This is sponsored by Massasoit Community College and will feature Plimoth Plantation. The event will allow participants the opportunity to learn what truly happened during the first dinner between the Colonist and Wampanoag people in the fall of 1621.
The third annual Illuminate Thanksgiving presented by Plymouth 400 will be held at on the 19th at 4:00 P.M. on the Hedge House Lawn. There will also be additional programming on Water Street and Main Street. This begins with a candle-lighting ceremony which celebrates how “One small candle may light a thousand.” From 4:00 P.M. to 8:00 P.M. the Plymouth Bay Cultural District will illuminate its storefronts and offer special discounts and programming. You can vote for your favorite storefront display through the Illuminate mobile app and collect a Plymouth 400 Commemorative Pint Glass when you order a Mayflower brew at participating restaurants. Share your photos using #IlluminatePlymouth2016 to let your followers know just how much fun you are having! There will also be a concert by the Alumni Drum and Bugle Corps at Memorial Hall at 6:30 P.M.
On Sunday, November 20th head to DCR Pilgrim Memorial Park for the Harvest Market. This will be held from 11:00 A.M. to 4:00 P.M. Over 30 local farmers and food-makers will be in attendance. You will be able to find many of the items you will need for your Thanksgiving dinner. There will be locally grown, fresh-from-the-farm fruits, vegetables, herbs, preserves, eggs and grass-fed meats. Other items that will be there include fresh cheese, homemade pasta, jams, sauces, honey and a wide selection of baked goods. It will also include a full day of live music. Also during this time, the Wampanoag Educational Pavilion will again be held at DCR Pilgrim Memorial Park.
If you would like more information about this event please visit http://www.usathanksgiving.com/.
We have been providing the tents for the America’s Hometown Thanksgiving Celebration for many years now. It has always been a joy to see this amazing celebration come to life and we thoroughly enjoy participating in this event year after year.
Make sure to check in every Friday on our blog for featured events. You can subscribe to the right to have our articles sent directly to your inbox.